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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy Viewer Decks (July 24-31, 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're jumping around from format to format, from Standard back to Modern! 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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Rotation is an exciting time for Standard. Thanks to a bunch of powerful cards leaving the format, it's a time to reevaluate the cards that remain, within the context of the new format. One of the biggest changes this rotation will be the loss of Bonecrusher Giant, which had held back a lot of sweet creatures with one or two toughness, like Magda, Brazen Outlaw. While Magda, Brazen Outlaw has seen a bit of play in various aggro decks, with Bonecrusher Giant gone, it will be a lot easier to build a full-on Magda deck, like shoboy321's Gruul Treasures list. The idea is to use Magda, Brazen Outlaw and Xorn to make a ton of Treasures quickly. We can then use those Treasures to tutor out Dragons, including Goldspan Dragon, Inferno of the Star Mounts, and Old Gnawbone. With Goldspan Dragon allowing us to sacrifice Treasures for double mana, one of the easiest ways for the deck to win is to tutor our Inferno of the Star Mounts, cash in all of our Treasures to pump it to 20 power, and throw 20 damage directly at our opponent's face! Perhaps my favorite part of the deck is that it can also win like a regular midrange deck by just ramping into cards like Goldspan Dragon and Esika's Chariot, which have shown themselves to be some of the best threats available in post-rotation Standard. The combination of a sweet combo kill and a solid midrange plan gives Gruul Treasures a lot of potential. While it's hard to make too many predictions about what Standard will look like after rotation since we don't know what will come in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, I wouldn't be surprised to see a deck similar to this end up being fairly competitive in our new format.


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For Much Abrew last week, we played Bard Class in Modern, and the deck did some absurd things! Can the archetype make the jump from Modern to Historic? StoneRainProductions thinks so! The plan is to stick a Bard Class, hopefully fully level it up, and start slinging legends, with a big chunk of our deck being free thanks to the second level of Bard Class. If we can get a Birgi, God of Storytelling on the battlefield to make mana as we cast spells or a Hazoret's Monument to reduce the cost of our creatures, there's a decent chance we can play through our entire deck in one turn and then win by casting a massive Grapeshot or by using Samut, Tyrant Smasher to give our janky crew of Gruul legends haste. My guess is that the Historic version of Bard Class will have the same issues as the Modern version: it's insane when we have a Bard Class on the battlefield but somewhat inconsistent because if we don't draw a Bard Class, we're left playing some not-all-that-powerful legends. Either way, the archetype is super fun, and Bard Class is one of my favorite cards from Forgotten Realms. After experiencing the bliss of playing through our entire deck in Modern, I can't wait to give it a shot in Historic too! 

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I'll always have a soft spot for janky tribes, and as we've learned repeatedly on Commander Clash, it doesn't get much jankier than Skeletons! Skeletal Swarming is a really powerful card, but so far, it mostly has seen play as a standalone midrange threat. 60Four goes to the next level, using the card to power honest-to-goodness Skeleton tribal. While Skeletons aren't an especially powerful tribe, the deck actually looks like it could win some games. The combination of Death Baron giving all of our Skeletons deathtouch and Skeletal Swarming pumping them and offering trample should allow us to swing in for some massive attacks, even through blockers. Plus, while cards like Sanitarium Skeleton, Moss-Pit Skeleton, and Reassembling Skeleton don't have great stats, their ability to come back from the graveyard should help to make the deck resilient to sweepers and removal. And not having great stats isn't really a dealbreaker, with Skeletal Swarming and two Skeleton lords in the deck to pump the rest of our creatures. In general, the deck looks surprisingly solid, although I do wonder if it should have a fourth copy of Skeletal Swarming, which seems like the most powerful and important card in the deck. While it seems super unlikely that the Skeleton tribe will suddenly become a truly competitive tier option in Historic, even with the additional power of Skeletal Swarming, if I were going to build Skeleton tribal for Against the Odds, I'd probably start with something very similar to this. And I think that we'd be able to win a reasonable number of games with it, which is high praise for a Skeleton tribal deck.


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Traditionally, Winota, Joiner of Forces decks have a problem similar to Bard Class, which we talked about earlier: they look downright busted when they draw Winota and get in an attack or two, but the games where Winota is nowhere to be found go much worse. Michael C. has a plan to fix this problem: mashing together Winota with Domain Zoo! Scion of Draco and Territorial Kavu have proven to be quite powerful, offering a 4/4 flier and a 5/5 ground body that can come down on Turn 2. The idea of Winota Domain Zoo is that we can win games like a regular Domain Zoo deck does, by beating down with our big domain threats and throwing Tribal Flames at our opponent's face, but also have the ability to pick up free wins by slamming a Winota, Joiner of Forces; attacking with a bunch of non-Humans; and putting things like Hostage Taker, Blade Historian, Kenrith, the Returned King, and Elite Spellbinder into play for free. While some of the individual Humans look a bit weird (I'm not really sold on Shaile, Dean of Radiance fitting in the deck, for example), the plan looks powerful, offering the fast threats of Domain Zoo and the free wins of Winota! Plus, since the deck is five colors, you can easily slot in your personal favorite Human and trust that you'll see it fairly often (even as a one-of) thanks to Winota.

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Academy Manufactor is one of the coolest designs from Modern Horizons 2. And while it has seen play in several sacrifice-based Aristocrat-style decks, Satsujin has another plan: using the artifact tokens it creatures to take infinite turns with Time Sieve! The primary goal is to get an Academy Manufactor on the battlefield alongside Cauldron Familiar, Witch's Oven, and Time Sieve. Sacrificing the Cat to Witch's Oven will make a Food, a Treasure, and a Clue. We can use the Food to get back the Cat, leaving two artifact tokens behind. This means if we can add either Gilded Goose or Witch's Oven to the battlefield (either of which can make a Food, a Treasure, and a Clue each turn with the help of Academy Manufactor), we'll be able to make five extra artifacts each turn, exactly enough to sacrifice to Time Sieve to take an extra turn. We can repeat the process during the extra turn, and after doing this a bunch of times we'll eventually drain our opponent out of the game with Cauldron Familiar's enters-the-battlefield trigger. While this might sound like a lot of pieces—and in some ways, it is—thanks to Whir of Invention, Ancient Stirrings, and Serum Visions (along with Clue tokens), we actually have a ton of ways to dig through our deck and assemble the combo. The main downside of the combo is that it's pretty soft to graveyard hate. If we can't loop Cauldron Familiar from our graveyard, then our only real way of winning is beating down with Academy Manufactor, which seems pretty unlikely. Otherwise, the deck looks like it could be pretty solid, and worst case, it should be fun since Academy Manufactor is always a blast!


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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