BWR Double-Date

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So, this is a deck that I came up with starting with Shaheen Soorani's Esper Planeswalkers deck that LSV and a few MODO people have been playing recently. I came up with it after seeing a BWR Control deck by another user of this forum (Cranial Distraction). I've been finding it remarkably successful online so far, so in case you didn't see it in his thread, I'm going to repost it here for you.

// Lands
5 [UNH] Swamp
3 [SOM] Blackcleave Cliffs
2 [UNH] Mountain
3 [UNH] Plains
3 [COM] Evolving Wilds
1 [INN] Stensia Bloodhall
1 [DKA] Vault of the Archangel
2 [M11] Dragonskull Summit
4 [INN] Isolated Chapel
2 [INN] Clifftop Retreat

// Win Cons
1 [M12] Grave Titan (or Sun Titan, or Olivia Voldaren)
1 [M12] Sorin's Vengeance
1 [NPH] Batterskull (or Wurmcoil Engine)

// Card Advantage
3 [NPH] Despise
4 [DKA] Lingering Souls
4 [NPH] Tezzeret's Gambit

// Removal
2 [INN] Curse of Death's Hold
1-2 [MBS] Go for the Throat
1-2 [DKA] Tragic Slip
1 [INN] Sever the Bloodline
2 [NPH] Volt Charge
3 [M11] Day of Judgment

// The Couples
2 [DKA] Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
3 [INN] Liliana of the Veil
2 [M12] Chandra, the Firebrand
2 [ROE] Gideon Jura

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [INN] Curse of Death's Hold
SB: 1 [NPH] Batterskull
SB: 1 [NPH] Karn Liberated
SB: 3 [SOM] Ratchet Bomb
SB: 3 [MPR] Celestial Purge
SB: 4 [DKA] Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 2 [SOM] Memoricide/Witchbane Orb

This deck is a bit of a monster. It basically wrings card advantage out of the Planeswalkers and their various synergies. Lingering Souls gives you blockers to protect the Planeswalkers while they build up, with a bunch of sweepers and removal to help out. Gideon and Liliana both act as removal and trumps against Aggro decks, while also protecting Chandra and Sorin. Chandra multiplies your removal, and ramps up your other Planeswalkers with Tezzeret's Gambit or Volt Charge, giving sick CA.

Your wins are pretty flexible - most of the work is usually done by the Planeswalkers, so you really just want a few cards that you can just slam and end the game in 1 turn or so. I've won several games just by stalling with Planeswalker attrition and then just drawing a Sorin's Vengeance with a Chandra on the field for GOOD GAME BRO, but you Vengeance is just a huge turnaround as the lategame begins. I prefer Grave Titan over the other options because you don't have a huge amount of red mana for Olivia, so you're a little reliant on stealing other creatures and she's a little fragile. I prefer not to be dependent on my opponent doing something to win, so I've gone for Grave Titan because he's a two-turn clock (Plus, Turn 6 Grave Titan, Turn 7 attack for 10, Sorin's Vengeance GOOD GAME BRO). I also prefer Batterskull to Wurmcoil because it can attack without leaving your Planeswalkers exposed, comes down faster against Aggro decks, and has a bit of synergy with the Lingering Souls tokens.

You beat Aggro fairly handily, you have to draw poorly AND they need to draw really well to beat you. Control is harder - the sideboard plan for UB Control is to bring in Grafdigger's Cages to shut down their CA, and then rely on your must-counters to kill them before they can Drownyard you out. You can also play tricksy with the Lingering Souls; if they see Souls and Sorin, sideboard the Souls out so their Curses are dead. If they don't see them, leave them in and go beatdown.

You can do a lot of sickening things with this deck. One memorable game went:

Turn 1: Nothing.
Turn 2: GFTT on their guy at EOT.
Turn 3: Liliana, discard Lingering Souls [4 loyalty].
Turn 4: Chandra, ping their guy [4 loyalty], discard something with Liliana [5 loyalty].
Turn 5: -2 Chandra, Tezzeret's Gambit, draw 4 cards, -6 Liliana FoF their board. Nice 8-for-1, bro. 

This is rather intriguing. I didn't see the post with the original build Cranial Distraction posted, so I am glad you made another thread regarding this.

I'll have to either try this out on the unnamable program, or proxy up some Sorin/Chandras and give this a try.

Is it possible that Chandra may have actually finally found a home....*mind blown*

Edit: As a quick aside. How has Vault of the Archangel been working out for you? It obviously works pretty well with Lingering Souls but outside of that is it really warranted with the low amount of creatures the deck is running?

Thinking about it, I guess Lingering Souls by itself could be enough reason to play it, what with 4x Lingering Souls essentially amounting to 16 creatures by itself. Plus Grave Titan being another 3. The more that I think about it, Chandra being able to copy Lingering Souls ups the count even more.

