Devoted to Merfolk

Posted in Feature on November 6, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

Merfolk has hovered around the fringes of Modern for quite some time, never making as many waves as it does in Legacy. The lack of Force of Will and Wasteland hurts the squad of fighting fish, as disruption is what makes tempo decks like this truly great. However, with a few new additions from Theros and a suite of the disruption that is available, Hall of Famer Raph Lévy took Merfolk to battle at Grand Prix Antwerp.

Lord of Atlantis

The combination of Thassa, God of the Sea; Master of Waves; and Kira, Great Glass-Spinner gives this deck plenty of legs (something it was certainly lacking before). Spot removal and cheap sweepers have long been Merfolk's bane, and the three cards I just named are not only resistant to them, they tend to make your other cards more resistant as well. Kira straight-up protects your team, and Thassa and Master both let you commit less to the board while still pressuring your opponent. Thassa and Master also sometimes just provide 5+ power in a single card, something Merfolk has also not had before.

Lord of Atlantis is still the king, though, as you can see by the amount of Lord of Atlantises, Master of the Pearl Tridents, and Coralhelm Commanders present. Interestingly enough, Merrow Reejerey didn't make the cut, likely because Thassa and Kira took all the three-drop spots. Getting multiple lords into play is the classic Merfolk win condition, and this deck is still very capable of doing so. Besides the lords, Cursecatcher and Silvergill Adept round out the actual Merfolk component, and both are mainstays in any Merfolk deck.

Spell Pierce, Spreading Seas, Vapor Snag, and Tectonic Edge may not have quite the power of Force of Will, Wasteland, and Daze, but they are all very cheap and can certainly stop the various combo decks in the format (with Vapor Snag being a catch-all against creature decks). With a fast enough clock, a timely Spell Pierce is enough to buy the extra turn the deck needs, and the same is true of Tectonic Edge. Spreading Seas plays double duty, not only disrupting colors and Urza lands, but also giving the opponent Islands for your Merfolk to walk all over.

Raphaël Lévy's Merfolk


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