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One of the most important things to do in a new format is identify the baseline aggressive strategy. Having a good understanding of how much time you have to set up, what life totals are safe, and just how much reach the aggressive deck is capable of generating is of critical importance if you’re looking to play a midrange or control deck. If you want to play an aggro deck, you can also take advantage of your opponent’s presumptions to blindside them with a threats or interactions that they aren’t prepared for. Something like Caleb Scherer’s 6th Place Mono-Black Aggro list from the SCG Open in Atlanta this past weekend.

Bone Picker
This is a great example of a deck that attacks from an angle players aren’t prepared for. Going into this weekend, Mardu Vehicles was the aggressive deck that players were preparing for. This is a deck that attacks from a fundamentally different angle.

The first thing to note about this deck is that you have Dread Wanderer and Night Market Lookout as your one-drops, both able to chip in for a couple points of damage early. You have Fatal Push and Grasp of Darkness to clear the way and keep you ahead of cards like Heart of Kiran in the damage race. You can use your removal to force through attacks from Glint-Sleeve Siphoner so you can stay up on cards. Walking Ballista is, of course, an incredible curve-filler and mana sink in the late game that also gives you the few points of reach you need to close out games.

Of course, none of these are the most interesting engine in the deck. In my mind the most exciting interaction is Bone Picker and Liliana, the Last Hope. Bone Picker is a great threat in a deck full of removal spells, and Liliana gives you a way to re-buy it when your opponent trades for it in combat. On that turn, you can put a Planeswalker into play and redeploy your threat all at once and put a ton of pressure on your opponents to cast multiple spells to answer your board.

If you’re looking for a dynamic and interactive way to get aggressive while still having a ton of longevity, this is a great way to do it.

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