Grave Titan certainly seems like the way to go. Sun Titan just doesn't have enough stuff to abuse. Liliana is the only thing in the main deck you would be getting back. Guess it could have some merit for the SB stuff though (Ratchet Bomb, Grafdigger's Cage). Guess it could work as a means of getting Vault/Bloodhall back should they get destroyed as well. Still doesn't seem optimal to me though
"I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God."
Way ahead, Cat.
I really like the look of this deck. It's weird because I'm not usually a fan of Superfriends variants. I like Lingering Souls though, especially when Chandra's able to copy it. Also, I really like the Proliferation theme going on in this deck. Sorin/Liliana/Chandra have some of the best ultimates of the PW's. So much card advantage.

Team PMP - Practice Makes Perfect

Team GFG - Good F***ing Game

Disclaimer: This member may or may not be associated with Team GFG in any other regard besides his admiration of its members.

Use faith in the absence of science, not in its stead.

My buddy sleeved up the version we had been working on this past week and ran it at FNM last night (I piloted mageblade). He wound up going 2-1-2 (he drew his last match, if he had won he'd have been top 8). He handily destroyed Birthing Pod and some R/G deck. He drew against Birthing Pod (last match, if he had more time he would have won) and against Venser control. His only loss came on the back of tokens; he mulled to five game one and then got Godhanded game two, bad luck.

All in all he did pretty well, he and I both love the deck. I was really frustrated with many of his play mistakes this past evening (sever the bloodline a phantasmal image...), but I have no doubt he'll pilot it better in the future. The going-to-time I don't expect to be an issue, he'll speed up his play as he gets more practice with this deck.

This is the decklist he ran:


(Yeah, Mimic Vat's been pretty great)

All in all I'm pretty pleased with my little monster and I'm really pleased to see MrIndigo's take on the deck. If I can make one suggestion, it'd be to 86 the lingering souls (play white sun's zenith instead? Sorin's emblem + WSZ won several games) and maindeck Grafdigger's, just a 2 or 3-of, it really has been amazing and looks prime for the meta.

Red Sun's Zenith is nuts, highly recommend it over the vengeance. Got six mana and are staring down an alpha strike? RSZ their wurmcoil for 1 and play day of judgment.


Maindecking the hate seems strong when Liliana +1 can recoupe the card in matchups where it's dead.

Maindecking the hate seems strong when Liliana +1 can recoupe the card in matchups where it's dead.

Yep, and it's also a great discard target when you have one on the board against a deck that can't answer it (which, game one, is almost all of them).

We're cutting a tragic slip and a mimic vat and playing white sun's zenith and olivia voldaran maindeck, changing the stensias to an inkmoth nexus (two-turn clock in the late game with 2 batterskulls main) and another ghost quarter. Stensia is pretty much just planeswalker hate, always. I think there was ONE game where that two life to the player put them within RSZ range, beyond that Stensia's pretty sub-par.

Then the sideboard is getting changed to reflect it: -1 WSZ, +1 grafdigger, bringing it up to four grafdiggers total with the same amount of WSZ in the 75.
Sblock'd because lots of thoughts mean a fairly large post, so I don't want to clutter the topic. 

Lingering Souls

Is half the reason I survive against what would otherwise be a fatal alpha strike. It basically fogs Geist for 2 turns which is usually all the time you need to either Day or stick a Gideon, it lets you ignore Messengers until you can stick a batterskull...I mean, I understand Grafdigger's means you can safely remove Geralf's, but it doesn't answer Geist, Hero of Bladehold, etc. How in the world do you deal without them? Not to mention simply having them means you won't get beaten down by an opposing control list's souls army.

White Sun's

is awesome, I don't think you'll be disappointed in it. I wish I had more to say, but...I don't!

Olivia Voldaren

is just kind of there a lot of times, she was so much better when Doom Blade was the go-to removal in the format. Don't get me wrong, she can and will get you there lots of times, but I think another part of her appeal was her casting cost; Grixis could drop her on turn 6 and have mana to deny the opponent's removal OR ping eot, whichever was required, while their opponents were stuck with 6cc sphinxes and wurmcoils.

This coming from someone who originally suggested you run her mainboard in your previous topic ... while I'm not quite sure what I'd run in her stead, at the moment I'm going to try running 2 Batterskull.

Inkmoth Nexus

provides a quicker clock... IF the opponent has no fliers to chump with, and IF we have a batterskull available AND the mana to dedicate to it. Even then, going for a kill via poison resets the opponent's clock. Think about how often your stensia bloodhall is dealt imagine if every burn spell, all black removal outside of Go For said "Destroy target stensia bloodhall." That's what you're doing by swapping the lands around here, and considering Lingering Souls is the current flavor of the month, I think this is a poor decision even barring the removal argument.

Stensia's goal here is to ensure you have a viable land that can "keep up" with Drownyards.

TL;DR : It's too easily dealt with for too little of a reward, IMO.

