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Merfolk: No Borders

Modern Control Merfolk Mono-Blue



"Let the land dwellers know the coast is no longer the border between our realms. A new age of empire has begun." I really like that flavor text. I decided to base a deck around it. The merfolk get big and are unblockable with Spreading Seas or Mind Bend. I'd like to take this to a modern tournament, so any thoughts are greatly appreciated.




pheonix_222 says... #1

card:Aquitect's Will does nothing for you as their land isn't just an island. Better to run straight draw, Ponder is banned in modern, Serum Visions and Sleight of Hand are the best we've got.

I actually think you are running 5 too many enchantments, I'd just stick with 3 Spreading Seas and focus on filling the rest of the deck with merfolk.

Cursecatcher , Silvergill Adept and Phantasmal Image should be considered, AEther Vial also helps merfolk out a bunch, getting out your cheap lords while possibly leaving your land for control.

Check out my modern merfolk here: Be like the Sea

July 21, 2012 2:59 a.m.

tj70 says... #2

Thank you very much for the comments! I really liked the idea of a merfolk deck and while browsing, found your deck. It influenced this heavily. I really like the AEther Vial . I think I will add that one. Would you recommend I do add some Serum Visions and Sleight of Hand s? I suppose I didn't read card:Aquitect's Will close enough. I like having all 8 of the enchantments since that seems like a good method for complete control.

July 21, 2012 4:08 a.m.

tj70 says... #3

Could anyone reading this explain why this deck is currently not legal in Modern?

July 24, 2012 8:41 a.m.

pheonix_222 says... #4

you might have it set to prototype

July 24, 2012 11:54 a.m.

pigfish320 says... #5

AEther Vial is essentially the best card you can have in a deck like this, its the lifeblood of the legacy version of merfolk. Merfolk Sovereign should probably come out for Coralhelm Commander , and the Disperse and Unsummon should come out for Spell Pierce and Remand , respectively.

July 31, 2012 3:04 a.m.

tj70 says... #6

I really do like AEther Vial , but it's a little pricey for me right now. Essentially, isn't Coralhelm Commander the same effect as Merfolk Sovereign but for 4 more mana? As far as the counters go, I think with this deck I would control my opponents by keeping them from being able to use their lands. I shouldn't have to counter anything but maybe send a creature or two back. I do like Spell Pierce over Disperse though. Thank you very much for the feedback.

July 31, 2012 3:18 a.m.

crixalis says... #7

Vapor Snag instead of Unsummon it's simply better

December 4, 2012 11:43 a.m.

pheonix_222 says... #8

how often do you have enough creatures for Unified Will ?Seems like with 16 creatures with no 1-drops you might be lacking against most aggro decks.

I'd try and shove as many merfolk in here as possible. Silvergill Adept , Sygg, River Cutthroat or Cold-Eyed Selkie could replace Sleight of Hand as card drawn.

You might want to consider dropping an AEther Vial . Sure you want one turn 1, but having multiples is kind of lame.

December 4, 2012 12:06 p.m.

tj70 says... #9

I haven't had a chance to playtest with Unified Will , but I get what you're saying and will look for another counter option. I think I'll add Silvergill Adept , but the other two don't really fit how this deck has played. Once I have Merfolk out swining, I usually don't need much more for drawing.

December 4, 2012 2:43 p.m.

Bingbing says... #10

Respectfully disagree on card:Aquitect's Will, which should be used over Mind Bend . It will still work with Islandwalk.

Here's the ruling:

702.13c A creature with landwalk is unblockable as long as the defending player controls at least one land with the specified subtype (as in islandwalk).

The land doesn't have to be only an island, as long as at least one land has the subtype "island." As an example, Hallowed Fountain would enable both plainswalk and islandwalk as it has the subtypes of plains and island.

December 12, 2012 12:53 p.m.

Jay says... #11

Needs more Quicksilver Fountain . It makes my merfolk deck unstoppable.

December 12, 2012 1:25 p.m.

tj70 says... #12

@Bingbing: Why would you recommend Arquitect's Will over Mind Bend ? The original comment on Arquitect's Will being useless was because I had a subtheme to control my opponents lands with Spreading Seas , Convincing Mirage , and card:Sea's Claim.

@Jp3ngu1nb0y: I've never seen Quicksilver Fountain . It seems like it would be a bit slow though. Do you have any problems with that?

December 13, 2012 10:58 a.m.

Jay says... #13

In multiplayer it's devastating, but even against one player just one or two islands lets you go through. 7 or 8 stops them completely.

December 13, 2012 11:04 a.m.

Bingbing says... #14

Apologies - I thought you just wanted Islandwalk enablers. card:Aquitect's Will was for enabling islandwalk whilst netting you a card.

