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Last week, I talked about the amazing legacy archetype called High Tide, which wins by casting High Tide and drowning your opponent in mana production. That article was just a little intro to the deck (and can be found here if you did not read it), while this article will go a bit more in depth into the nuances of this particular archetype. This week’s segment will be Spiral Tide, which is the quintessential High Tide deck that most people think about when considering the archetype.

This is the most well-recognized High Tide deck out there; ergo, there will be links at the bottom to other articles that are great resources for those looking to try this deck. I am by no means a master of this particular build, and I highly recommend you look at the links for more information.

Spiral Tide – In General

Spiral Tide combines High Tide, the linchpin of any High Tide deck (Duh), with the insane untapping power of Time Spiral and Candelabra of Tawnos. On average this deck produces anywhere from 80-150 in the combo turn, which is combined with draw effects like Meditate and Blue Sun’s Zenith to continue to generate storm and mana to “kill” the opponent with either a massive Blue Sun’s Zenith to the face or, on occasion, Brain Freeze. The latter is not as viable as it used to be, due to the advent of cards like Progenitus and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn that prevent mill-out regardless of storm count. However, it is still a possible kill if there is not enough mana to kill with a Zenith.

Time Spiral deserves its own paragraph. The card is a powerful gamble. After resolving a High Tide with 5-6 Islands in play, a resolved TS is often “good game.” The card not only generates absurd amounts of mana, but it also draws a fresh 7 in order to continue the madness. That being said, sometimes there is absolute crap in those seven. Sometimes mostly land, sometimes all mana producers (Turnabout or Candelabras), and sometimes just a bunch of Ponders that find nothing. Even so, one Meditate or Cunning Wish in those seven can easily find enough to win. Be warned: Time Spiral gives the opponent a fresh hand as well. If the opponent is using blue, which is more than 50% likely, be wary of counterspells. Any untapped Islands they have will also produce more mana, so that 1 island can sometimes hard cast Force of Will. Although there’s most likely a counterspell in your seven as well; that’s just one of the perks of playing Mono-Blue combo!

This video here contains a great example of how a Time Spiral can horribly backfire and find nothing:

Too bad! It happens. This is also an amazing matchup for High Tide. A complete lack of counterspells is an amazing bonus for combo decks.

Candelabra of Tawnos

This card may partially account for the lack of intense High Tide play. Many people believe that this archetype is the “only” High Tide deck out there, and this card can cost $350 or more in paper. Fortunately, the card is only around $20 or so on modo. It is not a necessary component of some High Tide decks, but the mana production that comes out of this simple 1 mana artifact is insane. It is a 1-shot deal during the combo turn, but it is an integral part of this typical archetype. This card is almost certainly a 4-of for the deck.

These are some of the most distinctive parts of this particular archetype. As stated in last week’s article, there are a few other integral parts that most High Tide decks utilize. That article can be found here if you have not already read it. This is important because the ‘backbone’ combines with the elements here to make the High Tide deck.

As seen last week as well, here is Feline Longmore’s most recent rendition of Spiral Tide. Longmore has been a long time user of the deck, and has some impressive wins.

Spiral Tide by Feline Longmore, Top 8 SCG Providence June 2014

Artifacts (8)
Candelabra of Tawnos
Sensei’s Divining Top

Instants (19)
High Tide
Flusterstorm
Brainstorm
Turnabout
Force of Will
Cunning Wish

Sorceries (15)
Merchant Scroll
Time Spiral
Ponder
Preordain
Lands (18)
12 Island
Flooded Strand
Polluted Delta

Sideboard (15)
Counterbalance
Snap
Pact of Negation
Flusterstorm
Blue Sun’s Zenith
Wipe Away
Surgical Extraction
Rebuild
Intuition
Brain Freeze
Turnabout

She made top eight with the deck, although the video featured in the last article showed her losing to CVM. This video is of her win against Joel Herrick in round five of last year’s SCGMinn.

This video is great at showing just how long the combo turn can be, as well as that helpless feel the opponent has as you combo kill them.

That’s all I have for this deck; I suggest that you look at the section below for more information about Spiral Tide. Thanks for reading!

Further Reading:

http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?20172-PRIMER-Spiral-Tide
http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/legacy-type-1-5/established-legacy/combo/179812-deck-high-tide
VERY General information: http://mtgsalvation.gamepedia.com/Spiral_Tide

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