UB Improvise Control

Hello everyone! For a few weeks, I took a short break from playing and writing and playing Magic and worked more on improving my Hearthstone skills. However, I am back with a decktech for a really interesting deck I was talking about during the spoiler season. The deck is a UB Control deck, that has a few artifacts cheap artifacts that help fuel super efficient removal and counterspells, such as Battle at the Bridge and Metallic Rebuke.

Merchant’s Dockhand is a cheap early game play as a blocker and also can fuel improvise cards. However, it also provides a lategame card advantage and selection engine. Prophetic Prism is an early game redraw and mana smoother, and also works well fueling improvise cards. Metalspinner’s Puzzleknot works in the same way, with the added bonus of being able to draw another card when it’s not needed to fuel improvise anymore in the later game.

Here are the main cards that benefit from playing a lot of cheap artifacts. Just tapping a unneeded artifact such as Prophetic Prism or Metalspinner’s Puzzleknot that you have can lead to explosive turns where you kill a creature, draw a few cards, and still leave up a counterspell for opposing threats or answers.

We also have two cards that act as large beaters in the late game against control decks. Herald of Anguish generates so much card advantage when left unanswered, and Metalwork Colossus can wade through a storm of removal when playing the control mirror.

Decklist: UB Improvise Control

What did you think? Comment below!

All on the Mardu Control EDH Train?

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Today, we’re going to dash into the Mardu color pairings and see where Mardu is going as a color pair. On one hand, Mardu without doubt has the best removal and boardwipes, which puts the Mardu train at a junction. There are aggressive Mardu decks that use this removal indiscriminately to push in damage, and there are also more controlling Mardu decks that use this removal to pick off problematic creatures to keep a firm grip on the board.

Looking at the top seven commanders for the Mardu color pairing, you can see that there are four with a more aggressive tilit (Alesha, Kaalia, Zurgo, and Oros), and three with a more controlling tilt (Tariel, Queen Marchesa, and Ravos//Vial Smasher). However, the two commanders on the top seven from the last year (Queen Marchesa and Ravos//Vial Smasher) have a more controlling tilt to them. You can read more on Queen Marchesa and Ravos//Vial Smasher by clicking on their respective links.

So, the question I’m going to discuss in this article is  : “Where is Mardu going?”

As shown, Mardu can tilt towards either end of the control/aggro spectrum, depending on how the deck utilizes the high-quality removal and boardwipes.

Planar Chaos brought the first Mardu commander in 2007, Oros, the Avenger.

The first Commander set, in 2011, brought two Mardu commanders, Kaalia and Tariel.

At that point, there aggro/control ratio was 2 to 1.

We’ve seen a fair share of the aggro side in the past few years, since the symbol of the Mardu Horde is the “Wings of the Dragon”, their aspect of the dragon is speed, and their mechanics are raid and dash, which are both combat-oriented mechanics. The code of the Mardu is called “The Edicts of Ilagra”, which even states :

  • To conquer is to eat.
  • To rule is to bleed.
  • Victory or death.

So, the Khans block brought two aggressive commanders to the scene : Zurgo and Alesha. Then, the aggro/control ration was 4-1.

In this past year, we’ve got two more controlling commanders : Queen Marchesa from Conspiracy 2 and Vial Smasher//Ravos from Commander 2016.

Aether Revolt doesn’t seem like a likely place for a Mardu commander, and although we don’t know what the color divisions will be like on Amonkhet, it’s unlikely that they’ll do another wedge set so soon after Khans block. The next real opportunity to see more Mardu commanders will be Commander 2017, so we’ll wait until then to see.

Will the Mardu control collection grow? What do you think?

Atraxa Voltron Commander Spotlight!

atraxa

Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice is a commander that I want to brew in a different way: a Voltron commander that uses proliferate in conjunction with +1/+1 counters, -1/-1 counters, charge counters and poison counters.

Armory of Iroas is a way to start piling on +1/+1 counters onto Atraxa. Banshee’s Blade is another way to get Atraxa more powerful, since you can only get one +1/+1 counter per turn.

Blade of the Bloodchief is another way to start putting counters onto Atraxa. Grafted Exoskeleteon is a way to give Atraxa infect, so even if Atraxa can’t kill the opponent in one hit, you can get them poisoned and start to proliferate them to death.

Opaline Bracers is not only powerful because we’re in a four color deck, but also because it offers a way to grow Atraxa by more than one power per turn. Sigil of Distinction offers the same opportunity as Opaline Bracers, a way to grow Atraxa with ways besides +1/+1 counters.

Umezawa’s Jitte is another way to use proliferate in creative ways. It can be used to punch in extra damage or shoot down utility creatures. Ring of Xathrid is a way for Atraxa to dodge boardwipes or targeted removal, and it also starts the +1/+1 counter engine.

Ring of Kalonia not only starts the +1/+1 engine, it also allows Atraxa to punch in damage through flying blockers. Ring of Evos Isle is a way to dodge targeted removal, which is useful if you can’t find Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots for your commander.

Deepglow Skate is just amazing in this deck. It can double almost anything, besides poison counters. Bred for the Hunt is a way to generate some card advantage while punching in damage.

hardenedscales

Hardened Scales is also really good in this deck, because it usually doubles the counters, because most +1/+1 counters come in instances of one.

