Creative Energy Precon Review - Modern Horizons 3

Creative Energy Precon Review

Hello friends! Welcome back for another round of precon guides here on EDHREC. For each new set of precons, we’ll give you a review of each, showing you what's in the deck and how to play it, as well as an upgrade guide. Today we’re kicking things off with the Creative Energy deck from Modern Horizons 3, led by Satya, Aetherflux Genius.

Who Are the Commanders for Creative Energy?

Satya is a 3/5 Human Artificer with menace and haste for four mana. He’s blue, red, and white (Jeskai), and whenever he attacks you can create a tapped and attacking creature token that’s a copy of another nontoken creature you control (the creature you copy doesn’t have to attack, just Satya does), and you get two energy counters. Then at your end step, you have to sacrifice the token you created unless you pay energy equal to its mana value.

So we expect this deck to be all about energy and tokens. Energy was introduced in the Kaladesh block as an alternate resource to mana, and this is the second Jeskai energy precon deck we’ve gotten this year. The first was Science! from Universes Beyond: Fallout, a deck that actually cared more about artifacts than energy.

Our backup commander is Cayth, Famed Mechanist, a 3/3 Dwarf Artificer for four mana that has fabricate 1 (when she enters you can give her a +1/+1 counter or create a 1/1 Servo token) and also gives all of your other nontoken creatures fabricate 1 as well. She also allows you to either populate (create a token copy of another creature token you control) or proliferate (for each kind of counter on any number of permanents and players, you can add one of those counters) by paying two mana and tapping her. 

Here’s the full list for Creative Energy:

Creative Energy Precon

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Commander (1)
Creatures (26)
Artifacts (23)
Enchantments (3)
Instants (3)
Sorceries (6)
Lands (38)

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What Are the Themes and Strategies of the Deck?

Well, energy is in the name, so we know that’s the biggest theme of the deck. But we’re also working with other strategies here, particularly tokens, artifacts, and attacking. 

Where the Science! deck suffered the most was its inability to incorporate cards from Kaladesh, due to the deck being part of Universes Beyond. With MH3, we’re now firmly back in the Magic universe. This deck is so much better for it, because we can have all of the best energy cards. (Obviously, what we’re now lacking is the Fallout cards, but that’s a much smaller loss.)

Of course, we’ve gotta talk about the two cards that spiked in price because of the Fallout deck. Gonti’s Aether Heart and Aetherworks Marvel are here and ready to supercharge the energy strategies of the deck. Decoction Module is also a must-have for energy, and a welcome inclusion here. We’ve also got Whirler Virtuoso, Aetherstorm Roc, Lightning Runner, Aethersquall Ancient, Glimmer of Genius, Confiscation Coup, and more. 

The main MH3 set gives us quite a few new energy cards as well, and a few are included in this list. Amped Raptor, Izzet Generatorium, Unstable Amulet, and Roil Cartographer provide card advantage, Solar Transformer gives mana, Jolted Awake adds recursion, and Scurry of Gremlins makes tokens.

Satya needs some powerful creatures to make copies of, and the deck certainly gives us a few options. Skyclave Apparition deals with removing low-mana threats. Angel of Invention gives us options to make itself bigger or make Servo tokens, while also giving our creatures a buff. Combustible Gearhulk gives opponents a Catch-22 of giving us cards or taking potentially large amounts of damage. And Myr Battlesphere drops a bunch of baby Myrs when it enters. To go along with all this token making, the deck also gives us the gift of Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer. Because of timing, we can’t really abuse Brudiclad’s abilities too much (Brudiclad’s trigger is at the beginning of combat, while Satya’s is on attack. In a perfect world, Satya would trigger first). Nevertheless, the value from Brudiclad’s ability to morph tokens into copies of another token can’t be underestimated with Satya copying our best creatures.

But that’s not all we have for tokens. Legion Loyalty gives all of our creatures myriad, so every creature will copy itself on attacks (which sadly won't trigger for the tokens Satya makes, since they enter attacking). We even have Professional Face-Breaker and Goldspan Dragon providing Treasures. 

