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Goldfish Gladiators: Dimir Quasiduplicate (Standard, Arena)


Welcome to Goldfish Gladiators, a new series with a twist: rather than taking place on Magic Online, Goldfish Gladiator is focused on Magic Arena. Last week, during one of our streams, we started off playing a Grixis Thief of Sanity deck, but as the night went on, we ended up slowly changing the deck into a Dimir Quasiduplicate list. While we didn't get to play the deck very much on stream, the shell seemed like it had potential, and today we're going to take the current build out for a test drive on Magic Arena! In some ways, Quasiduplicate reminds me of Panharmonicon because it works really well with creatures that have powerful enters-the-battlefield abilities, since it gives us a way to (essentially) reuse the enters-the-battlefield trigger by copying the creature, but what creatures work best with the jump-start sorcery, and just how competitive can the deck be? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Goldfish Gladiators: Dimir Quasiduplicate (Standard)

Discussion

  • We played five competitive constructed matches with Dimir Quasiduplicate, and things went pretty well. In fact, we won every single match, beating two builds of Izzet Drakes, Jeskai Control, Mono-Red Aggro, and Boros Angels, which is a pretty good cross-section of popular, top-tier Standard decks!
  • The basic plan of the deck is simple: we overload on creatures with powerful enters-the-battlefield triggers and look to copy them repeatedly with Quasiduplicate until we win the game. Perhaps the best example of this is Vampire Sovereign, which is basically a Standard-legal Siege Rhino that costs one more mana but gains flying rather than ramp. Every time a Vampire Sovereign enters the battlefield, we drain our opponent for three, which means if we can play a copy on Turn 5 and then double copy it with Quasiduplicate on Turn 6, we gain a massive nine life and hit our opponent for nine (all while leaving behind three 3/4 fliers!). 
  • Often, copying creatures is a risky plan, but in our current Standard format, some of the most popular decks (like Golgari) rely mostly on sorcery-speed removal, thanks to powerful planeswalkers like Vraska, Relic Seeker and creatures like Ravenous Chupacabra and Plaguecrafter. This opens the door to relatively risk-free Quasiduplicates, making the sorcery a lot better in our current Standard than it would have been in some past Standards where more decks had instant-speed removal. 
  • So, apart from Vampire Sovereign to finish the game, what are we copying with Quasiduplicate? Ravenous Chupacabra, Hostage Taker, and Dream Eater give us a ton of removal creatures; Dusk Legion Zealot and Seekers' Squire give us some card draw; while sneaky all-star Sailor of Means blocks everything against aggro and also ramps us into our bigger plays.
  • You probably noticed that Plague Mare and Ritual of Soot are in the main deck. This might not be necessary if you're playing on Magic Online or in paper, but aggro tends to be overrepresented on Magic Arena, which makes these sweepers especially powerful (and even main-deck playable) in the Arena metagame. 
  • Otherwise, there really aren't many tricks to the deck. I think of it basically like old Panharmonicon decks, with Quasiduplicate being a really odd, two-shot version of Panharmonicon with the upside of leaving behind a body on the battlefield. We basically look to generate value with our enters-the-battlefield triggers, kill all of our opponent's stuff, and then eventually overwhelm our opponent with janky value (while potentially burning them out of the game with Vampire Sovereign). 
  • While Dimir Quasiduplicate is surprisingly strong, it does have a downside on Magic Arena, which is that it costs a moderately high number of wildcards, and most of the rares and mythics in the decks are things that you can't easily replace with cheaper options.
  • All in all, Dimir Quasiduplicate was not only a blast to play but surprisingly competitive! If you're looking for something different to grind on Arena and enjoyed various Panharmonicon decks of old, give it a shot! 

Conclusion

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



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