BW Blink Control/Denial

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Terentius, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Terentius The Instigator

    EDIT: Title should say UW.

    This was based on Venser's duel deck, and again, it hardly resembles that now. It might be a lame concept, but this is the only way I'd roll control.

    Creatures: 18
    4x Fog Bank
    4x Meddling Mage
    3x Council of the Absolute
    2x Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
    1x Frost Titan
    1x Hundred-Handed One
    1x Shipbreaker Kraken
    2x Medomai the Ageless

    Instants/Sorceries: 9
    3x Misdirection
    3x Commandeer
    3x Peek

    Enchantments: 12
    4x Telepathy
    2x Detention Sphere
    3x Control Magic
    3x Mark of Eviction

    Planeswalkers: 1
    1x Narset Transcendent

    Lands: 20
    6x Island
    6x Plains
    3x Skyline Cascade
    3x Azorius Guildgate
    2x Azorius Chancery
    ------------------------------------
    60 cards


    I don't combo Mimeo/Constable as much as I'd like, but I feel like I have solid draw power. Other than that, this deck has done pretty well, except against decks that have very good resource distribution and don't rely too much on any single card. Though I do sometimes fall prey to a top-decked kill spell without any evasion to use, but that's a risk any deck takes. This deck also does well at holding out for Venser's ultimate.

    I might try out the card Declaration of Naught. Any other ideas? Comments?
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I missed this thread earlier. Bumping it. I do like the concept overall, but it seems like it packs less of a punch than your modifications to the Tezzeret deck. I might have a few ideas later if I can remember to return to this thread soon...
  3. Terentius The Instigator

    Yeah, that's how I feel, this deck lacks that punch that screws my opponent six ways from Sunday no matter what my hand looks like. Any ideas are welcome; I will be far less snubbing!
  4. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Let's see...

    Snap: Probably better than Unsummon in this deck. Depends what you're up against and how often you need to only leave one mana open instead of two.

    Snapcaster Mage: Speaking of snappy things, being able to reuse those instants would be nice. Unfortunately, as a rare that's a superstar in Modern, it's coming up on $30. So unless you already have them, probably not a real option.

    Isochron Scepter: Put Cloudshift or something on a stick. It's like a mini-Venser.

    Brainstorm: Just because.

    Man-o'-War: If necessary, you could use this to redo your Meddling Mage or something, but this is more likely to be useful as a way to bounce opposing creatures. Venser and friends make it reusable itself, so it's another way to achieve the same sort of effect as having Unsummon on Isochron Scepter.

    Swords to Plowshares: There might be some creatures you just need to get rid of for good. And since you don't really care about opponents gaining life, this seems like an obvious choice.

    Venser, Shaper Savant: More expensive than Man-o'-War, but I really like the idea of doubling down on Venser. You could even use Venser's ability on Venser! I heard you like Venser, so we put Venser in your Venser deck so you can Venser your own Venser.

    Terminus: Doesn't actually fit with what your deck is doing for the most part, but because I really think you should use Brainstorm, I might as well also note the stupid card that U/W control is using in Legacy to ruin everyone's day. One of the best decks in the format right now. It would work here even though it's somewhat off the theme, particularly once you have Venser out.

    Black Vise: More for the synergy with the bounce stuff than with the flicker-type stuff. Keep them from playing stuff, put stuff they do have back into their hands, then kill them with Black Vise.

    Gitaxian Probe: Better than Telepathy.

    Cowardice: Probably too expensive, but it's great fun.

    Hesitation: I know you'd have included Counterspell or Mana Leak or whatever if you'd wanted them (although Counterspells or Mana Leaks would probably make the deck stronger), but maybe this fits the theme better. I never seem to find a use for it. Take control of the board and you can use abilities (such as Venser's) to continue controlling things, forcing your opponent to forfeit one spell.

    Standstill: A similar, and better, take on the same concept as Hesitation. Used to be really popular in U/W control decks.

    Lavinia of the Tenth: I was using her in that Azorius precon from Dragon's Maze and always wanted to hit her with flicker effects.

    Vendilion Clique: Totally better than Telepathy, especially considering its synergies with other cards in this deck. I guess it's more than $50, which I didn't realize. That's a shame. I mean, it's not a shame for me because I apparently own six of them, but it's a shame in principle.

    Stonehorn Dignitary: For when you don't want to be attacked.

