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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy Viewer Decks (July 4-17, 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 have a bunch more Modern Horizons 2 decks! 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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Skeleton Tribal? In Standard? As Carly S. realized, it might just be possible, thanks to Skeletal Swarming. The idea is to play a Scute Swarm, use ramp spells like Cultivate and Vastwood Surge to make a bunch of tokens, stick a Maskwood Nexus to turn all of our scute bugs into Skeletons, and then drop a Skeletal Swarming so they all pump each other and win with the most massive swarm of bugs in the Multiverse! How competitive is the deck? I'm not sure. Carly said they reached platinum on Arena with it, which is pretty impressive, so it seems like it should be able to at least win some games. Most importantly, when it does win, it will do so in style!

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Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is here (at least, online), and people are already brewing around the next cards. While it is unlikely that much will change in Standard before rotation, we're less than two months away from our first return to return to Innistrad set, when Throne of Eldraine, Theros: Beyond Death, Ikoria, and Core Set 2021 will finally leave Standard forever. YawgmothTombOfUrborg will be ready with a Standard deck that's rotation proof: Naya Equipment. Thanks to Dancing Sword and Maul of the Skyclaves, we now have two powerful equipment for a white-based equipment deck, along with solid equipment payoffs like Koll, the Forgemaster, Akiri, Fearless Voyager, and Halvar, God of Battle. While I'm not sure that the deck will have quite enough power to compete pre-rotation, I could imagine something similar being pretty strong once all of the broken Standard sets leave, thanks to the combination of a solid curve, good payoffs, and aggressive equipment for closing out the game quickly.


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The combo of The Book of Exalted Deeds and Faceless Haven has been one of the most exciting aspects of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms in Standard, but Will D. has another plan: using the combo in Historic with Karn, the Great Creator to tutor it up! Thanks to Karn, the Great Creator, Oswald Fiddlebender, and Emry, Lurker of the Loch, we should be able to find The Book of Exalted Deeds consistently. Plus, these cards give us a solid artifact-value backup plan, digging through our deck with cards like Golden Egg and Aether Spellbomb and tutoring silver-bullet artifacts like Damping Sphere, Sphere of Annihilation, and Tormod's Crypt from our sideboard. The only downside of playing the combo in Historic is that the meta has a lot more answers, including cards like Ghost Quarter and Stone Rain, that can blow up Faceless Haven even while in land form. Is the increased consistency enough to make up for the fact that we'll be playing against more hate cards? I'm not sure, but the idea is sweet, and it seems like it should be worth testing, at the very least!


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While perhaps lacking the support to see much Standard play, Oswald Fiddlebender is one of the more interesting Forgotten Realms cards for older formats, as an artifact Birthing Pod on a stick. The idea of The_Layer0p's Pioneer deck is to fully embrace the two-drop's power. While the artifacts look pretty janky, the idea is that we can use the Implements to draw cards as we work our way up the curve to Fleetwheel Cruiser to smash in for some hasty damage. More important than the artifacts are the other creatures. Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Scrap Trawler allow us to recur artifacts from our graveyard for even more value, while Reckless Fireweaver offers some direct damage as we churn through our deck with Oswald Fiddlebender. While I have no idea how well the deck will hold up against the top tier of the Pioneer meta, it does look really fun to play, with a ton of grindy, graveyard-based artifact value!


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After the insanity of Modern Horizons 2, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms looks a bit light on Modern staples (understandably, since it's a Standard set), although it does have a few cards primed to have an impact on the format. Tikkimann is using two of them—Demilich and Tasha's Hideous Laughter—to power a mono-blue mill deck! The combination of Fractured Sanity, Sanity Grinding, Tasha's Hideous Laughter, and Archive Trap gives Mono-Blue Mill four cards that mill a ton of cards, enough that, if we resolve any three of them, we should be able to mill our opponent's entire library (give or take), a process that gets even easier with the help of another new Forgotten Realms addition in Demilich. Demilich does two things for the deck. First, it lets us flash back one of our big mill spells when it attacks. Second, it gives us a backup plan if we can't win with mill. While it might not be especially likely, we potentially can win by beating down with the recursive 4/3! While Mono-Blue Mill is a bit of a meme around here thanks to its spectacular failure every time we've tried it, with the new additions from Modern Horizons 2 and Forgotten Realms, it might finally be time for the archetype to compete in Modern!

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Meanwhile, in Modern, Talespinner Lore came in with a fun-looking combo deck that I wanted to show off for two reasons. The first is that Calibrated Progenitus Turbo looks hilarious. The idea is to tutor a big creature like Autochthon Wurm, Worldspine Wurm, or Progenitus to the top of our deck with Mwonvuli Beast Tracker or Congregation at Dawn, which turns Calibrated Blast into a 10+ damage burn spell, which we can flash back for lethal if we have enough damage. If Calibrated Blast isn't enough to win the game, we can cheat a finisher into play with Dramatic Entrance or Through the Breach and win by beating down with a Progenitus! The second reason I wanted to feature the deck is that it only costs 5 tix on Magic Online. One of the interesting aspects of the Magic Online economy is that Cardhoarder offers a free 5-tix loan program, which means you can play this deck (and any other deck that costs 5 tix or less) for free. The deck looks powerful and interesting enough that perhaps 5-tix Modern could develop into a real budget format on Magic Online! Anyway, if you're looking for some free casual fun, make sure to check out the free 5-tix loan program from Cardhoarder, and give Calibrated Progenitus Turbo a try!


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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