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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User Decks (January 3-9, 2021)


Welcome back to The Fish Tank, the series where we sneak a peek at sweet viewer-submitted decks and maybe, with our powers combined, turn them into real, fun, playable lists! This week, we don't have any Standard decks (apparently, everyone is waiting for Kaldheim to shake up the format), but we do have some really interesting ideas, ranging from Historic back to Modern! What cool brews 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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.

Historic

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You might remember that a while ago, we played a sweet Vadrok, Apex of Thunder / Chance for Glory combo deck in Standard for Against the Odds. Well, Andreas Kristiansen is bringing the archetype to Historic, where it gets some massive upgrades. The main goal, just like with the Standard build, is to use Vadrok, Apex of Thunder's mutate ability to take infinite turns with Chance for Glory. If we can keep mutating onto Vadrok, Apex of Thunder (or better yet, get multiple Vadroks mutated together), we can keep casting Chance for Glory to take extra turns (while also making our creatures indestructible to protect our Vadrok mutate pile). Of course, the problem with this plan is that Chance for Glory will make us lose the game at the end of our extra turn. Thankfully, some of our Historic upgrades fix the issue, with Gideon of the Trials embleming to keep us from losing the game for as long as we keep a Gideon around and Disallow potentially countering Chance for Glory's "lose the game" trigger in a pinch. In general, the deck looks solid and super fun, although it is a bit weird to see Regal Leosaur in the deck over Lore Drakkis, which mutates just as cheaply and can be a bad backup version of Vadrok, Apex of Thunder by returning Chance for Glory to our hand each turn when it mutates. It could be worth finding room for at least a couple of copies. Either way, Vadrok's Glory seems like a solid option if you want to take infinite turns in Historic in a really fun, unique way!

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Trying to go infinite-ish with Bolas's Citadel isn't a new idea, but fuzzycoatimundi's Loaming Citadel deck has some really cool tricks. The main goal is to stick Bolas's Citadel and then Aetherflux Reservoir (either by drawing it naturally or with the help of Karn, the Great Creator grabbing it from our sideboard), which should allow us to play through our entire deck, perhaps multiple times, if necessary, by shuffling our graveyard back into our library with Loaming Shaman. Eventually, we'll build up enough life from casting spells that we can kill our opponent with an Aetherflux Reservoir activation (or if that doesn't work for some reason, with multiple Bolas's Citadel activations). While cheap spells, ramp, and lifegain are all fairly typical of a Bolas's Citadel deck, by far the most interesting part of the deck to me is the mana. The deck only plays six "real" lands, with the rest of our mana coming from cheap MDFC spell-lands. Thanks to Renegade Map and Reclaim the Wastes, we should be able to tutor all of the "real" lands out of the deck, which will make it impossible for our Bolas's Citadel chain to fizzle by ending up with multiple lands on the top of our deck. If that's not enough, we also have Scheming Symmetry to tutor the perfect card to the top of our deck to cast with life, with the help of Bolas's Citadel and Wishclaw Talisman to help find Bolas's Citadel and get the fun started.

If there's a drawback to the deck, it's that Loaming Citadel is extremely focused on the combo. Things will probably go poorly if we can't find and resolve Bolas's Citadel itself, as we're overloaded on mana dorks and cards that synergize with Bolas's Citadel. I'm also not 100% sold on Pact of Negation in the main deck. While helping to force Bolas's Citadel through counters is nice, it's another card that can potentially fizzle our Bolas's Citadel chain, and considering we're willing to put in the work of playing just six real lands to avoid fizzling the combo, adding an extra card that's dead(ish) with Bolas's Citadel feels a bit strange. Maybe it's fine as a one-of, though, since in the worst case, we can cast a cheap spell from our hand and use Pact of Negation to counter it just to get Pact of Negation out of the way and change the top card of our deck. Either way, the deck looks super fun to play, and fuzzycoatimundi says that it took them to high diamond on Magic Arena this past season, which could mean it is at least semi-competitive too!