In any case, Mind Bend is a little bit delicate. Its uses against non-basic lands (which modern is full of) are very limited in that it cuts out only one colour of a shockland, and has no effect on most others. Something more consistent like card:Sea's Claim may be more to your liking if you want to play the colour-restriction game. You may even want to go splitsies with Spectral Shift if you find that you have a great deal of spare mana.

The thing about using loads of these effects is that they can become dead draws when you're playing against blue. Spreading Seas and to a lesser extent card:Aquitect's Will are among the more commonly used island-converters because in the worst case scenario they effectively have cycling.

December 13, 2012 11:46 a.m.

Bingbing says... #15

Whoops - please ignore my Spectral Shift comment - I misremembered it as buyback rather than entwine!

December 13, 2012 11:49 a.m.

tj70 says... #16

Thanks bingbing. However, I don't neccesarily plan on using Mind Bend on my opponent's land. Rather, I would use it on a Master of the Pearl Trident or Lord of Atlantis to give my creatures forestwalk or swampwalk, etc.

December 15, 2012 11:04 p.m.

Jay says... #17

I'm not actually sure if it's legal in Modern, but Seasinger is great if you plan on loading them with islands. Take things for cheap and change targets any turn.

December 18, 2012 8:03 p.m.

pheonix_222 says... #18

Vedalken Shackles is the modern equivalent of Seasinger , at the surface it doesn't seem as good, but I prefer it. Lightning Bolt or Tragic Slip can't get it so unless they have artifact or land destruction they might consider casting targeted removal at their OWN creature if they think it will help (it wont!)

Vedalken Shackles is a great card for modern merfolk and I would consider testing with it a few times.

December 19, 2012 12:12 a.m.

Jay says... #19

Yea, the main benefit to seasinger is with all the lords it could end up being strong on it's own too. But it is easier to kill.

December 19, 2012 10:29 a.m.

tj70 says... #20

Wow. Vedalken Shackles is awesome. Thank you pheonix_222. I wish Seasinger was modern legal, but it isn't. Thanks for another great idea Jp3ngu1nb0y.

December 20, 2012 7:22 p.m.

This is pretty crazy honestly. I love the idea of turning an opponent's land into an Island to swing with unblockable merfolk :)

Now i know this isn't a crazy token spazzer like goblins became with Krenko, Mob Boss or elves, like with a personal infinite combo one of my friends made. BUT Coat of Arms MIGHT be considered here? If you have 3 Merfolk, and 2 of them give the others +1/+1 and one gives them island walk, with Coat of Arms they get an extra +2/+2.

Idk what you'd take out for it or if you'd even want it since it's a 5drop, but this deck is getting a +1 from me :)

January 3, 2013 3:22 p.m.

tj70 says... #22

Thanks a lot. It being a five drop is what turns me away from it. I'm usually winning a game by that point and the additional size would be unneccesary. Thanks for the +1 and comment though!

January 3, 2013 7:48 p.m.

gheridarigaaz says... #23

I wouldn't underestimate the potency of a 4/4 flying Coralhelm Commander . At worst, he's a glorified Grizzly Bears but even at 2 level counters he's still got reach from flying, not to mention the buffs he gets from the other lords. So he'll probably be a 4/4 flier at least and at best he reaches 6/6 flying while buffing up your other merfolk too.

I'd suggest swapping Syncopate with Spell Pierce , it'll do you a lot more good against removal-heavy decks which can pick away at your merfolk lords with ease.

I like the idea of using Mind Bend , but the slot might be a lot better replaced with something else. Whether you go for a bit more disruption, another lord or something else is up to you. it's applications seem very niche, which is something you might have trouble with if you wind up with a few of them in hand and nothing to use them on, sure i get that you'll be using them to reset islandwalk to whatever it is that your opponents are using but personally i'd rather run something like Phantasmal Image which doubles as an answer to threats like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn being hardcast from a tron deck (provided you can AEther Vial it in before it attacks) or just another lord by copying that Merrow Reejerey (who should, btw, be able to tap down your opponent's potential blockers instead of spending a card slot on a convoluted evasive interaction e.g. Mind Bend ing a Lord of Atlantis )

Might want to run a few non-situational 1-drop spells to the deck such as Cursecatcher , who slows removal, or even card:Cosi's Trickster, against fetch-lands/decks that tutor. They let you swim in for extra damage on the second turn once you start playing your lords

January 5, 2013 8:19 p.m.

tj70 says... #24

Thanks for the in depth suggestions, gheridarigaaz! I was begining to lean towards Coralhelm Commander , and you sold me on him. I really like the Phantasmal Image idea, as well as Spell Pierce . I wasn't entirely sure where to fit everything, so I attempted to build a Sideboard for this deck. If you could look over the new product and give me any more suggestions, it'd be greatly appreciated.

January 5, 2013 9:16 p.m.

gheridarigaaz says... #25

Its looking good... how do you feel about Pongify ?

January 6, 2013 5:48 a.m.

tj70 says... #26

Well i think the artwork is amazing haha. For the deck though, I just don't know what I'd replace for it. Maybe Vapor Snag ? Or one of each counterspell. Maybe sideboarded? What do you think?

