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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy Viewer Decks (March 7-13, 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 bouncing around with sweet lists for Standard, Historic, and Modern! What cool ideas 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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.

Standard

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First up this week, we have an infamous Standard combo deck that was sent in by Leatherankh and recently played by @filipamtg, although in reality, people have been asking me about the archetype for weeks now, so I'm not actually sure who first played it. While Vadrok Combo Mutate is a mutate deck at its heart, it's mutate with a twist. Rather than trying to out-value opponents with Auspicious Starrix or make a bunch of Scute Swarms, the deck is looking to go semi-infinite, with Vadrok, Apex of Thunder repeatedly casting Open the Omenpaths and See the Truth from the graveyard for free as it mutates. Basically, if we can get Vadrok, Apex of Thunder on the battlefield along with Open the Omenpaths and See the Truth in our graveyard, we can mutate something like Sea-Dasher Octopus onto Vadrok, Apex of Thunder for just one or two mana and then cast either Open the Omenpaths from our graveyard (if we already have another mutater in our hand) to make mana or See the Truth (if we need to find another mutater) to draw cards. Ideally, we'll be able to do this over and over again until eventually we start mutating Insatiable Hemophage to drain our opponent out of the game. While the plan is super sweet and the combo turns should be absurd, like pretty much all mutate decks, the plan is still fairly fragile. If the opponent can kill our mutate pile, they can fizzle the combo, and it might be hard to find another copy of Vadrok, Apex of Thunder to get it restarted. I'm also extremely skeptical of Mysterious Egg, although it is nice that the +1/+1 counter it gets when we mutate means we can play it on Turn 1, then mutate Sea-Dasher Octopus on Turn 2, and end up with a 3/3 that dodges Bonecrusher Giant, although I do wonder if that slot would be better spend on more mutaters or main-deck protection like Snakeskin Veil. Either way, if you're interested in going semi-infinite in Standard, Vadrok Combo Mutate looks like a really fun way to go about it!

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Whenever you get an email with the heading "eight-card Standard infinite combo," you take notice. Of course, being an eight-card combo means the odds of it coming together in any specific game is pretty low, although it also means the games when you do pull it off will be all the more rewarding! Since the deck is pretty convoluted, rather than trying to break it down myself, here is the plan in the words of its builder, NobleRooster:

This is a weird one.

So, my theory here was that if you have Magda, Brazen Outlaw, two Glimmerbells, Zirda, the Dawnwaker, Goldspan Dragon, Shacklegeist, Skycat Sovereign, and Maskwood Nexus on the battlefield, you can generate infinite Treasure tokens to tutor any creature, make infinite mana, and then make infinite Bird tokens. That's an eight-card combo, which sounds stupid, but STAY WITH ME HERE, it's actually only a three-card combo; allow me to explain.

If you can stick Magda, Shacklegeist, and Maskwood Nexus, you can use Shacklegeist taps to slow down your opponent while generating Treasures—with these Treasures, you then tutor your other combo pieces, which means more Treasures, more tutors, the snowball grows, and you win the game.

Typically, you want to tutor Zirda, the Dawnwaker first (if you don't draw it) since it allows you to make Maskwood Nexus Shapeshifter tokens for one mana. Theoretically, a game would then look like this:

T1: Land, Selfless Savior (to protect pieces). T2: Land, Shacklegeist. T3: Land, Magda, Brazen Outlaw. T4: Land, Maskwood Nexus, tap their creature (two Treasures). T5: Tap their creatures and / or attack to make three more Treasures, sac them, tutoring Zirda, the Dawnwaker. Make a Maskwood Nexus token. You now have 4–5 creatures and can tap another opp creature and make two Treasures. T6: Land, tap / attack with at least three creatures, tutor Skycat Sovereign. Make a Maskwood Nexus token plus two Bird tokens. Tap them all to make six Treasures, tutor Glimmerbell #1. T7: Make more tokens, tap all, tutor twice for Glimmerbell #2 and Goldspan Dragon, go infinite.

Obviously, that's super-ideal magic Christmas land, and I'm only kinda sure my math is right. But there is protection in Selfless Savior, and after T4, I wasn't even accounting for cards drawn, which could be Glimmerbells, Skycats, etc., to cut out a turn of tutoring. I haven't tested this on
Arena yet (darn wildcards!!), but it's definitely my next build.

Swallow Whole adds some removal if opp goes too wide and also taps things for Magda. Notably, this combo is a creature combo, so you can just try and tempo someone out with Shacklegeist taps and Goldspan Dragon beats. Sideboard is geared against control decks since the mainboard deals with creatures pretty well.