I'm currently using...

Land : 25
Isolated Chapel x 4
Blackcleave Cliffs x 4
Dragonskull Summit x 2
Clifftop Retreat x 2
Evolving Wilds x 3
Vault of the Archangel x 1
Stensia Bloodhall x 2
Swamp x 4
Plains x 2
Mountain x 1

Win : 6
Red Sun's Zenith x 1
Batterskull x 2
White Sun's Zenith x 1
Grave Titan x 1 
Sorin's Vengeance x 1 

Removal : 10
Tragic Slip x 1
Go for the Throat x 1
Oblivion Ring x 2
Volt Charge x 1
Day of Judgment x 4
Sever the Bloodline x 1

Walkers : 9
Liliana of the Veil x 3
Chandra, the Firebrand x 2
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad x 2
Gideon Jura x 2
Utility : 10
Despise x 3
Tezzeret's Gambit x 3
Lingering Souls x 4

Sideboard : 15
Grafdigger's Cage x 3
Celestial Purge x 3
Oblivion Ring x 1
Revoke Existence x 1
Sever the Bloodline x 1
Memoricide x 3
Ratchet Bomb x 3

This! Heavy on the win conditions? Maybe a little. It's been doing better than any list I've used so far though. Humans can still go nuts on you, Zombies is a really difficult list to deal with game one but you're slightly favored once you bring in your sideboard. Purging Geralf's Messenger feels so good I almost want to run it mainboard. Control's always a long game and no one ever feels like the winner in my experience, they're just glad when it's over. I really wish Duress or Inquisition of Kozilek was still in standard...but, all in all, I've been having a lot of fun with this list.
This deck excites me. The name is pretty snazzy too.

I think all versions should be playing RSZ.

Going to work on testing out my own version. 
WSZ should probably not be in a deck with so few white sources.  Try a titan instead.

The recent build plays 1 WSZ and 1 Olivia Voldaran maindeck, cutting a tragic slip and a mimic vat (meta calls), along with the second WSZ and Olivia Voldaran sideboard.

To edit it, we've cut a single swamp for a clifftop retreat, which ups our white count to 15 sources (well over half the manabase). White sun's zenith is largely for games that go long, and there was never a time when my friend wanted to play WSZ but didn't have the mana. By the time WSZ is a solid play, you have your entire mana base (3 white sources, 2 black sources, 1 red source) reliably, every time, and there's always ghost quartering one of your own non-basics to tutor for a plains if you have to. And sometimes you can just luck into triple white in your first five turns (not too rare) and you've got a midnight haunting for cats.

We've also cut the stensias out entirely for 1 inkmoth nexus and the third GQ. It's, again, stictly for going long with. U/B and Esper control is really not prevalent in this meta (as in, I've seen absolutely 0 in the past four tournaments), but you face random Pod and Venser control decks that you go long with in every game (even though your win percentage is like 75% or better). By the time inkmoth nexus comes online, their board is clear and either their hand is empty or their deck isn't playing instant speed removal.

As far as the lingering souls vs. grafdigger's cage argument, Midgling, you'd have to know the meta here. The decks it shuts down/hurts (U/B control, esper control, frites, pod, heartless, zombies, GSZ+strangleroot, etc) vastly outnumber the number of decks that play the mentioned cards (traft, hero) lingering souls is preventing you from dying against. It may not be right for anyone else's meta, but it's an MVP in our LSG (and is the reason we're upping to a total of 4 grafdigger's in the 75, 2 side 2 main). And if it causes us to scoop to g1 humans (which one player plays), well, that's a percentage chance we'd rather take.
There are a few meta breaker decks that I know you guys may not have played against based on the meta in your local area but i was going ask specifically about a match-up against a Jace mill deck. the list is something like this off the top of my head (there will be cards missing seeing as it's from my memory...):

23 Lands


4 Snapcaster Mage


4     Ponder
3     Think Twice
3-4  Dissipate
4     Mana Leak
4     Day of Judgment
3-4  Oblivion Ring


2-3 Gideon Jura
4    Jace, Memory Adept

I was curious as to how the match up would go, hypothetically. Also, I know it is in fact a metabreaker deck but is possible, a list of possible SB cards from game two would be fantastic as well. Finally, I have piloted the deck a few times but have yet to see any outsie the box decklists for it to face.
This deck would struggle with a mill-centric deck like that; in much the same veins as UB Control beats other Control decks.

However, I think if you employed a similar SB strategy with aggressive cards backed up by Grafdigger's Cage and Witchbane Orbs, it shouldn't be unwinnable.

Any updates from people playing with this deck? I've been flat out with practice court hearings and assignments and ethics lectures et cetera all week and haven't got a chance to pick up a Magic card other than the one I'm using as a bookmark (and it's only a rules card). 
Man, about the same as my week. 