How Do You Play Creative Energy?

One struggle I had in playtesting this precon was in colored mana at the beginning of the game. The deck comes with 20 basic lands, ten of which are Plains. This is heavily skewed, and although it matches up with the deck’s needs for mana, you’ll find that the cheap spells you wanna cast in the early game usually aren’t white. So pay attention to this when going for an opening hand, because you will need all three colors as soon as possible. 

Also make sure you have a cheap creature to cast in your opening hand, because you wanna have something out before you drop Satya. Without a creature to copy, Satya’s value is pretty much non-existent. I highly recommend starting with one of these: Solemn Simulacrum, Skyclave Apparition, and Whirler Virtuoso.

Aside from these two potential roadblocks, the deck is a blast to play. When I playtested the Science! precon, I frequently had trouble with making energy. That’s definitely not the case here. It’s very easy to make a ton of energy, and frequently enough that you can keep the tokens you make with Satya. And while there are a few cards that want you to have a lot of energy, particularly some new cards we’ll talk about in the next section, don’t be afraid to spend it up. You’ll always make more.

Keep in mind that the tokens you make with Satya won’t have attack triggers, since they enter the battlefield already attacking. This will matter with cards like Aethergeode Miner, Aetherstorm Roc, Lightning Runner, and a few others.

I also have to mention that this deck does have an infinite combo. To pull it off, you need Gonti’s Aether Heart, Decoction Module, and Whirler Virtuoso on the board, plus three energy already available. Pay the three energy to Whirler Virtuoso to create a 1/1 Thopter. When the token enters it’ll trigger Aether Heart to give you two energy, as well as Decoction Module for one more energy. You’re back at three energy, and can repeat over and over again for infinite Thopters.

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What Are the New Cards in Creative Energy?

In addition to the two new commanders, each preconstructed deck from Modern Horizons 3 comes with 13 new cards. Let’s see what this deck has to offer, starting with the cards that play with the deck’s main theme.

Aether Refinery doubles the energy counters you make. You can also tap it to gain an energy and pay an amount of energy to make an X/X creature token, where X is the amount you paid. This is exactly the kind of card that the Science! precon was missing, and it’s an auto-include for all energy decks going forward.

Conversion Apparatus isn’t terribly exciting, but if you've got a lot of extra energy and really need mana, you're gonna be glad you have it. Stone Idol Generator makes an energy whenever a creature you control attacks (that’s one for each attacking creature), and you can tap it and spend six energy to create a 6/12 with trample. It’s a sweet callback to Ancient Stone Idol, and a great inclusion for not just energy decks, but also proliferate decks or aggro artifact token decks, like Urza, Chief Artificer.

We’ve got a new energy Vehicle here with Filigree Racer. It gives you four energy on entry, and when you attack with it you can pay two energy to give an instant or sorcery in your graveyard jump-start until end of turn (you can cast that card from your graveyard by discarding a card in addition to paying its other costs). With a low crew cost of just one, it seems reasonable. Even outside of an energy deck, you can use the attack trigger twice with its own energy, so I’m sure there is a deck out there for this card. Unfortunately, this precon is not it. There are only nine instant or sorcery cards in the deck - not nearly enough to warrant an effect like this.

Let’s look at some creatures, starting with another Magic history callback: Sphinx of the Revelation. This artifact Sphinx has flying and lifelink, and whenever you gain life it gives you that many energy counters. You can also pay three mana, tap it, and pay X energy to draw X cards. Like the Stone Idol Generator, this is versatile enough that it doesn’t need to go into an energy deck to be useful. There aren’t a ton of Azorius (white and blue) commanders out there with a lifegain strategy (Will, Scion of Peace is really the only one), but Esper (white, blue, and black) has Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, a popular classic commander that is gonna love this Sphinx. You could even put it in Sphinx decks, flying decks, or artifact decks, since its own lifelink will gain you energy. Like I said, it’s very versatile.

