If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! A lot of people have been outraged regarding the card Nexus of FateNexus of Fate up to the point that it got banned in Best of 1. While I find the card good, I don’t think its broken beyond belief.
I sleeved it up on MTG Arena when I hit Diamond 4 and 28 games later in Best of 3, I hit Mythic 550. I then went on to play for a couple of hours to eventually get into the top 100.

Simic Nexus Lampalot Mythic

With minor tweaks throughout the games, this is the current list I play:

Simic Nexus by Michael Bonde

Creatures (8)
Sailor of MeansSailor of Means
Frilled MysticFrilled Mystic
Hydroid KrasisHydroid Krasis

Spells (27)
Blink of an EyeBlink of an Eye
Chemister’s InsightChemister’s Insight
Growth SpiralGrowth Spiral
Nexus of FateNexus of Fate
Precognitive PerceptionPrecognitive Perception
Root SnareRoot Snare
Search for AzcantaSearch for Azcanta
Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation
Lands (25)
IslandIsland
ForestForest
Arch of OrazcaArch of Orazca
Breeding PoolBreeding Pool
Hinterland HarborHinterland Harbor
Memorial to GeniusMemorial to Genius
Simic GuildgateSimic Guildgate

Sideboard (15)
Carnage TyrantCarnage Tyrant
Mass ManipulationMass Manipulation
NegateNegate
Nezahal, Primal TideNezahal, Primal Tide
Pelakka WurmPelakka Wurm
Sagittars’ VolleySagittars’ Volley
Crushing CanopyCrushing Canopy
Biogenic OozeBiogenic Ooze
Sylvan BrushstriderSylvan Brushstrider

Because of the popularity of Nexus of FateNexus of Fate and Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation in control decks, I’ve overheard some people talk about this deck as Simic Nexus Control. The deck does however play out as a combo deck, and it is where it has its pure power and how it exploits certain cards.

How to Play and How to Win

Play land, take extra turn, repeat

Growth Spiral
Wilderness Reclamation
Nexus of Fate

To put the game plan crudely, here is what we want to do with this deck.

Turn 1: Play a tapped land.
Turn 2: Play Growth SpiralGrowth Spiral.
Turn 3: Play Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation, untap your lands and keep Frilled MysticFrilled Mystic up.
Turn 4: Start taking extra turns with Nexus of FateNexus of Fate and drawing cards.

This is of course the dream scenario in utopia, but it happens in real games. Sometimes you just get to the combo, and they simply can’t stop you.

The Essential Combo

The core of your game plan

Wilderness Reclamation
Search for Azcanta
Frilled Mystic
Root Snare
Nexus of Fate
Nexus of FateNexus of Fate is the combo payoff, but the combo enabler is Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation. This makes it essential to get to Wilderness Reclamation as soon of possible. And when we do, it increases our chances of getting to the payoff, since each Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation allows us to play out several turns worth of spells on one of our own turns.
Let me explain that last part. Most of our deck is instant speed card draw. The other cards are either to keep our opponent at bay or draw cards at sorcery speed.
With Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation we get to cast a spell during our main phase, draw a number of cards, just to do the same in our end of turn with instant card draw or pass and keep up Frilled MysticFrilled Mystic or Root SnareRoot Snare. We do that for turn after turn, and eventually we survive until we can activate a flipped Search for AzcantaSearch for Azcanta once per turn for each Wilderness Reclamation we control. With each activation we dig for a Time WalkTime Walk effect (aka Nexus) in chunks of 4 cards. So, once the machine has started to run, it is inevitable that we will eventually get there, the importance is to set up the machine correctly.

The Most Impressive Cards

What really makes the deck go nuts

Search for Azcanta
Blink of an Eye
Arch of Orazca
Memorial to Genius
Search for AzcantaSearch for Azcanta is insane, even with just 3 copies. This is what makes the deck combo-ish once we have Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation. It’s essential as a turn 2 play against control decks and when it flips it’s a crucial factor to get us the win.