    Blade Splicer: Golems everywhere.
  5. Terentius The Instigator



    This is a lot, so I'll respond in groups.
    • Standstill, Snap, Hesitation - These would go great with the deck, but I have a silly thing about not mixing Modern and Pre-Modern cards. Also, I'm dead set on pairing Snap with Nightscape Familiar in some way, and I have another silly thing about not re-using cards across decks (aren't I just the worst?).
    • Vendilion, Snapcaster - Fine cards, but more than I want to spend. And Snapcaster is so good he'd be used elsewhere.
    • Venser, Shaper Savant; Isochron Scepter - Great cards, a tad pricey but I'd be willing to spring for them. I'm torn with these because I'm not sure if I'd be using them to their full potential (does putting Boomerang on Isochron Scepter cost me any style points?).
    • Brainstorm, Swords to P, Stonehorn Dignitary, Man-o'-War/AEther Adept - I own some number of these and they were/are being considered.
    • Blade Splicer, Lavinia of the Tenth, Terminus - Good cards, but they don't gel much with the denial theme. I'm putting a lot of resources into stopping anything that will be problematic before it hits the field.
    • Black Vise, Cowardice - Meh.
    Also, are you confusing Peek and Telepathy? Telepathy is global enchantment, costs U, and makes all opponents play with hands revealed. Peek, a nonpermanent, is about the same as Gitaxian Probe, save namely for the Phyrexian pay-life-for-mana-cost thing. I definitely understand the value in the cantrip, and I utter profanities every time I draw a useless second Telepathy, but it's very important that I see opponents' hands early and/or often for denial.
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Well, you can do what you want, but that distinction is totally fake. There was nothing about the card frame changes that was meant to make cards from before Eighth Edition "Pre-Modern." Cards from before the changes were mixed with cards from after the changes freely and universally at the time. It wasn't until nine years later that Wizards created Modern, and that was around the same time they strengthened their reprint policy amid popular support for the dissolution of the Reserved List. Perhaps no one outside the company really knows why they did this, but they did. That's why we've now got "Think of the collectors!" as the unspoken first rule of all Magic: the Gathering products. That's why they practically apologized for making Reverberate, of all things. That's why Revised dual lands, which used to be such staples that they made an exemption on their rotation out of Extended, are overtaking just about everything in secondary market price. It's why Force of Will is $80 and might as well not exist as far as most casual players are concerned. It was a staple uncommon when this site started, going for maybe $1 or so. Cards that had no real collector's value for years and years have skyrocketed in price, and Wizards of the Coast switched from wanting to address the problem in 2010 to valuing the precious feelings of "collectors" that might get offended at the drop in value of their investment. From For nine years after "Modern" cards were first printed, there was nothing special about, say, Dream's Grip, that would make it perpetually a "new" card while Snap was perpetually "old." The concept was created retroactively, so that Wizards of the Coast could have a convenient way to throw half of the game's history in the trash and slap a "Eternal" sticker on it.

    That's quite a tangent, but I have a silly thing about loathing this crap. :oops:

    Yeah, I realized after I'd thrown them out there that my Vendilion Cliques were in with my expensive cards, so I thought I'd check those, but I mentioned them anyway on the chance that you might already own them. Sadly, Modern Masters didn't do anything to make Vendilion Cliques more accessible because of its small print run.

    Venser has gotten up there, yeah. Isochron Scepter can still be had for a few dollars in some places, although that might change if it picks up steam in Modern tournaments.

    With no countermagic, that is pretty much guaranteed not to always work. Most opponents aren't realistically going to be Meddling Maged to death.

    I most certainly am not! Look, Telepathy sucks. There, I said it. Telepathy is a bad card. Yeah, you want to see people's hands and I get that, but it's an enchantment that does absolutely nothing else. Of course you hate drawing a second one: you're investing a card slot in seeing people's hands with no outside benefit and you have three more chances to draw into more hand-seeing.

