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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User Decks (April 26-May 2 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've got an interesting mixture of decks from across formats, mostly featuring new Ikoria stuff! Let's talk about the decks. 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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While I will admit that the Monty Python pun deck name is what originally caught my eye, The Ministry of Silly Walkers—basically Mono-Red Obosh, the Preypiercer Superfriends—actually looks pretty sweet. In the early game, the deck is overloaded on removal, and then on Turn 3, we start playing planeswalkers, with our end goal being to turn them all into creatures with Sarkhan the Masterless and smash our opponent for eight damage with each planeswalker, thanks to Obosh, the Preypiercer doubling up our damage. If that's not enough, we also have Yidaro, Wandering Monster, which can hit for 16 with trample and haste with Obosh, potentially for free if we can get it into play by cycling or with the help of Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast. Speaking of Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast, while it is technically an odd-converted-mana-cost planeswalker, it doesn't seem to do that much in our deck since we're so light on creatures (although exiling a token from a planeswalker like Tibalt, Rakish Instigator or Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and turning it into a Yidaro, Wandering Monster seems sweet). Dwarven Mine seems like a mostly free way to up the creature count in the deck and make Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast even better.  

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Magic players love Cats for some reason (even though dogs are so clearly superior), and having Kaheera, the Orphanguard as a Cat lord that starts in hand every game is a big boost of power to the deck. While the deck does cheat on the Cat theme a bit with a couple of Bears, the main game plan of Naya Kaheera is pretty simple: play Cats. Play Kaheera to pump Cats. Attack with Cats. Win the game (maybe). Apart from Kaheera, the Orphanguard, the deck gets a couple of other sweet Ikoria additions, with Regal Leosaur probably being the most exciting. An on-tribe 2/2 for two is already fine, and the ability to pump everything +2/+1 when it mutates for just three mana makes it a really solid way to close out the game in a go-wide aggro / tribal deck like Naya Kaheera. While I'm not sure Cat tribal really has a place in the top tier of the Ikoria Standard meta, DtxStardust's build looks surprisingly solid given its creature-type restriction. If you're a cat lover and looking to has some semi-competitive fun, this seems like a solid starting point!

Pioneer

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Ultimatums are undoubtedly powerful, but at seven mana, they are pretty expensive for a format like Pioneer, unless—like Beard1992—you have a way to cheat them into play. The idea of Jegantha Ultimatums is to cast Ultimatums. For this, we have two plans. First, we can do it the boring, slow way with the help of ramp, like Paradise Druid, Sylvan Caryatid, and Jegantha, the Wellspring. Second, we can use cards like Dryad of the Ilysian Grove and Chromatic Lantern to make all of our lands tap for any color of mana, play Jodah, Archmage Eternal, and cast any Ultimatum we want for just five mana! While I really like the Jodah, Archmage Eternal / Ultimatum plan, I do wonder if Niv-Mizzet Reborn is worth it in the deck since the only card it can actually grab with its enters-the-battlefield trigger is Jegantha, the Wellspring. While a 6/6 flier for five isn't horrible, it's also not all that exciting in a format like Pioneer. Dropping Niv-Mizzet Reborn for some more early-game interaction or ramp might be a good plan. Regardless, Jodah, Archmage Eternal with Dryad of the Ilysian Grove seems powerful and underexplored, and Beard1992's deck might be the first step toward something really sweet and powerful.

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Zirda, the Dawnwaker is one of the companions that has seen the least play so far—having every permanent have an activated ability is a challenging restriction to meet—but Kelvin [escesare] is up for it in Pioneer. While the deck doesn't have any specific "I win" combo with Zirda, the Dawnwaker, it does have a bunch of sweet value-y tricks, like activating Pack Rat, Rhonas the Indomitable, or Growth-Chamber Guardian for just a single mana, which allows us to both flood the board with creatures and pump them into massive trampling threats. If we run out of cards, we can always activate Tasigur, the Golden Fang for just two mana to churn through our deck. Outside of the direct Zirda tricks, the other interesting aspect of the deck is the legendary sorcery Urza's Ruinous Blast. In all of the conversations about companions, one thing that I overlooked was that they are legends that you have access to every game, which means you are guaranteed to be able to cast a legendary sorcery when you need to. While this build only has a single Urza's Ruinous Blast in the main deck, the synergy between companions and legendary sorceries should probably be further explored in both Pioneer and maybe Modern as well.

Modern

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Ominous Seas has gotten some hype in Standard but hasn't really shown up at all in Modern. Well, this might be changing thanks to broach's Greater Seas Combo deck. The idea is to play random creatures in the early game and stick a Greater Good and hopefully an Ominous Seas or two. We can then sacrifice our board to Greater Good to draw (and discard) a bunch of cards. Once we get our first Ominous Seas Kraken, Greater Good goes infinite. Sacrificing a Kraken draw us eight cards, which puts eight counters on Ominous Seas, which allows us to make another Kraken to repeat the process. This means we can draw our entire deck and then win the game with one of our two Laboratory Maniacs! While some of the support cards are a bit wonky (I'm not sure if the enchantress subtheme is worth it or not), the deck does seem like it should be able to combo off pretty effectively, and the concept is super intriguing! 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for this week! If you have any ideas on 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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