Legacy: Jeskai Control Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide
07/24/22 0 comments
Jeskai Control is one of the most played decks in Legacy. Let's understand its advantages and what leads people to play with and adapt to the current Metagame.Edit Article
Jeskai Control, being a viable option.
trunks132, who went 6-0 in a Challenge.
Mana and CantripsAs much as they may not seem like it, the two subjects are closely linked. The number of cantrips you have affects the number of lands you run, and here we use 12 cantrips of the highest quality (one of them even a bit dubious), which allows us to play only 21 lands in a Control deck. Compared to other formats, control decks tend to have 24 to 26 lands, but these spells allows us to use these slots better. Another thing we can notice compared to the other formats is the simplicity around the Jeskai manabase. We see in other formats many man lands, castle and the new channel lands. Here we restrict ourselves to the basics, fetch lands and old duals (except for a copy of Mystic Sanctuary, which we will talk about later).
respectfor some staples, such as Wasteland, Back to Basics and Blood Moon: giving up the luxury of filling your manabase with non-basics guarantees you security against decks that like to abuse these cards (which in Legacy there are several).
Removals and CounterspellsIn this topic, we have divided the function of each of the colors well. The blue plays its role of preventing things from entering the battlefield, and white deals with whatever hits the board. In this list, we have a little surprise that comes in red: Pyroblast, which does both, as long as your target is blue.
Marit Lagetoken from the Dark Depths combo.
Show and Tellor
Ad Nauseam Tendrils (Storm), in addition to other threats that end up hitting the board too quickly, such as a Blood Moon or Chalice of the Void. Even a Goblin Lackey that we don't have an answer to in hand can be a great target for a Force. That said, be careful with these cards in attrition matchups, Force of Negation is very castable even by hard cast (1UU), so whenever you feel like countering something, think if it's worth spending two cards from your hand for it. Sometimes even an opponent's powerful card can be resolved with some other card from your deck, and you can save that counter for later.
Izzet Delver, a deck that has dominated the format since before the release of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, exploded when it was released and remains in that status even after its ban. However, Pyroblast remains useful in many other match ups, as most decks run blue. However, it's clearly a handpicked card to deal with a specific Metagame where you're expected to face
8-Cast. If your Metagame is made up of other types of decks, I can suggest other cards that are commonly seen in UWR lists. If it's common to face creature-based Aggro decks (
Death and Taxes,
Merfolks), Supreme Verdict or Terminus are great choices (maybe even Pyroclasm, if you don't face that many merfolks, these are routinely bigger than 2/2).
Show and Telland their versions,
Oops, All Spells,
Painter), we can replace them with more versatile answers like Spell Pierce, Flusterstorm, Counterspell or Dovin's Veto.
Planeswalkers and CreaturesNow we're basically talking about our win conditions, and right away we can notice another different choice from this list: the author sells the poison and the antidote — we don't play with Jace, the Mind Sculptor and run instead The Wandering Emperor.
8-Cast, since we don't have weapons in the main deck to deal with decks based on creatures, since we give up on sweepers in favor of counterspells. We have Engineered Explosives and Kozilek's Return to deal with plenty of creatures, Serenity and Meltdown to deal with numerous enchantments and artifacts (mostly artifacts, Serenity comes with Kappa Cannoneer written on it and Meltdown with Urza's Saga). Flusterstorm is essential against combo matchups. We have copies of Hydroblast, Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast, in case we get to face the match ups we really want them (Delver and mirror) and Surgical Extraction against
Izzet DelverDelver is Legacy's top deck today, so it's important to be prepared to beat it. The main strategy of playing Control against a Tempo deck is to deal with threats as soon as possible. Here we need to worry about Ledger Shredder and especially Murktide Regent, our main enemy. For that, Swords to Plowshares is our best friend allied with Pyroblast — you want to avoid as much as possible the situation where your opponent casts a Murktide Regent and you only have Prismatic Ending, then try to Prismatic other creatures (Delver of Secrets, Ledger Shredder, Dragon's Rage Channeler). During the first game, don't hesitate to spend Force of Will on the creatures, especially on Murktide Regent, you won't have better targets for it. Narset, Parter of Veils and especially Teferi, Time Raveler are important allies in this match up, ensuring that Teferi remains in play is a path to victory, as he alone disables the opponent's instant-speed interactions (which there are many, by the way) and, moreover, it manages to deal relatively effectively with Murktide, especially at the beginning of the game while the opponent still doesn't have such a vast graveyard at their disposal.
you will lose the game.
ElvesUnlike the previous matchup, we are completely unprotected against Elves, without sweepers in the main deck, we will hardly be able to gain the advantage in what is already a less favorable matchup than it appears. Allosaurus Shepherd and Cavern of Souls are our greatest enemies. It is important to try to prevent the opponent from having too much tranquility in interactions with Elvish Visionary so that they don't surpass us in card advantage, and also be aware of Glimpse of Nature and especially Natural Order — resolving this card usually means we lost. So kill Allosaurus Shepherd whenever you get the chance, and counter Natural Order, so you can (maybe) deal with the other threats over time. Lucky for us, their creatures are small and many need to be tapped to generate mana, so we don't have such a fast clock over our heads, their combo package is more threatening. OUT:
ReanimatorNow we're back to our comfort zone, we have a well-structured deck to face the Reanimator. If, by chance, we win the first game (which is possible, but not so common), we are at a huge advantage, since we have important weapons against this deck on the sideboard. To play against Reanimator, we have two lines of reasoning. The first is to try to prevent the opponent from putting threats in the grave
by countering the enablers(Entomb, Faithless Looting, Unmask and Thoughtseize) or preventing them from coming back,
countering reanimations(Reanimate, Animate Dead and Exhume). Normally, the ideal is to counter these spells, since they are fewer, but analyze the opponent's situation game by game, both options are valid. (If the opponent has the old Dimir version, the roles are reversed, they will have fewer ways to put creatures in the graveyard than to reanimate them.) It is in this type of match that we see the power of Force of Will and Force of Negation. Once you know you're up against Reanimator, you need these cards in your hand ASAP — your opponent consistently combos on turn 1! Remember that FoN can exile a Faithless Looting preventing the flashback from working. Swords to Plowshares can help us too, in case our opponent hasn't brought back a Griselbrand or a Serra's Emissary that named Instant. OUT:
8-CastNow we are talking about novelty. In this match up it's important to be careful with Kappa Cannoneer, which once it enters the field can bother us a lot due to ward and is a creature that gets very high stats, so we don't want to let that happen.
Selesnya DepthsThe match up against Selesny Depths is not usually problematic. We need to be careful with Wasteland because even if we're not piloting a deck with a greedy manabase, we still have a decent amount of Old Duals, so stick with the basics. Elvish Reclaimer and Knight of the Reliquary are cards that you don't want to see on the battlefield for too long, but this is one of those matches where you want to hide a Swords to Plowshares up your sleeve to deal with Marit Lage, since you don't have access to Wasteland, and we can't counter lands. You should always imagine that Marit Lage will come in without much difficulty. In general, this deck has few creatures that will become its main win condition against you. The Wandering Emperor is a valuable card in this match up, as it responds to Dark Depths tokens at instant speed and can also press them with samurai tokens. Watch out for Sejiri Steppe and Sylvan Safekeeper, which can protect the avatar from our answers, so the match won't get out of your control.