[casual] R/w Control

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Ephraim, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. Ephraim New Member

    Once upon a time, I decided that I really enjoy playing control decks. They offer lots of interactivity and opportunities for me to really pit my judgment and wits against those of my opponent. On the other hand, I also like red cards. Unfortunately, red is best known for facilitating aggro strategies, not control strategies. My goal, therefore, when I built this deck, was to create something predominantly red that would qualify as a control deck.

    At first glance, this deck appears to be a straightforward, aggressive burn deck. It can certainly play that way sometimes. Much more frequently, however, burn spells behave as board control, clearing the way for Arc-Slogger to finish off an opponent.

    Creatures (11)
    4 Goblin Legionnaire
    3 Orcish Artillery
    3 Arc-Slogger
    1 Kumano, Master Yamabushi

    Spells (26)
    2 Orim's Thunder
    4 Browbeat
    3 Seal of Fire
    4 Pyrite Spellbomb
    4 Lightning Bolt
    3 Arc Lightning
    3 Pyroclasm
    3 Razia's Purification

    Land (23)
    7 Plains
    16 Mountain


    Early prototypes of this deck featured more creatures than the current deck. One of the key factors that has shaped the creature package is the presence of Pyroclasm. Of the eleven creatures in the deck, seven of them survive Pyroclasm outright and four of them can be sacrificed, usually to allow the Pyroclasm to eliminate creatures with toughness greater than 2. Orcish Artillery may seem like a very modest card, but it carries a lot of weight in this deck. Pyroclasm is already a powerful card, but Orcish Artillery really increases its range, while providing repeatable board control.

    Arc-Slogger is the quintessential red control card. It provides a win condition with built-in board control. Like Orcish Artillery, the price of its activated ability seems steep to a lot of players, but I use those abilities conservatively to enhance my position.

    Seal of Fire and Pyrite Spellbomb are modest inclusions to the deck that I think would seem out of place in a more aggressive build, at least in the quantity in which they appear here. I could probably replace one or more of them with a more authoritative burn spell, but they're not present to generate a huge push. There are a plethora of advantages to these cards: They are inexpensive to play and/or activate, so they leave my mana available while providing me with a credible presence. They make Arc-Slogger much more dangerous. It is not always easy to muster five power worth of blockers to get rid of Arc-Slogger. It is even harder when Arc-Slogger's ability itself or a Seal of Fire threatens to destroy a blocker before combat damage is assigned. Playing with Shock might yield the same effect, but in this case, I don't want my opponent guessing. I want it to be clear that blocking is disadvantageous so that Arc-Slogger may be allowed to do what I most want it to do: kill my opponent. Pyrite Spellbomb is frequently used to draw a card. Seal of Fire can be sacrificed at no cost preceding Razia's Purification.

    Arc Lightning is one of my favourite red control cards. It may seem like more of the same (and it is -- red control isn't that deep.) Nonetheless, the flexibility that it affords me is appreciated. It has often saved me the trouble of wasting a Pyroclasm to kill two creatures.

    Razia's Purification is a quirky choice, selected partly because I owned two of them when I initially built this deck. I am rather satisfied with it, though. I can often eliminate my opponent's biggest threats a turn or two before casting it, leaving them with the terrible choice between leaving themselves defenses or mana with which to cast better spells. I, on the other hand, will typically hold it back until I am in a poised to end up with an Arc-Slogger and two mountains.

    Orim's Thunder is a simply a personal favourite of mine. I may well be better served by replacing it with any number of white Disenchant effects, but I get two-for-ones out of it often enough that the extra 1 mana to use it straight up seems worthwhile.
  2. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    Just a quick comment: the Seal of Fire and Pyre Spellbomb seem out of place in a deck with Razia's Purification. Have you considered Cave-In?
  3. Ephraim New Member

    I hadn't considered Cave-In. I would almost certainly use a fourth Pyroclasm before then, though. I can always sacrifice Seal of Fire and sometimes Pyrite Spellbomb prior to casting Razia's Purification, so the impact of playing both isn't excessive. Razia's Purification is, in some ways, a "win more" card. When my position is stronger than my opponent's, I can almost always seal the game by casting it. When my position is weaker, I can sometimes put myself on equal footing with it. Pyroclasm and Cave-In, on the other hand, leave me vulnerable to decks that make feature protection from red or multiple artifacts or enchantments.

    I suppose, on the other hand, that I had not properly considered Lightning Helix when I built this deck. It probably would make a suitable replacement for Pyrite Spellbomb, if I wanted to go that route.
  4. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    Okay. Another question: why not four Arc-Slogger? You describe it as a key card and though it is tough to kill, four doesn't seem out of place. Kumano, on the other hand, needs a lot of mana and doesn't play nice with Purification. What is your reasoning behind this?
  5. Ephraim New Member

    Kumano doesn't really serve any critical function whatsoever. He could be a fourth Arc-Slogger (if I owned a fourth) or a fourth Orcish Artillery (if it weren't so cool to play with the Master Yamabushi.) Mostly, I guess, he's just a 'for fun' inclusion.
  6. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    Gotcha. Good luck finding a fourth Arc-Slogger.
  7. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    It may be for Dredge, flashback or GY recursion decks, but 1 doesn't seem to be very effective.
    Tahngarth, Talruum Hero would add some punch to your board control. But it doesn't target the player with any damage.....
    Also Feldon's Cane may make the Arc Slogger more of a threat.

    But, hey, don't take me seriously, I spent more time on this message than my last deck... :D
  8. Ephraim New Member

    Feldon's Cane seems like a nice idea, but I'd have to replace more than just my one copy of Kumano, Master YamaBushi. Otherwise, the chance of dumping that one copy would make it pretty useless as a way of extending the effectiveness of Arc-Slogger. A fourth copy of Orcish Artillery is probably the best option. Arc-Slogger is a much stronger attacker, but generally, I think that Orcish Artillery is more useful in multiples.

    Along the same lines as Tahngarth, Talruum Hero, I have occasionally considered putting Initiate of Blood into the deck. Ultimately, the one or two "hazy" slots in the deck don't seem to have a huge impact on its overall performance, so I haven't really concerned myself much with what I use there.

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