UBW Solar Flare/Solar Pox Sketches [Post-INN]

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So, Solar Flare was a UBW Control deck that took off in a big way during Kamigawa-Ravnica Standard, and remained a big deal throughout Ravnica-Time Spiral, and eventually evolved into a Smallpox abusing variant with Flagstones of Trokair and a few other things.

The basic premise was to use the black and white removal spells like Mortify or Condemn or Wrath of God, with a few tempo counters like Remand to play a proactive tap-out Control game backed by a solid manabase of duals, karoos and mana stones. However, the deck also had the backbreaking godhand of Turn 3 Compulsive Research, discarding a Vindicating 5/5 Flyer or something, Turn 4 Zombify.

With some of the Flashback cards previewed so far for Innistrad, this sort of tap-out value-grinding Control deck seems poised to come back in a big way. This thead is for discussion of the different ways that it can be taken.

My initial draft, based on the successful Paul Cheon Solar Flare build, is this:

// Lands - 24
BW dual
SOM duals in UB and UW
Other

// Creatures
1 [M11] Grave Titan
1 [M11] Sun Titan
2 [M11] Frost Titan
2 [NPH] Consecrated Sphinx
1 [NPH] Sheoldred, Whispering One
1 [M12] Phantasmal Image
(Also worthy of consideration: Wurmcoil, Sphinx of Uthuun, Rune-Scarred Demon, Reaper, Elesh Norn, Jin-Gitaxias, Massacre Wurm).

// Spells
// Card Advantage
4 [INN] Liliana of the Veil
4 [INN] Forbidden Alchemy
0-2 [INN] Think Twice

// Removal
3-4 [M11] Day of Judgment
3 [MBS] Go For The Throat
2-3 [M12] Oblivion Ring

// Utility
4 [M12] Mana Leak
3-4 [INN] Unburial Rites

// Mana
4 [MBS] Sphere of the Suns
1 [NPH] Pristine Talisman

EDIT: Hypothetical Sideboard
1 [NPH] Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 [SOM] Wurmcoil Engine
2 [INN] Ghost Quarter
3 [NPH] Surgical Extraction
2 [M12] Gideon Jura
3 [MBS] Divine Offering
3 [???] ???

As you can see, the basic premise of the deck is preserved. Simply remove all threats and generate CA like a normal tap-out Control deck until you can slam a 6-drop and ride it to win, using the renaimation to combat removal, or occasionally just Turn 3 Alchemy, Turn 4 reanimate Grave Titan, GG.

Now, Solar Flare became big in a format defined by Tron and a bunch of midrange Aggro decks, so it's possible less Wraths are needed and instead a couple of Gideons or some discard or other disruption is worth having in it's place (or possibly just -1 or 2 DoJ, +1 or 2 O-Ring). I've also got no utility creatures (like Court Hussar, in the old builds), but I think Liliana fills that role quite well. Potentially, Solemn Simulacrum could be added over some of the removal.

As far as Pox builds go, I'm not sure there's viability yet. One of the big advantages of Smallpox was that it was in the format with Flagstones, Haakon, etc. allowing you to make Pox brutally one-sided. Here, not so much. If you used Solemn Simulacrum as a 4-of, then perhaps, but I do think Smallpox will be lacking without the full complement of synergistic plays.

Discuss.
Hmm.. at first, I was thinking you could totally cut the white, as its really not necessary with blacks mass removal (ie BSZ), however, on second thought, I'm really thinking you should focus on the sun titan interaction.

It plays well with liliana, in addition to a number of other things:

Fiend Hunter
O ring
GQ
Phantasmal Image

just to name a few.

The ability to EOT Forbidden Alchemy into Unburial Rites/Sun Titan fourth turn with something else in the GY is amazing.  Not to mention the counter/removal suite you have access to.  Honestly, you could generate crazy advantage faster than some of these aggro decks (KRed, RDW, TS) can get going, while still having access to disruption spells to kick them out of the game.

Your biggest problem would be other control decks, but even that is playable around.

