Deck to Beat: Solar Flare

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What is Solar Flare?
Solar Flare was a deck around the Rav/TSP era where people would use a Vindicate on a stick by reanimating it, but the deck would play out as a control deck using the reanimate plan as a backup plan.


Decklists
I decided to start with decklists to give people a good idea on how the decks look like before they see the recommended cards.

To start, here is TacoMaster's list from Magic-League:



I don't remeber what changes he made (other than him telling me he added AEther Adept), but this is a really good example.

Here is one that made Top 8 at a magic-league Master (note that 5/8 of the decks were RDW in that top 8 :P):

magic-league.com/deck/72891/standard_t2.... Control165951

The forums aren't letting me c&p the deck so I'll link it :P

I would post my list, but it looks almost exactly like both those lists :P


Creatures
Jin-Gitaxias:  I will kick you in places you don't want to be kicked if you play this card.

Grave titan:  I play it, I think it is really good so i go a 2/1 sun/grave titan split.

Sun Titan:  Probably the best fatty in the deck.  Brings back Snapcasters and Lilianas <3

Consecrated Sphinx:  Still really good.  It dodges Dismember and draws cards.

Phantasmal Image:  One of my favorite plays with this deck is with this card.  Unburial Rites the Sun Titan getting back Phantasmal Image, copy titan, get back other Phantasmal Image, get back Liliana of the Veil.

Snapcaster Mage:  This guy lives up to the hype.  He is really that good in here.  There are a ton of great targets like DoJ, Doom Blade, Dissipate, Mana Leak, Surgical Extraction, GFTT, Timely Reinforcements, etc.  If you aren't playing this guy, you are doing it wrong.

Sheoldred (can't remember his (her?) whole name):  Not worth it.  The deck isn't a reanimate deck, it is a Control deck.  DON'T PLAY IT LIKE A REANIMATOR DECK (unless you get a hand that lets you, i.e. t3 alchemy hitting rites and sphinx, then you get turn 4 sphinx)!!!!

Elesh Norn:  I'm not going to go crazy about this card.  If you want to play this as a 1-of, that is fine, but I honestly wouldn't.  Getting to 7 against RDW (probably the best aggro in the new format) is hard so I'm not going to recommend it, but you can play it if you would like.  I know it can be nuts if gotten out turn 4, but how often does that honestly happen?


Spells (the ones that aren't obvious)
Unburial Rites:  I wouldn't play more than 2.  It is a great card, but the deck isn't a Reanimator deck.  However, it isn't Solar Flare without this card and the card is a really great card, but not worth having more or less than 2, especially since it has flashback.

Dissipate:  This card is amazing.  Not only does it stop flashback cards, but it also helps agains the mirror by countering their guy and they can't Reanimate it.  It also helps against RDW's Chandra's Phoenix.

Timely Reinforcements: I promise you that RDW is a real deck.  This card is really good at slowing them down.  It doesn't help against Hero of Oxid Ridge, but that card isn't that hard to deal with.

Think Twice:  Just a great card all around. It is no Preordain, but it does what I need it to do.

Oblivion Ring: Stopping Shrine of Burning Rage before the sb is very important.

Mana Leak:  Still the best counter in the format.

Removal:  Doom Blade and 1 Go for the Throat should get the job done.

Forbidden Alchemy:  4 is too many, but 3 is a great amount.  The card is really, really good.  It puts cards in the gy for us to Reanimate later AND it gives us a card.

Liliana of the Veil:  This card is amazing.  Killing their stuff and discarding cards is always good, but it can be brought back with Sun Titan, and we don't care about discarding our cards that much with having Snapcaster Mage, Sun Titan and Unburial Rites in the deck.  Her ult is just the icing on the cake.


Lands
This is where things get tricky.  These are the lands you should play, but the number of each land can and will get complicated:

Plains/Island/Swamp:  basic lands that should be played as it helps your M12/ISD Duals and gives you extra protection from Ghost Quarter.

Glacial Fortress/Isolated Chapel//Seachrome Coast:  These lands are weaker in this deck than the M12/ISD Duals which is why they shouldn't be 4-ofs.  They can be, but 2-3 of each should be plenty.


