Alchemy: Azorius Control Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Magic: the Gathering

Deck tech

Alchemy: Azorius Control Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

07/03/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

A great list for those who like to play Control. This deck explores the interaction between Key to Archive and Teferi in depth, generating a lot of value and having several options.

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Getting to Know Azorius Control in Alchemy

Anyone who's been following me for a while knows my love for Azorius Control — and in my Cards Realm debut article, I couldn't help but talk about my favorite archetype! Since the release of the Alchemy format, I've been playing around with the following list a lot and have gotten some interesting results:
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The main reasons I like this deck so much are Key to the Archive and Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset. I really like this combo, as the Key gives us a random card from the Spellbook, while Teferi can untap the Key and give us a good mana advantage in case we need to respond to some opponent's spell on their turn.

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The other noteworthy card is Divine Purge, which can deal with most creatures and artifacts in the Metagame, giving Control the time it needs to turn the game in its favor.
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Mulligan and Stances

Like any Control deck, you must deal with threats early in the game until your permanents stabilize in your favor and then end the game, so I believe this list is consistent and competent in what it sets out to do. In general, Alchemy's Metagame is kind of hostile to Azorius, so my strategy with this deck is to have access to the sideboard through the

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mechanic with Professor of Symbology and A-Divide by Zero, in addition to the Legion Angel that searches for other creatures of the same name from outside the game.
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It's crucial that you don't lose drop lands with this deck, so keeping a hand with Professor of Symbology can be interesting to gain access to Environmental Sciences, to get a basic land at the beginning of the game. In the late game, tutoring Mascot Exhibition with the Professor can give you plenty of creatures to attack, or as blockers, as the game unfolds.
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One of the strongest cards in the deck is Saiba Syphoner. You can return a counterspell or removal from your graveyard to your hand at the right time. Try to keep it to generate some advantage over your opponent.
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Remember that with Key to the Archive you will have access to 15 Spellbook cards, from which Arena will give you the option to choose one of 3 random ones, as shown in the image below. Your choice will depend on how the match is going for you. If the game is stable for me, I prefer cards that give card advantage or extra turn. Against aggro, I already prefer to choose a removal. But that depends a lot on the analysis of your game.
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The 15 Spellbook cards are:
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Sideboard Guide

Azorius Control

Generally, Control mirrors tend to take longer and that's why I prefer to maintain a slightly more aggressive stance than my opponent, trying to get as many creatures as possible on the board to finish the game soon. Also try to prevent your opponent from resolving cards like Key to the Archive, The Wandering Emperor and Discover the Formula, as they generate plenty of value and increase your opponent's advantage over you.

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Rakdos Despair

I believe this is the most difficult match for Azorius, as Rakdos can stabilize quickly, especially if the opponent manages to resolve Undercity Plunder early in the game, hence Test of Talents can be quite important here. I really enjoy trying to gain the upper hand with The Wandering Emperor, as she's a planeswalker that Rakdos Despair can't remove so easily.

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Rakdos Midrange

Like Rakdos Despair, it's not an easy match, but here you'll need all the removals, so my tip is that you play with the deck in that same configuration, trying to stop the opponent from putting too many creatures in play. Divine Purge is an excellent card in this matchup, as it delays your opponent's plays, giving you time to stabilize the game in your favor.

Naya Revels

This is usually a pretty smooth matchup, since Azorius has many removals in the maindeck. My tip is: try to stop Cabaretti Revels from hitting the board, or remove it as soon as possible. I also suggest adding Iymrith, Desert Doom, as it can be another creature on the board to block or end the game.

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Esper Control

Against Esper Control, I follow the same strategy as in against Azorius. We take advantage of the control taking the removals and try to win the race, putting as many creatures as possible on the board.

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Mono Green Stompy

I would say this matchup is the best for Azorius due to the amount of removals, making it easy to interact with the opponent's creatures. In this match, I choose not to make any post-side changes, as I believe the deck handles Mono Green very well as it is.

Mono White Aggro

In this matchup, I prefer to follow the strategy I use against Mono Green Stompy, but you can also choose to add Iymrith, Desert Doom and take a Discover the Formula, if you prefer to play with one more creature.

Alternative Card Choices

I like the list presented here, but I will leave tips on some cards that would also enrich it: - The Celestus: it's definitely a great card to use on the side against mirror matches, as it generates mana and filter your hands. However, be careful when using this card together with Divine Purge, you don't want to cast Celestus multiple times in the game. - Doomskar: if you feel that the field is too aggro, this is definitely a good maindeck sweeper. Foretell can prevent the opponent from making you discard it using Duress when against Rakdos and the like. - Strict Proctor: It's also a good side against Naya, Mono White or Rakdos decks in general, as Strict's ability can give you some time until you can stabilize the field in your favor. However, it is necessary to be careful that it does not harm you by affecting your cards with ETB effect.

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- Fading Hope: another card that can give you time, causing you to avoid an attack and forcing the opponent to spend another turn to conjure the same creature. - Behold the Multiverse: if your wildcard resources are a bit scarce, this card can be a suitable alternative to Memory Deluge.

Conclusion

Always remember: Don't be afraid to be aggressive. You need to end the game as quickly as possible, so if the game is in your favor, go on the attack with Hall of Storm Giants and create angels with Emeria's Call.
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If you're into the archetype, I think you might like this deck a lot. I had good results with it, both in ranked and in events worth Play-In Points. Any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll answer right away because I love talking about Azorius. Good games!
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