Merfolk, or Fish as it is often referred to, began as a Legacy deck that used the power of its Lords (a Lord is a creature that gives +1/+1 to other creatures of the same type) to create an explosively fast aggro deck that protects itself through counterspells while using Aether Vial to cheat out a large number of potent creatures. The backbone of the deck consists of Master of the Pearl Trident and Lord of Atlantis, along with Silvergill Adept, Aether Vial and Mutavault . The deck comes in U/B, and U/W but is most popularly played as a mono-blue deck. It usually wins by abusing Lord of Atlantiss islandwalk attribute with Spreading Seas, or by slamming down a Master of Waves and going too wide for an opponent to handle. It is a fast, efficient and somewhat low budget deck. It also has the benefit of being extremely portable to Legacy, as the decklist only features a difference of a few cards (Chalice of the Void, Force of Will, True-Name Nemesis, and Daze). If you want a fun, powerful aggro deck that is (comparatively) easy on your wallet and can efficiently transfer from Modern to Legacy, Merfolk is for you!
Sideboarding Against This Deck
Unlike other creature based aggro decks, Merfolk often manages to create incredibly large threats, due to the presence of multiple Lord of Atlantises, or Master of the Pearl Tridents. This can mean that traditionally used sweepers like Anger of the Gods and Drown in Sorrow may be ineffective. The most reliable way to try and beat it is to go wide – Merfolk is not the fastest aggro decks, so other aggro decks may attempt to outrace it. Cards that hose creature-based decks (such as Ensnaring Bridge) can also work here. On the spells front, Maelstrom Pulse is one possibility in these scenarios – being able to efficiently remove multiple threats, however it suffers from the fact that it wont deal with all of their creatures, only a few. Occasionally it may be best to use single target removal against the lords as these present the biggest threats. However, compared to other aggro decks, damage based sweepers and removal can be somewhat less effective here. As always, Damnation and Wrath of God remain effective. The biggest problem Merfolk faces is the ability to lose steam or run out of plays when facing decks that also play efficient threats. BG/x playing early Tarmogoyfs has the chance to trade efficiently and gain a quick upper hand, for example. However, Merfolk also has ways to make its creatures unblockable. In this regard, Merfolk is perhaps in the unique position that whilst it does have weaknesses, there are none that it cant address to some extent.
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