Sideboard
Things will get messy here.  There are literally dozens of sideboard options:

Stony Silence:  I recommend using this over Torpor Orb.  Torpor Orb hurts you as well, this card doesn't hurt you at all.  If you need extra Birthing Pod help, go Stony over Orb.

Mental Misstep:  RDW is a major game player, having won the magic-league Master and the only 2 trials with ISD so far, and this card stops Stormkirk Noble and Grim Lavamancer...and Furnace Scamp, etc. etc.

Dead Weight:  I like this card as it helps against RDW and you can bring it back with Sun Titan.  Just imagine if the card had flash xD

Timely Reinforcements:  At this point, if RDW is beating you postboard, you are doing it wrong.  Timely+everything else=sad RDW player.

Divine Offering- Shrine of Burning Rage, Sword of War and Peace and others, and Birthing Pod are all relevant targets.

Oblivion Ring: Reall relevant.

There are many more options as well, but these are the bread-and-butter cards in the sb.


I will be updating the "decks" section as I have family coming into town, but for now, here is the Primer  
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Want to know how to keep a moron busy? Reread this sentence to find out!
make sure you eventually include some SCG flare lists.  you might also add more to the first section explaining the deck's objectives more (the control aspect, the reanimation, etc.)

otherwise, looks good

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Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

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

 

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Looks good, though you still have a tendency to do that thing where you post personal preferences instead of an overview of the options (e.g. being strongly pro-Dissipate when the format is tending towards dropping counterspells), etc.
Finally, Esper Colors to the Max! Haha I am seriously gonna enjoy this.

So is This a proper decklist for Solar Flare?
I have not purchased this yet, since I await constructive criticism on this.
And yes, I am aware of it being Counter heavy. I intended this mainly to be control, letting me to both counter everything the enemy does while drawing into my fatties.
And I did Ponder in here because it is really good. Come on, is drawing two cards better then drawing a card and seeing your options for the next turn (take heavy draw into account)?

Not in my book.
And I will playtest this with that Grave Titan to see if he does anything better then just 3 straight Sun Titans.

That is all.
WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

Finally, Esper Colors to the Max! Haha I am seriously gonna enjoy this.

So is This a proper decklist for Solar Flare?
I have not purchased this yet, since I await constructive criticism on this.
And yes, I am aware of it being Counter heavy. I intended this mainly to be control, letting me to both counter everything the enemy does while drawing into my fatties.
And I did Ponder in here because it is really good. Come on, is drawing two cards better then drawing a card and seeing your options for the next turn (take heavy draw into account)?

Not in my book.



Actually, yes it is better to draw the extra card. Ponder is only useful in a deck with a lot of free shuffle effects, a combo deck, or a very diversified specific-answer deck. Solar Flare is none of these, and should not be running Ponder. It is a deck that overwhelms by just having more relevant cardsin the late game (thus Unburial Rites which counts as two threats, etc.); to overwhelm you need to have more resources than your opponent, not less (but specific) resources.

Solar Flare is not a permission deck in the normal sense - if you're trying to counter everything, you're not doing it right. 5 counters is a bit more than normal, but it's not really as high as I thought you meant before I looked at your list.

 EDIT: I recommend switching Tribute to Hunger over Geth's Verdict. The mana is easier in a three-colour deck, and the lifegain is more relevant than the life loss.
I've been testing out a singleton White Sun's Zenith in the maindeck as one of my bombs. It's really nice to flash all those cats in and swing almot right away, or use it for a chump blocker in a pinch, and then reuse it.
I've been testing out a singleton White Sun's Zenith in the maindeck as one of my bombs. It's really nice to flash all those cats in and swing almot right away, or use it for a chump blocker in a pinch, and then reuse it.



While I like the card, I don't think it's a good choice here.

1) Holding a bunch of mana open in this deck isn't part of the deck's main plan structure. Aside from basically telegraphing a big flash trick the moment you draw-go at someone, because you're not doing it already it doesn't actually gain you much more than just playing a main-phase Praetor or something would.

2) It doesn't synergise with the rest of the deck - You can't target it with Unburial Rites, you can't dump it into the yard with Alchemy and shuffle it back in later with Snapcaster (Flashback's exile effect overrules any other directions about where it goes except for other exile effects).
Update the deck list section with placing lists please. I would appreciate it.

