B/R Aggro wasn’t the most successful deck in Standard before the bannings, and it lost its best card, Smuggler’s Copter. So what could make it a good choice in Standard now with Aether Revolt?
The biggest gain for B/R Aggro was that Ishkanah, Grafwidow decks are weaker. That was one of the toughest cards for aggro decks to break through, so that in itself is a big addition by subtraction.
Heart of Kiran can’t replace Smuggler’s Copter, but it is imposing in its own right. A 4/4 flying creature for just 2 mana is an absurd rate, but it’s going to change the way you build your deck. Crew 3 is much higher than crew 1, so you have to make sure you have the appropriate creature suite.
Scrapheap Scrounger defines Standard right now. A recursive threat that hits hard for just 2 colorless mana is way above the curve. Blocking is not the name of the game in this format, so Scrounger is the perfect card for decks that are willing to play some black mana sources.
Bomat Courier and Inventor’s Apprentice are early creatures that will get you on the board. Apprentice isn’t a great card, but it’s going to be stronger than Toolcraft Exemplar against Walking Ballista. Bomat Courier can get in some early damage before being cashed in for some value.
Forerunner of Slaughter becomes a much more important addition when you care about crewing your Heart of Kiran. Forerunner also allows you to stay on curve and maximize damage if you don’t draw the Heart on turn 2. Pia Nalaar is important as she provides enough power to crew the Heart, but can also pump creatures and make sure bigger blockers won’t get in your way.
Unlicensed Disintegration has been called the best card in Standard by Steve Rubin and Owen Turtenwald. A stretch, perhaps, but the card is incredible. The tempo you gain by removing any creature and 15% of an opponent’s starting life total will leave anyone on the back foot.
Shock is a great tempo play that can go to the dome. Incendiary Flow has gone up in value in a Scrapheap Scrounger world. And Lightning Axe will make it easier to deal with some of the big creatures in the format.
Implement of Combustion is an early artifact for Apprentice, cycles for a card, deals a point of damage, and will shut down the Saheeli combo while in play.
Chandra, Torch of Defiance deals with midsized creatures, adds card advantage, pumps up your mana, or crews a Heart of Kiran. The ultimate isn’t too hard to get to, and once there you’re going to win the game.
B/R Aggro lost a lot in Copter, but the changes to the format as a whole still may make it a top contender. Weldfast Engineer may be worth considering in conjunction with Hearts and Scroungers, and you’re also adding powerful sideboard options in Fatal Push and Release the Gremlins. B/R Aggro has much better mana and a similar power level to Mardu Vehicles, so it could be an excellent choice going forward.