Tweak my deck: Merfolk

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Venton, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Venton Member

    Hello all. This is my first post. :cool:
    I don't get to play Magic very often these days, but I have a few favorite decks I usually bring out when I do play.
    I started around the time Ice Age was out and the last full box of boosters i bought was torment. I still buy the occasional handful of boosters (lately it's been Time Spiral). I used to play in tournaments sometimes but i was never that good and I'm not nearly as competitive as most of that crowd; I was more into making goofy theme decks or seeing what kind of wacky stuff I could throw together.

    I found this site a few weeks ago. "Casual players? That's me!"
    I thought I'd start out here by asking for some deck advice.

    I've had my Merfolk deck in some form for quite a while. Sometimes it works ok, sometimes it rolls over and croaks.
    The starfish and oyster I put in recently just for the hell of it, but I haven't actually played a game with them. I used to have some cards to help with islandwalk but they never seemed to help that much.
    What would you add, subtract or change around?

    Creatures (19)
    Manta Riders x4
    Sanbar Merfolk x2
    Darting Merfolk x2
    Saprazzan Heir
    Rootwater Hunter x4
    Spiny Starfish
    Giant Oyster
    Lord of Atlantis x4

    Other spells (19)
    Unstable Mutation x4
    Sunken City x3
    Treasure Trove
    Rushing River x2
    Counterspell x4
    Impulse x2
    Fact or Fiction x2
    Ray of Command

    Land (22)
    Quicksand x2
    Svyelunite Temple x2
    Island x18
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Props for using Saprazzan Heir. It's one of my favorite creatures, even though I never use it myself. I also like Spiny Starfish, which works well with Tidal Influence, although that's a different strategy from the one you're using. Both it and the Oyster look kind of suboptimal in your deck, but most of the merfolk look pretty good. I always liked River Merfolk, which might help give you and edge against red decks as well as boost your offensive power.

    I've seen a lot of merfolk decks use Sunken City, but I never cared for it. If it works for you, keep it in though.

    The main weakness I see here is that it looks like you won't have much capacity to protect your merfolk as well as use them to outrace or overpower opponents. Four counters isn't enough to stop opposing spells from getting through and Rushing River along with your lone Ray of Command isn't going to allow you to control the field.
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Welcome!

    So you're expecting to play this against other casual players?

    I would say replace the Ray of Command with a flat-out steal spell like Control Magic or Treachery.

    Sunken City is okay, but maybe take one out and a Mutation and experiment with the various Mirrodin block Equipments that can pump up a creature.

    I don't think you need the Temples in there, maybe just go with four Quicksands.
  4. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Maybe add Blockade Runner and Sigil Of Sleep for creature control
  5. Venton Member

    Thanks for the sugeestions all.
    Yeah, I like the Heir. Unfortunately I only have one, otherwise I'd have two (maybe three). Like I said, the Starfish and Oyster I put in on a whim. They'll probably come out, though I'd like to play a couple of games with them just to see how they do.

    I put the Cities in there as another creature pumper. I don't really like having two islands locked down just to give my guys an extra +1/+1 so I'll probably take them out.

    Ray Of Command is one of those cards I've always liked just for the surprise factor. I like Rushing River for the bounce, but of course that doesn't eliminate a threat. I can use it to save a couple of my critters but I should have more in hand to back them up anyway. I think I'll yank the Rivers. There's also Capsize, but six mana to get the buyback is a bit much until later in the game when I have lots of mana. I'll have to see if this deck can hold out that long.
    There's so many choices for extra counterspells. Force of Will, Power Sink, Mana Leak. I'll have to rumage through my cards and see what looks good.


    As i said I like the "gotcha" factor of RoC. I used to have one or two Legerdemanes(sp?). While they need time to build up counters, they don't attach themselves to the creature like control. I don't remember why I took them out.

    The Wizard site is blocked at work (bah!) so I'll have to look into that when I get home.

    I put the Temples in for early mana help, but I never seem to use the sac ability. I guess I'll toss them for more Quicksands. I'm thinking about hitting up eBay, or stopping by the game shop, to pick up a Maze of Ith...or is that too cheesy.

    Need to look these up later. :eek:

    Should I even worry about helping my guys with islandwalk when Lord Of Atlantis comes out? I used to have a couple of Pantasmal Terrain or (what's that 0/1 Merfolk that turns a land into a basic land of your choice?). Maybe Mind Bend?
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    While Rushing River is a good card, my concern with it would be that you're paying three mana simply to bounce something. If you can afford to, you can also sacrifice a land for yet another bounce, which does make it versatile. But for most monoblue decks, I've always preferred Boomerang to Rushing River. And if you are mainly concerned with bouncing creatures, Unsummon or the Ice Age clone (I can't believe I forgot the name) are even better.

