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By: olaw, Oliver Law
Nov 05 2012 10:33am
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Hello,

Welcome to another edition to Becoming A Modern Man!  This week I am going to be looking an Emeria Control deck in Modern.  This is another mono-white deck, like Soul Sisters, but this deck emphasizes the long game and some bigger more splashy threats.  I found the deck to be a whole lot of fun and so I hope you enjoy reading about it and watching my videos.

The inspiration from this deck came from a deck I found in the Dailies back in July by KorBoku:

Emeria Control
3-1 Decklist by KorBoku Modern Daily #4081311 on 07/16/2012
Creatures
4 Kitchen Finks
3 Solemn Simulacrum
4 Squadron Hawk
2 Sun Titan
3 Wall of Omens
16 cards

Other Spells
4 Restoration Angel
4 Mind Stone
3 Oblivion Ring
4 Path to Exile
3 Wrath of God
18 cards
 
Lands
2 Arid Mesa
3 Emeria, the Sky Ruin
4 Flagstones of Trokair
4 Ghost Quarter
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mistveil Plains
11 Plains
26 cards

Sun Titan


It's been some time since then but I still feel like the deck has merit.  So here's my build:

 

DECK TECH

Creatures

Sun Titan
Sun Titan
This deck loves to reanimate creatures and Sun Titan helps to do that.  Being able to bring back creatures like Kitchen Finks and even cards as simple as Mind Stone gives you a serious advantage over your opponent.  Also, a 6/6 vigilance body isn't too bad either.

Restoration Angel
Restoration Angel
Restoration Angel is an awesome creature and one that has had a pretty significant impact on Modern.  In this deck, Restoration Angel has a lot of good targets to blink, including Solemn Simulacrum, Kitchen Finks, Sun Titan and Wall of Omens.  There's a lot of value to be had from the Angel but let's not forget that she's a formidable threat in the air also.

Solemn Simulacrum
Solemn Simulacrum
Solemn Simulacrum, Jen's Thoren's Invitational Card, works fantastically to help activate Emeria, the Sky Ruin as well as ramp you up to your bigger spells.  It also has the advantage of being a reasonable body that draws you a card when it goes to the graveyard.

Kitchen Finks
Kitchen Finks
Kitchen Finks is a great card.  Simply playing this guy out puts aggro and burn decks on the back foot.  Finks can gain you a healthy 4 life, as well as being a solid attacker or blocker depending on the circumstances.  Persist also means it works really well if the Day of Judgments in the deck.  You can wipe the board and still have your Finks return as a 2/1 for the beats.  Even better, once you have had your Finks persist you can use Restoration Angel to blink it and reset it back to a 3/2.  Then again, even having your Finks end up in the graveyard isn't too bad as Sun Titan and Emeria, the Sky Ruin can both bring it back.  Finks is awesomely versatile  and it might just be my favourite card in the deck.

Squadron Hawk
Squadron Hawk
Squadron Hawk is not a card to be underestimated.  It can help stall the game so you can build up to your bigger threats.  It can also deal a decent amount of damage, particularly if your opponent has a lack of aerial threats.  Returning a Hawk with Sun Titan or Emeria, the Sky Ruin doesn't sound all that exciting but it can be significant.  Flying over your opponent's creatures can be pretty powerful, and at the very least you get another blocker.

Wall of Omens
Wall of Omens
A lot of the decks in Modern are very fast and as we have no 1 drops, Wall of Omens acts as a nice way to slow opposing progress.  Goblin Guide looks pretty unimpressive when you drop Wall of Omens onto the battlefield.  Wall of Omens also, and perhaps more importantly, nets you a card which can be important in a deck that it quite land heavy.  Also, as a creature with under 3 mana and with a ETB effect, Wall of Omens works great with Sun Titan, Restoration Angel and Emeria, the Sky Ruin.

Other Spells

Day of Judgment
Day of Judgment
Ideally, in Modern these would be Wrath of God rather than Day of Judgment, I chose DOJ because it is considerably cheaper and regeneration effects don't come up often enough to punish me for this choice. Day of Judgment/Wrath of God is a card that I think is a little under-played in Modern.  For that reason a lot of people don't try to play around it, which can make it devastating against some decks.  Also, this deck has a good number of ways of getting creatures back out of the graveyard, which means that you don't bear as big a burden as your opponents.  I also mentioned that Kitchen Finks can live through a Wrath which leaves you with a beater after the board wipe.

Path to Exile
Path to Exile
I repeatedly feature this card in my articles.  Why?  Because as I've mentioned on numerous occasions it is probably the best removal spell in the format.  If you are playing white and not running some number of Paths then you might be doing it wrong.

Oblivion Ring
Oblivion Ring
Oblivion Ring gives you additional removal, which also has the advantage of being able to take out Planeswalkers, Artifacts and other nuisance non-land permanents.  Oblivion Ring's vulnerability to enchantment destruction is minimised a little here by the presence of Sun Titan.  I've had people destroy my Oblivion Ring only to play a Sun Titan and bring it back removing a new target.