I got a chance to test a couple matches, which wound up being UB Zombies and UB Heartless.  Both matchups seemed favorable. 

Beat Zombies 2-0 off Spirit blocking, Days into Curse into Gideon.  Game 2 Purge from the board made the matchup stupid.

Heartless (2-1) was scarier, but after resolving Curse on top of his Heartless, I had most of his utility stuff within Tragic Slip range and adequate removal for big things.  Was a land topdeck away from firing off a reverbed Vengeance, but drew Sorin instead and Chandra bought it.  Flashbacked flying tokens and Sorin's emblem got there.  He got me game two off double Ratchet Bomb, blowing my tokens and Sorin, into lots of beats.  Game 3 I drew all three Celestial Purges within like the first five turns.  Silliness.

My impression is that this is positioned very well against the meta.  It does really well against aggro and other midrange, with unreasonable amounts of grindiness and removal.  Even Frites seems like a good matchup because this packs so much removal and steadier wincons.  Walkers are just hard for most decks to be cleanly rid of.
More curious to see how this does against Tokens or UB Control.

catowner wrote:
Welcome to 2012. Blue has the most efficient creatures, black has the all-in monocolored aggro deck, the most controlling deck in the format is green-red, control decks lose to aggro in attrition wars, and counterspells aren't an answer to fatties.
Islands wrote:
Pack Rat is like Bitterblossom and Tarmogoyf had a black baby.
I've been testing a slightly modified version of this deck over the past week and I'm really excited to play it in FNM tonight. I haven't played any boarded games yet though.

I played against U/B Zombies and didn't have too many issues. I have 2 cages and 2 curses maindeck (meta call) so when I draw either of them and don't get mana-screwed/flooded I usually win pretty easily. The person I am playing against didn't want to pay for Phantasmal Images so he has Phyrexian Metamorphs instead. His copying my Grave Titan or Batterskull is annoying, but I usually manage to deal with it.

I also played against a U/W human/delver deck. As long as I survived the early storm of mirran crusaders and geist, I won every game. One game I even managed to pull off landing both Curses on him. Chandra pinging a Dungeon Geist to death is hilarious. The black sun's and red sun's were very helpful in this match-up.

This deck seems like a monster and is a ton of fun to play. I'm also testing out Bloodgift Demon in the deck in place of a 2nd Batterskull and I have a Sun Titan in the board right now for recursion of cage and ratchet bombs. The Bloodgift Demon was put in because I was thinking about U/B control and this was as close to Consecrated Sphinx as I could get and I'm loving him when I draw it. Will post more after FNM tonight.
My friend and I playtested this a bit ago. We playtested the new "Lingering Peasants" WBR deck against it. Lingering Peasants won handily game 1 on a god draw and then got its teeth kicked in in perpetuity post-board.

We then playtested two versions of my Delver deck against it (mage-blade and delver humans). It wiped the floor with both decks pre-board (I didn't bother sideboarding.)

U/B Control we haven't tested enough against. With the new sideboard/maindeck we're up to: 3 Ghost Quarters, 2 Olivia Voldaren, 2 Bloodline Keeper, 3 Liliana, 2 Chandra, 2 Sorin, 2 Gideon Jura, 2 White Sun's Zenith, 2 Red Sun's Zenith, 2 Batterskull and 1 Inkmoth Nexus. That's 20 threats + 3 GQ (to kill their Nephalias) in our 75 that we cram into the mainboard against hard control matchups, and it actually has a fairly solid curve for dropping threats turn-after-turn. So we feel good about the matchup, just haven't playtested it enough yet to give any real numbers.

Buddy's excited to play this tonight at FNM, I'll report after. 
Just a random idea, how do you guys feel about inferno titan as a potential finisher if room could be found? I think he has potential, but I don't know if I'd rather have Sun Titan as my backup titan for the vigilance and recursion. Thoughts?
I think at this point we need to start sleeving this up; tourney results tonight should help. In the meantime, we need to come to a general consensus on the core of the deck. IMO, the undebatable core is:

Batterskull x 1
Grave Titan x 1
Sorin's Vengeance x 1

Liliana of the Veil x 3 
Chandra, the Firebrand x 2
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad x 2
Gideon Jura x 2

Day of Judgment x 3
Black Sun's Zenith x 1
Oblivion Ring x 2 

Walker Support
Tezzeret's Gambit x 3

These cards are virtually unanimous across all versions of the deck. The sooner we agree on a working core, the more accessible this deck will be for potential newcomers. Looking forward to tonight's results everyone, I actually will not be able to participate. Hopefully in 2 weeks I'll have everything ready to go, but until then I will continue testing with proxies. I will edit this post tonight with my new list and results of playing against some friends who are rocking UB control, zombies, and RDW.
Chandra + Olivia Voldaren + Red Sun's Zenith is 6 cards. And imo they're both really worth it and the red is a very easy splash.
Of the core cards Midgling said, I didn't have any O-rings in the deck, but I'm changing that.. That's just personal preference. I went 3 - 2 tonight losing to a Mono-black zombie build that took first (bad draws, deck never really went online) and a ridiculously obnoxious mono-white human deck that was chock full of Honor the Pure, Fiend Hunters and O-rings. Human decks are a bad match-up for us. I thowmped a U/B zombie deck and a RDW deck tonight and my 3rd win came by default because my opponent dropped to Draft.

