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Archetype in Commander: Control (Part 2)

Hello Ladies and Gentleman!
Welcome to Command Beacon, our weekly commander multiplayer here in Eternal Magic!

Last week I talked about the archetypes in Control, as well as its game plan. Shortly: decks in this family has the goal to restrict the opponents game plans until reaching an absolute controle on the late game; this could be done when your opponents have no more resources and you have lot’s of card advantage, or because it has settled a mechanism that have locked any possibility of your opponents come back.


Essentially, it’s an archetype focused in defense.

Essencialmente, um Pillowfort é um arquétipo pautado na defesa. Differently of Stax, it doesn’t have to interfere on the opponent game, but, otherwise, not being bothered. He has a game plan that discourage any kind of negative interaction with him, as he builds a strong defense. In this meanwhile? The rest of the table fights among themselves. This strategy works not to look like a real threat, keeping the low profile.

So, how to build this fortress? The easier way to be eliminated in a Magic match is taking combat damage. Discourage the attack is, indeed, one of the premises of Pillowfort and it has plenty of effects to assure that, like taxing or punishing attackers: [mtg_card]Ghostly Prison[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Norn’s Annex[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Sphere of Safety[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Windborn Muse[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mystic Barrier[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Lightmine Field[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Moat[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Magus of the Moat[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Propaganda[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Collective Restraint[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Dissipation Field[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Energy Field[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Stormtide Leviathan[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Koskun Falls[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]No Mercy[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Hissing Miasma[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Ophiomancer[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Caverns of Despair[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Circle of Flame[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Ali from Cairo[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Fortune Thief[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Arboria[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Elephant Grass[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Spike Weaver[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Hornet Nest[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Sandwurm Convergence[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Pharika, God of Affliction[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Dueling Grounds[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Powerstone Minefield[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Ensnaring Bridge[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Crawlspace[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Silent Arbiter[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Stuffy Doll[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Forcefield[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Orbs of Warding[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Platinum Emperion[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Platinum Angel[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Glacial Chasm[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Maze of Ith[/mtg_card], etc.

There are those kind of effects all around. To build your board, it’s necessary to protect it, because it’s useless to hind behind a [mtg_card]Moat[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Ensnaring Bridge[/mtg_card] and someone remove it when think the Pillowfort is a real threat. To protect our permanents or re-use them we need cards like [mtg_card]Sterling Grove[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Fountain Watch[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Greater Auramancy[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Torpor Orb[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Hanna, Ship’s Navigator[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Replenish[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Padeem, Consul of Innovation[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Guardian Beast[/mtg_card], besides, obviously, counterspells, spot removals and global removals, that when used at the right point might, besides protecting your board, avoid some combo to put an end on the game.

At last, it’s necessary to win the game, so combos with few pieces that could be assembled in one turn could be interesting, or high impact creatures, like [mtg_card]Blightsteel Colossus[/mtg_card]. Besides, unusual win conditions could find a shelter under Pillowforts, like [mtg_card]Approach of the Second Sun[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Helix Pinnacle[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Felidar Sovereign[/mtg_card].

To beat a Pillowfort, one option is to finish him as soon as possible, before he get the chance of build his defenses. So, hit him hard or go for combo as fast as possible, always taking care with counterspells. Hate, specially against enchantments, works well, so [mtg_card]Aura Flux[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Aura of Silence[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Aura Shards[/mtg_card] are good enough.

Another way is follow the pace of the Pillowfort: Get rid of the opponents and do not bother with this game plan. So far, or even before if possible, remove the main pieces of the shelter and go for the win. An overloaded [mtg_card]Cyclonic Rift[/mtg_card] or one [mtg_card]Bane of Progress[/mtg_card] in the right moment could remove the whole defense of this archetype. Be aware of its wincons. As it usually has few of them, neutralize them and you will have no problem to win.

