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Magic Arena: Festival of the Fae — Standard Cascade

This weekend we wrap up the Festival of the Fae on Magic Arena with the Cascade event. The idea of the event is that each player has a Maelstrom Nexus emblem, so the first spell each player casts each turn has cascade. The event runs through November 20th 12:00pm Pacific. The prizes are some more sweet storybook card styles!

Festival: Standard Cascade Event Entry Screen

Need the details for the event? Here ya go!

Event Details: Each player begins the game with a Maelstrom Nexus emblem that has the following ability:

  • When you cast your first spell each turn, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.

Event Format: Cascade
Entry Fee: 2500 Gold or 500 Gems
Banned Cards:

Event Record: Rewards up to 5 wins, losses are not counted

Wizards wisely added a bunch of cards that would be detrimental to the format to the banned list. Deafening Silence, Rule of Law, Lavinia, Azorius Renegade, and Teferi, Time Raveler all prevent cascade from happening. Flaxen Intruder would be the best one-drop in the format if it was legal since you can cascade into it and choose to cast the Welcome Home half to make three 2/2 Bear tokens on turn one with some consistency. Also banned for less obvious reasons are Fae of Wishes, Field of the Dead, and Lucky Clover

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While these bannings were a good attempt to make the format fun, they didn't go quite far enough. Once Upon a Time is broken in the cascade format since it technically costs two mana even though you can cast it for free. This means the best strategy in the format is to play a deck with Gilded Goose as your only one-drop, four Once Upon a Time, and then cast Once Upon a Time during your opponent's first turn to get Gilded Goose. Sound familiar? It's basically the same plan as Simic/Sultai/Bant Food in Standard, but turbo-powered. 

I played eight matches to earn my card styles, and every opponent was playing some sort of tier Standard list, mostly UGx Food, but some Adventure decks with Once Upon a Time as well. As such, the best strategy for the cascade event is to simply play your Standard decks, especially if your Standard decks has Once Upon a Time and especially if that deck is UGx Food. This said, if you want a look at what other people are playing in the Festival of the Fae Cascade event, you can find them in our User Submitted Cascade decks section!

Winning Decklists

What are some decklists that are winning?

Here's a mono Blue Mill deck from SaffronOlive

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To nobody's surprise, Simic Food is still good as Once Upon a Time is still really good. OUaT is able to grab a goose and another card if it's in their opener and it's one of the most explosive starts you could have.

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Here's a Superfriends deck I built that got me to five wins. It's an absolute blast but the mana can be a bit wild.

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The Ashiok, Dream Render and Cry of the Carnarium are a way for us to beat the Cauldron Familiar decks! Even if the mana can be a link wonky, it leads to board states that can look like this.

Anywho, let me know what you've had success with! Thanks for checking out this article and go out there and get those Showcase arts!

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