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The Fish Tank: Sweet Viewer-Submitted Decks (Feb. 9-15, 2020)

Welcome back to The Fish Tank, the series where we peek at sweet viewer-submitted decks and maybe, with our powers combined, turn them into real, fun, playable lists! This week, we jump around a lot from format to format, with some interesting decks for everything from Standard to casual! Oh yeah, and 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 them to me at


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Thassa's Oracle has been one of the breakout cards from Theros: Beyond Death in older formats but hasn't done much in Standard so far. Simic Oracle Combo looks to change this trend, basically being a hybrid tempo–self mill deck. The main goal is to aggressively mill ourselves with cards like Merfolk Secretkeeper and Tamiyo, Collector of Tales while staying alive with lifegain from Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath and Hydroid Krasis with Brazen Borrower bounce. Eventually, we'll empty our library and win with Thassa's Oracle, either by naturally drawing it or by getting it back from our graveyard with the help of Tamiyo, Collector of Tales. I'm a bit concerned about how we hold up against a big creature carrying an Embercleave, but otherwise, the deck should draw a lot of cards, gain a lot of life, and eventually win with a really hard-to-interact-with finisher!

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Counterburn is a really unique and fun archetype, and now thanks to Underworld Breach, the deck gains access to a sweet combo finish! The deck's goal is to almost exclusively play at instant speed, which allows us to counter our opponent's plays with Ionize if we need to. If we don't, we can throw some damage at our opponent's face with Slaying Fire, Shock, or Bonecrusher Giant or draw some cards with Radical Idea or Opt. As the game goes along, we'll naturally hit our land drops and fill our graveyard, and then we can play an Underworld Breach to shock our opponent's face a bunch of times for a pseudo-Storm combo kill! While the deck might be a bit light on main-deck counterspells and I'm not sold on Leyline of Combustion, it seems to have a pretty powerful plan. If you're a fan of tempo strategies and like the idea of burning your opponent out but like drawing cards too much to play Mono-Red, Counterburn seems like an interesting option for Theros: Beyond Death Standard.


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What's better than playing a few cards each turn with the help of Experimental Frenzy? Playing through all (or at least, most) of your deck in one turn with Experimental Frenzy. The goal of Experimental Land Frenzy is to stack up cards that let us make extra land drops in Dryad of the Ilysian Grove and Wayward Swordtooth and then stick an Experimental Frenzy. Normally, a Frenzy fizzles when you hit your second land on the top of your deck, but if we can play two, three, or more lands each turn, our odds of playing through a massive chunk of our deck (while ramping along the way) greatly increase. Eventually, we can use all of our extra lands to finish off our opponent with a huge Banefire or simply beat down with our motley crew of creatures!


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If you like value and tutors, then 4C Evoform seems like a really fun midrange deck for Pioneer. While I'm not sure how it will hold up to all of the fast combo decks running around in the format, the deck seems to have a higher power level and, thanks to Neoform and Eldritch Evolution, should be able to find whatever it needs for any situation. The main idea is to play random creatures, turn them into better creatures with the help of Neoform and Eldritch Evolution (taking advantage of enters-the-battlefield triggers along the way), and then eventually tutor up a Muldrotha, the Gravetide or The Scarab God to reuse all of the creatures that we sacrificed earlier in the game. The deck is stocked full of value, although as I mentioned before, I'm a bit skeptical that it can win fast enough (or be disruptive enough) to compete with Dimir Inverter or Lotus Breach, although that's true of most of the top-tier decks in Pioneer as well. 


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Technically, Clapdown Chicken isn't legal in any format, but in honor of the impending release of Unsanctioned (and because the deck features one of the most hilariously annoying combos possible), we're giving good old kitchen table Magic its due this week. The idea of Clapdown Chicken is to make an infinitely big Crackdown Construct (which grows whenever we activate an ability) and then use it to kill our opponent with one big attack. What abilities are we activating to grow our finisher? I'm glad you asked. If you're willing to do a bunch of clucking and flapping of your arms, Mesa Chicken can make Crackdown Construct infinitely big (well, technically not infinite because sooner or later, you'll get tired of flapping and clucking, but close enough). If clucking like a Chicken isn't your thing, you can also clap your way to a win with Urza's Contact Lenses. Technically, you only need to clap 36 times to make Crackdown Construct into a 20/20, which doesn't sound that bad, although if your opponent has chump blockers (and you don't draw your one Break Through the Line), you might have to do this turn after turn. And I thought clicking through combos on Magic Online was a lot of work...

Oh yeah, if you have a favorite deck built around an Un-set card, make sure to let me know. If we get enough submitted, maybe we'll do an all–silver border edition of The Fish Tank at some point in the future!


Anyway, that's all for today! If you have some ideas on how to improve these decks, make sure to leave them in the comments. And if you have a deck you'd like considered for the next edition of The Fish Tank (or the Fishbowl Thursday Instant Deck Tech), leave that as well! As always, you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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