by Chris Weaver

In Part 1, I talked about reasons to join Pauper along with the core deck archetypes. I went into strengths and weaknesses of the pure aggro decks. Today, I will be discussing the pure control choices available to you.

Control:

Blue-Red Cloudpost(Finespoo)

Lands (24)
Cloudpost
Glimmerpost
Island
Izzet Guildgate
Mountain

Creatures (7)
Sea Gate Oracle
Mnemonic Wall
Mulldrifter

Spells (29)
Condescend
Electrickery
Electrostatic Bolt
Firebolt
Flame Slash
Lightning Bolt
Preordain
Harvest Pyre
Mana Leak
Prophetic Prism
Rolling Thunder
Capsize
Compulsive Research
Ghostly Flicker
Mystical Teachings
Serrated Arrows
Sideboard (15)
Firebolt
Hydroblast
Ancient Grudge
Stone Rain
Pyroblast
Earth Rift

Mono Black Control(sneakattackkid)

Lands (23)
Barren Moor
Polluted Mire
17 Swamp

Creatures (19)
Augur of Skulls
Ravenous Rats
Chittering Rats
Crypt Rats
Phyrexian Rager
Okiba-Gang Shinobi

Spells (18)
Dead Weight
Duress
Unearth
Echoing Decay
Geth's Verdict
Sign in Blood
Sideboard (15)
Tendrils of Corruption
Rendclaw Trow
Victim of Night
Snuff Out
Corrupt
Okiba-Gang Shinobi
Sorin's Thirst
Choking Sands
Duress

Blue-Black Trinket Control(Din_Mamma)

Lands (21)
Barren Moor
Bojuka Bog
Dimir Aqueduct
Island
Swamp
Terramorphic Expanse
Vault of Whispers

Creatures (20)
Fume Spitter
Augur of Skulls
Chittering Rats
Crypt Rats
Trinket Mage
Mulldrifter

Spells (19)
Executioner's Capsule
Sylvok Lifestaff
Tragic Slip
Undying Evil
Diabolic Edict
Grim Harvest
Sign in Blood
Sideboard (15)
Chittering Rats
Crypt Rats
Sylvok Lifestaff
Nihil Spellbomb
Duress
Distress
Deep Analysis
Spinning Darkness
Geth's Verdict

Mono Blue Control(Shyft4)

Lands (20)
18 Island
Quicksand

Creatures (9)
Delver of Secrets
Frostburn Weird
Spire Golem

Spells (31)
Portent
Brainstorm
Preordain
Thought Scour
Piracy Charm
Counterspell
Logic Knot
Memory Lapse
Exclude
Gush
Repeal
Sideboard (15)
Dispel
Hydroblast
Coast Watcher
Weatherseed Faeries
Serrated Arrows

These decks all actively LIKE playing the long game. They eek out card advantage and board control and eventually win in turns 10 and up. Each deck has pros and cons, so we’ll break these down as before.

UR Cloudpost:

Pros: with an array of answers to multiple different situations, UR Post players seem to “have it all.” Their topdecks in late games are far more powerful than other decks, so when they’ve stabilized, they’ve actually usually won. It might take them awhile to get there, of course, but it’s a matter of time before they stick a threat or just straight bludgeon you with a huge Rolling Thunder. UR Post can generate more mana than any other fair deck via the Cloudpost engine, and can remove threats through counterspells or protection just because they have access to more mana and utility spells than opponents.

Cons: This deck can easily lose in the first few turns of the game because they don’t have the mana base ready to deal with a multitude of attackers in the early turns. They often spend the first 3 turns playing tapped lands or fixing their mana before they can take control. Post decks can also suffer against big tempo plays, such as an early Temporal Fissure or even just a simple Boomerang on a Cloudpost. The removal suite for the UR decks also has a major issue dealing with hexproof creatures, outside of Counterspelling them.

Mono Black Control:

Pros: Hand destruction and creature destruction are Black’s specialty throughout Magic’s history. MBC is no exception, attacking the board of opponents and their hand as well. Black has great sideboard options as well, including “free” kill spells like Snuff Out and Spinning Darkness, along with land destruction and more kill and discard spells!

Cons: MBC is incredibly slow, and opponents can fairly easily recover with a few good topdecks. MBC decks can’t provide reasonable clocks on opponents either: The creatures are all small and don’t protect themselves, dying to a simple Firebolt most of the time. If your only threat gets Bolted, you’re relying on topdecks to get you back into the game. Even if you get back into the game, another Bolt puts you back at square 1, relying on topdecks to get you back in. The lack of card draw other than Sign in Blood can also be hugely detrimental, and black has no way to generate lots of extra mana like Cloudpost does. MBC often loses just based on not topdecking well.

UB Trinket Control:

Pros: Trinket Control plays more like a MBC deck with the bonus of utilizing blue for card draw and card advantage. It abuses Mulldrifters and Trinket Mages to stabilize the board and fetch important artifacts. Evoking a Mulldrifter, then casting Undying Evil on it nets you +2 cards and a 3/3 flying body. It has good to favorable matchups against much of the format. It attacks opposing hands and boards just like MBC, and uses Blue to refill your hand.

Cons: Stormpost. Seriously. The deck isn’t fast enough to kill a Stormpost player before they go off, and doesn’t use Counterspells to disrupt the combo. Hand destruction is the only tool you have against Stormpost, and that’s not even very good when they can redraw their hand with a few Compulsive Researches and a Mulldrifter. It has at least a 50/50 matchup against every other deck in the format(except Burn, because once again, no Counterspells). You can play the matchup lottery and hope to not encounter Stormpost decks, but every other deck you have a good matchup against.

Mono Blue Control:

Pros: MUC is an older idea, long before Delver of Secrets got tossed into the Faerie deck to make the more common Mono U deck of the format. MUC is interesting though, and has the bonus of having all of the Counterspells be unconditional. This means you’ll never groan when an opponent plays a 3 mana spell when you have a Spellstutter in hand that’s 1 Faerie short. Your opponent can’t kill the Spellstutter to render the Counterspell trigger useless. Opponents will often sideboard against you assuming that you have Faeries in the deck, making some of their choices rather silly. You also get the bonus of almost never having dead cards in hand, like the Faeries variety often does. Ninja of the Deep Hours isn’t that impressive if opponents remove your creatures before you can Ninjitsu.

You also get premium card selection, since you get to pick and choose which cards you want with 1 mana cantrips, which coincidentally let you blind flip Delvers on turn 2 more often. On top of that, you get to manipulate opponents’ libraries with Portent, Memory Lapse, and Thought Scour. This lets you get rid of troublesome cards or make opponents draw dead.

Cons: It’s harder to deal with early threats like Nettle Sentinel and Mogg Conscripts because Piracy Charm doesn’t kill them. This means you’re relying on Spire Golem and Frostburn Weird defensively, and hoping to live long enough to get Counterspells effective. You can often get swarmed by opponents flooding the board. You also run a serious risk of just running out of Counterspells and not being able to counter critical Mulldrifters in the late game. It’s very easy to lose control quickly too. Opposing Cloudpost decks can resolve a Compulsive Research or Mulldrifter or two, and you just get out-carded by them.

-Chris

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