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The Fish Tank: Spicy Viewer Decks (August 9-15, 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 are bouncing from format to format, Flinging in Standard, milling in Modern, and pinging in Historic, among other things! What crazy brews did viewers send in this week? Let's get to the lists and find out! 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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.

Standard

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Standard, at least so far, has felt surprisingly healthy and fun post-bannings. Suddenly, tons of decks that just couldn't keep up with the Teferis and Wilderness Reclamations of the world once again deserve a second look. While Teferi, Time Raveler was miserable in multiple ways, one of the biggest issues with the planeswalker is that it made it almost impossible to play permanents that needed to sit on the battlefield for a few turns to generate value since Teferi would just bounce them. Teferi's banning means that cards like Rielle, the Everwise—which is absurdly powerful in the right deck but needs to stick on the battlefield for a few turns—are back on the menu, as evidenced by Solomon K.'s Flingaroonie! deck, which recently took Solomon to Mythic on Magic Arena. The idea is to churn through the deck with cards like Cathartic Reunion, Thrill of Possibility, and Thirst for Meaning, all powered up thanks to Rielle, the Everwise drawing us cards whenever we discard. This also stocks our graveyard with spells that grow Rielle, the Everwise and our only other creature, Crackling Drake. While we can win just by beating down with our dorks, our main plan is to get Rielle, the Everwise or Crackling Drake big enough that we can Fling it at our opponent's face and win the game immediately with a huge amount of direct damage. If you like drawing cards and combo-esque finishes, Flingaroonie! looks like a really fun option for post-ban Standard, and a big Scoops cheer to Solomon K. for hitting mythic with their homebrew! 

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Normally, I associate Cavalcade of Calamity with Mono-Red Aggro, but L.Merquise has found a really unique way to make the enchantment work in Grixis: by playing a bunch of cheap deathtouch creatures and copying Hooded Blightfang a bunch of times with cards like Spark Double and Quasiduplicate. The end result is a really strange-looking aggro deck that can put the opponent in a no-win position pretty quickly: if the opponent blocks, they'll lose their creatures because all of our creatures have deathtouch, but if they don't block, then triggers from Cavalcade of Calamity and Hooded Blightfang will quickly burn them out of the game, even though our creatures only have one power. The deck also has a cool trick for dealing with planeswalkers. With a Cavalcade of Calamity and Hooded Blightfang on the battlefield, we can attack, ping the planeswalker thanks to Cavalcade of Calamity, and kill the planeswalker thanks to Hooded Blightfang's planeswalker deathtouch ability. If you're a fan of aggro but are tired of decks like Mono-Red or Mono-Green, Dupli-Snake looks super fun!

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It looks like players are once again interested in Standard now that some of the most miserable cards have been banned from the format, with a ton of Standard submissions coming in this week. Marc-Andre L. is looking to get aggressive with zero-power creatures one last time before most of the important payoffs for the deck—including High Alert, Huatli, the Sun's Heart, and Tower Defense—rotate from the format with Big Buttoms and Uro. While the main plan is to play a bunch of high-toughness creatures and turn them into devastating attackers with the help of Huatli, the Sun's Heart and High Alert, one of the deck's unique aspects is that it also gets to take advantage of Fae of Wishes to access its sideboard at any time, while also making Fae of Wishes into a 4/4 flier for just two mana, which seems like a pretty absurd deal! The main issue with Big Buttoms and Uro is that if we don't manage to keep a Huatli or High Alert on the battlefield, we're an aggro deck that really can't attack (although we can try to jank people out with a curve of Hushbringer into Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath). So if you decide to try the deck, keep in mind that it's the epitome of a high-risk / high-reward strategy. With good draws, the deck can kill opponents very quickly—as early as Turn 4—but against decks that can counter or kill Huatli, the Sun's Heart and High Alert, there's a good chance we'll spend our game casting a lot of really sad Arboreal Grazers and Yoked Oxen. Regardless, the deck looks like a blast to play and like it should be able to pick up some fast wins in our new post-banning Standard format!

Historic

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People have been trying to combo off with Famished Paladin ever since the untapping two-drop was printed. The problem is that the only way to go infinite with Famished Paladin required not only giving Famished Paladin lifelink but also Sorcerer's Wand, which simply isn't a playable Magic card outside of the combo, leaving most Famished Paladin combo decks extremely clunky unless they happen to draw the perfect cards in the right order. However, as Groudon_HP realized, we've recently gotten several new combo pieces that greatly improve the combo. First off, for giving Famished Paladin lifelink, we have Heliod, Sun-Crowned and Splendor Mare, both reasonably solid cards on their own. Second, rather than Sorcerer's Wand, we now have the ever-underrated Porcuparrot to mutate onto Famished Paladin and allow it to tap for damage, which—assuming Famished Paladin has lifelink— will allow us to generate infinite damage since when we tap our Porcuparrot-ed Famished Paladin to ping our opponent, we'll also gain a life, which will untap Famished Paladin. Finally, Jumpstart unleashed Presence of Gond into the Historic format, which gives us a backup combo for redundancy. If we don't find a Porcuparrot to mutate onto Famished Paladin, we can enchant it with Presence of Gond, tap it to make a token, and, assuming we have Heliod, Sun-Crowned or Soul Warden to gain us a life when the token comes into play, untap Famished Paladin to make infinite 1/1 Elves. While removal is still a problem for the combo, and it does require three pieces to go infinite, PorcuPaladin Combo looks about a hundred times more competitive than past Famished Paladin combo decks, although likely still more in the realm of Against the Odds strategies than a top-tier deck. 

Modern

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Meanwhile, in Modern, we have a really unique combo deck from Magus of the Fork, involving Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar and both Iceberg Cancrix and Hedron Crab. Magus was nice enough to leave a short write-up about the combo, so rather than me describing the deck, here's the plan in their own words:

I got this idea from a Pioneer deck by Token523s

Their deck is based around the combo of Llanowar Scout, Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar, [[Retreat to Coralhelm], and Sunscorched Desert, but in this version, we are using Hedron Crab (and Iceberg Cancrix) instead of the desert because I love to find ways to justify playing Hedron Crab.

The combo works by having a (not summoning sick) Llanowar Scout and Retreat to Coralhelm in play and a Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar in the graveyard.
Once this is set up, you activate Multani, returning two lands to hand. Then, in response to the ability, you tap Llanowar Scout to put one of those lands into play, triggering Retreat to Coralhelm, which untaps Llanowar Scout, letting you put the other land back into play and untapping the Llanowar Scout again. You can then do this repeatedly (as long as you don't let Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar's ability resolve).

On its own, this combo doesn't actually do anything, but if you have a Crab in play, you get to trigger it twice per loop and mill out your opponent!

Aside from the combo pieces, the rest of the deck is just dedicated to getting the combo. Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath ramps us and gains some life, while The Binding of the Titans, Commune with the Gods, Thirst for Meaning, and Tamiyo, Collector of Tales all draw us into the combo pieces as well as provide a way to get Multani in the graveyard and potentially fuel Uro, if needed.

Conclusion

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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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