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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


Magic 2014 is about to shake things up, but we've got one more week before everything changes. Let's take a look at some of the awesome decks people have built this week.

At the beginning of the format, Zombies was the defining aggressive deck. Geralf's Messenger was a card that you had to be prepared to beat if you were going to compete in Standard. Since then, creature decks have started going bigger, and Gravecrawler and Geralf's Messenger just haven't kept up with Boros Reckoner and Voice of Resurgence. Halfie44 has a new take on Zombies that just might be what the deck needs to compete in this Standard format:

The big interaction here is Geralf's Messenger and Thrull Parasite. This lets you jam your Geralf's Messenger into Thragtusks and Huntmasters over and over and just grind through them, all while draining your opponent out. You can even add Cartel Aristocrat and Blood Artist to the mix and give yourself an absurd amount of reach.

The rest of your creatures are a little underwhelming; Diregraf Ghoul and Gravecrawler are not especially impressive when Voice of Resurgence is dominating the format. By playing only two colors, this deck gives up a lot of the power of the three-color decks. In exchange you get a lot of consistency, and can crush people when the stumble on mana.

We've seen a lot of variations on Control in this format. Bant, Esper, Blue-White-Red, Grixis. Even Junk is a control deck of sorts. So what happens when we explore what BUG looks like as a control deck in this format? Let's take a look at Nuchliehr's build featuring Progenitor Mimic:

The big things that you lose when you're playing this color combination over other control decks are Sphinx's Revelation and Pillar of Flame. What's the tradeoff? You get to play Far//Away in the same deck as Thragtusk and Farseek. You have an awesome suite of removal against everything besides Voice of Resurgence, powerful Planeswalkers[/card], and creatures that swing the game on their own.

Progenitor Mimic is one of the more interesting cards in this deck. It's there to copy Thragtusk so that you can grind out most decks in the format. But There aren't really any other interactions with the Mimic built into this deck. Things like Angel of Serenity out of Bant or Acidic Slime would help to make sure Mimic is never blank.

At the Player's Championship last summer, Shouta Yasooka dominated the Modern portion of the event with his Eternal Command deck. Despite his impressive performance, the deck never really caught on, either because the deck was built to beat a specific subset of decks or because it is very difficult to play. The_Great_Dustini, however, is someone who has played the deck to great success online. Let's take a look at his most recent take on Shouta's deck:

The core of the deck is still here. Aether Vial, Cryptic Command, and Eternal Witness let you create a soft lock by countering a spell and bouncing your Eternal Witness. The big change to this deck is that The_Great_Dustini has cut the Thirst for Knowledges that Shouta used to get rid of excess copies of Aether Vial for Vendilion Cliques. He's also cut the Remands and Mana Leaks for Electrolyze and Tarmogoyf.

Modern is not a format where you can sit back on inevitability anymore. There are tons of combo decks that can kill you out of nowhere, Aggro decks that can kill you just as fast, and Sphinx's Revelation decks that can turn the game with just one spell. You have to be able to interact early and often, and close games out once you've given yourself some breathing room. The_Great_Dustini has cut a lot of the pure card advantage for more tempo plays and efficient creatures.

Legacy is a powerful format with any number of combo decks that you can play. If you decide to play Storm, Bryant Cook is someone that you want to listen to. He's been playing storm in Legacy almost exclusively since 2006. In his article this week, Bryant shares his most recent list that he took to the Top 8 of a StarCityGames Open and discusses the benefits of his five-color Storm deck over more conservative Ad Nauseam decks:

The engine of this deck is basically the same. Rituals and Lion's Eye Diamond into Infernal Tutor and Ad Nauseam. The difference is that you get to play all of the best hate cards and anti-hate cards, rather than being constricted by color requirements. You have fewer Thoughtseize effects, but that's fine because you have access to Silence, which is better against counterspell decks.

Bryant has a very modest Burning Wish sidebaord with just six targets outside of Cabal Therapy. That leaves you plenty of space for sideboard hate like Xantid Swarm and Abrupt Decay. While other decks have to struggle to make their Fetch-Dual manabase stretch far enough to play Xantid Swarm, your five-color lands make it pretty easy, and your extra Chrome Moxes make your Ad Nauseams better than other Storm decks.

Dralnu Du Louvre is one of the decks that really changed the way that I thought about deckbuiling. As such, it's only reasonable that I'd have a thing for Dralnu, Lich Lord long after the card rotated. Dralnu never saw much play in Constructed formats, but that's largely because most 60-card formats have an aggressive red deck or decks with damage-based removal which just destroy you. If there were ever to be a format where Dralnu's drawback was minimized, it's going to be Commander, where Red is usually a support color or combat-focused and there is generally very little burn being played. Let's take a look at Jonathon Lui's take on Dralnu from a year ago, posted on his blog

Dralnu Control - Commander | Johnathan Lui

This deck is a great example of how to build a spell-based control deck for Commander. You're playing most of the powerful card advantage engines and counterspells, and a suite of versatile removal. Cards like Forbid and Spell Burst don't interact quite as well with Dralnu, but things like Scattering Stroke become way better when you can give them flashback.

This deck is a little more aggressive than I like my control decks to be, but there's nothing wrong with just controlling the game until you can start casting and cloning Grave Titan and whatnot. Alternatively, you could tweak the deck so that you have a little more removal and grind games out with Dralnu more. You could add some Diabolic Edict and hard counterspells like Cryptic Command, and build your manabase to include cards like Nephalia Drownyard and Minamo, School at Water's Edge. You could even build the deck to be even more draw-go with Winding Canyons.

Another direction you could go is to use Thoughtscour and Mental Note effects to stock your graveyard for Dralnu and use something like Runechanter's Pike to turn the corner more quickly and close games out.

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