The Definitive Ankh Tide Sourcebook

Always wanted to write something like that: Definitive. Anyway, I think it probably shows something that I’m the guy that knows this deck. What that is, I’m not sure. It was an inferior deck for last season. I still won about 75-80% percent of my games and made local top 8s very consistently with it……

Always wanted to write something like that: Definitive. Anyway, I think it probably shows something that I’m the guy that knows this deck. What that is, I’m not sure. It was an inferior deck for last season. I still won about 75-80% percent of my games and made local top 8s very consistently with it… now the bad news…

I’ve given my "winning" versions to other folks, and they’ve gotten creamed. It is a unique deck to pilot, and it took me a while to understand how to use it properly. That is, it is a bit akin to Replenish, the combo deck that wasn’t really a combo – but I believe Ankh Tide is harder to play than that deck (basically because it wasn’t as good). Some, probably way more in tune than I, told us the best thing about Replenish wasn’t the combo but the control… and so it is with Ankh Tide. It is a blue-based land control deck.

It makes the best use of some cards that you know. It is the BEST deck for the use of Tangle Wire. Bounce. I always run Bounce in my Tide decks. Folks like to tell you that bounce is card disadvantage. That comes from linear thinking. What I found I could do was gain great time AND card advantage with Boomerangs and Hoodwinks on almost all occasions. My Hoodwinks became recycled Tangle Wires and Tides. (I once beat a Stompy with basically three Tangle Wires that came up, along with a Hoodwink and a Boomerang. At one point I sent him nine taps… and then I Tided him out.

(By the way – I never lost to Stompy with Ankh Tide, Mr. Ripley.)

These cards created an advantage in time, when on the playside I could bounce someone’s land. That was singularly the best early play that I could make. You could think of that as a "Time Walk." It was terrible for Replenish and Bargain to be set back a turn in mana production and, it was complete gravy to have Senor Stompy play that Pouncing Jag after I’d dropped island number one, because island number two just put their forest in hand and killed the Jag. THAT IS CARD ADVANTAGE. It was also great to bounce a Rancor target, thus dropping that spell into the grave permanently. It can be traded for a Disenchant that’s targeted at your Ankh. I’ll take that trade. And yes, sometimes it was used in the bad old card disadvantage, time advantage way. Sometimes that worked, too.

Some bad…

White is a prevalent color. In fact, I’ve been thinking it was the strongest color last season and continues into this one. Replenish was a white deck, and was very good over the course. Rebels won at Regionals, and Academy Rector powered both Bargain and Ped Buns’ Regional Championships deck. This is material for another piece and I digress some, but… white is bad, as white is the enemy with Disenchant effects. Of course, you can only hope that kid with a net deck named "Replenish" waits to Disenchant your Tide and not your Ankh. It happened to me; he took ten and I won…

Discard is bad as well. It can wreck what you’ve spent a lot of time setting up by robbing you of Ankh or Tide. A Lobotomy on either piece is probably an autoloss. Luckily, the environment isn’t combo heavy and Lobotomy probably won’t be terribly prevalent… except for some kid that hoses you with it.

The good. On a decent draw on the playside, this deck can beat ANYTHING. The bad. On the drawside, the struggle is increased. In this, I came up with what I called playside/drawside sideboarding. In its simplest form, this amounted to looking at the bounce cards first as replacements for sideboard cards WHEN ON THE DRAW SIDE. The Submerges, Chills, and other stuff that I boarded came in for the Hoodwinks first and then the Boomerangs, because a lot of the advantage of things that could be done was lost – especially first-land drop bounce. On the play side, you keep those things in, most specifically for that bounce of their first land.

Last season I ran mono blue versions of the deck that used Psychic Venom and Indentured Djinn for the most part, but I also had versions that were U/B and U/W, along with a unique U/G Version with Argothian Wurm. The U/B version was inspired by Chris Cade’s Parallax Prison, and had a lot of maindeck hate that was pirated by me from Finkel’s US Championship deck. The White versions had Enlightened Tutor and things like Blinding Angel or Wrath of God. Initially we toyed with some cards like Flicker as well… but last season was one that wasn’t particularly keen on multicolor designs. Port was everywhere, and later Tangle Wire and the old mana problem crept into the picture. I generally stuck with mono blue.

