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The Fish Tank: Core Set 2021 Edition (June 21-27, 2020)

Welcome back to The Fish Tank, the series where we peek at sweet viewer-submitted decks and maybe, with our powers combined, turn them into real, fun, playable lists! This week, we're focusing on Core Set 2021, which was fully previewed on Tuesday. Almost all of our decks this week feature cards from the set, and some of them look pretty spectacular! Let's take a look at the lists. But first, to have your own deck considered for next week's edition (and for our Fishbowl Thursday Instant Deck Tech), make sure to leave a link in the comments, or email them to me at


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Missing the days of good, fair, midrange-y Magic? BlueBallsMgee looks to port the fairest of Modern decks—Jund Midrange—to Standard! There really isn't a ton to say about the deck. Much like Modern Jund, the idea is to play the best value cards, removal, and discard available in red, black, and green and trust that we can grind our opponent out with one-for-ones and two-for-ones like Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger and Murderous Rider. While I'm not 100% sure how the deck will hold up to the fast combo of Temur Rec or the huge bursts of card advantage from Bant Ramp, the deck is overloaded with good cards and can answer just about anything in the format, between removal like Assassin's Trophy and Bedevil and discard like Agonizing Remorse.

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What's the most Core Set 2021 deck possible? Probably Dog Tribal! While Dogs are a bit lacking in power, mostly because they don't have that many tribe members in an absolute sense, Pack Leader is a good lord, and Alpine Houndmaster offers some unique card advantage for a Boros aggro deck. While I'm not sure that the tribe will be all that competitive (at least immediately, though I expect it will eventually once we get more Dog sets), Dogs are budget-friendly. So if you're looking for something flavorful and different to try in Core Set 2021 Standard or if you just really love Dogs, mcintyre0591's build looks like a solid starting point.

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Our current Standard is overflowing with ramp, but is Mono-Blue Artifact Ramp really a possibility? Halfwing's Bluegin deck intends to find out. The main goal is to ramp into big planeswalkers like Ugin, the Ineffable and eventually Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, which should be able to win us the game, but the way we're getting to our big planeswalkers is unique, with our main ramp spells being Palladium Myr and Solemn Simulacrum, which we can ramp into with Renowned Weaponsmith. In theory, something like Renowned Weaponsmith on Turn 2 lets us cast Solemn Simulacrum on Turn 3, Ugin, the Ineffable on Turn 4, and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon on Turn 5, which is roughly as fast as a deck like Bant Ramp (although things get a lot slower if Renowned Weaponsmith dies). While the deck looks a bit janky on paper, it actually seems like it could be pretty powerful, especially when it draws its ramp spells and finishers in the right order.


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On one level, Bennymon1's Teferi, Master of Time deck for Historic is a pretty typical UW Control shell with plenty of removal, wraths, and counters. However, it does have one really interesting synergy that made me want to feature the deck: Teferi, Master of Time with Oath of Teferi. Since Teferi, Master of Time's static ability allows us to activate its loyalty abilities during our opponent's turn as well as ours and Oath of Teferi lets us activate our planeswalkers twice each turn, rather than once, this means that once we have both on the battlefield, we can activate Teferi, Master of Time four times each turn cycle. This opens up all kinds of possibilities. For example, let's say we play Teferi, Master of Time with Oath of Teferi already on the battlefield. We can immediately +1 twice to five loyalty, +1 twice more during our opponent's turn to seven loyalty, +1 twice again during our next turn to nine loyalty, and then, during our opponent's upkeep, +1 once and 10 to take three turns in a row! We can also use Teferi, Master of Time to +1 three times to loot and 3 once each turn cycle to phase out a potential threat without losing any loyalty. While I'm not sure about the best shell to take advantage of this synergy, Teferi, Master of Time + Oath of Teferi seems worth exploring, at the very least. 


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Nine Lives is an exciting card for Pioneer, bringing the Solemnity / Phyrexian Unlife lock to the format for the first time. But Robin S.'s list takes the idea one step further, not just using Nine Lives as a lock piece with Solemnity but also looking to donate it to the opponent with Harmless Offering and then blow it up with Cleansing Nova to win the game!


Anyway, that's all for this week! If you have any ideas about how to improve these decks, make sure to let us know in the comments, and if you have a deck you want to be considered for a future Fish Tank, leave that there as well! Thanks to everyone who sent in decks this week! 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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