Raise Your Standards – Control Yourself

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Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  This week I thought we’d take a look at some of the most frustrating types of decks to play against.  Yep, that’s right.  This week we’re going to look at some control decks.

So, what makes a control deck?  From my experience, all control decks have a few things in common.  First, control decks all feature spells that remove creatures your opponent has in play and spells to counter any threats your opponent may cast.  They also usually have ways to draw additional cards, which help you find the spells to deal with your opponent’s threats.  They are usually light on creatures, but the ones that are played are usually large, expensive creatures or they feature some sort of evasion.  Finally, control decks usually have a large amount of lands so that land drops aren’t missed which ensures you always have enough mana available to negate or remove cards your opponent plays.

The first deck I’d like to look at is a Grixis control deck from week one of the Standard Showdown.  Here’s the list:

 

Grixis Control – (by unknown)

Creatures

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

This is a pretty classis example of a control deck.  It has 28 lands and includes a couple of Wandering Fumaroles, which helps with your low creature count.  Speaking of creatures, this deck plays four copies of Thing in the Ice which is a great blocker and doubles as removal for your opponent’s creatures (eventually).  The deck also features numerous cards that draw you additional cards (such as Painful Truths, Glimmer of Genius, and Anticipate).  This is about as traditional of a control deck that you will find.

Speaking of traditional control decks, the next list I’d like to go over is a different take on traditional.  This deck went X-1 during week three of the Standard Showdown.

 

White-Blue Legendary Control – (by unknown)

Creatures

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

This deck looks like a blast to play.  It features many traditional elements of a control deck (card draw, counterspells, and removal), but it also plays awesome creatures like Bruna, the Fading Light and Gisela, the Broken Blade.  When these cards meld into Brisela, Voice of Nightmares, it’s an amazing feeling and can mean it’s game over for your opponent.

This deck also plays a card that I’ve always hoped could be good, but never quite got his due, Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper.  Once Noyan is on the battlefield, you’re able to begin assembling your army of land creatures simply by playing the cards you would normally play in any control deck.

Finally, I’d like to take a look at an Esper control deck that I’ve played against many times (and usually come up on the losing side of).  It’s a deck created by one of my local players, my friend Jacob Marx.

 

Esper Control – (by Jacob Marx)

Creatures

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

The main type of deck that I usually play is an aggro deck, and this control deck beats me nine out of ten times.  Very rarely I’m able to outrace him, but usually I’ll deal anywhere from 16 to 19 points of damage before this deck stabilizes, and once that happens it becomes very difficult to regain the upper hand.  It has just the right blend of card draw, counterspells, and removal that once it gets its footing, there’s a very good chance that your opponent won’t be able to regain any sort of board advantage, especially once you get rid of all of their creatures.  It also has an assortment of Planeswalkers that are super annoying to play against.  There have been numerous times that I’ve been staring down Jace and Dovin Baan emblems at the same time (not a pleasant experience for me).  If you enjoy games where you slowly take away all of your opponent’s options, then this is the deck for you!

So, there you have it.  Three examples of control decks.  With spoiler season for Aether Revolt officially starting next week, we’ll see what new cards get released to help out these decks (I’m looking at you Disallow).  I’d like to say a big “Thank You” to Jacob for allowing me to post his deck here.  If you have an innovative deck you’d like to share, leave me a comment and let me know.  I’m always on the lookout for exciting decks to feature here.

Which of these control decks is your favorite?  Sound off in the comment section below.  And join me next week when we take look at some of the newly-spoiled Aether Revolt cards and discuss the effect they’ll have on Standard.

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Mike Likes

Mike started playing Magic back in 1994, but gave it up at the end of 1995. He came back to the game during the Lorwyn block and has been playing ever since. Around this time, he opened and ran his own comic & game store, while also raising his newborn daughter. After 8 years, he sold his business and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. With the debut of Kaladesh, his entire family became regular Magic players. He now has hopes of competing alongside his wife and daughter at a Grand Prix or similar event in the future. #MTGDad

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