-CoP
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Okay, so I replaced 1 Ponder and Geth's Verdict with 2 Tribute to Hunger.
I also replaced 2 of the Ponder with 2 more Think Twice.

I kinda find the mana consumption used by flashback cards to be a bit wasteful, but a necessary evil when you need to get to your combo/s.

I am considering putting in the SB some Azure Mage, but I would first have to assess the Meta at my local shop. I haven't been there in a bit, so the meta has probably changed since last month.

So take a look at that link again, and tell me if I should add or subtract anything from MB or SB. I feel something important missing from the deck.

And yes, I am gonna test it against some Legacy decks to see if it can survive that madness.
WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

Instead of testing against legacy, just test against std decks. That way u know what plays to make, at what time, and such. Also helps with arranging ur board options for w/e decks.
Well, I have already playtested against RDW and WRR.

I can't find any good Pod decks to play against, though.

So what are the other Archetypes to play against?
WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

 This deck is more of a tapout deck with counters supporting your late game. I played the deck at FNM the last 2 weeks and the first time I hadnt gotten to playtest but went 2-2 with it. Last night I went 3-1 getting in top 4 . My only loss was to some homebrew G/B infect. It all came down to me having a doom blade and he had a black infect creature.

It seems though that this deck folds to Wolfrun ramp. In my testing it felt like I was "getting there" but then the titan lands and out comes nexus and kessig wolf run to play. Then it seems to be all downhill from there on if you don't have enough removal.
What can this deck do against wolf run ramp without sacrificing its game plan against other major players out there? Has standard evolved to the point where it is better with no counters and just having diverse answers?
I mean I played the deck last night and nobody knew that I took out the leaks from the last FNM.So everyone spent the games trying to play around mana leak and it wasnt even there. Here is my list for reference


4 x
2 x grave titan
2 x
2 x snapcaster mage
2 x
4 x
2 x
2 x
1 x
3 x
3 x day of judgment
2 x unburial rites
2 x
4 x
4 x darkslick shores
4 x seachrome coast
2 x
3 x
3 x island
4 x swamp
5 x plains


after further testing though I have arrived at a somewhat different build.

[deck]

2 grave titan
2 phantasmal image
2 snapcaster mage
2 sun titan
1 wurmcoil engine

4 liliana of the veil

2 dismember
2 doom blade
1 go for the throat
2 oblivion ring 
3 dissipate
3 think twice
4 forbidden alchemy
3 day of judgment
2 unburial rites

4 darkslick shores
4 seachrome coast
2 drowned catacomb
4 isolated chapel
3 island
4 swamp
5 plains[/deck] 

The  only deck I fear is Wolf run with this build.
There isnt a RDW in my meta so its not something I expect to play against at my FNm but my sideboard has 4 timely reinforcements in the waiting for them.
Whats everyones plans against wolfrun?
Blue White CONTROL
Ghost Quarters, esp. with Surgical Extraction. They can't kill with the combo, and your Titans etc are better than theirs.
@Halo - there's a slight mistake in the OP in the What is Solar Flare box. Angel of Despair is a Vindicate on legs (or should that be wings?), not on a stick. The former refers to a body with a spell effect, the latter to a repeatable spell effect like Isochron Sceptre or Rod of Ruin.

So if i suspect lots of G/R wolf run then just sideboard some ghost quarters and Surgical extraction? Maybe going up to 61 with a singleton ghost quarter might help? But a pair seems more reasonable. 
 
This is my sideboard currently...


atleast this is how I remember it.
How would you make room for the cards to beat Wolf run?

Blue White CONTROL
I meant putting Ghost Quarter in the maindeck. A lot of your SB cards there look like MD leftovers, though which tends to waste SB room.
...Shredder. Your SB is terrible. That is all I can say on that.

Mrindigo: Surgical Extraction works on lands? I thought it said nonland spell...

And I played against WRR (Wolf Run Ramp). It was a very tight match up, since I MB Ghost Quarter.
RDW Was a 2-1 victory on my part. It wasn't an amazing build, though. I gotta find someone with a sturdy RDW deck to play against.

