Eternal Masters Preview Week 1 has begun and I am excited for sure.
Wizards has done a fantastic job with the previews they have dropped so far. I haven’t been this pumped for a full Magic set in a LONG time.
Our series on the Legacy format continues today as we talk about the control decks in the format.
A few weeks ago, I dropped an article about the various Delver builds, so I won’t go over them again here. For anyone who missed that article, you can find it here #FlipmasterFlex
The most played and the most powerful Control deck in Legacy, Miracles is named for the keyword from Avacyn Restored that pushed the deck over the top. Two spells, Terminus and Entreat the Angels, had this keyword that triggered when the card was drawn as the first card of the turn thereby allowing the spell to be cast WAY cheaper and at Instant speed. Those two spells completely changed the dynamic of the deck that was once known as CounterTop. The original deck was based around Counterbalance and Shinsei’s Divining Top which establishes a lock that is very difficult to escape. Between Top, Ponder, Brainstorm, and fetchlands, you get so many looks at fresh cards, it is hard to resolve a spell against them once the combo is set up.
Now we get into another subset of control deck, Stoneblade decks. Based on the two most powerful cards from the Caw Blade Standard era, Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic, paired together with the two most powerful Equipment ever printed in Batterskull and Umezawa’s Jitte packed around countermagic, card draw, discard, and removal makes for a very potent package. An unchecked Stoneforge into Batterskull can end a game in very short order. Some used red for burn and additional countermagic.
There are other control decks that use a different way of controlling their opponent to help get the job done.
Imperial Painter is a control deck that leverages Blood Moon, Ensnaring Bridge and Painter’s Servant along with Jaya Ballard, Task Mage, Pyroblast, and Red Elemental Blast to control the way you play the game. Once you have set up a Painter’s Servant naming Blue, 1 activation of Grindstone will mill your opponent’s entire library.
Yes, you counted that correctly. There are 35 lands in this deck and only 25 spells. So how does this deck control your opponent and setup a win? The deck gains a massive amount of card advantage through the use of Life from the Loam. This allows the Lands player to recur both the fetch lands and Wasteland. The recursion of Wasteland along with the use of Rishadan Port and Maze of Ith allows you to control the flow of the game. To do this, the deck needs ways to get multiple land drops per turn and does so with Exploration, Manabond, and extra mana through Mox Diamond. As for winning the game, that comes through the use of 2 lands, Thespian’s Stage and Dark Depths. By activating the Stage to copy Dark Depths, you might lose both lands, but you get a 20/20 flying industructable Marit Lage token.
MUD (also called Mono Brown) uses powerful controlling artifacts to lock your opponent out of the game. Chalice, Tangle Wire, Smokestack, Sphere of Resistance, Lodestone Golem, Wasteland, and Rishadan Port to lock down mana and increase costs. As an endgame, a set of Mutavault and Mishra’s Factory finish the job.
Death and Taxes
The last deck I’m going to talk about is Death and Taxes. The deck leverages the powerful taxing cards like Thalia and mana control cards Rishadan Port and Wasteland to keep an opponent from gaining an advantage. The deck also uses Phyrexian Revoker to lock down key cards and Mother of Runes, Eldrazi Displacer, and Flickerwisp to protect them from removal, it makes playing against the deck a nightmare.
Next Week I will be dropping my theory on the future of the Legacy format.