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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User Decks (June 7-13, 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, ranging from Historic combos to unique Pauper brews. Let's take a look at the list. 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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Cheating big, expensive creatures into play (cough *Agent of Treachery* cough) has proven itself to be a very strong strategy in Standard. Well, thanks to Core Set 2021, we have a new and very budget-friendly way to do it with the red Polymorph, Transmogrify! The idea of titaniumADRIAN's $30 deck is that it's overloaded with cards that make tokens, including planeswalkers like Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and Chandra, Acolyte of Flame, along with spells including Forbidden Friendship and Goblin Gathering. Once we get a bunch of tokens, we can use Transmogrify to grab one of our two "real" creatures in Impervious Greatwurm or End-Raze Forerunners, hopefully allowing us to trample over and kill our opponent with just a single attack! While I really like the deck's idea, I'm having a hard time imagining a world where I would ever want to Transmogrify into Impervious Greatwurm instead of End-Raze Forerunners, especially with the number of tokens our deck can make. Personally, I'd go all-in on End-Raze Forerunners as our Trasmogrify target, although it would be fun to attack with a 16/16 indestructible, hasty trampler by combining Impervious Greatwurm with Footfall Crater. Regardless, the deck looks surprisingly strong, especially for its price! If you're looking for something Core Set 2021–influenced to play in Standard but don't want to spend a lot of money, Mono-Red Polymorph seems like a solid starting point!

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Kenrith, the Returned King has proven itself to be one of the best buy-a-box promos of all time. Along with being a solid value creature in decks like the now-banned Jeskai Fires, it offers a lot of combo potential. Decknology looks to embrace the combo side of Kenrith with Kenrith Tithe. The idea is to use Biomancer's Familiar and Zirda, the Dawnwaker (as a main-deck card, not a companion) to reduce the cost of drawing a card with Kenrith, the Returned King to just a single mana. We then add Smothering Tithe to the battlefield, so whenever our opponent draws a card, they either pay two mana (which they quickly will be unable to do) or give us a Treasure. Once we get our opponent tapped out, we can use Kenrith, the Returned King to force our opponent to draw their entire deck. Our opponent will draw a card and give us a Treasure, which we can sacrifice to activate Kenrith, the Returned King's card-draw ability to force our opponent to draw another card, giving us another Treasure. We keep going through this loop until our opponent eventually draws their entire deck and dies to drawing with an empty library. The deck's upside is that it has a lot of redundancy. Along with Zirda and Biomancer's Familiar, Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy can help to enable the combo by making Treasure tokens sacrifice for two mana rather than one. As such, any two copies of Zirda, Biomancer's Familiar, and Kinnan (along with a Kenrith, the Returned King and Smothering Tithe) will allow us to go infinite. Meanwhile, Idyllic Tutor gives us extra copies of Smothering Tithe, while Nylea, Keen-Eyed (in conjunction with our cost-reducing creatures) helps us draw through our deck to find Kenrith. On the other hand, the deck's downside is that it doesn't have any real interaction, so we're pretty much all-in on pulling off the combo (or beating down with janky creatures). I'm not sure whether the deck is truly competitive, but it does seem like the combo turns should be amazing.

Pioneer

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This week marked the first full week of Core Set 2021 spoilers, and players (like South_North) are already hard at work building around new cards. One of the most interesting creatures to be revealed so far is Basri's Lieutenant. Hiding behind what looks like a fairly efficient midrange body is the potential for infinite combos! The idea of Infinite Knight Combo is to get Basri's Lieutenant onto the battlefield alongside Metallic Mimic set on Knight, so whenever a Knight comes into play, it will have a +1/+1 counter from Metallic Mimic; then, whenever a creature with a +1/+1 counter dies, we'll get a Knight token thanks to Basri's Lieutenant. This means that with the help of a sacrifice outlet like Woe Strider or Cartel Aristocrat, we can sacrifice Knight tokens an infinite number of times and drain our opponent out of the game with Corpse Knight or Cruel Celebrant. The other interesting aspect of the deck is Grim Tutor, which allows us to find whatever combo piece we are missing for the cost of three life and three mana, giving us some tutor redundancy alongside Fiend Artisan. Add in the fact that we can potentially win with janky Knight beatdowns if we don't happen to find our combo, and Infinite Knights seem like they could actually win some games in Pioneer!

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Archdemon's Vessel is one of the most interesting uncommons we've seen in a while, potentially offering a 5/5 flier for just a single mana if we can get it into play from our graveyard. Mothin' (who might have the record for most decks featured on The Fish Tank) is already hard at work building around the Core Set 2021 card in Pioneer, in ultra-budget form. The deck's goal is to get Archdemon's Vessel in the graveyard as quickly as possible with cards like Stitcher's Supplier, Mire Triton, and Grisly Salvage and then use cards like Call of the Death-Dweller, Claim // Fame, Orzhov Charm, and Revival // Revenge to reanimate it, giving us a 5/5 flier as early as Turn 2! While Fatal Push can be a concern (since it kills the token), a lot of removal in the Pioneer format can't kill 5/5s, which means in some matchups, we should be able to just run our opponent over with our huge evasive threat before they get a chance to recover. While there are probably other shells (like Rally the Ancestors) that can also take advantage of the power of Archdemon's Vessel, you can't do much better than $51 in terms of price!

Modern

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Yes, I realize that everyone is already sick and tired of Winota, Joiner of Forces, but AaronConlin's build is unique enough that it's worth showing off anyway. As you probably know, Winota, Joiner of Forces wants a deck with a mixture of Humans (to get Winota triggers) and non-humans (to trigger Winota). Winota Werewolves is built on the idea that some creatures can offer both! One of the gimmicks of the flipping Werewolves is that they are Humans before they flip and Werewolves after. This means that we can fetch them from our library with Winota, Joiner of Forces and then, after they flip around, use the same creatures to trigger Winota, Joiner of Forces to find even more Humans, which will eventually flip into Werewolves to continue the snowball. While consistency is probably an issue—getting Werewolves to flip and stay flipped can be a challenge—the idea is super sweet!

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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