Modern season is over. The most recent American Grand Prix was modern and was won by Birthing Pod. The pilot of the deck, Sam Pardee, had previously taken the deck to a second place finish at Grand Prix Toronto last December. He plays the deck, and he plays it well! Melira Pod is not really my style of deck. True I like doing flashy things like gaining huge amounts of life, or dealing lethal damage via combo, this deck to me, is just boring. And this comes from a player who enjoys decks that feature Splinter Twin, Past in Flames and Hive Mind. You see, I stopped paying attention to Modern whenever WotC banned Seething Song. I guess you could say I was seething that they banned my favorite archetype in the format, but the best in the world, Jon Finkel played UR Storm to a top sixteen finish at the very same Grand Prix that Pardee won.
I'm no Finkel.
Playing UR Storm now gives me a headache. Math is hard and I always end up a few mana short because I lacked the counters on Pyromancer Ascension or because I lack the mental capabilities to do simple math. I prefer to think it's the former rather than the later, but I guess I need to understand and own up to my own shortcomings!
With UR Storm not being something I wanted to learn how to play, I needed to find a modern deck. Lightning Angel made an appearance at the Grand Prix and I love that card. It's one of my favorites! I have (Sphinx's Revelations) and Geist of Saint Traft so it seemed natural to make a UWR deck. May not be the most fun, but it is an option. I wanted to see if the deck had been putting up results on MTGO before I put it on my account, and went to the What's Happening? page. That page, for those of you not in the know used to list decklists for all the scheduled constructed events on MTGO. It's just the lists of the highest populated scheduled event now, but besides this awesome deck resource, it shows a lot of information about the happenings on the client, like when downtime is, what the MOCS formats and promos are, and can be found here.
While browsing the Modern decks that had performed well over the course of the week, I saw what I suspected to be the usual suspects. Jund, Pod, Soul Sisters, Infect, Tron and others. I saw the UWR deck, and went ahead and purchased it. I have not played it yet, but that's only because I have let another deck take over for my Modern playing.
It's Merfolk. My formative tournament playing days were done in the Extended format. A long long time ago, Extended looked more like what Legacy looks like now. Force of Will was played, Fireblast was annoying and Scrubland was not just a land that produced black or white mana. It's where I resided in the tournament standings. When I was not setting fire to my money with Stasis I was setting fire to my money with a deck that featured multiple copies of Merfolk of the Pearl Trident. I wanted to set myself apart from everyone else. While they were playing with Oath of Druids and Jackal Pup I was trying to smash face with Lord of Atlantis. In fact my allegiance to Merfolk is strange. While people were playing five color vivid land control and Faeries in Lorwyn block, I was sleeving up (Silvergill Adepts) and (Merrow Reejery). That block also saw my last PTQ top eight in paper. It's been a long time. But I almost got there with the fish.
I was not a very smart man. In fact my biggest weakness as a magic player has always been a reluctance to play the "best deck." I guess I just want to watch the world burn.
When I saw a merfolk deck in the top eight of a Modern premier event I knew that I had to have it. It had all my favorite guys. It has Aether Vial, and Mutavault and Cursecatcher! It has Islands and other lands! I'm so excited I'm just going to show off the list right now!
Let's take a look at the deck and how it plays! I sat in the tournament practice room because I am currently out of tickets, and kinda expected to see a lot of weird decks, and was rather pleased with how it played out for me. I battled against Red Deck Wins, Mono Black Discard, Mono Blue Tron, and Domain Zoo. Clearly not a representation of a daily event, but it ended up being great testing against a variety of strategies. I'll be going back to two man queues to test though, got a couple of testy players who quit whenever I cast Cursecatcher. That's lame!
I want to thank everyone for watching the videos, if you have any input or a deck that you want to feature here on Outside the Deck box, leave a message in the comments or shoot me a tweet! You can follow me on twitter @JoshuaClaytor, the site on twitter @Puremtgodotcom, and like us on Facebook!