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Merfolk Is Back On The Menu In Modern

How did Merfolk of all decks reach the finals of a Magic Online Showcase Challenge? Ari Lax breaks down the why and how of a Modern classic’s return to the spotlight.

Svyelun of Sea and Sky, illustrated by Seb McKinnon

Merfolk is winning in Modern again.


And not just some Merfolk specialist getting their one highroll a year. If anything, Tulio_Jaudy is best known as a next-level metagame specialist with a list of SCG Tour Online finishes with decks that are one step ahead of the metagame. If that person is winning with Merfolk, you should pay attention.

This can only mean one thing: we've officially reached peak BS season for Modern. Don't worry, this happens every year or so. Even if you are a Merfolk skeptic, this is the part you should pay attention to.

Violent Outburst Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer Sigarda's Aid

First, people figure out the best linear decks in the format. In a past age of Modern, those was things like Five-Color Humans and Ironworks Combo. Fast, resilient, and interactive decks. In the current Modern, they were the dominating results that cascade decks, Izzet Midrange, and Mono-White Hammer (Lurrus) had over the summer.

Teferi, Time Raveler

You then get a really targeted answer to beating those top decks. In the Ironworks-Humans metagame, it was Bant Spirits. Today, that's almost exclusively the job of Azorius Control (Kaheera) and the Four-Color offshoots, whether you choose Yorion or Kaheera as your companion.

Then things get weird. Really weird.

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