A different kind of control deck
Friday, August 13, 2004
s many of you know, I won a PTQ about two weeks ago with a three color UGW control deck that used Pristine Angels and Rude Awakenings as its path to victory. A great number of you have requested that I take a crack at building this deck on a budget. Those who ask shall receive! Luckily Pristine Angels aren't too expensive on Magic Online right now, and the deck only uses two Rude Awakenings. The only corners that really need to be cut are the Solemn Simulacrums, since they are very expensive right now.
The original concept for the deck came from a friend of mine, known to the Magic community only as Cartman. He showed me a three color control deck that used March of the Machines, Mycosynth Lattice, and Pulse of the Fields. I turned it into something a little more dangerous…
Let's just say the deck had a Rude Awakening. (I couldn't resist!)
The reason why the deck works is because you get several powerful win conditions in Pristine Angel and Rude Awakening, and then you can perform Eternal Witness tricks to ensure one of your threats getting through. On top of that you have a lot of card drawing and Scry, which allows you to find what you need. Now, Eternal Witness is rather expensive right now, so I am going to skim them from four to three in order to keep the deck on budget. The early Eternal Witness isn't super powerful anyhow, since you don't have any awesome card to bring back yet. The best thing to get back at that point would be a land that someone destroyed.
The deck was interesting to play because instead of the normal answers that decks use (I'll Terror your creature), it just used premium threats to end the game so you didn't have to worry about that sort of thing (I'll Rude Awakening for 22 damage, I don't care about your creature). I will be looking into this style of deck in the future of my deck building to see if this was just a good circumstance to abuse this sort of thing or if it is a solid theory that can be used in building other decks as well.
Building on a Budget: Pristine Green
The basic game plan of this deck is to try and live long enough to cast a Pristine Angel or a lethal Rude Awakening. Neither of these things takes as long as you might think. Sure, the Angel is six mana, but with Wayfarer's Bauble and Sylvok Explorer helping out, turn four or five is not unrealistic. Once you have the Angel in play, the game starts going much better for you, since you can attack for 4 in the air, and then play a spell to untap and block. Your opponent should never be able to mount a real offensive for the rest of the game.
Even if something goes wrong, by this time you probably have plenty of land in play, especially with Journey of Discovery now in the deck. Just cast Rude Awakening and come over for the win. Oh, and make sure you have a cool sound effect…you know…like RUUUUUUDE Awakening!
It is a lot easier to stay alive and accelerate at the same time if you have Solemn Simulacrums in the deck, but instead you will have to rely on using your Echoing Truths to slow your opponent down if you're going with the budget version. Having Sylvok Explorer as a chump blocker can also be beneficial when the time comes.
I would have to say the most gratifying part about this deck is when you have two Pristine Angels in play. What does your opponent do? Usually they just look over at your side of the table, then their side, and then yours again…then you get to smash them and play a spell untapping both. Now that's what I call a powerful effect!
Tips on Playing the Deck
Not just for mana acceleration!
Sylvok Explorer sometimes helps fix your mana. Keep that in mind!
- Only play out Mirrodin's Core if you are able to charge it up, otherwise play a regular basic land (this rule doesn't apply when you have no lands in your hand).
- Using Echoing Truth on your Eternal Witness when you have two in play is a wonderfully savage trick.
- Same goes for Duplicant. Also, don't be afraid to try and kill your Duplicant just to Witness it back and reuse it!
Thirst for Knowledge will often make you discard two cards because there are not many artifacts in the deck. Sometimes it is wise to save those Baubles for discarding purposes later (this is also less of a problem with Simulacrums in the deck).
Adding Money to the Deck
Like I have said, Solemn Simulacrums, Eternal Witnesses, and possibly more Rude Awakenings would help the deck, but why don't I just give you my decklist from the qualifier?
Keep in mind, if you want to do actual tournament play with this deck, watch out for Affinity, it is a rather bad match-up. If you just want to play around with your friends, the budget list should do fine. Overall it is the kind of deck that makes you really appreciate using threats as answers instead of packing your deck jam-full of countermagic or removal.
Until next time, may all your decks have an Angel.
NateHeiss on Magic Online