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Thread: [Deck] Merfolk

  1. #1
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    [Deck] Merfolk

    Merfolk is a tempo deck that takes advantage of the natural tendencies of decks in Legacy. Many of the cards have changed since Llorwyn (when we got enough good Merfolk to make the deck seem possible), but it still follows the same principles I began with back then. It punishes decks that are based in blue and decks that use too few lands, or even too few basic lands.


    Sample Deck: updated 6/5/14
    4 Cursecatcher
    4 Silvergill Adept
    4 Lord of Atlantis
    4 Master of the Pearl Trident
    1 Coralhelm Commander
    4 True-Name Nemesis
    3 Phantasmal Image

    4 Force of Will
    4 Daze
    3 Standstill

    4 Aether Vial

    13 Islands
    4 Wasteland
    4 Mutavault

    Sample generic sideboard:

    3 Blue Elemental Blast
    1 Tormod's Crypt
    1 Relic of Progenitus
    2 Spell Pierce
    3 Submerge
    2 Misdirection
    3 Umezawa's Jitte

    Some of the most popular other cards that are currently being used by some players (but not all) include:


    Merrow Rejerrey
    Llawan, Cephalid Empress
    Sower of Temptation
    Gilded Drake
    Blue Elemental Blast
    Hydroblast
    Stifle



    Merfolk is best against any deck that has blue cards, including all combo and control decks. But the deck also really hates to see Stoneforge Mystic, so blue Stoneblade decks have a decent game against Merfolk. It is also bad against Zoo, Maverick, and to some degree Goblins.

    ===========
    Approach:
    Merfolk is the very definition of a tempo deck. Ideally, you will be landing at least one threat each turn while having disruption available on the opponent's turn. Aether Vial helps this tremendously as do your "free" spells. As an aggro-control player, you must quickly surmise what your opponent is playing so you can determine your own role. The deck certainly has the capability to disrupt, but really you want to assemble a lethal offense before your opponent can effectively get in the game. In a sense, this deck is part Goblins and part Canadian Threshold (RUG). Merfolk wants to see a variety of its spells in a game. Multiples of a card in the first few turns of a game are almost always not as good as seeing something else.

    For example, you want to land creatures every turn against Tempo Threshold which is unlikely to have a sweeper. Your counters and bounce are mostly for his creatures and postboard hate. You are playing a modified control role since you have inevitability.

    Against ANT, you are playing a modified control role as well, but your counters, Stifles, and postboard hate are the keys here. Practice this one plenty, as the proper defense for you is not obvious in every game. You must learn to be fluid with your responses depending on the situation.

    Versus Miracles your counters are for protecting the Vial and preventing his big plays. You want the game to end quickly, so you are aggro here.

    Versus something like Zoo you are mostly playing control. You want to field enough lords to keep your guys buffed to 4/4 or above and your counters are to prevent his removal. These kinds of decks are quite uncommon these days, so your role is usually aggro.

    ================

    Key Strategies:
    1. Aether Vial makes the gameplan come together. If you open with turn 1 Island, Aether Vial - holding Daze, Wasteland, Standstill, Stifle, Silvergill or some combination of any of these, you are likely to be ahead on board development and card advantage quickly. That is where you want to be.

    2. Turns 1 and 2 are where you are in charge. If you have another creature to cast next turn, don't be afraid to sacrifice your turn 1 Cursecatcher for something like CounterThresh's turn 1 Brainstorm. You have to retard his development this way to win.

    3. Submerge in response to an opponent's fetchland is about as good a removal spell as you could ask for. Remember that you need not target green creatures. And be sure not to Wasteland his only Forest before your spell.

    4. If your opponent has Force of Will in his deck, play Standstill against an empty board with near impunity. Your opponent does not know that you are not holding a Mutavault. It's good bluff that isn't necessarily a bluff.

    5. Keep in mind that Coralhelm Commander can easily be much bigger than any other Merfolk. And he flies. That is going to come in handy since most dedicated hate strategies your opponents will employ will be for dealing with swarms while Commanders can be effective on their own.

