Best Control Deck

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In a meta rife with various Aggro, two RWU Flash, one Reanimator, one dedicateted RWU control, and a few Midrange, what do you good people think would be, as the tittle suggests, the best Control deck?

I'm looking at Esper for the moment as it has kills, counters, and other goodies. What do you all think?
Honestly, I think most of the control decks right now are bad (and I will continue to play them in spite of being bad.) Play a big ugly ramp deck like Prime Speaker Bant or Wolf Run Bant if you want to battlecruise around.
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I would say that Esper and Grixis probably are the best positioned currently within the meta. Bant, BUG, and America have the most stuff to work with though, so they may become better as different builds emerge.

"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."
Esper is very good right now. It has a questionable matchup against aggro decks, but they're not unwinnable.

Its definitely my vote for best control deck. 

(at)MrEnglish22

What makes the matchup against aggro questionable?
Esper is very good right now.


No, it isn't. Being the best control deck in the room doesn't make it good. 
What makes the matchup against aggro questionable?



It can be difficult to stabilize against the Naya Blitz deck when they get a good hand, and you really need Supreme Verdict to stabilize.

Esper is very good right now.


No, it isn't. Being the best control deck in the room doesn't make it good. 



Myself and others have had good result with it. If you want to keep telling yourself that control is unplayable, that's fine.  

(at)MrEnglish22

Esper is very good right now.


No, it isn't. Being the best control deck in the room doesn't make it good. 



Myself and others have had good result with it. If you want to keep telling yourself that control is unplayable, that's fine.  


Control isn't unplayable but it isn't the best in the meta right now. You can keep trying to get everybody to drink the esper koo-aid but you're joking yourself if you think it's great right now. 
What are the pro's and con's of each control archetype then? Perhaps that is a better way to ask the question.
My vote would go to Bant control. It has the lifegain and CA to keep you going.
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My vote would go to Bant control. It has the lifegain and CA to keep you going.



Honestly, the name on that deck is rather deceptive- It was a control list when the only way to play control was to gain so much life that your opponent couldn't recover. But it has changed to maximize Kessig Wolfrun or Prime Speaker Zegana to be a more stable ramp list that goes off with gassing the hand. It might seem like a semantic point to make,  but the Revelation and Prime Speaker lists are just better off just being treated like powerhouse ramp decks with good removal.
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And that is not what I wish to play. So it sounds like the only choices are either RWU, Grixis, or Esper, as those are the only ones I've heard of.
What are the pro's and con's of each control archetype then? Perhaps that is a better way to ask the question.


Esper is the one I've been playing, so here's that.
Pros:  Great removal and sweepers.  All three charms are playable, there's D-Sphere, Devour Flesh, Verdict, Terminus, Merciless Eviction, etc.
Terminus and Eviction deal with Undying and with the Humanimator combo
Nephalia Drownyard, probably the best win condition against control
Sphinx's Revelation
Doesn't care about Boros Reckoner at all

Cons: Slow.  It can take a long time to win, which sometimes gives the opponent too many chances to kill you.  Even if they don't, you can end up with more draws than you want.
Susceptible to bad mana.  You need all three colors fairly early, and you really need to hit all your land drops.  But then after you've stabilized, you still need to draw business without getting land flooded.  It can be hard to find the right balance there.
I wish I could play Searing Spear.  I think it's one of the best removal spells in the format right now.
Takes a lot of practice.  It's not a deck that allows you to misplay and still have an easy game.  And even in hindsight, it's not easy to tell what was a good/bad play.
Crypt Ghast, Mutilate, and Rakdos's Return make Grixis very viable. I'm working on a list in the Standard Deck Help and it's very good against Naya, but struggles with mid-range things like Olivia, Huntmaster, and Thragtusk.
Esper is very good right now. It has a questionable matchup against aggro decks, but they're not unwinnable.

Its definitely my vote for best control deck. 

So its very good despite having questionable matchups versus most of the field? 

Esper is very good right now. It has a questionable matchup against aggro decks, but they're not unwinnable.

