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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


New Commander products and metagame evolutions are the stories of the week. We'll start off with four interesting takes on your favorite constructed formats - Ferocious and Yisan in Standard, Timber Protector in Modern, and Gamble in Legacy. Then we'll continue our exploration of the new Planeswalker Commanders with an in-depth look at Daretti, Scrap Savant. Let's get started!

Green-Red Monsters was the talk of the town last Standard season, but in this new format it's mostly evolved into Abzan and Temur if you're looking for giant green fatties. But AWESOME7574 has a different take on aggressive Green creatures. How does high power on resilient bodies backed by the best reach in the format sound? It's certainly got my attention.

Take Temur Monsters. Cut Savage Knuckleblade, Temur Charm, and Stubborn Denial, throw some Boon Satyrs and Fanatic of Xenagos into the mix, and you've basically got this deck. The idea is fundamentally the same. The difference is that your threats are slightly less powerful, but your mana is way better. No Frontier Bivouac or Blue temples coming into play tapped. No Yavimaya Coast and Shivan Reef losing you races. The number of basics mean you've got a much better chance of just curving out on your opponents.

While I'm not an enormous fan of Fanatic of Xenagos, I love the plan of enormous creatures plus Crater's Claws. This burn spell gives you all kinds of crazy reach against both creatures and players and leads to some incredible turns. The card is effectively the Murderous Cut of your deck; reasonable at full price, but if you're deck is doing what it's meant to, you're going to get a good rate on it. The upside is that Murderous Cut can't destroy a target player, while Crater's Claw can.

We knew that something degenerate was possible with Yisan, the Wanderer Bard. Pseudo-Birthing Pod on a Creature has to be good, right? The problem was that the previous format was dominated by a mono-removal midrange deck that could just kill you with Pack Rat. Now Yisan is free to take over games the way we always wanted him to, and CORNSWALLOW may just have found a great shell for him to fit into.

Here it is. A pretty typical Green-Blue devotion-based ramp deck. The difference is that we've cut out most the See the Unwrittens and Chord of Callings in favor of a Yisan engine of untap effects and powerful singletons. This gives you another mechanism besides Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx of getting games out of hand and burying your opponent in Green monsters.

If everything goes according to plan, Yisan can get a combination of Kiora's Follower and Prophet of Kruphix so you can get extra activations and quickly work your way up to Hornet Queen territory.

The big difference between this deck and other Green-based devotion strategies is the consistency that Yisan gives you. Sure, sometimes he'll just eat a Lightning Strike. In other games, you won't need to do anything besides activate him two or three times to put the game completely out of reach. You're just a little less at the mercy of the top of your deck when you have such a powerful engine at your disposal.

We've seen a couple of Tribal decks do reasonably well in Modern. Merfolk and Faeries are both okay. Goblins cropped up for awhile there. Vendilion Clique and Snapcaster Mage count as Wizard tribal, right? What about Treefolk? Not Doran the Siege Tower. Actual Treefolk Harbinger for Dungrove Elder, follow up with Timber Protector. Intrigued? CORBIN24's list certainly has me interested:

This is a deck that suffers a lot from the banning of Green Sun's Zenith, but it's still really interesting. You've got four enormous monsters in Dauntless Dourbark and Dungrove Elder, backed by removal in Ulvenwald Tracker and lifegain in Basilisk Collar. There are already a reasonable number of decks in Modern that can't beat Dungrove Elder with either a Basilisk Collar or Ulvenwald Tracker.

But why stop there? Leaf-Crowned Elder plus Treefolk Harbinger are a pretty sweet combo, and even on their own they give you a little more consistency. Leaf-Crowned Elder even gives you the ability to scry away cards you don't like by using fetchlands after you've peeked on your upkeep.

It's possible that this is a deck that wants some number of Swords of Protection and Value over Basilisk Collar or Elvish Mystic over Sakura-Tribe Elder. Finding the right balance of these kinds of effects is delicate, since you do want the lifegain and deathtouch of Collar and the extra forests that Sakura-Tribe Elder provides, but the additional power and velocity of these other effects could certainly make a difference in a format as robust as Modern.

Delve spells are the talk of the town in Legacy and have been since the first even post-Khans of Tarkir. So imagine my surprise when we saw quite a bit of dredge action this past weekend. Not combo dredge; prison dredge. Life from the Loam has made a triumphant return to the Legacy format, and I couldn't be happier to see a new incarnation of Lands get its moment in the sun in the hands of David Long:

No Intuition. No Creeping Tar Pit. No Mindslaver, Zuran Orb, or other cute nonsense. This deck custom built to hate on the current Legacy format. You've got Punishing Fire to crush Young Pyromancer and Stoneforge Mystic decks. Loam plus Wasteland and even Ghost Quarter to keep control decks from getting in the game. You can even Thespian's Stage your Rishadan Ports to go even deeper on mana denial.

Eventually, you'll dredge your way into a Dark Depths to combo kill your opponent, but with this kind of engine, you can take your sweet time setting it up. This deck can have a little trouble against the Counterbalance plus Sensei's Divining Top combination, but beyond that just doesn't care about what most of the format is trying to do. Consequently, you get to bury them in uncounterable spell-lands and relish your victory for many, many turns while you set up your kill.

Artifact shenanigans abound in the new Commander 2014 product. Both Nahiri and Daretti are heavily artifact-based, but push you in very different directions. While Nahiri is more aggressive, Daretti wants to go big. Enormous artifacts, powerful synergies, and lots of combotastic potential. We may be just scratching the surface, but Nerve2004 is certainly on the right track:

There's no end to the possibilities when it comes to Daretti. Cheating in enormous monsters? Sure. Grinding people out with Wellsprings and Chromatic Star? Sure. There's got to be a way you can combo off with Ugin's Nexus, right? The potential is limitless, and I can't wait to see what comes of it.

Nerve2004 has a great place to start. Powerful artifact creaturs like Steel Hellkite and Myr Battlesphere are the base of your deck. Cheat these guys into play early and often to maintain a powerful board presence and protect Daretti.

Value artifacts are the second level. Krark-Clan Ironworks is an absurd engine here, with Trading Post just behind. The cards I'm most excited about are the Ichor Wellspring effects and Myr Retrievers, because they really let you start going off and grinding out value. Sacrifice these to put in a monster, net a card. Seems good. Once you've stalled your way up to a Daretti Emblem, they get out of hand real fast, letting you tear through your deck for your most absurd win conditions.

The thing that makes me the giddiest about this deck is the possibilities that Shimmer Myr opens up. I've never seen this guy either side of a Commander table, but glancing down this list, the possibilities are absolutely awesome. Flash in Wurmcoil Engine to block, Nevinyrral's Disk for the surprise Wrath on your turn, or Ugin's Nexus to take an extra turn in the middle of a turn cycle. There's lots of cute tricks that I can't wait to see in action.

This is only the first month we've had to play with Daretti, and I already can't wait to see what else he's got in store.

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