January 9, 2013 7:17 p.m.

gheridarigaaz says... #27

I'm only running it as a one-of. The general idea being... if i need to get rid of something permanently and also that the token is probably going to be at least half the size of my smallest merfolk

January 9, 2013 8:20 p.m.

tj70 says... #28

Do you ever draw it when you need it then?

January 9, 2013 8:34 p.m.

gheridarigaaz says... #29

Mine splashes for BG in the mainboard and its nice having a 1 cmc kill spell that doesn't cost me 4 life the turn i use it like Dismember does when i don't have black mana or if i dont want to spend 3 cmc on Beast Within on a creature when i might want to get rid of a troublesome enchantment/artifact/land/planeswalker later on in the game.

Trouble with magic is that it works a lot with probability, if i know i have it in my deck i can probably hold off on using something that might kill me off for a turn or two before i decide that the last resort cards in my hand are probably my only resort...

Conversely if i have it in my opening hand i can always wait for the opportune moment to use it before i desperately need it.

A lot of decks run one-of cards efficiently against very niche situations, just look at a lot of pro control decks and you'll get what i mean. It doesn't always show up when i need it, but when it does, it's like a godsend of luck.

Also, i've tried to max out as much draw/cantripping in the deck to improve it's consistency. Hence why cards like Silvergill Adept and Spreading Seas are so useful... they thin out the deck and increase the chances of drawing into a lot of your other cards. This is part of the reason why i only run 17 lands. Dangerously low, but with things like AEther Vial and Merrow Reejerey to act as ways of cheating out more merfolk per turn i just need to be sure i have enough land in my opening hand to sustain me.

January 9, 2013 9:04 p.m.

tj70 says... #30

Hmmm. Thank you for the insight. This is the closest thing I've ever produced to a control deck. Thanks again for all the excellent advice!

January 9, 2013 9:09 p.m.

gheridarigaaz says... #31

If you want to see my mefolk deck, Fish of Ana is what you'll see. It's still in progress... heavily, but it's getting to where i'd want it to be at...

January 9, 2013 9:39 p.m.

grandslam says... #32

Cursecatcher can be a great roadblock for lots of deck and at worst, it's a 1/1 for 1

January 9, 2013 10:13 p.m.

tj70 says... #33

Thanks. I've looked into using Cursecatcher , but optimally, I want to drop AEther Vial turn one, then I have Spell Pierce and Mana Leak for counters.

January 9, 2013 10:23 p.m.

grandslam says... #34

In that case, maybe 1-2 Cryptic Command because the power level is so high and the triple blue in its mana cost won't be a problem in a mono-blue deck.

January 9, 2013 10:31 p.m.

tj70 says... #35

I really do like that one. The price tag is the only draw back. I suppose I'll throw a couple on my Want list and see if anyone bites. Thanks!

January 10, 2013 1:34 a.m.

pheonix_222 says... #36

have you considered dropping Merfolk Sovereign ?

its didn't fit the bill in my Modern merfolk, it's ability is reliably useless and the 4 cards could probably be used elsewhere, maybe reconsider Cursecatcher , sure you want to play AEther Vial turn 1, but then you get this guy for free on turn 2 :D

February 9, 2013 4 a.m.

tj70 says... #37

I haven't had any problems with Merfolk Sovereign . I never use his ability, but he serves as another lord. I'll play around with Cursecatcher though and see if I like him more. Thanks.

February 9, 2013 10:10 p.m.

grandslam says... #38

Vedalken Shackles is a great control card in a mono-blue deck, If you want to play disruption Tectonic Edge can be good disruption at a low cost Trickbind can mess with your opponent's fetchlands as well as give you some security against storm. Some counterspells I think you should consider are Remand and Deprive . I would advise dropping Merfolk Sovereign as with AEther Vial you want all of your creatures to cost 2.

February 10, 2013 12:18 p.m.

tj70 says... #39

I suppose yall are right about Merfolk Sovereign . Could you explain Remand to me a bit? I don't really see the point of countering your opponents spell just so they can cast it next turn. Is that just to delay for a turn basically?

February 11, 2013 1:48 a.m.

Jay says... #40

It's cheap, delays them a turn, and nets you a card. Sometimes that extra turn is all it takes to swing a game, and thinning the deck out helps that much more.

February 11, 2013 11:04 a.m.

pheonix_222 says... #41

Mana Leak is great cause It's a hard counter, but in the late game or against a smart player it can easily be played around, At least with Remand at worst it cycles. Never underestimate the power of cards drawn.

February 11, 2013 6:53 p.m.

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Date added 5 years
Last updated 4 years

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 1.95
Tokens 3/3 Ape
Folders Early, Favorites, Tribal, MDN Merfolk, Awesome Decks, merfolk ideas, merfolk
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