Main Board (70)
Basic Land (28)
Basic Land (28)
This is my first ever standard deck! I normally play commander, but I decided to shake things up a bit with the mentality of standard. In standard, gameplay is a lot quicker and has to do A LOT more with board presence than anything else. This deck is designed to make an early presence while simultaneously creating bigger and bigger creatures that eventually become unblockable due to cards like Herald of Secret Streams. Quick damage, upgrading, and destroying/countering essential cards your opponents case is the way to go with this deck!
Early game for this deck is basically throwing out Merfolk that you will build later. Casting cards like Deeproot Champion, Deeproot Waters, and Merfolk Mistbinder are great ways to get an early board presence while beginning the act of building.
Search for Azcanta is a great card to play early game due to its eventual ability to transform into a top-four-card tutor for your counter spells and upgrade spells.
Growing Rites of Itlimoc is great for later mana ramp and also a way to search for a creature you need.
Mid Game is about development and dealing damage.
Herald of Secret Streams is a great card for this, and the new card from Rivals of Ixalan Kumena, Tyrant of Orzca is also very useful. The dynamic of adding +1/+1 counters to your Merfolk should be well in motion at this point maximizing Herald of Secret Streams' ability.
As just a general note, cards like Tempest Caller can provide an early win.
Development of your creatures is the key to this part of the game.
At this point, you need to have dealt them substantial damage, and finishing them off with your upgraded Merfolk that are unblockable.
If things are going sour, cards like River's Rebuke and Baral's Expertise can be very helpful, but you need to win quickly.
Upgrade, make unblockable, and smash. That's this deck!
Remember, almost 23% of your deck is instants and sorceries that inhibit your opponent and upgrade your creatures. Primal Amulet is especially useful when it comes to either, particularly after it's transformed.