Rule number one: You need another source of damage other than the Ankh. Ankh alone is much too flimsy to be relied upon for damage. It can get Disenchanted or Pillaged, Orangutan’d or Molded. You need something else. Usually, that is a creature. Last year, as I said, I used Indentured Djinn. That is a trade off. It worked against White and Green and against most blue decks. Blue mages would let the big flying clock hit and take the three cards… then find out that they couldn’t deal with the on-board creature. Black was bad, as targeted kill netted them card advantage. Red was an iffy bargain. They usually got card advantage of one if they could kill it as it took two spells. One thing was that in a lot of cases the cards given up by the Djinn wouldn’t see play, as I’d follow with Tangle Wire and the Tide wrecking their mana. But I digress some. Djinn is a horrible choice now, as removal is huge again with no real combo decks… We have to find another creature. The bad news there is that the pickins are slim…

Mono Blue Approach.

Blue Ankh Tide:
4x Ankh of Mishra
4x Parallax Tide
4x Fact or Fiction
4x Air Elemental
2x Hoodwink
4x Boomerang
2x Desertion
4x Wash Out
4x Counterspell
4x Tangle Wire
4x Rishadan Port
4x Saprazzan Skerry
16x Island
Sideboard: 3x Mana Maze
Sideboard: 4x Seal of Removal
Sideboard: 3x Chill
Sideboard: 3x Cursed Totem

The first version that I ran used Air Elemental. That wound up being a Morphling later on in a U/B version after a stint creatureless. Basically there isn’t a creature that I like in blue for the deck now. The other choices are Troublesome Spirit and Ribbon Snake. You could use either of those. As this is NOT a counter-oriented deck, the Spirit should work well. Ribbon Snake gets points for the 3cc drop and the fact that it will "fly" a lot in this deck… Wash Out is a huge addition to the deck that can buy enough time to get the combo going. Fact or Fiction is hailed by the masses as the best of Invasion. In the sideboard, Mana Maze is for blue. Seal of Removal is for fast beatdown decks. Chill is obvious, and Totem is mostly for Rebels.

Here is a quick look at the creatureless version. As good as Port was it gets a whole lot better when there is a Psychic Venom on one of their lands…

4x Ankh of Mishra
4x Parallax Tide
4x Hoodwink
4x Boomerang
4x Counterspell
4x Mana Short
4x Power Sink
4x Tangle Wire
4x Psychic Venom
4x Rishadan Port
20x Island

I guess you could chop it a bit and add two or three Wash Outs now… It will get some small advantage because so many will run a lot of creature removal… and this has no targets for that.


With Enlightened Tutor, this is an obvious choice. You can hunt up a LOT of important stuff that way, and it lets you run less of some things.

4x Ankh of Mishra
4x Parallax Tide
4x Tangle Wire
4x Enlightened Tutor
3x Mageta, the Lion
1x Alexi’s Cloak
2x Hoodwink
4x Boomerang
2x Counterspell
4x Absorb
4x Wrath of God
1x Parallax Wave
4x Adarkar Wastes
3x Coastal Tower
4x Rishadan Port
2x Remote Farm
5x Plains
5x Island
Sideboard: 3x Chill
Sideboard: 2x Light of Day
Sideboard: 3x Hanna, Ships Navigator
Sideboard: 1x Mageta, the Lion
Sideboard: 3x Seal of Removal
Sideboard: 3x Seal of Cleansing

This one has a little more counter power. It wants protect Mageta, plus the four main deck Wraths for creature control. Mageta has a huge target for spot removal, but if you can maneuver into having the mana to get both him and Alexi’s Cloak down in one turn, you’ll probably have a winner. Hanna is for white and green decks with light removal and high Disenchant ability. Most of the rest is pretty much straightforward.

