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The Fish Tank: Sweet and Spicy Viewer Submitted Decks (January 2-8 2022)

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've got a Standard deck, a Pioneer deck and a bunch of Modern lists! What craziness did you all send in? Let's find out! Oh yeah, if you want one of your decks considered for next week's Fish Tank, make sure to leave it in the comments, or email it to me at, and your deck could be featured next week! 


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When I think of the combo of Grinning Ignus and Birgi, God of Storytelling, I think of storming off in Historic. But archonbob has a spicy Standard plan for the combo: gain infinite life with Prosperous Innkeeper and Lunarch Veteran, growing infinitely big Trelasarra, Moon Dancers and Voice of the Blessed along the way, before hopefully throwing one of them at the opponent's face with Kazuul's Fury for infinite-ish damage to close out the game! If you're not familiar with the Ignus / Birgi combo, the idea is that Grinning Ignus can bounce and replay itself for a total of one red mana, which Birgi, God of Storytelling makes when we cast Ignus, allowing us to cast Ignus an infinite number of times! While the combo is the most spectacular thing the deck can do, one of the things I like about the build is that it looks like a pretty solid Soul Sister–style lifegain deck even without the combo, which should mean we have a chance to win even if we don't find Ignus / Birgi. 


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Meanwhile, in Pioneer, SirEklz is going deep with The Ozolith and Phylactery Lich. Phylactery Lich is a really unique creature. It's technically a 5/5 indestructible for just three mana, which is a pretty insane deal. The problem is that when it enters the battlefield, it puts a Phylactery counter on an artifact, and we have to sacrifice Phylactery Lich if we ever get into a position where we don't control a permanent with a Phylactery counter (i.e., if the artifact dies or is destroyed). The Ozolich has a really neat way to get around this drawback. The idea is that we can put the Phylactery counter on a cheap artifact creature like Hangarback Walker or Stonecoil Serpent; when it dies, we can move the counter to The Ozolith, keeping our Phylactery Lich alive. It gets even better. Once the Phylactery counter is on The Ozolith, we can move it to any creature at the beginning of combat, getting around the artifact-only restriction of Phylactery Lich's enters-the-battlefield ability. This means we can move the Phylactery counter onto Phylactery Lich itself, which makes Phylactery Lich almost impossible to kill. We can also move +1/+1 counters from Hangarback Walker and Stonecoil Serpent onto Lich, along with random ability counters from Crystalline Giant, building Phylactery Lich into a weird, counter-y Voltron threat! Is the plan competitive? I have no idea, but it is hilarious and gets to play a lot of decent cards, so it seems like it could have a chance to win some games, at least!


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Honestly, the main reason I wanted to feature Kelvin [escesare]'s deck was the name, which is one of my favorites in a while, but the deck itself is pretty spicy too! There are a bunch of different things happening. We have Boom // Bust as a Sinkhole with indestructible artifact lands. We have Urza's Saga with a massive toolbox of cheap artifacts, and then we have Oswald Fiddlebender to hold everything together as an artifact Birthing Pod. Maybe my favorite part of the deck is the combo of Lightning Greaves and Crackdown Construct to close out the game. We can use Oswald Fiddlebender and Stoneforge Mystic to find the pieces; then, once we get both on the battlefield, we can keep moving Lightning Greaves back and forth between creatures, growing Crackdown Construct each time we move it, because equipping is activating an ability. Eventually, once Crackdown Construct is huge, we can move Lightning Greaves to it, giving it haste and potentially allowing us to one-shot our opponent! The deck looks like it has a ton of sneaky, weird lines, and it will probably take a ton of practice to play it well, but it seems like it should be able to do some unique and powerful things before winning in a really spicy way!

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The plan of reusing Modern Horizons 2's evoke Elementals has been a thing almost since the day the set was released, but 11Vicious has a very different way to go about it: Mimic Vat! The idea is that we can play Mimic Vat; evoke something like Grief, Solitude, or Subtlety; put the Evoke Elemental under the Mimic Vat once it sacrifices itself; and use Mimic Vat to make a copy of the imprinted Elemental each turn for just three mana, for repeatable Thoughtseizes and Swords to Plowshares! The rest of the deck looks a lot like an Esper Control shell, with a bunch of good removal, Teferi, Time Raveler, and things like Thoughtseize. While the Mimic Vat plan is really sweet, I almost wonder if some sort of hybrid plan could be even better. It seems easy enough to add Malakir Rebirth or maybe Brought Back to the deck, to have even more evoke shenanigans in the early game, while still having the Mimic Vat plan for long-game value. Either way, the idea is really sweet, and Mimic Vat is a super-cool card. It's good to see someone brewing around it in Modern.

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Last but not least, we have Daniele Magro M.'s Magda Treasures deck, which is all-in on using Magda, Brazen Outlaw (which we can find with Imperial Recruiter) to tutor out something massive like Blightsteel Colossus or Balefire Dragon as quickly as possible. The idea is that we can make Treasure tokens in the early game, with the help of cards like Shambling Ghast, Dire Fleet Hoarder, and Gleaming Barrier (with Deadly Dispute to sacrifice them), as well as Strike It Rich and Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge, hopefully getting to five tokens over the first few turns. We then can play Magda, Brazen Outlaw and immediately sacrifice our Treasures to tutor out a finisher like Blightsteel Colossus, Drakuseth, Maw of Flames, Balefire Dragon, Hellkite Tyrant, or Old Gnawbone, depending on the situation. My main concern for the deck is that it doesn't really have any interaction at all. Finding room for some Fatal Pushes, Thoughtseizes, or Lightning Bolts to slow the opponent down in the early game seems like it would be helpful. While some of this could be in the sideboard (which hasn't been built yet), having no interaction in the main deck at all is pretty risky unless you're a super-fast combo deck, and I'm not sure Magda Treasures is quite fast enough to make it work. Regardless, the idea is sweet, and the deck looks like it should be able to do some really fun things when the plan comes together!


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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