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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User Decks (May 24-30, 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


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Zirda, the Dawnwaker is likely the most combo-happy of the companions, but so far, its combo power has mostly been realized in Modern and (before it was banned) Legacy. Now, thanks to kedros, we have a spicy Historic Zirda combo list! The deck's main goal is to get Zirda, the Dawnwaker onto the battlefield alongside Ruthless Knave and Reassembling Skeleton, which will allow us to sacrifice Reassembling Skeleton to Ruthless Knave for one mana to make two Treasures and then return Reassembling Skeleton to the battlefield for one more mana. Basically, by itself, this gives us infinite enters-the-battlefield and dies triggers since the two Treasures we make will pay for the loop. If we add Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy to the mix to double our Treasure mana, we can make infinite mana. And then we can use Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy's second ability to dig through our deck for Ayara, First of Locthwain and drain our opponent out of the game as Reassembling Skeleton repeatedly dies! While consistency seems like it could be an issue, cards like Neoform, Fauna Shaman, and Fiend Artisan give us a bunch of ways to find our combo pieces. While I'm not sure how competitive the deck will be in practice—it's very all-in on the combo, without any real interaction at all in the main deck—when everything comes together, the combo seems like a spectacular way to win a game of Historic!

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Historic seems like a tough format to pull off a dedicated land-destruction strategy, but Drizzlehell is up for the challenge, with a deck that has Umori, the Collector as its companion and the little-used sorcery card type! The big problem with more recent land-destruction spells is that they cost at least four mana. Umori, the Collector helps to solve this problem by reducing their cost, turning underpowered Rubble Readings, Seismic Shifts, and Demolishes into Stone Rains with upside once it hits the battlefield. After blowing up as many lands as possible, we can tutor a finisher from our sideboard with Mastermind's Acquisition to close out the game. While I'd be surprised if the deck is competitive—land destruction in formats more recent than Modern tends to be more Against the Odds than tournament worthy—nobody will see it coming, and the games where you lock your opponent out of casting any spell at all should be super fun, at least for us, if not for the opponent!

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Three Historic decks in one week? It seems like people are really excited about the format at the moment (myself included). Mothin's submission is based around the combo of Titans' Nest and Desecrated Tomb. Since Titans' Nest exiles cards from our graveyard one by one (which Magic Arena loves to show off as you time out trying to cast your spells with Titans' Nest), if we have Desecrated Tomb on the battlefield, each mana we make with Titans' Nest will also give us a 1/1 flying Bat, which means that just the act of making mana with Titans' Nest might be able to win us the game. The rest of the deck is built around filling our graveyard with cards to maximize the numbers of Bats we can create, with Agent of Treachery being our one big finisher to cast with Desecrated Tomb mana. 


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While Drannith Magistrate was printed to be a hate card for companions (lol) and things like the escape mechanic, it also has some interesting combo potential in older formats like Pioneer, as Halfwing shows with their Jeskai Magistrate Storm deck. The idea is to stick Drannith Magistrate (or Teferi, Time Raveler) along with Possibility Storm, which will lock the opponent out of casting spells for the rest of the game, with Possibility Storm turning every spell the opponent casts into a random card from their deck that they get to cast for free and Drannith Magistrate preventing the opponent from casting spells from anywhere but their hand. While the lock is the most exciting thing the deck can do, Spell Queller and Eldrazi Displacer form another pseudo-lock with Drannith Magistrate, with Spell Queller exiling spells and Drannith Magistrate keeping the spell from being recast when we blink Spell Queller with Eldrazi Displacer to counter another spell. If you're looking for a really unique take on prison / control in Pioneer, Jeskai Magistrate seems like a really fun option!


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AdNausKid comes in with a really unique, combo-ish take on aggro / burn in Modern: Grixis Mindcrank Ascension! While most of the deck looks like a weird sort of Grixis Counter-Burn deck with aggressive one-drops, burn spells, and counterspells that deal damage, the most interesting part of the deck is the infinite-combo kill of Mindcrank and Bloodchief Ascension. If we can get three quest counters onto Bloodchief Ascension by dealing damage (which shouldn't be hard in our super-aggressive deck) and a Mindcrank on the battlefield, any card going into our opponent's graveyard from anywhere will start an infinite-damage loop where Bloodchief Ascension drains the opponent for two, which triggers Mindcrank to mill cards, which will again trigger Bloodchief Ascension. Rinse and repeat until the opponent runs out of life! Do going into black for Bloodchief Ascension and adding the do-nothing-outside-the-combo Mindcrank make Grixis Mindcrank Ascension better than a more traditional burn deck? Maybe not, but it is certainly much more fun!


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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