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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


Another week, five more awesome decks from across the full spectrum of Magic. We'll start in Standard with an interesting take on midrange built by the king of all things Jund, Reid Duke. Then we'll head into Modern to look at a deck from Pro Tour Born of the Gods that's beginning to become more popular. We've got two Legacy decks this week, featuring Vengevine, Bloodghast, and all manner of graveyard shenanigans. Last, we've got a Commander deck that prominently features my favorite type of card in Magic: Lands.

With Esper control and midrangey Polukranos decks taking over the format, it seems like it's about time for someone to step into the "bigger midrange" space in the metagame. Who better to do that than Reid Duke himself? Reid has been a proponent of Jund and other attrition-based midrange decks in all formats, so it's certainly exciting to see his take on the archetype in Standard.

This deck seems awesome. It has all of the tools you'd want a midrangey deck to have access to in this metagame. You've got powerful creatures, removal, and hand disruption that form the backbone of your strategy. That's all backed up by powerful haymakers like Rakdos's Return and Primeval Bounty to take over the game once you've stripped your opponents hand of relevant threats and ground out their board presenc with your removal and large creatures.

What's most exciting is that this is a deck that has no fear of Detention Sphere. With both Vraska and Golgari Charm in the maindeck, you can fight through some number of detention spheres every game, especially with Chandra, Pyromaster to help you dig into your utility cards.

This deck may just be the perfect mix of card advantage, disruption, and beefy haymaykers to carve out a space for itself in the Standard metagame.

Players everywhere had very visceral reactions to Bitterblossom being unbanned. Joy. Despair. Begrudging acknowledgment. But then Faeries did absolutely nothing at Pro Tour Born of the Gods. Instead, there was another deck that put up respectable finishes with the Triba Faerie Enchantment: Mono-Black The Rack. What does this deck look like after the Pro Tour? Let's take a look at Vizier's list:

This deck seems spectacular in a metagame where people are trying to stitch together particular combinations of cards. Splinter Twin, Pyromancer Ascension, and Ad Nauseam are all reasonable portions of the field. Other decks like UWR and Blue Moon are also trying to sculpt powerful hands for the lategame. Against decks like that, you just tear their hand to shreds and stick powerful disruptive elements like Liliana of the Veil and Ensnaring Bridge.

From there, you can end the game in short order with Shrieking Affliction and The Rack or by slowly beating down with Bitterblossom tokens. You'll get to attack when you draw one card for the turn, but your opponent won't as long as you play your last card.

It's been awhile since we've seen a fresh take on the Lingering Souls, Cabal Therapy, Goblin Bombardment mash-up that Sam Black took to several good finishes at high level events in 2013. The deck is built around the ability to generate incremental value and damage by accruing tokens and putting them to work. The deck makes great use of cards that generally see very limited play in a format as powerful as Legacy, like Blood Artist and Gravecrawler. How has that deck evolved in recent months? Let's look at what Caesar1994 has done with the concept:

Young Pyromancer is right at home in this shell, and gives you a reason to move away from Gravecrawler and similarly niche and underpowered cards. Instead, you get to turn disruption and removal into board presence, which lends itself to your Goblin Bombardment endgame.

The most exciting thing about this shift to Young Pyromancer is that the deck is no longer as dependent on the graveyard and not as vulnerable to Deathrite Shaman. Before, you'd be hard-pressed to defeat a turn one Deathrite Shaman, since it could eat away at your graveyard almost as fast as you could stock it with powerful cards that wanted to be there. Now you have alternative routes besides hoping to have Lightning Bolt.

The real question for this deck is how well it can interact with True-Name Nemesis. If this deck can piece together a plan that lets it consistently fight through the dynamic duo of True-Name Nemesis and Umezawa's Jitte, then it may make a resurgence in coming weeks. It certainly has the disruption to fight through the combo portion of the metagame. The question is whether it can race the Deathrite Shaman and Stoneforge Mystic archetypes.

There was once a time when people wanted Vengevine banned in Legacy. Survival of the Fittest was the card that eventually got the banhammer, but for several months the metagame was defined by how quickly you could use Survival of the Fittest to vomit Vengevines into play. Unforunately, the card hasn't really found a home elsewhere. It sees limited play in Modern and hasn't really found another home in Legacy. Drew Levin is trying to change that with this fresh take on Vengevine featuring Fauna Shaman doing her best impersonation of Survival o the Fittest.

This deck has a lot of angles that it can attack from, which may make it a reasonable direction to go in for the current format. You've got an attrition plan of just grinding your opponent out with Deathrite Shaman and Dark Confidant, an aggressive plan of using Fauna Shaman to put Vengvines in the graveyard and put them into play using Basking Rootwalla. Finally, you've got a combo plan involving Necrotic Ooze, Phyrexian Devourer, and Triskelion.

The engines of this deck are tied together by the combination of Fauna Shaman and Buried Alive. These can both either set up a big Vengevines or find the pieces of your creature-based combo kill. These plans give you multiple angles to attack the game from, and your disruption buys you plenty of time to assemble a and execute a plan.

This isn't the kind of deck that's going to take Legacy by storm, but it's definitely exciting to see Vengevine getting some attention again after such a long time.

Are you ready to go big? Andrew Magrini doesn't mess around when he builds around themes. This Damia, Sage of Stone deck is built around Lands and landfall, and it does a number of incredibly powerful things that lead to surprising combos and an overwhelming end game. Let's take a look at what Andrew has done with this deck:

The premise is simple. Put a ton of lands into play and start casting powerful spells. The more powerful the lands you're playing are, the less you mind playing a ton of them. Andrew is playing all of the powerful utility lands that he can find so that he can reap all of the advantages of playing a ton of lands without really feeling like he's flooding out.

Sure, the deck has a giant pile of ramp spells and some powerful cards you'll find in many goodstuff Commander decks, but this is certainly no generic BUG control deck. It's the little interactions that make this exciting. Things like Treasure Hunt plus Scroll Rack, using Tolaria West to tutor up Pact of Negation, and comboing Manabond with Meloku the Clouded Mirror are the things that really make this deck fun and unique.

My favorite thing about this deck is that the concept is infinitely customizable. When you play as much ramp and card manipulation as Andrew does, you can make cards like Doomsday do just about anything. You could combo off with either Shelldock Isle and Mind's Desire or Unearth and Laboratory Maniac. You could set up infinite recursion of uncounterable creatures and spells using Elixir of Immortality and Blue Sun's Zenith. You could just cast a bunch of pacts with Hivemind in play.

This is exactly the style of deck that I like to see: strong theme, powerful interactions, and infinite variation. I'm excited to see where Andrew takes this deck in the future!

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