Sometimes Daily Decklist will just cover the deck that I want to talk about. Other times it will talk about the player that I want to talk about. This one will be of the latter variety, as I am going to present Modern Merfolk, go over it briefly, but I want to bring about more awareness of the player behind it. I have written about Merfolk before, and my love of the archetype in Modern, so there is really not much for me to add there. Dominaria gives the deck in a new toy in Merfolk Trickster, and Nikachu added the full playset to the deck to a successful 5-0 league finish recently.
What about Merfolk Trickster is so cool though? Well it’s a natural 2/2 so it’s not got the worst body for it’s mana cost. It has flash, which is super sweet, and gives the deck yet another end of turn tool outside of Aether Vial, but where the Trickster shines though is it’s ability. When it comes into play you tap target creature an opponent controls. That’s great for getting a blocker out of the way, but there is more to the card than that. It also removes any abilities that the card has. This means that the giant attacking Tarmogoyf is suddenly a lowly 0/1, or fish food, whichever way you want to look at it. It turns off Scavenging Ooze, and makes sure that Knight of the Reliquary can’t activate. There are tons of uses for Trickster in the Modern format!
Other than Trickster we have a pretty stock Merfolk list. There are ten lords a leapin’ with full sets of Lord of Atlantis, Master of the Pearl Trident and two copies of Merrow Reejery. We get the card draw of Silvergill Adept, the token production of Master of Waves and the sweet tempo play of Harbinger of the Tides. Cursecatcher, as time goes on and more merfolk are printed seems to become the weakest link, but as that happens it’s almost a necessary evil sometimes.
Spell Pierce is the best countermagic in the deck, protecting you from nearly all the evils of Modern, unless it is Supreme Verdict, or if they have two more mana. Dismember is cheap removal, and Aether Vial is what makes the deck hum, pumping out free creatures at the end of turn, so they are ready to swim over and uh…I am not sure how to describe a fish attack, maybe nibble, um, whatever fish do to attack. Shrugs. Spreading Seas ensures that it will be smooth sailing.
The land base is Mutavault just for more attacking power, Islands, because well, you have to cast blue spells sometimes, and non basic lands that are resilient against sideboard hate like Choke, which has started to see a bit more play in Modern recently.
Let’s spend the rest of this to talk about the Master of the Seas, Nikachu. Best known for a second place finish at GP Vancouver back in 2017 with Merfolk, Jonathon is a streamer and YouTuber that shows how important it is to know your deck well in the Modern format. Jonathon’s YouTube channel, found here, is a sunken treasure for the merfolk player, as there are videos that go over the ins and outs of matchups. His Merfolk Card Primers are just wonderful, and despite knowing a lot about the deck in the format, I have found a lot of use from watching the videos myself! Nikachu has a patreon that has some wonderful tools for subscribers as well. Finally you can follow on twitter as well.
Here is the list.
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