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Much Abrew: Fishin' in Modern


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. One of our goals for Dominaria United is to try out all of the new lords. So far, we've played Elves in Explorer and Rundvelt Hordemaster 8 Whack in Modern for Budget Magic. This means today, it's time to cross Vodalian Hexcatcher off our list and find out if Merfolk are back in Modern thanks to the power of their new lord! While Vodalian Hexcatcher might not offer the evasion and aggression of Lord of Atlantis and Master of the Pearl Trident, it performs another very important role in the deck: giving us a chance against the unfair decks of the format. One of the problems with Merfolk is that as fast and unblockable as their clock can be, it's not fast enough to race various cascade decks, Living End, or other combo decks. Being able to sacrifice any of our Merfolk Cursecatcher style thanks to Vodalian Hexcatcher is a huge deal in these matchups, potentially stopping our opponent's combo for long enough that we can win by beating down with our fish. Is it enough to make Merfolk good again in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

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Much Abrew: Merfolk in 2022

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, Merfolk was solid. We played a Modern league with the deck and ended up going 4-1. Our one loss came to Amulet Titan—one of the combo decks in Modern that doesn't really care about Vodalian Hexcatcher because all of its combo pieces are creatures—where our opponent played Turn 3 Primeval Titan both games. We're never beating that. 
  • In general, the deck plays like a traditional Merfolk deck: flood the board with Merfolk, pump them and give them islandwalk with Lord of Atlantis and Master of the Pearl Trident, give our opponent an Island to make our team unblockable, and win with a couple of big fish attacks. This is what Merfolk has been doing since Alpha, and it still works in 2022 if we can avoid getting our board wrathed or facing fast combo. 
  • The big new addition to the deck, as I mentioned before, is Vodalian Hexcatcher. The new lord is super interesting. It's the worst lord in our deck in some matchups (against creature-heavy decks with few spells), although it's never truly bad because it's still pumping our team. In other matchups, as we saw against Living End, it's probably the single most important card in our deck, giving us a chance to slow down our opponent's combo long enough to win with Merfolk beats. While Vodalian Hexcatcher isn't important all the time, when it is important, it does something none of the other Merfolk lords do by letting us beat combo, which is a huge, huge deal to the deck. 
  • Oh yeah, it's also important to remember that as an OG Lord, Lord of Atlantis pumps all Merfolk, not just our Merfolk. We almost lost to Humans because they played a changeling that was pumped by our double Lord of Atlantis draw, although we did manage to sneak out a win in the end.
  • So is Merfolk back in Modern thanks to Vodalian Hexcatcher? I think the answer is yes. While I thought the new lord was good, before actually playing with the deck, I underestimated just how much it did to improve our worst matchups. It's a huge, huge deal, giving us a chance to beat decks that we otherwise would have very little chance to beat. While there are still some bad matchups floating around (see: our laughable attempt to stop Primeval Titan), I wouldn't be surprised to find that Merfolk is at least a solid second-tier option in 2022 Modern thanks to Vodalian Hexcatcher. Shocking, I know, but I think it's true!

Conclusion

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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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