Cheap as Chips, Ep. 8: Stuck in the Middle with Blue

daxos of meletis art

Win with weenies has been my main mantra. This is partially because the weenie approach works on a budget, and partially because I simply may not have the patience required to play a strict control approach.

This week features two decks because I flip-flopped repeatedly when I tried to build an “Azorius Control Deck.” I pictured myself brewing a sweet pile of frustration based around bouncing [c]Stonehorn Dignitary[/c] to halt your opponent’s attack whilst using [c]Render Silent[/c] to ruin their entire turn. Rage quits baby!

Alas, it just didn’t work. I tweaked and twiddled until I had a bunch of heroic soldiers … and not much else. No bouncing rhinos. Protection spells instead of counters – in other words, not a control deck. Not even close.

So this is the first deck – Daxos Azorius Weenies:

[d title=”Daxos Weenies (Modern)”]

Land

1 Halimar Depths

2 Evolving Wilds

7 Island

10 Plains

4 Glacial Fortress

Creatures

4 Favored Hoplite

4 Battlewise Hoplite

2 Phalanx Leader

4 Preeminent Captain

4 Daxos of Meletis

2 Lavinia of the Tenth

2 Captain of the Watch

Spells

4 Feat of Resistance

2 Ordeal of Thassa

4 Gods Willing

2 Curiosity

2 Apostle’s Blessing

Sideboard

3 Celestial Flare

2 Detention Sphere

2 Relic of Progenitus

2 Render Silent

2 Oppressive Rays

3 Echoing Truth

1 Echoing Calm

[/d]

I played a few games with the weenie deck – and it was fun enough. The goal is to play a [c]Preeminent Captain[/c] on turn 3 or 4 and then attack with it, launching either a [c]Daxos of Meletis[/c], [c]Lavinia of the Tenth[/c], or [c]Captain of the Watch[/c] straight from your hand onto the battlefield. This is plenty powerful when it happens, but like all weenie approaches, the right removal card at the wrong time leaves you vulnerable to any tier 1 mid-range deck or anything with a strong turn 4 or 5 combo.

So I went back to the drawing-board with the goal of making a budget mid-range deck that could keep the board free of pests until the [c]Preeminent Captain[/c] move could take hold (but later in the game, say turn 6 or 7).

So this is the second deck – Daxos Azorius Midrange:

[d title=”Daxos Midrange (Modern)”]

Land

1 Halimar Depths

2 Evolving Wilds

7 Island

10 Plains

4 Glacial Fortress

Creatures

4 Preeminent Captain

4 Daxos of Meletis

2 Captain of the Watch

2 Lavinia of the Tenth

Spells

2 Detention Sphere

2 Render Silent

2 Echoing Truth

3 Celestial Flare

2 Ætherize

4 Delay

3 Reciprocate

2 Curse of the Swine

1 Foresee

2 Singing Bell Strike

1 Oppressive Rays

Sideboard

2 Relic of Progenitus

2 Echoing Calm

2 Mana Leak

3 Dispel

2 Aegis of the Gods

2 Foresee

2 Hindering Light

[/d]

This deck features a slew of removal options lead by [c]Reciprocate[/c], [c]Curse of the Swine[/c], and my personal favorite, [c]Aetherize[/c]. There are also a smattering of counters led by [c]Delay[/c] as an alternative to [c]Mana Leak[/c] (which too often with a slow approach has opponents holding the three open mana). The creature curve starts at three mana, where [c]Preeminent Captain[/c] still leads the charge into a Daxos, Lavinia, or Captain.

Which deck is stronger in the current meta?

I played a half-dozen games with each and ran across everything from infect to elves to a fan of 19th-century German philosophy and a guy playing 2/2 bears. I did better with the weenie deck but only, I think, because I made more mistakes and rushed my games with the midrange approach. (I didn’t upload the infect video, but it was a satisfying 2-1 win for the midrange deck.)

Check out the gameplay videos and let me know your thoughts on which deck is stronger!