Mind Stone
Mind Stone
Mind Stone is a card you won't see in many Modern decks, however, it fits into this deck really well.  It's a cheap source of additional mana to help you build up to your bigger spells, particularly Sun Titan.  Even better you can cash it in the late game for an extra card.  Also, as a 2 mana artifact it can be brought back by Sun Titan, allowing you to cash it in again for an additional card.  This makes Mind Stone one of the better repeatable targets for Sun Titan, if you've exhausted the creatures in your graveyard.

Land

Emeria, the Sky Ruin
Emeria, the Sky Ruin
The namesake of the deck.  Emeria is a very powerful land that gives you an awesome late game, provided you can find enough Plains to activate it.  Once it gets going it's very difficult for your opponents to beat you, but this of course takes time.  Fortunately, activating Emeria isn't necessary to winning, it just makes your late game better than most opposing decks.

Arid MesaGhost QuarterFlagstones of Trokair
Arid Mesa/Ghost Quarter/Flagstones of Trokair
It's arguable that as activating Emeria requires Plains there are too many non-basic lands here.  I'm somewhat inclined to agree on that point, although the advantage of running these lands is that they all end up in the graveyard, which means they can be fetched back from the graveyard by Sun Titan and reused.  Whether that's really enough to justify their inclusion, I'm not sure.  I could definitely see running fewer non-basic lands in the deck, though what is the right balance is, I don't know.

Sideboard
As per usual my sideboard are a little untweaked but I do have a sideboard:
Ethersworn CanonistDisenchantHero of BladeholdTimely ReinforcementsSuppression Field
Ethersworn Canonist is a card I'm seeing less of in sideboards.  As long as Storm is around it's a decent choice but it's impact on other matchups isn't as great.  It can do a job of slowing your opponent down though, which is good for a deck playing the long game.  Disenchant, which should be replaced by Sundering Growth in any deck playing tokens or perhaps just generally, deals with enchantments and artifacts.  Hero of Bladehold can be useful against faster decks, where making it to 6 mana seems less likely.  Timely Reinforcements is good against aggro decks and decks that try to overwhelm you with a large amount with creatures (like token or tribal based decks).  Finally Suppression Field has a number of applications, including shutting down Splinter Twin/Kiki-Jiki combos.

COST
Although this deck has the benefit of not really requiring fetchlands (you could easily cut the Arid Mesa for a more budget friendly build), it does have some expensive cards in it.  Restoration Angel has seen a considerable rise in price recently and is currently going for over 13 tix a piece.  A playset of Restoration Angels actually exceeds the price of the rest of the deck combined, which is a real shame as the deck would have otherwise come in at under 50 tix.  The other big expenses are on Kitchen Finks and Path to Exile, though they are well worth it as staples of a number of decks.

4 x Restoration Angel= 53.88
3 x Arid Mesa= 16.86
4 x Kitchen Finks= 13.84
4 x Path to Exile= 7.64
2 x Sun Titan= 3.50
4 x Flagstones of Trokair= 1.12
4 x Solemn Simulacrum= 0.88
4 x Mind Stone= 0.60
3 x Emeria, the Sky Ruin= 0.39
3 x Wall of Omens= 0.36
4 x Squadron Hawk= 0.32
4 x Ghost Quarter= 0.24
3 x Oblivion Ring= 0.15
2 x Day of Judgment= 0.12
Total: 99.90 tix

Sideboard
2 x Hero of Bladehold= 4.48
4 x Ethersworn Canonist= 2.00
3 x Suppression Field= 0.75
2 x Timely Reinforcements= 0.14
4 x Disenchant= 0.08
Total: 7.45 tix

Total Cost: 107.35 tix

GAMEPLAY
So as always I have some gameplay videos for your enjoyment and to give you a flavour of how the deck plays.  I'll warn you in advance that I make quite a few mistakes in these matchups, particularly when it comes to using Ghost Quarter.  However, I think you get a good idea of how the deck works and some of the sweet interactions of the deck.  Apologise again for the audio quality, I still haven't had an opportunity to buy a new microphone.  Hopefully I will have this sorted for my next article.


