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The Fish Tank: Theros: Beyond Death Edition (Jan. 13-20, 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 marks our first Fish Tank since the release of the full Theros: Beyond Death spoiler, which means we've got a ton of decks featuring cards from Magic's newest set! Let's take a peek at some sweet viewer-submitted brews! 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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Enigmatic Incarnation is a card that is overflowing with potential, but the potential seems difficult to harness since it requires a specific mixture of creatures to tutor up and enchantments to sacrifice. Hazoret, the Pervert offers a really interesting way to take advantage of the enchantment, with a deck overflowing with 14 Leylines. The idea is that we should be able to put a couple into play for free, ramp into Enigmatic Incarnation with Paradise Druid and Leafkin Druid, and then start tutoring up a powerful five-drop every turn, including a bunch of different Cavaliers, Yarok, the Desecrated to double their value, Gray Merchant of Asphodel for some draining and lifegain, and Massacre Girl to sweep the board. While the deck looks powerful when everything comes together, my main concern is what happens in games when we don't draw Enigmatic Incarnation. It seems like we might be left with a slow deck full of hard-to-cast five-drops, although the games where we do have Enigmatic Incarnation and it sits on the battlefield for a few turns should be super fun!

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Rampage of the Clans is a card that offers a lot of power and toughness but only if we can flood the board with enchantments to turn into 3/3s. Thankfully, as Pollux realized, Theros: Beyond Death has brought with it the perfect cycle of enchantments to power up Rampage of the Clans in the Omen cycle. Cards like Omen of the Forge, Omen of the Sea, and Omen of the Hunt essentially work like spells, except they leave an enchantment behind on the battlefield. This allows us to play a weird style of control game before eventually casting Rampage of the Clans at the end of our opponent's turn to (hopefully) make a lethal board of 3/3 Centaurs! Does building around Rampage of the Clans make this build better than more traditional Wilderness Reclamation decks? That remains to be seen, but it certainly is more spicy and fun!

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Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded is one of the most exciting of the new Gods from Theros: Beyond Death, potentially offering an easy one-shot kill if we can untap with it! The deck's goal is to stay alive in the early game with removal like Shock, Lava Coil, and Flame Sweep; stick a Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded; and then put a hasty Drakuseth, Maw of Flames and Terror of Mount Velus into play, which add up to as least 24 damage in the air, along with Drakuseth, Maw of Flames' attack trigger to clear blockers out of the way! Ilharg, the Raze-Boar gives us a backup Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded, which can be a one-shot kill by itself if it puts a Terror of Mount Velus into play, while Irencrag Feat potentially allows us to hard cast our big Dragons. The bigger concern I have for the deck is consistency. When everything goes right, it should be extremely explosive and powerful, but without any card draw or filtering, one risk is that we'll get a lot of hands that are overloaded with expensive finishers but no ways to put them into play. Adding a second color for some card draw could be an option, while Thrill of Possibility could be a worthy addition to Mono-Red. Another interesting plan is to build a sort of hybrid Sneak and Show reanimator deck, which becomes even more practical once we add cards like Thrill of Possibility! Regardless, Standard Sneak and Show seems like it should be able to get some incredibly fast and explosive kills, which is impressive for a deck that only costs $78 in paper!


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In Pioneer, Collected Company is most often used as a value card, hopefully adding six mana worth of creatures to the battlefield for just four mana. However, Halfwing is taking their Collected Company deck a different direction by adding an infinite mana combo to the mix. The deck's main goal is to assemble the combo of Faeburrow Elder, Gauntlets of Light, and Biomancer's Familiar on the battlefield at the same time, which allows us to tap and untap (for just one mana, thanks to Biomancer's Familiar) Faeburrow Elder to make infinite mana. In a weird way, Collected Company can find all of our combo pieces, directly hitting Faeburrow Elder and Biomancer's Familiar as well as Heliod's Pilgrim, which in turn finds Gauntlets of Light. After we have infinite mana, we can win in a few ways, including drawing our entire deck with Gadwick, the Wizened and then playing Thassa's Oracle or making an infinite number of hasty Cogwork Assemblers. While the deck can win without the combo, it does play a lot of creatures that are mostly good if we are going infinite, which means it will likely be worse than more traditional Bant Company decks when it comes to the beatdown plan. But having an infinite combo build into the deck offers a lot of surprise value, as opponents are probably not going to expect your Bant Company deck to suddenly make infinite mana and win out of nowhere without attacking.

One possibility for improving the deck would be to add more direct tutors. Collected Company is great, but it doesn't guarantee that we'll hit whatever combo piece we happen to be missing. Cards like Chord of Calling or even Eldritch Evolution could help increase the combo's consistency, although figuring out what to cut is a bit tricky, especially since we need to keep our creature count as high as possible to make Collected Company work.

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People are excited for the possibility of Heliod, Sun-Crowned and Walking Ballista going infinite in Pioneer. The challenge is finding the right shell to support the combo. Andreas Kristiansen offers an interesting plan, with the backup combo of Woodland Champion and Animation Module, which doesn't go infinite but does make a token for each mana you have available (which can be a lot, thanks to Nyxbloom Ancient and Nissa, Who Shakes the World) while also growing Woodland Champion into a massive threat. Add Ajani's Welcome into the mix alongside Heliod, Sun-Crowned, and we can double our growth as every token will gain us a life and trigger Heliod, Sun-Crowned to put a +1/+1 counter on something. While some of the choices in the deck are a bit odd (Smothering Tithe specifically seems out of place since we don't have any ways to force our opponent to draw cards, making more copies of Nissa, Who Shakes the World seem better as ramp, and I'm not sure Shapers' Sanctuary is enough protection to be in the main deck), the deck's plan is unique and synergistic, and seems to have some potential.


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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