I like this deck a lot, and will post a list as soon as I can.
3 Sun Titan
2 Phantasmal Image
3 Blade Splicer
2 Fiend Hunter
3 Spellskite
1 Vengeful Pharaoh

4 Liliana of the Veil
3 Unburial Rites
4 Forbidden Alchemy

1 Divine Reckoning
2 Black Sun's Zenith

4 Mana Leak
2 Go for the Throat

Lands - Don't forget Moorland Haunt, though I dont know if it should be ran with the three color base.

That's really missing the point of the Solar Flare underlying strategy. You're going for a much more aggressive deck, which means that your "LOL FATTY" openers make for useless midgame draws when the rest of your deck is so aggressive with Blade Splicers and Fiend Hunter (and Spellskite, what for?). Divine Reckoning is flat-out unplayable and should never be run ever.

Basically, your list is an Aggro deck with a bunch of dodgy choices in it, not a Control strategy with a potential blow-out draw. Sun Titan+Image is cool, yes, but it doesn't save the deck. 
I actually think the Praetors were specifically designed for this kind of deck, especially main board.
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The idea was that it runs more off of the Forbidden Alchemy/Reanimation synergies, and while I agree its not as solar flare-esque, its something that should be considered.  Divine Reckoning in a deck that utilizes graveyard dump and recursion seems synergistic enough in the 1-of slot, and your utter ignorance to that is amazing, and no, I don't mean to start a fight, I'm just saying it should be looked at and tested before conclusions are made.  I apologize for offending your deckbuilding machismo, and I'll cease contribituting to this thread.  For whats it's worth though, its a good idea for a thread/deck and good luck with your testing.
Divine Reckoning is a Wrath that can't kill their best creature, or a win more when you have something much better than them. The only place it is remotely playable is in an old school control deck as DoJ number 5, since those decks use it to create CA rather than surviving. Your deck is almost the opposite, so it has absolutely no use there, given you will never get profit off CA with it. its like Destructive Force in Valakut or DoJ in white weenie. Black Zenith is also pretty bad in your deck for much the same reason.

As far as the often trotted line that it should be tested first before disregarded, tell me how your 1000+ games running Coral Merfolk went before you disregarded it.

All this is by the by, though because the viability of the list you posted aside, its not the strategy this thread was created to discuss.
I think with your low creature concentration, 3 Unburial Rites seem like the correct call as opposed to 4.
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I was thinking the same thing, actually. The older lists generally had 3 Zombify anyway. What would you increase first? O-ring, another Image, or Think Twice?
Also, any agreement or dissent on the Smallpox point?
Smallpox is going to have to be dependant on format, and with the current one I'm tilting towards saying no smallpox. Recovery is worse for both parties, as opposed to incredibly one sided.

As for the open slot:
I think a singleton Think Twice is cute, and I'd probably run two instead of the 4th DOJ as well.
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a few points i'll throw in.  i think you only need 2 of the zombify card.  later lists, as i recall, cut down to only 2 of this (especially when dread return debuted).  its a fine card, but its much less important in this deck than it was in the original lists.  maybe 3 is correct, but i suspect that 2 is a more correct figure.

small pox is not something i want in this deck, largely because of the non-existent flagstones.  hindering your mana development in this deck is not worth any other advantages you create with the other modes of the card.  you're better off just running removal instead.

dismember is probably going it work its way into the deck at one point or another in some quantity.

i really, really think that this deck wants to play solemn simulacrum.  maybe more than trying to force the various signet replacements.  i'm sure there are other low mana "tempo" cards that can be played to generate similar effects over time.  maybe the artifacts are correct, i can't say for sure as i've not had any chance to test.  however, i will say that i have already tried to do a similar thing with these mana artifacts in lists i've tested from the last standard format (the current one we're in) and it just never feels the same as it did with the original signets.  so i don't know if they're worth playing or not.  so in that regard, i'm gonna wait and see how these truly work out as far as usefulness.

probably more PWs is a correct call.  not sure yet.

i don't think any 7 drops are worth playing.  the 6 drops are all just better.

i'm likely going to be modeling a lot of the construction on currect UB lists, but splicing in white and bearing in mind old solar flare particulars.  the list is obviously less the quality discard.

as for the "utility lands", i'm sure that a ghost quarter or 2 should be played in order to deal with other utility lands.  i know these are not wastelands, but judging on how important these other lands get in other decks, this will determine if ghost quarter should see play here.  maybe the UB land could see play as a 1-of in this list to help grind out another win condition against other control decks for any easily playable mana dump.

one last point about the lands, it easy to forget that the ravnica karoos also helped generate virtual card advantage by letting some decks cheat on their land counts.  i still notice this same phenomenon when i use them in pauper.  just something to keep in mind for testing if you notice mana screw enough.

ok, probably enough for now.

