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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


With several large Grand Prix in our wake, we've got plenty of awesome decks shaking up all kinds of formats, new and old alike. Between Legacy in New Jersey, Modern in Madrid, and sweet Standard events the world over, we've got plenty to cover. This week we'll take a look at five decks from across Standard, Modern, Legacy, and Commander featuring all manner of crazy combos and ideas. Let's get started in Standard.

It wasn't that long ago that Jeskai Heroic Combo was the talk of the town, having taken down a large Standard event and flooded the Magic Online cues shortly thereafter. These days it's hardly anywhere to be found. Insteaad, you see the the spiritual successsor to the aggro-combo deck built by none other than Tom "The Boss" Ross himself. Let's take a look at Gerry Thompson's build of Tom's most recent Standard brew:

Aggressive starts, lots of card drawing, cheap disuption, and we've still got space for a Heliod's Pilgrim toolbox. What more could you want? Hero of Iroas and Ordeal of Thassa are the key pieces of this deck, with Hero of Iroas letting you chain together cantrip auras to fix your and and trigger your ordeals immediately, while Ordeal of Thassa gives you the ability to reload and dig into one mana protection spells like Gods Willing or Stubborn Denial to give yourself an extra attack step.

This deck has the ability to get there early by chaining Defiant Strike and Stratus Walk on heroic one drops, but Heliod's Pilgrim gives you the ability to go long by gaining more consistent access to Ordeal of Thassa as well as powerful singletons like Aqueous Form and Ordeal of Heliod. Not only that but you have access to some of the most efficient sideboard cards into the format, such as Treasure Cruise and Erase. Forget going wide. It's time to go big and show your opponents who the real hero is.

Of course, we can also go in the opposite direction and play something infinitely more controlling. We've seen a smattering of successful finishes from Dig Through Time control decks. Those decks are typically Blue-Black or Blue-White, for Despise and Hero's Downfall or End Hostilities and Banishing Light respectively. The problem with both builds is that the two-mana spot removal is inefficient and highly conditional. MANWITHPLANE251 has tried to solve that problem by playing Red instead.

This deck seems like a ton of fun. You have the same powerful Dig Through Time, Dissolve, Perilous Vault shell that lets control decks dominate the late game, but you've changed out your Last Breaths, Reprisals, and Hero's Downfalls for Lightning Strike and Magma Jet, both of which kill most of the creatures you care about in a timely fashion for a pretty easy mana cost.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this deck is the inclusion of three Steam Augury. This may not seem like a spectacular card most of the time, but it allows you to turbo out your delve spells while generally getting some kind of two-for-one at instant speed.

Not only that, but this deck is much more efficient at closing out games than previous iterations that either leaned heavily on Prognostic Sphinx or resorted to milling opponents out with Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. Instead, you get to crash in with Pearl Lake Ancient and throw burn spells at their face to end the game in just two or three hits.

People have said just about everything there is to say about Treasure Cruise in Modern. The ability to jam a bunch of cantrips, burn, and fetchlands and refuel with Treasure Cruise on the cheap in unbelievably powerful, and is the framework for several archetypes ranging from aggro to control to combo. This week GEREFFI shows us a build that's about as aggressive as you can get in a Treasure Cruise deck.

This is Burn with Treasure Cruise. You've got a one-drop triple threat with Goblin Guide, Monastery Swiftspear an Delver of Secrets all threatening to end a game before it really begins, particularly when backed by a furious flurry of Searing Blazes and Lightning Bolts. If games start to go long? Treasure Cruise lets you restock and close the game out with a fresh grip of burn.

Perhaps the most exciting thing to me is the combination of instant-speed burn and Countersquall out of the sideboard. This lets you play the Legacy Delver game of resolving a cheap threat against combo and just sitting back on burn spells and countermagic. This is an exciting take on the aggressive Blue-Red deck in Modern. I don't know if the additional aggression is worth cutting Young Pyromancer and all the interactive cards, but if games are just devolving into races, this is the side I want to be on.

Life from the Loam was a cheap Ancestral Recall before Treasure Cruise made it cool. There have been all kinds of awesome Loam decks in Legacy throughout the last few years, ranging from 40-ish lands and Dark Depths combo variations. This week WHITERKNIGHT has a new Loam deck that's custom built to fight through a field of Young Pyromancers and Stoneforge Mystics. Let's take a look:

Comining Life from the Loam, Intuition, and Punishing Fire plus Grove of the Burnwillows is nothing new. We've seen people doing that for several years now. The difference is the sheer variety of Intuition packages backed up by Counterbalance plus Sensei's Divining Top. Engineered Explosives is a very powerful effect in this metagame, sweeping away all the busted two-drops, Elves, and even True-Name Nemesis. Intuition can easily set up Punishing Fire or Engineered Explosives plus Academy Ruins as necessary to keep the board under control.

Once that's handled, you've got the full four Jaces and the CounterTop engine to take over the late game and lock your opponent out of anything meaningful. If they're willing to give you enough time, you can set up the Dark Depths/Thespian's Stage combo to end the game more efficiently as long as you don't get blown out by Swords to Plowshares or Vapor Snag.

New Commander product means new Legends. New Legends means exciting new Commander decks and strategies. This week we'll begin taking a look at what the new Commander 2014 Planeswalkers can do by running down Ski Gloves unique build of Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury. When your Commander is a planeswalker that can protect itself, why not jam your deck full of powerful Planeswalkers and the cards that enable them? This is Mono-Green Superfriends.

Freyalise's team of Garruk, Nissa, and Karn is backed by all the proliferation and artifact shenaningans Ski Gloves could find. Contagion Clasp and Contagion Engine power up your Planeswalkers while also giving your Lux Cannon more to do. Additional artifact-based removal like Unstable Obelisk plus Trading Post or even Glissa Sunseeker Liquimetal Coating. give you a way to protect yourself from problematic permanents as the game goes long.

That's assuming the game does go long. Realistically, you can bury your opponent in Planeswalker-fueled Elf shenanigans well before they can really set up and get their decks going. Even if they can get their feet underneath them, you've got all the token generation in the world to protect your Planeswalkers in combat so you can take over the game with powerful Ultimates and Emblems.

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