When I started this column, one of my goals was to make it reader-involved. Not just in the sense that I interact in the comments (though I read every one, even if I don't always respond – and that includes YouTube comments), but also in the sense that I don't want to be some pro preaching down to you the best way to play Magic or the absolute best grinding-out-the-win-percentages deck. I've had my share of success in Magic, but at the end of the day I'm a regular player just like you who happens to really enjoy Modern (and Merfolk).

So when I get a list submitted to me, I always make sure to look it over. There are quite a few that come my way these days thanks to the growth of the viewers (like you, thanks PBS!), so don't be afraid to ping me if you think I may have missed yours. But when I do get the chance I love to show off the brews all of you come up with, and that brings to this week: a shoutout to Rusty and this awesome Grixis Waste Not deck he submitted.

I changed a couple things in the deck – added Liliana of the Veil and Wrench Mind while cutting a few similar effects – but this deck was a thing of beauty from the start. Waste Not is the starting point, and it's a hell of a card. And community-designed, as well! A few years ago Wizards ran a "you design the card" contest, with the card being built from the ground up by the community, until we got Waste Note – one of the coolest cards printed in recent memory.

It really does it all, especially in this deck. Need mana? Does that. Need some creatures? Does that, too. Some good, old-fashioned card advantage? Of course!

Our deck draws some inspiration from 8-Rack decks, but functions quite a bit differently. Waste Not pairs with Liliana's Caress to punish opponents harshly for discarding, and Inquisition of Kozilek, Thoughtseize and Wrench Mind make sure they'll be doing plenty of that in the early game. Liliana of the Veil is the swiss army knife of the deck, providing some interaction against creatures decks and another discard engine against everyone else. Anger of the Gods and Damnation mop up any creatures that get through, while Blood Moon helps to lock out opponents after we've torn apart their hand.

And then the fun starts. In this case, Burning Inquiry. This card serves several vital functions in the deck – the most important of which is making an opponent discard even after they're down to no cards in hand. It's absolutely sickening with Waste Not, and does quite a bit of damage alongside Liliana's Caress. Even in situations where it's not at its best, it can mess up opponents by taking their carefully crafted hand of combo pieces or top-end threats and possibly exchanging them for a hand full of lands. Because our own deck is so full of redundant effects and value we can generate from the card, Burning Inquiry is anything but symmetrical. The fun-of Noxious Revival adds some nice late-game flexibility – as we saw in these matches – and is a fun card in general, so why not?

This was a blast to play, and a perfect one to play around with before the release of Rivals of Ixalan and all the Merfolk goodies you can handle! I can't wait to record videos with the deck in both Standard and Modern. Fear the Fish!

Thanks for reading,

-Corbin Hosler