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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy Viewer Decks (June 13-19, 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 but are branching out into other formats and sets as well. 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 (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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First up this week, we have a sweet Against the Odds–style deck in Historic: Vito's Mortality from Bennymon1, which looks to combo Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose with Axis of Mortality. The main goal is to get a Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose on the battlefield alongside Axis of Mortality; use pain lands, Emeria's Call, Arguel's Blood Fast, Thoughtseize, and Dusk Legion Zealot to lose some life; and then start swapping life totals with our opponent. Let's say we get ourselves down to 10 life while our opponent is a 20 (which seems reasonable considering our deck isn't really designed to damage our opponent). When Axis of Mortality activates, we'll swap life totals with our opponent, going up to 20 while our opponent goes down to 10. According to the rules of Magic, our life total changing from 10 to 20 counters as lifegain, so it will also trigger Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose to drain our opponent for 10, putting them down to zero and winning us the game on the spot! As a backup combo, we can use Gideon of the Trials to make an emblem and get to a negative life total and then use Axis of Mortality to switch life totals, which also wins the game immediately! The rest of the deck is overloaded with interaction. The biggest problem with Axis of Mortality is that it's pretty slow, not only costing six to cast but also triggering on our upkeep, so we have to wait a turn to win even after resolving it. Having a bunch of wraths and removal helps to make sure we can stabilize the board long enough to get our combo online. While I wouldn't expect the deck to be super competitive, it is hilarious and looks like it should be able to pick up some really unique, spectacular wins!


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The mythic evoke Elemental cycle is—by far—the most exciting Modern Horizons 2 cycle for 60-card formats. While most of the cycle's members are good enough on their own, Tikkimann has a plan to make Subtlety even better: Misthollow Griffin! Misthollow Griffin is a unique creature. Its main power comes from its ability to be cast from exile. The idea of Subtlety Control is that we can use this ability to minimize or even eliminate the drawback of some powerful disruption spells, including Subtlety, Force of Negation, and Commandeer, by exiling Misthollow Griffin to play these cards for free and then cast Misthollow Griffin from exile. While having to exile a card to cast things like Force of Negation or Subtlety for free isn't really a deal-breaker, being able to cast these cards from free and not go down a card seems pretty powerful. The rest of the deck is a blinky UW Tempo / Control shell looking to slow the opponent down with things like Spell Queller and Skyclave Apparition before winning by beating down in the air with Misthollow Griffin and friends. The main downside is that Misthollow Griffin isn't the most exciting creature to cast naturally. I also wonder if it might be worth finding room for more Solitudes or Path to Exiles in the main deck to further power up Misthollow Griffin. Being able to Path to Exile to ramp or Solitude to gain life and then recast Misthollow Griffin is a cute little synergy that probably wouldn't come up all that often but could be powerful in the right situation.

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During spoiler season, I talked about Abiding Grace being a Soul Sisters / Martyr Proc card. Well, Blake Curwen took this as a challenge to build a non–Soul Sisters Abiding Grace deck, and the end result looks pretty sweet! The idea is to overload on sacrificable one-drops. Hope of Ghirapur and Vexing Devil can sacrifice themselves, while Cabal Therapist and Carrion Feeder allow us to sacrifice any of our creatures. Our main payoff is Archfiend's Vessel, which comes back from the graveyard as a 5/5 flier. But we can do other tricks, like casting Cabal Therapy each turn by sacrificing something to Cabal Therapist and then returning it to play later with Abiding Grace. My main suggestion for the deck is Stitcher's Supplier to fill the graveyard. Since we have Lurrus of the Dream-Den and Unearth alongside Abiding Grace, getting a full graveyard seems pretty powerful in the deck, and Stitcher's Supplier seems perfect, not just milling some cards but also being another one-drop we can reanimate with Abiding Grace. Either way, the deck has me intrigued at the possibility of using Abiding Grace in decks other than Soul Sisters in Modern. As we saw on Much Abrew last week, the card is extremely powerful!

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I know, I know, Modern Horizons 2 was just officially released yesterday, and we're already building decks around cards from Magic's next set, Forgotten Realms! Alittlecheeky has a laughable (literally) take on both Collected Conjuring and mill for Modern: Conjured Sanity! Here's the plan: stick a Fraying Sanity on Turn 3 and then cast Collected Conjuring on Turn 4. If we can hit any two of Sanity GrindingFractured Sanity, or Glimpse the Unthinkable, we should win the game by milling our opponent's entire deck on the spot, thanks to Fraying Sanity doubling up our mill! Tasha's Hideous Laughter can also work as a fill-in, although keep in mind that since it exiles rather than mills, it doesn't get doubled up Fraying Sanity. The idea is hilarious, and the deck seems to have more than enough cheap sorceries to make Collected Conjuring work, although I do wonder about Expansion // Explosion, which I don't think works with Collected Conjuring anymore since it will count as its combined mana value (six) while in our deck, making it too expensive for Collected Conjuring to find. While the deck might have some issues with aggro or counterspell-heavy decks because we don't really have much interaction, it does seem like it should be able to set up Turn-4 wins pretty consistently with a bit of luck and some good running. Most importantly, it's doing so in a really unique way!


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While Modern Horizons 2 certainly has had a major impact on formats like Modern and Legacy, it's easy to forget that the set is also legal in Pauper and having just as big of an impact there, thanks to a strong suite of commons. Ohako's Hell's Kitchen is looking to get aggressive with some of the new madness cards from the set, with Kitchen Imp offering a hasty 2/2 flier for one if we can discard it and Skophos Reaver being an above-the-curve (at least, for Pauper) two-drop if we can discard and then cast it. The other upside of overloading on discard outlets is that we get access to some really powerful one-mana removal, with Lightning Axe and Dark Withering killing most anything for one mana, while Fiery Temper gives us an on-theme Lightning Bolt. One sneakily powerful aspect of the madness mechanic that is often missed is that it also represents card advantage. If we can discard and cast a couple of madness cards to something like Faithless Looting, we essentially turn it into a one-mana draw-two, which is super strong! While I haven't played much Pauper lately and have no idea how the deck matches up with the current meta, Hell's Kitchen is super cheap to put together and looks like a lot of fun to play!


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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