Modern Deck: Jeskai Control, Momentum and Reactivity

Magic: the Gathering

Deck tech

Modern Deck: Jeskai Control, Momentum and Reactivity

01/16/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

Today, we'll analyze Jeskai Control's capacity to always adapt to the Metagame, running recent and old cards to react to its opponents.

Writer image

translated by Romeu

Writer image

revised by Tabata Marques

Edit Article
We all know how fluid and changeable the Metagame is and that even when decks are more consolidated, they keep changing usability and frequency with each other. That said, one of the archetypes that is most aware of this is

control

; precisely because it is a meta-reactive deck type, control decks constantly look for the most optimized approaches to fighting what is most present. An environment with more light and aggressive creatures requires more removals, while a metagame with a strong combo makes counterspells and hates more necessary, for example.

Ad

Control players are always updating their list and sideboard, and proof of that is the Jeskai Control list that the player

HeyPharaoh

used to get a place in the top 8 of the Challenge that took place on January 8link outside website.

The Decklist

Loading icon
A few months ago I wrote a articlelink outside website talking about Talisker’s Jeskai Stoneblade, which was a deck that also aimed at an effective answer to the Metagame, with several proactive hates and a gameplay similar to Legacy’s Mono Red Prison, is an approach with the same purpose and in the same colors as the deck we are going to analyze today, but it's entirely different from HeyPharaoh's deck, which plays reactively, with numerous instants to take advantage of momentum and punish your opponent’s play.

Interactions

Loading icon
And here we have the clearest examples of interactions at instant speed. Starting with the most classic of them all, Counterspell is pretty much Magic's ultimate counter, has a cost that's considered the standard cost of a basic counter, and guarantees efficient mana answers, both at the beginning and end of the game. On the other hand, Fire // Ice is a card that gains space thanks to its versatility, even if neither of its effects are so powerful, when together in just one card, they bring a series of possibilities and plays to the deck. In addition, both effects are well positioned these days: Fire covers the space for useful removals for 1-toughness creatures, which is extremely welcome in the environment, while Ice is a Tempo play that replaces itself, great for giving you one more turn against a Death's Shadow or a Murktide Regent. Speaking of versatility, Archmage's Charm is one of the most versatile cards in Modern. Being a board disruption, counter or even a card advantage source, it’s so powerful that it replaced Cryptic Command, which even though it has more powerful effects, costs an extra mana, which is a great reason not to run it in a format focused on mana efficiency.
Loading icon
But instants aren't the only cards with this speed that the deck has, as it has two mighty permanents that have flash. Solitude today is one of the most important removals of the format, being a Swords to Plowshares that costs a card in hand instead of a mana, the card becomes a removal that manages to resolve early game threats, like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer without losing its strength against late game threats. Furthermore, even if a 5 mana creature is something expensive by today's standards, in a control deck it's perfectly possible, so it's also a creature that can grants more life, or even finishes the game. Dress Down can be considered more of a cantrip with secret abilities. In some games, the card will be more of a resource to replenish and dig up your effective cards, but it's true that in addition, the card can often save you on several occasions - most creatures in Modern see play for their abilities, and removing this is extremely useful when used correctly.

Ad

Making a Primeval Titan not search for a land, make Ragavan just a 2/1 beater, or even prevent Infect from finishing off are all powerful applications that makes the enchantment an extremely useful card. Shark Typhoon is both a "creature" made to buy time and a powerful finisher. Thanks to cycling, Typhoon becomes a powerful action, hard to counter, that will draw a card and, moreover, leaves a body on the board, as big as you can afford! This ranges from "a surprise 2/2 that will exchange with an opposing creature" to "a 5/5 that will fly and hit the opponent four times, winning the game."
Loading icon
But it's not just on instants that control lives, is it? And some spells are just too strong to be left out. Prismatic Ending is definitely one of the best removals Magic has, as I've said a few times, and its strength is increased in multicolored decks, and with access to three colors, Jeskai can rip off a huge amount of permanents relevant in the format, which is extremely relevant for this Jeskai setup, Prismatic Ending is still extremely cost-optimized for what it does, and will often be cast when you already have some backup. Supreme Verdict on the other hand, does only one thing, but it does it very well. It is an extremely reliable and useful board sweeper these days, as Counterspell is a widely played card since it arrived in Modern, in addition to several other counterspells. The Verdict has the same converted cost as the standard sweeper, but with a very relevant increase in many matchups, such as against Death's Shadows and Murktides, which have plenty of counterspells to protect their threats.