Its definitely my vote for best control deck. 

So its very good despite having questionable matchups versus most of the field? 




Let me rephrase: It has an unvaforable matchup against the blitz deck- the pseduo aggro decks that just play a fast midrange aren't a huge issue.

Aggro also isn't most of the field, except for maybe at your FNM or on modo (as if that even counts)

(at)MrEnglish22

The field is mostly aggro and Jund. Once people start playing more midrange things go bigger than Jund then control will destroy the meta again. 
Esper is very good right now. It has a questionable matchup against aggro decks, but they're not unwinnable.

Its definitely my vote for best control deck. 

So its very good despite having questionable matchups versus most of the field? 




Let me rephrase: It has an unvaforable matchup against the blitz deck- the pseduo aggro decks that just play a fast midrange aren't a huge issue.

Aggro also isn't most of the field, except for maybe at your FNM or on modo (as if that even counts)



Magic online takes skill ; you're a clown if you think that doesn't count. Get over yourself esper isn't godlike. sheesh some people are so ego-tistical on the interwebs.True keyboard warriors.
No one said that playing on MODO takes no skill.

What was said is that MODO doesn't count when it comes to trying to get an accurate overall picture of the meta. This is because aggro decks are much more common on MODO. This is due to a few reasons.

Round time restrictions are one such reason. This is one of the reasons control decks are less common on MODO. Having to worry about rounds going to time is enough by itself to dissuade many people from playing control decks on MODO.

Another reason is that most aggro decks do not contain a high amount of variance, making them better positioned to go into an environment (MODO) where information on what your opponents will be playing is lacking. Being able to ignore (for the most part) what your opponent is playing and goldfish your way to victory makes a huge deal when you are playing in a meta (MODO) that changes on a day to day basis. This also happens to be the reason why aggro decks are so commonly played at pre-release/release events.
"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."
No one said that playing on MODO takes no skill.

What was said is that MODO doesn't count when it comes to trying to get an accurate overall picture of the meta. This is because aggro decks are much more common on MODO. This is due to a few reasons.

Round time restrictions are one such reason. This is one of the reasons control decks are less common on MODO. Having to worry about rounds going to time is enough by itself to dissuade many people from playing control decks on MODO.

Another reason is that most aggro decks do not contain a high amount of variance, making them better positioned to go into an environment (MODO) where information on what your opponents will be playing is lacking. Being able to ignore (for the most part) what your opponent is playing and goldfish your way to victory makes a huge deal when you are playing in a meta (MODO) that changes on a day to day basis. This also happens to be the reason why aggro decks are so commonly played at pre-release/release events.


To add to that, aggro decks also tend to be much cheaper than other decks. That combined with how fast rounds play out, makes aggro ideal for grinders. So the MODO metagame does not necessarily reflect the paper metagame. 
Another example of a deck that sees comparatively little play is the Reanimator combo decks. Watched a guy yesterday on Twitch take a large chunk of his clock just to win/combo off

(at)MrEnglish22

What are your thoughts on MBC or U/B control?
I've tried U/B control , I think it lacks field clears. Most you can work with is mutilate which isnt flexible enough and cyclonic rift or aetherize which doesn't really kill , just stalls. You get more counters and pretty much stall for Consuming Aberration or Jace, Memory Adept , I mean it does work but the only major problem is life gain. You have close to 0 Life gain. Vampire Nighthawk gets shot down consistently. Tribute to Hunger is very situational as your opponent chooses how much life you gain. The deck pretty much has a lot of counters and single target removals; Devour Flesh Tragic Slip Murder Barter in blood Sever the bloodline Human Frailty Ultimate Price but I just think that white controls better because of life gain and Azorius Charm

If you like UB Control I have a deck-list I made a while ago that is actually not bad and crushes esper and jund but is really coin-flippy/crushed by naya humans 

Creatures-6
2Consuming Aberration
4snapcaster mage

Planes-walkers-5
3-Liliana of the veil
2-Jace, Memory Adept

Lands-26
4Watery Grave
4Drowned Catacomb 
2Nephalia Drownyard
10swamp
6island

Spells-23
4Devour Flesh
4Tragic Slip
2Mutilate
4Think Twice
2murder
4Dimir Charm
2Dissipate
1ultimate Price

Sideboard-15
4negate
3syncopate
1dissipate
4cancel
2rewind
1Mutilate

Pretty much just stall for big consuming aberration as your counter's and creature kills will make him big and so will drownyard and jace.
Esper is your easiest matchup , side out all the creature kills and side in all the counters. Counter everything and kill them with Jace.

