A lot of the work required to do well at a major Magic: The Gathering event is done before the event itself takes place. 2021 was no exception. This article will look at all the major premier level events that took place in 2021, and go over some specific metagame calls that really stood out.

Keep in mind a metagame call doesn't always mean playing the overall best deck in the format (though that can be the case). A metagame call means choosing a deck that is right for the exact field of decks you expect to play against in a given tournament. When a format is healthy there isn't a single best deck, but the top decks rotate and adjust based on what is popular.

#1: Arne Huschenbeth's Standard Dimir Rogues at the Kaldheim Championship

Dimir Rogues is a deck we saw a lot of throughout the past year in the MPL and Rivals Leagues. It was actually a great deck to have in Standard in my opinion. The deck had a very high power level, but the existence of escape cards meant that there were some very potent options other decks could utilize in order to combat Rogues.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Dimir Rogues by Arne Huschenbeth

'Dimir Rogues' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Arne Huschenbeth

Event: Kaldheim Championship

Rank: 1st

Standard

Market Price: $134.94

Cards

Merfolk Windrobber

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221866_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever Merfolk Windrobber deals combat damage to a player, that player mills a card. (They put the top card of their library into their graveyard.)
Sacrifice Merfolk Windrobber: Draw a card. Activate only if an opponent has eight or more cards in their graveyard.

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Skyclave Shade

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222127_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{B}
Skyclave Shade can't block.
If Skyclave Shade was kicked, it enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.
Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, if Skyclave Shade is in your graveyard and it's your turn, you may cast it from your graveyard this turn.

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Agadeem's Awakening

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $13.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222163_200w.jpg

Return from your graveyard to the battlefield any number of target creature cards that each have a different mana value X or less.

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Dead Weight

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212716_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets -2/-2.

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Zagoth Triome

Color Identity:B,G,U

Market Price: $11.66

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212691_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}, {G}, or {U}.)
Zagoth Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Clearwater Pathway

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $5.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221830_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}.

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/59661_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198683_200w.jpg

This spell costs {2} less to cast if it targets a blue spell.
Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.

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Of One Mind

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212617_200w.jpg

This spell costs {2} less to cast if you control a Human creature and a non-Human creature.
Draw two cards.

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Ruin Crab

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221841_200w.jpg

Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent mills three cards. (To mill a card, a player puts the top card of their library into their graveyard.)

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Essence Scatter

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212042_200w.jpg

Counter target creature spell.

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Castle Locthwain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199388_200w.jpg

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp.
{T}: Add {B}.
{1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

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Into the Story

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198971_200w.jpg

This spell costs {3} less to cast if an opponent has seven or more cards in their graveyard.
Draw four cards.

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Heartless Act

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212369_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy target creature with no counters on it.
• Remove up to three counters from target creature.

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Soaring Thought-Thief

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222153_200w.jpg

Flash
Flying
As long as an opponent has eight or more cards in their graveyard, Rogues you control get +1/+0.
Whenever one or more Rogues you control attack, each opponent mills two cards.

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Didn't Say Please

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199508_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. Its controller mills three cards.

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Disdainful Stroke

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230900_200w.jpg

Counter target spell with mana value 4 or greater.

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Negate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222130_200w.jpg

Counter target noncreature spell.

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Drown in the Loch

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $1.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199207_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Counter target spell with mana value less than or equal to the number of cards in its controller's graveyard.
• Destroy target creature with mana value less than or equal to the number of cards in its controller's graveyard.

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Cling to Dust

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206655_200w.jpg

Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, you gain 3 life. Otherwise, you draw a card.
Escape—{3}{B}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

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Temple of Deceit

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248800_200w.jpg

Temple of Deceit enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Deceit enters the battlefield, scry 1.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}.

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Thieves' Guild Enforcer

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215608_200w.jpg

Flash
Whenever Thieves' Guild Enforcer or another Rogue enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent mills two cards.
As long as an opponent has eight or more cards in their graveyard, Thieves' Guild Enforcer gets +2/+1 and has deathtouch.