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You don't want any Snapcasters at all in this kind of list?

No Ponders either? (even though it's not as good as preordain, especially with no Shuffle effects, but too at least dig a bit)
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i don't think snapcaster really does that much in the deck.

ponder isn't preordain and i don't believe is a good substitute.  i'd much rather play think twice, myself or maybe even divination.

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i don't think snapcaster really does that much in the deck.

ponder isn't preordain and i don't believe is a good substitute.  i'd much rather play think twice, myself or maybe even divination.



I just read Forbidden Alchemy (had forgotten which one it was) and realized it would probably make Ponder's effect bad.
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@ Indigo

I'm curious about the single Sun titan in your initial list. Is it only to provide beats and reanimate the single Phantasmal Image or is there something I'm missing?
Also, any agreement or dissent on the Smallpox point?



I'd agree with the solemn point. Another card worth looking is Heartless Summoning. You could still use the new signet that comes into play tapped to help as well. Frost Titan seems to work well with smallpox, right? I mean, it seems like just another way to mess with their mana.

The way to go with this deck is 4 Divine Reckoning and 4 Sheoldred. The synergy is insane: I wrath, keeping my Sheoldred and you keep one creature, then you sac it next turn. I start recurring more and more fatties with Sheoldred's effect. 

Along the same lines, Solemn Simulacrum is pretty good here too. Decent blocker/beater, plays well with your own Wrath effects, and gains raw CA every time he drops. Plus he ramps you further towards fatties in hands that don't have reanimation effects.  
The way to go with this deck is 4 Divine Reckoning and 4 Sheoldred. The synergy is insane: I wrath, keeping my Sheoldred and you keep one creature, then you sac it next turn. I start recurring more and more fatties with Sheoldred's effect.


please don't tell me you're being serious here

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I produce Dubstep and House beats:

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Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

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The list I posted probably fits Snapcaster better than 90% of the decks posted so far on the forum entire, and ironically I didn't include them. They're a possibility, but I think to run him you'd have to cut the cards that you want to be using him to Flashback.

Singleton Sun Titan is for shenanigans with Image, and because I wanted Memoricide resistance and the ability to use the winners as a toolbox with Rites lategame.
Also, Ghost Quarter and Sunny + Image is sweet.
Unless it turns out that aggro runs you over, I think this is where you want to be for single-set Innistrad block on MTGO. The problem with that format is that the reanimation targets are pretty bad for the most part... but on the other hand, nothing in that format can really kill them either.
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theroretically, this deck should destroy aggro

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Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

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Sun Titan is also very good for recurring Liliana. But do you really want her as a 4 of? I would cut one and one Frost Titan and add the Simulacrums. I don't think you really need that many >=6cc dudes and imo Frosty is the worst of the bunch. (Except on T4)
Grow old or die trying.
I could see trimming a Li'l Lil, but for the moment I'm keeping her at 4 to cover the role of Hussar for now. I will look at cutting a Pristine and a few other things for Solemn.

As far as the fat wins, 8 is enough. You don't want to overload. I'm running more Frost since they are most like Vindicate Angel, but as pointed out in the OP, there's plenty of room to customise to the best set in your own opinion.


What about a 1 of Mirror-Mad Phantasm that could really help combo out.

Can you people not read?

Mirror Mad Phantasm is not only an unplayable overcosted enabler, it does NOTHING to support the base strategy of the Solar Flare deck. This is a control deck, not HURR HURT REANIMATOR
24 land

4 sphere of the suns
4 solumn similacrum

4 mana leak
4 forbidden alchemy
3 unburial rites
3 day of judgement
2 o ring
2 doomblade

1 grave titan
1 consecrated sphinx
1 sheoldred
2 wormcoil

3 lilly
2 gideon

I have been testing and tweaking this version now pretty much since rites was spoiled, good to see I am on pretty much the same page as many of you.

