Tuesday, September 25

Zombies And A Control Mockup

First, this is the deck that I expect to be strong at the beginning of the format. I feel that the format will hinge on this deck or something close to it:

4 Gravecrawler
4 Diregraf Ghoul
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Blood Artist
4 Rakdos Shred-Freak
4 Geralf's Messenger
4 Falkenrath Aristocrat

4 Pillar of Flame
4 Brimstone Volley
1 Tragic Slip

4 Blood Crypt
4 Dragonskull Summit
2 Mountain
13 Swamp

The fear of this deck stems from the fact that it's hyper-aggressive (12 one-drops) and that it has threats that are hard to answer/ require specific removal (Gravecrawler, Geralf's Messenger, Falkenrath Aristocrat). There are answers to these cards but they tend to be limited in some way. Azorius Charm isn't permenant, Oblivion Ring/Detention Sphere and Sever the Bloodline are clunky, and Knight of Glory is not difficult to answer (BG even has Golgari Charm). Sensory Deprivation and Pacifism might actually be reasonable options seeing as they're both maindeckable and hit any creature, but they don't stop Gravecrawler and Messenger forever (and then there's Abrupt Decay and Golgari Charm).

As far as a control deck goes, I'm having a hard time figuring out a reasonable configuration (as is the case with any unknown format). This is what I've currently got cooking:

2 Snapcaster Mage

4 Pillar of Flame
4 Izzet Charm
4 Mizzium Mortars
2 Desperate Ravings
4 Lingering Souls
4 Rakdos Keyrune
4 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
1 Devil's Play
3 Sphinx's Revelation

4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Clifftop Retreat
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Steam Vents
4 Sulfur Falls
2 Island
3 Mountain

The color breakdown of the deck is very odd. The only white cards are Lingering Souls and Sphinx's Revelation and the only black costs are Souls, Rakdos Keyrune, and a Nicol Bolas. With 10-11 lands untapping the M10 lands I think the mana could actually work out.

The first black card I decided to play was Lingering Souls. It just feels really powerful with Planeswalkers, against certain creatures, and is also a potent win condition. The second black card was Rakdos Keyrune which is miles better than other Keyrunes in control decks. Being able to cast Pillar of Flame off it is one of the reasons for that. I might not actually want any Keyrunes in this deck but Sphinx's Revelation has me pining for them. Nicol Bolas was actually an afterthought. I wanted a game ender and he seemed least vulnerable and also versatile.

Sphinx's Revelation gives the deck access to a huge swing. It might also be the reason we want to keep our curve low. Casting it for 2 is not the worst thing you can do for five mana, but once you pass that point it gets pretty powerful.

Who knows whether or not the deck is actually good. It might not even fare well against the deck I had most in mind when making it, but we'll have to wait and see. Until then it'll just be Cube, Pauper, Modern, and Sealed for me.


  1. Jacob Wilson9/25/12, 8:10 PM

    I think Augur of Bolas is better than Snapcaster in control decks to come. Its a 2 drop that blocks all the 1 drops from zombies. Snapcaster is clunky without so many 1/0 mana spells.

    I think a Jace control deck will dominate the standard format, finding the best shell is gonna be interesting.

  2. I also think Augur is good, but I can't play it without at least 22 targets and I think that is too hard to justify. Snapcaster is fairly clunky, but I expect the body to be relevant and included a few cards that work nicely with it.

    We can only hope.

  3. Oh, there are already 22 targets. Didn't even realize that. I guess I am okay with making that swap then.