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Crippling Fear

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230901_200w.jpg

Choose a creature type. Creatures that aren't of the chosen type get -3/-3 until end of turn.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215718_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

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Eliminate

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215516_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature or planeswalker with mana value 3 or less.

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Lurrus of the Dream-Den

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $7.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212282_200w.jpg

Companion — Each permanent card in your starting deck has mana value 2 or less. (If this card is your chosen companion, you may put it into your hand from outside the game for {3} any time you could cast a sorcery.)
Lifelink
During each of your turns, you may cast one permanent spell with mana value 2 or less from your graveyard.

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I personally played the Rogues deck on multiple occasions, and found success with it. The idea of needing to mill the opponent for a certain number of cards in order to trigger a lot of your cards is an innovative way to make a Dimir-based tempo deck work.

There were both good times and bad times to play Rogues, but it ended up being the perfect choice for the Kaldheim Championship, and Arne Huschenbeth took advantage. In Standard, Rogues was the way to prey on slower green-based midrange decks. Decks that both don't apply a lot of pressure and are very vulnerable to countermagic generally will have a difficult time against Rogues.

You can still find Rogues like Soaring Thought-Thief in Standard, though a lot of the cards rotated out, and Rogues is no longer the same powerhouse it was before. Losing Into the Story meant losing access to an instant-speed draw-four effect, which was the deck's main way to surge ahead of control decks in the late game. While Rogues is certainly still a player in Standard, you can also find the deck in other formats like Historic, and Pioneer, where all the cards Arne was using are still legal.

#2: Sam Pardee's Historic Jeskai Turns at the Strixhaven Championship

The Strixhaven Championship took place during a time when the Historic format was up in the air. We were coming off a recent banning of Thassa's Oracle that took down the best deck in the format, Dimir Pact. Without Dimir Pact around, players were struggling to figure out what the best deck in the format was. For this event Izzet Phoenix was easily the most played deck, but it was the Jeskai Turns strategy that really stole the show at the Strixhaven Championship.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Jeskai Turns by Sam Pardee

'Jeskai Turns' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Sam Pardee

Event: Strixhaven Championship

Rank: 1st

Historic

Market Price: $327.11

Cards

Steam Vents

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $15.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175202_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U} or {R}.)
As Steam Vents enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Time Warp

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $12.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/32744_200w.jpg

Target player takes an extra turn after this one.

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Memory Lapse

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118731_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it on top of its owner's library instead of into that player's graveyard.

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Shark Typhoon

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $9.62

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212133_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, create an X/X blue Shark creature token with flying, where X is that spell's mana value.
Cycling {X}{1}{U} ({X}{1}{U}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
When you cycle Shark Typhoon, create an X/X blue Shark creature token with flying.

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Brainstorm

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.57

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243841_200w.jpg

Draw three cards, then put two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.

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Prismari Command

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $4.92

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233273_200w.jpg

Choose two —
• Prismari Command deals 2 damage to any target.
• Target player draws two cards, then discards two cards.
• Target player creates a Treasure token.
• Destroy target artifact.

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Aether Gust

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192535_200w.jpg

Choose target spell or permanent that's red or green. Its owner puts it on the top or bottom of their library.

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Sulfur Falls

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $4.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162122_200w.jpg

Sulfur Falls enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island or a Mountain.
{T}: Add {U} or {R}.

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Fry

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192595_200w.jpg

This spell can't be countered.
Fry deals 5 damage to target creature or planeswalker that's white or blue.

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Dwarven Mine

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199542_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)
Dwarven Mine enters the battlefield tapped unless you control three or more other Mountains.
When Dwarven Mine enters the battlefield untapped, create a 1/1 red Dwarf creature token.

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Commence the Endgame

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188626_200w.jpg

This spell can't be countered.
Draw two cards, then amass X, where X is the number of cards in your hand. (Put X +1/+1 counters on an Army you control. If you don't control one, create a 0/0 black Zombie Army creature token first.)