And of course, there is the matter of pod decks.
Earliest they can cast the pod is t3, yes?
I have noticed that they pack little to no removal or protection in there. Am I crazy? Or have I just not seen any of the good decks yet?
Because even with all those creatures, it still falls short against control heavy decks and Super aggro decks like Tempered Steel. (Does that deck even exist anymore?)
WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

I was with my family all of yesterday and today, so expect MAJOR changes tomorrow, including the taking down of personal lists.
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kennysmith1234, yeah, extraction can hit non-basics. I used that same tactic relatively effectively tonight.

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71235715 wrote:
What I don't get is why nobody is playing Ruinator with Sun titan....with Lilianna and Alchemys its just as good as rucuring an o-ring and 100 times better than rucurring a land....JMO
Why run a French vanilla that's impossible to cast and only comes into play if you put it in the graveyard and then get a Sun Titan? Why not just play Phantasmal Image instead?
Given my manabase then, what would you cut for 2 MD ghost quarter? A plains is one thing I think I would go with.

Well all my Sideboard slots have purpose.

elesh norn, grand cenobite couple her with a 3rd unburial rites and she can come out early and effectively shutting off the majority of my meta.
mental misstep protects me from all the GY hate that my meta claims they are packing.
timely reinforcements and day of judgment are both for all the aggro decks I see almost all the time.
Singleton oblivion ring is brought in to remove opposing garruk, primal hunter or other major cards such as birthing pod
ratchet bomb was a blowout against a tempered steel player last night, he was leaning on his opal for mana and i just blew it and a 0 drop or 2 away.
The only card I am not sure of is jin gitiaxias, core augur he just never shows up and he seems like he would mill me out quicker than I could kill my opponent with him. He gives them time to find an answer or just let me draw myself out of a library.

But I am asking for some help so what would you guys suggest I change in the side for a meta filled with
2-3 tempered steel
a few control decks including solarflare
2-3 pod decks
and some rogue aggro decks for the most part(none of which appears to be red)
also a guy at my meta is planning on running wolf run and this seems to be the most diificult matchup for me thus far.
Blue White CONTROL
I think in your list I would go -2 Plains, -1 Swamp, +3 Ghost Quarter. You're not using all that many of the need-basic lands in favour of SOMlands, and you're not running Liliana so early is not a big issue.

I would cut 1 Elesh Norn, 1 DoJ, and the Ratchet Bombs from the SB. That gives you +3 Surgical Extraction, +1 Nihil Spellbomb as a graveyard-hate package.

Surgical Extraction can't target basic lands, but it can target nonbasics. Basic lands would be retarded broken; Every deck would do things like Turn 1 Ghost Quarter, you play a Mountain tap it to cast Stromkirk Noble, I respond with Ghost Quarter, then pay 2 life and Surgical Extraction your Mountains for +3 CA and lol you never draw another land. 
...I am sorry, but I hate the SOM dual lands. I mean yeah, I can see their uses, but really, they are only good on the first few turns, and they do not show up very often then.
WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

...I am sorry, but I hate the SOM dual lands. I mean yeah, I can see their uses, but really, they are only good on the first few turns, and they do not show up very often then.



In most decks, they're better, because in the early game you need lands untapped to play your spells, and late game you have enough of them that you don't mind they're tapped.

In THIS deck, I actually agree with you; they're not that good IMO. I like having a couple, but I much prefer the alternative M12/INN duals. In this deck, I'm generally happy to play tapped lands from turns 1-3. From Turn 4 onwards, the curve starts up and being able to reliably go 4-into-5-into-6-into-7 is much more important than 1-into-2-into-3-into-4.
I think in your list I would go -2 Plains, -1 Swamp, +3 Ghost Quarter. You're not using all that many of the need-basic lands in favour of SOMlands, and you're not running Liliana so early is not a big issue.

I would cut 1 Elesh Norn, 1 DoJ, and the Ratchet Bombs from the SB. That gives you +3 Surgical Extraction, +1 Nihil Spellbomb as a graveyard-hate package.