Blink of an EyeBlink of an Eye suits this deck, like RemandRemand does in Modern Storm. We get to somewhat cancel our opponents turn if we bounce their threat (and draw a card), which will give us even more time to assemble our combo. It’s also suitable in the mirror when our opponent resolves a Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation and relies on the untap trigger in their end step. At the same time, it protects our own Reclamation from enchantment removal, and doubles as a way to get it back on the board, when our opponents play cards like Conclave TribunalConclave Tribunal and Deputy of DetentionDeputy of Detention.

Arch of OrazcaArch of Orazca and the playset of Memorial to GeniusMemorial to Genius. When you take a first glance at the deck list, these cards might seem “win more” or even unnecessary. But they are key cards in the decks attempt to see how broken we can make Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation.

The Least Impressive Cards

I expected more from these cards

Chemister’s Insight
Frilled Mystic
Hydroid Krasis

I think Chemister’s InsightChemister’s Insight can be a bit clunky as a 4-off. Its obviously good in the control matchups, but the deck uses its mana all the time and sometimes this card slows the deck down too much. The same goes for Precognitive PerceptionPrecognitive Perception. When we have the enchantment on the board, it can be nice to main phase this card and scry 3, but it’s not that often that it happens and its only in very few specific situations where you really want to pay that extra mana and draw 1 extra card.

Frilled MysticFrilled Mystic is good when it hits, but like Chemister’s InsightChemister’s Insight, it seems super clunky against Tempo and Aggro. At first, I was really “lucky” and got to hit a lot of good spells from my opponents. That made me fall in love with the card, but the more I played, the more clunky it felt. It’s always good when it’s a backup after we deploy Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation and for obvious reasons it’s good against control. But given the diversity of the current metagame, I’m not 100% sure on this card as a part of the main deck plan.

Hydroid KrasisHydroid Krasis is good when you draw it late. Often, it’s not that cool to have it in our opener, since against aggro you want to deploy Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation straight away and against control you kind of want to cast it for more than 2. Against Mono White, Mono Red and Mono Blue it is important to understand your role in the game, and not be blinded by the lost value of deploying it for X=1. An early blocker can be what sets the pace of the game and eventually turns out in our favor.

Sideboarding With Simic Nexus

The good, the bad and the Mono White

Simic Nexus Sagittars' Volley by Dan Scott

Sagittars’ Volley by Dan Scott

When we play a combo deck, it is both a blessing and a curse to get to the sideboard. People will come prepared with a lot of NegateNegates, but they will also apply pressure, which makes it essential to figure out which are the bad matchups and how many cards each of them requires.

The Bad Matchups

Mono Blue

Tempest Djinn by Zezhou Chen

Tempest Djinn by Zezhou Chen

Their plan is to tempo us out, while they hold a healthy mix of counterspells. This makes it hard to get to deploy a 4-mana enchantment and live to tell the tale. It is not unwinnable, but we have our back against the wall most of the time and we definitely need some cards for this.

Simic Nexus VS Mono Blue

Sideboard In (5)
NegateNegate
Sagittars' VolleySagittars' Volley
Crushing CanopyCrushing Canopy
Sideboard Out (5)
Sailor of MeansSailor of Means
Chemister's InsightChemister's Insight
Precognitive PerceptionPrecognitive Perception
Frilled MysticFrilled Mystic

Mono Red

Ghitu Lavarunner by Jesper Ejsing

This is our worst matchup. If they win the die roll, it’s a struggle up hill from turn 1. Getting to a fast Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation through a turn 2 Growth SpiralGrowth Spiral can lead to victory, but it seems almost impossible.

