Apologies if you find the cardboard turning a turn off from my regular fag news. LOL.
It's been awhile since I wrote an article for control. Of course, this is due to the fact that the meta is always changing. The latest meta sees a full set of Cavern of Souls in almost every creature deck means it is unlikely for counterspells to work that well anymore.
When that happens, a control player has to look into efficient spot removals that could deal with everything that comes into play and at the same time having access to sweeper. Since the only efficient sweepers are Supreme Verdict and Terminus (go away Mutilate, nobody likes you!), the shell needs to be Blue White and we need a third color as usual.
Black has quite a few spot removals to offer to be honest but unfortunately Ultimate Price isn't good enough to take care of Falkenrath Aristocrat or Loxodon Smiter;
Tribute to Hunger during late game is awful especially if your opponent had T1 Avacyn Pilgrim/Arbor Elf or worse, Lingering Souls token *Facepalm;
Victim of Night is most awful due to double black and the format has so much diversity which you could see Zombie around with Vampires (Falkenrath) and Werewolves (Huntmaster).
Murder takes care of most stuff but at 3cc with double black makes it tough to run without Watery Graves and a format where 1 & 2 drops are crazy efficient. Not to mention pointing it at Falkenrath can be sad as she could be indestructable at times.
Red has removal spells that are quite good but a Pillar of Flame is a sorcery that hits for 2 (Thragtusk survives) though exiling the creature is handy.
Searing Spear kills most stuff but Restoration Angel, Angel of Serenity, Craterhoof Behemoth, Loxodon Smiter will spell trouble for you.
With so many restrictions for draw go control to see play, I'm gonna say Fog you and start fogging right away. Here's my decklist for Fog You.
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hinterland Harbor
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Cavern of Souls
1 Alchemist's Refuge
4 Clinging Mist
2 Druid's Deliverence
4 Think Twice
3 Supreme Verdict
4 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
2 Jace, Memory Adept
2 Sands of Delirium
1 Increasing Confusion
2 Sphinx's Revelation
3 Centaur Healer
3 Restoration Angel
2 Angel of Serenity
1 Witchbane Orb
1 Oblivion Ring
Fog You is obviously my play of words but essentially this is a Turbofog deck which runs 12 fogs and utilizes planeswalkers to draw cards since we don't have Howling Mine in the format. I've tried Otherworld Atlast but it is way too slow to gain card advantage compared to Jace, Architect of Thought & Tamiyo.
For those who are not familiar with how Turbofog works, the steps below for reference;
- You lay lands and take damage from all kinds of creatures your opponent throw at you.
- When your life goes below 10, you may choose to either sweep (if you hit Terminus early via miracle, by all means sweep since it only cost 1 white mana) or start fogging to ensure you are away from burn range.
- You need to land a planeswalker and protect it so you can continuously draw cards. If it's Jace, Architect of Thought, your role is to -2 him till he dies and you grab either more fogs (if your hand is short of), removals (if your hand is short of fogs), card draw or your finishers (millers)
- Once you have sufficient fogs, you land a Jace, Memory Adept (make sure your Architect is not in play), or Sands of Delirium and start milling away while fogging.
Basically you need to keep count of the number of cards in your opponent's library closely as it is vital to mill him quickly before you run out of fogs. A few handy tips;
- Fog is the most efficient since it only cost 1 green mana. You should only use it last or to protect a planeswalker once you drop it (5 mana, cast Jace, Architect of Thought, leave 1 green mana open, or 6 for Tamiyo).
- Tamiyo is a monster if you keep her alive. She can draw you plenty of cards when your opponent strikes you with 3 or more creatures and you fog them in response. If she uses her ultimate, you have unlimited fogs.
- Increasing Confusion needs to be flashbacked for maximum efficiency. You can cast it from your hand for zero and flashback at the same turn. Doing so with 10 mana mills your opponent 16 cards as opposed to 9 cards on normal. Every 1 extra mana from that mills additional 2 cards for your reference.
- Druid's Deliverence only protects you but not planeswalkers.
