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By: Gardevi, Lee McLeod
Oct 14 2011 10:31am
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Last week was somewhat of a chore from me, when I was building aggro decks. I must confess, I'm not a big fan of aggressive strategies. I can't seem to figure out how they win. Whenever I play them, I end up attacking with creatures like I assume I should be, then just end up losing not really understanding what happened. But, they have the advantage of being straightforward and usually the go-to decks for a new format, so they're essential to know about. 

 

 
Because my goal is to beat those decks. 

 

 
Control decks in block are constrained by the amount of tools in their block; they don't get freebies from the Core Set like Standard's Mana Leak or Divination and whatnot. Because of this lack of actual counterspells and card drawing, most control decks in a single-set block format usually hinge on removal and hard to deal with permanents. for instance, in Scars of Mirrodin block with just Scars, the control decks were primarily R/B decks that were essentially all removal, since Scars had tons of it - like (Grasp in Darkness), Shatter, Galvanic Blast, et cetera. They won with Oxidda Scrapmelter and Carnifex Demon - also removal spells - and Koth (because Koth is amazing). Planeswalkers are an excellent way for control decks to gain card advantage because they essentially cast spells for you each turn. Many of the decklists below contain Liliana and Garruk because they're the two most powerful cards in the format - along with Mayor of Avabruck


 

UB CONTROL

 


UB Control
ISD Block Constructed Legal
Creatures
1 Bitterheart Witch
4 Ludevic's Test Subject
4 Ghoulraiser
2 Bloodgift Demon
0 cards

Other Spells
4 Sever the Bloodline
4 Dead Weight
4 Tribute to Hunger
1 Grasp of Phantoms
3 Forbidden Alchemy
3
Think Twice
2 Curse of Death's Hold
4
Dissipate
7 cards
Lands
9
Swamp
11
Island
4
Shimmering Grotto
24 cards

Sideboard
1
Think Twice
1 Forbidden Alchemy
1 Lost in the Mist
3 Liliana of the Veil
3 Snapcaster Mage
1 Curse of Death's Hold
4 Victim of Night
1 cards
Think Twice
 


 

 

This is basically a "I'm going to kill everything you play" deck. I expect it to have pretty excellent matchups against any aggro decks in the field. The basic premise of the deck is to counter/kill everything, all the while leveling up a Ludevic's Test Subject (when you don't use mana on their turn). Once your egg hatches, kill them. If that doesn't pan out, there's always Bloodgift Demon. The Ghoulraisers play a primary role in this deck is to make infinite blocking chains. If you have three, they can start teaming up to take down creatures that are bigger than X/2s. 

 

   I think Curse of Death's Hold is a very good card to have in play. It makes all of your opponents' creatures laughably weak, giving you better blocks with Test Subject and Ghoulraisers and giving you a bunch of time by just reducing the damage you'll have to take. 

 

 
The sideboard is aimed primarily for beating other control decks. Removal won't be as good on them, so you can board it out for Liliana's, Snapcasters, and more card draw spells. Once you have an unanswered Liliana on the board against control, the game should pretty much be over since there are no good ways to interact with Liliana. 

 


There are a bunch of cards I could've included but didn't - like Moan of the Unhallowed, different finishers like Army of the Damned instead of Test Subject, more Demons, etc. I just don't know the right ratios for everything until the format gets rolled out online and I get to play with the cards. I suggest you take the basic shell of each deck, try it out, and change it to suit your needs. 

 

   

GB TOKENTROL

 

 


GB Tokentrol
ISD Block Constructed Legal
Creatures
1 Bitterheart Witch
4 Mayor of Avabruck
4 Bloodline Keeper
4 One-Eyed Scarecrow
4 Skirsdag High Priest
1 Disciple of Griselbrand
0 cards

Other Spells
4 Dead Weight
3 Curse of Death's Hold
3 Tribute to Hunger
4 Moan of the Unhallowed
3 Garruk Relentless
0 cards
Lands
14
Swamp
7
Forest
4 Woodland Cemetery
21 cards

Sideboard
2
Ghost Quarter
2
Naturalize
3 Sever the Bloodline
2 Tribute to Hunger
4 Victim of Night
1 Tree of Redemption
Pili-Pala
 


 

 

This deck is my attempt to make Skirsdag High Priest work. The High Priest is a very powerful card, but requires at least two other creatures before he does anything. To back him up, I included a ton of token makers, including all-stars Garruk Relentless, Mayor of Avabruck, and Bloodline Keeper. While any of these cards can kill the opponent on their own, it's likely your opponent will just kill any of these before they get to take over the game, and that's where High Priest comes in. He reinforces all of these cards by churning out Demons as soon as your opponent takes a Mayor or Bloodline Keeper out. 

Because you only need one card to win, the deck plays very defensively. You play removal like Tribute to Hunger and Curse of Death's Hold to considerably slow down aggro, also using your Zombie and Wolf tokens to block if necessary (also turning your High Priest online). The singleton Disciple of Griselbrand is to enable Morbid in case you can't any other way, but he's mostly just filling an empty slot and is very replaceable.  