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Raugrin Triome

Color Identity:R,U,W

Market Price: $13.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212695_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}, {R}, or {W}.)
Raugrin Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Perilous Voyage

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145748_200w.jpg

Return target nonland permanent you don't control to its owner's hand. If its mana value was 2 or less, scry 2.

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Indomitable Creativity

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $4.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/126431_200w.jpg

Destroy X target artifacts and/or creatures. For each permanent destroyed this way, its controller reveals cards from the top of their library until an artifact or creature card is revealed and exiles that card. Those players put the exiled cards onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215718_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

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Magma Opus

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $1.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235600_200w.jpg

Magma Opus deals 4 damage divided as you choose among any number of targets. Tap two target permanents. Create a 4/4 blue and red Elemental creature token. Draw two cards.
{U/R}{U/R}, Discard Magma Opus: Create a Treasure token.

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Expressive Iteration

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $5.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235845_200w.jpg

Look at the top three cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand, put one of them on the bottom of your library, and exile one of them. You may play the exiled card this turn.

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198683_200w.jpg

This spell costs {2} less to cast if it targets a blue spell.
Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.

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Mizzix's Mastery

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $6.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/107844_200w.jpg

Exile target card that's an instant or sorcery from your graveyard. For each card exiled this way, copy it, and you may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. Exile Mizzix's Mastery.
Overload {5}{R}{R}{R} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215722_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Anger of the Gods

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145342_200w.jpg

Anger of the Gods deals 3 damage to each creature. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Velomachus Lorehold

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $3.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235572_200w.jpg

Flying, vigilance, haste
Whenever Velomachus Lorehold attacks, look at the top seven cards of your library. You may cast an instant or sorcery spell with mana value less than or equal to Velomachus Lorehold's power from among them without paying its mana cost. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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I chose Sam Pardee to highlight because he won the event, though there was a conglomerate of players who found and tuned this deck. In the end there were mirror matches in the Top 8 and the finals of the Strixhaven Championship, which is what happens when a deck is this dominant.

235148|| 235389|| 235396

Indisputably Jeskai Turns was the right pick for the Strixhaven Championship, and really did incredibly well—arguably, too well. Since the Strixhaven Championship, additional bans in Historic have significantly hindered this strategy. There are still Indomitable Creativity decks in Historic, but they don't have the ability to take a bunch of extra turns with Time Warp, since that card got banned. Brainstorm and Memory Lapse also are not Historic legal anymore. Still, the Creativity decks are still quite reasonable choices in Historic, even without those cards!

#3: Yuta Takahashi's Standard Izzet Dragons at the World Championship

Making a good metagame call doesn't necessarily mean playing a deck that is completely off the radar. Going into the World Championships as a fellow competitor I was very much aware of the Izzet Dragons deck. In this case, Yuta was able to choose a very good version of the Izzet Dragons deck, and his tuning of the deck is what made it so great.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Izzet Dragons by Yuta Takahashi

'Izzet Dragons' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Yuta Takahashi

Event: World Championship XXVII

Rank: 1st

Standard

Market Price: $285.72

Cards

Divide by Zero

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235990_200w.jpg

Return target spell or permanent with mana value 1 or greater to its owner's hand.
Learn. (You may reveal a Lesson card you own from outside the game and put it into your hand, or discard a card to draw a card.)

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Dissipate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/247900_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, exile it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

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Fading Hope

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248204_200w.jpg

Return target creature to its owner's hand. If its mana value was 3 or less, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)

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Smoldering Egg

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $2.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/249493_200w.jpg

Defender
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, put a number of ember counters on Smoldering Egg equal to the amount of mana spent to cast that spell. Then if Smoldering Egg has seven or more ember counters on it, remove them and transform Smoldering Egg.

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Environmental Sciences

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235526_200w.jpg

Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle. You gain 2 life.

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Dragon's Fire

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243575_200w.jpg

As an additional cost to cast this spell, you may reveal a Dragon card from your hand or choose a Dragon you control.
Dragon's Fire deals 3 damage to target creature or planeswalker. If you revealed a Dragon card or chose a Dragon as you cast this spell, Dragon's Fire deals damage equal to the power of that card or creature instead.