Simic Nexus VS Mono Red

Sideboard In (4)
Pelakka WurmPelakka Wurm
Biogenic OozeBiogenic Ooze
Sylvan BrushstriderSylvan Brushstrider
Sideboard Out (4)
Precognitive PerceptionPrecognitive Perception
Search for AzcantaSearch for Azcanta
Chemister's InsightChemister's Insight

The good matchups

Esper Control

Kaya's Wrath by Victor Adame Minguez

Kaya’s Wrath by Victor Adame Minguez

Esper doesn’t really do much. They rely on their opponent to play 1 or 2 spells each turn, and then they will have an answer for any threats. Game 1, we can blank a lot of their removal. And with our tons of card draw, we will eventually get there, if we play smart. The sideboarded games can be a bit more tough, since they have both hand and spell disruption. But with cards like Carnage TyrantCarnage Tyrant, Nezahal, Primal TideNezahal, Primal Tide and our own NegateNegates we are often favored. If they go for the Thief of SanityThief of Sanity plan, we need to be able to deal with this, since it will take over the game quite quickly.

Simic Nexus VS Esper Control

Sideboard In (8)
Carnage TyrantCarnage Tyrant
NegateNegate
Nezahal, Primal TideNezahal, Primal Tide
Crushing CanopyCrushing Canopy
Sideboard Out (8)
Blink of an EyeBlink of an Eye
Root SnareRoot Snare
Sailor of MeansSailor of Means
Wilderness ReclamationWilderness Reclamation

Sultai

Standard Hydroid Krasis by Jason Felix

Hydroid Krasis by Jason Felix

I write this in the category of good matchups. This can be the case because I played against players that are not the best of the best. On paper they have the right colors and cards to deal with a deck like ours. However, since I played against this deck the most, I can say they mostly come up short. They need to board in some cards that don’t work well with the rest of the deck. And while Hydroid KrasisHydroid Krasis is an insane card in the deck, it is only good when it draws a DuressDuress, which is actually a problem card.

Simic Nexus VS Sultai

Sideboard In (5)
Carnage TyrantCarnage Tyrant
NegateNegate
Biogenic OozeBiogenic Ooze
Sideboard Out on the draw (5)
Blink of an EyeBlink of an Eye
Root SnareRoot Snare
Frilled MysticFrilled Mystic

Sideboard Out on the play (5)
Blink of an EyeBlink of an Eye
Root SnareRoot Snare

Drakes

Mono Red Crackling Drake by Victor Adame Minguez

Crackling Drake by Victor Adame Minguez

This is one of the more fun matchups to play. Both players try to set up for a couple of insane turns, and them having NegateNegate and Spell PierceSpell Pierce in the main deck and blue sideboard cards makes for a lot of decision making when we plan out our turns.

Simic Nexus VS Drakes

Sideboard In (5)
NegateNegate
Sagittars' VolleySagittars' Volley
Crushing CanopyCrushing Canopy
Sideboard Out (5)
Sailor of MeansSailor of Means
Frilled MysticFrilled Mystic
Root SnareRoot Snare

The Mono White Matchup

Hero of Precinct One History of Benalia by Noah Bradley

History of Benalia by Noah Bradley

I don’t feel like I can give the right play philosophy against Mono White after the games I played. But since it’s a relevant part of the metagame I do want to give you my current sideboard plan.

Simic Nexus VS Mono White

Sideboard In (5)
Mass ManipulationMass Manipulation
Crushing CanopyCrushing Canopy
Sylvan BrushstriderSylvan Brushstrider
Pelakka WurmPelakka Wurm
Sideboard Out (5)
Precognitive PerceptionPrecognitive Perception
Search for AzcantaSearch for Azcanta
Chemister's InsightChemister's Insight
Frilled MysticFrilled Mystic

Thank you all for reading through some of the thoughts regarding this deck and how it works. As a last thing, I played the deck and recorded 5 games on MTG Arena on the ladder. It’s a bit late in the night and I make some crucial play errors. But nevertheless I have some great games. Make sure to check them out when they get posted after Mythic Championship I in Cleveland.

Until next time

Michael Bonde

 

This article was written by Michael Bonde in a media collaboration with mtgmintcard.com

Michael Bonde

Author Michael Bonde

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