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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy User-Submitted Decks (September 22-28, 2019)

Welcome back to The Fish Tank, the series where we take a peek at sweet viewer-submitted decks and maybe, with our powers combined, turn them into real, fun, playable lists! Even though we're heading toward the official release of Throne of Eldraine, we've got a lot of cool Modern lists to check out this week, along with a couple of really unique (and cheap) Pauper brews! If you missed last week's edition of The Fish Tank, you can find it here. 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


Fires of Invention is a powerful card, but thanks to its restrictions finding the best way to take advantage of its power will take some work. Shared Summons Fires Combo caught my eye because it seems to do a surprisingly strong job building around the drawback. If we can play Fires of Invention on turn four we can cast Shared Summons to find something like Realm-Cloaked Giant to cast as our second spell and stabilize the board and then eventually Kenrith, the Returned King gives us the ultimate mana sink to take advantage of all of the mana we have sitting around once Fires of Invention hits the battlefield. Back it up by a ton of ramp and creatures that work as removal (so we can find them with Shared Summons) and we have the makings of a really fun deck! My one big question is about Escape to the Wilds. Exiling five cards after we have a Fires on Invention on the battlefield seems a bit risky, since if we hit five action spells we can't cast them all before they go away forever, but maybe just playing two or three of our best Escape to the Wilds hits is enough to make it worthwhile.


One thing we've learned about Modern is that cheating an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play early is a good way of winning the game. Blue the Breach is built around this theory but in a really unique way: Fold into Aether. The main goal of the deck is to cast a free instant or sorcery like Pact of Negation or Noxious Revival, use Fold into Aether to counter it, and then slam an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play for free. Perhaps the biggest upside of the plan is that we can do this on our opponent's end step (as early as Turn 4), untap, and immediately attack with Emrakul to annihilate away our opponent's board (and theoretically win the game). Considering how important Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is to our deck, playing three (even with a bunch of cheap cantrips) seems risky. Finding a way to play a fourth copy seems like it would probably be a good idea. Another possibility is heading more toward a Blue Moon shell, with Blood Moon being a great "jank 'em out" card, maybe with cards like Simian Spirit Guide to speed up both Blood Moon and the Fold into Aether kill.

Normally when it comes to Fish Tank decks, I'm looking for unique and fun synergies and lists, but there's room for other types of decks as well. Billy T. sent in his update of the Mono-Red Burn deck we played on Budget Magic a long time ago (which he had used to 5-0 leagues on Magic Online!). When it comes to getting started in Modern on a budget, the two decks I usually recommend are 8 Whack Goblins and Mono-Red Burn. And if you're looking to go down the Burn path, this seems like a really solid update, taking advantage of some new additions that weren't even in print when we played budget Burn years ago. If you're looking to update your own Mono-Red Burn list or get into Modern for the first time (for less than $200), this is a really solid option!

What's better than stealing your opponent's creature for a turn? Stealing them and then sacrificing them for value! The main idea of Execute the Traitor is to use cards like Claim the Firstborn (a solid new addition from Throne of Eldraine), Wrangle, and Kari Zev's Expertise to yoink your opponent's best creature and then use Collateral Damage, Altar's Reap, Heartfire, and friends to sacrifice those creatures for card draw or damage (after smashing your opponent, of course). While the deck looks incredibly synergistic and super fun, it does come with a bit of a downside, in that it is very matchup dependent: if you are playing against a creature deck, I'm not sure how you ever lose, but if you play against Storm or something like UW Control with very few (or no) creatures, you will end up with a lot of dead cards in hand. I'm not sure there's an easy way to fix this problem (other than adding even more cards for these matchups to the sideboard), so if you have some ideas, let me know in the comments! Oh yeah, and while the deck is technically almost $500, it's really an ultra-budget deck that looks expensive thanks to a handful of lands (which could be downgraded into Dragonskull Summit and other lesser duals) and a few sideboard cards. So if you want to try out the deck on the cheap, consider using budget duals and cards like Duress to replace Thoughtseize, Tormod's Crypt for Leyline of the Void, and Vandalblast / Shatterstorm for Shattering Spree


Land-destruction decks often do well in Pauper, and with a lot of Arcum's Astrolabe–driven Tron decks running around at the moment, it seems like they might be even better than usual in the current meta. Mono-Red Stax from Chuubii is one of the most unique land-destruction decks I've ever seen, with the basis of the deck being symmetrical land destruction like Raze, Tremble, and Crack the Earth. The goal of the deck seems to be twofold: either get off to a fast board state with cards like Kuldotha Rebirth, Atog, and Keldon Halberdier and then keep the opponent from doing much relevant by making both players sacrifice lands each turn, or to break the symmetry of the land-destruction spells, either by having something random to sacrifice (like a Kuldotha Rebirth token to Crack the Earth) or by having no lands at all (thanks to Veinfire Borderpost and Firewild Borderpost) to sacrifice to Tremble. Oh yeah, and because we're talking Pauper, the deck is only $25 in paper and $15 on Magic Online. So if you want to give it a shot and maybe tune it up a bit, it will only cost about the same amount as a single draft at your local game store!


Anyway, that's all for this week! If you've got some ideas for these decks, let's talk about it in the comments! Oh yeah, and if you want your deck to (maybe) be featured next week, make sure to leave me a link or email it to me at

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