Everything as in Detention Sphere , Planar Cleansing , Sphinx's Revelation , and their counters.

What are your thoughts on MBC or U/B control?



Mike Flores likes them.

(at)MrEnglish22

so... took a minute off from the game to focus on music....

is esper still good?  is UWR better?

bant?

what's up in the world of blu.... i mean, control 

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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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BF, people are playing Esper Control... or what I affectionately call "PS, I Bant You" (Prime Speaker Bant).

Those are the two arguably best controlly builds. 

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BF, people are playing Esper Control... or what I affectionately call "PS, I Bant You" (Prime Speaker Bant).

Those are the two arguably best controlly builds. 


planeswalkers or the pseudo-flash builds better?  any perspective helps

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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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PW builds. URW is mostly flash decks.
Prime Speaker Bant is mostly just GW Midrange splashing blue for Prime Speaker Zegana. 

(at)MrEnglish22

Personally in turms of control i like grixis better for it, and i think it gets over looked alot but i mean i run a grixis counter-burn deck and i find it more flexible, you get cards like Searing Spear and Pillar of Flame which deals well with aggro and even midrange good early game for keeping creatures under control and theres removal like Murder as well as all your fun counter spells like Negate Essence Scatter Cancel Syncopate ect. and really since all of this works well as either removal or spell control then you dont need a whole lot of creatures especially since youve got more burn in red than sin in sodom so your win con can be burn and theres Killing Wave as a board wipe that kills indestrucables like Predator Ooze and then for late game theres everybodys fav personality Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker and between you me and the street i think next block red and blue are going to get a HUGE push, if for no other reason because there getting there first planeswalker and with the colors blue and red hes bound to do some OP stuff, but hey this is all just my opinion when it comes down to it look at what each type of control brings to the table then determine what cards from each you like and what you would rather play, i mean even the best deck control or otherwise sucks to run if you dont like running it
can someone post a couple lists of the top 2-3 control builds?

I figure if I'm gonna come back to playing, I might as well start with control 
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can someone post a couple lists of the top 2-3 control builds?

I figure if I'm gonna come back to playing, I might as well start with control 



Here's an Esper list for you:

4 Supreme Verdict
4 Lingering Souls
2 Dissipate
2 Devour Flesh
1 Ultimate Price
2 Forbidden Alchemy
3 Azorius Charm
2 Think Twice

2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
3 Jace, Arcitect of Thought

3 Snapcaster Mage 

3 Nephalia Drownyard
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Watery Grave
3 Godless Shrine
4 Isolated Chapel
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Drowned Catacomb
1 Plains
1 Island
2 Ghost Quarter

There's four cards missing from this list off the top of my head, and I'm lazy and can't remember them. 

I suggest moving into this new standard format playing Prime Speaker Bant, or PS I Bant You if your name is Niche:

4 Thragtusk
4 Restoration Angel
4 Loxodon Smiter
4 Avacyn's Pilgrim
3 Arbor Elf
2 Prime Speaker Zegana
2 Angel of Serenity (Some lists run more, and I personally play Drogskol Reaver because I like that card)

2 Garruk, Primal Hunter

4 Farseek
3 Azorius Charm 
1 Detention Sphere (These and the Charms are the 4 flex spots of the deck, with the cards ranging from stuff like more Angels, Garruk Relentless, or other spells)

3 Temple Garden
2 Breeding Pool
3 Glacial Fortress
4 Hinterland Harbor
4 Sunpetal Grove
3 Plains
3 Gavony Township
 Forest 

(at)MrEnglish22

thanks.
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can someone post a couple lists of the top 2-3 control builds?

