Merfolk in RIX Constructed

by Lee Shi Tian on 05 January 2018, Friday

Lee Shi Tian


Merfolk in RIX Constructed

Hello everyone,

I think that due to the small size of Rival of Ixalan, the length of spoiler season is also shorter. By the time you are reading this article, lots of cards would already have been reviewed. However, let's take a look at some of the Merfolk cards which benefit Constructed.





Attune with Aether Hazoret the Fervent The Scarab God

We all know that Ixalan tribes failed to make their marks in Standard at all.

Standard is still dominated by Energy strategies, Hazoret the Fervent and The Scarab God decks. Ixalan was one of the weakest spring sets in recent history as it failed to impact Standard format significantly.




Enter Rivals of Ixalan

I secretly hope that Rivals of Ixalan could provide extra support to the tribes which can make big changes to the format. The cards which interested me the most were a pair of multi-color Merfolks, and they are Merfolk Mistbinder and Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca.




We got card advantage in Energy decks and a lot of tempo in Hazoret decks. These angles of attack pressure you in different ways. Now, we might have a Merfolk deck that allows you to play a longer game like Mono-Black Zombies.


Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca is definitely huge as it provides us a late game option. Green aggro decks have fallen out of favor since Collected Company rotated out. The Merfolk cards we have now are kind of weak.

Most of them do not have a way to generate advantage except Merfolk Branchwalker. The other Merfolk are only pointing us towards the rush dimension. As long as Merfolk lose their board position, the game is over. If rushing is the only dimension of the deck type, Ramunap Red is the better deck.


Merfolk Branchwalker Silvergill Adept

The early preview of Silvergill Adept gave us a glimmer of hope. And now Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca certainly give us a huge bump. The first ability of Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca means we can always deal some damage even the board was stalled.

The second ability helps us pull out games from a board stall by creating card advantage. It indeed reminds me of how Cryptbreaker was closing the game by trading up creatures while drawing cards all the way. The last ability of pumping reminds me of Liliana's Mastery. Once we get enough Merfolk in play, we can take over the game real quick.


Deeproot Waters

We need a way to generate enough Merfolk. I think Deeproot Waters is the best tool for us at the moment. Creating hexproof Merfolk is an excellent tool against removal-based decks. The problem is not able to abuse the 1/1s as the body size is too weak. However, with Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca, we can now pump up the tokens and gaining cards while chump blocking.

Here is the list I would like to try out:

The concept of the deck is lots of comes into play effects. We try to gain different types of advantage from all the Merfolks. 
I like how the deck is now filled with quality two-drops now. Merfolk Mistbinder is another two-mana Lord that pumps up the whole team. Silvergill Adept and Merfolk Branchwalker both get you a card.


Jadelight Ranger Vineshaper Mystic

I added Jadelight Ranger at the three drop slot as it helps us dig for KKumena, Tyrant of Orazca. Explore is a great ability when it stacks. Combining with Merfolk Branchwalker lets us cut some lands.

Vineshaper Mystic is also a card that pushes in early damage to run over the opponent. A three-mana 3/5 is playable in the format. Curving out with Kumena's SpeakerMerfolk Mistbinder into Vineshaper Mystic reminds me how Kithkin won in the Lorwyn block days. Attacking for three damage on turn two and then seven damage on turn three with nine power on the board sounds great to me!


Unsummon Blossoming Defense

The weak point of the deck is the lack of removals. If we fall behind in the early game, we might have trouble at catching up. Unsummon is the best tempo play we could have.

Bouncing Hazoret the Fervent or Glorybringer is a great to me. I would also like to try Blossoming Defense for helping me fizzle more expensive spells and gain tempo.


Merfolk always got its fans (or haters?) in Modern as well. Merfolk Mistbinder is a great addition to include as two mana Lords stack well. We could easily build a Pack Rat.dec now.

It might sound crazy to cut Aether Vial and Spreading Seas but I think we want to have all gas. It becomes all about jamming Lord after Lord onto the battlefield. Spreading Seas is a tempo loss to the deck unless we got Aether Vial running.

I also run extra one drops such as Cursecatcher and Dismember so I don't fall behind so easily. Mutagenic Growth is there to protect the Lords from damage-based removal such as Lightning Bolt.


Lord of Atlantis Master of the Pearl Trident Merrow Reejerey

Once again, we have Silvergill Adept and Merfolk Branchwalker to help to smooth out the deck and the rest of the deck are Lords. I like Merrow Reejerey a lot as it can go off casting multiple lords in a single turn. I also added Collected Company to push the number of Lords and act as card advantage. The goal of the deck is merely killing the opponent on turn four without many interactions.


Spreading Seas Aether Vial

It is purely experimental. It is entirely possible that the old version with Spreading Seas and Aether Vial is still the way to go, but I cannot find slots to cut for Merfolk Mistbinder. It is also possible that at the end of the day, interaction is what the deck needs. The damage from the mana base could be trivial for the deck but a Simic mana base is much worse than a Mono-Blue one.

But there is no harm testing it out.

So this is what I have after seeing the partial spoiler of the Rivals of Ixalan. By the time I finished this article, I saw some extra cheap and good pirates like Daring Buccaneer and Fanatical Firebrand previewed. Let's see if I will come back with Pirates next week.



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