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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User Decks (October 11-17, 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 a good mixture of formats, with decks from Standard all the way back to Legacy! What sweet lists did you all send in? Let's find out! 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, since the release of Zendikar Rising, most mill decks have either focused on Rogues or on accidentally milling the opponent in landfall-based decks with Ruin Crab. Big Rahb has a more combo-centric plan. While Ruin Crab is still involved since it is a very powerful mill card, the main goal is to stick a Teferi's Tutelage or two with a Song of Creation. With Song of Creation on the battlefield, we get to draw two cards every time we cast a spell, each triggering Teferi's Tutelage to mill our opponent. With the help of cheap (or even free) spells like Stonecoil Serpent, Ruin Crab, Opt, and Tormod's Crypt, there's a good chance that we can chain together enough spells to mill our opponent's deck in one big combo turn. And if we come up just short, a Valakut Awakening once we have a full hand should finish the job for just three mana. If you like drawing lots of cards but don't like winning by attacking, Song of Creation Mill looks like a blast to play. And with the second round of Standard bannings this week, who knows? It could actually be good too!

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Even though Zendikar Rising Standard has some really powerful reanimation spells and some decent ways of stocking the graveyard, we haven't really seen a Reanimator archetype take off, but Chris M. is looking to change this with Massacre Combo Reanimator. The plan is interesting: with the help of Mire Triton, The Binding of the Titans, and Mindwrack Harpy, we fill our graveyard while hopefully finding and playing one of our four Massacre Wurms to sweep away our opponent's small creatures. Eventually, we'll mutate a Nethroi, Apex of Death and reanimate another Massacre Wurm and (hopefully) all four copies of Glasspool Mimic to copy the original Massacre Wurm. The end result will be our opponent's creatures getting –10/–10 (which should kill everything), while each creature of our opponent's that dies will hit them for 10, thanks to Massacre Wurm's drain ability! 

One thing worth mentioning is that having a copy of Massacre Wurm on the battlefield when we mutate is essential for the combo to work. Since all of the creatures Nethroi, Apex of Death reanimates come into play at the same time, Glasspool Mimic can't copy the Massacre Wurm that we reanimate. For the combo to work, we need at least one copy of Massacre Wurm already on the battlefield. Oh yeah, and Gyruda, Doom of Depths isn't really a companion; it's actually just another sideboard card. Otherwise, my main concern for the deck is whether we have enough cards to fill our graveyard, with just four Mire Triton, two Mindwrack Harpy, and two The Binding of the Titans (and one Gyruda, Doom of Depths). It might be worth maxing out on The Binding of the Titans, especially since milling the opponent is a lot less painful now that Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath is banned. Regardless, Massacre Combo Reanimator looks super fun, and while the "copy Massacre Wurm with Glasspool Mimic a bunch of times" plan is sweet, it's not necessary to win the game. We can just reanimate stuff for value and play big threats. 

Historic

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Perhaps the most underrated card from Zendikar Rising is Tuktuk Rubblefort. Having a cheap creature that gives everything haste isn't exciting when played fairly but opens up all kinds of weird combos. Take, for example, aaronmtg0's Teshar Combo deck for Historic. The combo itself is a bit complicated, so let's walk through it step-by-step. 

  1. Play Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle so that whenever we cast a historic spell, we get to reanimate a creature with CMC three or less. 
  2. Cast a historic spell (Mox Amber, Chromatic Sphere, Emry, Lurker of the Loch, or Lurrus of the Dream-Den) to reanimate Tuktuk Rubblefort
  3. Cast another historic spell, this time to reanimate Emry, Lurker of the Loch
  4. At this point, we should be able to go infinite—Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle with a Tuktuk Rubblefort and an Emry, Lurker of the Loch (alongside a reasonably full graveyard from cards like Emry, Stitcher's Supplier and Diligent Excavator) should equal a win. 
  5. Use the hasty Emry, Lurker of the Loch to cast a Mox Amber from the graveyard (floating mana with our existing Mox Amber). Since Mox Amber is legendary, this will trigger Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle to reanimate another Emry, Lurker of the Loch. Our Mox Ambers legend-rule. We keep the untapped copy. 
  6. The new Emry, Lurker of the Loch repeats the process. We float mana with Mox Amber. Use Emry to cast another Mox Amber from the graveyard, triggering Teshar to reanimate the first Emry. This means we can mill our entire deck with Emry, Lurker of the Loch's enters-the-battlefield trigger while also generating eight or 10 extra mana, thanks to looping Mox Ambers. 
  7. Once we empty our library, we stop getting back Emry, Lurker of the Loch with Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle and instead reanimate a Thassa's Oracle for the win!

