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 no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...

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workshoptelescope



Posts : 664
Join date : 2009-11-23
Location : Rochester, MN

PostSubject: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:16 am

so, blue is good again. blue has a two mana, common enchantment that's better than half of jund's deck. because it makes your shit an island. oh, and sometimes it's a two mana, cantripping time walk. "your three drop is highly dependent on the specific combination of mana you have available? oh, you can't play anything? cool. i'll just keep drawing and playing things, then."
blue has mana leak, which is certainly not the end all, be all of counter magic. it is not, i repeat, not counterspell. what it does, it does better than anything else available in standard and that's move stage one of the game to stage three... you know, where blue likes it to be anyway. none of those bothersome, undercosted beaters like putrid leech, wooly thoctar, or knight of the reliquary until you really want to see them. oh, but that's not all because it'll stop anything else that comes down before they have three mana available to supplement their spells, too.
to tie everything off with a nice, obnoxious bow, blue has the best planeswalker ever printed. wizards kinda blew their load on jace the mind sculptor. really. they're never going to be able to print a blue planeswalker again. it's like they have decided to name their talented, good looking child "awesomely van kickassery" and every subsequent child "disappointing when compared to awesomely van kickassery", with attendant enumeration to denote both chronology and compounding mortification each of those children fulfills.
disappointing when compared to awesomely van kickassery II. *sob
disappointing when compared to awesomely van kickassery III. *loading gun
disappointing when compared to awesomely van kickassery IV. *extended family receiving carpet cleaning bill for blood and brain matter clean up
every blue planeswalker will be diminutively compared to and dismissed because of this card. new tezzeret in the fall expansion? unless that card says "+1 search your library for a card called jace the mindsculptor and put it onto the battlefield and win the game" it won't be as good. it will be laughed at. jace is played in ten formats. it's already played in formats you haven't thought of yet. i think it's been retroactively added to urza block, just to help make that block better.
so, while blue cards are good again, they aren't good enough to be played all by themselves, oddly enough. as in, in a mono blue deck. ?!?!? still doesn't make sense but these are the times we live in. simple solution blue decks have found... PLAY TITANS! oh and that gideon guy. because he's also like a blue planeswalker. without blue symbols. he's just in the closet about being blue. he'll go off to college and experiment with counterspells and probably find himself there.
so, given that, if your deck isn't playing the chuck norris of planeswalkers, titans, and that blue-curious planeswalker, plus all those other good blue cards.... it's probably not a good deck.
however, consensus on just how to build a big, dumb pile of blue deck... well, jury is still out on that. after a month or so with m11 in standard, control decks have galvanized into, broadly, two kinds, u/w (with super friends being a subcategory of u/w) and esper control.
now, all of these lists had huge showings in the last month. of the 17 events i pulled numbers from, control lists of these kinds had 25 top 8 appearances, u/w being most represented with 15 top 8s, super friends with 5, and esper 5, as well. u/w had 4 wins and super friends had 2. so, the real breakdown here, as far as deck construction, appears to be to play titans or not.
here's some sample lists:
u/w controlu/w titan controlsuper friendsesper control
Maindeck:

Creatures
4 Baneslayer Angel
4 Wall of Omens

Enchantments
2 Oblivion Ring
4 Spreading Seas

Instants
3 Essence Scatter
4 Mana Leak
1 Negate
3 Path to Exile

Planeswalkers
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
2 Jace Beleren
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Sorceries
3 Day of Judgment

Basic Lands
4 Island
4 Plains

Lands
1 Arid Mesa
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Glacial Fortress
2 Scalding Tarn
3 Sejiri Steppe
4 Tectonic Edge

Sideboard:
1 Sphinx of Jwar Isle
3 Leyline of Sanctity
2 Celestial Purge
4 Flashfreeze
3 Negate
1 Jace Beleren
1 Day of Judgment
Maindeck:

Creatures
3 Sea Gate Oracle
2 Sun Titan
4 Wall of Omens

Enchantments
2 Oblivion Ring

Instants
2 Deprive
4 Mana Leak
4 Path to Exile

Planeswalkers
3 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 Jace Beleren
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Sorceries
3 Day of Judgment
1 Martial Coup
2 Mind Spring

Basic Lands
5 Island
5 Plains

Lands
1 Arid Mesa
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Glacial Fortress
1 Scalding Tarn
3 Sejiri Refuge
3 Tectonic Edge

Sideboard:
2 Baneslayer Angel
4 Kor Firewalker
2 Condemn
4 Flashfreeze
2 Negate
1 Jace Beleren
Maindeck:

Creatures
4 Baneslayer Angel
4 Wall of Omens

Enchantments
3 Oblivion Ring
4 Spreading Seas

Instants
4 Mana Leak
4 Path to Exile

Planeswalkers
3 Ajani Vengeant
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Sorceries
3 Day of Judgment

Basic Lands
2 Island
2 Mountain
2 Plains

Lands
2 Arid Mesa
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Glacial Fortress
2 Scalding Tarn
2 Sejiri Refuge
4 Tectonic Edge
2 Terramorphic Expanse

Sideboard:
2 Luminarch Ascension
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Cancel
2 Condemn
1 Deprive
1 Essence Scatter
1 Flashfreeze
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
3 Jace Beleren
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Day of Judgment
Maindeck:

Creatures
3 Baneslayer Angel
2 Grave Titan
4 Wall of Omens

Enchantments
3 Oblivion Ring
4 Spreading Seas

Instants
1 Doom Blade
4 Esper Charm
4 Mana Leak
3 Path to Exile

Planeswalkers
1 Gideon Jura
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Sorceries
2 Day of Judgment