I decided the bloodgift demon, vault, and tragic slip weren't doing enough. I'm also loving Red Sun's Zenith. Just so good. Also, gonna try Gather the Townsfolk over Lingering Souls because I can use them turn 2 and since I have the Cages main I usually don't get to flash it back.

Build I'm looking at testing now is:


4 Swamp
4 Plains
1 Mountain
4 Isolated Chapel
3 Blackcleave Cliffs
2 Dragonskull Summit
2 Clifftop Retreat
2 Ghost Quarter
2 Evolving Wilds
1 Stensia Bloodhall

2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
2 Chandra, the Firebrand
2 Gideon Jura
3 Liliana of the Veil

1 Grave Titan
1 Sun Titan
1 Sorin's Vengeance
1 Batterskull

3 Day of Judgment
2 Black Sun's Zenith
2 Red Sun's Zenith
1 Sever the Bloodline
2 Oblivion Ring

2 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Spellskite
3 Despise
3 Tezzeret's Gambit
2 Gather the Townsfolk

3 Ratchet Bomb
2 Revoke Existence
3 Celestial Purge
1 Witchbane Orb
2 Memoricide
3 Curse of Death's Hold
1 Karn Liberated

Edited post and made some more changes after thinking some.
I'm also still toying with the idea of Inferno Titan in the deck as a potential finisher. Thoughts?
I was looking earlier and considering dropping red myself...but really we can splash into any of the 3rd colors with ease. I think this is a matter of evaluating our choices.

Red gives us
Volt Charge                     Walker support and removal all in one
Chandra, the Firebrand   Great walker
Red Sun's Zenith             Awesome finishwer
Olivia Voldaren                 Pretty good but very situational
Inferno Titan                    Meh dude
Stensia Bloodhall             Most Solid alt win con land for us IMO
Koth of the Hammer        I WISH we could make this guy work ... would solve all our issues against control once and for all
Shrine of Burning Rage    I'm currently using this mainboard in my rites deck and it is amazing, but without faithless / all the burn I'm not sure it'd be worth it at all here

Blue gives us
Snapcaster Mage            Would be freaking amazing
Forbidden Alchemy          Love it, would take 2 of it to support gambit, this would let us dig deep for whatever we need 
Think Twice                     Not so sure we could justify it along with gambit
Mana Leak etc.                I'm not sure how this would help us believe it or not
Consecrated Sphinx        Could help against the control match up, but will most likely be too easily dealt with since we can't recur him
Nephalia Drownyard        Which is irrelevant for us IMO
Phantasmal Image          Could be good along with a sun titan, gives us more recursion targets
Tezzeret's Gambit            Becomes playable without pinging yourself; worth mentioning, nothing more
Jace, Memory Adept         Bleeeeeeeeh... no
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas  No way to make him work here 

Green gives us
Garruk Relentless       Great walker, supports token theme reinforces our removal suite, his ult would be pretty okay for this deck IMO, lots of tokens
Thrun, the Last Troll   Awesome anti control guy that doubles as a really fat dude for aggro to deal with
Beast Within               Lets us deal with lands as well as... well... anything
Primeval Titan             Don't see him being as good as Sun, Grave, or even Inferno here
Kessig Wolf Run         Strangely enough I think this would be a house, turning all our tokens into lethal threats
Corrosive Gale           Without having to ping ourself; worth mentioning, nothing more

IMO, in short

Red : Offers a more versatile removal suite that should help you deal with zombies more effeciently, as well as providing you with a walker that's strong against control ; balanced color

Blue : Sacrifices your 4th planeswalker to gain more card advantage and a way to interact with your graveyard via the best 2 CC creature ever, Snapcaster Mage. Access to counters out of the side

Green : Offers additional ways to target enemy lands, the ultimate anti-control creature, and a walker that can chew through enemy mobs or help you make an army of your own.

I'm going to at least try the green splash version and let you all know how it goes.  
Midgling, I debated about dropping red as well, but in the end I thought it was our best shot (and I can't afford the lands for blue). I think you underestimate blue as our 3rd color. The mana-leak helps us survive the early game as we prepare for the later game carnage. Dissipate would help against zombies, but I think you nailed the rest perfectly. Green would be meh I think. The Garruk would be nice, but I think Chandra helps us more. If we wanted token makers we could use Elspeth and not have to change colors for us. I think Prime Time helps more than you give him credit for because the extra lands could alleviate any mana-fixing issues, thins the deck some more, and makes it easier to Black Sun's for more or Sorin's Vengeance earlier. Also, keep in mind that Kessig Wolf Run costs red too, so if you cut out red for it, we wouldn't be able to use it.