While I agree with BF that 7 drops should be kept to a minimun, the 1 sheoldred has more than pulled its weight, the ability to force it through removal with rites often eventually overwhelms the opponent.

Solumn has been a star and I would not want to play the deck without him, between sphere and solumn the amount of mana you often have access to is pretty silly.

It may sound strange, but the one card i keep second guessing actually leak, i just dont end up keeping mana up to cast it very often as my own gameplan is just so crushing to my opponents, i am planning on at least trying this list without the leaks with 1 more o ring, a sun titan, a 4th day, and possible a singleton blue sun zenith in its place.

Any thoughts? the deck is very powerfull and i am pretty sure with the right amount of tweaking could be a major playor post rotation.
Is there a reason you picked Doom Blade over Go For The Throat or Victim of the Night?


I could actually see Leak removed (Remand was the only 'counter' in the old builds) for something else, probably Despise or Distress? Maybe Smallpox, in your Solemn Simulacrum build. My original list isn't all that tap-out, so I think Leak still does a decent job there. 
Is there a reason you picked Doom Blade over Go For The Throat or Victim of the Night?


I could actually see Leak removed (Remand was the only 'counter' in the old builds) for something else, probably Despise or Distress? Maybe Smallpox, in your Solemn Simulacrum build. My original list isn't all that tap-out, so I think Leak still does a decent job there. 



Doomblade over throat is just a meta call, I see alot more wormcoils than grave titans in my area, as well as a few Tezz lists, of course that could all change come rotation.

I could maybe see distress but it doesnt feel great, I really just wish they would have reprinted duress, that would have been just fine.  I wasnt too happy with despise before, but i suppose that could be more playable after rotation as well.  I will keep an open mind on it.

Thanks for the thoughts, I will keep working, Gideons pretty good in here by the way, does so many good things for the deck, not the least of which is protecting lilly for the last turn or two before she goes nuclear.
Smallpox  deserves a place in this deck. Just because flagstones is gone doesn't mean the card is unplayable. There were plenty of times you'd want to cast it without a flagstones in play in metas past.

I intend to use Smallpox in a more black centric build. I'll obviously keep alchemy, think twice, day, o-ring. 

I also don't understand the hate for Despise. It reads as B, remove wincon(titan, pw) from your opponents hand. 

Also, in this 3 color black deck where are the Dismembers? 

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Dismember can go over GFTT, I just wanted the ability to kill Sphinx at instant speed.
I'm a really big fan of running a creature base like

3-4 Snapcaster Mage
1 Fiend Hunter
2-4 Solemn Simulacrum
4-5 Fatties

And allowing Unburial Rites to serve as much stronger utility. Not that I'd want to focus on the reanimator aspect vs the control aspect, but allowing it to function as '4WB, Exile this from your graveyard: Put a Nekrataal into play' seems strong to me - especially since, if Snapcaster was in your graveyard, you've either already gotten value out of it or dumped it for value from a Forbidden Alchemy or Liliana. Fiend Hunter is a little cute, and could be totally unnecessary, but it also lets Unburial Rites turn into a Faceless Butcher, and is strong with Sun Titan. Not including Phantasmal Image is probably just wrong on my part, though.

Overall, I just think that Solemn feels perfect here for fixing mana and getting value, and Snapcaster ties in perfectly with what the deck wants to do. I imagine that to make room for the utility creatures, the deck would cut into the fatties and Think Twice, plus the more expensive mana rocks (I still think Sphere of the Suns would be necessary).

MrIndigo, do you think Ponder is good enough to play alongside Snapcaster? I realize it's not nearly as strong as Preordain, but does it get better when you use your Snapcaster with it later to dig?

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I'm not a fan of Ponder here. Control decks shouldn't normally play Ponder or Preordain on Turn 1 anyway, and late game you have better ways to dig.

