Before the bannings surrounding Aether Revolt, Flash was one of the best decks in the format. This is a deck that utilized the powerful spirit themes in Shadows over Innistrad block in conjunction with powerful threats like Archangel Avacyn and instant speed answers to tempo opponents out of the game. The banning of Reflector Mage and Smuggler's Copter were pretty big hits for this deck, and since then we haven’t seen much of the deck at all. But is the archetype dead? EDROSA seems to think not:
White-Blue Spirits - Aether Revolt Standard | EDROSA, 5-0 Standard League
- Creatures (30)
- 3 Archangel Avacyn
- 3 Nebelgast Herald
- 4 Mausoleum Wanderer
- 4 Metallic Mimic
- 4 Rattlechains
- 4 Selfless Spirit
- 4 Spell Queller
- 4 Walking Ballista
- Instants (2)
- 2 Essence Flux
This deck looks very different from previous iterations; it’d have to be different given the number of cards that were banned out of it. You can’t lean on Thraben Inspector plus Smuggler's Copter to sculpt your draws or Reflector Mage as a catch-all answer to buy you an extra turn or two to attack for lethal. Instead, EDROSA has decided to commit to the spirit theme. This allows you to do a number of very interesting things.
Mausoleum Wanderer is a reasonable 1-drop in a deck that’s already looking to play Spell Queller, Rattlechains, and Nebelgast Herald as flash Spirits. Metallic Mimic just adds to the synergy, giving you another means of getting aggressive and making your anemic spirits a little beefier. Nebelgast Herald and Rattlechains are both very interesting cards in the current format. When the efficiency of removal is so critical, Rattlechains is a great way to generate a huge swing in tempo. Similarly, Nebelgast Herald allows you to wait for your opponent to crew a vehicle before committing to tapping down that attacker for a turn.
It should be clear that there are a number of tricky, interesting interactions in this shell. That becomes increasingly important as you add other interactive elements such as Stasis Snare and potentially other counterspells. The power of this shell is that you can wait until your opponent commits to something before you make a choice about what to do about it. Inevitably, this leads to your opponent guessing wrong about which effects they have to play around, and you get to generate substantial advantages based on the imbalance of information.
If you’re interested in a refreshing take on Standard that lets you play a highly flexible and interactive game, this seems like a very exciting deck to start exploring again.