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Heavy Cream


Aetherflux Reservoir is certainly an exciting card from Kaladesh, and one that we’ve seen plenty of takes on. Unfortunately, all of those deck have been focused on utilizing Aetherflux Reservoir as an engine and a payoff, rather than finding efficient ways to build incidental lifegain into their strategy. Largely, that’s because it’s hard to gain bits and pieces that add up to fifty. This week Chris Lansdell shows us that, if you’re willing to build around gaining life, fifty may not be as far out of reach as you


On its face, this is an Aetherflux Reservoir deck, trying to gain fifty life with a squad of lifelinking creatures. That’s a reasonable plan, given the density of lifegain in the deck. The card that pushes this deck into playability is Stitcher's Graft. Stitcher's Graft makes your lifelink creatures hit for huge chunks of damage. Suddenly your Lone Riders can flip themselves and your Thraben Inspectors are dominating combat. Aerial Responders is probably the best target for Stitcher's Graft, as it almost fully negates the downsides.

In games where your opponents are playing plenty of spot removal, you can also try to go wide, utilizing Westvale Abbey and Spawning Bed in conjunction with equipment to grind out damage. These also give you the ability to utilize Blighted Steppe to gain huge chunks of life. You can also use Bygone Bishop to help stay ahead on cards if games go long enough; you may just want to set up a turn where you can cast Bygone Bishop and a follow up creature to ensure you get some value out of the deal.

In addition to this lifegain beatdown plan, you also have access to the most efficient and generic removal spells in the format in Declaration in Stone and Stasis Snare. As long as the format is midrangey or aggressive, this kind of lifegain is going to be useful to ensure that you have more time to stitch together powerful haymakers and gain more life. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that has enough powerful synergies to take games off of established decks, this seems like a reasonable place to start.

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