Fan Favorite Friday #28: The Corey Checketts Special (Lord of Atlantis)

Hey… wait a minute, WHO ARE YOU? 

Oh yeah, you’re the person who is here to read this week’s Fan Favorite Friday! Welcome, friend, welcome! I’ve still been recovering from the chaos and sickness from last week, but I’m glad we can be here together today! This week there were no votes or polls or anything like that because I decided that we were going to go back to our roots for a lil’ special edition post today.

Ever since this column started, I’ve had a loyal reader who keeps begging for, and voting on when it’s an option, one of his favorite cards of all time. I’ve put it up to a vote a couple of times now, and I feel like it usually gets pretty close to winning – but it’s always the bridesmaid and never the bride!

Well, you know what? No longer. I’m looking at you he Corey! This week’s card is none other than the inimitable Lord of Atlantis. Tribal power! All power to the fish! #makemerfolkgreatagain!

Before we get into that, let’s give away the awesome Terese Nielsen playmat from last week!

Jenette Annabelle, you’ve won the mat! Congratulations!

What are we going to give away this week? A merfolk care package! Whoever wins will be receiving a Thassa, God of the Sea playmat, a Monster playmat tube with blue cap, and one NM Revised Lord of Atlantis!

What do you have to do to win?

  • Make sure you like the ABU Games Facebook Page
  • Like the post featuring this article
  • Share that post!
  • Comment on that post or in the comments here and say something nice about Corey Checketts, or tell me a cool story about Merfolk!

Cool, you got that? Good! Let’s dig in.


Lord of Atlantis, the hero of all Merfolk fans everywhere, was originally printed in Alpha – becoming one of the three original lords. (I talked a bit about the history of lords already in my Goblin Chieftain FFF I think)

The crazy thing is – he wasn’t even a merfolk! Sure, back then he boosted their power, but the only fish he could actually pump up was the puny lil Merfolk of the Pearl Trident. And you know what? That was enough for a while. Before the “four of” rule was instituted in the game, a person could put together a fairly respectable army of fish friends with a few Lords and plenty of the Pearl Tridents, but after the new rule, it seemed Merfolk fans everywhere were going to have their hopes crushed.

It was about four more years, according to this article, before players really had any more merfolk to work with! It wasn’t even until 2001 that a complete Merfolk deck like something we’d recognize today took the world by storm, snagging second in a Pro Tour.

I’ve since lost the article I was reading on the mothership about this, but merfolk were almost removed from the game completely (Corey, please don’t cry it all worked out) at one point, and only the pitiful cries of their fans were able to bring them back as a creature type years later. For a fictionalized retelling of the plight of the merfolk, I’d highly recommend checking out this article, which is framed like a bedtime story to a young merfolk girl.

Eventually though, as you know probably know if you’ve opened any packs lately, merfolk came back and with a vengeance! Our boy, Lord of Atlantis, was even reworded some years back to finally join his fishy brothers and sisters as a true merfolk instead of the ethereal “Lord” typing that he and the other two Alpha lords had been stuck with.

Lord of Atlantis hasn’t gone anywhere either, still being a mainstay of both Modern and Legacy Fish. Let’s take a look at just why exactly that is!

What Makes This Card So Cool?

Okay, so I mean, just look at this card. It’s simple, effective, and incredibly lethal in the right situation. First, it gives other merfolk +1/+1 and islandwalk. Islandwalk isn’t all that impressive all on its own, but when you combine this with cards like Spreading Seas (or just play against a huge field of blue decks in Legacy) it can be pretty impactful. It’s that +1/+1 that’s really a huge deal, and if you can land more than one Lord you’re on the train to Overwhelmingyouroppentville. The other huge deal about this guy is that he only costs two blue to play. Most other comparable lords are three drops, which makes them harder to spam the board with, but that two blue paired with things like Aether Vial really make it a force to be reckoned with.

What Decks Is This Card Played In?

Lord of Atlantis is legal in Modern, Legacy, Vintage, and Commander – though in my experience you’re most likely to see him in the first two. I know a lot of people who like to malign merfolk decks, but if you’re not careful it is incredibly easy to be overrun by those fishy folk. I’ve lost to some amazing merfolk pilots more times than I’d like to remember at GP level play and local events alike. I feel like the archetype is just one or two cards away from really blowing up and earning the respect the tribe deserves! Let’s take a look at a few lists.

Here’s a slick, traditional Modern build that took first place in a Modern League recently:

And here is a sweet Legacy version:


I imagine all of my Corey references were a little strange to non-local players who read my article, for which I apologize! Like I mentioned earlier, Corey has been a dedicated commenter on my articles and a constant proponent of getting Lord of Atlantis into the column since day one.

Not only do I super appreciate all the support he’s given my column, I appreciate his presence in our local community. Corey’s claim to fame has become being that “Merfolk Guy” (even though he hasn’t actually dusted off the deck lately to my knowledge), but he’s a constant positive presence on the battlefield and online in our local Magic related Facebook groups. It doesn’t matter if he’s absolutely destroying me in a game of Legacy or falling prey to my little green men, he’s always exactly what I want in an opponent: gracious, full of good conversation, and easy to smile.

Keep an eye out for the king of the Fish, and give him a high five if you see him.

Thanks for being a homie, Corey. I hope I did justice to your fish friends!

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Joe Davidson is the Content Production Manager at ABU Games. When he's not playing Modern, Legacy, or following around Team ABU with a camera he's pursuing a BFA in Fiction at Boise State University. He loves Goblins, casting burn spells, and writing about Magic. You can find him on Twitter @MTGJoeD.