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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User Decks (August 23-29, 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 still have a bunch of Historic, which seems to be the format that the community is most excited to brew in at the moment as we wait for Standard to rotate, but with some Standard and Modern action as well! What sweet lists did you all submit this week? Let's 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


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If you're looking to pull off a sweet combo win one more time in Standard before rotation, Grobanought's High Theater of Fae combo deck seems like the perfect option. The primary goal is to get Faeburrow Elder, High Alert, and Theater of Horrors on the battlefield at the same time. We can tap Faeburrow Elder for one mana of each color and use High Alert to untap it for just four mana, leaving a red mana floating. Eventually, after a bunch of taps and untaps, the end result is that we'll have infinite red mana. We can then activate Theater of Horrors an infinite number of times to ping our opponent to death, one damage at a time! While it might seem like we need a lot to go right to assemble the three-card combo, Niv-Mizzet Reborn can hit all of our combo pieces, while Idyllic Tutor and Wishclaw Talisman give us additional ways of finding High Alert, Theater of Horrors, and Faeburrow Elder. The deck looks super fun, as a hybrid of Five-Color Niv and a weird, semi-janky combo deck. Just keep in mind that most of our combo pieces and Niv-Mizzet Reborn leave the format at rotation, so if you put it together on Arena, it will only be legal in Standard for about a month. 


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God-Pharaoh's Gift is one of the most interesting new Historic cards brought to us by Amonkhet Remastered, but figuring out exactly how to build around it is tricky because there are a ton of possibilities. The Wiljosh's build is very combo-centric. While we have a ton of ways to fill the graveyard with creatures, both for God-Pharaoh's Gift itself and for Gate to the Afterlife to be able to tutor up God-Pharaoh's Gift, the sweetest parts of the deck are the reanimation targets. Our main goal is to use God-Pharaoh's Gift to get back Combat Celebrant, immediately attack, and exert it, which will not only give us another combat step but another God-Pharaoh's Gift trigger. We can then get another Combat Celebrant or a Mirror Image to copy the first Combat Celebrant to do it again. With a big enough graveyard, we can potentially kill our opponent with a bunch of extra combat steps the turn when God-Pharaoh's Gift comes into play!

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If you've been following the YouTube channel for a while, you'll probably remember the infamous Dagger Burn deck, which looked to use Dowsing Dagger to give the opponent tokens, only to turn those tokens into damage with cards like Rampaging Ferocidon and Trespasser's Curse. While we still don't have Panharmonicon on Arena, which is really helpful in the deck thanks to its ability to double up the tokens we kindly donate to our opponent, thanks to Amonkhet Remastered, we do have the rest of the pieces for the deck, along with some sweet new additions!

Rolodie's Wurm Dagger Burn calls back to the original, with Clackbridge Troll joining Dowsing Dagger as ways to give our opponent creatures, which will drain our opponent with Trespasser's Curse and Rampaging Ferocidon when they enter the battlefield and then drain them some more with Blood Artist and Massacre Wurm once we kill them. While I'm still a bit worried that it might be hard to give the opponent enough tokens to muster up lethal without Panharmonicon, the deck does look really fun to play and should only get better as more cards enter the Historic format. If you're looking for something super janky but also super sweet, Wurm Dagger Burn seems like a fun option for grinding out some games on the Magic Arena ladder.

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In general, extra-turn spells are expensive, with most costing five, six, or even seven mana, unless you're willing to work around the downside of losing the game the turn after your extra-turn spell resolves, which Ryah H. is with Lose the Game Jeskai. The idea is to use Glorious End and Chance for Glory to take extra turns for just three mana while avoiding the harsh lose-the-game downside with the help of a Gideon of the Trials emblem or Tale's End (to counter the "lose the game" trigger). In a pinch, we can also use Discontinuity, which also doubles as another extra-turn spell if we cast it during our opponent's upkeep. Ideally, when will take our extra turns, we'll be able to win the game by beating down with our Gideons. In the late game, we can also use Karn, the Great Creator to tutor Platinum Angel from our sideboard to give us another way to not die to our extra-turn spells or maybe not die at all, if we can use cards like Discontinuity, Chance for Glory, and Glorious End to protect it from removal. While the deck is heavily focused on the combo and might need a bit more removal for aggressive creature decks, it has a ton of redundancy and looks hilariously fun to play!


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Meanwhile, in Modern, we have a unique and budget-friendly (especially if you cut the not-super-necessary playset of Polluted Delta) combo mill deck from Drake96. The idea is to stick a Grinding Station and a Mystic Forge and then hopefully play a bunch of cheap or even free artifacts from the top of the deck, sacrificing them to Grinding Station along the way, to mill the opponent out of the game in one big combo turn. The challenge is that hitting too many lands (or Chief Engineers) on the top of the deck will fizzle the Mystic Forge chain. This is where draft-playable Artificer's Assistant comes in, allowing us to scry whenever we cast a historic spell, which will hopefully allow us to put extra lands to the bottom of our deck and keep chaining together Memnites, Ornithopters, Mishra's Baubles, and friends. While the idea is super sweet, especially considering its budget, I do wonder if it might be better with four copies of Mystic Forge rather than three. It seems like the deck will probably have a hard time winning without one on the battlefield, although it is pretty expensive, so there is a risk that extra copies could fizzle our combo once we have one on the battlefield. Another interesting possibility would be adding Glimmervoid and Spire of Industry and playing Pentad Prism over Chief Engineer (which is powerful but sadly not an artifact, making it clunky with Mystic Forge). Pentad Prism seems perfect for the deck, being a free artifact for the combo that also ramps us into Mystic Forge. While consistency is probably an issue—if we don't have a Mystic Forge, we're mostly playing a bunch of 1/1s and 0/2s—the combo turns look like they should be pretty spectacular!


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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