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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy Viewer Decks (July 18-24, 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, our focus shifts to Standard, especially post-rotation Standard 2022, where everyone seems hyped to build decks without having to worry about companions, Bonecrusher Giants, and Ultimatums! What sweetness did you all send in this week? Let's take a look! But first, to have your own deck considered for next week's edition, make sure to leave a link in the comments, or email it to me at 


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Tasha's Hideous Laughter is a card that I've mostly been excited about for older formats like Modern and Legacy, but Michael S. has a plan for using it in Standard! The deck is basically Izzet Mill, with the mill coming from Ruin Crab, Maddening Cacophony, and—of course—Tasha's Hideous Laughter. The weird thing about Standard mill is that there aren't that many good mill spells. To make up for this, the idea is that we can use cards like [[Teach by Example] ] and Rowan, Scholar of Sparks to copy the mill that we do have access to. While one Tasha's Hideous Laughter isn't likely to be enough to win the game in Standard, two or three likely will be in a lot of matchups! The rest of the deck is card draw and removal to help us find our mill cards and stay alive long enough to cast them. I know the list is showing up as illegal because of Unsummon, but this is just Arena weirdness. Technically, Unsummon is legal in best-of-one Standard because it's in the New Player Experience deck. But if you decide to play the deck in best-of-three, you'll have to swap out the Unsummons for something else. It's also worth mentioning that the deck is pretty cheap, coming in at just two mythics (the Rowans) and 16 rares (including eight rare lands in the mana base). So if you want to give it a try, it shouldn't be too hard to put together on Arena!

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Speaking of future Standard, one thing I've learned over the past week is that everyone loves Skeletal Swarming. While I'm still not sure how powerful the enchantment is, it might be the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms card that has shown up in the most viewer-submitted brews. Bryan C. is looking to combine the enchainment with Toski, Bearer of Secrets and Esika's Chariot in what is basically a Golgari token deck. There isn't really a ton more to say about the deck, other than that being Golgari gives the deck some of the best removal in post-rotation Standard. Soul Shatter is especially key to beating various hasty Dragons, while Binding the Old Gods hits anything. If you like go-wide midrange decks with good removal or are just a big Skeletal Swarming fan, the deck looks super fun to play!

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Speaking of unique Golgari decks, Richard S. has a really sweet Pest Combo deck! I have had a soft spot for the combo of Sedgemoor Witch, Witherbloom Apprentice, Dina, Soul Steeper, and Plumb the Forbidden ever since we managed to assemble it in draft and drain opponents out of the game by sacrificing our board to Plumb the Forbidden to drain a bunch with Witherbloom Apprentice and Dina, Soul Steeper and immediately rebuild with tokens from Sedgemoor Witch, potentially allowing us to draw into another Plumb the Forbidden and repeat the process for a weird storm-style kill. The problem with the deck in traditional Standard is that Bonecrusher Giant kills most of our combo pieces and shows up in a ton of decks. But there's no Stomp to worry about in Standard 2022, which might make the format the perfect place for the combo. The only card I'd question in the list is Culling Ritual. I've seen a bunch of people play it on Magic Arena, and it usually isn't all that impressive. Only hitting permanents with a mana value of two or less is pretty restrictive, although it is a pretty hilarious way to blow up our own board and make a bunch of mana. Oh yeah, we also get everyone's favorite enchantment Skeletal Swarming, which is quite synergistic with the sacrifice theme of the deck. If you like Aristocrats-style decks built around self-sacrifice synergies, Pest Combo is one of the sweetest post-rotation Standard brews you can play!

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Speaking of cards that get wrecked by Bonecrusher Giant but have a lot of potential in Standard 2022, what about everyone's favorite Insect Scute Swarm? KingOfJank's Mono-Green Scute Swarm deck is all-in on making as many Scute bugs as possible, with plenty of ramp (Field Trip, Roiling Regrowth, and Vastwood Surge) to trigger landfall multiple times in a turn; Ashaya, Soul of the Wild to turn our non-token creatures into lands (so that they trigger Scute Swarm); Ancient Greenwarden to double-trigger landfall; and Toski, Bearer of Secrets to draw tons of cards when we attack with our Bugs. If that's not enough, we're also playing the combo of The World Tree and Maskwood Nexus, which is almost guaranteed to break Arena. If we play a Maskwood Nexus, then when we activate The World Tree, we can put all the creatures in our deck onto the battlefield, all of which will be Forests, thanks to Ashaya, Soul of the Wild, and will double trigger our four Scute Swarms, thanks to Ancient Greenwarden, which should mean thousands of Scute Swarm triggers and the swift death of Arena! The only drawback is that the deck doesn't really have much removal, so there's a chance we just get run over against aggro. But either way, we should be able to do some incredibly explosive things if we get enough time to cast our ramp spells!


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Over the past week, I've been pretty hyped for a new combo—Shambling Ghast with Liliana, Untouched by Death and a sacrifice outlet, which allows us to –3 Liliana, sacrifice Shambling Ghast, and then recast Shambling Ghast from our graveyard with the Treasure token it makes when it dies, which gives us infinite enters-the-battlefield and leaves-the-battlefield triggers. I've mostly been focused on making the combo work in Modern, but as Bennymon1 shows, the combo also has potential in Historic. Corpse Knight and Wayward Servant work as finishers in the combo, making our opponent lose an infinite amount of life as we loop Shambling Ghast, while Defiant Salvager and Woe Strider give us free sacrifice outlets. While consistency might be a bit of an issue (if we don't draw Liliana, Untouched by Death, we're playing a lot of not-all-that-powerful Zombies), the deck has a lot of redundancy with its other pieces, considering we can mill Shambling Ghast with Stitcher's Supplier or Mire Triton and start the combo from our graveyard once we find a Liliana, Untouched by Death. The deck is also quite cheap for a Historic deck. In fact, outside of Liliana, Untouched by Death and Woe Strider (which you might have from Standard), the only rares in the deck are in the mana base, making the deck pretty close to budget-friendly.


Anyway, that's all for this week! Do you have some ideas on how to improve the decks we looked at today? Let us know in the comments! Have a deck for next week? You can leave it in the comments too! Thanks to everyone who submitted lists this week, and as always, you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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