What’s up guys? As some of you might know, the first Modern deck that i built was Mono-Blue Merfolk. The list is kind of standard but there has been some new cards that have been included or have tested for the 60 card main board. I really like Merfolk Trickster because of the Flash ability. Also being only two mana, it is easy enough to cast. But the best part of the card is the enter the battflefield effect that makes a creature to lose all the abilities. Another nice bonus is that it is Wizard in addition to Merfolk if we run Wizard’s Retort.
I feel that to get the best bang for our buck in our deck, we need to run at least 3 copies of Merfolk Trickter. Now your meta might determine if you need the fourth copy or if you want to board the last copy in. I love Kira, the Great Glass-Spinner, but I might think playing only one copy her is relevant if we run Trickter. Merrow Reejerey is also on my list to be cut for Tricksters. I don’t like the idea of cutting Harbinger of the Tides because then we don’t need to run Vapor Snag. Merfolk really needs a bunch of creatures on our deck, so I am content on cutting Vapor Snag also for third copy of Merfolk Trickster.
In my opinion the best time to cast Merfolk Trickster is obviously the Beginning of the Combat Step to shut down their biggest threat. We also don’t need to worry about that creature on our combat step! Now there are times that we want to cast Merfolk Trickster during the Declare Attackers step. We might want to be able to turn the all mighty Tarmogoyf to 0/1 and kill it with our blocker. I also think that against Affinity (and the one random Infect deck) shutting down the ability of Inkmoth Nexus is crucial. Turning off Signal Pest and Vault Skirge is also a game changing stuff for our Fish deck. Affinity being a tough match up, Trickster can help us maybe turn some games for our favour.
Against some Green decks we want to tap down mana dorks such as Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch on our opponents upkeep. Tapping down Courser of Kruphix is also a nice thing to consider. Of course we can also tap down a blocker on our first Main Phase/Beginning of the Combat Step.
Merfolk Trickster is no miracle maker. It is a nice addition for us, but we need to keep in mind the stuff that it is not possible to do. Merfolk Trickster won’t remove any pump effects that might happen after Prowess or say Daybreak Coronet. We can tap the creature down, so end of turn pumps will be shut down, so this flaw is not that serious for us.
I talked about Affinity earlier. Etched Champion says “You have no power here” to our Merfolk Trickster because it has protection from blue. Hexproof creatures, such as Slippery Bogle, also don’t care about our enter the battlefield effects. We can’t “counter” any triggered or activated abilities because they go to stack and we can’t interrupt that. For instance we can’t prevent the card draw from Dark Confidant. Abilities during the Upkeep are placed on the stack before we have a chance to cast our Trickster.
So there are some nice synergies with our Merfolks. There is a nice combo with our Harbinger of the Tide for tap and bounce. If you are running Master of Waves, the casting cost of UU brings our devotion to blue up nicely. If we have Merrow Reejerey on the board, we have opportunity to tap multiple creatures at once. And also there is the Wizard’s Retort synergy that I mentioned earlier ( Cursecatcher also is a wizards, just to remind you).
So Affinity being one of the more difficult matchups for us there are quite a few chances to flash Trickster to eat one of their evasive cretures such as the manlands, Vault Skirge, Signal Pest etc. Merfolk Trickster also prevents the lifegain that Vault Skirge would give to our opponents. If we can force them to use Ravagers ability at the Beginning of the Combat Step we have an edge if we also can bring in Harbinger of the Tides to bounce the creature with the counters. Master of Etherium will die if we target him with Trickster, but in response our opponent can move +1/+1 counters from Raveger to keep the Master alive.
Against DS we don’t have too many nice tricks. Targeting Tasigur makes our opponent use the ability of the card whether they want it or not. Now, if we target Death’s Shadow, it means that we want to do it before the attackers are declared. It makes DS 13/13 but it is tapped down. We also can wait them to cast Temur Battle Rage and then chump block DS.
Modern metagame is very Humans heavy at the moment. A nice way to slow down their tempo is to tap their Hierarch on upkeep to prevent them to play Mantis Rider. Merfolk Trickster can make us go around the ability of Meddling Mage for a turn which is quite nice. Phantasmal Image dies to targeting and Thalia loses it’s first strike and she doesn’t have the tax effect for the rest of the turn. I think one of the bigger things we can do against Humans is to target Kitesail Freebooter after attacks to eat him up by taking away the flying. We also get our card back by doing this!
So there you go guys. I hope you like a card specific article this time. It was a pleasure to me to think about a new card that might give Merfolk some advantages. I read the awesome thread by Belsambar on Reddit. You can check the whole conversation there and also the latest tips for Merfolk Trickster here: https://www.reddit.com/r/FishMTG/comments/840hry/merfolk_trickster_a_comprehensive_guide/
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