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Negate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222130_200w.jpg

Counter target noncreature spell.

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Goldspan Dragon

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $30.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230161_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Whenever Goldspan Dragon attacks or becomes the target of a spell, create a Treasure token.
Treasures you control have "{T}, Sacrifice this artifact: Add two mana of any one color."

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Saw It Coming

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230170_200w.jpg

Counter target spell.
Foretell {1}{U} (During your turn, you may pay {2} and exile this card from your hand face down. Cast it on a later turn for its foretell cost.)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/230170/magic-kaldheim-saw-it-coming

Malevolent Hermit

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $4.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/249435_200w.jpg

{U}, Sacrifice Malevolent Hermit: Counter target noncreature spell unless its controller pays {3}.
Disturb {2}{U} (You may cast this card from your graveyard transformed for its disturb cost.)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/249435/magic-prerelease-cards-malevolent-hermit

Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215718_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/215718/magic-core-set-2021-island-265

Riverglide Pathway

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $5.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221822_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}.

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Shatterskull Smashing

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $3.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222030_200w.jpg

Shatterskull Smashing deals X damage divided as you choose among up to two target creatures and/or planeswalkers. If X is 6 or more, Shatterskull Smashing deals twice X damage divided as you choose among them instead.

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Frostboil Snarl

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $2.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235151_200w.jpg

As Frostboil Snarl enters the battlefield, you may reveal an Island or Mountain card from your hand. If you don't, Frostboil Snarl enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {U} or {R}.

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Heated Debate

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235592_200w.jpg

This spell can't be countered. (This includes by the ward ability.)
Heated Debate deals 4 damage to target creature or planeswalker.

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Memory Deluge

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $5.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248210_200w.jpg

Look at the top X cards of your library, where X is the amount of mana spent to cast this spell. Put two of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
Flashback {5}{U}{U} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Prismari Command

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $4.92

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233273_200w.jpg

Choose two —
• Prismari Command deals 2 damage to any target.
• Target player draws two cards, then discards two cards.
• Target player creates a Treasure token.
• Destroy target artifact.

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Test of Talents

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235929_200w.jpg

Counter target instant or sorcery spell. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that spell and exile them. That player shuffles, then draws a card for each card exiled from their hand this way.

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Burning Hands

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243397_200w.jpg

Burning Hands deals 2 damage to target creature or planeswalker. If that permanent is green, Burning Hands deals 6 damage instead.

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215722_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Spikefield Hazard

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221957_200w.jpg

Spikefield Hazard deals 1 damage to any target. If a permanent dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Cinderclasm

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222044_200w.jpg

Kicker {R} (You may pay an additional {R} as you cast this spell.)
Cinderclasm deals 1 damage to each creature. If it was kicked, it deals 2 damage to each creature instead.

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Jwari Disruption

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222101_200w.jpg

Counter target spell unless its controller pays {1}.

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Alrund's Epiphany

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $7.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230097_200w.jpg

Create two 1/1 blue Bird creature tokens with flying. Take an extra turn after this one. Exile Alrund's Epiphany.
Foretell {4}{U}{U} (During your turn, you may pay {2} and exile this card from your hand face down. Cast it on a later turn for its foretell cost.)

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Thundering Rebuke

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222195_200w.jpg

Thundering Rebuke deals 4 damage to target creature or planeswalker.

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Expressive Iteration

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $5.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235845_200w.jpg

Look at the top three cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand, put one of them on the bottom of your library, and exile one of them. You may play the exiled card this turn.

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Mascot Exhibition

Market Price: $1.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235914_200w.jpg

Create a 2/1 white and black Inkling creature token with flying, a 3/2 red and white Spirit creature token, and a 4/4 blue and red Elemental creature token.