Exemples of commanders that could be used in a Pillowfort: [mtg_card]Zur the Enchanter[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Angus Mackenzie[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Isperia, Supreme Judge[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts[/mtg_card].

As an exemple, I bring that who observe the throne of the strong..

Deck -- Oloro, Ageless Ascetic (Pillowfort)
1 Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

1 Academy Rector

1 Aetherflux Reservoir
1 Chrome Mox
1 Helm of Obedience
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Diamond
1 Sol Ring
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Torpor Orb
1 Well of Lost Dreams

1 Aura of Silence
1 Banishing Light
1 Collective Restraint
1 Detention Sphere
1 Energy Field
1 Ghostly Prison
1 Gideon's Intervention
1 Grasp of Fate
1 Greater Auramancy
1 Greed
1 Humility
1 Karmic Justice
1 Land Equilibrium
1 Leyline of Anticipation
1 Leyline of the Void
1 Luminarch Ascension
1 Moat
1 Nevermore
1 Night of Souls' Betrayal
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Propaganda
1 Rest in Peace
1 Rhystic Study
1 Sphere of Safety
1 Tainted AEther
1 Test of Endurance
1 Web of Inertia
1 Approach of the Second Sun
1 Damnation
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Idyllic Tutor
1 Imperial Seal
1 Merciless Eviction
1 Replenish
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Wrath of God

1 Anguished Unmaking
1 Counterspell
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Disallow
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Force of Will
1 Lim-Dul's Vault
1 Mana Drain
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Pact of Negation
1 Path to Exile
1 Render Silent
1 Swan Song
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Vampiric Tutor

1 Ancient Tomb
1 Arid Mesa
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Command Tower
1 Flooded Strand
1 Forbidden Orchard
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Godless Shrine
1 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island
1 Isolated Chapel
1 Kor Haven
1 Marsh Flats
1 Maze of Ith
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
3 Plains
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Scavenger Grounds
1 Scrubland
1 Serra's Sanctum
1 Strip Mine
2 Swamp
1 Tundra
1 Underground Sea
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Watery Grave
1 Windswept Heath
[mtg_card]Oloro, Ageless Ascetic[/mtg_card] is a commander that helps the Pillowfort strategy even without beeing cast, giving you 2 life each upkeep, wich disencourage small attackers. Why causing few damage if mathematically this attack is useless or non-effective? Better to cause this damage to someone else who cares for his life total.

When your life goes up, the game plan should be developed as fast as possible, and because of this the list uses: [mtg_card]Ghostly Prison[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Propaganda[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Collective Restraint[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Moat[/mtg_card] e [mtg_card]Sphere of Safety[/mtg_card]. The deck count with counterpells ([mtg_card]Force of Will[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mana Drain[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Pact of Negation[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Swan Song[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Counterspell[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Disallow[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Render Silent[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Muddle the Mixture[/mtg_card]), spot removals ([mtg_card]Anguished Unmaking[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Path to Exile[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Swords to Plowshares[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Aura of Silence[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Banishing Light[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Detention Sphere[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Oblivion Ring[/mtg_card]) and global removals ([mtg_card]Cyclonic Rift[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Damnation[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Merciless Eviction[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Supreme Verdict[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Wrath of God[/mtg_card]), which helps to keep a safe board stage. [mtg_card]Nevermore[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Gideon’s Intervention[/mtg_card] helps to maintain cryptic cards outside of the game, specially some troublemakers commanders. [mtg_card]Aetherflux Reservoir[/mtg_card] is an important political instrument for dissuasion, because is very easy to reach 50 life.

[mtg_card]Greater Auramancy[/mtg_card] e [mtg_card]Karmic Justice[/mtg_card] helps to maintain our board under protection and, if everything goes wrong, we still count with [mtg_card]Replenish[/mtg_card]. [mtg_card]Serra’s Sanctum[/mtg_card] could produce huge amounts of mana, as long we have 28 enchantments here. Another strong synergy can be found with [mtg_card]Humility[/mtg_card], extremely powerful by itself, holding ETB triggers, like [mtg_card]Bane of Progress[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Reclamation Sage[/mtg_card]. But it get even better with [mtg_card]Night of Soul’s Betrayal[/mtg_card], avoiding that any creature remains in play.

Other interaction comes with [mtg_card]Rest in Peace[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Leyline of the Void[/mtg_card], specially good when followed by [mtg_card]Energy Field[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Web of Inertia[/mtg_card], making the combat phase something you don’t have to bother anymore.

When creating the exile effect, you got on kill condition with [mtg_card]Helm of Obedience[/mtg_card]. With only you can exile a library per turn. If everything goes well, everybody killed each other and you just have to do it once. Another way to finish the game is creating an army of angels with [mtg_card]Luminarch Ascension[/mtg_card] or getting a straight win with [mtg_card]Test of Endurance[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Approach of the Second Sun[/mtg_card].


Draw-Go is a classic archetype of MTG, one of the characteristics of blue, and also why a lot of people loves to hate. As the name says, it draws a card, play the land (always untaped) and pass turn. Any threats? Counter it. Any combo? Counter it. Stax? Counter. Any important thing? Counter? Breath? Counter. This the spirit. So, it’s a very reactive archetype.

It has to have large number of instant spells, or flash spells, specially counterspells. It’s common to run 1/5 of the deck with such spells.

This number obviously is not a law, some lists can have more, other lists can have less and more recursion, like in [mtg_card]Dralnu, Lich Lord[/mtg_card] or even the commander himself has aa counter ability, like [mtg_card]Ertai the Corrupted[/mtg_card]. Your counter arsenal has to have spells that can be cast in any stage of the game, since the initial turns. Among the best options for Draw-Go, we have: [mtg_card]Force of Will[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mana Drain[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Pact of Negation[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Cryptic Command[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mystic Confluence[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Counterspell[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Swan Song[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Flusterstorm[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Arcane Denial[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Delay[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Desertion[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Foil[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mental Misstep[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Daze[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Disallow[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Forbid[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Voidslime[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Counterflux[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Render Silent[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Rewind[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Overwhelming Denial[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Dissipate[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Dismiss[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Disdainful Stroke[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Negate[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Summary Dismissal[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Muddle the Mixture[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Trickbind[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Stifle[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Nimble Obtructionist[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mystic Snake[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Venser, Shaper Savant[/mtg_card], etc.

Another pilar of Draw-Go is card advantage: always have more cards in hand than your opponents. To do so, you can use permanents like ([mtg_card]Rhystic Study[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mystic Remora[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Consecrated Sphinx[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Necropotence[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Phyrexian Arena[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Greed[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Sylvan Library[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Staff of Nin[/mtg_card], etc) or instants and sorceries like ([mtg_card]Blue Sun’s Zenith[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Treasure Cruise[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Dig Through Time[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Pull from Tomorrow[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Ancestral Vision[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Manifold Insights[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Opportunity[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Stroke of Genius[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Ad Nauseam[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Damnable Pact[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Painful Truths[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Sphinx’s Revelation[/mtg_card], etc).

To controle those threats that passed by the counters, you have the spot and global removals, like [mtg_card]Cyclonic Rift[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Evacuation[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Supreme Verdict[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Blasphemous Act[/mtg_card].

As you need to use a lot of colered mana and to keep a reasonable amount of cards in hand, Draw-Go don’t abuse of mana rocks like other strategies, using a little bit more lands and cards that reduces the casting cost, like [mtg_card]Jace’s Sanctum[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Baral, Chief of Compliance[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Sapphire Medallion[/mtg_card]. As finishers, you can use some small pieces combo or high impact cards, like [mtg_card]Docent of Perfection [/mtg_card]/[mtg_card]Final Iteration[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Metallurgic Summonings[/mtg_card].

It’s important to quote this is a fragile archetype, which should be considered before choosing it to play, because differently of X-1, here we have more opponents and each countered card is a disadvantage if you compare with the other players which didn’t lost resources. Besides, there’s no point in become taped to watch the next player win with his combo. So, watch out! Make sure you will counter the right spell.

It’s necessary a good analises of the game to not make anyone angry. Besides everything, a multiplayer format is directed by politics. Bargain with the other players which spell should be countered and gain leverage for yourself.

When facing a Draw-Go find ways to play around counters, like ([mtg_card]Boseiju, Who Shelters All[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Cavern of Souls[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Gaea’s Herald[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Vexing Shusher[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Prowling Serpopard[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Grand Abolisher[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Sphinx of the Final Word[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Dosan the Falling Leaf[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Dragonlord Dromoka[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Surrak Dragonclaw[/mtg_card]), as well uses your own counterspells.

If you don’t have any of those, use baits. Play spells to be countered and open the way to what you really want, making Draw-Go to spend resources. Besides that, be assure to take advantage of your position on the table. Wait him to get tapped, so cast what really matters. You can also negotiate with the Draw-Go pilot, making advantage for him and, in exchange, he allows you to make your moves.

Exemples of commanders which can fit in a Draw-Go strategy: [mtg_card]Baral, Chief of Compliance[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Dralnu, Lich Lord[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Ertai the Corrupted[/mtg_card].

Leading our tribal counters, the summoner of dragonetes fish:

Deck -- Talrand, Sky Summoner (Draw-Go)
1 Talrand, Sky Summoner

1 Baral, Chief of Compliance
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Docent of Perfection Flip
1 Guile
1 Nimble Obstructionist

1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

1 Cloud Key
1 Extraplanar Lens
1 Isochron Scepter
1 Mana Crypt
1 Sapphire Medallion
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Arcane Laboratory
1 Back to Basics
1 Jace's Sanctum
1 Metallurgic Summonings
1 Opposition
1 Rhystic Study
1 Telepathy

1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Treasure Cruise

1 Arcane Denial
1 Blue Sun's Zenith
1 Brainstorm
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Counterspell
1 Cryptic Command
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Daze
1 Delay
1 Desertion
1 Dig Through Time
1 Disallow
1 Echoing Truth
1 Evacuation
1 Flusterstorm
1 Foil
1 Force of Will
1 Frantic Search
1 Impulse
1 Into the Roil
1 Keep Watch
1 Mana Drain
1 Mental Misstep
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Mystic Confluence
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Negate
1 Overwhelming Denial
1 Pact of Negation
1 Pongify
1 Pull from Tomorrow
1 Rapid Hybridization
1 Reality Shift
1 Rewind
1 Snap
1 Stroke of Genius
1 Summary Dismissal
1 Swan Song
1 Trickbind
1 Unsubstantiate

1 Reliquary Tower
33x Snow-Covered Island
1 Soldevi Excavations
1 Terrain Generator
[mtg_card]Talrand, Sky Summoner[/mtg_card] leads our list due to his ability to create tokens when casting sorceries and instants, having nothing less then 43 cards of this type, 21 among them allows you to counter spells or abilities and 24 can be printed in [mtg_card]Isochron Scepter[/mtg_card].

Imagine how this could be devastating with, for example, [mtg_card]Mana Drain[/mtg_card]. To be more efficient, we use [mtg_card]Telepathy[/mtg_card] and know exactly what to counter or not. When we control the game, basically Talrand have to exist, creating our army of dragonetes.

To help Talrand in this duty, we have the spit-delver [mtg_card]Docent of Perfection[/mtg_card]/[mtg_card]Final Iteration[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Metallurgic Summonings[/mtg_card], which can became aggressive quickly. [mtg_card]Guile[/mtg_card] also fits well, virtually stealing everything we counter. Besides the counterspells, there’s another ways to control, like bounces and removals. ([mtg_card]Pongify[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Rapid Hybridization[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Reality Shift[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Chain of Vapor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Cyclonic Rift[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Echoing Truth[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Into the Roil[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Snap[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Unsubstantiate[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Cryptic Command[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Evacuation[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Mystic Confluence[/mtg_card]), which helps in delaying the opponents game plans, returning ou removing what have passed our counters to be countered later, if necessary. Our card flux in hand is sculpted by cantrips, like [mtg_card]Preordain[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Brainstorm[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Impulse[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Frantic Search[/mtg_card]) and drawing, like ([mtg_card]Consecrated Sphinx[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Rhystic Study[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Treasure Cruise[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Pull from Tomorrow[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Blue Sun’s Zenith[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Keep Watch[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Stroke of Genius[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mystic Confluence[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Dig Through Time[/mtg_card]). At last, [mtg_card]Back to Basics[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Arcane Laboratory[/mtg_card] e [mtg_card]Opposition[/mtg_card] helps to keep the game slower, a very nice pace for our strategy.


The Combo-Control archetype is a hybrid of this two strategies. You control the game, ruining your opponents game plan, buying time enough to get the right cards do win the match through the combination that you chosen to achieve victory. Tends to have an extremely consistent game plan and are the most competitive archetype of the format.

To have enough time, you can use some Stax elements, like [mtg_card]Torpor Orb[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Winter Orb[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Stasis[/mtg_card], besides counterspells, spot removals and global removals. All the typical elements of the traditional controls.

But what is the diference between Combo-Control and Draw-Go to finish the game? Basically, the estruture of the deck. Combo-Control have less control cards and a bigger tutor structure ([mtg_card]Vampiric Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Imperial Seal[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Demonic Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Cruel Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Grim Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mystical Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Personal Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Fabricate[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Whir of Invention[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Transmute Artifact[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Wordly Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Sylvan Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Chord of Calling[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Green Sun’s Zenith[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Enlightened Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Idyllic Tutor[/mtg_card], etc), cantrips and draws, to reach, this way, the pieces that will finish the game in one shot.

While Draw-Go push into the late game over and over, usually Combo-Control wins in a single turn in a consistent way since he reaches the late game. A Combo-Control is different of the other Combo decks not because it goes directly from the early into the late game, but because it develop his game plan along the mid game until he has the necessary condition to win. Which doesn’t mean he can’t reach his game plan quickly.

To beat this archetype isn’t easy, because of its consistence. Whenever is possible, delay his game plan, destroying their mana rocks and lands or using Stax elements, disrupting his hand or countering his tutors.

But above all, and this is valid to face any Combo: know the game plan of your opponent! The format has many ways of combo, but there are some characteristics that could be chained to its commander. If you see [mtg_card]Thrasios, Triton Hero[/mtg_card], you know he smells infinite mana combos, as he can draw the whole deck this way.

Between this combos there’s the most common and consistent ones. Those uses tons of mana rocks, so you can expect [mtg_card]Isochron Scepter[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Dramatic Reversal[/mtg_card]. Does it have creature tutors and ramps? Possible [mtg_card]Palinchron[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Deadeye Navigator[/mtg_card]/[mtg_card]High Tide[/mtg_card]/[mtg_card]Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger[/mtg_card]/[mtg_card]Mana Reflection[/mtg_card].

Knowing the format, how combo works, you will know exactly what should be countered or removed, and in which moment you have to do it. Have in mind a plan B to avoid the combo, because a Combo-Control plays safe, most of the time holding a counterspell for then win. Play clever.

Exemples of commanders that could be used in a Combo-Control: [mtg_card]Niv-Mizzet[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]the Firemind[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Azami, Lady of Scrolls[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Surrak Dragonclaw[/mtg_card].

On the head of the list, we have 2 hate makers:

Deck -- Thrasios, Triton Hero & Silas Renn, Seeker Adept

1 Thrasios, Triton Hero
1 Silas Renn, Seeker Adept

1 Birds of Paradise
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Deadeye Navigator
1 Deathrite Shaman
1 Eternal Witness
1 Lotus Cobra
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Palinchron
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Venser, Shaper Savant
1 Walking Ballista

1 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Basalt Monolith
1 Chrome Mox
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Dimir Signet
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Golgari Signet
1 Isochron Scepter
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Opal
1 Paradox Engine
1 Rings of Brighthearth
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Simic Signet
1 Sol Ring
1 Thought Vessel

1 Leyline of Anticipation
1 Mystic Remora
1 Power Artifact
1 Rhystic Study
1 Sylvan Library

1 Damnation
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Fabricate
1 Farseek
1 Grim Tutor
1 Imperial Seal
1 Nature's Lore
1 Time Spiral
1 Timetwister
1 Tooth and Nail
1 Toxic Deluge

1 Abrupt Decay
1 Arcane Denial
1 Beast Within
1 Counterspell
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Disallow
1 Dramatic Reversal
1 Flusterstorm
1 Force of Will
1 Krosan Grip
1 Mana Drain
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Nature's Claim
1 Noxious Revival
1 Pact of Negation
1 Sultai Charm
1 Swan Song
1 Trickbind
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Voidslime
1 Whir of Invention
[mtg_card]Thrasios, Triton Hero[/mtg_card], as we said before, is a very special and dangerous commander. When his ability is well used, it can provide card advantage in a longer match, and allows to combo for infinite mana to win every cards on the library if necessary, closing the game with [mtg_card]Walking Ballista[/mtg_card] or returning to opponents hands all their permanents of spells with [mtg_card]Venser, Shaper Savant[/mtg_card].

[mtg_card]Silas Renn, Seeker Adept[/mtg_card] plays a secondary role, opening the black color and making possible to get back some important artifact from the grave. To achieve victory the deck has 3 ways to achieve infinite mana: [mtg_card]Isochron Scepter[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Dramatic Reversal[/mtg_card] + mana sources that produces at least 3 mana; [mtg_card]Basalt Monolith[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Rings of Brighthearth[/mtg_card]/[mtg_card]Power Artifact[/mtg_card]; [mtg_card]Palinchron[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Deadeye Navigator[/mtg_card] + 3 or more lands.

To support this strategy, it uses lots of tutors ([mtg_card]Vampiric Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Imperial Seal[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Demonic Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Grim Tutor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Fabricate[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Whir of Invention[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Tezzeret the Seeker[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Muddle the Mixture[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Tooth and Nail[/mtg_card]), drawing sources and recursion ([mtg_card]Consecrated Sphinx[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Eternal Witness[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Snapcaster Mage[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mystic Remora[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Rhystic Study[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Sylvan Library[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Time Spiral[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Timetwister[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Noxious Revival[/mtg_card]), ways to control the game and to protect yourself with counterspells (12), spot removals and bounces ([mtg_card]Abrupt Decay[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Beast Within[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Cyclonic Rift[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Krosan Grip[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Nature’s Claim[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Sultai Charm[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Venser, Shaper Savant[/mtg_card]) and global removals like [mtg_card]Toxic Deluge[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Damnation[/mtg_card], just in case the board becomes extremely aggressive and dangerous.

That said, we’re done with Control archetypes. I hope you had a good time reading and I appreciate you come through this point! In our next article we will talk about one of the most controversy strategy: Combo. See you!

About Mateus Nogueira

Professor da rede pública de ensino no Distrito Federal, formado em Ciências Biológicas, nerd multiclasse, já jogou e aprecia diversos formatos de Magic: the Gathering. É especialmente apaixonado pelo Commander em sua vertente multiplayer, sendo um infeliz sem alma, apreciador de Stax e Combos.


  1. What happened with part 1?

  2. Good question! LOL
    Those articles were translated from the Portuguese version on
    Unfortunately our translator quit before all the Archetypes series get translated to English. I hope someday we get somebody to do this job again! =)

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