Surgical Extraction can't target basic lands, but it can target nonbasics. Basic lands would be retarded broken; Every deck would do things like Turn 1 Ghost Quarter, you play a Mountain tap it to cast Stromkirk Noble, I respond with Ghost Quarter, then pay 2 life and Surgical Extraction your Mountains for +3 CA and lol you never draw another land. 



But I am RUNNING Liliana. I do see what your saying though I think My manabase could get away with lossing 3 basics or maybe just jumping up to 27 land.
Wolf run is now the deck to beat after all the states top 8s it is tearing down. GQ+extraction will be huge against it, but what if we could also run memoricide against the deck? Naming primeval titan slows down the tutors. In esscence slowing down the deck. A memoricide on Primeval and another on wurmcoil engine will slow the deck down exponentially it seems. But this is all too much for solar flare it seems so maybe if RG Wolf Run is going to be THE deck to beat it may be time to play a more dedicated UB control deck.

Also food for thought
A couple of my friends I playtest with often believe they have found the gamechanger for the mirror.
After you have got a sun titan on the board and returned images from the grave making 2 more titans, on your next turn drop venser and make your guys unblockable that should get you there.
This is what they say anyways.
Blue White CONTROL
Oh, I didn't see her there. Maybe -1 Seachrome instead of a Swamp, then.

Memoricide on Primeval Titan is decent against them too.

Venser's -1 is okay, but if you have the active Sun Titan-Pod chain, I don't think you really need the extra piece. 
I wonder why anyone doing UW aggro stuff is not using Venser...beside the fact that he is the C3-PO of MtG history.

So I am curious about something.
The heavy regulars I see are as follows:
Niche
Mrindigo
Nighthavk (Did I get the name right?)
BurningForest
...and that is all I can remember for regulars.
I wonder if any of you guys actually play in any competitions? Like FNM, PTQs, or even State/World.
WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

I wonder why anyone doing UW aggro stuff is not using Venser...beside the fact that he is the C3-PO of MtG history.

So I am curious about something.
The heavy regulars I see are as follows:
Niche
Mrindigo
Nighthavk (Did I get the name right?)
BurningForest
...and that is all I can remember for regulars.
I wonder if any of you guys actually play in any competitions? Like FNM, PTQs, or even State/World.



I have done in the past, but haven't been able to for a few months because of university, work, the society I co-run, and so forth. Come holiday time in a few weeks, I have to settle on a deck in paper and then spend all the money to acquire it, while searching for a grad job.
Why run a French vanilla that's impossible to cast and only comes into play if you put it in the graveyard and then get a Sun Titan? Why not just play Phantasmal Image instead?

He may be a vanilla creature but he is an earlier threat than titan and can be recurred with rites....just thinking that he is an asset that is not being looked at in addition to image
I wonder why anyone doing UW aggro stuff is not using Venser...beside the fact that he is the C3-PO of MtG history.

So I am curious about something.
The heavy regulars I see are as follows:
Niche
Mrindigo
Nighthavk (Did I get the name right?)
BurningForest
...and that is all I can remember for regulars.
I wonder if any of you guys actually play in any competitions? Like FNM, PTQs, or even State/World.



I have done in the past, but haven't been able to for a few months because of university, work, the society I co-run, and so forth. Come holiday time in a few weeks, I have to settle on a deck in paper and then spend all the money to acquire it, while searching for a grad job.



Ah. Okay. That sounds pretty awesome, actually.

Well, even though this deck is really powerful and versatile, I would recommend going with a copy of Both Solar Flare and WRR decks, so that you can assess the meta in your area and go with what's best for that night. Since either deck costs somewhere between $70-$100 (I find really cheap deals, so I can get cards for waaay less...and I am not ashamed to play using worn cards), it shouldn't be too much trouble, especially if you buy the cards for one deck on one month, and do the same for the other deck on the next month.
WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

FroMo: Skaab Ruinator can't be cast in this deck. His exile three creatures cost is impossible to pay. The only way you can get him out is using Sun Titan.

[C]Skaab ruinator[/c] is definitely out of the question in solarflare. If you must have a 3 drop creature I thought about playing geist of saint traft to speed up the deck and then later recur him but even then I think geist is pushing it.

