What is Teachings? Teachings is a control deck abusing the tutoring capability of Mystical Teachings to play the most powerful cards in Standard, tutoring for 'silver bullets' at a whim. Some builds also utilize Coalition Relic to fix mana and splash for off-color cards. It originated from the Time Spiral Block Constructed season, culminating in multiple Top 8’s at Grands Prix: Montreal, San Francisco and Firenze. Patrick Chapin, the Innovator, took a build to US Nationals 2007, placing third in the Standard portion of the event. Numerous players made Top 8 at US States 2007 with various builds of this deck.
What makes Teachings different from other control decks?
Coalition Relic allows the deck to ramp up huge mana (one of the deck's original names was 'Turbo Relic'), and deal with things the average control deck can't – Krosan Grip or Disenchant for artifacts and enchantments, or Detritivore to wreck opposing control decks. Mystical Teachings allows the deck to fetch a 'silver bullet' for every situation, grabbing removal, a counterspell or another Teachings to keep your options open.
Shriekmaw : Excellent removal in this deck, dealing with early-game threats like Gaddock Teeg and Tarmogoyf while still destroying late-game threats like Lightning Angel or Aeon Chronicler . Doubles as an evasive beatstick! 3-4 of. Tarmogoyf : The ‘goyf has been proven effective in this deck, but it comes down to personal choice and budget. It’s a ‘mid-range’ beater or blocker in this deck, because it usually isn’t pumped enough to be relevant until turn four or so. Shadowmage Infiltrator : Jon Finkel's Invitational card is a powerful source of draw, while doubling as an slow win condition. He's seen success though, so 3-4 of if you choose to use him. Haakon, Stromgald Scourge This guy is played in order to 'infinitely' recur Nameless Inversion . Or at least as long as you have [mc]1/B[/mc - a couple of decks from States placed well packing him as a 1-2 of. It's tech, but the life loss can add up. Maralen of the Mornsong : Tech from Morningtide - drop with Teferi out, and tutor for enough counterspells to protect her until you can win the game. Sort of a Dralnu equivalent? Test maybe as a 1-of. Korlash, Heir to Blackblade : Used successfully in Chapin’s US Nationals 2007 deck, but he becomes weaker with the loss of the Ravnica dual lands. Definitely a strong finisher with multiple Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth . 4-of, or none at all. Detritivore : A control hoser - Detritivore can be suspended for a few, take out that loaded Dreadship Reef , then come into play as an X/X. He's weaker without Ravnica duals in the format, but he's still a viable choice. Venser, Shaper Savant : Remand plus Boomerang , Venser is a utility belt unto himself. It comes down to personal choice - if run, usually as a 1-2 of. Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir : All of your Tarmogoyfs and Detritivores become Mystical Teachings targets, not to mention your spells become uncounterable. 1 or 2 is a good number. Dralnu, Lich Lord : A holdover from this deck's progenitor - Guillaume Wafo-Tapa's Dralnu du Louvre. Originally the deck carried a soft-lock involving Teferi and this card, recurring huge numbers of counterspells. As Teachings decks shifted away from counterspells, he virtually disappeared from lists, occasionally reappearing in more counter-heavy lists. If you run like, 17 counterspells, consider him as an option. Aeon Chronicler : Suspend for a few, net massive card advantage and they’ll be staring down a 7/7 or so a few turns later. 3 or 4, if you choose to run them – this deck has an extremely flexible creature base. It all comes down to personal taste and your local meta, but typically run as a 2-3 of. Dread : This is the kind of big, bad finisher decks like Solar Flare were built on. Effectively a big, black evasive dragon. Probably the finisher of choice in the current meta. Bogardan Hellkite : A Teachings target, this bad boy comes down, clears the board or burns to the dome. Double red is difficult though - a 1-of at most. Triskelavus : Trisk dominanted Time Spiral Block Constructed, but he's a bit too slow for the meta as it stands - additionally, the Academy Ruins combo takes up two valuable slots in this deck. Decent for a slower meta as a 1-of.
Pithing Needle : One of the best cards in the format, it shuts down Treetop Village and numerous other troublemakers. Possibly maindeck material, depending on your metagame. Prismatic Lens : A mana filter and the heir apparent to Ravnica’s signets. Not quite as strong, but respectable nonetheless. Almost always run as a playset. Mind Stone : Excellent mana, taps for colorless and cracks for a card. As cool as it might look, completely useless with Academy Ruins . 1-2, played in addition to Prismatic Lens . Coalition Relic : Relic is a reliable mana-fixer - the ability to use charge counters allows you to get maximum investment on your mana. 2-4 of, depending on whether you run Mind Stone or not. Highly recommended for the numerous splashes it allows.
Mind Spring : Similar to Stroke of Genius , but you'll rarely cast this on an opponent (unless maybe you have Jace Beleren out.) Definitely viable in here as a huge late-game boost. Mind Shatter : An update of Mind Twist , this may be one of the best cards from Morningtide . It's very hateful against combo, but may not fare so well against control or aggro. Thoughtseize : Super Duress is solid hate against combo and control, but whether it's worth 4 slots is debatable. Definitely an option though. Profane Command : One of the most powerful cards from the set - a late-game Demonfire , reanimating a finisher, or a massive kill spell. It's been played anywhere from 2 to 4 of, but whether it's good for this deck or not is debatable. Ponder : Extremely effective in terms of card quality, but not so much as card advantage – it’s just a one-for-one. Best as a 3-4 of, but card advantage wins control the game, not quality. Pat Chapin endorses it though, so make your call. Gaea’s Blessing : This is outdated tech – recur your best instants, or recur another Gaea’s Blessing to go ‘infinite’. Really too slow for Standard now, but a real star in Block Constructed. Damnation : Mass removal, this is just card advantage waiting to happen. 4-of, automatically. Foresee : Koutarou Ootsuka said this was Fact or Fiction at GP: Montreal – it’s certainly card quality, though not card advantage like Careful Consideration . Definitely worth trying out, 2-3 of.
