Singleton Guild Wheel: Sygg, the Incredible Mr. Limpett

This article is part 7 of a 10 part series covering the Singleton Guild Wheel Project, a 10 deck project in which there is only a single copy of any non-basic land among the 10 decks. Each deck uses the color combination of a different Ravnican guild. The methodology is introduced here and expanded upon each week by featuring a deck formed using part of the Wheel. Since the deck building process is iterative, expect featured decks to change in between articles. For the complete introduction to the project, see our first article here.

Hey everyone! Super glad you all could make it after a super weird weekend. Apparently Chandler got SUPER popular all the sudden. Like, the top deck! Who knew?

Editor’s Note: I did.

It was incredibly strange, so Jason Alt wrote an article over at MTG Price trying to figure it out. I was moved to share my old Chandler deck as well on Saturday just out of nostalgia. Really we all knew it was a little fishy, almost too good to be true, if you will. So fishy that we thought we knew who actually did it at first…

NO! Not them. The actual people of the sea.

There we go! Now we’re talking. Since we’re in the spirit of things not going quite as expected, I will steer the bus in the direction of a deck that did the same thing.

As I’ve said before, merfolk have always been one of my favorite tribes in the Magic: The Gathering universe. I’ve played merfolk in Modern for several years now and would dare say it is the 60-card deck with which I am the most skilled. The deck is what really got me hooked on competitive Magic, and it was only fitting that I make sure that the fish people are properly represented in the Guild Wheel project. Since Sygg, River Cutthroat always felt underwhelming to me I decided to give the nod over to Sygg, River Guide.

Commonly Played Cuts

Let’s take a look at Sygg’s top played cards shall we?

Right, so it’s a tribal deck apparently? All the top cards are merfolk you say? What’s the top played non-merfolk card then? Counterspell? Well crap. I guess we can cut that.

I was REALLY hoping that I was going to be original when I said I wanted to build a tribal deck…

Cyclonic Rift isn’t a merfolk! It’s coming in at 53% of Sygg decks and since we only get one copy for all 10 decks as usual we don’t get to play it here.

Ok, here we go. I found some merfolk that we don’t want to play actually! Sejiri Merfolk doesn’t do near enough for an EDH game, even at two mana. Something tells me that drawing a 2/1 first striking and lifelinking creature will feel fairly fair once the game gets moving and other people are Terastodon-ing

I also appreciate the effort of Voidmage Prodigy realizing that most of our creatures here are wizards and all, but since we’re maximizing all of our synergy I don’t think sacrificing our dudes is quite worth it. Summon the School is nice and all, but it’s terribly slow. Like, I barely want it in the deck to begin with slow. We’ll keep it but drop the Prodigy instead.

The Staples We Keep

Hey! Look up at that picture again! Seahunter isn’t a merfolk! Let’s keep him around! Besides, being able to tutor for practically THE ENTIRE FREAKING DECK seems pretty strong. It may be a little slow, but our token friend who isn’t a merfolk allows us continually draw whatever we want whenever we want. The deck can putz around more than a little bit, so hooking any given card we want, whether it’s Lord of Atlantis to beef up the team or Drowner of Secrets to instantly transform our army into a milling monsters, is a huuuuuuuge shot in the arm for the deck.

Image result for seahunter mtg

Just looking at the top played cards though, the deck really builds itself. There aren’t any hidden gems in most tribal decks because you’re working with such a limited pool of cards. Most of these staples are staples for a reason. It’s like trying to tell someone playing a dedicated zombie deck that Grimgrin, Corpse-Born is probably a really good commander or you should probably play Elvish Archdruid will make you so much mana in an elf deck you won’t know what to do with it all. I wish I had more deep insight for you here, but the deck really does just flow together.

Digging (or Swimming) Deep

Since a majority of the cards that we’re sticking in here are commonly played among similar decks, I’m going to focus on a few cards that I think could be UNDER played in tribal decks. Stuff like Quicksilver Fountain can act as a progressive and “fair,” Blood Moon effect. Since merfolk isn’t exactly the type of deck that can do viciously unfair things, we need to rely on making the others play to our level. Keeping folks off their mana is one of the easiest ways to do such a thing. We also get the added benefit of turning on any of the 12,983,598,289,743,879,128,975 sources of islandwalk for all of our creatures, making it incredibly easy for us to start getting into the red zone and 1-shot our opponents due to the sheer number of creatures that we usually will end up with.

Image result for quicksilver fountainBlood Moon for blue players

Even though the merfolk decks tend to play more fair than not there are a few tricks that we have access to as well. Call to the Kindred is one such card. Since we get to dig five cards deep for something we want AND put it on the battlefield it gives us a way to keep up with decks playing tutors and massive card draw. Seahunter definitely gives his stamp of approval here!

Image result for call of the kindred

The fair cheaty goodness

So who’s ready for an absolute no-brainer? Anyone? I’m sure there are some new players that don’t know, so this is a shout-out to them. Hey all you new players! If you like tribal decks, a couple of artifacts you might like to try out are just below. They link up well whether you’re flooding the board with tokens, casting oodles of creatures from your hand, or however else you choose to use them.

Image result for door of destinies Image result for coat of arms mtg

Tribal buddies just getting along like tribal buddies should

That’s right, Door of Destinies and Coat of Arms are two very good cards that every tribal deck should love. Since Coat of Arms literally makes your creatures exponentially bigger as more of them come out(great with X-spells!) I tend to favor the five drop, but both are fantastic. Obelisk of Urd also fits this spot of “Gee, I wish there was an artifact that I could put into any deck I have but make them all better,” cards for you too. Solid cards you guys. Solid cards.

All Fins on Deck

Swimming with Sygg

Commander (1)
Creatures (43)
Instants (6)
Sorceries (3)
Enchantments (3)
Artifacts (8)
Lands (36)

Reeling It In

  • While the deck never really does anything overly powerful by itself, it plays very much like it’s Modern format counterpart: synergy making all the cards add up to being more than the sum of the parts. At first there may only be a single Lord of Atlantis and a couple tokens maybe, but suddenly within a couple of turns you are overrunning the board.
  • When playing the deck, please don’t forget to cast your commander. Sygg, River Guide’s protection for anyone in your army is the main reason we play so many white sources of mana. It makes targeted removal very hard, and you get to beat on red with their damage-based board wipes. Surprisingly, the deck becomes very resilient when you’re running full steam ahead.
  • Sol Ring finally makes it’s appearance! Of all the other decks out in the Guild Wheel, this one tends to stumble the most on mana. Since we aren’t playing mountains of card draw or ramping quickly like green decks, Sol Ring makes the biggest difference in here among all the 10 decks. The mystery has been solved.
  • Thada Adel, Acquisitor and Empress Galina get to do some sweet work in the deck too. Instead of building loads of power into our own deck, we just get to borrow everyone else’s power. Thanks for the Blightsteel Colossus pal!

Thank you all once again for visiting. I hope your weekend didn’t fool you too much. I was not fooled this weekend, and I have the tweet to prove it.

Until next time everyone, have a great week

Selesnya, Naya, Temur, Ink-Treader...whatever you want to call it. Matt knows a good creature-combo deck when he sees it. He is the only EDHREC writer that was sad to see Leovold go. Outside of EDH plays Legacy and Modern and got his first career Pro Point at GP Louisville. Matt lives with his wife and two dogs, but no cats because cats are terrible.