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Hall of Storm Giants

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $4.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243193_200w.jpg

If you control two or more other lands, Hall of Storm Giants enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {U}.
{5}{U}: Until end of turn, Hall of Storm Giants becomes a 7/7 blue Giant creature with ward {3}. It's still a land. (Whenever it becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays {3}.)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/243193/magic-adventures-in-the-forgotten-realms-hall-of-storm-giants

Yuta's undefeated run in the Standard portion of the World Championships was truly remarkable, and showcased a combination of both skill and luck, but also was the finest moment for Izzet Dragons. During the World Championship many players were still trying to figure out what was good in Standard. Once the metagame settled down after Worlds, Izzet Dragons didn't put up nearly as great results.

Izzet Epiphany, the more controlling Izzet deck, has ended up stealing most of the Standard metagame share that Izzet Dragons used to occupy. However, against aggressive decks Izzet Dragons is better positioned with Smoldering Egg and Goldspan Dragon as powerful win conditions that demand immediate answers.

Izzet Dragons ended up being the perfect choice against the decks Yuta faced at Worlds. Now, Izzet Dragons has mostly been pushed out of the format, because its late game is not as strong as what Izzet Epiphany is capable of. This goes to show how quickly things can change over the course of a couple months, even if mostly the legal cards stay the same.

#4: Yuuki Ichikawa's Modern Crashing Footfalls at the 2021 MOCS Season 1

Yuuki Ichikawa has had quite the year, and it really started by playing the Magic Online Showcase. He was able to win the Magic Online Showcase Season 1 with his Crashing Footfalls deck in Modern. The format has definitely changed since his win, but Crashing Footfalls is still a perfectly viable deck in the format.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Crashing Footfalls by Yuuki Ichikawa

'Crashing Footfalls' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Yuuki Ichikawa

Event: 2021 Magic Online Champions Showcase Season 1

Rank: 1st

Modern

Market Price: $1137.74

Cards

Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215718_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Leyline of the Void

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $6.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192544_200w.jpg

If Leyline of the Void is in your opening hand, you may begin the game with it on the battlefield.
If a card would be put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.

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Steam Vents

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $15.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175202_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U} or {R}.)
As Steam Vents enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Misty Rainforest

Market Price: $26.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/238609_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Misty Rainforest: Search your library for a Forest or Island card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Fire // Ice

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/240138_200w.jpg

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Flooded Strand

Market Price: $38.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92828_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Flooded Strand: Search your library for a Plains or Island card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Scalding Tarn

Market Price: $27.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/238610_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Scalding Tarn: Search your library for an Island or Mountain card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Force of Vigor

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $22.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190734_200w.jpg

If it's not your turn, you may exile a green card from your hand rather than pay this spell's mana cost.
Destroy up to two target artifacts and/or enchantments.

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Anger of the Gods

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145342_200w.jpg

Anger of the Gods deals 3 damage to each creature. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Stomping Ground

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $9.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182841_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R} or {G}.)
As Stomping Ground enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Breeding Pool

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $20.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182842_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G} or {U}.)
As Breeding Pool enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215722_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Subtlety

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $4.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/239741_200w.jpg

Flash
Flying
When Subtlety enters the battlefield, choose up to one target creature spell or planeswalker spell. Its owner puts it on the top or bottom of their library.
Evoke—Exile a blue card from your hand.

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Crashing Footfalls

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $1.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191075_200w.jpg

Suspend 4—{G} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, pay {G} and exile it with four time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost.)
Create two 4/4 green Rhino creature tokens with trample.

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Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $20.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199387_200w.jpg

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Blood Moon

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $17.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218848_200w.jpg

Nonbasic lands are Mountains.

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Force of Negation

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $63.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190647_200w.jpg

If it's not your turn, you may exile a blue card from your hand rather than pay this spell's mana cost.
Counter target noncreature spell. If that spell is countered this way, exile it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

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Cryptic Command

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $15.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145338_200w.jpg

Choose two —
• Counter target spell.
• Return target permanent to its owner's hand.
• Tap all creatures your opponents control.
• Draw a card.

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Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $1.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199035_200w.jpg

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Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $53.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218277_200w.jpg

+2: Look at the top card of target player's library. You may put that card on the bottom of that player's library.
0: Draw three cards, then put two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.
−1: Return target creature to its owner's hand.
−12: Exile all cards from target player's library, then that player shuffles their hand into their library.

