Merfolks are one of the more beloved creature types in Magic and they were key pieces to some of the best decks in history so I was looking forward to building a tempo-y Merfolk deck in Standard. Magic 2013 has some very good merfolks that provides the foundation of such a Standard merfolk deck. Master of the Pearl Trident is probably the best lord they will ever print at two mana. Augur of Bolas is a cantriping merfolk and a Standard staple. Talrand is just insane in the right deck.
With Mark Rosewater teasing us with merfolks in the Simic tribe in Gatecrash, I thought/ was hoping merfolks would be moderately playable. Unfortunately it was not meant to be. Gatecrash has only three merfolks. One costs six (including a double green), one is mediocre at best and the last one is a six mana unplayable. Wizards probably rightfully tested that Master of the Pearl Trident is too powerful of a card in Standard if they give it the support it needs (namely another two drop or another merfolk lord) especially after a Standard format dominated by Delver.
Anyways I have been slowly assemble foils for this decks so I am going to try to make merfolks work. Here is my latest version of the list I’m working with.
4 Master of the Pearl Trident
4 Augur of Bolas
2 Talrand, Sky Summoner
2 Snapcaster Mage
It is tough to win with a bunch of 1 or 2 power creatures and a game without a Master may actually be unwinable. Fortunately with Augur, Talrand and Snapcaster Mage you are going to need a lot of spells so cantrips are perfect and they will help cycle through the deck very fast.
4 Inaction Injunction
4 Thought Scour
3 Essence Scatter
This is a collection of the best tempo spells and cantrips in Standard. I could splash in the another color, white being probably the best for Moorland Haunt and Azorius Charm but this deck is underpowered already so I don’t want to make the mana base shakey too.
Now for the cards that make this deck possibly playable.
4 Cackling Counterpart
2 Runechanter’s Pike
and of course
Cackling Counterpart is just insane in this deck. It kind of gives you eight Masters of the Pearl Tridents or another Augur in a pinch. One thing everyone forget about this card is that it is an instant so you can hold your counterspells and copy your Master at the end of your opponent turn or it can be a sick combat trick no one is prepared for. Runechanter’s Pike is one of the first cards I put in a deck with Thought Scour and a ton of cantrips and it give the deck more of a punch.
The more interesting cards in Gatecrash for this deck may be Hands of Binding and Rapid Hybridization, perhaps in the sideboard. It is shame that Realmwright isn’t a merfolk. It would make it so much easier to splash in another color.
Let me know what you think of the deck. There aren’t many merfolks available but I really want to make this deck work so I am totally open to any ideas.