A new season of standard means new decks all around. After playing against aggro/combo* a ton I decided to try my hand at control and see how well I would do. The main deck that you see above I used in this week’s MPDC(Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, check here for more info) and ended up going 2-2. The sideboard I did heavy retooling after the event and am still in the process of tweaking it. Overall the deck is based on the idea of counter anything threatening, swing with my guys in an empty board and use instant speed draw to keep up my hand. Let’s break down the deck
4x Delver of Secrets-this guy is still good, while not the focus of decks like he used to be, he’s still a threat.
1x Wild Guess-Discard land when I can cast everything, get cards in exchange. Anymore than 1 of and it’s a pain to cast and not as useful.
3x Essence Scatter-Creatures are scary, creatures get countered
3x Negate-Removal, auras, token generators are all scary as well
4x Searing Spear– One of the default burn spells for every deck with red, this is no exception
4x Think Twice-One of the few ways to draw cars at instant speed, flashback also gives me more ways to use my mana
4x Goblin Electromancer-This card is awesome, reducing the cost of most of the cards in my deck means that I can do more with less and be more aggressive in playing out creatures
4x Brimstone Volley-I prefer this over pillar of flame because that 1 extra point of damage is relevant more often than not and if I get lucky than morbid can kill anything or take away a 1/4 of my opponent’s life total
4x Cancel-It’s a universal hard counter, with an Electromancer in play it becomes Counterspell
2x Stealer of Secrets-I honestly have tested this compared to Scroll Thief mainly because 1. I already had 2 of this card and 2. it seems that the extra point of power is better than toughness. If this actually stays and connects i’m pleasantly surprised.
3x Essence Backlash-You have to win with creatures, this punishes you for trying to cast a creature spell. I haven’t tried rewind yet but that might be better here. I should also cut 1 of these for something else.
2x Inspiration-The other source of instant speed card draw.
2x Izzet Guildgate
1x Haunted Fengraf
Need more red sources, fengraf is just one of those cards that every standard pauper works in for good reason
3x Curse of the Pierced Heart– Adds inevitably to the game once you get into top deck wars and for those matches were nothing sticks
1x Essence Scatter-For aggro decks
4x Inaction Injuction– Also for aggro decks and/or decks that aren’t hexproof based
1x Negate-For those decks with a lot of non creatures spells
Overall thoughts: Counter magic is kinda terrible, especially at common; having access to Syncopate would be nice. Not having any sort of universal counter at 2 CMC like Mana Leak is problematic. Playing this deck has been educational and fun so I’m probably going to keep it as my ‘main’ deck during this standard season in the sense of this is the deck I’ll keep refining and playing around with casually if not necessarily in events depending on the meta. Although once Gatecrash comes out I might jump ship to a Simic based deck.
*Not traditional combo but the basic idea of a combo deck is true