    Capsize is more specialized. It tends to be excellent in control decks, but if this is a control deck, you'll need more cards that control the game.

    As for the counters, if you actually have Force of Will, I'd highly recommend it. If not, the card is like gold nowadays, so good luck finding any unless you want to fork over some money for them (I have no idea how much it's worth now). The rest is up to personal preference. If you hate letting the opponent get card advantage, don't use Arcane Denial. If you hate giving the opponent a chance to pay 3 mana to stop your counter, don't use Mana Leak. If your opponents always seem to have more untapped lands than you, don't use Power Sink. If three mana is too much, don't use Dissipate. You get the idea...

    www.crystalkeep.com might work at work. Or maybe not. I guess it depends on why the Wizards site was blocked...

    Up to you, really. If your land configuration isn't working out, you'd be the one to know.

    Phantasmal Terrain is great against nonblue decks because you get to potentially hurt the opponent's ability to play spells AND you activate your islandwalking merfolk. On the other hand, it's practically a dead card against other blue decks. Tidal Warrior isn't quite as potent against nonblue decks, but it's not as useless against other blue decks.

    Oh, and Sigil of Sleep is awesome.
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'd say don't worry about the Islandwalking for now. Just let the Lords pump up your guys.
  8. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    For land walk use
    Magical Hack Interrupt (U) 5th Edition (Rare)
    Change the text of target permanent or spell by replacing all instances of one basic land type with another. (For example, you may change "swampwalk" to "plainswalk." If this spell targets a permanent, play it as an instant.)

    Or
    Mind Bend Instant (1U) 10th Edition (Rare)
    Change the text of target permanent by replacing all instances of one color word with another or one basic land type with another. (For example, you may change "nonblack creature" to "nongreen creature" or "forestwalk" to "islandwalk." This effect doesn't end at end of turn.)

    Both shouldn't cost more than $.50 each, maybe $1.00 at most

    Sigil of Sleep Enchant Creature (U) Urza's Destiny
    Whenever enchanted creature deals damage to a player, return target creature that player controls to its owner's hand.

    Try http://www.essentialmagic.com/ instead of Wizards site. We have sites blocked at work all the time, but this one seems to be unaffected.
  9. Venton Member

    Thanks, I'll try that. Just about any game-related site gets blocked at my job. Sucks.

    I usually carry some extra cards in my big box of decks in case I want to "sideboard" some to see if they work better. I might add a couple of Mind Bends since it's a good slight/hack combo.
    I don't know if I have Sigil (I didn't buy into Urza block very much), but it's a common so it can't be hard to get.

    Reef Shaman was the creature I was trying to think of. He's not going to do much except make islands or block weenies unless he gets pumped up.

    I have some Force of Wills. I don't know if four would be over doing it. I was looking up some other counters and Dismiss (draw a card) and Rewind (untap four land) look good but four mana seems a little steep.

    I was looking up some Mirrodin equipment cards and Bonesplitter (C)and Scythe of the Wretched(R) look pretty good.
  10. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'd use the Reef Shamans since they're more "permanent" than, say the Hacks, and can be pumped up by the Lords/Sunken City/any Equipment you might use.

    The ones you mentioned are cool for this.
  11. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Ah, I'd forgotten about Reef Shaman. Tidal Warrior is the same for your purposes, but a 1/1 instead of a 0/2. Which one to use (assuming you use either) depends on whether you want the increased survivability of the Reef Shaman or the extra attacking point on the Tidal Warrior. Probably the Reef Shaman, but I don't know what kind of decks you're facing...
  12. Venton Member

    The card I was thinking of is Legacy's Allure. Now I have to see what Legerwhatever is. I know there's a card called something close to that.

    I'm off to rummage through my cards and make some changes.
  13. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You're thinking of Legerdemain. It's a sorcery for 2UU that lets you switch control of one of your creatures with one of your opponents creatures or one of your artifacts with one of your opponent's artifacts.
  14. Venton Member

    Tentative changes

    Out:
    Sanbar Merfolk x2
    Spiny Starfish
    Giant Oyster
    Sunken City x3
    Rushing River x2
    Ray of Command
    Svyelunite Temple x2

    In:
    Reef Shaman x2
    Force of Will x3
    Sigil of Sleep (I only have one)
    Legacy's Allure x2
    Quicksand x2
    2 empty slots

    I hit up eBay for 4 Bonesplitters. I'll probably take out one mutation and put in three.
  15. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You may also want to try Curiosity.
  16. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    The proposed changes look good to me, at least to try out.
  17. Venton Member

    Yeh, I have a couple. I'm not sure if I should trade it for Sigil or go with one less Mutation... Hmm.
    I was also thinking about reaplacing Darting Merfolk with something like Merfolk Looter for more card drawing. The Darting Merfolk were in there so I could bounce them when Mutation was about to kill them or to save them from getting killed/destroyed.

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