Jace Beleren : Much better than anticipated, this bad boy restocks your hand mid-game and, if adequately protected, makes sure you never run out of fuel. 2-3? Liliana Vess : She was played in several high-placing lists from States, so definitely worth consideration. Your input is appreciated!
A deck that can get card advantage over you fast, and with the Champion mechanic doesn't quite die to Damnation . Targeted spot removal is key here. Teferi can't also be very useful if he hangs around.
Some run lots of counters and some don't, but both are running WoG and Condemn main, which aren't particularly nasty against us. The only problem is Sacred Mesa. This is why you should have at least 1 Chronicler main, just to give you the edge in this matchup. It may be the person with the Factory wins, although I have seen early Factories that haven't produced a Worker until over ten turns later. I'd say if you have enough draw, like maindeck Jace , you can win this. Just remember, first Teachings fetches Teachings , Flashback fetches command or Pact of Negation , second Teachings fetches Teachings , last 3 Teachings fetches counterspells or any needed spot removal. Teferi is useless!
Definitely the easiest matchup, even though it still takes a long time to win! Basically, Trisky +Ruins or Hellkite + [c=Grim Harvest=Harvest[/c] = win.
Special thanks to:
-Patrick Chapin, for Innovating and porting this deck to Standard. -Tom LaPille, for some invaluable advice on this deck. -onlainari, for matchup information. -Haploid, for fixing the opening thread. -Hodoku, for the awesome layout and dividers.
So for the most part this deck is UB/x control with the use of relic.
1. Could this deck win states? 2. How consistent is this deck? 3. What bad match-ups does it have? 4. Which version of this deck is the best? UBwg UBrg UBwr UBwrg
1. I think this deck, with a competent pilot, could definitely take Champs. It dominated Block Constructed, and it's got more or less an answer for everything. Of course, the metagame could be extremely unfavorable. 2. I haven't had enough time to test with this, but the deck rarely has mana issues with a full playset of Terramorphic Expanse . Occasionally I have difficulty drawing into a major threat, so it definitely needs to be worked with, maybe 4 Careful Consideration ? Bogardan Hellkite has been amazing, though. 3. Draw-go (U/W, U/B, whatever) is going to be a rough matchup against a good player, they'll hit the artifact mana. Detritivore in the board should be effective enough, though. There's really no combo deck in the format right now, but the singleton Pact of Negation might throw a wrench in Endless Walks or whatever. Wild Pair slivers has actually been a bad matchup, if only because a resolved Wild Pair is close to death, pre-board, and Frenetic Sliver is stupid. Aggro should be favorable, with multiple Shriekmaw and Deathmark . 4. This is kind of arbitrary, really, just splash for what's good. Beacon of Immortality is fantastic in here, but don't worry too much about mana, assuming you have 3+ Coalition Relic and enough fixers.
Hello. I created this account just to reply to this thread. I did this beacause it is the best thread I could find on this deck. Also because I am playing this deck and would like to improve it as much as I can before taking it to states.
Anyway here is my list followed by explanations for a few off cards.
4 River of Tears 4 Underground River 2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 3 Tolaria West 2 Molten Slagheap 1 Dreadship Reef 2 Urza's Factory 1 Acadamy Ruins 6 Island
4 Bottle Gnomes 3 Detritivore 3 Shadowmage Infiltrator 1 Pull from Eternity 1 Extirpate 1 Tendril's of Corruption 1 Ancient Grudge 1 Krosan Grip
I know this is a fairly standard list. The things I get talked to about most are Dread and Ponder.
Dread: I put this in on a whim and discovered that it is a beast that can't be dealt with very easy. The real thing is that it's usualy a 6/6 fear on turn 4-5 if I draw it. It also makes it hard for my control openents to run me outa threats.
Ponder: Not as bad as I thought Portent would be at sorcery speed. I totaly needed a 1 drop that helped ensure I could deal with fast beats. Early Ponder nets me land or removal when I need it. Although some will say its not card advantage so it sux I belive this deck needs this or telling time and i'd rather pay 1.
I am also aware that I am missing a few things that are common like...
Terramorphic Expanse: I have 7 potential turn 1 plays in west/ponder and don't seem to need the mana fix as the 8 artifacts give me what I need almost always.
Cryptic Command: I know, I know. Basicly I started with 4 and slowly removed them over days of play. This deck was way to 4drop heavy and very vulnerable to Teeg. In addition the Command was only delaying the inevitable in many situations. Its most useful form was dismiss or counter that/bounce your whatever. This was powerful but expensive at 4 and week to what will be the best agro in W/G. I will likely play 1-2 in the end.
Anyway please post any constructive ideas you have and I will continue to read this thread and post what I find out in the next 10 days of testing.
I still stand by that MD Thoughtseize is a must for this deck. Anyway, I just had an idea that might just be stupid enough to work. With all those Coalition Relic s in there (mana accel FTW), might we be able to have less Venser, Shaper Savant s and more Teferi's and incorporate the Pickles Lock. Not as the only/main win con, but just sort of as a side thing. This and Elemental Aggro are the only decks that really interest me.