Legacy Merfolk by ehhh on MtGO

Creatures (24)
4 Cursecatcher
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Master of the Pearl Trident
4 Phantasmal Image
4 Silvergill Adept
4 True-Name Nemesis

Non-Creature Spells (16)
1 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Aether Vial
4 Chalice of the Void
3 Smuggler’s Copter

Lands (20)
4 Cavern of Souls
1 Gemstone Caverns
12 Island
3 Mutavault

Sideboard (15)
2 Back to Basics
1 Dismember
2 Echoing Truth
2 Flusterstorm
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Venser, Shaper Savant


Since the banning of Sensei’s Divining Top in Legacy, many players have been looking to see where the Legacy metagame might head. The first place many players have looked towards is the decks that struggled against Miracles and were pushed out of the metagame. The deck we’re featuring today, Merfolk, is certainly one of those decks. I have a SCG Open top 8 with this deck so I’m a little biased towards it, but I do believe that shifts in the Legacy metagame could and likely will make Merfolk a tier 1 deck again.

The strength of this deck comes from its ability to flood the board and make a formidable army with several “lord” effects. These lords are: Lord of Atlantis (where the name comes from), Master of the Pearl Trident, and Phantasmal Image (which has some applications when copying other creatures, but it’s included to be lords #9-12. To get these creatures in play more efficiently, this deck relies heavily on Aether Vial as a source of pseudo-extra mana.

Cursecatcher, Silvergill Adept, and True-Name Nemesis are the non-lord creatures in this deck. Cursecatcher‘s flexibility makes it a great inclusion. It fits very well at most points in the curve due to this deck’s mass of 2 mana spells, and it can also disrupt decks enough to buy an extra turn or force through important spells. Silvergill Adept keeps the engine of the deck running by replacing itself, and is a fantastic card to put in off of Aether Vial. True-Name Nemesis‘s printing caused many players to take another look at Merfolk as a viable option in Legacy, and while the 3/1’s numbers have waned in Legacy recently, it’s still one of the strongest creatures in this deck and can easily win many games on its own.

The big surprise in this deck is the inclusion of Smuggler’s Copter. The banned Standard card has seen very little play outside of Magic’s most popular format. However, it may have found a home in Merfolk. While Merfolk tends to not struggle with evasion (islandwalk hits a significant number of decks in the format), having another way to push through damage as well as a way to throw away excess lands that tend to pile up in hand is fantastic. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Looter Scooter see more play going forward. Chalice of the Void‘s inclusion used to be debatable, but I think it’s a fairly save inclusion now. It barely hits anything in this deck and ranges from “solid” to “nearly unbeatable” against some of the format’s most popular decks.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Smuggler’s Copter

+1 Daze


-1 Vendilion Clique

-1 Venser, Shaper Savant

+1 Back to Basics

+1 Flusterstorm

This is day 154 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 153 here, where we featured a Standard powerhouse that splashes a fourth (!) color to combat the metagame.

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