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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


Another week, five more decks from across your favorite formats featuring a plethora of powerful interactions and combinations that may have been off your radar. From Hornet Nest in Standard to Kalonian Hydra in Legacy, we've got something new and exciting for your favorite format.

Forget Nykthos. Caleb Durward has found another way to go big with Green in Standard. Rhinos, Mantises, and Goblins alike fall before the might of the...bees? Caleb's latest brew took him to the Top 4 of the TCGplayer Championship. If you want to play a Chord of Calling toolbox deck and demolish your opponents with bees, this may just be the deck for you.

The deck begins with the best mana creatures in Standard. Courser of Kruphix, Elvish Mystic, and Sylvan Caryatid. These let you ramp into your powerful threats like Xenagos and Stormbreath Dragon to fight through the sea of Siege Rhinos and Mantis Riders. That's the backbone of the deck, but it isn't your primary gameplan.

This deck is built around Hornet Nest, Chord of Calling, and Setessan Tactics. If people are trying to get in with Polukranos and other big, dumb creatures, the Hornet Nest is a card they just can't beat. Your opponent's Goblin Rabblemaster tokens will have to keep crashing in or they'll have to point a Lightning Strike at the next to get it out of the way. In either case, you're getting a pile of Hornets that can trade with your opponents creatures or power out your Chord of Callings.

The worst case is that your opponent just sits back and tries to set up a turn where they can one-shot you. In those games, you've got Setessan Tactics to break open the stalemate and force your opponent to kick over your Hornet Nest. This deck is an exciting combination of cool cards and Chord of Calling toolbox shenanigans, and I cant wait to see what comes of it in the coming weeks.

Modern is going through an upheaval in the wake of Treasure Cruise. Delver of Secrets and Goblin Guide strategies have become the defining decks of the metagame. When you can play four copies of Ancestral Recall and draw upwards of two Lightning Bolts, it turns out it's pretty easy to just get your opponent dead. Sam Black is starting to explore more midrangey options to solve the unique set of problems posed by Jeskai Ascendancy and Treasure Cruise. Here's his first take:

Four copies of Auriok Champion and Kor Firewalker in the maindeck? Sam really doesn't want to lose to Lightning Bolt strategies. Not only do all of his creatures gain life, they also have protection from red, so that they can block Goblin Guide and Monastery Swiftspear indefinitely. These hatebears backed by efficient removal and powerful card draw should be enough to power you through the aggressive Red decks, even with their Treasure Cruises.

With Cruises of your own to reload and powerful hate against both Burn and Splinter Twin, this seems like a strong shell for an aggro control deck that goes just enough bigger to dominate the other Treasure Cruise aggro decks. Thought Scours give you a way to turbocharge your delve spells against other Treasure Cruise decks and your spells are just enough bigger to help take over the game once both players have started Cruising.

While most players are playing lots of cheap, aggressive effects to power their delve spells, Andrew Cuneo has gone in the opposite direction. As he is wont to do, Cuneo has built yet another spectacularly durdley, do-nothing control deck that pulls out all the stops to cast Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise on the cheap while countering and wrathing you into oblivion. Let's take a look:

Cuneo has managed to combine both win condition and engine in one card: Mesmeric Orb. Orb not only powers up your Treasure Cruises and Dig Through Times, but also slowly kills your opponent. You can delve away your lands, creatures, and useless answers to power through your deck and slowly recycle the more useful counterspells and delve spells until your opponent is dead.

The traditional Cuneo win condition is present here. Elixir of Immortality[/card[ plus [card]Memory's Journey give you a way to defeat opponents who try to play around Mesmeric Orb by not casting spells. You can ensure that you can recycle your deck enough to force them to deck out before you run out of action. And if that seems a little slow, you can just recycle your Celestial Colonnades until you can beat your opponent to death.

If you're tired of your control deck getting buried under Treasure Cruise, this is a great way to battle back against the delve menace with powerful eight-drops of your own. They'll have plenty of time to think about it while you mill them out with Elixir of Immortality.

Chalice of the Void for one on the play. Many a deck prison or aggro deck has been built to accomplish this in Legacy, effectively locking many of the Delver of Secrets and Brainstorm decks out of the game before it's even started. Angel Stompy, Dragon Stompy, even Faerie Stompy have all had their days in the sun. But we've never seen anything quite like this before:

Four. Choke. Maindeck. How hateful can you get? In a format that's becoming increasing defined by land-light Treasure Cruise decks, people are making less space for random lands like Glacial Fortress and Mystic Gate to fight off effects like Choke. If you can Ancient Tomb plus Chrome Mox your way into a turn one or two Choke, the game could just end on the spot.

But that's not where the spice ends. Most Ancient Tomb stompy decks have trouble finding threats to cast with all their colorless mana. This forces them to resort to thins like Rakdos Pit Dragon or Exalted Angel. This deck doesn't have that problem because of Green Sun's Zenith. This means that you get four copies of all the best threats you could ask for, all for primarily colorless mana. On top of that, the one Dryad Arbor means you have more consistent fast mana than most other Chalice of the Void decks.

You even get to play a toolbox! And what a toolbox it is. Reclamation Sage? Thragtusk? Kalonian Hydra?! These may look a little strange, but how many Legacy decks are set up to beat a Thragtusk if it resolves? And what puts up a faster clock than Kalonian Hydra? This deck is an awesome collection of old favorites and new superstars, and I'm excited to see if this kind of dedicated hate can shut Treasure Cruise out of the format.

In a week we'll get the new Commander 2014 decks to play with, but in the meantime we've got another week of Khans of Tarkir goodness to take a look at. Khans brought the return of the morph mechanic, one that is woefully underplayed in Commander. The only commonly played morphs are the Willbenders, Vesuvan Shapeshifters, and Brine Elementals of the world. Rhakee has set out to change that with this sweet take on Ixidor, Reality Sculptor:

[Cardlist title= Ixidor, Crafter of Dreams - Commander | rhakee]

Rhakee is bringing the morph guessing game to Commander in a big way, and I couldn't be more excited about it. Suddenly, you have no idea if the creature you're brawling into is a Voidmage Apprentice or random utility creature or just a fatty like Quicksilver Dragon. Combat might go poorly for you if you attack, but casting removal spells could go even worse. All the while you're getting beaten down by undercosted Hill Giants courtesy of Ixidor.

The problem with Ixidor has always been that morph effects are one-shot. Once you flip them up the guessing game is over. Rhakee has solved that problem by adding ways to bounce his creatures. Now your opponents have to track which morphs they've seen throughout the game and guess which ones you've replayed on a given turn.

Rhakee's deck is a fun, aggressive, and tricky take on a Commander that very few people play in Commander. It's a deck I'm excited to see and that I'd love to see more of. Morph is a mechanic that forces people to think and play differently than normal, and I'd love to see it start breaking out on my Commander tables.

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