- Moonmist is better than Druid's Deliverance in this sense but watch out for Huntmasters, Wolfir Avenger and Wolfir Silverheart (don't forget Garruk Relentless's Wolf tokens).
- For your mainboard play, whenever you land a Cavern of Souls, please name creature type as 'Potato'
Your sideboard is obviously a transformational sideboard to Bant Control sans the Farseek with additional hate for targeted spells on your head and things that would mess up your game plan. But let's go over how this deck would fare against most decks on the field.
GW Aggro (feat. Rancor, Smiter, Silverblade Paladin, Sublime Angel)
You actually have a good match up against this aggro deck due to the fact they lack burn. Sure, you'll probably take 10 to 15 damage before you could sweep or fog but once you start doing that (they lack hasty creatures) and manage to draw more fogs with your planewalkers, you're safe and sound.
Even their sideboard plan would mean very little to you unless they land Witchbane Orb which you would then need to take out using Oblivion Ring, or just switch to Plan B, beat with your fats instead. But I strongly suggest not to beat using fats as you'd be taking out fogs. In this match up you'd want your fogs in more than the life gains.
Reanimator (Junk, 4cc)
Absolutely no chance in hell you'd lose Game 1. Craterhood for lethal? Fog, Clinging Mist, Moonmist, Druid's Deliverance, whatever. They're even milling themselves to help you win earlier.
Game 2 would require you to bring in Nevermore, Witchbane Orb & Oblivion Ring obviously. If you land a Witchbane Orb, you're safe from Rakdos's Return and Slaughter Games. If not, you should name either one for your Nevermore depending on board state. Oblivion Ring would be for any random Witchbane Orb or force them to use their Elixir of Immortality.
BR Aggro / Vampires
Less favorable match up depending on his draws and yours. If you could hit Terminus early and fog consistently (and/or he misses the burn spells), then you could steal this game away. Else wise just go Game 2 as it's going to drag quite a bit.
Game 2 would require you to bring in all your sideboard cards. All 15 of them, yes (but feel free to differ) since you need the lifegain very very bad. Cards to bring out would be all 12 fogs + 3 millers (feel free to pick which ones, but I would recommend 1 of each). Your aim in post sideboard would be to gain tonnes of life and win either by attrition in combat or mill (since you still have 2 millers in there).
Feel free to take out Angel of Serenity for Game 3 if you feel he's bringing in graveyard hate for maybe Fogs since 1 green mana instant is still awesome for combat tricks.
UW Flash / America tempo / Esper Control / UW Control / Whatever Control that still runs Counterspells
Worst matchup ever due to the fact they run counterspells. You'll need to have 2 fogs for standby when you see/predict lethal onboard or else you'll be losing randomly. Running planeswalkers out to their counterspells are also counter-productive to the fact you need to draw more fogs so seriously if they are the heavy counterspells version, you'll just have to go game 2 or just pray that they'd have died to decks that pack heavy Cavern of Souls before meeting you. LOL.
Game 2 would be similar where you bring in all 14 cards (you probably don't need Witchbane Orb). Nevermore should name either Negate, Dissipate, Syncopate or Counterflux, depending on what you've seen in previous game and gut feel. Sometimes, Snapcaster is also a valid choice. Your objective in this game is to kill them off with your creatures (with Cavern of Souls naming Beast / Angel) or mill them while having combat attrition.
Game 3 would be similar on whether you feel like taking out Angel of Serenity if they bring in graveyard hate. In this case, you should bring in 2 millers instead of Fog since they'd be countering your fog when you need it the most while they might not counter the millers.
Depending on what version they run. If they run counterspells, it's going to be a light counterspells version so try to keep 2 fogs in hand when they have lethal on board. Let them gain all the life they want. LOL. Some that don't run counterspells, you win game 1 easily to be honest.
Game 2 would be where they bring in more counters, so board out all your fogs + 1 Jace Memory Adept and bring in the creatures + 1 Oblivion Ring. Both of you should gain a zillion life during the game play but since you have backup plan of millers, you should still be stealing the win. If you lose Game 2, it's probably a draw due to time.
There you have it. A deck where you can tell your opponent - Fog You!
May you have plenty of fun fogging your opponents.