    =================
    Last edited by Finn; 02-10-2015 at 09:11 PM. Reason: update

  2. #2
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    Re: [CaNGD]Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Wouldn't Jitte shore up some of your aggro matches? Particularly Goblins?

    I'm not surprised Darting Merfolk isn't making the cut, but if you have a control heavy meta, Darting Merfolk merits mention as a creature to consider.

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    Re: [CaNGD]Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    May I recommend Riptide Pilferer? That card is a house against combo and control (esp. when you get him islandwalk). I've also found that Tidal Warrior isn't that spectacular and it is a possible card for Riptide Pilferer to replace.

    Instead of Rishadan Ports, I usually use Back to Basics in the main.

    EDIT (Instead of posting again I'll just edit this one): Lego is right, LED's ability is a mana ability. The funky wording is so that you can't declare a spell (from your hand) then sacrifice LED to pay for the cost of the spell therefore not discarding it to LED before you can play it.

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    Re: [CaNGD]Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Quote Originally Posted by Finn View Post
    Remember that you can repeal a Charbelcher in response to Lion's Eye Diamond activation due to the funky wording on it.
    No you can't. LED can only be activated any time you could play an Instant, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a mana ability, and therefor does not use the stack, so it can't be responded to.

  5. #5
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    Re: [CaNGD]Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Yep. Lazy me. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  6. #6
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    Re: [CaNGD]Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Quote Originally Posted by Finn View Post
    Solidarity: Slightly unfavorable before you board, about even after. Any game you have Aether vial, you are in good shape, so expect the opponent to FoW it if he can. Repeal from the board is everything. Take out the Couriers for it.
    You are control.
    You're kidding, right?
    Boarding Repeal vs a deck with 0 (Zero) permanents seems not a great tech. Spell snare at least counters reset, impulse and remand... seems better. Why are you the control deck? Aren't you trying to bet his face while he tries to take the time to make as many land drops as possible?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tacosnape, TrialByFire, Silverdragon mix
    We got Goyf Threshold, Deadgoyf Ale, Survival of the Goyfest and Goyfalid Breakfast.
    It probably won't end until we have decks like Goyf Stax, Goyfbelcher, Goyfchantress, Vial Goyflins, Goyfstill, Goyf from the Loam, Faergoyf Stompy, Goyf-Pox, Goyf Confinement, 8-Land Goyfstompy, and the Dave Gearhart classic, Goyfidarity.
    And Ichgoyfrid, Red Deadgoyf, GES, 42landand4goyf.dec, Goyf Game and Ill-Gotten-Goyf-y Pop
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    Re: [CaNGD]Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    I'd say that the Solidarity matchup is much easier if you just put a clock on them and Riptide Pilferers (if you run them) are a house. I've won some games on the back of a Riptide Pilferer on several occasions (other times on counter-top because I ran them).

  8. #8
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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenOne
    You're kidding, right?
    Yikes! I originally wrote that when Stifle was in the sideboard. It said Stifle. Lemme quickchange that one. Thanks, GreenOne.

    Klaan, Riptide Pilferer comes with very high ability. I have used it and liked it. Giving them islandwalk is nuckin futs. The only problem I have is that I can't afford to put something like that in the main (though if the deck went up to 28 Merfolk, I almost definitely would include a couple) and the other sb slots are for really important problems. He solves a problem the deck does not have. It's almost win-more

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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    So let me get this straight. You're an aggro deck of the least aggressive color in magic, and have absolutely no means in your maindeck to get rid of a creature?

    This doesn't strike me as a fantastic plan for winning damage races.

    EDIT: Oh, and, good decks run good cards, to quote the motto of Card Quality Advantage. There is absolutely no reason there shouldn't be 3-4 Jittes in Sideboard at least, if not maindeck.

    Quote Originally Posted by majikal View Post
    Damn it, Taco, that exactly sums up my opinion on the matter. I need to buy you a beer for that post.

