Review and Upgrade Guide
Buckle Up

There are few things as satisfying as watching your huge mech slam into an opponent and pulverize them. Crewing something massive and unleashing it on unsuspecting foes is always a delight. This deck certainly has the potential to do just that. 

Before we unpack this deck, I’d like to say a massive thank you to our sponsors, Unplug Yourself for making it possible for us to have these decks to review. 

Now down to business.

Out of the box the deck is slow playing the face up commander Kotori, Pilot Prodigy. Very slow. I played it three times and got creamed every game because the deck only began to tick somewhere around turn seven.

Kotori, Pilot Prodigy’s ability to help you crew vehicles for less is great. It certainly helps get the larger vehicles like Shorikai, Genesis Engine up and running faster. Her added ability to give an artifact creature lifelink and vigilance is also pretty cool. The problem is that you’re playing white and blue, and it seems that the white side of the deck dominates a bit cos your card draw is iffy and unreliable. And you really need to cycle through those cards to find the ones that will tip the game in your favour.

So, a better option might be to play Shorikai, Genesis Engine as your commander. Although he is a vehicle and will need to be crewed before he can attack or block. Pay one and tap him and you not only get to draw two cards, discarding one of them, you also get to make a 1/1 pilot creature token that crews for power 3.

On the upside though, there is no trouble getting enough mana out to cast the vehicles. There are 37 lands on the button and then another 12 cards that either ramp or tap for mana so, no worries there. 

The deck does lack a sufficient board wipe. When you’re up against a deck that is going wide, this deck suffers. It is easily overwhelmed because it takes time to get vehicles and creatures on the board. 

The deck had targeted removal in the form of Swords to PlowsharesGenerous GiftDispatch and Crush Contraband but they are insufficient. Cataclysmic Gearhulk also offers an option for removal but unfortunately, you’re included in the players who have to discard cards. So not ideal. It would be better to include a one-sided wipe like FarewellAustere Command or Supreme Verdict. Even including another wipe that isn’t as targeted but playing a card like Brilliant Restoration after the board has been wiped might be a good way to tip things to your advantage.

The card draw in the deck, as mentioned earlier without the usual blue card draw engines, is a little spotty. It isn’t as reliable as this deck needs it to be. You need to be able to rummage or go and look for a specific card depending on your game plan. It’s all well and good to have the wonderful cards in your deck, but if you can’t get to them on time, it’s a disaster. So, although cards like Sram, Senior EdificerRiddlesmithArcanist’s Owl and Research Thief allow you to draw cards, they aren’t as consistent as this deck needs. This is where playing Shorikai, Genesis Engine as your commander would help you a lot.

What this deck lacks in speed, removal and card draw, is kind of made up for with some fun battle tricks. With cards like Dance of the ManseHanna, Ship’s Navigator and Emry, Lurker of the Loch bringing targeted cards back from your graveyard this can cause a certain amount of trouble for your opponents. Cards like Etherium Sculptor and Shimmer Myr allow you to cast artifact spells for less, which helps to get those vehicles on the board. Aeronaut Admiral and Cyberdrive Awakener are great inclusions in this deck as they give all your vehicles flying. Pretty sure your opponents won’t like that one. Katsumasa, the Animator is also a great card for this deck. She allows you to play your vehicles like creatures without bothering to crew them. All while handing out +1/+1 counters. So, she’s great.

When it comes to some protection, the deck is a little lacking in my opinion although Indomitable Archangel is very cool to have on hand. This deck suffers when there’s a board wipe and even targeted removal so an EphemerateBrilliant Restoration or Teferi’s Protection would go well in here to protect you and your most important board pieces and help you recover.

The vehicles included in this deck are for the most part, pretty cool. The ones that come with flying like Smuggler’s CopterWeatherlightMobilizer Mech and Aerial Surveyor come with a huge advantage out of the gate. Not many decks have the ability to stand up to a 4/5 flyer.

Parhelion II is also a wonderful card in this deck with flying, first strike and vigilance. The fact that it also makes tokens that can crew it is a huge help as well. Prodigy’s Prototype also creates tokens that can crew vehicles leaving your other creatures free to attack alongside the bulky vehicles making your attack even stronger. 

Skysovereign, Consul Flagship which is a 6/5 with flying, is also a lovely inclusion because it deals 3 damage to target creature or planeswalker when it attacks. That extra damage can make all the difference. And that is what this deck is about. It’s about finding the right combinations to make all this wonderful potential damage actually happen.

All in all, this deck has a lot of potential. All the building blocks are there. The only problem is finding the balance which I don’t feel this deck has as it comes out of the box. However, with a few tweaks like including cards like Rebbec, Architect of AscensionOswald FiddlebenderJin-Gitaxias, Progress TyrantDarksteel ForgeThe Antiquities WarWonderUrza, Lord High Artificer or Kitsune Ace you could really make this deck into something to be reckoned with.

Well until next time. Take the giant vehicles out for a drive.

And I’ll see you on the battlefield.