Well I am back again for the my latest article. So Dillon Evans suggested a two card combo of Notion Thief and Teferi’s Puzzle Box. Now I am enjoying people giving me deck suggestions and ideas and I test almost all of them, and if I find a gem like this one or Aetherflux Storm I write an article about it. For those of you that know me, you know Control is my favorite way to play especially in Standard, and for Modern I love playing combo-control decks, combo in general is great in Modern. So this new deck really was hilarious to watch. Of course I sat down with Bradley, and had to scour over some ideas as to how I wanted to build this and settled on two different versions. One was really bad, the other one gets the job done.
The first deck I attempted was a U/B Control shell. I filled the deck with card draw, spot removal, and counters. Those three together should be the makings of a excellent control deck. The issues I ran into was that fact that quick decks were out running me. The amount of spot removal wasn’t removing their threats quick enough. When I added board wipes it slowed my deck down too much. When I got the combo on the field they still had too much board presence for me to close out the game. The few games it worked the reactions was priceless, but it was too inconsistent for me to feel comfortable putting it out as a finished project. So after losing multiple games after landing the combo and just not being able to gain control of their field, I felt it was time to change the deck just a little bit more.
The final build ended up being a Grixis Control shell. Most of you should recognize the cheap card draw within the deck, as well as the cheap low cost spot removal, and counter for protection of the combo. Each card within the deck serves to build up card advantage, and to bring an overwhelming threat, or stall till the combo can be placed. I have had great match ups against Infect, Elves, Goblins, and Merfolk which tend to be your faster decks. Facing aggro matches was a big concern when building this deck, and was the reason I changed the build because its track record while being U/B Control. With the addition of red in the deck it gave me access to Lightning Bolt for the early game creatures, Kolaghan’s Command, and Terminate. In all I was happy with this build and without further delay my deck list.
4x Teferi’s Puzzle Box
Now that the introductions have been completed and a brief overview we can get into the important stuff about what this deck has to offer. With the addition to red within the color scheme I feel it gives you more efficiency throughout the deck. Cards like Lightning Bolt, Terminate, and Kolaghan’s Command give you the utility of having cheap removal, some burn, and excellent targets for Snapcaster Mage. Tasigur, the Golden Fang paired with Thought Scour, fetchlands, and Serum Vision make it entirely possible for a turn two Tasigur, we see this constantly in Grixis Delver. Serum Vision and Thought Scour are efficient card draw spells and Tasigur is it’s own engine for card advantage.
The next thing I want to look at is the actual combo. Teferi’s Puzzle Box while this can be used for the pure card advantage this is not the point of this card. The point is to use Notion Thief to make your opponents draw completely useless. By using these two cards your opponent no longer have an effective draw step. Your opponent can only cast spells at instant speed once this combo is placed. Notion Thief allows you to draw all additional cards your opponent would draw beyond their initial draw. The puzzle box sends all your opponents cards down to the bottom of their deck so the thief gets to take all he wants. Once this combo is played using the massive card advantage you should be able to bolt, command, and terminate anything that stands in your way of victory over your opponent. This is a pretty dirty trick, but seeing the reaction to Notion Thief when its only been played in Legacy to having someone rage quit at this “jank”.
Sideboard can be tricky if you are facing a deck that can use instant speed removal for the thief add in all your counters. Thief fortunately dodges Abrupt Decay. If you are facing Burn, Merfolk, Death’s Shadow add in your board wipes, explosives, and staticaster. Tron, Jund, or Junk I would use the Fulminator Mage as well as the extractions to strip their deck of useful cards especially Tron lands.
In conclusion this is a fairly competitive deck. This deck will certainly surprise many folks during the first few times played at your LGS. Anyone who wishes to test it let me know how it runs. Any questions or comments especially dealing with the sideboard just ask. Hope you enjoyed the article on my Jank brews. If you have any suggestions on decks feel free to send them our way I am sure Bradley or I would love to take a crack at breaking a nice new combo. Also coming up in January we will be hosting another recruitment ad if you are looking to join the Mtgdecktechs team.