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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Run Back to Basics and more islands. You're monoblue, for christs sake.

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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    I would go with mental and run B2B and i would try out jitte for creature removal. Also i have a question. Does banneret make creatures that are wizards and merfolk cost 2 less to play?
    Call me Ishmael

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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Quote Originally Posted by technogeek5000 View Post
    I would go with mental and run B2B and i would try out jitte for creature removal. Also i have a question. Does banneret make creatures that are wizards and merfolk cost 2 less to play?
    I think yes.

  13. #13
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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Soooooo... how does this deck do against a resolved Goyf?
    -Slay
    OH SHIT THERES A HORSE IN THE HOSPITAL

    Team Slay and Lego: Slay your a tool and your glasses are almost as GAY as your retarded snitch of a boyfriend Lego. Lego focus on your own game you are a fucking clown and should have heard the rediculous amount of people saying how much of a dick you were being and what kind of a fool you are. I laugh at you two. Seriously you both need attitude adjustments. I have never encountered a larger pair of pussy bitches in my whole life.

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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Quote Originally Posted by Slay View Post
    Soooooo... how does this deck do against a resolved Goyf?
    -Slay
    Stifle it?

    In all seriousness, it appears right now that it cries. That's why I would run B2B. You STEAMROLL thresh in that case, and 4c Landstill is also a joke.
    I also hear that Jitte isn't bad against goyf.

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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Quote Originally Posted by Mental View Post
    I think yes.
    No, it still only reduces it by {1} since it is written in one line. (See Augustine)

    Also, good write-up Finn.

  16. #16
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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Quote Originally Posted by Slay
    Soooooo... how does this deck do against a resolved Goyf?
    Quite well, thank you.

    Oh, you want specifics.

    Game two, you have Repeal and especially Seasinger for him. Game one, you are dealing damage faster than Threshold mostly. In my testing I was the Thresh player facing off against Alex playing this. When I got a Goyf in early, I could usually get enough hits in to make a good game of it. When I did not get my licks in early, the Merfolk came on too fast. Honestly, I had a hard time getting green mana on my main phase in a lot of games, and that was enough to keep me off my return fire.

    Him:tap the Tropical during upkeep with Port
    Me: Play Polluted Delta
    Me: sac Polluted Delta for...
    Him: Stifle
    Me: FoW
    Him: Daze

    This kind of crap.

    This delay leads to the problem that you can't count on being able to block them since its so easy for them to get islandwalk or tap your blocker. And the merfolk player can easily drop 4 of them on about turn 5. So you are on clock. Yeah, Tarmogoyf was usually the biggest guy out there. But even in the games when I got to pound with him (seeing a Seasinger vialed in at eot after I play him is depressing), it was rarely as much damage as was coming back.

    I played UGr for the tests. I think that UG Threshold would have done better.

    Quote Originally Posted by technogeek5000
    I would go with mental and run B2B and i would try out jitte for creature removal. Also i have a question. Does banneret make creatures that are wizards and merfolk cost 2 less to play?
    B2B is an idea that has been floated a lot. But I can't force it through early unless I play Chrome Mox. Now that isn't a terrible idea, but then my good matchups - the really good ones now, are the same ones that B2B is going to hose. Only I am not using any cards to accomplish this. Stifle, Port, Wasteland, Tidal Warrior all do something else as well. Landstill is the exception. B2B would beat on that hard. But where do you fit that card in such a tight deck? Do I change the mana base to suit it, and stick it in the sb? That's a terrible plan. Nope, all things being equal, I will take my licks from Landstill (which is still a pretty good matchup, mind you), and keep the consistency against everyone else.

    Oh, and Banneret does not reduce the cost by 1 for each creature type mentioned, not that it matters here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tacosnape
    So let me get this straight. You're an aggro deck of the least aggressive color in magic, and have absolutely no means in your maindeck to get rid of a creature?

    This doesn't strike me as a fantastic plan for winning damage races.