U/B Tide

4x Ankh of Mishra
4x Parallax Tide
4x Nether Spirit
4x Tangle Wire
4x Counterspell
3x Undermine
4x Boomerang
2x Hoodwink
3x Wash Out
2x Meekstone
4x Vampiric Tutor
5x Swamp
7x Island
4x Rishadan Port
2x Salt Marsh
4x Underground River
Sideboard: 4x Perish
Sideboard: 4x Chill
Sideboard: 3x Vodalian Zombie
Sideboard: 4x Stromgald Cabal

This is my current favorite version. I was playing some deck versus a guy playing Nether Go, and it struck me that Nether Spirit should be a very good fit in this deck. Usually you are just waiting to combo, and the Nether has an ability to stop a lot of attacks. Add in Meekstone, and he starts stopping a whole lot of stuff – namely Blastoderm, along with a lot of other fatties. Undermine is great, as it can finish what a single cycle of Ankh and Tide couldn’t. Remember, Wash Out can be played on a Tide that is in play to rinse and repeat with it, as well as save your bacon from rush.

In the sideboard, Zombie is for the G/W Geddon decks as well as for Fish – a deck that should give Ankh Tide as much trouble as a staved-off Blasty. Stormgald Cabal is an answer to Armageddon and Disenchant. In this configuration, it should fight FattyGeddon well, beat mono Green, and fight mono white. Fish and discard will be problematic, and Red is probably a tossup with an advantage after sideboarding.

These sideboards are just a jumping off point. Some of the ideas will certainly be useful and others will need to be scrapped and altered. Sideboards are built around the metagame and there’s not much of one yet…and I’m not a particularly good sideboard artist…

How You Will Win a Tournament with This Deck:

Well, you probably won’t, but if you do you will play first a lot and – like most winners – get good matchups. I think that going for the throat against green and white should be pretty wise at this point in time.

So I’m playing the U/B SexontheBeach version against Wildfire, and it’s a horrible matchup. Artifact mana was just terrible to this deck. He’s doing bad things to me and haven’t done much except for a little countering, some search, bouncing nasty things while he makes a Covetous Dragon and serves. I’m at three life. I Tutor, not knowing what I’m looking for…and there is the one Meekstone. I stop the big red flyer from untapping and tide him out…

Game 2, I somehow play out from under a Mishra’s Helix (again, Mr. Ripley?), where I bounced it repeatedly in response to its use. That made him spend for it again, and somehow in here I snuck down the parts and won again by Tiding him out. It was really unbelievable. I split with Angry Hermit in that one losing to it in the finals.

4x Ankh of Mishra
4x Parallax Tide
4x Tangle Wire
2x Morphling
4x Dark Ritual
4x Vampiric Tutor
2x Rhystic Scrying
2x Hoodwink
4x Boomerang
1x Energy Field
1x Eradicate
1x Engineered Plague
1x Massacre
1x Meekstone
4x Underground River
4x Rishadan Port
6x Swamp
11x Island
Sideboard: 4x Phyrexian Negator
Sideboard: 2x Perish
Sideboard: 2x Planar Void
Sideboard: 2x Chill
Sideboard: 1x Stromgald Cabal
Sideboard: 1x Douse
Sideboard: 1x Massacre
Sideboard: 1x Rebel Informer
Sideboard: 1x Vendetta

Why is it called SexontheBeach? Because when the Tide comes in and the Morphling comes out, you are screwed…

Will Rieffer
Hanging with the cool daddies on Dalnet as phantmjokr

Malcolm Bliss

I’m the chaos in order
I’m the order in storms of war
I’m the hate between lovers
but I’ll be love if love hates this war
you say you don’t know the Jesus
and you don’t know the fires of hell
while still you take the pain of your pleasures
I know you want! Well don’t take me there
to wake me up
to tear me down
to tear me up
to break me

I’m the grace in the wasteland
while I’m wasted of graceful words
everything you’ve ever said or heard
everyone that you’ve ever hurt
you say that you know the Jesus
and that you know the fires of hell
while still you take the pain of your pleasures
I know you want! Well don’t take me there
to wake me up
to tear me down
to break me up
to tear me