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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User-Submitted Decks (Dec. 8-14, 2019)

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, the focus shifts back toward Modern, which has been a bit lost in the shuffle of Pioneer and Standard bannings. We've got one sweet Standard list, a couple of Modern gems, and some Pioneer as well! Oh yeah, and 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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While we've sort of reached the dead time of Standard as we wait for a new set to be released in a month, there are still some interesting ideas floating around, like Rossome-sauce's Smothering Fancies. While overall the deck is mostly a mashup of blue-white control and blue-white tempo, it has a really interesting plan for generating value, with Smothering Tithe to make creatures when the opponent draws cards and Folio of Fancies to make both players draw. In theory, once we assemble the combo, we can use the mana from Smothering Tithe to cast the Mirrormades that we draw into with Folio of Fancies, to copy Folio of Fancies and activate it again to keep making mana and churning through our deck. Eventually, we win the game by tutoring a Finale from our sideboard with Fae of Wishes or, if we can generate enough Treasures, Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge. While the deck's idea is super sweet, it does come with a cost: playing 12 combo pieces reduces the amount of interaction we can fit in the deck, which might leave us susceptible to getting run over by aggro or out-countered by Flash. It also might be worth considering some number of Emergency Powers, which is another solid way to combo off with Smothering Tithe


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The main upside of AnaDisciple's Izzet Unblockable list is that it's incredibly cheap, at only $28 in paper and 3 tix on Magic Online, which is insane for a Pioneer deck. The big question is if it's actually competitive. While it has some unique choices, it does seem like it should be capable of picking up some wins with its evasive aggro plan. However, having six tapped lands in an aggro deck is concerning since to win games, Izzet Unblockable looks like it really needs to curve out from one to three (or even five), and having to take a turn off to play a Swiftwater Cliffs or Highland Lake seems rough (although also necessary to keep the deck under $30 since Izzet dual lands are expensive). If you want to upgrade the deck, adding Shivan Reef or Spirebluff Canal would go a long way. Regardless, if you're looking for a Pioneer deck that is about as cheap as it gets and can probably steal some wins against more expensive decks, you could do much worse than Izzet Unblockable. 

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ALS123's Indomitable Creativity deck is basically the Dragonstorm of Pioneer. The plan is simple: get to the point where we can Indomitable Creativity for four creatures (sacrificing random tokens from Dragon Fodder, Hordeling Outburst, or Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, which will find our only four creatures: a playset of Scourge of Valkas. All four copies of Scourge of Valkas entering the battlefield at once should give us 16 triggers that deal four damage each (since each copy triggers for itself and each other Scourge of Valkas), which will give us enough damage to kill our opponent on the spot and probably shoot down their board along the way, if we feel like rubbing in our victory. In fact, we really only need three copies of Scourge of Valkas to deal 27 damage, which gives us a nice buffer in case we naturally draw a copy (or if we only get to six mana to cast Indomitable Creativity x3). The main problem for the deck is probably counterspells, which seem like an easy way to lock down Indomitable Creativity. But we can do some cool things after sideboarding, where we take out the combo for eight additional Dragons and some copies of Dragon Tempest and turn into a Mono-Red Dragon deck that doesn't really care about Spell Pierce, Dovin's Veto, or Negate!


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Pack Rat is close to being good enough for Modern but not quite there from a competitive perspective. But what if it cost one mana to activate instead of three? That's what Carter S. asks with his Dimir Training Rats and Knights deck! If we can get a Training Grounds on the battlefield along with Pack Rat, we can quickly flood the board with Rats and either win by beating down or by stealing our opponent's board with Piper of the Swarm (which also gets much better with Training Grounds on the battlefield). Oh yeah, and Knight of the Ebon Legion potentially becomes a one-shot kill attacker if we can pump it +3/+3 for just a single mana! Maybe my favorite part of Dimir Training Rats and Knights is that, with the exception of Piper of the Swarm, most of the cards in the deck are good even if we don't happen to draw Training Grounds, so we should have a functional game plan even without our namesake card but an absurdly powerful deck once it hits the battlefield. While Discovery // Dispersal looks a bit strange, and I'm not sure Piper of the Swarm is worth it in a format with Lightning Bolt and Fatal Push, in general, the deck looks surprisingly powerful and might even be competitive!

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What's the best part of having a turn? Ending it, of course! Sundial of the Infinite is a really unique card, and Jkbh1's deck looks to fully take advantage of its power, with Chance for Glory and Glorious End giving us three-mana extra-turn spells once we find our namesake artifact, buying us the time we need to win by beating down with Bloodrage Brawler, Delver of Secrets, and Gideon of the Trials (which works as a backup Sundial of the Infinite thanks to its emblem). While the deck looks sweet when everything comes together, the biggest challenge for Sundial of Glory is what happens if we don't draw Sundial of the Infinite. Thankfully, both Gideon and Angel's Grace give us backup plans to increase consistency, and the card draw from Ideas Unbound helps us find our pieces. But these cards come with a cost: we have very little interaction, which could leave us open to dying before we manage to get our extra-turn chain set up. Regardless, when everything comes together, Sundial of Glory seems like it can do some spectacular things and win the game in a really unique way, making it more than worthy of the Fish Tank treatment!


Anyway, that's all for this week. If you have some ideas on how to use or improve these decks, make sure to let us know in the comments, and if you'd like your own deck considered for a future Fish Tank (or the Fishbowl Thursday Instant Deck Tech), leave a link in the comments, or you can email me at As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at Also, a huge thank you to everyone who sent in lists this week. Keep them coming!

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