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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy Veiwer Decks (February 14-20, 2021)

Welcome back to The Fish Tank, the series where we sneak a 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 bunch of Modern, along with a smattering of other formats. What sweet decks did you all send in this week? 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 it to me at


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We played some Orvar, the All-Form this week for Against the Odds in a Jeskai shell, looking to combo off with Showdown of the Skalds, Orvar, and Flicker of Fate. But as Randy H. shows, there is more than one way to build a Standard deck around Orvar. Rather than being based primarily around Orvar, the All-Form's ability to clone our permanents when they are targeted, Orvar Shapeshifting plays off Orvar's changeling creature type. The deck is basically changeling tribal, with The Bears of Littjara and Absorb Identity as payoffs. The plan is to flood the board with cheap shapeshifters and then either turn them into real threats with The Bears of Littjara or stick a Elder Gargaroth, which we can target with Absorb Identity to turn all of our shapeshifters into copies of Elder Gargaroth until end of turn to win with a hilariously big attack. While Orvar, the All-Form's cloning ability isn't the primary focus of the deck, it still comes into play, with both Absorb Identity and Blizzard Brawl offering cheap ways to make extra copies of our shapeshifters or Elder Gargaroth. While the deck looks super fun, and it should be hilarious when it goes off, it also doesn't look all that rawly powerful, instead leaning on its tricky synergies to pick up wins, which might be a problem in some matchups. Regardless, the ability to make the biggest board of Elder Gargaroths in the history of Standard with Orvar, Absorb Identity, and a bunch of changelings has to be one of the most hilarious win conditions in Standard, and the deck actually looks like it could be pretty powerful when things come together!

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First off, take a minute to appreciate the name of Master_Tame's deck: Magda's Farm Simulator is just too perfect for a Magda deck with Giant Ox and Colossal Plow. Even beyond the name, the deck looks like it could be quite fun, especially considering that it is budget-friendly in paper and fairly budget-friendly on Magic Arena as well. Magda's Farm Simulator is basically a deck built around Dwarves and Vehicles, with Magda, Brazen Outlaw being the card that holds everything together, pumping our Dwarves and producing Treasure tokens as our Dwarves become tapped (perhaps to Vehicles, to get around the need to attack). Eventually, we can even use those Treasures to tutor out more Vehicles to keep the fun rolling. The end result is a deck that can try to pick up fast, aggro wins with a bunch of Seven Dwarves, Magda, and Rimrock Knight but can also play a longer game by crewing up powerful Vehicles (that survive sweepers and wraths), like Colossal Plow and Raiders' Karve. While I'm not sure Dwarf tribal is destined to be top-tier competitive in Standard, it does look like a sweet budget option (and doubly so for best-of-one, considering six of our 18 rares and mythics are in the sideboard) that should be able to pick up some wins in a really unique way!

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If you've watched some Commander Clash, you probably know that Tomer is more or less obsessed with his Tribal Tribal deck, which looks to draw on lords and payoffs from multiple tribes with changelings and cards like Maskwood Nexus holding things together. Well now, thanks to Kaldheim, we have both changelings and Maskwood Nexus in Standard, which means it's possible to build Tribal Tribal in Standard! Tim W.'s build manages to include lords for Cats, Knights, Dwarves, Dogs, Warriors, and Goblins, along with Phylath, World Sculptor, which is a weird pseudo-lord for Plants. The idea is that we can stack up a bunch of seemingly unrelated lords and then use Maskwood Nexus to turn all of our creatures into all creature types, so all of the lords benefit each other, theoretically allowing us to win the game with a board full of massive creatures. We also have a few changelings to fill in the gap if we don't have Maskwood Nexus on the battlefield. Of course, the big issue with the deck is what happens in the games where we don't find Nexus. It's likely we'll end up with a bunch of random lords that aren't really doing anything because we don't have the right creature types on the battlefield, which will likely keep Tribal Tribal from being a spiky, competitive strategy. But the games where we do have Maskwood Nexus should be hilarious and super fun! Oh yeah, the deck was designed for best-of-one play on Arena. This is why there is a copy of Goblin Trashmaster, which is one of the weird cards that is legal for best-of-one play even though it isn't technically legal in Standard. If you decide to play the deck in paper or in best-of-three on Arena, you'll need to substitute in another lord.


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While Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider has greatly exceeded my expectations in Standard, is it possible the Kaldheim mythic could have potential in other formats as well? Helichrome thinks so! Vorinclex Superfriends for Historic, as its name suggests, is all about using Vorinclex to immediately ultimate planeswalkers, with the most exciting being another new addition: Kaya the Inexorable. If we can use Vorinclex to ultimate Kaya, we then can take infinite turns by repeatedly casting Karn's Temporal Sundering for free from exile, which will eventually allow us to bounce all of our opponent's permanents and win by attacking with Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider! The rest of the deck is a pretty straightforward control build, with a bunch of removal, counters, and sweepers to help us stabilize in the early game and stay alive long enough to get both Vorinclex and Kaya into play. While splashing the double-green Vorinclex into an otherwise Esper shell is a bit awkward, the mana in Historic should be good enough to support it, especially with the help of The World Tree. Is playing Vorinclex better than just being straight Esper Control and trying to ultimate planeswalkers naturally? Who knows, but it's certainly way spicier and much more fun!


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So far, most Tibalt's Trickery decks have focused on playing a bunch of big, expensive threats to increase the odds of hitting something good when you counter your own spell with the two-mana instant. But there is another way to shift the Tibalt's Trickery math in your favor, as Snazzypazzy exemplifies in Pioneer: cards like Shadowborn Apostle that allow you to play any number of copies in your deck. The trick is that Tibalt's Trickery can't flip into another copy of the card you counter, which means when we resolve Trickery, we know that we'll either spin into one of our four Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hungers, our one Sire of Insanity, or another Tibalt's Trickery (in which case, we fizzle, which is a problem, but the odds still favor us hitting something good). The other interesting aspect of using Shadowborn Apostle is that gives us a backup plan: we can always just cast six of our 24 Shadowborn Apostles and then sacrifice them to tutor up Sire of Insanity. While this probably won't happen super often, it is another upside of the plan. Of course, the problem with Shadowborn Trickery is the same as with many other Tibalt's Trickery decks. While the plan will result in you getting something game-ending a relatively high percentage of the time, there's also a fizzle rate of 37.% percent (the games where we Tibalt's Trickery into another Tibalt's Trickery). Still, with a bit of luck, you could easily 5-0 a league with the deck by flipping into Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger on Turn 3 a few games in a row!


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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