I think Red is our best third color because it let's us take advantage of Red Sun's Zenith (which has recently become one of my more favored removal spells, just wish it was instant) and Chandra for pinging small dudes and copying bigger spells like Gambit, Red Sun's, or Sorin's Vengeance.

I'm interested to see how your other testing goes Midgling, keep us posted.
Guys, keep up.

If you're adding blue, you should just play Shaheen Soorani's list, which is where I got the BWR idea from in the first place. 
Did not like the way green played out at all. Not being able to use Wolf Run killed half of the interest I originally had in the first place. 

This is a pretty bold statement I'm about to make, but whatever: I feel like Shaheen's list runs too many single-target removal spells, and the wrong ones at that. The lack of O Ring in both the MB and the SB is IMO a major oversight. Dissipate is too strong to ignore, while Curse of Death's Hold seems vastly inferior to Black Sun's Zenith for this deck's play style. Grave Titan is far too bomby not to use, and being able to protect him (Or bluff protecting him) through counterspells is always awesome. Snapcaster is insane. I do think I like this one better than the splash r version but it may be the "newness" of it talking. I'll keep you up to date. 

Land : 25
Darkslick Shores x 1
Seachrome Coast x 4
Evolving Wilds x 3
Glacial Fortress x 1
Drowned Catacomb x 2
Isolated Chapel x 4
Swamp x 5
Plains x 3
Island x 2

Creatures : 4
Consecrated Sphinx x 1
Grave Titan x 1
Snapcaster Mage x 2

Removal : 9 
Go for the Throat x 1
Black Sun's Zenith x 1
Oblivion Ring x 2
Day of Judgment x 4
Sever the Bloodline x 1

Stuff : 15
Think Twice x 3
Mana Leak x 3
Tezzeret's Gambit x 1
Forbidden Alchemy x 2
Lingering Souls x 3
Dissipate x 1
Batterskull x 1
Sorin's Vengeance x 1

Walkers : 7
Liliana of the Veil x 3
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad x 2 
Gideon Jura x 2 

Side :15
Grafdigger's Cage x 3
Negate x 1
Ratchet Bomb x 3
Revoke Existence x 1
Celestial Purge x 2
Oblivion Ring x 1 
Dissipate x 1
Geist of Saint Traft x 3 
I can't afford to go Blue so I'm going to keep tinkering with W/B/R and try to make it work better. So far the changes I've made (posted my latest list) have seemed to help a lot. Played 5 or 6 games against U/B zombies yesterday and only lost one game because of a questionable keep and only drawing lands. The Oblivion Rings, Gather the Townsfolk, and Spellskites helped a lot in letting me weather the early storm and then stabilize my assualt in the later turns. I popped off so many Planeswalker ultimates and Sun Titan recurrance can be downright silly. Hell, I even managed to Chandra + double Sorin's Vengeance in 2 games because I had that much board dominance and could afford to toy with my opponent some. Red Sun's Zenith is still a monster in this deck, both as a finisher and as a way of dealing with undying creatures like Geralf's Messengers.
Is it a horrible idea to try to find a spot in the maindeck for Karn?
Is it a horrible idea to try to find a spot in the maindeck for Karn?

Kind of. If you're going to play a seven drop, probably just play Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite instead. With so little ramp in the deck, seven drops can be a little sub-optimal since by the time you hit turn 7 you should be well on your way to stabilizing and ready to shift into aggro mode (which is where Elesh Norn comes in.)
I figured as much. Here lately I've just had this urge to actually make use of Karn instead of him just warming the bench in the board. There is only one U/B control deck in my meta so he doesn't see much play. I guess I'll just keep him in the board after all because by the time I could play him I should have either won, be playing Sorin's Vengeance, cranking out Titan beatface, or playing cards to hold on that one or two extra turns that lets me win. I can't afford an Elesh Norn sadly.
Been noodling around with a hybrid of the older Junkwalkers lists and MrIndigo's ideas.  Curse is stupid good, and I like the Gravey+Batterskull blackup plan.  Despise is interesting, but I'm not sure I'll wind up keeping it.  Third Gid, fourth Day/Gambit are awfully tempting.

3 Liliana of the Veil
2 Gideon Jura
3 Garruk Relentless
2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

4 Lingering Souls
3 Day of Judgment
3 Despise
3 Tezzeret's Gambit
2 Curse of Death's Hold
2 Oblivion Ring
3 Tragic Slip
2 Go for the Throat
1 Beast Within
1 Grave Titan
1 Batterskull

3 Evolving Wilds
4 Isolated Chapel
3 Woodland Cemetery
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Swamp
4 Plains
2 Forest
1 Gavony Township

1 Curse of Death's Hold
1 Ratchet Bomb
2 Sever the Bloodline
3 Celestial Purge
1 Batterskull
2 Autumn's Veil
2 Surgical Extraction
3 Grafdigger's Cage

Some reasoning for green:

Garruk is really good.  He's better removal than Chandra and also makes tokens, but you don't get the same explosive plays Chandra allows.  I do like that you can pitch a token to find Gravey with Garruk. 

