Hello! It’s another Top 5, but this time I’m sticking to one Magical subject. Honestly, I could talk about horribly janky Magic:the Gathering decks for years, so this topic gets a bit more time dedicated to it.
Favourite Tier 7 Modern Decks
What do I mean by ‘Tier 7’? I’m talking decks that cannot conceivably be called a ‘real’ deck by competitive metagame standards. Decks that you should absolutely not be taking to a GP or PPTQ or similar if you *actually* want to win the whole thing. Decks that have glaring weaknesses to very popular deck types preventing them from ever becoming even minor players, that kind of thing.
More recently, I understand these kind of decks being referred to as ‘meme’ decks. As in, you’re playing them for a laugh. For the memes. Good-natured memes, where you get to tell people about the outrageous cards you managed to win a game with, often to the chagrin of someone with a serious deck.
But yet, at the same time, they’re decks that I could take to FNM or a Casual League and and have fun with, and are trying their best to be competitive while remaining fun (to at least one player in the match) and true to the spirit of the deck.
1: The precise configuration of the samples given don’t matter that much today, they’re just for illustrative purposes. I know you, Magic players. You want to change the mana bases, or wonder why I have [insert weird card] instead of [mostly better card]. Don’t worry about it.
2: I’m just using a free WordPress.com site. I’ve found card/deck displaying Apps for .org sites, but I don’t currently have a better solution for showing decklists than linking to another site to show them. It’s not ideal, but maybe someone will tell me a solution to this problem!
Dishonourable Mention: Every Blood Moon deck
Blood Moon is a ridiculous card, so much so that you can put ‘early Blood Moon’ as a plan in any janky deck you want and win a certain percentage of your games, regardless of the rest of your deck. That’s pretty boring though, since realistically, at that point you’re just a Blood Moon deck with a random win condition.
5: Bant 3 drops and Citadel Siege.dec
There’s a simple four step plan at play here. First, play a mana creature on turn 1. Second, play a 3 drop that happens to be good against your opponent on turn 2. Third, enhance the creature with Citadel Siege or a Sword. Fourth, profit?!?
Yeah, these decks tend to look somewhat reasonable but are always bad in reality. Easy to disrupt, they sometimes don’t draw a mana creature or a relevant 3 drop, but that’s why this kind of thing is tier 7.
I just love beating people to death with random pumped up creatures though. Draw the right ones against the right opponents, and your deck is surprisingly difficult to beat. Ever made a Scapeshift opponent return 4 lands to their hand on turn 3? I have.
Biggest Pro – Making Rhox War Monk on turn 2 vs. Burn.
Biggest Con – Opponent having the gall to kill your turn 1 creature.
4: Blasphemous Act.dec
This one is probably the closest to a ‘real’ deck among these, especially since the Mardu Bedlam Reveller has risen in popularity recently. But I think the spicy cards handicap it enough to count. Maybe this deck is tier 6, rather than tier 7.
Still, I like that this deck *looks* like a somewhat reasonable deck. Sometimes. At first. You’ve got some good token makers, and you can play that game for a while. Maybe you don’t even need to do any fancy tricks. Sometimes you naturally beat a deck like burn because you surprise them with Soulfire Grandmaster + Bolt on turn 3 or 5 tokens into Sorin. Sometimes Jund loses to many Lingering Souls.
But we’re here to play Blasphemous Act, and that’s why we have all these Soulfire Grandmaster, Boros Reckoner and Spitemare. These cards all clearly give the game away if your opponent was playing standard a while ago, but you get a nice little combo kill that is very satisfying and not too difficult to pull off.
Biggest Pro – “I gain 91 life, you take 13. Go.”
Biggest Con – “Leyline of Sanctity? Do my creatures target? Aw man, they do.”
Squelch is a card I’ve always liked, and if you don’t immediately see the gimmick, it’s that you can counter activated fetchlands, essentially giving you eight 2-mana land destruction spells that draw a card. You now even have Disallow to be a counterspell/Stone Rain split card! (that description is the least casual-player-friendly description of a card of all time)
Amusingly, this tends to make you better the more expensive the opposing deck is! Alongside some cheap interaction to stop the first couple of things they *do* play, you have reasonable game against decks that try to play fair, and occasionally get to blow out opponents playing Gifts Ungiven and so on.
Biggest Pro – Schadenfreude as your opponent puts their 5th land in a row straight in the graveyard.
Biggest Con – Aggro decks that don’t need to search their libraries.
I won’t lie, Torment of Scarabs has definitely been my favourite card out of the last year or so. This deck is basically just a Red/Black control deck with removal, a few clean 2-for-1s and repeating effects to grind out the opponent and win without the combat step.
It is weirdly effective, as the incidental damage from Blightning and Hit/Run really add up to punish opponents who get over-confident about taking damage from Torments and their own lands. Also people who (quite reasonably) will not be expecting sweepers game one.
Biggest Pro – Drawing Hit/Run for Gurmag Angler. Take 7! Taste it!
Biggest Con – Opponents who are playing Witchbane Orb/Leyline of Sanctity. Again!
1: Conjurer’s Closet.dec (any variety)
I absolutely love putting creatures in the Closet. You can play any combination of random ability creatures you like, and get value! Lots and lots of value. There’s nothing better, not even winning!
In the example lists I’ve given, the Blue/Green one tries to disrupt the opponent a bit with some counterspells and Vensers, blocking and drawing cards and gaining life before locking up the game by returning Time Warp over and over with Eternal Witness.
The Black/White on the other hand, just wants to fight an attrition battle. Making tokens, messing with their hand, killing stuff, returning creatures, whatever is best until you eventually beat up the opponent with your random squad of creatures. It’s the Homer Simpson Boxing school of Magic, where they try to beat you up, and eventually they get tired and lose.
And these are just 2 examples, not including other sweet cards like Huntmaster of the Fells, Thragtusk or Dinrova Horror! I’ve also combined Marshdrinker Giant with Urborg before, so you can get really deep if you want.
Biggest Pro – Announcing with confidence that you have achieved the ‘Rat Lock’, ‘Selkie Lock’, ‘Stonehorn Lock’, ‘Slime Lock’ or whatever it is you are using at the time.
Biggest Con – Are you sending your creatures to Narnia in the Closet? Do they even want to return to the battlefield?
How do you like the look of these nonsense decks? I didn’t really consider budget while throwing out these lists so they can all be made more cheap or more fine-tuned, just depends what you have lying around.
We’re not quite there yet, but Happy New Year, see you all in 2018.