Overclocked Electromancer, a Lizard Wizard (that's just fun to say), lets you pay three energy at your combat to put a +1/+1 counter on it, then when it attacks you double its power until end of turn. When it deals combat damage to a creature, you make energy equal to excess damage dealt. It’s just okay, but if you can find a way to slap first or double strike on it, then you’ll have a real stew going. Aurora Shifter also likes to combat, but gives you energy when it deals combat damage to players instead. And at the beginning of your combat you can pay two energy to have it become a copy of another creature you control, while retaining its energy abilities. The neat thing here is that the copy effect doesn’t stop at end of turn.

We’ve got two massive creatures in the deck: Blaster Hulk and Salvation Colossus. Blaster Hulk gives you a discount on its cost for each energy you've paid or lost this turn, and when it attacks it gives you two energy and you can pay eight to have it deal eight damage divided up to eight targets. The haste is icing for this one, and really amps up its potential. For Salvation Colossus, a 9/9 with flying, vigilance, and trample, you don’t have haste, but you also don’t have to attack with it to get its benefit. As long as you attack while it’s out, other creatures you control get +2/+2 and indestructible until end of turn. It doesn’t give you any energy, but you can pay eight to unearth it for a huge attack.

We’ve also got the return of the reconfigure mechanic from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, with Razorfield Ripper. This Equipment Rhino gives you an energy when it or the equipped creature attacks, and also gets a power/toughness bonus for each energy you have. This can be a pretty big buff if you’ve been stockpiling energy for the game, but…the whole point of energy is to spend it on stuff. Right? 

This deck also provides us a new, energy-centric board wipe, with Localized Destruction. This card gives you one energy, then allows you to pay an amount of energy and protect creatures with power equal to that amount from the destruction. In most cases, this will end up being a better Time Wipe, but only if you’re playing energy. However, there will certainly be times when you can save multiple creatures - or even an army of tokens if they all have the same power.

Finally, let’s talk about the two new cards in the deck that don’t care one bit about energy. Hourglass of the Lost is a three-mana mana rock (we all love those) that only gives you white mana when you tap it, but also puts a time counter on itself. Then later you can tap it, remove a number of time counters, and exile Hourglass to return all nonland permanents with mana value equal to the time counters removed from your graveyard to the battlefield. So here’s why this card sucks: it only brings back cards with that specific mana value, not that mana value or less. If it was everything of that value and under, you could empty your graveyard of nonland permanents. I honestly don’t see a lot of use cases for this card.

Silverquill Lecturer, on the other hand, is going to be the darling of casual players like me. I’m 100% willing to give an opponent a copy of a creature that gives me far more benefits than them because my deck is built around it. Here’s an example: you cast a Gray Merchant of Asphodel, demonstrate it, and give a copy to the person who isn’t playing black. They get two life, sure; but with two Garys and (preferably) a board of black permanents, you get a whole lot more. It’s also going to be incredible in Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines decks. 

Is Creative Energy Worth Buying?

Is this deck any good? Here’s my final grade:


The deck is a home run. Night and day difference between the Science! precon and this, and I couldn’t be happier about that. This is the energy precon we’ve been waiting for, and Satya is the energy commander we’ve always wanted. 

The reprints in the deck are absolutely solid, with Gonti’s Aether Heart, Aetherworks Marvel, Professional Face-Breaker, Goldspan Dragon, and Akroma’s Will being the standouts.

The only real ding in the deck’s score is the mana. Ten basic Plains in a three-color deck was just poor design, almost like the manabase was an afterthought. Also, the deck could use a few more creatures for Satya to copy. But these problems are easily fixed.

Can I make this deck better? Find out in my Upgrade Guide, here on EDHREC. And stay tuned for the precon guides for the other MH3 decks!

More Precon Fun:

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Andy's been playing Magic on and off since Fallen Empires. He loves to travel, drink, eat, and spend time with family and friends.

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