Black/White Control - Anyone remember Invasion/Odyssey? Suggestions/Criticisms Needed

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I posted this list in another thread, but I thought I'd throw it up here to get some additional feedback.  If anyone remembers the black/white control and mono-black control decks of the Invasion/Odyssey era, this has a similar feel.  I've been playtesting against r/w aggro and getting good results. Here's my breakdown:

3x Obzedat Ghost Council 
4x Geralf's Messenger
4x Restoration Angel
3x Vampire Nighthawk
3x High Priest of Penance

3x Liliana of the Veil
3x Blind Obedience 
3x Lingering Souls
4x Mutilate
2x Ultimate Price
2x Devour Flesh 
2x Underworld Connections 

4x Godless Shrine
4x Isolated Chapel
2x Cavern of Souls
12x Swamp
2x Plains

Sideboard is looking something like this (primarily for Bant Control or graveyard strategy matchups):

2x Oblivion Ring
3x Duress
3x Rest in Peace
1x Underworld Connections
2x Nevermore
4x ??? (some form of enchantment hate and something else most likely)

My primary motivation for sticking with 2 colors is Mutilate.  I believe it's the best board sweeper in standard at the moment.  On turn 4, you're usually sitting on 3 swamps, which catches Thragtusk and the little friend he leaves behind, silverblade paladins, Geist of Saint Traft, Falkenrath Aristocrat, Hellrider, and pretty much every other early game threat.  A few turns later and it's tagging Resto Angels and T.Maws (which are all coming into play tapped thanks to Blind Obedience anyways).  It sweeps mana elves and tokens away, and you don't risk losing much other than the occasional vampire nighthawk or geralf's messenger (which still gives you the benefit of his graveyard triggers). 

Do not underestimate main decking Blind Obedience. It's the difference maker in terms of living long enough to get your big guns online.  Once Obzedat starts flashing, the aggro decks are fighting an uphill battle.

Vampire Nighthawk continues to be an overperformer. Similarly, High Priest of Penance is turning in solid results.  You usually want Blind Obedience on the 2 drop, but High Priest is a good alternative.  At a minimum, he nets you a one-for-one trade, but more often than not he acts as a de facto multi-turn fog, as most people avoid attacking into him when possible.  This gives you more time to setup Liliana and Obzedat.  His one fatal flaw (in standard) is that he eats it to Tragic Slip and other damage-less removal, essentially becoming a waste of a spot.

The big downside to this list is that it's heavily reliant on hitting at least a -2/-2 (preferably -3/-3) Mutilate early to stabilze the board, and Blind Obedience is very much a crutch against RDW and various other haste nastiness. 


If anyone has some comments or criticisms, I'm all ears.  I'm still on the fence about several choices in the deck, and it's more of a rough sketch than a defined list.  It's performing surprisingly well though, given the lack of mana ramp.
I posted this list in another thread, but I thought I'd throw it up here to get some additional feedback.  If anyone remembers the black/white control and mono-black control decks of the Invasion/Odyssey era, this has a similar feel.  I've been playtesting against r/w aggro and getting good results. Here's my breakdown:

3x Obzedat Ghost Council 
4x Geralf's Messenger
4x Restoration Angel
3x Vampire Nighthawk
3x High Priest of Penance

3x Liliana of the Veil
3x Blind Obedience 
3x Lingering Souls
4x Mutilate
2x Ultimate Price
2x Devour Flesh 
2x Underworld Connections 

4x Godless Shrine
4x Isolated Chapel
2x Cavern of Souls
12x Swamp
2x Plains

Sideboard is looking something like this (primarily for Bant Control or graveyard strategy matchups):

2x Oblivion Ring
3x Duress
3x Rest in Peace
1x Underworld Connections
2x Nevermore
4x ??? (some form of enchantment hate and something else most likely)

My primary motivation for sticking with 2 colors is Mutilate.  I believe it's the best board sweeper in standard at the moment.  On turn 4, you're usually sitting on 3 swamps, which catches Thragtusk and the little friend he leaves behind, silverblade paladins, Geist of Saint Traft, Falkenrath Aristocrat, and pretty much every other early game threat.  A few turns later and it's tagging Hellriders, Resto Angels, and T.Maws (which are all coming into play tapped thanks to Blind Obedience anyways).  It sweeps mana elves and tokens away, and you don't risk losing much other than the occasional vampire nighthawk or geralf's messenger (which still gives you the benefit of his graveyard triggers). 

Do not underestimate main decking Blind Obedience. It's the difference maker in terms of living long enough to get your big guns online.  Once Obzedat starts flashing, the aggro decks are fighting an uphill battle.

Vampire Nighthawk continues to be an overperformer. Similarly, High Priest of Penance is turning in solid results.  You usually want Blind Obedience on the 2 drop, but High Priest is a good alternative.  At a minimum, he nets you a one-for-one trade, but more often than not he acts as a de facto multi-turn fog, as most people avoid attacking into him when possible.  This gives you more time to setup Liliana and Obzedat.  His one fatal flaw (in standard) is that he eats it to Tragic Slip and other damage-less removal, essentially becoming a waste of a spot.

The big downside to this list is that it's heavily reliant on hitting at least a -2/-2 (preferably -3/-3) Mutilate early to stabilze the board, and Blind Obedience is very much a crutch against RDW and various other haste nastiness. 


If anyone has some comments or criticisms, I'm all ears.  I'm still on the fence about several choices in the deck, and it's more of a rough sketch than a defined list.  It's performing surprisingly well though, given the lack of mana ramp.




Geralf's Messenger doesn't seem to synergize with the deck. The deck isn't aggressive, and messenger is a bad blocker.  

-I would put 4 blind obedience. You really want to draw it. Drawing multiples suck, but it's too important to not be 4.

-I wouldn't touch Devour Flesh with a 20 feet pole. It gives way too much of an advantage to your opponent, and too many possibilities of it being good for them. I'd rather play 2 more ultimate price, or murder.
Fair assessment on Devour Flesh.  Mutilate covers the hexproof creatures as is, and it's probably in there because I'm nostalgic for Diabolic Edict.  I'm going to veto Murder solely based on its mana cost, but there are other 1B or BB instants that would fit the role.  I haven't ruled out going with Tragic Slip for that matter.

As for Geralf's, I agree that he's an awful blocker.  His inclusion is primarily as a target for Restoration Angel and the fact that he's a fairly low casting cost.  The hard shift towards aggro strategies really benefits this list, but I'll likely move geralf's out in favor of main deck Duress should Bant/Esper Control make a comeback.
Fair assessment on Devour Flesh.  Mutilate covers the hexproof creatures as is, and it's probably in there because I'm nostalgic for Diabolic Edict.  I'm going to veto Murder solely based on its mana cost, but there are other 1B or BB instants that would fit the role.  I haven't ruled out going with Tragic Slip for that matter.

As for Geralf's, I agree that he's an awful blocker.  His inclusion is primarily as a target for Restoration Angel and the fact that he's a fairly low casting cost.  The hard shift towards aggro strategies really benefits this list, but I'll likely move geralf's out in favor of main deck Duress should Bant/Esper Control make a comeback.



What's the reasoning behind liliana?. The only way you benefit from it is by throwing lingering souls.

My primary motivation for sticking with 2 colors is Mutilate.  I believe it's the best board sweeper in standard at the moment.  On turn 4, you're usually sitting on 3 swamps, which catches Thragtusk and the little friend he leaves behind...




I'm sure you know this but in case someone else gets confused, if mutilate kills a thragtusk the resulting beast token will not be affected.

My primary motivation for sticking with 2 colors is Mutilate.  I believe it's the best board sweeper in standard at the moment.  On turn 4, you're usually sitting on 3 swamps, which catches Thragtusk and the little friend he leaves behind...