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Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/104257_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

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Violent Outburst

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $4.70

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/31833_200w.jpg

Cascade (When you cast this spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.)
Creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.

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Gemstone Caverns

Market Price: $29.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234032_200w.jpg

If Gemstone Caverns is in your opening hand and you're not the starting player, you may begin the game with Gemstone Caverns on the battlefield with a luck counter on it. If you do, exile a card from your hand.
{T}: Add {C}. If Gemstone Caverns has a luck counter on it, instead add one mana of any color.

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Wooded Foothills

Market Price: $34.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92831_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Wooded Foothills: Search your library for a Mountain or Forest card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198683_200w.jpg

This spell costs {2} less to cast if it targets a blue spell.
Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.

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Ketria Triome

Color Identity:G,R,U

Market Price: $11.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212697_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}, {U}, or {R}.)
Ketria Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Shardless Agent

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/240251_200w.jpg

Cascade (When you cast this spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

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If we look back a couple years, cascade decks were seeing far less use than they are today. Being able to fill a deck with interactive controlling cards, and then use Violent Outburst as a win condition to find Crashing Footfalls is the type of game plan the old Living End decks wish they had been able to execute. This is a Temur control deck at its roots.

Making two Rhinos for a very small mana cost is very powerful, and Crashing Footfalls ended up being the perfect choice against Ichikawa's opponents at the Showcase. He had enough countermagic for combo decks, but also so much value with everything that Crashing Footfalls brings to the table.

While Modern Horizons 2 was legal for this event, the format hadn't developed to the point it's gotten to today. At the time Yuuki won the Showcase the format was quite different, and the Crashing Footfalls deck was a bit more popular than it is now. It has taken some time for the format to fully develop as players realize all the different ways they can utilize the most powerful set in Modern's history.

#5: Nico Bohny's Modern Hammer Time at the 2021 MOCS Season 2

Nico Bohny is one of the players who has helped put the Orzhov Hammer deck on the map. He was able to take down the Magic Online Champions Showcase Season 2 with what is arguably the current best deck in Modern. Being able to equip your creatures for free with Colossus Hammer is so absurdly powerful.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Hammer Time by Nico Bohny

'Hammer Time' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Nico Bohny

Event: 2021 Magic Online Champions Showcase Season 2

Rank: 1st

Modern

Market Price: $915.07

Cards

Ornithopter

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/126415_200w.jpg

Flying

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/126415/magic-aether-revolt-ornithopter

Sigarda's Aid

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $7.66

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227273_200w.jpg

You may cast Aura and Equipment spells as though they had flash.
Whenever an Equipment enters the battlefield under your control, you may attach it to target creature you control.

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Inkmoth Nexus

Market Price: $41.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/39095_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}: Inkmoth Nexus becomes a 1/1 Phyrexian Blinkmoth artifact creature with flying and infect until end of turn. It's still a land. (It deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/39095/magic-mirrodin-besieged-inkmoth-nexus

Silent Clearing

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $10.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190796_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life: Add {W} or {B}.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Silent Clearing: Draw a card.

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Dark Confidant

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $28.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218385_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. You lose life equal to its mana value.

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Puresteel Paladin

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $7.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243814_200w.jpg

Whenever an Equipment enters the battlefield under your control, you may draw a card.
Metalcraft — Equipment you control have equip {0} as long as you control three or more artifacts.

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Flooded Strand

Market Price: $38.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92828_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Flooded Strand: Search your library for a Plains or Island card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Pithing Needle

Market Price: $0.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/247969_200w.jpg

As Pithing Needle enters the battlefield, choose a card name.
Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can't be activated unless they're mana abilities.

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Drannith Magistrate

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $7.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212115_200w.jpg

Your opponents can't cast spells from anywhere other than their hands.

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Knight of Malice

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162165_200w.jpg

First strike
Hexproof from white (This creature can't be the target of white spells or abilities your opponents control.)
Knight of Malice gets +1/+0 as long as any player controls a white permanent.

