The energy mechanic is a strong one, and it’s shaping Standard as we know it. Kaladesh offered many powerful cards, but the reactions to the Temur Energy decks are well known at this point. Cards like Glorybringer, Confiscation Coup, and many others are being played everywhere to get an edge in the matchup. So why not use the powerful mechanic to attack from another angle?
Electrostatic Pummeler can win the game with a single swing, and it’s more than possible to accomplish that as early as turn 4. When your opponents are trying to set up for powerful midrange decks and mirrors with their 5-mana spells, Pummeler can just kill them as early as turn 4 and there’s often little that can be done about it. With enough energy and even a single pump spell, Pummeler can grow to well over 20 power and potentially have trample. To make that happen, you pack plenty of energy cards and spells to protect the Pummeler or force it through.
Even if you aren’t pummeling people, you’re playing a great energy deck. All of the favorites are here. Longtusk Cub comes down early, can grow to enormous sizes, and be an energy enabler all on its own. With protection and pump spells, you don’t necessarily need a Pummeler when you have a Cub that can go the distance.
Servant of the Conduit provides color fixing, ramp, energy, and a reasonably sized creature to get you going. Servant helps curve right into Bristling Hydra, which is yet another threat that can win the game single-handedly even against resistance.
Rogue Refiner is the glue that binds everything together. Well sized, digs you a card deeper, and grants you energy that you have tons of ways to use. Getting Rogue Refiner flooded is a great way to emerge victorious even when your deck isn’t executing its plan A.
Glint-Sleeve Siphoner on the black splash gives you a way to recoup card advantage back and a use for that excess energy you may have laying around. You plan to stockpile energy in this deck more than most as there are no Whirler Virtuosos, and saving the energy for Pummeler, Hydra, or Cub to go big is the name of the game. The Siphoner can keep the cards flowing, sneak in for some damage, and even get you some excess energy along the way.
Attune with Aether is the innocuous MVP of energy decks. It allows the black splash, lets you skimp on lands a bit, and provides some “free” energy.
Cards that protect your creature are the key for decks that want to be aggressive and have a combo element. The problem is that having a dead card when you don’t have a Pummeler is a huge drawback. That’s far from the case with Blossoming Defense as it’s a card that non-Pummeler Sultai Energy decks have made great use out of. It counters removal for a single mana and it grows your creature to deal lethal or win in combat. This is amazing with Pummeler, but also just excellent with Cubs and Siphoners alike.
Larger than Life is not the most powerful card, but combined with Pummeler and just 3 additional energy beyond the enters-the-battlefield trigger you’re looking at 20 trample damage. The fact that you have other large creatures that often demand chump blocks in the middle stages of the game, like Cub or Hydra, so that Larger than Life is not dead when you don’t have a Pummeler draw is what makes this deck actually work.
Cartouche of Knowledge is the real tech here. Sending Pummeler to the air, drawing a card, and even pumping its power a little bit are all excellent additions. Being able to slap a Cartouche onto a Cub and immediately grow it to a 4/4 or 5/5 flying creature on turn 3 is truly insane, however, and giving Hydra hexproof and flying ends the game quickly.
Consign // Oblivion is the final spell in the deck, and it’s sort of a catchall in a deck like this. Tough to deal with enchantments or artifacts get bounced. If they Coup your creature, you can just put it back in your own hands. On the back end, making an opponent discard two to clear the way for Pummeler and friends to do its thing is really strong.
The energy mechanic is incredible in Standard, and using it to fuel a Pummeler kill might be the best way to find success!