I just got back from Singapore and managed to squeeze some modern games at night and stumbled upon Scrap Trawler being used in the Krark-Clan Ironworks (KCI) combo deck and while seeing it in action, I wanted to do something similar in Standard.
In Standard, Scrap Trawler looks unimpressive because it needs an engine like KCI to allow you to sacrifice your artifacts for mana and cast something from the graveyard. Instead of taking a combo approach, we will take a resilient aggressive shell and maximize Scrap Trawler’s ability in recurring our threats. First, we need a redundancy to Scrap Trawler.
Pia’s Revolution offers a similar effect as Scrap Trawler but gives the opponent an option to take 3 damage and keep the artifact in the bin. This might not be impressive enough but if the opponent is low on life, or have multiple Pia’s Revolution in the battlefield, your opponent will think twice not letting your metal soldiers bounce back to hand. But what do we actually take back? Let’s start from the top curve.
Foundry Inspector is one of the ways we can bring down our curve and get some of our threats for free in the 1-drop slot. It also allows us to play multiple spells even if we’re only playing 23 lands. Pia Nalaar is in the deck because who would lead the revolution if not her? Kidding aside, she’s a 2-body for 1 card and her ability to sacrifice an artifact is relevant if we want to trigger Scrap Trawler or Pia’s Revolution voluntarily. Plus the ability to keep a creature from blocking is good in stalled board states.
The 2-drop slots is where most of our power comes from. With Mimic out, majority of our creatures enter the battlefield bigger by naming ‘Construct’. Scrapheap Scrounger, which is an awesome card in conjunction with Pia’s Revolution because you get it back to matter what, is our primary beat stick and with Foundry Inspector, you can play it for just 1 mana.
At the 1-drop slot (or free slot with Foundry Inspector) we have Bomat Courier and Hope of Ghirapur. Bomat is super effective in refilling our hands and with lots of ways to get him back, it can keep drawing us cards throughout the game. Now HoG is another sweet tech because it is somehow a recurring ‘Silence’ card for us with Trawler or Pia’s Revolution out. We can hit with it and sacrifice it and put it in the yard and get it back when something else dies in combat like a Scrapheap Scrounger or Metallic Mimic. Then we can cast it again and keep silencing the opponent and keep him away from board sweepers or removal.
Don’t think we don’t have a zero-cost artifact to get back if we cash in our Bomats or HoGs. We have a full playset of Walking Ballista in the deck which is the icing to this synergy cake. Let me explain.
With Trawler and Pia’s Revolution out, we can almost have unlimited Walking Ballistas if we have enough artifacts in the battlefield that dies in combat which is quite common since the deck is not good at blocking. Pia’s Revolution essentially makes a dying Walking Ballista come with a free Lightning Bolt if the opponent doesn’t want us getting it back.
With Scrap Trawler, we will eventually get it back and keep pressuring the opponent to find answers. Sac-ing a Bomat or HoG will easily get our Ballista back and do this cycle of pinging our opponent until he has no choice but to take 3 and keep it in the graveyard or die from endless shooting.
We will play a few removal spells that can help us close the game. For this deck I prefer Magma Spray over Fatal Push because I hate Khenras coming back or cats, Champion of Wits. Unlicensed is just a clean answer with some reach which is good when the opponent is really low in life. The condition is relatively easy to fulfill thanks to our mostly artifact deck shell.
Here’s my Pia’s Revolution Deck:
4 Walking Ballista
4 Bomat Courier
3 Hope of Ghirapur
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
4 Metallic Mimic
3 Foundry Inspector
2 Pia Nalaar
4 Scrap Trawler
4 Unlicensed Disintegration
2 Magma Spray
3 Pia’s Revolution
4 Spire of Industry
4 Dragonskull Summit
1 Inventor’s Fair
3 Lost Legacy
2 Vraska’s Contempt
2 Chandra’s Defeat
2 Battle at the Bridge
Against control, we take out all our removal and replace them with hand disruption. Taking down their answers is one way in making sure our threats hit the table and pressure the opponent to invest their turns and mana digging for answers.
Vraska’s Contempt is our only answers to Gods unless we want to side in Lost Legacy and pull them out entirely (which is fine I guess). Battle at the Bridge is a good sideboard card against Red by using our artifacts to improvise a huge life drain plus it kills Hazoret too.
Against Red, Glorybringers and Rekindling Phoenix (use Ballista to shoot the token), I included Chandra’s Defeat in the side which is a 1-mana kill anything spell. Abrade is there for the occasional vehicles match up or GPG.
That’s it for now! I think the deck is pretty sweet and semi-budgeted if you already have the Ballistas. It’s a fun deck to play as well which will definitely raise some eyebrows when you play Pia’s Revoluton.
Have fun and let me know what you think! I thank the new guys I met in Singapore, Tyrone, Jose, and those I can’t remember their names for the good games!
Trivia: Did you know Pia’s Revolution is half the art that was used to also depict Chandra’s Revolution? That’s motherly love right there, folks!