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Stoneforge Mystic

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $39.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218860_200w.jpg

When Stoneforge Mystic enters the battlefield, you may search your library for an Equipment card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.
{1}{W}, {T}: You may put an Equipment card from your hand onto the battlefield.

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Nihil Spellbomb

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161909_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Nihil Spellbomb: Exile target player's graveyard.
When Nihil Spellbomb is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay {B}. If you do, draw a card.

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Lurrus of the Dream-Den

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $7.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212282_200w.jpg

Companion — Each permanent card in your starting deck has mana value 2 or less. (If this card is your chosen companion, you may put it into your hand from outside the game for {3} any time you could cast a sorcery.)
Lifelink
During each of your turns, you may cast one permanent spell with mana value 2 or less from your graveyard.

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Esper Sentinel

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $22.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/240035_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent casts their first noncreature spell each turn, draw a card unless that player pays {X}, where X is Esper Sentinel's power.

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Marsh Flats

Market Price: $16.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/238608_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Marsh Flats: Search your library for a Plains or Swamp card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Duress

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248314_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a noncreature, nonland card from it. That player discards that card.

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Seal of Cleansing

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/239775_200w.jpg

Sacrifice Seal of Cleansing: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

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Hushbringer

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.67

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199465_200w.jpg

Flying, lifelink
Creatures entering the battlefield or dying don't cause abilities to trigger.

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Concealed Courtyard

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $1.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/122646_200w.jpg

Concealed Courtyard enters the battlefield tapped unless you control two or fewer other lands.
{T}: Add {W} or {B}.

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Shadowspear

Market Price: $19.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206978_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and has trample and lifelink.
{1}: Permanents your opponents control lose hexproof and indestructible until end of turn.
Equip {2}

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Prismatic Ending

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/239436_200w.jpg

Converge — Exile target nonland permanent if its mana value is less than or equal to the number of colors of mana spent to cast this spell.

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Colossus Hammer

Market Price: $1.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243885_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +10/+10 and loses flying.
Equip {8} ({8}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

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Thoughtseize

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $12.96

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218934_200w.jpg

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life.

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/242997_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Godless Shrine

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $12.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182836_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W} or {B}.)
As Godless Shrine enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Springleaf Drum

Market Price: $2.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/219595_200w.jpg

{T}, Tap an untapped creature you control: Add one mana of any color.

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Urza's Saga

Market Price: $37.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/238619_200w.jpg

(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I — Urza's Saga gains "{T}: Add {C}."
II — Urza's Saga gains "{2}, {T}: Create a 0/0 colorless Construct artifact creature token with 'This creature gets +1/+1 for each artifact you control.'"
III — Search your library for an artifact card with mana cost {0} or {1}, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Sanctifier en-Vec

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/240137_200w.jpg

Protection from black and from red
When Sanctifier en-Vec enters the battlefield, exile all cards that are black or red from all graveyards.
If a black or red permanent, spell, or card not on the battlefield would be put into a graveyard, exile it instead.

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Memnite

Market Price: $4.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36237_200w.jpg

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I remember the days I was in awe of being able to find Batterskull with Stoneforge Mystic, but this Colossus Hammer deck is really the best equipment-based deck we have ever seen. Unlike some of the other decks here, this was a great deck choice primarily because of its power level, but also other competitors not respecting it enough. Players weren't playing enough artifact hate or disruption to combat this deck, and Nico was able to capitalize.

Colossus Hammer lists have continued to evolve since this event, and we no longer see cards like Dark Confidant as much as we once did. This is because Dark Confidant is not a core part of this deck, more of a value engine that is an optional inclusion. All the most important elements and core pieces to Nico's list are present in the most current versions of Hammer Time.

While I do believe Hammer Time is the top deck in Modern, I also think that Modern is in a good place right now, and there are ways to attack this deck. You don't need to play Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer in order to do well in Modern, and Hammer Time proves that. This deck attacks from an angle that players are still getting used to. Once players start to fully realize how to play against the Hammer Time deck it could do a bit worse, and we started to see this during the Las Vegas Modern event, when zero copies of Colossus Hammer made it through to the Top 8.