    Edit: Hey, so later I was looking for something else, but I got sidetracked and started thinking about the way that this deck would use Meddling Mage and friends to block opposing spells, and how that might hold up, theoretically. I've seen Meddling Mage in action a lot over the years, but not generally used in this way. So because you're able to reselect named cards for Pikula and for Council of the Absolute, I'm wondering if it might be worth it to have something that lets you see your opponent's library. Knowing what's in your opponent's hand is also useful, but there's always the possibility that they'll topdeck something that's a bigger threat and immediately play it. There are a lot of cards that would let you see your opponent's library so as to plan further ahead. Not sure if any of them would be valuable here, but it's something to consider, perhaps.
  7. Terentius The Instigator

    It's a purely aesthetic choice, man. I don't care about competitive Magic play at all. It's just me and my Melvin/Vorthos tendencies; style is important to me. And when I draw a hand with all nice, Modern-layout cards, and one dissimilar old, yucky-looking card, I'm gonna be all "Man... I wish Snap would get reprinted". It's a dangerous and foolish game I play, sacrificing efficacy for art.


    I know it's bad, and that's a little bit why I'm using it. The Gatherer discussions have lamented this profusely, also preferring G Probe. But if I'm not going to bet big on the denial, is Meddling Mage really effective if I only look at their hand every so often? Can Meddling Mage and pals be the star of a deck?

    I was also thinking "Ooh, I could use Foil to discard the useless Telepathies!"
    "Oh, Foil is only Islands. Which one is the one that's any blue card?"
    "Oh... Force of Will."
    "****."

    Yeah, seeing their library could be great... is there such a thing? And what are the Meddling Mage success stories? How is it used effectively?
  8. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Yucky? Yucky! Sir, I demand that you draw your weapon and defend yourself.

    But seriously, I recognize that aesthetic differences are subjective. If you prefer the new card frame, that's fine, even if you are wrong. :p

    Yes, but I'm skeptical that flickering him is sufficient for that. Making copies of him could do it. I guess that's a totally different concept from this deck, but I've never seen it and I think it would be hilarious. For example, Followed Footsteps on Meddling Mage, and then you keep cutting off your opponent's cards. How to lose friends and infuriate people...

    Oh, I just realized something. I called Meddling Mage "him" and the Alara Reborn artwork, which you're presumably using if you're using the new card frame, depicts a woman. Well, When Meddling Mage was first printed in Planeshift it was Chris Pikula's Invitational card, so it had his likeness on it. It seems that Chris Pikula personally knows some WotC employees, and making his card into a woman for the reprint was something they did to mess with him.

    It's something that always irritates me. I like so much of the work that the people at WotC do, but I just want to throttle them over this. I have twelve freaking copies of Force of Will. I don't care if they drop back down to a dollar apiece! Reprint the thing already. It's not on the Reserved List, but they refuse to print any card that has gained value on the secondary market because someone somewhere might have hurt feelings over it. We're not talking Library of Alexandria here. The card isn't valuable because it's a rare and iconic piece of Magic's history, it's just valuable because it's a tournament staple and the demand for it is too high.

    The card that comes to mind is Extract, which is only one mana. There are other cards with the effect.

    Meddling Mage is a popular sideboard card, sometimes maindecked instead, in every tournament format in which it's legal. It's most prevalent in aggro-control decks. In Legacy, and especially in Vintage, it's very common to know what deck your opponent is playing before Meddling Mage even hits the battlefield, so it's possible to work out what card should be named, and it becomes even easier after Game 1. Many decks rely heavily on a particular card to win, and Meddling Mage can stop that plan for as long as it lives.
  9. Terentius The Instigator

    It's the mixing I don't like. I need it to be all one or the other. I like both card frames, just separately.

    Followed Footsteps sounds awesome! It's mana-expensive, but I could get more mileage out of Council's and Augustin's cost-reducing ability playing it.

    That last part is what I'm banking on. This deck beat that Theros weenie two out of three, twice. I imagine that would be one of its tougher matches, because when it denies one weenie another is coming right behind it. I was also able to shut down a reasonably strong BW deck (not sure what the type was, just general BW stuff) as well as a reasonably weak Wolf deck in a two-headed giant game. I haven't put it up against my RG Beast or mono B Zombie, but if the Warchief for those tribes gets denied, it will probably put them behind at least a couple of turns, and they don't have much removal until turn 5ish, and that's with the Warchief. This is a small and limited sample size, and I obviously need to do more playtesting to analyze the deck's weaknesses, but I'm burnt out on deckbuilding right now.

