MTG Deck Tech: Feisty Fishyboys (Legacy)

Artwork from the 'Magic: The Gathering' card Master of the Pearl Trident. Artwork from the 'Magic: The Gathering' card Master of the Pearl Trident. WOTC / RYAN PANCOAST

Friday Night Magic and weekend events at the local game store are great opportunities to try out fun new decks.  If you're looking for a new Legacy deck that's competitive enough for your LGS (and maybe even a Grand Prix), may we suggest this merfolk tribal deck?


Over time, merfolk tribal has proven to be a deck with which to be reckoned in a number of formats.  It's mighty strong in Modern and has found success recently in Standard. It can also be quite strong in Legacy -- a format that players tend to think you need "OG" dual lands and whatnot in order to have a chance. Well, our mono-blue merfolk deck needs no dual lands. Just a small variety quick-to-cast creatures and a dab of control.

On the first turn, you ideally want to pop down an Aether Vial.  Failing that, Cursecatcher is a fine play. Of course, the former will give you quite the advantage, eventually allowing to you play your lords for free while keeping mana free for the deck's other creatures or its small collection of counterspells.  This deck can go wide quickly, so being able to plop in free creatures off of the Vial can be game-breaking for you.

Going wide fast is key here. Going big just sort of happens.  Lords can and will stack up on each other in short order with your Lord of Atlantis and Master of the Pearl Trident getting along like old college roommates who never forgot the good old days.  The Phantasmal Images are there to be wildcard lords, but can also act as fifth and sixth copies of True-Name Nemesis -- the deck's primary kill card. Umezawa's Jitte is in there partially because, well, it's Jitte.  The card's versatility is just bonkers and it should give you a fairly quick win once equipped on a Nemesis.  A playset of Silvergill Adepts are there for card advantage just as much as being yet another body for the lords to buff, and the pair of Harbinger of the Tides help you to tap down a defensive or strategic threat.  Really, it shouldn't be too difficult to count to 21 when piloting this deck.

Like any good sideboard, Feisty Fishyboys' is designed to mitigate threats.  Back to Basics helps slow down decks that rely on those pesky non-basics.  Chill hoses Burn.  Echoing Truth to take care of tokens and hurt decks that run multiples.  Hydroblast largely for Sneak Attack.  Grafdigger's Cage protects you from graveyard interactions and library searching.  Spreading Seas can hurt other mono-colored decks and helps you get in under the radar via Islandwalk.  And the super-utility sideboard cards, Pithing Needle and Sorcerous Spyglass, can handle much of the rest.  Of course, feel free to change the sideboard to suit your local meta.

Goldfishing, the deck does quite well and often wins on turn five or six.  In simulated digital games, the deck fared quite well in a variety of one-offs and best-of threes.  It took down Burn, Pile, and Storm easily enough.  Sneak and Show, Delver, and Elves were much more of a challenge.  One thing is certain: the deck is enjoyable to play and can be quite a handful for your opponents.

Are you running this deck at your LGS?  If so, leave us a comment and tell us how you fared!

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