Oh to be a bard. Wandering the taverns, playing songs for the ladies (or the men, whichever floats your boat), tutoring some cards from the library. These are all the things that bards do well. And now we have one called Yisan, the Wanderer Bard, only the third bard in Magic’s existence. The other two don’t have a proper name, and don’t even tutor cards – what is that all about?
Anywho, our friend Yisan here never really made a splash in Standard. Whilst his ability is definitely powerful, non-haste creatures with tap abilities rarely make an impact. But I always wanted to test Yisan out and see if it is actually worth it. And now that the results of the Manaleak budget building competition are announced and one of the top 3 decks has two copies of Yisan I have no excuse but to give him a whirl. I chose a deck that made a 4-0 daily finish last week. Let’s see how I fared.
Simic Yisan – Deck Tech
Simic Yisan – Round One vs Jeskai Tokens
Simic Yisan – Round Two vs Mono Blue Devotion Mill?
Simic Yisan – Round Three vs Abzan Midrange
OK, so punting that game one to Abzan was terrible. My combat math completely forgot that devotion would be shut off, leaving us very vulnerable. I still think we would have lost either way, but that’s besides the point. Apart from that, we did pretty well, which I was surprised with. I think the deck, whilst incredibly vulnerable to wrath effects, definitely has the ability to just overpower the opponent with the size and volume of creatures we are pumping out onto the board. But the one card I was least impressed with has to be, sadly, Yisan, the Wanderer Bard.
Most of the time the bard’s alluring song was just not what we wanted, especially drawn late game. Being able to produce a brand spanking new Elvish Mystic on the next turn and paying three mana for the privilege of doing it is not an ability you want to have when your opponent is slamming down Siege Rhinos. But the deck has the ability to produce a turn two Yisan onto the board and that definitely felt strong.
Going forward, I think the change I would make to the deck would be to add red. It’s an easy splash and allows us to be more threatening with a smaller board. We could swap the Courser of Kruphix with a Savage Knuckleblade which would give us a powerful third counter for Yisan and swapping Nylea, God of the Hunt with Xenagos, God of Revels would give us the ability to easily come back from wrath effects.
In the end, I’d love to hear from people who take this deck forward and play it at FNM or any other tournaments and how they fare. Let me know how it all goes. Until then, Peace!