I'm sure you know this but in case someone else gets confused, if mutilate kills a thragtusk the resulting beast token will not be affected.



Reread Mutilate:  "All creatures get -x/-x ... until end of turn."  Yes, the token gets swept as well, as the -x/-x remains on the board state until you pass the turn.  It also catches all creatures with undying (so long as they don't come back bigger than the -x/-x).  

My primary motivation for sticking with 2 colors is Mutilate.  I believe it's the best board sweeper in standard at the moment.  On turn 4, you're usually sitting on 3 swamps, which catches Thragtusk and the little friend he leaves behind...




I'm sure you know this but in case someone else gets confused, if mutilate kills a thragtusk the resulting beast token will not be affected.



Reread Mutilate:  "All creatures get -x/-x ... until end of turn."  Yes, the token gets swept as well, as the -x/-x remains on the board state until you pass the turn.  It also catches all creatures with undying (so long as they don't come back bigger than the -x/-x).  










7/1/2012The effect is based on the number of Swamps you control when Mutilate resolves. Only creatures on the battlefield at that time will be affected. The effect won't change later in the turn, even if the number of Swamps you control changes.

My primary motivation for sticking with 2 colors is Mutilate.  I believe it's the best board sweeper in standard at the moment.  On turn 4, you're usually sitting on 3 swamps, which catches Thragtusk and the little friend he leaves behind...




I'm sure you know this but in case someone else gets confused, if mutilate kills a thragtusk the resulting beast token will not be affected.



Reread Mutilate:  "All creatures get -x/-x ... until end of turn."  Yes, the token gets swept as well, as the -x/-x remains on the board state until you pass the turn.  It also catches all creatures with undying (so long as they don't come back bigger than the -x/-x).  










7/1/2012The effect is based on the number of Swamps you control when Mutilate resolves. Only creatures on the battlefield at that time will be affected. The effect won't change later in the turn, even if the number of Swamps you control changes.



I stand corrected.  Thanks. 

This also means my primary motivation for avoiding a third color is null, and I have no valid reason not to add blue and just go with Supreme Verdict, better card draw, and counterspells.

if your going with a control shell i'd probably drop the Obzedat/messenger/angel package. That fits more in a midrange ghost dad deck. i think you should go more with b/w's graveyard recursion with Unburial Rites and Angel of Serenity. Im thinking of trying this:

4x Duress
4x Devour Flesh
4x Orzhov Charm
4x Mutilate
2x Appetite for Brains
2x Unburial Rites
1x Staff of Nin

3x Liliana of the Veil

4x Vampire Nighthawk
3x Obzedat, Ghost Council
2x Bloodgift Demon
2x Angel of Serenity

13 swamps
4 Godless Shrine
4 Isolated Chapel
3 plains
1 Vault of the Archangel

The md discard helps give the deck a respnose to other control decks. people don't like Devour Flesh, but its a 2cc instant kill spell with a drawback that doesn't really matter to a control deck. With unburial Rites and the angel, discarding to liliana isn't as painful, and I use Bloodgift Demon over underworld connections because its card draw and a threat that can be brought back.
Fair assessment on Devour Flesh.  Mutilate covers the hexproof creatures as is, and it's probably in there because I'm nostalgic for Diabolic Edict.  I'm going to veto Murder solely based on its mana cost, but there are other 1B or BB instants that would fit the role.  I haven't ruled out going with Tragic Slip for that matter.

As for Geralf's, I agree that he's an awful blocker.  His inclusion is primarily as a target for Restoration Angel and the fact that he's a fairly low casting cost.  The hard shift towards aggro strategies really benefits this list, but I'll likely move geralf's out in favor of main deck Duress should Bant/Esper Control make a comeback.



devour flesh is just fine.  not 4-of good, but definite warrants a few copies.  2 mana is just so sweet, espeacially for decks not looking to close games out ASAP.

however, i feel like mutilate is being overestimated here. 

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