I'm also trying a Gavony Township instead of Vault.  If Sorin's emblem is good, Township is insane.  It's a much stronger game-ender than Vault.

Ultimately not sure green's better than red, as there are strong merits to both colors.  I'll see how it goes.

Otherwise, it needs a third Gideon main.  He's the all-star of these decks.

I actually kinda like the Elesh Norn idea as well.  Might mess with that.

Seems like we'll need a BW/x planeswalker control thread at some point, but meanwhile hope you don't mind my plunking down a green version for discussion/comparison.

catowner wrote:
Welcome to 2012. Blue has the most efficient creatures, black has the all-in monocolored aggro deck, the most controlling deck in the format is green-red, control decks lose to aggro in attrition wars, and counterspells aren't an answer to fatties.
Islands wrote:
Pack Rat is like Bitterblossom and Tarmogoyf had a black baby.
Love the list Owl, really. I feel like such a dolt for forgetting Gavony Township. A few things. 

Random Thoughts

1) I've found a lot of struggles against UB control. As such, I think a single copy of Thrun, the Last Troll is a good choice. He's also a huge sponge against a lot of aggro decks, and he doesn't care to step in front of Geist even with an honor of the pure on the field. 

2) Elspeth Tirel was an all star in old school Gavony lists. She's awesome here, too, and really gives control a lot of problems. I think she deserves some testing. If she doesn't work out she'll become Gideon number 3 because I agree completely with you; there are so many games I had no business winning where I dropped Gideon turn 5 and he just auto won for me.

3) Curse of Death's Hold just ... time and time again it underwhelms me, most of all when I have it in the mainboard. 

4) Despise is great. It helps a ton in the mirror, ensuring your walkers are the ones that stick, not theirs. It devastates zombie lists; forcing them to pitch Geralf's Messenger usually puts you in a good position to use Day of Judgment, while forcing them to pitch Diregraf Ghoul or Phyrexian Obliterator are also pretty devastating. I like it better than Tragic Slip, for sure. Humans don't like losing their Geists, either. 

5) 3 Gambit feels right. I wish Sign in Blood was still legal, I'd run 2 of it to supplement the Gambits, but oh well. 4 of them just feels like too much life loss. 

6) Elesh Norn seems win-more here. Outside of alpha strikes, I feel like a 2nd Grave Titan or a Sun Titan would be the wiser choice.

7) Township is nuts, I think we need 2 of it.

Proposed B/W/g List

Land : 25
Woodland Cemetery x 3
Isolated Chapel x 3
Razorverge Thicket x 4
Evolving Wilds x 3
Sunpetal Grove x 1
Gavony Township x 2
Swamp x 4
Plains x 3
Forest x 2

Win : 4
White Sun's Zenith x 1
Thrun, the Last Troll x 1
Batterskull x 1
Grave Titan x 1

Planeswalkers : 10
Liliana of the Veil x 3
Garruk Relentless // Garruk, the Veil-Cursed x 3 
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad x 2
Gideon Jura x 2 
Elspeth Tirel x 1

Removal : 11
Tragic Slip x 1
Go for the Throat x 1
Black Sun's Zenith x 1
Oblivion Ring x 2
Beast Within x 1
Sever the Bloodline x 1
Day of Judgment x 4

Utility : 11
Despise x 3
Lingering Souls x 4
Tezzeret's Gambit x 3

Sideboard : 15
Tragic Slip x 1
Grafdigger's Cage x 3
Celestial Purge x 3
Revoke Existence x 1
Oblivion Ring x 1
Sever the Bloodline x 1
Curse of Death's Hold x 3
Batterskull x 1
Elspeth Tirel x 1

Against aggro you're packing
A Batterskull, 5 global removals, 3 mainboard single target exile removal, 3 mainboard destroy single target removal, backed by 9 planeswalkers that poo all over aggro's gameplan 

Against control, you're packing
A planeswalker that tutors for their archnemesis, White Sun's Zenith, 6 token-generating planeswalkers, 4 Lingering Souls and a White Sun's, Grave Titan, and Batterskull 

For the mirror, you're packing
5 Global removal, 3 Despise to hit their planeswalkers, 3 mainboard spells that can be aimed at planeswalkers, and hopefully enough cards with potentail lifegain to get you out of "Chandra -2 Sorin's Vengeance trolllolololol"

Should a combo deck pop up, we're in color to run

Needless to say, I love this deck, regardless of the splashed color

I'm developing a build that leverages Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Massacre Wurm, Curse of Death's Hold, and Dead Weight (+Sun Titan combo). It also has like six ramp artifacts to get there faster. I'm enjoying it so far, but we'll see how it does at FNM before I make any reports. I really like the additive interactions of -x/-x abilities. I did cut the splash so it's just planeswalker control, dunno if this is really the thread for mentioning this new take but anyway! We'll see how it goes.
Thanks for your thougts Midgling, some very good points and awesome additions.  I'm just afraid of going that low on the point removal to make room, since it keeps things reasonable until you stabilize.

