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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


We're heading into a couple of slow weekends for Magic leading into the preview season for Journey into Nyx, but that doesn't mean that people have stopped brewing up sweet lists. This week we've got a couple of decks from across all of Magic's competitive formats: a new take on Monsters in Standard; Hedron Crab in Modern; a pair of interesting takes on known decks in Legacy. Another week, five more decks you just can't miss.

A little bit of RG Monsters, a little bit of Kiora shenanigans, all kinds of awesome. RUG Monsters featuring Prime Speaker Zegana is a deck that has started to catch interest and show up in increasing numbers in both paper and online events. Sam Black's take on the archetype with a few techy tweaks.

This deck does a lot of powerful things. This shell is capable of generating obscene quantities of card advantage with combinations of Courser of Kruphix, Domri Rade, Chandra, Pyromaster, and Kiora, the Crashing Wave. Because of powerful haymakers like Zegana and Bident of Thassa, this deck is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the control decks of the format; something that it's straight Green-Red and Jund brethren cannot claim.

The exciting thing about this deck is that it's really capable of going over the top of the rest of the format. A good number of builds play maindeck copies of Sylvan Primordial to battle against Detention Sphere and Cyclonic Rift to defeat things like Elspeth, Sun's Champion. This archetype is only beginning to be explored, and there's plenty of room for innovation, fine-tuning, and min/maxing your way to a powerful metagame choice.

Remember when mill was a thing in Modern? Vertigo1123 does. Decks like this took off when Scapeshift surged in popularity after the unbanning of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, the idea being that you could mill away enough Mountains that your opponent just couldn't win the game. So why is now the time for this deck to make a comeback? Let's take a look:

When people are playing decks that rely on assembling specific combinations of cards, Splinter Twin and Pyromancer Ascension for example, playing a strategy that enables maindeck Surgical Extraction becomes way more powerful. Suddenly you can turn off huge swaths of opposing decks, all while applying a very reasonable clock with the combination of powerful mill effects and Shelldock Isle.

But what about fair decks, like Birthing Pod and Wild Nacatl decks? How exactly are they supposed to beat Crypt Incursion? You can easily gain upwards of thirty life off of this card as early as turn three or four. How are fair creature decks supposed to race your mill plan when you can dig into multiple copies of Crypt Incursion throughout a game?

The trick to this deck is finding the line to walk between disruption and proactive mill. You could shift the focus to be more focused on Thoughtseize, Snapcaster Mage, and Surgical Extraction and dismantling opposing strategies, or you can be more aggressive about the mill plan and just end the game. Which plan is better? It likely depends on how the metagame shifts from week to week. Is this deck good enough to compete? I don't know; but, with the decks I like to play, I know it's not one that I'd want to square up against.

This deck is one of the most exciting things I've seen in Legacy for awhile. John Kassari's Mono-Green 12 Post deck featuring Into the North is exactly the kind of deck I want to see doing well in Legacy. It's (relatively) budget friendly, does something very fun and powerful, and has a ton of play to it. How has Kassari changed up his take on 12 Post? Let's look:

This deck has a powerful, proactive gameplan that goes over the top of the bulk of the format. You've got a two-card combo that's easy to tutor up and can just steal games. All this lets you beat up on the fair decks all while playing maindeck copies of Karakas and Bojuka Bog to hate on the unfair decks of the format. Seems like a good place to be to me.

This deck is certainly a little soft to the faster combo decks of the format, but you'e got a sideboard that really enables you to buy a ton of time in those matchups. This is a deck that can pay for Elephant Grass for a billion turns in a row to protect itself against Sneak Attack while keeping up Karakas to protect against Show and Tell. You can shut down creature decks with the combination of Glacial Chasm and Glimmerposts to pay for the cumulative upkeep.

For a deck packed with giant, stupid monsters, this deck has a ton of flexibility and play to it, all while utilizing a powerful, uncounterable mana engine. Sure, you're vulnerable to Wasteland, but your opponents can only play four copies and you've got maindeck Pithing Needle.

Is this deck going to be a one-of, or will it become a real player in the Legacy metagame? I don't know about you, but I'm certainly hoping to see more Cloudposts in the near future.

We're all familiar with the most recent take on Sensei's Divining Top plus Counterbalance control decks in Legacy. Terminus and Entreat the Angels combo with Sensei's Divining Top and Brainstorm to form the backbone of the Miracles control deck that as put up consistent results in Legacy events since Avacyn Restored first hit print. Adam Ruprecht recently posted a strong finish with a new tweak on the archetype featuring a few interesting tricks:

In many ways, this looks like a typical Miracles deck. Counterbalance. Top. Generic Blue tricks. The thing is, there is quite a bit of innovation going on here. Ruprecht has added the Stoneforge Mystic package to give him more game against the aggressive decks of the format. He's also added Thopter Foundry plus Sword of the Meek to gain an advantage against decks that can try to grind you out of games.

Not only that, but Ruprecht has also found space for an Enlightened Tutor toolbox spread out between the maindeck and sideboard. How are Delver of Secrets decks supposed to defeat Blood Moon? How about Elves! and Show and Tell beating Humility? This card gives a ton of play to many of the important matchups, and gives you the ability to consistently leverage the power of your singletons in the match-ups they shine in.

When you sit down to play a game of Commander again Melek, Izzet Paragon, what are you expcting to play against? Maybe you're hoping not to see Time Warps chained off the top. Maybe you're afraid it'll just be an endless chain of cantrips and Cryptic Commands. Not if you're playing against JJackson. If you sit down to play with JJackson, you're more likely to see Titan's Strength than Time Warp. Let's dig in:

[Cardlist title=Melek Aggro - Commander | JJackson]

  • Evasion (0)
  • Pump Spells (0)
  • Go Big (0)
  • Utility (0)
  • Mana Rocks (0)
  • Card Advantage (0)
  • Rituals (0)
  • Anti Fog (0)

We've got something awesome brewing here. If you were to ask what the one thing I was not expecting out of a Melek deck, it's Izzet Blitz. How many games can Melek steal just by hitting Reckless Charge into Brute Force? With those two spells off the top, you're already looking at fourteen points of damage. A couple of shuffle effects, cantrips, and spells from your hand and one of your opponents is just dead.

Sure, it might be a little glass-cannon-y, but the shell is certainly powerful. We've seen cards like Leering Emblem and Runechanter's Pike used in decks like this to suddenly shift from control to aggro. There's no reason that this deck couldn't use similar effects to give its beatdowns some longevity instead of the burst that leaves one or two players dead and the Melek player out of gas.

Even so, I really like this idea. I love decks that attack from unexpected angles and this certainly qualifies. Maybe going all-in on the aggro plan isn't ideal, but I'd rather see this deck being more aggressive rather than erring on the side of control and starting to blend in to all the other generic Melek decks out there. This is one deck I wish I could have the chance to really see in action, and I'm excited to see where JJackson takes the deck next.

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