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Against the Odds: Melek Fling (Standard)

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Against the Odds! Murders at Karlov Manor is here, and today, we're playing the very first deck I wanted to build during MKM spoiler season: Melek Fling! Melek, Reforged Researcher is a super-interesting creature. We've seen creatures with power equal to the number of instants and sorceries in our graveyard several times in the past, but we've never seen a creature that gets power double the number of spells in our graveyard. As such, it only takes 10 spells to get Melek up to 20 power, which makes it super easy to use Melek to kill the opponent by throwing Melek, Reforged Researcher at our opponent's face with Callous Sell-Sword! Can the plan work? Do we have another playable exclusive prerelease promo on our hands? Let's find out on today's Against the Odds!

Against the Odds: Melek Fling

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Our deck's goal is super simple: sling a bunch of cheap looting spells to fill our graveyard. Play Melek, use Callous Sell-Sword to Fling it at our opponent's face, and win the game on the spot! Sound easy? Actually, it sort of was. We ended up 7-4 with the deck, good for a 64% match-win percentage, which is a great record for an Against the Odds deck. 

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It turns out that Melek, Reforged Researcher is surprisingly strong. Since our deck is full of cards like Consider, Chart a Course, Big Score, and Intrude on the Mind to fill the graveyard, it's pretty easy to make it a five-mana 20/20 pretty early in the game. (In one game, we managed to grow it to a 50/50.) While the Fling kill is the most exciting thing our deck can do, and we got a bunch of them throughout our matches, we also picked up several wins by just beating down with Melek, especially combined with sweepers like Burn Down the House and Ill-Timed Explosion, which typically kill all of our opponent's creatures but leave Melek unharmed to clear blockers out of the way.

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The only problem with our plan is that Callous Sell-Sword is a bit of a sketchy Fling. While only costing one mana is nice, allowing us to play Melek, Reforged Researcher and Fling in the same turn for just six mana, the weird adventure formatting means that our opponent can use targeted removal to kill Melek with the Fling on the stack. This doesn't happen with other Flings, which sacrifice the creature as part of their cost. Sadly, the only other Fling in Standard costs four mana, so we'll have to make do with the strange adventure creature.

Probably my favorite part of the deck is that all we need to do to win the game is cast a bunch of card-draw spells. Sure, we have some removal and sweepers to stabilize and a couple of counters to protect Melek, but we spend most of the game casting as many card-draw spells as possible to fill our graveyard to support the combo kill. On the other hand, I'm a little scared because Melek might be a lot better than people think, and as one of those weird not-in-packs prerelease promos, the price could go wild if it ever ends up in demand, Nexus of Fate style. Overall, I was expecting the deck to get some cool kills but not really be that competitive, but instead, we got some cool kills and managed to win a bunch. Melek, Reforged Researcher is just that good!


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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