Magic: the Gathering
By MTG, 12/15/19
Let's begin with the control side of the deck, mostly counters and removals:We will keep 1 copy of the instant
Syncopate, which for 1 blue and X generic mana will counter target spell unless its controller pays X, and if the target spell is countered this way it will be exiled instead of going to the graveyard. It's a great option for first turns where the opponent doesn't usually have a mana surplus or even for late game when our opponent plays high-costing spells.
Absorb, an instant that, in addition to countering target spell, grants us 3 life to keep us alive longer while we try to gain control of the game.
Seal Awayis an enchantment with flash that, when entering the battlefield, exiles target tapped creature an opponent controls until this enchantment leaves the field. We'll raise the number of its copies from 1 to 2. We will also increases the number of
Cast Out, from 2 to 3. It's another enchantment with flash that, when entering the battlefield, exiles target nonland permanent an opponent controls until this enchantment leaves the field. In addition, we can pay 1 white mana to use cycling, giving us the option to trade it for another card in case we have nothing to exile.
Blessed Alliance, an instant that allows us to choose one or more of the following effects (and we pay 2 generic mana for each mode chosen beyond the first): - Make the target player gain 4 life (which helps us stay alive longer); - Untap up to two target creatures (which will be useful in the budget version); - Target opponent sacrifices an attacking creature (great for decks that attack with few creatures, like auras). Similarly, we will also keep all 4 copies of
Azorius Charm, an instant that allows us to choose 1 from the following effects: - Grant lifelink to our creatures until end of turn (which can be useful against aggressive decks); - Draw a card (when the game is under control or we need to find an answer to their strategies);
Supreme Verdictwith 4
Cleansing Nova, a sorcery that let us choose between destroying all creatures or destroying all artifacts and enchantments, which will depend on our opponent's threats.
Besides the control side of the deck, we have some Planeswalker that help with maintaining said control, finding answers to other strategies or even granting win conditions:Unfortunately,
Teferi, Time Ravelerand
Teferi, Hero of Dominariaare very expensive cards for a budget deck, so they had to be removed. The static effect of
Teferi, Time Ravelerhas the function of preventing the opponent from responding to our actions. And as we have no budgets options to supply this, we will instead use
Monastery Siege, an enchantment that allows us to choose between Khans or Dragons when entering the battlefield. When choosing Dragons, the spells our opponents cast that target us (or our permanents) cost 2 more to cast, which can be an useful delay as we gain control of the game. Also, if the game is already controlled, we can instead opt for Khans to increase our draws. Because of all that, we'll use 3 copies of
Monastery Siege. We will keep 1 copy of
Narset, Parter of Veils, a Planeswalker that enters the battlefield with 5 loyalty counters and prevents opponents from drawing more than one card per turn. In addition, we can remove 2 counters to look at the top 4 cards of our library and reveal a noncreature, nonland card to put in our hand. The rest goes to the bottom of our library in a random order. We'll also keep 2 copies of
Jace, Architect of Thought, a Planeswalker with 4 loyalty counters that has the following effects: - Adding 1 loyalty counter will make (only until our next turn) an opponent's creature gets -1/-0 until end of turn whenever it attacks (helping to keep the game under control). - Removing 2 loyalty counters will reveal the top 3 cards of our library so that an opponent separates into two piles where we choose one to put in our hand and the other at the bottom of the library in any order (helping us find the answers we need). - Removing 8 counters allows us to look in each player's library for a nonland card and exile it, then that player shuffle his (her) library. We then may cast those exiled cards without paying their mana cost (which in addition to messing with the opponent's strategy can give us a win condition). Likewise, we'll also keep 1 copy of
Elspeth, Sun's Champion, a Planeswalker that enters the field with 4 loyalty counters and has the following effects: - By adding 1 counter we will create three 1/1 Soldier creature tokens (which can serve as blockers as well as our victory condition). - By removing 3 counters we can destroy all creatures with power 4 or greater (being a situational global removal). - By removing 7 counters we get an emblem that grants +2/+2 and flying to all our creatures (helping our tokens and other creatures to finish the opponent).
We also have some other supports in the list:We will keep 4 copies of
Opt, an instant with 1 blue mana cost with scry 1 that also allows us to draw a card. We'll keep 2 copies of
Dig Through Time, an instant which thanks to its delve ability can be cast for only 2 blue mana in the late game. It also makes us look at the top 7 cards of our library, placing 2 of them in our hand and the rest on the bottom of our library in any order.
Sphinx's Revelation, an instant which, for 2 blue, 1 white and X generic mana, gives us X life (keeping us alive longer) and makes us draw X cards (replenishing our hand). Furthermore, we'll replace
Search for Azcanta- a very useful enchantment (both early and late game) - with 1 copy of
Jace's Sanctum, although this second does not compare with the first one, it decreases the cost of our instants and sorceries (speeding up our strategy and helping to keep control). Also, whenever we play an instant or sorcery, we scry 1, which helps managing the top of the library and finding the cards to keep the game under control. We'll also add a copy of
Dragonlord Ojutai, a 5/4 creature with flying that will have hexproof as long as it's untapped (being a difficult card for the opponent to deal with). Also, whenever it deals combat damage to a player, we can look at the top 3 cards of our library and put 1 in our hand and the rest at the bottom of the library in any order (which helps us to find the answers we need).
Proceeding to our mana base:We will remove all copies of
Fabled Passage, the latter being replaced by 4 copies of
Evolving Wilds, which helps us with the mana base. We'll keep 3 copies of
Temple of Enlightenment, which enters the battlefield tapped and with scry 1. It can be tapped to add a white or blue mana. We will also keep a copy of
Field of Ruinto deal with some specific lands. On top of that, we'll keep 2 copies of
Castle Vantress, which enters the battlefield tapped unless we control an Island. It can be tapped to add 1 blue mana or tapped at the cost of 2 blue and 2 generic mana to scry 2 (which helps a lot to find what we need to keep the game under control). In similar fashion, we will also keep 1 copy of
Castle Ardenvale, which enters the battlefield tapped unless we control a Plains. It can be tapped to add 1 white mana or tapped at the cost of 2 white and 2 generic mana to create a 1/1 white Human creature token. Closing out our list, we have 8 copies of
Islandand 5 copies of
Here's our deck: