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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User Decks (May 31-June 6, 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


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Land destruction is a really unique and popular archetype, but it's super-difficult to pull off in formats more recent than Modern since land-destruction spells keep getting more and more expensive. However, Jason T. is up to the land-destruction challenge in Historic, with an interesting way to get around the "we don't print three-mana land-destruction spells anymore" problem: cards that blow up multiple lands at once! While the deck does have Rubble Reading as a bad Stone Rain, the best land-destruction spells in the deck are Haphazard Bombardment (which technically can blow up three lands for six mana over the course of a few turns, making it a sort of triple-Sinkhole with suspend), Star of Extinction (which only hits one land but also wraths the board), and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger (which can exile two lands and also works as our primary finisher). The problem is that all of these spells are expensive, but we have a ton of ramp in Wily Goblin, Pirate's Pillage, Irencrag Feat, and Jaya Ballard to back them up. Is the deck actually competitive? I have no idea. It seems like it should have a great matchup against Field of the Dead decks, at the very least, and it should lead to some hilarious flawless victories when everything comes together just right.

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The combo of Famished Paladin, Sorcerer's Wand, and a way to give Famished Paladin lifelink (like Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord, Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord, or Heliod, Sun-Crowned) (which generates infinite damage) has been around for a long time, but it has never been all that competitive. However, as kickserve realized, the archetype has recently gotten some major upgrades in Historic. Apart from more redundant lifelink pieces, the deck is a natural fit for a bunch of cheap deathtouch creatures and damage-producing mutaters like Porcuparrot and Snapdax, Apex of the Hunt. Mutating either onto a deathtoucher allows us to easily shoot down opposing creatures (and likely gain a bunch of life thanks to Heliod, Sun-Crowned and Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord), which can beat aggro by itself or, at least, buy us a ton of time to find our infinite-damage combo. While I'm not sure how the deck will hold up against dedicated control, it seems hilariously effective against creature-based decks, including Winota, which are currently at the top of the Historic meta. If you're looking for a janky but possibly effective way to beat some of the top decks in the Historic meta, Famished Parrot Combo (which gets bonus points for sounding like a Monty Python sketch) is probably worth testing, at the very least.


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Escape Protocol is one of my favorite Ikoria cards, and now, thanks to CallMarx, we have a super-sweet, ultra-budget Escape Protocol Wizards list to check out in Modern! The deck's primary goal is to generate value by blinking Wizards like Watcher for Tomorrow to draw cards, Harbinger of the Tides and Merfolk Trickster to keep opposing creatures in check, and finally Master of Waves to close out the game with a huge board of Elemental tokens, while Naban, Dean of Iteration gives us a Wizard Panharmonicon to double up all of our enters-the-battlefield triggers! Master of Waves is especially good with Escape Protocol because, somewhat counterintuitively, you can blink Master of Waves with Escape Protocol, and your Elemental tokens won't die (by the time state-based actions are checked, Master of Waves will be back on the battlefield pumping the 1/0 Elementals). So as we continue to cycle and blink Master of Waves, we can grow a massive, unbeatable board of tokens to take over the game. Most importantly, the deck is only $54!


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Ominous Seas seems like one of the bigger sleepers from Ikoria, but is it really good enough to show up in a format as powerful as Legacy? Born4TheOcean thinks so! The idea of SeaStill is simple: play Ominous Seas; draw a ton of cards with the help of Brainstorm, Standstill, and even lands like Cephalid Coliseum; and then win with a board full of 8/8 Krakens. Because the deck doesn't really want to cast spells after Standstill hits the battlefield, it looks to generate extra value with lands, with Mishra's Factory offering an attacker; the combo of Dark Depths and Thespian's Stage giving us a backup finisher in Marit Lage; and Maze of Ith, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, and Karakas offering defense. The end result is a weird sort of land-based combo control deck with Ominous Seas at the center. While I'm far from a Legacy expert, the deck looks like it could be fairly competitive, with potential free wins with Marit Lage and a great grindy long-game plan with Ominous Seas and Life from the Loam to generate card advantage.


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Meanwhile, in Pauper, progenitus2001 comes in with a really unique combo deck. While part of the combo is fairly well-known in Pauper—making infinite mana with Freed from the Real and something that taps for multiple mana (in this case, Krosan Restorer with threshold)—its plan for finishing the game is very, very different. We're looking to use our infinite mana to draw through our deck with cards like Tolarian Winds, Compulsive Research, Oona's Grace, and others before casting a Fists of Flame (or three) on Krosan Restorer, making it into an absurdly huge, trampling threat! While the combo looks hilarious and super-fun when it goes off, I am a bit worried that the deck is light on ways to protect the combo. It feels like a glass cannon, where a single timely removal spell on Krosan Restorer can ruin everything. Adding some more counters or something like Dive Down to give Krosan Restorer hexproof could go a long way toward making the deck more resilient. That said, when Fists of Wheel goes off, it should be spectacular!


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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