M:tG Cribbs #22: Mono-Blue Merfolk in Modern

  1. This was incredibly helpful. Usually I am a limited player and I have been looking to start getting into some of the constructed formats and one of the decks I want to build is a Modern Merfolk deck. Thank you so much for posting this today!

  2. You should not have lost game 2 in round 1. If you had played Hurkyl’s recall right after your opponent played the etched champion, that would have completely crushed their ability to regain proper board presence in time, especially since you had spell pierce for the mox.

  3. I actually think recall is surprisingly bad against artifacts. You often play in and lose anyway!!!

  4. @mike

    Recall is not meant to be a complete hoser. When played at the right time though, it sets your opponent back just far enough. Of course they can have the nut hand with all free spells and an overseer or plating, that can’t be helped. However, in Ryan’s case, recalling just after champion in R1G2 would have been devastating with spell pierce backup for mox.

  5. Enjoyed the videos. As a player who has been known to run the blue menace in Classic, it was interesting for me to see it shake out in Modern. I am not well versed in the Modern landscape at the moment, but here are a few things I learned in Classic (Modern seems to be more aggro than Classic, so in some ways it’s “faster,” though Classic is much more likely to have a game end quickly, paradoxically).

    Have you tried upping the count of Coralhelm to 4? When I first started running Merfolk decks in Classic, I thought Coralhelm would be straight up garbage. Instead of playing it, I cut it completely for Merrow Reej. However, I decided to try Coralhelm just to know the deck as well as possible. And it was insane how good the drop was. Thinking you’ll have extra lords is fantastic. But the up in casting cost not only slowed the deck, but its upside (tap, untap) mattered far less than I expected. The other giant bonus was that I never had to make a decision about Vial counters. You never go above two. Hit 2 and don’t worry about it. Further, the number of times I actually leveled it up were far more than I expected. Vials, of course, help with this, as you know. Testing and tourneys led me to completely abandon the Reej.

    In Classic, I definitely wanted to up the number of Phantasmal Image to the max. It is obviously susceptible to any effect or card, but if used correctly you don’t have much to worry about. Having an Image come down on the final attack turn was often the clincher. Further, in Classic, Oath or Tinker decks are big concerns. Many decks simply lose to a resolved trigger, putting Blightsteel or Emrakul on the field. However, the Merfolk deck could often race this board state given the proper time and resources OR simply win the game on the next turn thanks to and EOT Vialed Image, which conveniently attacks for huge on the next swing. Obviously, these lines are not viable in Modern and I am not really sure about their corollary, but I am sure there have to be some trickery usages for Image EOT in Modern as well. I could be wrong, though. I would try 4x Image.

    Love seeing the Blue Menace out there.

  6. Thanks for the feed back everyone! To magikot, I’m glad I was able to give you a little look at Merfolk in Modern. It is really fun to play and I keep having success with it, which is always good. To everyone who commented on the timing of the Hurkyl’s Recall, looking back, it was more than likely right to play the Recall the turns he played champion. But I have always liked slow rolling it as long as I can to get more value. But I do think that card is essential to the Affinity and is very good there. And to huffy, thank you for all the insight. I do really like Commander and Image a lot, but in Modern there is so much spot removal in almost every deck that it is very easy to get blown out and set behind that rarely want to draw more than one of each of those in a game.

  7. Makes sense on Image. With Coralhelm, though, having 4x is huge for drawing one, which I found myself always wanting to do.

  8. Thanks for the videos. I’ve been looking for some Modern Merfolk stuff for a long time.

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