Historic

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Meanwhile, in Historic, Willie S. comes in with an infinite combo that I've never seen before: Hope Tender Combo! The goal of the deck is to get three specific cards on the battlefield: Lotus Field, Ashaya, Soul of the Wild, and Hope Tender. If we can assemble the combo, we'll have a Hope Tender that can exert to untap itself (since it will be a land thanks to Ashaya, Soul of the Wild) and Lotus Field for just one mana, while Lotus Field taps for three mana, netting us two extra mana in the process. We can do this an infinite number of times and then win the game in a few different ways. We can spin Golos, Tireless Pilgrim (which also finds Lotus Field) an infinite number of times to play our entire deck. We can Banefire for a million or cast a massive Finale of Devastation to find our one Craterhoof Behemoth. The rest of the deck is mana dorks to speed up the combo and cards like Snakeskin Veil and Heroic Intervention to protect our combo pieces. If there's a downside to the deck, it seems like it will probably have a hard time winning without the combo. In theory, we could beat down with random janky creatures, but in reality, we're pretty reliant on the combo to close out the game. So if our opponent can keep Ashaya, Soul of the Wild or Hope Tender off the battlefield, we'll mostly durdle around and not do a whole lot. Regardless, the deck looks really sweet and unique and like it could actually pick up a reasonable number of wins in Historic!

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The World Tree is certainly one of the most unique and interesting cards to come out of Kaldheim, and while it has mostly seen play in Standard, it's starting to creep into other formats too. Take XEPKIN's One-Tree-Sixty deck. The goal is pretty simple: use Golos, Tireless Pilgrim to find The World Tree. Ramp a bunch with cards like Gift of Paradise, Skyclave Relic, Explore, and Solemn Simulacrum; keep the board clean with Cleansing Nova and Doomskar; and then get to 11 mana to activate The World Tree, which can put 11 one-of Gods into play, including Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded to give all of our creatures haste, which should allow us to win with one massive attack for somewhere around 100 damage! The downside of the plan is that 11 mana is a lot in Historic, even for a deck with a reasonable amount of ramp. The upside is that The World Tree itself is really difficult for most decks to interact with since Historic doesn't really have much playable land destruction, so if you do get to 11 mana, it should be extremely unlikely that your opponent can interact with the finish. The one change I'd make to the deck is playing more copies of Golos, Tireless Pilgrim. Based on The World Tree decks we've played in the past, the games where you don't draw The World Tree are rough. More Goloses would help to make sure we always have The World Tree. It also gives us a nice backup plan if we can't get to 11 mana since we can always spin Golos, Tireless Pilgrim to (hopefully) put some random Gods into play and potentially build a lethal board without The World Tree putting all of our Gods into play. Either way, the list looks solid, and the wins should be spectacular!

Modern

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Last week, while playing some Modern on Magic Online, I ran into a strange take on Storm. After chatting with my opponent a bit, Gary M. sent in their decklist for Bring to Light–based Rainbow Storm (they also made a deck tech that you can find on YouTube). On one hand, the deck has a fairly typical Modern Storm plan. Play a Baral, Chief of Compliance or Goblin Electromancer, cast a bunch of rituals and Manamorphoses, eventually Gifts Ungiven for Past in Flames, and loop your graveyard until you win with Grapeshot or make a bunch of Goblins with Empty the Warrens. On the other hand, the deck has a really unique and spicy secondary plan. Channel the Suns is one of the rituals in Modern that doesn't really see play. Costing four mana and making just five means it's essentially a Pyretic Ritual except it costs four mana. However, making one mana of each color does have a big upside: it allows us to cast Bring to Light for max value. We can use Bring to Light to support our Storm plan by snagging something like Gifts Ungiven or Past in Flames, but a more exciting use is that we can use it to snag Valki, God of Lies and cast Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor. Thanks to all of the rituals in our deck, we theoretically can cast Tibalt as early as Turn 2 (something like double Pyretic Ritual / Desperate Ritual into Manamorphose to make green mana into Channel the Suns and then Bring to Light), which gives the deck another powerful combo-esque way to win the game quickly. The best part is that since Channel the Suns and Bring to Light are fine with the Storm plan as well, the cost of running this backup combo (outside of playing a painful five-color mana base) is pretty low. If you are a fan of Storm but are growing bored of winning with Grapeshot and Empty the Warrens, Rainbow Storm seems like a fun and possibly fairly competitive option for Modern.

Conclusion

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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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