With that in mind, Snapcaster is still playable (7 removal cards, 4 counters without flashback), but for the moment I don't think he's all that necessary.
@Cat: you have rites, then the alchemy and think Twice. Liliana is just a CA and removal engine in combination with that core.
I feel a little dirty calling this Solar Flare without Britney Spears, but I'm loving the premise for the deck. I've been testing a BW deck that uses the synergy between Liliana and Unburial Rites, and it is pretty brutal. I could see myself taking the deck in this direction eventually, so thanks for saving me a few steps. Once I have a list and some testing results, I'll post them.
Here's my rough outline of what I would like my list to look like:

Spells: 26
4x Think Twice
4x Forbidden Alchemy
4x Dream twist
4x Unburial Rites
3x Liliana of the Veil
4x Mana Leak
3x Oblivion Ring

Creatures: 8
1x Jin Gitaxis
4x Sun Titan
3x Phantasmal Image

Lands: 26
4x Seachrome Coast
4x Glacial Fortress
3x Darkslick Shores
2x Isolated Chapel
2x Drowned Catacombs
1x Ghost Quarter
2x Swamp
3x Plains
5x Island

Sideboard:
3x Go For the Throat
2x Day of Judgment
2x Ratchet Bomb
4x Mental Misstep
3x Divine Offering
1x Snapcaster Mage

The idea is to mill yourself and then hopefully chain a turn 4 Sun Titan off of Unburial rites into a Phantasmal Image into an O ring or Liliana. Suggestions would be great.

Edit: formatting
Smallpox  deserves a place in this deck. Just because flagstones is gone doesn't mean the card is unplayable. There were plenty of times you'd want to cast it without a flagstones in play in metas past.

I intend to use Smallpox in a more black centric build. I'll obviously keep alchemy, think twice, day, o-ring. 

I also don't understand the hate for Despise. It reads as B, remove wincon(titan, pw) from your opponents hand. 

Also, in this 3 color black deck where are the Dismembers? 



I would be interested to see a smallpox build, i have always loved that card

I will say after further testing against other post rotation decks I have severely softened my opinion on despise, it never really did it for me before, but it seems more effective in the new standard than it was in the old, I will be maindecking 4 for a while at lease.

I am actually considering a build without Liliana myself, while all of Indigo's reasonings make sense, I am thinking that all of those cards would be better served to be played from hand and then flashbacked for more value.  Also, in testing I often found myself without a card i wanted to pitch.

For reference, tomorrow i will be testing this

24 land

4 sphere of the suns
4 solumn

4 despise
3 day of judgement
3 o ring
4 alchemy
3 unburial rites
2 doomblade
1 blue suns zenith

2 Gideon

2 consecrated sphinx
2 wurmcoil engine
1 grave titan
1 sheoldred

Will most likely play some countermagic in the board

I may decide Lilly needs to go back in, but this list looks pretty good to me at this point

I feel a little dirty calling this Solar Flare without Britney Spears, but I'm loving the premise for the deck. I've been testing a BW deck that uses the synergy between Liliana and Unburial Rites, and it is pretty brutal. I could see myself taking the deck in this direction eventually, so thanks for saving me a few steps. Once I have a list and some testing results, I'll post them.


then play frost titan for a similiar effect.  frost titan isn't out of the question for playability or anything.

i'm not a fan of the sun titan/image inclusion by some.  i think its cute, but really not that great.  i'd much rather just use things like grave ****, consecrated sphinx, wurmcoil, and maybe frost titan.

the mana base is really going to be a hassle to properly figure out, i think.  there are a lot of double colored spells wanted early on for any given color (except blue, but you still want early blue mana).

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

I produce Dubstep and House beats:

https://soundcloud.com/burning_forest

 

Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

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Image might be a little too cute, as I've yet to test it, but I would much rather be recurring Sun Titan than the gravy train in most situations. Sure Gravy puts 10 power on the field, but I honestly feel that Sun Titan makes for a better board position. At his best he puts 12 power on the board and hits a permanent, and at his absolute worst he starts ramping, which honestly is fine given the amount of playables in your yard.
4x Chancellor of the Annex
1x Sheoldred
1x Elesh Norn
1x Sun Titan
1x Grave Titan
1x Frost Titan
1x Phyrexian Obliterator

3x Smallpox
4x Mana Leak
3x Despise
2x Dismember
2x Day of Judgment
3x Oblivion Ring

4x Liliana of the Veil
4x Forbidden Alchemy

4x Sphere of the Suns
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