Despise is better than I'm giving it credit for, thanks for the reality check. 

Looove Curse though, it's such a meta killer.  It just shuts down so many plans, to include the mirror.  Delver hates it, half of Frites' plan hates it, Humans, Zombies, G/x, etc.  In testing I've resolved it after a Day and gotten a couple concessions that way.  Leaves so many decks with nothing to do, or just puts things in Slip/Garruk shooting range (or Chandra pinging range in red).  I'm thoroughly in lurv with it.

I like Elspeth as an option, and even more with Township.  WSZ is pretty nifty.  Don't know if I'll do it, but I like the lategame "surprise I win" and the flash block army.  Again, most good with Township.  You make a fine case there.  I'll have to give both those additions a whirl.

Nice call on Thrun.  I'll still probably maindeck Batterskull, but a troll in the board is worth two, uh, not in the board.  Certainly it's universal enough to MD, though.

Yeah, really into this deck right now.  I'll definitely enjoy comparing testing notes/thoughts to get this tuned.  I'll mess around with BWR some more as well.

*EDIT, @Cranial, mayhaps a tad different than the gist of GW/x walkers, but I'd love to see a list in the Deck Help thread.

catowner wrote:
Welcome to 2012. Blue has the most efficient creatures, black has the all-in monocolored aggro deck, the most controlling deck in the format is green-red, control decks lose to aggro in attrition wars, and counterspells aren't an answer to fatties.
Islands wrote:
Pack Rat is like Bitterblossom and Tarmogoyf had a black baby.
Adding on to the list of possible win-cons, has anyone tried Sword of War And Peace? It plays fantastic for me with all of the tokens we generate, however I would agree that the protections aren't the greatest for the current meta of U/B or whatever.

Nonetheless, the life-gain we snatch and extra damage gives us some heavily early power that stays even after a boardwipe like our Day of Judgment. Besides that, I don't see a lot of specifically artifact hate in my meta but if it does come out of the side, I can just side out my single copy for a Grave Titan or something of the sort.
Batterskull is generally going to be superior to SoWaP since it makes its own body and actually has lifelink. SoWaP requires you to get into the red zone, whereas Batterskull can just sit there and gain life by shipping (doesn't care if it's chumped) while being a primo defender with vigiliance.

With lingering souls, oring, liliana (and in my version, blade splicers), your three drop slot is pretty clogged as it is. There's very few cases when you're going to have time/want to drop this between turns 3-5, and by the mid/late game batterskull is going to be strictly better.
Awesome, thanks for the reply :D time to take out the Sword from my version for the batterskull!
So, I absolutely hate when people do this, but a new card just got spoiled ... 


Terminus 4WW


Put all creatures to the bottom of their owner's libraries.

Miracle W 

And I squee'd so hard. This seems awesome, and I will replace my copies of black sun's zenith with this.  Also don't let this die.  :o
So this deck, from what I have seen, is A: really expensive (Get what you pay for), B: quite amazing, and C: hard to play? (Since I have yet to playtest it).

So I say how mrindigo played it, but it really is not sinking in.
Is the very basic (and idiotified) concept is to delay until you can play the fatties?


It's a tap-out control deck. Basically you just play the most powerful spell you can every turn. Keeping in mind that power level is subjective given the board state. Not a whole lot of decision making after you get a couple runs with it to see how the synergy works and all that.
I playtested it, and it is pretty nice. I used mrindigo's list. I am dissatisfied with the mana base, as well as the fact that it takes forever to get anything. So I am gonna change it up.


Yeah, I found there were a few hiccoughs in the mana, but it was generally okay.

As far as taking too long to get anything; that's kind of the point. It's a grinding attrition deck, you just answer everything turn after turn, building up Planeswalkers and resources, until eventually your opponent misses a beat/runs out of gas, you slam down a win condition and go from there.
Aha. It barely survived U/W control (see, I know my colors ), but that lasted until T14, when I managed to play Increasing Devotion 3 times, twice from the grave. Long story on that one, but the way I see it, it needs to be a bit more aggressive, or more laid back, and more able to take a few hits. Your decklist is pretty impressive, though.
Maybe the deck would do better with Overgrown Estate colors?
I don't know about you, but I am gonna try to make one in W/B/G (there will be more extensive and careful building. This deck archetype has me determined).


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