Pioneer

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One of the best parts of spoiler season is that we get to start building around new cards before the set is even out. DestructorXV's Abzan Angels deck for Pioneer isn't just built around Kaldheim cards but cards from the Kaldheim Themed Boosters (which is surprising because traditionally, these cards aren't all that good, but the Kaldheim batch looks surprisingly playable). The main goal is simple: ramp into massive angels like Lyra Dawnbringer, the meld combo of Bruna, the Fading Light and Gisela, the Broken Blade, Seraph of the Scales, and Legion Angel. Supporting the plan is a new Kaldheim card: Starnheim Aspirant, which can be an absurdly powerful ramp spell in an Angel deck, assuming it sticks on the battlefield, making all of our Angels cost two less. Let's say we play Starnheim Aspirant on Turn 2 with the help of Elvish Mystic or Llanowar Elves. On Turn 3, we can untap and play some combination of two of Gisela, the Broken Blade, Seraph of the Scales, or Legion Angel (which conveniently provides an extra copy from our sideboard) and suddenly have eight flying power on the battlefield on Turn 3! Of course, the downside is that Starnheim Aspirant is only a 2/2, so it does die to a lot of popular Pioneer removal, although since Abzan Angels isn't overloaded on super-expensive top-end Angels, even if we lose Starnheim Aspirant, we should still be able to play a reasonable midrange game by casting our Angels fairly, and that's one less removal spell hanging around in our opponent's hand to kill our payoffs. How would the fair-ish, midrange-y tribal deck fair in the current Pioneer meta, which is overflowing with cards and decks that were recently banned in Standard? I'm not sure, but regardless, the deck looks solid and should get some really powerful, fast draws that can jank opponents out quickly before they get their degenerate cards set up.

Modern

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Last Fish Tank, we looked at a Wizards-based Pyre of Heroes deck for Modern, but Spinkick360 has a Pyre of Heroes list for another tribe that might even be better equipped to take advantage of the artifact: Goblins! Why is Goblins the perfect tribe for Pyre of Heroes? Well, along with tutoring up value-heavy Goblins, we can also use Pyre to assemble game-ending combos. For example, Conspicuous Snoop and Boggart Harbinger make infinite hasty 2/1s. Meanwhile, Skirk Prospector or Sling-Gang Lieutenant plus Grumgully, the Generous and Murderous Redcap generate infinite damage. Pyre of Heroes ends up being the glue that holds the deck together, allowing us to efficiently find whatever combo pieces we are missing. We can also use Pyre of Heroes to find card draw (Realmwalker or Conspicuous Snoop), removal (Murderous Redcap), ramp (Frogtosser Banneret), or whatever else we need in a given situation. We also get a full toolbox of Goblins in our sideboard to tutor up based on the matchup. If you're a fan of the Goblins tribe or just yearn for the return of Birthing Pod, the deck looks like it might actually be a pretty solid option for Modern once Kaldheim is released!

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Storm is a fairly common plan in Modern, but Shannon A. has a really unique way to go about storming off: proliferate! The main idea is to use the combo of Flux Channeler and Winding Constrictor to keep proliferating counters on Pentad Prism, which we can remove to add mana. If we have the full combo set up, we can cast a one-mana cantrip like Opt and end up adding two counters to Pentad Prism, turning Opt (and all of our other cheap cantrips) into weird rituals. Ideally, we'll be able to keep chaining cantrip into cantrip until we eventually get our storm count high enough that we can win the game with Grapeshot. The biggest problem with the deck likely is consistency. While having a bunch of cantrips should help us find our pieces, we still need both Winding Constrictor and Flux Channeler to stick on the battlefield in order to combo off, which isn't a given in Modern, considering that both creatures die to things like Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, and Fatal Push. However, when our key pieces do stick around, we should have some spectacular turns and win with one of the most unique Storm plans I've ever seen!

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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