    I was also looking at Commandeer - not quite countermagic, but serves a similar purpose. And the spells Tunnel Vision, Dichotomancy, and Telemin Performance will let me search or see more of an opponent's library with beneficial side effects. Though the mana cost of those, and Followed Footsteps, starts to lean away from control...
  10. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I've always liked Commandeer. It has a pretty heavy requirement on using it, though. You need blue cards, and preferably lots of them. If it is something your deck can cast without too much trouble, then it's pretty strong and seems like it would make sense alongside your other strategies.
  11. Terentius The Instigator

    -1 Aven Mimeomancer

    -4 Unsummon
    -4 Cloudshift
    +1 Oblivion Ring
    +1 Detention Sphere
    +2 Turn to Mist
    +4 Mana Leak
    +4 Commandeer

    -2 Island
    -1 Plains
    -2 Sejiri Refuge
    +3 Azorius Guildgate
    +1 Azorius Chancery
    +1 Rogue's Passage

    I still want to use Telepathy, even if it is bad. It works in my main playgroup, and is food for Commandeer.

    Any more suitable (better mana curve fit) counterspells than Mana Leak? I've always sucked at timing countermagic, which is why I typically don't use it.
  12. Terentius The Instigator

    -4 Wall of Omens
    +4 Fog Bank - This card has haunted me since youth. Now it works for me.
    -3 Aven Mimeomancer
    -3 Cephalid Constable - This deck didn't devote enough resources to making him work.
    -2 Godhead of Awe
    +1 Frost Titan - replaceable finisher #1
    +1 Hundred-Handed One - replaceable finisher #2, with built-in vigilance and monstrous
    +1 Shipbreaker Kraken - replaceable finisher #3
    +2 Medomai, the Ageless

    -1 Oblivion Ring
    +1 Detention Sphere
    -2 Turn to Mist
    -1 Commandeer
    +3 Misdirection
    +3 Control Magic
    +3 Mark of Eviction - The creature will have an opportunity to tap/attack once, but otherwise this card's pretty sweet.

    -3x Venser, the Sojourner - The one regret I have about this deck's new direction is it was pretty good at holding out until Venser's ultimate. But since I moved Wall of Omens to Flicker Force and Cephalid Constable to Exalted, Venser has less of a place. The extra space gives me more room for control spells though.
    +1 Narset Transcendent - Opened this in a draft. Wouldn't mind another one or a different UW control-oriented Planeswalker.

    -1 Soaring Seacliff
    -1 Rogue's Passage
    -1 Flood Plain
    -2 Islands
    +3 Skyline Cascade - noice
    +1 Azorius Guildgate
    +1 Azorius Chancery


    Another deck that ended up someplace way off from where it started. The flicker and unblockable elements were dropped, but I am liking its current form: Misdirection and Commandeer being able to be cast while being tapped out make them really devious, leveling spells, and dropping a Control Magic when your opponent finally gets a creature out that can turn the tide is brutal, especially if they put an aura on it or something. Telepathy and Meddling Mage are still working for me. I've been putting all my decks against goblins to see how they fare, and this is one of the only ones that didn't get beaten.
  13. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I've been playing around a lot with Reflector Mage and I thought of this deck. Would it make sense here? Seems like blinking Reflector Mage to repeatedly bounce opponents' creatures and tell them they can't play those creatures again for a turn would really slow most opponents down. Granted, it's bad against EtB abilities and the 2/3 body is lackluster against opponents trying to win by some pathway that doesn't emphasize creatures on the board, but if any casual deck could really get a lot of use out of the card, it seems like it would be something along these lines...
  14. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I don't think Terentius has been around for a while, but if this deck is still a thing...

    Felidar Guardian has been all the rage lately, because apparently WotC failed to realize that blinking planeswalkers could be good. Use Narset to give your own spells Rebound a couple of times, then once she's low on loyalty, refresh her with Felidar Guardian. There are a lot of potential tricks, depending on what else goes into the deck at this point...
  15. Terentius The Instigator


    This deck kind of abandoned flickering. Those could both be good candidates for that other UW Flicker Force.

    This deck got owned in a game recently, ironically, by Flickering Ward. Couldn't counter, couldn't get a Detention Sphere fast enough, and Flickering Ward's ability owns Mark of Eviction. Sad day.
  16. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You know what? I got this deck a bit conflated with your Flicker Force deck because it had formerly used that sort of stuff and I didn't spot the other thread when I remembered "that white/blue control deck that Terentius built."

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