Decks of tournaments past: Uw Merfolk

Though Merfolk has somewhat of a presence in today’s Legacy metagame, much thanks to True-Name Nemesis, it is by no means a true DTB, or even a tier 1 deck. This wasn’t always the case, however, Merfolk was a true force to be reckoned with back around 2010 – it had a great match-up against Bant CounterTop, one of the best decks in the format, it was alright against the format’s combodeck due to 4 Force of Will and 4 Daze paired with some quick beats, and it was okay against most random decks, simply because beating up people with 4/4 Islandwalking fishes is straightforward and easy enough. It was terrible against Goblins and Zoo, however, but that didn’t stop me. The fact that everyone else ran mono-blue didn’t stop me from trying various splashes, for example Tomoharu Saito’s GP Columbus 2010-winning deck which effectively was mono-blue in the maindeck, but splashed black for sideboarded Engineered Plague and Perish.

As for myself, I played with a white splash. White gave me access to a bunch of sideboard tools, but more importantly, it allowed me to play Sejiri Merfolk (for real) and Swords to Plowshares in the maindeck. Most importantly, I got to play with my expensive lands. I played this pile to the semifinals of a tournament in may of 2010, just as the black splash Merfolk began to rise in popularity:

Uw Merfolk, summer of 2010

Easily the worst card in the list, by far

Easily the worst card in the list, by far

3 Mutavault
4 Wasteland
4 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta
3 Tundra
3 Island

4 Cursecatcher
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Silvergill Adept
4 Merrow Reejerey
3 Sejiri Merfolk
2 Merfolk Sovereign

3 Swords to Plowshares
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Aether Vial

Sideboard:
2 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
1 Swords to Plowshares
4 Spell Pierce
1 Threads of Disloyalty
3 Submerge
2 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Relic of Progenitus

Sejiri Merfolk is obviously quite terrible, but I thought it was unique, and it shored up the aggro match-up, and it was cute. First strike is great vs. Zoo, and the whole idea with the white splash was to turn Zoo from a 35/65 match-up to like 40/60. Not worth it, but the Swords to Plowshares were great all day, they allowed me to beat, in turn, Umezawa’s Jitte; Llawan, Cephalid Empress and Iona, Shield of Emeria in the quarter finals, all three essentially death penalties for a mono-blue Merfolk list. The sideboard is okay too, in retrospect, I’d cut Sejiri Merfolk for something more relevant, and add the fourth Swords to Plowshares to the maindeck instead, and the one-of Threads of Disloyalty is as random as they come in a deck with no card-drawing outside Silvergill Adept. The full set of Spell Pierce and the four grave hosers were both good calls though, and Submerge is always Submerge, especially in a metagame where everyone and their dogs were playing Knight of the Reliquary.

The tournament, in its entirety:
Storm (2-1)
Bant Aggro (2-1)
Reanimator (2-0)
Next-Level Thresh (1-2)
ID
QF: Bant Aggro (2-1)
SF: Goblins (0-2)

The QF Bant Aggro match-up was the same as in round two, and apparently, he got salty as all hell over my white splash afterwards, or so I heard. That alone makes it all worth it, in retrospect.

Funnily enough, I played a similar list in march of 2010, but overall a better configuration I’d say:

Uw Merfolk, spring of 2010
3 Mutavault
4 Wasteland
4 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta
3 Tundra
3 Island

4 Cursecatcher
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Silvergill Adept
4 Merrow Reejerey
4 Merfolk Sovereign

4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Aether Vial

Sideboard:
2 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
4 Path to Exile
4 Spell Pierce
1 Echoing Truth
2 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Relic of Progenitus

A much better deck overall, with a more consistent maindeck, and a better sideboard, played two months before the pile above. The deck actually got worse over time. As luck would have it though, this deck only made it to the quarterfinals:

The death of fishes in 2010

Zoo (2-0)
Zoo (0-2)
Countertop (2-0)
Countertop (2-1)
Bant CBtop (2-1)
Bant Survival (2-1)
QF: RUG (1-2)

The notes from the tournament tells me I lost in the third duel of the quarterfinals after drawing land, Aether Vial, land, Force of Will after he Pyroclasm’d my entire team to cinders. A funny anecdote from the tournament I remember is that after losing to my opponent in the quarterfinals, I thanked him for the match and said “Good luck in the next one”, to which he replied “Yeah, you too… Oh, wait!”

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: