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Commander Archetypes: Control (Part 1)

Hello, ladies and gentleman!

Welcome to Command Beacon, our column on Commander multiplayer here at Eternal Magic!

After the Hour of Devastation pre-release and our evaluation of the collection, let’s go back to the archetypes in Commander. After Aggro and Midrange strategies, we can turn our attention to Control.

And what does a Control do? In short, it restricts the opponents’ moves, extending the game to the final stages, where it effectively has dominion over the others. This dominance comes through abundance in resources and responses, or by effectively preventing any reaction from others. The control deck brings inevitability. The longer the game lasts, the greater the chances of this type of strategy will stand out over the others. They usually have some consistent win condition, ways to protect it when the time comes and, most importantly, ways to survive there. It is the good control deck that says what can or cannot happen in the game and many of them tend to have a more reactive rather than proactive nature.

Control’s early game is not necessarily explosive, as these strategies need to stay ahead of the table in card advantage, and explosive hands often exhaust their resources quickly in exchange for mid game or late game access. Despite this consideration, this is not a law. Control decks that perform their control by means of permanents usually make excellent use of mana rocks. For example, if you plan to lock the grounds with [mtg_card]Winter Orb[/mtg_card], these artifacts become essential, allowing you to play while limiting the play of others. Anyway, it is necessary to brake the Aggro and Combo decks, and for that you need equally quick answers, whether in the form of low-cost permissions like [mtg_card]Force of Will[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Flusterstorm[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Swan Song[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Mental Misstep[/mtg_card], or in the form of bounces and rapid removals of different types of permanents, such as [mtg_card]Swords to Plowshares[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Snuff Out,[/mtg_card] [mtg_card]Vandalblast[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Chain of Vapor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Abrupt Decay[/mtg_card], and[mtg_card] Nature’s Claim[/mtg_card]. A well-matched response at the right time may delay an opponent’s Combo to such an extent that it will be far behind in the game and an easy target for other decks and their control. For more proactive postures, slight elements of stax or pillowfort usually fall into this phase of the game, such as [mtg_card]Torpor Orb[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Cursed Totem[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Trinisphere[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Ghostly Prison[/mtg_card],[mtg_card] Propaganda[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Blind Obedience[/mtg_card]. Finally, permanent shoppers are usually welcome at this stage: [mtg_card]Mystic Remora[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Rhystic Study[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Phyrexian Arena[/mtg_card], to name a few.

The mid game is a fundamental step to create solid foundations to exert control on the table and take it safely to the late game. Punctual responses remain important to eliminate key threats as well as permissions, making room for higher cost “overrides” such as Cryptic Command, Mystic Confluence, Disallow, Rewind, Desertion, and Pact of Negation. However, the finesse lies in advantageous exchanges of 1 card for several, since they usually put them ahead. This category is where the table cleanings fit very well: Wrath of God, Hour of Revelation, Damnation, Blasphemous Act, Cyclonic Rift, Merciless Eviction and Supreme Verdict. All examples where you force your opponents to lose several cards to a single card. In addition, it is at this stage that permanent limiters that play a higher cost, or have a greater impact on the developed game, become relevant, for example Winter Orb, Back to Basics, Invoke Prejudice, Moat, The Abyss, Possibility Storm and Grip of Chaos. As mentioned, card advantage for various types of Control is essential in all stages, but here they usually establish the difference between a late game that will inevitably lead to victory or defeat, so abuse of cards like Necropotence, Consecrated Sphinx, Tasigur , The Golden Fang, Thrasios, Triton Hero, Sphinx’s Revelation, Pull From Tomorrow, among others.

Finally, the late game is where the Controls establish absolute mastery. Either it has a lot of mana, full hand and with frequent buys, replies to any plays and opponents without features and playing from top deck. In this case, a good example is a stuffed hand, lots of lands and Capsize or Venser, Shaper Savant + Deadeye Navigator. Another situation is the board being completely locked or chaotic to the point that practically only the Control manage to make some play like for example Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir + Possibility Storm. At this stage there is no more time for Aggros and Combos and it is a mere formality for the Controls to actually put an end to the match, either through combat damage from a few creatures or extremely impactful creatures or through some combo.

 

Therefore, Reactive Control decks settle down by controlling the development of opponents in the early and mid game while mining resources and establishing card advantage. The most proactive, accelerate in early game and establish their locks in this step or mid game. Both become oppressors in the late game, where they tend to play alone, preventing any action from the rest. Here is a noteworthy observation. This type of deck requires a good ability to analyze the game state and recognize threats. It’s very common for novice players to come out nullifying and removing absolutely everything they get, spending resources and then losing to the real threats. It is the famous “nervous hand of the counter”. If you identify yourself, before answering any play, stop, breathe, and think: “Is this really a threat? Will you put a player far ahead in the game? If I fall will it disturb me more than the rest? If I answer that, is the next player free to win? ” Playing well in Control requires training and knowledge and it is common to flinch at first, but with experience, knowledge about the game and reflection on how you play there is progress as a Magic player.

That said, we followed the basic premise of the article. So what archetypes are present in the Control family? Thief Control, Chaos, Stax, Pillowfort, Draw-Go and Combo Control. With 6 archetypes, it is one of the most diverse strategies in the format, falling behind only the Midranges, with 7. Again, this is due to the characteristics of the format, in theory, slower. With an initial life of 40 life, multiplayer and singleton, the game continues, allowing game plans to develop more slowly than in other formats and the use of cards that could be considered exotic, often become bases for an entire Deck, such as Possibility Storm in a Mishra, Prodigy Artificer, for example.

By the amount of archetypes, the Controls will be divided into 2 articles. Today we will have some of those that attract more hatred and grudge: Thief Control, Chaos and Stax.

Thief Control

As the name says, this type of deck is a control that negates the development of opponents, working in a reactive way, reminiscent of a Draw-Go. But its differential is that it eventually allows the opponents’ threats to know the light of day, with a single nefarious purpose: to steal them and win with the victory conditions of the fools who dared to threaten the board where there is a Thief Control.

 

Most of the decks of this archetype are based on counterspells, counting on their basic package of (Force of Will, Mana Drain, Swan Song, etc.) and therefore they have a very strong Blue base, although it is possible to do in other colors, it will not necessarily yield good results. What draws attention to the archetype is what gives it its name: gain control of the opponents’ permanents. There are a myriad of cards here, going from cards that literally take control of permanents to reanimations of creatures of opponents. I will highlight some of them that call me more attention: Vedalken Shackles, Gilded Drake, Bribery, Acquire, Steal Enchantment, Blatant Thievery, Treachery, Dack Fayden, Preacher, Evangelize, Praetor’s Grasp, Enslave, Primordial Sepulchral, ​​Reanimate, Animate Dead and Necromancy. The red color has various effects that take control of creatures until end of turn, such as Grab the Reins and Act of Treason, but I don’t think it’s worth it except for very specific decks like Marchesa, the Black Rose. Finally, a commander who helps to execute the game plan is essential to the deck’s victory by consistently checking any deck that relies on the commander to win.

To deal with a Thief Control I visualize 2 postures: either go with everything to win as fast as possible or play more closely. In the latter case, do not show yourself a threat, let it spend resources with the other opponents and build your table in a way that is not threatening until the moment you leave for victory, being careful of cancellations. Negotiations are also valid. In addition, cards that provide Mantle or Magic Resistance usually work well in this match, so Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots, and Asceticism are solutions. Effects that allow you to regain control are also important and here I highlight Homeward Path.

Examples of commanders who can fit into a Thief Control: Meriek Ri Berit, Rubinia Soulsinger, Sen Triplets and Marchesa, the Black Rose.

 

To represent the list, the empress of thieves. And for her I would like to give special thanks to Lucas de Resende for having set up the base list. Thanks man!

Deck -- Empress Galina (Thief Control)
Commander
1 Empress Galina

Creatures
1 Callous Oppressor
1 Clever Impersonator
1 Gilded Drake
1 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
1 Memnarch
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Sakashima the Impostor
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Thada Adel, Acquisitor
1 Trinket Mage

Artifacts
1 Basalt Monolith
1 Chromatic Lantern
1 Chrome Mox
1 Crawlspace
1 Extraplanar Lens
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Grim Monolith
1 Illusionist's Bracers
1 Isochron Scepter
1 Lantern of Insight
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Opal
1 Paradox Engine
1 Rings of Brighthearth
1 Sapphire Medallion
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Thought Vessel
1 Thousand-Year Elixir
1 Vedalken Orrery
1 Vedalken Shackles
1 Winter Orb

Enchantments
1 Arcane Laboratory
1 Back to Basics
1 Legacy's Allure
1 Leyline of Anticipation
1 Leyline of Singularity
1 Mystic Remora
1 Rhystic Study
1 Telepathy
1 Treachery
1 Whir of Invention
Sorceries
1 Acquire
1 Blatant Thievery
1 Bribery
1 Expropriate
1 Fabricate
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Personal Tutor

Instants
1 Arcane Denial
1 Blue Sun's Zenith
1 Brainstorm
1 Capsize
1 Commandeer
1 Counterspell
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Desertion
1 Disallow
1 Domineering Will
1 Dramatic Reversal
1 Force of Will
1 Mana Drain
1 Mental Misstep
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Pact of Negation
1 Trickbind

Lands
1 Academy Ruins
1 City of Brass
1 Command Beacon
1 Exotic Orchard
23 Snow-Covered Island
1 Mana Confluence
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

Empress Galina is the commanders’ terror, tapping and paying only, gains control of any legendary permanent. By itself, it already brakes and a lot of the development of several decks, especially when it falls in turns 2 or 3. Complementing very well its ability, we have Minamo, School at Water’s Edge, Illusionist’s Bracers and Rings of Brighthearth, that still bends with Basalt Monolith for infinite colorless mana, Sakashima the Impostor, usually copying Galina herself, and Leyline of Singularity, being able to enter turn 0 and making any permanent a target for our commander. Even the precious lands of our opponents. As the deck has some very heavy spells, it is well grounded on a large amount of mana rocks and Extraplanar Lens, which aims to exile a Snow-Covered Island and generate insane amounts of mana. Among mana rocks, it is also worth noting the presence of the Chromatic Lantern, which like some of our lands, such as City of Brass, Exotic Orchard and Mana Confluence, can generate mana beyond the blue identity, allowing greater abuse of stolen permanents. For effective strategic planning, it is important to have information about opponents’ cards, and this is the role of Lantern of Insight and Telepathy in the list, as well as all the effects that seek cards in their arteries, always extracting as much information about how Make the most of other people’s decks. In addition to Empress Galina, we have many effects to gain control of what does not belong to us: Callous Oppressor, Gilded Drake, Memnarch, Thada Adel, Acquisitor, Vedalken Shackles, Legacy’s Allure, Treachery, Acquire, Blatant Thievery, Bribery, Expropriate, Desertion and Domineering Will. The various present clones also draw value from the quality of the table, while the stax elements (Back to Basics, Winter Orb, Arcane Laboratory and Crawlspace) help to slow down the game and put it to our rhythm. While we take what’s interesting, the deck tries to keep the board under control with the use of counterspells, ranging from Mental Misstep and Trickbind to Force of Will and Mana Drain, as well as using bounces, such as the consecrated Cyclonic Rift and Capsize. Capsize, by the way, can become very interesting in this list, next to Memnarch, since it manages to generate infinite mana very easily by using the already mentioned Rings of Brighthearth + Basalt Monolith or Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal + mana rocks that generate a total of at least 3 manas. Paradox Engine doesn’t generate any infinite loop by itself, but it creates an absurd advantage, even more with this large amount of mana rocks, and synergizes especially well with Isochron Scepter, Sensei’s Divining Top and Empress Galina itself.

Chaos

Often playing Magic requires precision in the plays, perfectly executed answers, long-term planning and a good reading of the progression of the game. The Chaos archetype picks it up and gives off. Anarchy is what prevails here. Your goal is to make the game as random as possible, making opponents’ plays inaccurate and inefficient as you grow and manage to survive amid the chaos you’ve created.

This is a Proactive Control, heavily steeped in permanents, which will mostly be spells. It is important to note that you don’t want to undermine resources and prevent your opponents from playing and what you want sometimes is just that they play, creating a state of increasing entropy that can be availed by you. There are several effects that fit perfectly in this type of strategy: Possibility Storm, Grip of Chaos, Confusion in the Ranks, Warp World, Thieves’ Auction, Psychic Battle, Shared Fate, Hive Mind, Eye of the Storm, Eureka, Hypergenesis, Endless Whispers, Knowledge Pool, Timesifter, etc. Effects that abuse the casting act of the opponents can be used in our favor, so cards such as Mind’s Dilatation, Kaervek the Merciless, Painful Quandary, and Rhystic Study are well-suited as pandemonium sets, allowing card advantage or table control. Interestingly, the greater the amount of accumulated chaotic effects, the more unsustainable any strategy becomes. It is quite common for players with more reactive Combo and Control decks to concede after a few hours of starting where they can do absolutely nothing while the complexity of the game only increases. Advice for anyone who ventures to pilot the deck: be keen on the rules, as it is very easy to get lost amidst the insane amount of triggered abilities, substitutions and weird stacks.

To confront Chaos, remove or nullify the main discordant pieces, usually those that hinder the main answers. Possibility Storm, Grip of Chaos and Psychic Battle fit well into this category. From this point on, it becomes simpler to deal with the main tools of this archetype. Since the main cards are enchantments, removals for this type of card usually do some damage, such as Bane of Progress, a well-matched Aura Shards or Austere Command. Also, since Chaos permanents are often very heavy, it may be important to establish your own strategy quickly before the Chaos actually enters into the game, especially if you’re in Combo. It is important to emphasize not to make plans in the medium and long term and not to plan very precise and elaborate plays, because they will probably be frustrated. Follow the rhythm of entropy. If you play from any Aggro strategy or with the Group Hug, Good Stuff, and Stax archetypes, make good use of it, as the chances of you being affected very negatively become reduced.

Examples of commanders who can fit into a Chaos: Norin the Wary, Jhoira of the Ghitu, Kraum, Ludevic’s Opus & Vial Smasher the Fierce and Ruhan of the Fomori.

This is the representative of entropy.

Deck -- Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder (Chaos)
Commander
1 Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder

Creatures
1 Bloom Tender
1 Clever Impersonator
1 Djinn of Infinite Deceits
1 Etherium-Horn Sorcerer
1 Kaervek the Merciless
1 Lotus Cobra
1 Maelstrom Wanderer
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Rashmi, Eternities Crafter
1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir

Artifacts
1 Chromatic Lantern
1 Coalition Relic
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Cursed Totem
1 Damping Matrix
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Knowledge Pool
1 Mana Crypt
1 Prismatic Geoscope
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Teferi's Puzzle Box
1 Thran Dynamo
1 Timesifter
1 Torpor Orb

Enchantments
1 Blood Mist
1 Curse of Echoes
1 Dissipation Field
1 Endless Whispers
1 Eye of the Storm
1 Grip of Chaos
1 Hive Mind
1 Mind's Dilation
1 Omniscience
1 Painful Quandary
1 Possibility Storm
1 Psychic Battle
1 Puca's Mischief
1 Rhystic Study
1 Shared Fate
1 Stranglehold
1 Sylvan Library
Sorceries
1 Damnation
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Farseek
1 Hypergenesis
1 Mind's Desire
1 Nature's Lore
1 Scrambleverse
1 Show and Tell
1 Skyshroud Claim
1 Spoils of Victory
1 Thieves' Auction
1 Three Visits
1 Time Spiral
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Warp World
1 Wheel of Fate

Instants
1 Brand
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Dig Through Time
1 Vampiric Tutor

Lands
1 Arid Mesa
1 Badlands
1 Bayou
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Breeding Pool
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Command Beacon
1 Command Tower
1 Flooded Strand
1 Forest
2 Island
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Spinerock Knoll
1 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
1 Strip Mine
1 Swamp
1 Taiga
1 Tropical Island
1 Underground Sea
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Volcanic Island
1 Wasteland
1 Watery Grave
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills

You know what’s better than putting a chaotic effect on the table? Put 2, and for the cost of 1. So we have here Yidris, Maeltrom Wielder. Sorry for repeating it here again (the other time it was in Good Stuff), but its effect is perfect for the type of deck that the Chaos archetype proposes. In addition to the imbecile card advantage generated by the Cascade ability he provided, the fact that it is a 4-color Whiteless deck brings some interesting nuances as well as the best Chaos cards. First, the main cards that give identity to the decks of the archetype are present in the red and the blue, being its base, going of Possibility Storm to Eye of the Storm, besides good supports like Brand, Stranglehold, Cyclonic Rift, Rhystic Study, Blood Mist, Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise, these last 3 synergizing well with our commander. As the cost of the cards tends to be very high, we have several ways to use them, such as Hypergenesis and Show and Tell (not uncommon to unload an Omniscience), as well as mana rocks and the addition of green, which allows cards like Birds of Paradise , Lotus Cobra, Bloom Tender, Oracle of Mul Daya, Farseek, Nature’s Lore, Three Visits, Spoils of Victory and Skyshroud Claim to accelerate strategy as well as set the greedy mana base. In addition, green opens the possibility for some interesting sources of card advantage, such as Sylvan Library, Rashmi, Eternities Crafter and our commander’s best friend, Maelstrom Wanderer. The black color plays a smaller role on the deck, but features tutorial options (especially for the early game) such as Vampiric Tutor and Demonic Tutor, global removals like Damnation and Toxic Deluge, and some Pain pieces like Kaervek the Merciless and Painful Quandary. Among the artifacts, in addition to the various mana rocks, we have Time Sifter, Knowledge Pool and Teferi’s Puzzle Box, plus Stax elements like Cursed Totem, Damping Matrix and Torpor Orb. An interesting way to win is through Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, which together with Possibility Storm or Knowledge Pool completely prevents opponents from casting magic from their hands.

Stax

Hated by 9 out of every 10 players in the format, we have one of the Commander’s baddies. The Stax archetype specializes in making people’s lives miserable by denying and restricting resources, taxing plays, abusing disruptions and sacrifices, disrupting the development of the opponents’ game plan and effectively locking the table while winning slowly. Although not good seen by many players, it is an extremely important archetype, mainly for keeping Combo strategies on control. The name Stax originally comes from the card Smokestack with the English word Tax, that is to say rates, which already passes the idea of restriction objectified by these archetypes.

His cards usually have low mana cost and high impact in the game, trying to slow it down to the maximum the pace of the game based on his permanents, mostly artifacts and enchantments. The Stax archetype lies in 4 foundations: Sacrifices, Turn, Fees and Restrictions. The cards that fit into “Sacrifice” are those that force this effect on the permanent, limiting drastically the amount of resources: The Abyss (though technically destroy), Desolation, Pox, Mana Vortex, Karmic Justice, Martyr’s Bond and Smokestack. “Turn” is the effects that prevent permanent untap or force them to turn, further restricting the moves: Winter Orb, Static Orb, Tangle Wire, Meekstone, Frozen Aether, Kismet, Thalia, Heretic Cathar and War’s Toll. The third foundation is the Rates, where as the name tells us, rate the plays, increasing their costs to accomplish or maintain them: Lodestone Golem, Thorn Of Amethyst, Sphere of Resistance, Trinisphere, Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Nether Void , Aura of Silence, Energy Flux, Aura Flux and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Finally, “Restrictions” limit the scope of play that can be performed: Torpor Orb, Cursed Totem, Null Rod, Damping Matrix, Ensnaring Bridge, Chains of Mephistophelis, Stranglehold, Aven Mindcensor, Rest in Peace, Humility, Arcane Laboratory, etc. In addition to the foundations, there are several effects that complement well this type of strategy, as global removals (Wrath of God, Damnation, Toxic Deluge, Armageddon, Jokulhaups, Devastation, etc.) and descartes (Bottomless Pit, Oppression, Mind Slash, Liliana of the Veil, etc). Curiously, there are chip-based versions that abuse creatures generated through effects like Bitterblossom, Awakening Zone and Tana, the Bloodsower, allied to cards like Opposition, Contamination, Shivan Harvest and Smokestack itself. In order to survive in this oppressive atmosphere generated by Stax, they usually use low mana curves, many mana rocks (which synergize well with Winter Orb and suck with Null Rod) and recursion (Crucible of Worlds, Ramunap Excavator, Sun Titan, Academy Ruins, Sheoldred, Whispering One, etc.). Try to make your symmetrical effects into an asymmetry that harms your opponents much more than you.

When facing a Stax, keep in mind that you can’t allow him to lock the lock and throw the key away. Destroy your main pieces when you have the opportunity, as long as they are disturbing you. Most of their permanents are artifacts and enchantments, so hate cards against this type of permanent are usually effective, such as Aura Shards, Shatterstorm, Bane of Progress and Aura of Silence. Punctual low-cost destructions are also effective, here I can mention Nature’s Claim, Abrupt Decay, Krosan Grip, and Beast Within. A Cyclonic Rift with overload at the end of the turn can be bewildering to a Stax. Playing against this archetype is a game of patience, where it is often best to hold the resources and wait for the ideal moment to act, as it is natural for a whole table to unite to defeat the Stax.

Examples of commanders who can fit into a Stax: Brago, Eternal King, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, Silas Renn, Seeker Adept & Tana, the Bloodsower and Mishra, Artificer Prodigy.

Locking the tables around the world, the Grand Arbiter.

Deck -- Grand Arbiter Augustin IV (Stax)
Commander
1 Grand Arbiter Augustin IV

Creatures
1 Aven Mindcensor
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Sakashima the Impostor
1 Serra Ascendant
1 Vedalken Mastermind

Planeswalkers
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Narset Transcendent
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Venser, the Sojourner

Artifacts
1 Azorius Signet
1 Chrome Mox
1 Cursed Totem
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Grim Monolith
1 Helm of Obedience
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mind Stone
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Opal
1 Scroll Rack
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Sphere of Resistance
1 Static Orb
1 Talisman of Progress
1 Tanglewire
1 Torpor Orb
1 Trinisphere
1 Winter Orb
Enchantments
1 Aura of Silence
1 Arcane Laboratory
1 Back to Basics
1 Frozen Aether
1 Ghostly Prison
1 Humility
1 Land Equilibrium
1 Land Tax
1 Mana Vortex
1 Mystic Remora
1 Propaganda
1 Rest in Peace
1 Rhystic Study
1 Rule of Law
1 Stasis

Sorceries
1 Fabricate
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Transmute Artifact
1 Wrath of God

Instants
1 Brainstorm
1 Counterspell
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Echoing Truth
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Flusterstorm
1 Force of Will
1 Idyllic Tutor
1 Into the Roil
1 Mana Drain
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Negate
1 Pact of Negation
1 Pull from Tomorrow
1 Render Silent
1 Sphinx's Revelation
1 Swan Song
1 Swords to Plowshares

Lands
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Arid Mesa
1 Command Tower
1 Flooded Strand
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mystic Gate
1 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
10 Island
7 Plains
1 Strip Mine
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Tundra
1 Wasteland
1 Windswept Heath

Our beloved Grand Arbiter Augustin IV often sheds many tears on the table. With this large amount of mana rocks, it usually falls on turn 2 or 3, starting to tax the opponents’ moves and cheapen ours. Sphere of Resistance, Trinisphere, Aura of Silence, Propaganda, Ghostly Prison, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and our Augustin number 2, Sakashima the Impostor, adds to the captive effect created by our commander. Rates become worrying when we have Frozen Aether and Tanglewire in the field. Winter Orb, Static Orb, Back to Basics, Land Equilibrium and Mana Vortex attack where it hurts most: the mana base. Restrictive effects like Torpor Orb, Cursed Totem, Aven Mindcensor, Humility, Arcane Laboratory and Rule of Law overwhelmingly limit opponents’ moves as more and more effects pile up. To protect all of this, we have a series of bounces and counterspells, all of which feed by card advantage generated by Rhystic Study, Mystic Remora, Pull from Tomorrow and Sphinx’s Revelation. Serra Ascendant is an obvious and extremely disloyal win condition in turn 1. Another win condition and an effective way to completely lock the game is with Vedalken Mastermind + Stasis, where only you will be able to untap permanents. Be careful not to bet on this interaction by having Cursed Totem on the table. Planswalkers are also real threats on this list, since in addition to providing a good edge on minor skills, their ultimatums can seal the match, especially Jace the Mind Sculptor, Narset Transcendent and Venser, the Sojourner. Tezzeret the Seeker works mainly as a tutor, including one of the ways to finish the game: Helm of Obedience + Rest in Peace eliminates one player per round at any time and also eliminates friendships.

That’s it for today. I hope you have made a good reading here! In our next article we will continue with the part 2 on the Control archetypes. Until there!

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