Basic Lands
2 Island
4 Plains
2 Swamp

Lands
3 Celestial Colonnade
4 Creeping Tar Pit
3 Drowned Catacomb
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Marsh Flats

Sideboard:
3 Kor Firewalker
2 Celestial Purge
1 Doom Blade
2 Flashfreeze
4 Negate
1 Day of Judgment
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Identity Crisis

so, esper wasn't really strongly represented, so it's performance may be, in part, due to low representation. however, good decks make top 8s and i think esper is probably a pretty good deck. right now, playing spreading seas is apparently the best thing you can do in standard. coupling it with tectonic edge helps, too, it would seem and esper doesn't have the edge there. u/w and u/w titan are as focused as you can get. really straight forward plan, with room for lateral decisions along the way. super friends remains a force but i have no real perspective on whether that deck is as good as its two-color counterparts.
all i do know is not playing titans probably means your deck isn't good. welcome to the big, monstery standard.
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Ran



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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:27 pm

It's been a while since I enjoyed reading such a lengthy post. Well done sir, I think I need to tweek my deck now.
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JakeFaas
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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:00 pm

Ran wrote:
It's been a while since I enjoyed reading such a lengthy post. Well done sir, I think I need to tweek my deck now.

Couldn't have said it better myself ;-)

Also, OMG I LMFAO @ U! Seriously i laughed really hard. you have amazing writing skills. please keep posting on our forums and possibly create a forum of suggestions of pro decks and or strategies to analyze. I think you'd be really good at it Smile
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Blacrowe



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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:15 pm

That was really sweet, but I don't think Esper control is another deck, it's just UW with creeping pit and black titan. I argue you can throw any bomb in a deck and tweak the name, but that thing at its essence is U-dub. In fact, could we use some sort of formula, that says its UW control if it has at least one sculptor, UNLESS it has P Titan--in that case, it's "TITAN".

Jund's licking its wounds a bit, and Mythic Conscription will just plain phase out Oct 1. RDW's got hope but now must lean on roiling terrain and ruinblaster to whack Valakut. Green Eldrazi/Stampede? You'd think... Why doesn't mono work outside RDW???

So I'm loving the PTQ Amsterdam meta-analysis that Starcity does/did. I hope they keep that updated. Sorry, I didn't link it here but it's on the homepage in the lower right. It shows how often the archetypes use certain cards and how it influences the finish. SWEET.
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workshoptelescope



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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:27 am

Jason wrote:
That was really sweet, but I don't think Esper control is another deck, it's just UW with creeping pit and black titan. I argue you can throw any bomb in a deck and tweak the name, but that thing at its essence is U-dub.

esper's removal sweet, mana base, and inclusion of esper charm all distinguish it a bit. the mana base especially actually radically alters the deck, as the deck simply cannot play tectonic edge, which is a huge part of u/w's fundamental strategy, actually. spreading seas' efficacy is increased when coupled with tectonic edge. so much so, i've almost considered not running manlands in decks like naya, just to circumvent the powerlevel of those cards (it also gave me reason to believe, all those months ago, that cruel ultimatum was dead. i was a little premature but i feel like time proved me right.). so, esper control certainly looks and kind of is derivative but stands alone as an approach when the rest of the deck is looked at. here's the thing about it, though: i wish it were better than it is, given real powerhouse sideboard options like identity crisis (seriously, when did this card become bad? it has always been a brilliant option against control.) and maindeck esper charms (still a fitting mind rot, when needed.). in the abstract, it would appear to be a deck that would at least see success in control mirrors. however, as i mentioned, it might just be the result of what everyone is coming to know; to make your deck good, ya gotta play titans.
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Blacrowe



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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:17 am

point taken on removal; still most use esper charm for card draw...uh, divination? I spose when I get my a$$ handed to me I'll see the distinction! Smile
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workshoptelescope



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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:26 am

Jason wrote:
point taken on removal; still most use esper charm for card draw...uh, divination? I spose when I get my a$$ handed to me I'll see the distinction! Smile

lol. come on, man. now has got to be the time for mono white, emeria control. sun titan makes that shit redonkulous, i'm sure. Smile
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Blacrowe



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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:35 am

you know me so well; I'm working on it! LMAO

C'mon W control snagged like 20th in the like Lithuanian Nats: survival cache for card draw, blinding mage for tap down--I'll own! :-}
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workshoptelescope



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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:39 am

Jason wrote:
you know me so well; I'm working on it! LMAO

C'mon W control snagged like 20th in the like Lithuanian Nats: survival cache for card draw, blinding mage for tap down--I'll own! :-}

you do gain war priest of thune, too. he's actually a bit of a house for a bear. gives you some way of trumping the enchantment fights that come up with u/w matches.
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Blacrowe



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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:45 am

oh, and I think it was V who made a good point when he said it may be better to run Scroll Thief over SG Oracle in UWT control, when you've got Elspeth for evasion (and Sun Titan to recur)..?
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Blacrowe



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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:46 am

I've had bad luck with thune; it seems like I always need the bear sooner than I need the sanctification. Or I just need to be more patient.
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workshoptelescope



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PostSubject: Re: no counterspells? your deck probably sucks, pt2...   Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:49 am

Jason wrote:
oh, and I think it was V who made a good point when he said it may be better to run Scroll Thief over SG Oracle in UWT control, when you've got Elspeth for evasion (and Sun Titan to recur)..?

i like it. dirty, dirty, dirty. i like it alot. Smile
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