My first matchup was against a rather fun looking Vampires deck.  Though it's certainly not in the top tiers it does look like fun and it's a deck I might consider giving a go sometime.  In Game 1, early Kitchen Finks put my opponent on the back foot and a Path to Exile on his Captivating Vampire meant we managed to prevent him gaining too much of a board presence.  Later in the game, a Sun Titan hit on our side getting an Oblivion Ring, that we discarded to an Inquisition at the start of the matchup, to remove a Bloodline Keeper.  From there we remained in control, and even got to get some Restoration Angel shenanigans on the go.  In Game 2, I kept a slow hand and ended up overwhelmed when a Vampire Nocturnus hit the board pumping all of his guys.  A Blood Artist from my opponent helped seal the deal, adding additional losses to bad blocks.  Game 3 was rather interesting.  I get off to a slow start but manage to slow him down with an Oblivion Ring and a couple Wall of Omens.  I manage to draw into some Kitchen Finks and start bringing the beats.  However, I end up overcommitting to the board, and an Infest from my opponent with two Blood Artists in play causes a 13 point life swing in his favour.  Fortunately, I get two 2/1 Finks out of the deal and he just drops a Captivating Vampire.  My opponent seems to be running a little low on gas, but we aren't doing a lot of damage to him.  A Sun Titan ends up helping me out but is quickly hit by a Go for the Throat.  Meanwhile, a Bloodline Keeper threatens to take turn the tides in my opponent's favour.  Fortunately I get Emeria online and bring back a Sun Titan and rebuild my forces.  My opponent can't keep up as is eventually overwhelmed.


My second matchup was against American Delver.  In Game 1, my opponent is rather unfortunate in not flipping his Delver of Secrets for several turns.  Meanwhile, a bring down the beats with Squadron Hawks and when my opponent finally flips his Delver I have a Path to Exile for it.  Although my opponent does make some further plays they have a difficult time getting back into the game.  I eventually manage to get Emeria on-line which leaves my opponent in a very difficult position and prompts a concession.  In Game 2, a quick start from my opponent involving 2 Steppe Lynx followed by a Geist of Saint Traft led to me being dead before I could do much about it.  I actually conceded a turn early I think, but the writing seemed like it was on the wall.  In Game 3, I manage to deal with his early Delvers and after that my opponent seems to resign himself a little to losing or was just having computer trouble.  Ultimately though, I managed to come out on top.


My third matchup is against RDW.  This isn't necessarily a great matchup as Kitchen Finks is are only maindeck way of gaining life, however, with Kitchen Finks we can gain a considerable amount of life and combined with Restoration Angel, even more so.  Finks went a long way in Game 1 to keeping me alive, and a Restoration Angel near the end of the matchup meant I could gain even more life.  Game 2 was over a lot quicker.  I had a Kitchen Finks in hand and drew into another one, whilst Wall of Omens saw off his Goblin Guide attacks.  My opponent also appeared to get a little stuck on mana and soon conceded.


The fourth and final matchup is against BUG Control.  Game 1 saw my opponent strip my hand with Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek but not a whole lot else.  A Vendilion Clique stole a Restoration Angel from my hand but gave me a Path to Exile in return.  A Liliana of the Veil seemed threatening but I pathed the Clique and attacked it with a Finks to kill it.  From there I didn't have a ton of action but the Finks was going a long way and my opponent just didn't seem to have the answers, prompting the concession.  Game 2 was actually shaping up pretty well for me apart from a misused Ghost Quarter.  I feel like the real turning point was when he dropped Tarmogoyf which just left me in a terrible situation.  You may notice that if the Flagstones of Trokair I had was a Plains then I would have had Emeria on-line and that might have changed things, definitely an argument for taking them out.  In Game 3, my opponent's deck seemed to be running on all cylinders, perhaps helped by some misplays on my part.  A Tarmogoyf and a Phantasmal Image of Goyf beat me over the head pretty hard and despite my best efforts I could not cope.

CONCLUSION
I had a lot of fun running this deck.  It's probably not quite as powerful as Soul Sisters but it has some fun mechanics and interactions, as well as being reasonably competitive.  If you're tired of playing the stock Modern decks then I recommend spending a little time running this deck as a break from the usual.

3 Comments

Good job in organizing the by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 11/05/2012 - 11:19
Kumagoro42's picture
5

Good job in organizing the material, it's very exhaustive.
I don't entirely get why you just didn't go with the original deck, though, since your only changes don't seem helpful: you talk about Wrath of God becoming Day of Judgment for budget reasons (you sure Lotleth Troll isn't in itself reason enough to spend those 3 tix more?), but why did you take out the Mistveil Plains/Squadrow Hawk combo? Mistveil is essentially the same cost of a basic Plains.

Thanks for the comment and by olaw at Mon, 11/05/2012 - 12:49
olaw's picture

Thanks for the comment and the positive review.

The original list probably is stronger than the list I used. As I mentioned I have a personal budget to spend on the decks I make for these articles and 9 tickets on the 3 Wrath of Gods in the original list exceeded that budget. Equally I didn't have any Day of Judgments and that card is much more likely to see a reprint in future. Lotleth Troll is a good reason to play Wrath of God and one I overlooked, but I hope I made it clear that Wrath of God was to be preferred, however, it just put the deck as a whole out of my budget.

I have to foolish admit that I didn't understand the purpose of Mistveil Plains in the deck and just cut it for that reason. I hadn't considered it's combo capabilities with Squadron Hawk. Although in my defence, you could argue it's another ETB-tapped land.

The guy looks like Thor. It by CathyMiller at Sun, 04/14/2013 - 17:04
CathyMiller's picture

The guy looks like Thor. It is majestic as well as imposing. - James Stuckey