    EDIT: Oh, and, good decks run good cards, to quote the motto of Card Quality Advantage. There is absolutely no reason there shouldn't be 3-4 Jittes in Sideboard at least, if not maindeck.
    Yes, an aggro deck of the least aggressive color. The fact is that Seasinger could effortlessly be placed in the main deck. Or Waterfront Bouncer. But if the creature I fear is more expensive than about 3 mana, my opponents are going to have a hard time resolving it before the game is out of hand. Now, Tarmos still get played, but the two decks that I played in testing that ran Tarmos were both really good matchups anyway. Lackey was a big problem, and I admit that freely. And I can see where Mangara could be. Seasinger and repeal got moved to the side because they weren't necessary. The common win scenario of turn 5 explosion has been doing the work. Hey, I could be wrong in the end. God knows I hate not having outs, but against the decks I have seen so far, this is the best setup IMO.

    3-4 Jittes in the board is quite reasonable. Spell Snares come out..I guess. I want more time to find out the strong and weak matchups before deciding.

  17. #17
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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    I would definitely not go the way you are taking Finn with Morningtide. The first thing I'm not sure about is the real ability of the Banneret. The cards that are cheaper aren't the ones that are both wizard and merfolk? The wording you use is not the one I've used to see (for some reason mtgsalvation is down at this moment and I cannot check myself). I remember something like that:
    Stonybrook Banneret
    1u
    Creature - Merfolk Wizard
    Common
    Islandwalk
    Merfolk and Wizard spells you play cost 1 less to play.
    #51/150
    1/1
    If you are right, I'm sorry to announce the definite death of the merfolk adventure (mine and yours), because it means that the analog goblin one is simply a cheaper warchief, that perfectly fits in the goblin curve (2cc has always been the weakest link of gobs).
    If you are wrong then this Banneret is a crap, so tidal courier is. The real good merfolk according to me are the sage of fables and maybe the "jester merfolk" if confirmed (and even though, I fear it's too slow for legacy).

    This guy is good. It's almost a +1/+1 and it makes card advantage.

  18. #18

    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    Well Maveric, I'm pretty sure the wording "Merfolk spells and Wizard spells" is correct (that's what it says on MTGS anyways), and I really don't see why they would make it different from the goblins one.
    Sage of fables, a good merfolk? Sorry, can you say that again? You realize of course it says "Wizard", and not "merfolk". So let's see, how many good merfolks are conveniently also wizards... I only see one, and that is silvergill adept (which would be played one turn earlier than the sages anyways).
    Other than that Finn, I like this new concept. I think how well you do really depends on your starting hand, but I'm sure you can do some pretty awesome plays (reejerey + banneret is sick). Since you play so many creatures (like goblins), maybe distant melody could be a way to refill your hand (other than courrier). I think goblins would certainly play it if it was red... Also, opposition could be fun. But I guess that if you've managed to put a bunch of creatures into play, you're already winning, so it's a bit win-more (applies also a bit to melody).

  19. #19

    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    It's slower than Goblins, and Weaker than thresh...

    Why play it?

  20. #20
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    Re: [CaNGD] Triton's Minions after Monrningtide

    About banneret I checked the scans and yes it's a cheap warchief. My biggest concern is that it's a very strong card foк goblins, which implies the raise of gob players (it's a very bad MU for merfolks) and also the raise of anti-trial cards (plague/pyroclasm/etc...) which is also an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaŽlig View Post
    Sorry, can you say that again? You realize of course it says "Wizard", and not "merfolk". So let's see, how many good merfolks are conveniently also wizards... I only see one, and that is silvergill adept (which would be played one turn earlier than the sages anyways)
    I always thought that confidant was the best merfolk, err sorry, I mean the best card in the merfolk decks. By the way, are you confirming that banneret is bad?

    It's slower than Goblins, and Weaker than thresh...

    Why play it?
    Because it's stronger than goblin and faster then thresh?

    If you want real arguments (I mean not as fake as yours) in favor of merfolks follow the link => http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...ead.php?t=8097

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