What do you think? Comment below!

Standard Grixis Emerge

Hello everyone! Today, we’re going to go over a Grixis Emerge/ Dredge-y deck. It’s super powerful, and can really go off sometimes.

DISCARD ENABLERS

We have both Tormenting Voice and Cathartic Reunion to discard some of our graveyard creatures on turn two. They keep us stable of cards, but they also put cards in the graveyard that we want in the graveyard.

On turn one, we have Lightning Axe, which kills every creature in the format other than a lot of the Eldrazi. Insolent Neonate cycles, and often gets in a damage or two before you have to sacrifice it.

RECURSIVE CREATURES

Scrapheap Scrounger is a really aggressive beatdown creature, which is what we want, and he can exile lands and other useless cards out of your graveyard to get him back if he dies. Stitchwing Skaab and Haunted Dead not only help us fill up our graveyard and they keep on coming back if they die. Haunted Dead also leaves behind a spirit token.

prizedamalgam

Prized Amalgam adds a little bit of extra value to our recursion creatures, because it comes back whenever we bring back any of our recursive creatures.

EMERGE CREATURES

We also have some emerge creatures to get extra value out of recursive creatures. Elder Deep-Fiend can tap down a bunch of blockers, or you can flash it in on opponent’s turns to tap down their lands. Distended Mindbender is a really nice way to strip your opponent’s hand of any cards that can hurt our strategy.

Decklist: Grixis Emerge

What do you think? Comment below!

 

 

UB Kaladesh Metalwork Colossus Deck

metalworkcolossus

Today, we are going to turbo out Metalwork Colossus in Standard! Let’s do it! The main idea is going to be to turbo out Metalwork Colossus with a huge board of artifacts, so you can keep on bringing it back if needed.

We have a nice suite of mana rocks/ mana creatures to help boost the artifact count and to get more mana to spend on Metalwork Colossus.

These two artifacts can help you draw a few cards to help you find the Metalwork Colossus. It also helps to boost your artifact count.

Foundry Inspector helps us get our artifact count up by reducing the artifact costs. Filigree Familiar is a nice little creature that can gain us some life, and can draw us a card when it blocks an attacker or is sacrificed to Metalwork Colossus.

Key to the City is a nice way to cycle through cards and getting through our Metalwork Colossus. Glint-Nest Crane is a nice way to get a few points of damage in and to dig a through our deck for our Metalwork Colossuses or some more artifacts to up our artifact count.

Decklist: UB Metalwork Colossus

What do you think? Comment below!

Kaladesh Prerelease Event Report

SAHEEL

Hello everyone! As some people suggested, I’m going to do an event report on my prerelease.

For my prerelease, I opened a mediocre pool and built an okay WB Servo token deck, and ended up going 2-1-1, getting three prize packs.

Here’s my deck:

Artifact (6)

Enchantment (1)

The deck is a little creature light, but the creature quality of my pool was low. I tried to compensate by having a lot of token producers. I had a decent amount of removal, and had some synergies. I used Aviary Mechanic a few times to pick up a big fabricate creature to replay it for a bunch of Servo tokens.

A summary of the tournament:

Round 1: vs. RW Aggro. G1 – Lost to a fast start, sideboarded in some more creatures and went less all in token themed G2 – won, G3 – won

Round 2: vs. BU Control G1 – Won due to opponent mana flooding, and a timely removal spell taking out a Metalwork Colossus G2- Won through a Dovin Baan with a turn five Inspired Charge on a ton of Servos

Round 3: vs. GW Energy G1 – Lost, sideboarded in some more creatures G2 – lost again, just too fast of a deck.

Round 4: drew

I really liked the environment, but sometimes boards got clogged with all the tokens and more defensive creatures. I really liked vehicles despite first impressions, because they were really good beaters, especially Runaway Freighter. A lot of more complex play and combat math was needed due to the fact that crewing was a thing. It’s no paradise, but I like the format.

What do you think? Comment below!

 

Commander Spotlight! Leovold, Emissary of Trest

leovoldemissaryoftrest

Let me just say: Leovold is one mean deck. Don’t play this deck unless your metagame is super competitive 0r you don’t want any friends in life.

Teferi’s Puzzle Box just locks people out of the game. The way I believe it works is they draw the card for the turn, and then but all their cards to the bottom of their library, and then draw no cards, since they’ve already drawn the one card that Leovold allows. Font of Mythos and Howling Mine make it so just you draw extra cards. There are several other cards like this like Kami of the Crescent Moon and Dictate of Kruphix, so this is just so you get a feel for the kind of the cards that go into decks like these.

Both of these are basically XU draw X cards, since no one else will help you draw more cards off of Minds Aglow.

These cards are brutal. It makes everyone discard their hand, and then draw only one card, since that’s all Leovold let’s them draw. There are many more card like these, these are just a few examples of these types of cards.

geierreachsanitarium

Geier Reach Sanitarium is also some nice utility land bonus to help you empty their hands.

Shrieking Affliction and Psychosis Crawler are both win conditions in this deck. Shrieking Affliction bolts opponents during their end steps, and Psychosis Crawler makes opponents lose a ton of life and it hits for a ton of damage since you’ll be drawing tons of cards.

What do you think?