Who doesn’t love spice? Delicious, bold flavors filled with something a little different? Sounds great to me. Improvise is not a new mechanic, and it’s not like we’re getting a whole lot out of Ixalan besides lands and maybe some sideboard cards, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get spicy.
This deck revolves around Inventor’s Goggles. It feels weird to say that about a Limited deck, let alone a deck that’s going to 5-0 a Competitive Standard MTGO League. Goggles can come down on turn 1 and act as an immediate mana source to cast your big improvise spells. You’re playing 15 Artificers in your deck, so the Goggles will be growing your team starting on turn 2 to help take over the game.
A couple Artificers that haven’t seen the light of day outside of being early Draft picks are both Aether Chaser and Aether Swooper. They each have different allures as first strike and an extra power are nice, but making sure that you can get in with a flyer might be nicer. They both will throw a Goggles on their back (over their eyes?) to become formidable threats on turn 2, and they’ll even start to provide some extra creatures that happen to be artifacts. You can use those Servos for mana on improvise right away.
Whirler Virtuoso is where things start getting real nice. You can make a Thopter right away, and the Virtuoso happens to be an Artificer. Excess energy from disposed-of Aether creatures can be turned into flying threats that also help you cast your most expensive spells, so it’s all upside here.
Pia Nalaar adds to the value train as another Artificer that provides multiple bodies. Being able to pump up artifacts, or to make creatures unable to block by sacrificing excess artifacts, is nice in a deck that has access to so many.
The top-of-your-curve Artificer is none other than Maverick Thopterist. You have tons of ways to get this guy out on turn 3 and you don’t even need to break a sweat to do it. Your deck is more than capable of curving Goggles into an Aether creature and attacking for a Servo and damage on turn 3. Goggles always stays untapped, so you can use that and the Servo to get this creature into play and add 4 more power to the board! You have plenty of other cheap artifacts that also make sure turn-3 Thopterist is a breeze.
Bomat Courier is just a good early creature that can provide mid- to late-game card advantage, and an additional mana source for just a single mana. Heart of Kiran isn’t the easiest to crew without Goggles, but your Thopter-producing creatures will get the job done. Heart has vigilance and can even get in there before tapping to improvise.
Walking Ballista gives you yet another early artifact and late-game mana sink. You have lots of abilities to extend the game and chump-block with all of your Servo and Thopter makers, and Ballistas can get mighty large toward the end. You can even equip a Goggles and use all of the counters while letting Ballista live to grow again another day.
With all of these artifacts, you can get out a quick Freejam Regent to take over the game. Freejam is large and in charge, and since you have plenty of ways to cast it turn 3 and consistently on turn 4, it’s a great threat for this deck.
Because you’re able to go so aggressive and put opponents on the back foot, Glorybringer is an awesome card here. It can’t be accelerated out with anything you have and it doesn’t actually have “synergy” with your other cards, but it’s so powerful you just don’t care. Getting down an early swarm of creatures forces them to tap out and use their mana. This is when Glorybringer does the most work.
We’re far from discovering all the sweet ways Standard can be explored, and this deck brings back an old mechanic in a big way!