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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User Decks (May 10-16, 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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So far, Obosh, the Preypiercer has primarily been used as an aggro companion in decks looking to curve one-drops into three-drops into the companion version of Furnace of Rath. But Irencrag Necromancer has a different play: running the companion in a more controlling counter-burn shell! It just so happens that many of the best counterspells and burn spells in Standard cost three mana, and with Obosh, the Preypiercer on the battlefield, cards like Risk Factor (potentially eight damage), Skewer the Critics (six damage for as little as one mana), and Ionize (four damage and a counterspell) become especially scary. The end result is a strange sort of tempo deck that is looking to stabilize in the early game with cheap removal and sweepers and then burn the opponent out of the game, with Obosh, the Preypiercer doubling up the damage of burn spells. 

Historic 

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Historic Anthology III will be released next week, and aaronmtg0 is already hard at work brewing around some of the new-to-Arena cards. Artifact-based aggro decks have already been close to being good, thanks to cheap threats like Gingerbrute and Stonecoil Serpent along with payoffs like Steel Overseer and All That Glitters. But now, thanks to Tempered Steel, they get a massive boost of power. If you weren't playing Standard back when Scars of Mirrodin was released, you might not realize just how scary a card Tempered Steel can be in a deck full of cheap artifact creatures. Just imagine something like Ornithopter and Gingerbrute on Turn 1 into Steel Overseer on Turn 2 and Tempered Steel on Turn 3. Suddenly, Ornithopter is a 2/4, and Gingerbrute is a 3/3. And this doesn't even consider that Steel Overseer can further pump the team! If you like being aggressive but more common archetypes like Mono-Red Aggro, Boros, or Mono-Black Aggro aren't really your style, Tempered Steel is a deck worth trying, at the very least. Traditionally, the archetype's problem is that your creatures are pretty underpowered if you don't draw a payoff, but with Tempered Steel joining All that Glitters and Steel Overseer, this might not be an issue any longer. That said, you might want to consider dropping Zhalfirin Void from the mana base; the double white of Tempered Steel is a cost, and not being able to play it on Turn 3 because we wanted to "scry one" with a colorless land seems like an easy way to lose some games.

Pioneer

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Offspring's Revenge is a weird card. Getting a creature back from the graveyard for free each turn is powerful, although that creature being a 1/1 version of itself seems like a pretty major downside. What if, as plainbrad suggests, we could build a deck where having a 1/1 version of a creature is actually an upside? The idea of Offspring of Perdition is to get a Tree of Perdition in the graveyard, with the help of Nahiri or Collective Brutality, and play Offspring's Revenge to reanimate Tree of Perdition as a hasty 1/1, which in turn will allow us to immediately tap Tree of Perdition to set our opponent's life total to one! This means that a single token from Goblin Rabblemaster or Legion Warboss (both of which are solid reanimation targets for Offspring's Revenge themselves since their power is making tokens rather than having big stats) is lethal, as is an uptick from Chandra, Torch of Defiance or an emblem from Chandra, Awakened Inferno! While I really like the deck's idea, it is a bit jarring to see a Mardu deck without Thoughtseize or Fatal Push, which are two of the best interactive spells in the Pioneer format. I'd probably look for a way to squeeze them in while keeping the sweet Tree of Perdition / Offspring's Revenge combo strong. Otherwise, the deck looks like a blast to play and like it might even win some games!

Modern

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What's better than hitting for 15 with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn? Hitting for 30 with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn thanks to a companioned Obosh, the Preypiercer! As TheGreaterFool recently realized, Modern Tooth and Nail is an archetype that can easily run Obosh, the Preypiercer as a companion. In fact, after looking over the list, I'm having a hard time finding anything important that had to be removed from the deck to meet the all-odd restriction of the companion. The end result is not only an eighth card in hand but a solid backup plan for games where we don't get to Tooth and Nail out Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Xenagos, God of Revels for an easy win. With an Obosh, the Preypiercer on the battlefield, cards like Courser of Kruphix and Eternal Witness become semi-legitimate attackers, while Dragonlord Atarka will likely one-shot an opponent if they cracked a fetch land or two! If you like big-mana decks but want to have an eighth card in hand like everyone else, Obosh Tooth and Nail looks like a super-sweet way to go about it.

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As you probably know by now, I'm not a big fan of the companion mechanic in non-Standard formats, but there are exceptions to my distaste. For example, if Lurrus of the Dream Den can make Yeomon's Zubera deck into a semi-competitive option in the Modern format, I'm all about it! If you're not familiar with Zuberas, they are this weird cycle of two-drops that do something for each time a Zubera died in a turn, which means the easiest way to play them is to sacrifice them to something like Viscera Seer, reanimate them with something like Rally the Ancestors, and profit. Lurrus of the Dream Den is the perfect companion for the deck, giving us another way to play our Zubera from the graveyard while also allowing us to replay a sacrifice outlet that might have died. While graveyard hate (especially cards like Leyline of the Void or Rest in Peace) absolutely crush Zuberas (since they not only stop reanimation but also the Zuberas' death triggers), the plan can actually be pretty powerful in the right matchups, and it is certainly hilarious! While Lurrus of the Dream Den is likely to get banned in Modern before too long, this is one Lurrus deck that I'll probably have to try before that happens. Winning with Zuberas is just too sweet to pass up, even if it means being a dirty Lurrus player to get there.

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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