I am looking at getting a couple memoricide in the 75 for WRR guys along with the ghost quarter+ extraction combo. Wolf Run will be a prominent deck to beat atleast til worlds I look for UB control to take hold as it did last year all the way into 2012. Just as UB rose up to beat and shame Valakut last year.

Blue White CONTROL
Double post...

After the suggestions from indigo for the most part I have retooled my decklist and SB to this...


my sideboard now looks like this
[deck]
1 nihil spellbomb
1 elesh norn, grand cenobite
3 flashfreeze
3 surgical extraction
1 day of judgment
2 sever the bloodline
3 timely reinforcements
1 unburial rites
[/deck] 
 

Is this looking better?
I thought about memoricide then realized that countering a garruk or killing/countering a titan would allow surgical extraction to act as a psuedo memoricide.
Blue White CONTROL
So this is what I'm using right now:

Creatures


Enchantments
[deck]
2 Oblivion Ring
[/deck]

Planeswalkers
[deck]
1 Gideon Jura
[/deck]

Instants/Sorceries
[deck]
1 White Sun's Zenith
4 Forbidden Alchemy
2 Think Twice
2 Doom Blade
1 Go For The Throat
1 Dismember
3 Mana Leak
2 Dissipate
1 Timely Reinforcements
2 Unburial Rites
3 Day of Judgment
[/deck]

Lands
[deck]
3 Drowned Catacomb
3 Darkslick Shores
3 Glacial Fortress
3 Isolated Chapel
2 Seachrome Coast
2 Swamp
4 Plains
6 Island
[/deck]

Sideboard
[deck]
1 Flashfreeze
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Day of Judgment
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Stony Silence
2 Timely Reinforcements
1 Divine Offering
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Mental Misstep
[/deck]

I know that my sideboard is REALLY janky. I'm probably trying to touch TOO many bases... Help with that? I also know I'm running a little counter heavy, but it's really nice to have, and Dissipate won me quite a few games late.

I found out Friday that as long as you have the 1 blue 1 black open they expect you have the mana leak and won't throw their spells out there as freely. They also expect you may have the doom blade too. This is why I switched to dissipates for my meta, as long as I bluff the leak the wait and then when they think its safe they walk right into dissipates and doom blades.


Why solemns?


Also update on my list above, I been playtesting these last few hours and have just walked all over everything I see. Not bragging just stating that I like my list. It seems real powerful and I had quite a few people concede just to a Gideon/ liliana lock down. Not dropped a game with this new list yet.

Blue White CONTROL

I found out Friday that as long as you have the 1 blue 1 black open they expect you have the mana leak and won't throw their spells out there as freely. They also expect you may have the doom blade too. This is why I switched to dissipates for my meta, as long as I bluff the leak the wait and then when they think its safe they walk right into dissipates and doom blades.


Why solemns?


Also update on my list above, I been playtesting these last few hours and have just walked all over everything I see. Not bragging just stating that I like my list. It seems real powerful and I had quite a few people concede just to a Gideon/ liliana lock down. Not dropped a game with this new list yet.


The Solemns are in there for mana fixing.
Solemn Simulacrum has no place in this deck, bro.

And how does the Gideon/Liliana combo work?
WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

Solemn Simulacrum has no place in this deck, bro.

And how does the Gideon/Liliana combo work?




Solemn can go into any controllish deck.

VCL (Volunteer Community Lead - Deck Critique (MTG)) Volunteer Community Nutritionist - (I am watching you diet, even when you think I am not.) Photobucket What my sig is based off of.
Is this a playable deck without lilliana? I'm shifting from U/W control and I don't have the money to drop on a 70 card as a 3 of. I also only have 1 snapcaster so I'm thinking of buying another and getting more with store credit if I win some games. Can I just use more Gideon's to replace the lilliana? What about jin-gitaxis, I have him, but is he really good enough to replace a consecrated sphinx? I'd appreciate any input you guys would have.


Also, how is the match up against RDW? I was playtesting, and I seemed to lose too fast. Perhaps it's pilot error, but damn is that deck fast. Also, what makes this better than U/W? Cheaper removal? They seem like such similar decks, with this being a bit faster against aggro/ramp. Thanks.