Deep Analysis – Hail to the King, Baby

Deep-Analysis

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.

Delver builds

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

Hail to the King, Baby...Brainstorm by William Murai

Hail to the King, Baby / Brainstorm by William Murai

Miracles

  Sideboard
3 Counterbalance

2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

1 Engineered Explosives
4 Sensei's Divining Top

4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Brainstorm
2 Counterspell
2 Predict
4 Force of Will
3 Snapcaster Mage

2 Entreat the Angels
4 Ponder
4 Terminus

3 Scalding Tarn
4 Flooded Strand
2 Arid Mesa
4 Island
2 Plains
3 Tundra
3 Volcanic Island
3 Flusterstorm
1 From the Ashes
1 Izzet Staticaster
2 Meddling Mage
2 Pyroblast
1 Red Elemental Blast
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Vendilion Clique
2 Wear // Tear

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.

Saying NOPE since 1993 Counterspell by Jason Chan

Saying NOPE since 1993
Counterspell by Jason Chan

Esper Deathblade

  Sideboard
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

1 Baleful Strix
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Snapcaster Mage
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 True-Name Nemesis

1 Council's Judgment

4 Brainstorm
2 Counterspell
1 Esper Charm
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Batterskull
1 Umezawa's Jitte

1 Supreme Verdict
3 Thoughtseize

3 Island
1 Karakas
1 Marsh Flats
2 Plains
4 Polluted Delta
2 Ponder
1 Scrubland
3 Tundra
2 Underground Sea
1 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Flooded Strand
1 Containment Priest
1 Disenchant
2 Flusterstorm
3 Meddling Mage
1 Nahiri, the Lithomancer
1 Path to Exile
1 Pithing Needle
2 Rest in Peace
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Zealous Persecution

Jeskai Stoneblade

  Sideboard
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Batterskull

1 Council's Judgment

2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

4 Brainstorm
3 Counterspell
4 Force of Will
1 Lightning Bolt
3 Spell Snare
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Snapcaster Mage
4 Stoneforge Mystic
1 True-Name Nemesis

4 Ponder

4 Scalding Tarn
4 Flooded Strand
3 Island
1 Plains
3 Tundra
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Arid Mesa
3 Volcanic Island
2 Wasteland
2 Blood Moon
2 Containment Priest
3 Flusterstorm
1 Izzet Staticaster
2 Pithing Needle
2 Pyroblast
1 Red Elemental Blast
2 Supreme Verdict

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.

Painter's Servant by Mike Dringenberg

Painter’s Servant by Mike Dringenberg

Imperial Painter

  Sideboard
3 Lotus Petal
2 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Grindstone
3 Sensei's Divining Top

4 Blood Moon

2 Simian Spirit Guide
1 Spellskite
2 Goblin Welder
1 Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
1 Magus of the Moon
4 Imperial Recruiter
4 Painter's Servant
1 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Daretti, Scrap Savant

2 Enlightened Tutor
4 Pyroblast
2 Red Elemental Blast

4 Ancient Tomb
4 Arid Mesa
1 Bloodstained Mire
3 City of Traitors
1 Great Furnace
3 Mountain
1 Plains
2 Plateau
1 Containment Priest
1 Duergar Hedge-Mage
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Pyroclasm
2 Pyrokinesis
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Rest in Peace
1 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Trinisphere
1 Vexing Shusher
1 Wear \\ Tear

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.

Exploration by Florian de Gesincourt

Exploration by Florian de Gesincourt

Lands

  Sideboard
4 Dark Depths
3 Maze of Ith
1 Forest
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
4 Rishadan Port
2 Taiga
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
4 Thespian's Stage
1 Bojuka Bog
2 Tranquil Thicket
1 Glacial Chasm
4 Wasteland
2 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills
4 Punishing Fire
4 Crop Rotation

4 Life from the Loam
4 Gamble

4 Exploration
1 Manabond

4 Mox Diamond
1 Ancient Grudge
2 Chalice of the Void
2 Choke
1 Karakas
4 Krosan Grip
1 Molten Vortex
4 Sphere of Resistance

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.

Smokestack by Daniel Ljunggren

Smokestack by Daniel Ljunggren

MUD

  Sideboard
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Crucible of Worlds
3 Ensnaring Bridge
3 Mox Diamond
4 Ratchet Bomb
4 Smokestack
4 Sphere of Resistance
4 Tangle Wire
4 Lodestone Golem

4 Ancient Tomb
3 Cavern of Souls
4 City of Traitors
4 Mishra's Factory
4 Mutavault
3 Rishadan Port
4 Wasteland
1 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Razormane Masticore
4 Spellskite
2 Thorn of Amethyst
2 Zuran Orb

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.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben by Steve Argyle

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben by Steve Argyle

Death and Taxes

  Sideboard
4 Swords to Plowshares

1 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Flickerwisp
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
1 Mangara of Corondor
2 Mirran Crusader
4 Mother of Runes
4 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Serra Avenger
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Aether Vial
1 Batterskull
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice

8 Plains
4 Rishadan Port
1 Horizon Canopy
3 Karakas
1 Flagstones of Trokair
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Wasteland
2 Council's Judgment
3 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Kor Firewalker
2 Path to Exile
1 Pithing Needle
3 Rest in Peace
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Warping Wail

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.

Nicol_Bolas@MTGDecktechs.com

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