I figure if I'm gonna come back to playing, I might as well start with control 



As always, you should consider black control. 

Here is a list of my (mostly) black control deck:

Creatures- 10
4xBlood Artist
4xVampire Nighthawk 
2xOlivia Voldaren

Spells- 20
4xTragic Slip 
4xSign in Blood 
4xDreadbore 
3xBrimstone Volley 
4xMutilate 
1xRakdos's Return
 
Planeswalkers- 4
2xLiliana of the Veil
2xChandra, the Firebrand
 
Artifacts- 4
4xRakdos Keyrune

Lands- 22
4xBlood Crypt 
4xDragonskull Summit 
14xSwamp

Sideboard- 15
4xDuress 
4xRakdos Charm 
3xSlaughter Games 
2xRakdos's Return 
2xDesecration Demon
as always? you must be mistaking me for niche.

not to be rude, but that deck doesn't look very good. 

 
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as always? you must be mistaking me for niche.

not to be rude, but that deck doesn't look very good. 

 



If you're into control, you should always consider black. Black has been very good for control consistantly throughout the history of Magic. 

What don't you like about my deck? Mutilate is an awesome board wipe, as Golgari Charm and Boros Charm can't counteract it. Tragic Slip kills indestructable creatures with regeneration, and getting Morbid is no problem with the deck, which makes Brimstone Volley deal 5 damage. All of this removal makes Blood Artist have a big impact on the game. Dreadbore and Brimstone Volley can be used for creature removal or planeswalkers. Olivia Voldaren allows me to steal my opponent's creatures while pumping her, Chandra, the Firebrand has a bunch of options with her -2, my favorite one being Slaughter games, and Liliana of the Veil can use her -2 against creature decks, and her +1 against control decks. Rakdos Keyrune is a great blocker who can active morbid with first strike before normal damage goes through, it can help with mana, or you can swing for 3 after playing a Mutilate.

Tragic Slip, Mutilate, and Vampire nighthawk are great against control, and they come out for the SB, along with some other cards, depending on the matchup.   

Do you have any suggestions for the deck?
It just looks like a deck with a lot of answers but not a lot of threats.

But hey, I'm learning the format now so I could be wrong. 

Blood artist also seems terrible in a non-aggro deck. 
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No, that deck is terrible so don't feel about about disregarding it. 
You guys are mean.

That said... I kick an infant every time I see someone running sweepers with creatures. 

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"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes

You guys are mean.

That said... I kick an infant every time I see someone running sweepers with creatures. 



Blood Artist makes sense to run with Mutilate, as the lifegan/lifeloss can be large.

Olivia Voldaren I'd cast after Mutilate, and I wouldn't have a need to case another one while I can steal their creatures. Also, sometimes I can pump her up to the point where Mutilate doesn't kill her, especially if I'm using a Rakdos Keyrune and Dragonskull summit for mana.

Vampire Nighthawk allows me to stall untill I get a Mutilate, and then I can have a 4 point swing with it and then play Mutilate. It also has some playability after I play Mutilate.
I'm just not sure that you have a proactive game plan. What are you trying to accomplish in the long-run? Like Glux said, it has answers, but what are you trying to do?

I would recommend reading Kibler's recent article if you have SCG Premium. 

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Calling something terrible without any input?, I thought I was scolded by 'Chu for throwing card choices at his decklist before because I didn't offer any input with them... Hmm.... Wink


But in all reality Glux, I would stick to a control decklist where its main win condition comes from cards like Nephalia Drownyard and Jace, Memory Adept. Sweeping the board, on time spot removal, and Sphinx's Revelation should be enough to carry you to those win conditions. 

If you're not all in on the mill plan, I've found Obzedat, Ghost Council to be pretty nasty if it resolves. Otherwise you can go a different route and use Sorin, Lord of Innistrad with Lingering Souls, but I've found the mill strategy to be more successful.