Merfolk



  • This is my favorite vintage deck to play. I was surprised that there hasn't been a thread dedicated to our favorite blue demons yet. So, post your decklists! Here is my current list. SB is a mess and changes frequently depending on the meta.

    Artifact: 5
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mox Sapphire
    3 Null Rod

    Creature: 24
    4 Cursecatcher
    4 Lord of Atlantis
    4 Master of the Pearl Trident
    2 Merrow Reejerey
    2 Phantasmal Image
    4 Silvergill Adept
    4 True-Name Nemesis

    Instant: 11
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Dismember
    1 Flusterstorm
    4 Force of Will
    3 Mental Misstep
    1 Misdirection

    Land: 19
    4 Cavern of Souls
    10 Island
    1 Strip Mine
    4 Wasteland

    Sorcery: 1
    1 Time Walk

    Sideboard: 15
    SB: 3 Grafdigger's Cage
    SB: 2 Dismember
    SB: 1 Echoing Truth
    SB: 2 Flusterstorm
    SB: 2 Hurkyl's Recall
    SB: 2 Mindbreak Trap
    SB: 3 Steel Sabotage



  • @Naixin I like Merfolk too. Ever since Joel Lim won champs with them, I've been amazed at just how good they actually are. Cavern of Souls is an amazing card.

    One question I've always had is, why the heck don't these lists run fetchlands? I mean, they do run Brainstorm and Ponder right? They do want to not draw lands on the last turn of games. They do want to play around potential Stripmines... are 3 fetches too much to ask? I'm really asking. Why is that the case?



  • @Topical_Island said:

    @Naixin I like Merfolk too. Ever since Joel Lim won champs with them, I've been amazed at just how good they actually are. Cavern of Souls is an amazing card.

    One question I've always had is, why the heck don't these lists run fetchlands? I mean, they do run Brainstorm and Ponder right? They do want to not draw lands on the last turn of games. They do want to play around potential Stripmines... are 3 fetches too much to ask? I'm really asking. Why is that the case?

    I don't think all Merfolk lists run Brainstorm. I usually don't. Ponder has its own shuffle effect built in if you need it. The thinning aspect to fetches, especially at your suggested quantity of 3, is so minuscule that it's not worth it. So really that just leaves Strip Mine. Which is restricted, so unless you're unlucky enough to get locked in Strip/Crucible, it shouldn't be an issue.



  • @rcwraspy I don't understand how a small positive advantage, "Isn't worth it"... I hear this all the time. Can actually unpack this for me? Do we mean not worth the extra monetary cost of fetch lands? We agree it thins land and that that's a good thing right? Even if it's only a little good... its still good. Fetches also pair with Ponder, since you might want to take 1 or 2 cards with a Ponder then shuffle away the third...

    With 50 cards left in the deck, the difference between drawing a land after 2 fetches is about 1%. So that's even just about 3 turns into the game, and that advantage will be seen on every ensuing turn. 1% + 1% + 1% and so on. In a game that goes even 7 turns of so, there is a very real chance that one won't see an island that one otherwise might have seen. Do we really think that losing 2 life makes us 1% less likely to win the game? I just don't understand this. To say nothing of the pairing with Ponder, or the resistance to Jace "fatesealing" us, or the benefit of playing a fetch turn 1 against Shops that pack Stripmine. This just seems like it's free advantage to me.



  • You're talking about a 1% reduction in chances of drawing a land at the cost of 5% of your life. 99% of the time the fetchland will have no effect on your draws. Some percent of the time you'll fetch and still want to draw another land. So, is the 1ish% of games that you win because you drew an extra non-land higher than the percentage of games come down to 1 or 2 life?



  • I would actually consider fetchlands if splashing a color but so far, I found mono blue to be most consistent. I've tried UB to splash for Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor because of how good Time Walk is in this deck, so I tried tutoring for it. I've also tried UW for amazing SB options (Containment Priest, Kataki, Rest in Peace, etc), but it ended up just bein clunky.



  • @WashableWater Right, exactly the correct question. I'm calcing as you win more games fetching.



  • @Topical_Island And I disagree.

    Firstly, in about 1% of games, you will not draw an extra land. This does not mean you win an additional 1% of those games. The set of games we are concerned with is a subset of that 1%; these are the games that you won because you drew one virtual extra card, and that virtual extra card that you drew wins the game. I believe that this is quite below 1% of games.

    On the flipside, I believe that more than 1 in 100 games come down to 1-2 life.



  • @WashableWater That is a totally fair analysis. I don't really agree because as I've mentioned, there are multiple other uses for fetch. I suppose the slumping use of Brainstorm explains some of this. At least it answers my question for what the heck is going on. I remember looking at those list and just not understanding at all what the thought process was.

    (Again, the math is not 1% one time... its 1% each time you draw a card...)



  • @Naixin said:

    I would actually consider fetchlands if splashing a color but so far, I found mono blue to be most consistent. I've tried UB to splash for Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor because of how good Time Walk is in this deck, so I tried tutoring for it. I've also tried UW for amazing SB options (Containment Priest, Kataki, Rest in Peace, etc), but it ended up just bein clunky.

    If you've looked to splash just to tutor Time Walk (which I agree is great for this deck), I assume you've tried Mystical Tutor? Thoughts on that one? Just not enough potent instants/sorceries in case you drew both Mystical and Time Walk?



  • @rcwraspy I've tried it but I'm not sure how I felt about a tutor that puts a card on the top of your deck. I have considered, and will probably try Mystical Tutor as well as Temporal Mastery. It seems cute but when it works, it works.



  • @Naixin said:

    @rcwraspy I've tried it but I'm not sure how I felt about a tutor that puts a card on the top of your deck. I have considered, and will probably try Mystical Tutor as well as Temporal Mastery. It seems cute but when it works, it works.

    Gotcha. You mentioned Vampiric so I assumed the top of deck clause didn't much matter.


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