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GU Riptide

Written by James Heslip on . Posted in Casual Magic, Magic Culture

GU Riptide

James Heslip

James is a budget Magic connoisseur who values silly strategies and rogue decks. He has been playing Magic since 1998, and competing in Legacy events since 2010. When he is not teaching high school English, he can be found brewing Casual and Legacy decks to play with his students and peers. Always appreciative of feedback, he loves it when people send suggestions and share crazy decks with him!
Playing cards is what makes Magic fun. As long as we can do something every turn, we should be enjoying ourselves. So, why not build a deck that guarantees us the chance to play something every single turn? Abusing bounce effects to their fullest, GU Riptide does just that!
The Core

Riptide Chimera’s upkeep cost forces us to bounce an enchantment back to our hand every turn. For most decks, this is a detriment. For us, however, it is exactly what we want. By including large amounts of enchantments that activate when they enter or leave the battlefield, we can take advantage of Chimera, and infinitely cast our best spells.

Reality Acid is our primary bounce target. Since we can enchant almost any permanent with it, we can use it to slowly whittle away our opponent’s threats and resources until there is nothing left. The strategy is similar to the Smokestack decks of old; if left unchecked, Acid will melt away everything your opponent has. From there, we simply attack them for the win.

The Backup

Dream Stalker and Drake Familiar are our Chimera lites. They can’t give us more than a single bounce, but with so many of them in the deck, we should be able to keep a bounce chain going long enough to draw into our namesake card. Speaking of drawing cards, I hope you like it, because we will be doing it a lot with this deck. Abundant Growth and Sisay’s Ingenuity can both be played and replayed early to keep the cards flowing. Even Coiling Oracle can provide us some extra cards or mana.

Llanowar Elves also provides mana ramp, which helps speed up an admittedly slower strategy. Fists of Ironwood gives us access to a sort of token-spew strategy, where we can get two or more saprolings every turn to swarm our opponent. Using the token created as blockers, it also helps keep us alive while the Acid does its work. Trial of Strength is our primary finisher, though. A vanilla 4/2 creature is not very threatening, but when you are getting one or more of them every turn ad nauseum, that assessment changes.

Playing the Deck
  Llanowar Elves should always be your turn one play, if you have a choice. Even with Abundant Growth in hand, you can always use the extra mana he provides to play Growth as well as a two-cost bouncer on your second turn. Growth is also good for more than just the card draw it provides. This is a two-color deck on a budget, so mana-color issues will show up eventually. Growth helps with these, and because you can bounce and replay it, you can continuously fix your mana as needed on the fly.

If you find yourself low on mana, or lacking certain cards, don’t forget  Dream Stalker can bounce more than just enchantments. Coiling Oracle specifically, loves to get the trampoline treatment. With five toughness, he’s also a great wall to keep yourself alive until Acid starts dissolving threats.

Finally, as you are moving into the late game, know that Trial of Strength can be used as a sort of pseudo removal spell. Four power on a creature gives a lot of potential for blocking and killing aggressors, and you really don’t care if you lose your token, as there will always be more where that came from. All in all, your opponent will run out of threats before you do.

Frog Tongue, Oath of Nissa, Cartouche of Knowledge, Fate Foretold, Ground Seal, and others are all additional card draw options. Most of them have a higher converted mana cost than what we already have in our list, though, so you want to stay away from them unless you have a good reason not to.

Stern Proctor can be used if you think you need additional bounce, and can also help answer opposing permanents. Invasive Species, Temporal Adept, Blood Clock, Triton Cavalry, and Floodtide Serpent are options as well. Each has their benefits, but all are likely too expensive to be a worthy inclusion compared to what we are already playing.

Declaration of Naught can be a fun card if you know what strategies and cards you are playing against.

Finally, Simic Charm is an on-color charm that has three relevant abilities to choose from. We can protect our own enchantments from removal, buff our Chimera or Drake for extra damage, or use the bounce option to either rid ourselves of a threat. We can also use it to bounce one of our own creatures for some convoluted-but-fun shenanigans.


As a deck that plays cards every turn, draws extra cards often, and can interact with most strategies in some way, GU Riptide should be a deck that will never disappointment to shuffle up and play. What do you think? Let me know on my facebook page. Do you have an idea for an inexpensive and fun deck you want me to see? send me an email at Spooky386@gmail.com.

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