 

 

Burning Vengeance Combo-Control

 

  
Burning Vengeance
ISD Block Constructed Legal
Creatures
1 Charmbreaker Devils
4 Snapcaster Mage
0 cards

Other Spells
4 Dissipate
2 Silent Departure
4 Desperate Ravings
4 Geistflame
2 Devil's Play
4 Dream Twist
4 Forbidden Alchemy
4 Burning Vengeance
4 Think Twice
8 cards

Lands
7 Mountain
10 Island
2 Shimmering Grotto
4 Sulfur Falls
19 cards

Sideboard
2 Silent Departure
2 Lost in the Mist
2 Past in Flames
2 Charmbreaker Devils
3 Rolling Temblor
4 Brimstone Volley

Think Twice
 


 
 

 

 

I really like this decklist. Mainly because you get to draw so many cards and all your cards count for double thanks to the high flashback density that Burning Vengeance requires. This deck is very good against opposing control decks because the deck plays so few creatures, blanking all of the removal control decks usually pack. And, if you have a Burning Vengeance out, this deck turns into a machine gun, Shocking all manner of creatures and planeswalkers. As an added bonus, Liliana is awful against a deck full of flashback cards and no creatures!  

However, without a Vengeance in play, you are soft to creatures just overwhelming you, hence the load of removal in the sideboard. The Past in Flames is an experiment I want to try against Control, but it's probably just unnecessary because you gain so much natural advantage already. 

 

 

Dogfish

 


Sadly I got beaten to the punch on this one - even by the name I was calling it by Westane in the comments! Lord Erman wrote about his list in his last article, and this deck is very good. Basically you play a Mayor of Avabruck and skip your turn 3, then play all instants to stop them from winning (Dissipate, Brimstone Volley) while you're producing wolf after wolf. His list was better than mine, so I suggest you go look at Erman's column this week for the insane tech. 

 

 

  Finally, 

 


UG Splinterfright

 


Splinterfright
ISD Block Constructed Legal
Creatures
4 Splinterfright
4 Boneyard Wurm
4 Mayor of Avabruck
4 Forbidden Alchemy
4 Armored Skaab
4 Avacyn's Pilgrim
4 Deranged Assistant
0 cards

Other Spells
3 Garruk Relentless
4 Mulch
2 Spider Spawning
4 cards
Lands
7 Island
10 Forest
4 Hinterland Harbor
2 Woodland Cemetary
17 cards

1 Garruk Relentless
4 Silent Departure
3 Memory's Journey
7 cards
Mulch 

This isn't exactly a control deck, I know. In fact, it's pretty much an aggro-combo deck, two facets of Magic that are assuredly not control. But this deck is very fun to play. It plays a lot like Dredgevine in Standard. Basically, you fill up your graveyard with Deranged Assistant or Dream Twist variants, then start playing Boneyard Wurms and Splinterfrights and attacking with your giant monsters. Originally, the list had (Kessig Cagebreaker), but having a five mana spell that does nothing when they stop it before it attacks is just worse than having the Spider Spawnings instead... even if it does cost so much to flashback. Once you resolve Spider Spawning, you generally gain enough staying power to win the game. 

 

 

 Skaab Ruinator is in this deck, which may seem odd with Splinterfright needing creatures in the graveyard. It is strange, I'll admit, but I've grown to like it. Splinterfright is your Plan A, but sometimes plans don't go accordingly and they kill your Splinterfright and Wurms and you're left with a mostly empty hand and board. Then, Skaab Ruinator swoops in from the graveyard to save the day!

The sideboard is a little thrown together; I'm not sure what I'll be fighting against and blue/green doesn't have a TON of options in a highly linear deck like this one. 

 

 



That's all the decks I had built for this week. I know it isn't many, but I've been swamped with schoolwork this week (thankfully, Magic Online wasn't relevant enough to distract me). But Innistrad comes out on Magic Online for prereleases on the 13th, and then release events go up the 19th, and I'll hopefully have the opportunity to take one of these decks through a Daily Event to showcase it.

 

 

Or maybe you have a different deck idea you'd rather see? Let me know in the comments. 

 


 

Lee McLeod
Gardevi on MTGO

 

@Gardevi on twitter

 

2 Comments

"Skaab Ruinator is in this by ShardFenix at Mon, 10/17/2011 - 15:27
ShardFenix's picture

"Skaab Ruinator is in this deck, which may seem odd with Splinterfright needing creatures in the graveyard. It is strange, I'll admit, but I've grown to like it. Splinterfright is your Plan A, but sometimes plans don't go accordingly and they kill your Splinterfright and Wurms and you're left with a mostly empty hand and board. "

No he isn't. I don't see a ruinator at all.

Misposted the list. :( Skaab by Gardevi at Mon, 10/17/2011 - 17:52
Gardevi's picture

Misposted the list. :(
Skaab Ruinator should be in there over Forbidden Alchemies. This might be why Forbidden Alchemy is trying to be a Creature.