AKA: Lord of Whoop Ass

The Star City Open series went to Washington D.C. this weekend and there was much talk about the return of the Merfolk Deck. Known mainly as “Fish” (for reasons I hope don’t need explaining), the deck is a basic blue aggro deck. The deck has been mostly fringe, similar to Affinity, with no real presence in the major tournament scene. Fish decks just didn’t have what it took to compete with high level Maverick and Delver decks.

Hopes have changed for the deck recently with the printing of the new fish lord, Master of the Pearl Trident. I won’t go into too many details about this card and it’s addition to Fish as there are a good amount of articles on that. What I want to look at is the cost of this type of deck. Below is a decklist from a deck that took 13th place at the SCG D.C. event.

4 Aether Vial
2 Coralhelm Commander
4 Cursecatcher
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Master of the Pearl Trident
4 Merrow Reejerey
4 Silvergill Adept
3 Standstill
3 Daze
2 Dismember
4 Force of Will
2 Spell Pierce
Basic Lands
12 Island
4 Mutavault
4 Wasteland
1 Relic of Progenitus
2 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Phantasmal Image
1 Spell Pierce
4 Submerge
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
2 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
2 Llawan, Cephalid Empress

Above we have the breakdown of the deck without the sideboard. As usual, these are based on Star City’s pricing and most cards can be found cheaper online. This deck is on the lower end of the scale for Legacy decks. Only a few cards are over $12 and they are the usual culprits: Force of Will, Wasteland, and Mutavault. These cards alone tally up to $620.

If you have been doing Legacy for a while, you may already have a set of these cards. If so, then building this deck would be a fun change of pace from other Legacy decks. The premise is simple: Play Fish, attack with the fish, counter any trouble, play more fish and win. I can’t explain much more of that on the reach or it’s long term viability, but getting to a 13th place finish is a good start.

For new players, those 3 money cards can turn you away from the deck, but keep somethings in mind. Force of Will and Wasteland appear in many Legacy decks. This means, if you get tired of Fish and want to build Delver or a Storm deck, you have some of the key cards already. Mutavault is also a good investment because of it’s use in Legacy as well. The value of these cards also mean that if you do decide to get rid of them, you should be able to get your full value back. The demand should always be there.

If you don’t think so, check out the value of Force of Will in the past 3 years:

And here is Wasteland:

Both cards have had steady climbs and (with the exception of a spike in mid 2011) have stabilized higher than they were in 2009.


If Merfolk rises in popularity, the other cards in the deck will rise in value. I can’t say if Merfolk will be seen more or if it will fade away but one thing is for certain, it is in the spotlight at the moment and people are willing to give it a try.

P.S. – There are some rumors that Wasteland will be included in the From the Vault: Realms set. If true, this could lower the price of Tempest Wastelands. If that is the case, it may be worth waiting a couple weeks to see the FTV: Realms spoiler before making and Wasteland purchases.