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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User Decks (May 3-9, 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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Colorless Ozolith from Adrian D. is basically a Standard-legal version of Modern Affinity. The idea is to flood the board with cheap artifact creatures, some of which naturally come with counters, like Stonecoil Serpent and Crystalline Giant, and others getting counters from Steel Overseer; beat down; and, if our opponent can deal with our board, dump all of our counters onto The Ozolith to rebuild with a massive threat. Gingerbrute specifically is a pretty scary creature to load up with +1/+1 counters since it is often unblockable for just a single mana! The other key card in the deck is Mystic Forge, which allows us to play through huge chunks of our deck each turn since every card in our deck is colorless and most are pretty cheap. To further power up Mystic Forge, we even have Ugin, the Ineffable at the top end of our curve, which makes most of the cards in our deck free and can also change the top card of our deck with its +1 to help us get past pockets of lands and maximize the number of cards that Mystic Forge can draw each turn. My only question for the deck is whether it actually needs to be fully colorless: All That Glitters is a pretty insane payoff and works well with our evasive creatures, like Stonecoil Serpent and Gingerbrute. It might be worth splashing into a color or two, although this would reduce the number of spicy colorless utility lands we could play.

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Speaking of The Ozolith, Fearless1 is going a very different direction in Standard, with the main goal being to load up The Ozolith with loyalty counters to dump onto Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God. Since The Ozolith only cares about creatures, actually getting loyalty counters on the artifact takes some work. The deck's main goal is to get Sarkhan the Masterless on the battlefield alongside Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, use Sarkhan to turn both planeswalkers into creatures, and then use Woe Strider to sacrifice Sarkhan the Masterless, which should put at least six loyalty counters on The Ozolith. Then, we simply go to combat, put the loyalty counters on Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, and, during our post-combat main phase, ultimate Nicol Bolas for the win! While I'm not sure this plan is more competitive than just using The Elderspell to turbo-ultimate Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, it is certainly way more fun!

Pioneer

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Meanwhile, in Pioneer, we have a really sweet-looking combo deck from turn2stormcrow. While the main combo kill is casting a bunch of spells and 50-ing our opponent with Aetherflux Reservoir, the way the deck gets to the Aetherflux Reservoir win is really interesting. The goal is to get Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy on the battlefield alongside Song of Creation. This combo suddenly turns Pirate's Pillage into a super-Manamorphose (costing four mana but drawing us four cards and making two Treasures, which make four mana), while Mox Amber becomes a Dark Ritual and cards like Prophetic Prism and Guild Globe keep us churning through our deck for a low price thanks to the extra mana that Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy allows them to produce. In the end, we should be able to generate enough mana that we can play through most of our deck in one big combo turn and win with Aetherflux Reservoir!

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While Winota, Joiner of Forces has quickly become a hit in Standard, the four-drop might have potential in older formats as well, even without its Standard BFF Agent of Treachery. Beave's Boros Winota deck for Pioneer is built similarly to the Standard deck, with cheap non-human creatures for the early game and some big Human payoffs for the late game. But rather than annoying opponents by stealing their lands with Agent of Treachery, the deck is looking to straight up kill opponents on Turn 4 by putting Angrath's Marauders and Resolute Blademaster into play with Winota, Joiner of Forces. Angrath's Marauders is basically a Furnace of Rath on a Human body, doubling up all damage we deal to our opponent, while Resolute Blademaster gives our team double strike when it comes into play. The way these effects stack is especially scary. Let's say we have two Angrath's Marauders. The first one doubles damage, while the second one doubles the doubled damage, so all of our creatures are hitting for x4 the damage. With three or four Angrath's Marauders, it gets even scarier—with four, each creature would be hitting for x16 its normal damage, so a single Goblin Rabblemaster token or Bomat Courier represents 16 damage! If we add Resolute Blademaster to the mix so that each of our creatures deals damage twice, a single 1/1 Goblin token can potentially hit our opponent for 32 damage! 

Modern

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At first glance Escape Protocol looks like a bad Astral Slide since you need to pay a mana to blink a creature rather than doing it for free, but as O_Q shows with their Burning-Tree Protocol deck, Escape Protocol also has a big upside compared to Astral Slide: rather than returning the creature at the end of turn, it returns the creature immediately. This means that if we can cycle a card for one mana (or even zero mana, in the case of Street Wraith and Edge of Autumn), we can pay one to blink Burning-Tree Emissary, which gives us back two mana when it enters the battlefield and allows us to repeat the process of cycling something else, blinking Burning-Tree Emissary again, and making two more mana, until we go through our entire deck and hopefully win with Thassa's Oracle. Outside of Escape Protocol and Burning-Tree Emissary, our next most important card is Tectonic Reformation because it allows us to cycle away extra lands, which would otherwise eventually fizzle our cycling chain as we run out of cycling cards. My one concern with the deck is generating enough blue mana to cast Thassa's Oracle. Thanks to our eight free cyclers (and Noxious Revival, which can put them back on the top of our deck), we can generate at least eight extra mana as we go through our combo loop, but Burning-Tree Emissary only makes green and red mana, so it doesn't really help us cast Thassa's Oracle. Adding Manamorphose to the deck might be the easiest solution, so that at the end of our combo turn, we can turn some our extra Burning-Tree Emissary mana into the double-blue mana we need for Thassa's Oracle to win without needing to have two blue sources untapped.

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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