Merfolk may be the most misunderstood aggressive deck in the history of Modern.
I suspect that it also secretly may be one of the best weapons in the format for fighting the Eldrazi menace. Dane would likely agree, as he was paid off with a victory at his #SCGRegionals event in Seattle.
While Merfolk has often messed around with some light permission elements in the past, its current form is pure aggression with some built-in mana denial.
Spreading Seas serves as a powerful tool against Eldrazi and other mana-intensive strategies while also turning on the various islandwalking Lords.
I like a lot of the small choices Dane has made, including going lighter on the top-end, like Master of Waves, and maximizing Harbinger of the Tides. While I've yet to Harbinger my opponent's Thought-Knot Seer, I can't wait to give it a shot.
Four copies of Merrow Reejery make turning on Harbinger a lot easier when we don't have access to Aether Vial, and when there are fewer Lightning Bolts and other assorted spot removal in the format, playing the maximum number of Lords is certainly appealing.
Phantasmal Image is another great choice these days. It can function as an additional Silvergill Adept, the best card in the Merfolk deck; a redundant Lord; or a utility creature like Harbinger or Tidebinder Mage. It can even make its best impression of Reality Smasher and hit for five!
The overloading on Hurkyl's Recall in the sideboard does not surprise me. Affinity is one of the other best-performing decks in Modern right now and the matchup is historically tough. While Recall is certainly never lights-out, Merfolk is just interested in buying a few Time Walks in an effort to race.
It's still unclear what can ultimately contend with the Eldrazi horrors, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Merfolk dragged them back down to the depths from which they came.
- 4 Cursecatcher
- 4 Harbinger of the Tides
- 4 Lord of Atlantis
- 4 Master of the Pearl Trident
- 2 Master of Waves
- 4 Merrow Reejerey
- 2 Phantasmal Image
- 4 Silvergill Adept
- 2 Tidebinder Mage