Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Making Magic in the Arena - Simic Flash (Eldraine)

In Magic the Gathering, one of the smartest things one can do is wait until the last possible second to make a move. By being patience, and playing reactively, we can give ourselves the freedom to amend our plans as the situation changes. In addition, we ensure that our spells and abilities are played at the point where they are most effective.

For this reason, I opted to go back to Simic Flash once more. We played this deck once during the Core 2020 season, and though we lost some cards in the rotation to Eldraine, we also gained enough new tricks that the strategy is still viable.

You can check out the decklist here.

Just like before, our ideal is to ensure enough land drops that we can pay UUGG for our most valuable cards, Frilled Mystic and Nightpack Ambusher. Both of these four drops are close to the top of our curve, and each of them are still as valuable for the reason I described in my previous Simic Flash video.

And while we're lost critical pieces from the previous list like Merfolk Trickster, that were key for both tempo and board presence, we make up for that in other ways. Mainly, in both Brazen Borrower and Wildborn Preserver. Being able to bounce anything with Brazen Borrower allows us quite a bit of versatility, both in forcing our opponent to recast key pieces so they can be vulnerable to counter-magic, or removing key blockers to make our swings safe.

In addition, with the loss of Essence Scatter, we've ditched both it and Negate in favor of the more universal Quench. Artificially adding an additional two mana to a spell's cost can be effectively even in the late game, forcing our opponents off followup plays if not stopping them in their tracks outright. We've also thrown in Growth Spiral as a potential early play if we don't need the mana for anything else, that can help sift through our deck ever so slightly.

And while I like this deck, I can't help but wonder why it runs Nissa, Who Shakes the World in it's mainboard. In theory, it seems like it wants to use Nissa's mana doubling effect in conjunction with her +1 to keep mana open for the hordes of instant speed 2-drops we have access to. However, this isn't really the kind of deck that wants something that high on the curve, and I almost always found myself gravitating towards a better option. If it works for you, by all means, but I'm likely to change her out for some more counterspells or other tricks.

Being able to wait for our opponent gives us much leeway in how we respond to their plays. The deck does suffer slightly in this meta due to the threat of Teferi, Time Raveler. Most decks play him specifically to avoid being spammed by counter magic, so our first priority will always be keeping him off the board. If we can do that though, our effects way not be powerful, but they can force our adversaries off balance and give us the openings we need to finish them off.

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