In many ways, Teshar Combo is reminiscent of Kethis, the Hidden Hand combo. The decks are trying to do the same thing (loop stuff from the graveyard and eventually win with Thassa's Oracle), but thanks to Tuktuk Rubblefort, the Teshar version might be even faster and more consistent. In theory, if we can play Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle on Turn 4 with a Mox Amber and Chromatic Sphere in hand, we can just win the game on the spot (assuming we played something to fill our graveyard over the first turns of the game), which is pretty impressive. 

Of course, the plan does get shut down by graveyard hate, and the combo will fizzle if our opponent can kill Teshar at instant speed, so it's not like Teshar Combo is unbeatable by any stretch. But it does look fast and fun, and especially right now, while people don't know how the combo works, it has the potential to catch a lot of opponents by surprise and pick up free wins!

Modern

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Sometimes, Magic isn't about winning; it's about making your opponent as miserable as possible. Take, for example, Talespinner Lore's Build-Your-Own Time Walks deck for Modern. The main goal is to make sure the opponent does as little as possible for as long as possible until we win with our single Approach of the Second Sun or Emeria's Call Angels. The primary thing the deck wants to do is to use Soulfire Grand Master's ability to return spells to our hand once they resolve, in order to cast Moonhold on our opponent's upkeep every turn and keep our opponent from playing lands or creatures. If we don't have Moonhold, we can also use Silence to prevent our opponent from casting any spells or Glorious End (with the help of Sundial of the Infinite to not die on our end step) to end our opponent's turn.

While the deck looks miserable to play against and like it should be able to lock almost any deck out of the game once it gets going, it might be a bit slow to be truly competitive. Since it costs four mana to buyback a spell with Soulfire Grand Master, we need at least five mana to combo (with Silence). And to get the Moonhold loop going, we need seven. Against aggro, we might be dead (or super-far behind on board) before we can get the lock set up. Finding a way to add more removal to the deck (Path to Exile, Lightning Bolt, etc.) might be necessary. There are also a couple of planeswalkers that seem perfect for the deck, with Teferi, Time Raveler hardening the lock (by keeping the opponent from casting things at instant speed to get around our Silence / Moonhold plan) and Gideon of the Trials offering another way of surviving cards like Chance for Glory and Glorious End thanks to its emblem. Is Build-Your-Own Timewalks going to win a Pro Tour? Probably not, but it does seem like a really good way to make an opponent wish they had played Among Us rather than Magic.

Legacy

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Finally, we have a super-unique Legacy deck from CyTheCeleryGuy: Mister Combo! The deck is an all-in combo build built around Bone Miser, of all cards. The idea is to mulligan aggressively into Bone Miser and hopefully Lion's Eye Diamond, with the help of Serum Powder, and then use Dark Ritual and Lotus Petal to get Bone Miser on the battlefield as quickly as possible. We can then play and crack Lion's Eye Diamond to discard our hand and make some mana, which will trigger Bone Miser to draw us a bunch of cards, making even more mana and probably some Zombie tokens. Once we get to this point, the next most important cards are Putrid Imp (which gives us controlled discard to trigger Bone Miser) and Shadow of the Grave (to return everything we discard to hand, so we can discard it again for even more Bone Miser triggers). In theory, we should be able to draw through our entire deck in one turn and win with Thassa's Oracle. If, for some reason, we can't, we should be able to win by attacking with a huge board of 2/2 Zombie tokens the following turn!

While the deck is super unique and should be hilarious (and powerful) when it goes off, there are a couple of concerns. As an all-in combo deck without a legitimate backup plan if we can't resolve a Bone Miser or if it gets killed with the first trigger on the stack, there's a decent chance our deck will do nothing until we find another Bone Miser. Cavern of Souls on Wizard helps, allowing us to resolve Bone Miser through Force of Will and later Thassa's Oracle to finish the game, but a timely Swords to Plowshares can fizzle our plans. The other issue is a potential lack of consistency since we only have four copies of Bone Miser. A combination of Serum Powder, Once Upon a Time, and London mulligans should help us find one, but will we have enough action left in hand to combo with it? That remains to be seen.

Whether or not the deck actually ends up being competitive, I really like the idea of the combo. It's built around a very unique card, wins in a very unique way, and seems like it should be pretty powerful when everything comes together. 

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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