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Five Decks You Can't Miss This Week


Another week, five more sweet decks. How have the results of Pro Tour Gatecrash affected your favorite formats? There's only one way to find out. Let's take a look at some decks:

Let's start with a Modern deck that I'm super excited about. This deck was featured by Carrie Oliver, and is built around the interaction between Bouncelands like Simic Growth Chamber and Amulet of Vigor. Here's her list:

Carrie does a great job of explaining the interactions the deck is built around, but don't be fooled into thinking that it's simple. The deck is very complex and difficult to play, but that just makes it more intriguing. Here's the gist of it. You want a turn one Amulet of Vigor. Follow that up with a Summer Bloom. When you play your Simic Growth Chamber, it untaps, you float mana, and then you bounce the Growth Chamber with its own ability. Rinse and repeat until you can cast a Primeval Titan, fetching Slayer's Stronghold and Boros Garrison. Haste up your titan and continue with manlands and Mosswort Bridge shenanigans.

The engine here is very powerful, if a little inconsistent. It's very easy to have a turn 3 or 4 where you end up with four Primeval Titans in play and with one or more Time Warps cast. One of the best parts of this article is that the deck's designer, Robert Wilbrand has been discussing the deck in the comments.

It is very likely that I'm going to assemble this and try to get some games in, but from my limited testing I have some quick thoughts for anyone looking to try this out. Eternal Witness is a great Summoner's Pact target, as is Azusa, Lost But Seeking. Mutavault gives you ten power with a Primeval Titan that has been hasted by Slayer's Stronghold. Avenger of Zendikar is another reasonable fatty that likes all of the land drops the deck makes.

Pro Tour Gatecrash showed us the face of a new Standard format, but the format is still in its infancy. There are all manner of angles left to be explored as the metagame develops.

One such angle is featured by this deck, built by surfacePymp for a Magic League event. Let's look at his take on Zombies that took down a Magic League event:

This list is doing a lot of things that I like. The interaction between Restoration Angel and Geralf's Messenger is a very powerful one, and one that matches up reasonably well against Thragtusk. Similarly, the Zombies shell is very good if the format is moving towards Supreme Verdict control decks.

I'm especially excited about the interaction between Blind Obedience and Gravecrawler. This gives you a way to grind out life advantages against other aggressive decks, and buys you a ton of time against Falkenrath Aristocrat and Thundermaw Hellkite.

I do sort of wish this deck had some number of Blood Artist to go with Cartel Aristocrat and Lingering Souls. You could likely even stretch for Falkenrath Aristocrat without too much trouble.

Next let's head over into Legacy. Online, the format seems to be dominated by unfair decks like Show and Tell. Any deck that's going to beat up on Show and Tell is going to have to have a ton of disruption backed by a very fast clock. Something a lot like brnakp's deck from a Legacy Daily Event

This deck seems like it should be very well positioned against the turn 2-3 combo decks of the format. You have a ton of hand disruption backed by a very quick clock in the form of Vampire Hexmage plus Dark Depths that closes the game out before your opponent can topdeck the combo piece they're missing. The best part? Your combo is incredibly redundant since Living Wish grabs either piece.

The issue for this deck in the paper metagame is that you're going to have a very tough time against a Swords to Plowshares deck or Wasteland deck. You have a chance of grinding people out with Dark Confidant and Liliana of the Veil, but realistically you can't beat a Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Ancestral Vision.

Our last deck for the week is another Modern deck, and one that reminds me of old Extended, and one of the first competitive decks I built after coming back to Magic. Let's look at Charlesjacenorman's take on Zoo:

The key interaction here is the one between Might of Alara and Boros Swiftblade, just like the old decks used Gaea's Might for the same role. A deck like this applies a blisteringly fast clock, with both Tribal Flames and Might of Alara functioning as five damage burn spells.

Experiment One is a card that looks a little out of place at first, but it' actually a pretty exciting innovation. Experiment One is effectively a Wild Nacatl for this deck, since the so many of your one drops are 2/3's. Sure you have to do a little bit of work to get full value, but at worst it's another two-power one drop.

I don't know if Rancor will realistically deal more damage than a Boros Charm or Lightning Helix since most decks will be going after your creatures anyway, but the card is certainly very good with Boros Swiftblade. If you really felt like going deep on that interaction, you can always add some Fencing Aces.

Last, we've got our fourth Commander deck featuring one of the new Gatecrash legends. This time we're taking a look at my favorite kind of deck: one that's been built around lands. Borborygmos Enraged is a very powerful card. It ought to be for eight mana. The cool thing is that there are all kinds of crazy interactions with Borborygmos that let you deal absurd amounts of damage in a very small window. Let's take a look at Jonathon Medina's take on Borborygmos Enraged

[Cardlist Title=Borborygmos Ramp - Commander| Jonathon Medina]

There are a lot of cool things going on here. The most important interactions are the ones that make sure you have plenty of lands to fuel Borborygmos: Life from the Loam plus assorted cycling lands, Creeping Renaissance, and Praetor's Counsel. These will all but kill entire tables if you get to untap with Borborygmos.

Jonathon also runs 52 lands, which is an absurd amount for most decks, but is exactly what this kind of deck wants to do. You want to hit your land drops all the way up to eight mana and then have some lands to throw around when you resolve Borborygmos. The sheer number of lands gives you plenty of space for awesome utility lands like Glacial Chasm and Petrified Field[/card]. Don't overlook how cute Gruul Turf is in conjunction with Borborygmos!

There are a few interactions that Jonathon has chosen not to run with that can be a pretty huge deal. Keen Sense and Snake Umbra do a pretty good impersonation of Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind plus Curiosity. Nim Deathmantle lets you turn Yavimaya Elder and Tilling Treefolk into damage engines. Just sacrifice Yavimaya Elder or throw a land at Tilling Treefolk, rebuy them with the Deathmantle and profit a few points of damage each time. Last, you can try sweep cards like Barrel Down Sokenzan to try to one-shot the table.

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