Winconditions & Planeswalkers

Loading icon
Completing our control pieces, here we have card types that since they appeared in Magic, have been present in almost all control decks: Planeswalkers! Being control pieces and often win conditions, planeswalkers had their use consolidated thanks to various factors; being a board presence that isn't hit by your sweepers, having offensive and defensive abilities, granting you some life thanks to the attacks they receive, among other important factors for a deck in this archetype. It's impossible to think of them without thinking of Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Long considered the best planeswalker ever released, Jace can still keep up with newer planeswalkers, thanks to the fact that he does everything a control deck wants. Jace draws cards with a large selection (the famous Brainstorm), can dig cards for you or control the opponent's top, has a board disruption, even if it's not a removal, not to mention his ultimate that wins the game almost literally (with style points, exiling the opponent's deck is pretty cool). It's true that even so, Jace today has some pretty powerful competitors, like the one we're going to see later, so only one copy of Mind Sculptor is being used here, but still, its usability is beneficial most of the time it enters the battlefield.

Ad

One of the few things better than a four mana planeswalker is a

three mana

planeswalker! And to illustrate that, let's talk a bit about Teferi, Time Raveler, which is not focused on being a wincondition, but a resource, with a static ability that difficults the opponent's life in several ways, since acting only at sorcery-speed is something boring for any deck, but as we looked at the nuances of this static, we found that it precludes relevant mechanics like Cascade. In addition, Time Raveler has other great abilities, with a +1 that corrects the "defect" of our spells (casting a Supreme Verdict in the opponent's combat phase is evil), and also a negative ability that can be used both against our opponent, as Jace's ability is used, but that can be used to generate card advantage along with our Dress Down. Unlike its three-mana version, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria enters to win the game, but not clearly; it doesn't create bodies or deal damage like other planeswalkers that are winconditions. Instead, it makes the opponent's game "unplayable" until they realize they've lost. A well-protected Teferi for two or three turns, jumps you into action and card advantage at such a great distance that it is very difficult to deal with the scale that his positive ability causes, drawing numerous cards and giving you "extra mana" to use them. In addition, he has disruption as his negative ability and an ultimate that, again, doesn't clearly win the game, but makes the opponent have a hard time connecting any decent play.
Loading icon
Another important wincondition for control decks are the manlands, which are a way to get offensive power in lategame without spending slots for it and, mainly, without them dying to your Supreme Verdict. Their activation cost is steep, but first we're talking about a late game deck, where you'll have access to a lot of mana, second that thanks to our Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, it's possible to optimize your mana, activating your lands and still keep some backup counterspell or removal.

Other Cards

This is pace is for cards that don't fit exclusively into the topics above, but that were also critical pieces for the deck.
Loading icon
An essential requirement for a control is to draw several cards, but as Magic evolved, cards that associate card draws with other functions started to appear more, as we can see in this list, with Archmage's Charm, Fire // Ice, Shark Typhoon and Dress Down, which are cards that replace themselves (or even bring card advantage), but that are in the deck for combining draws to other functions Memory Deluge is the only card that is in the deck only to draw and select cards, but this is a testament to how powerful it is in this role. Deluge can be used twice, it's an instant, and it doesn't just draw two cards, it draws two of the best cards out of the top four or seven cards, which makes it much easier to find specific answers.

Ad

Loading icon
Speaking of specific answers, Chalice of the Void is a very interesting "silver bullet" here. Thanks to the large number of cards that the deck draws per game, it is safe to have a copy of one of the best positioned cards in the Metagame, and that almost always has some use when made with 0 or 1 counter, another exciting point is that no card from our deck is countered by a Chalice with such counters, as the entire build runs cards that cost more than two mana (Except for Prismatic Ending, which has a malleable cost), and this causes the Chalice to end up taking several decks by surprise on Game 1.
Loading icon
And here we also have our companion! Kaheera, the Orphanguard is not the most synergistic card in the deck, but an extra card for free is very desirable for a control list. The card can be used as a beater in a long-drawn-out late game, a blocker to keep you alive or even to more easily pay Solitude’s evoke cost, without losing more important cards.

Conclusion

There are many ways to react to the Metagame, and most have their advantages and disadvantages. Knowing this is very indispensable for a control deck, which can switch to something more proactive like a "prison" or something more reactive like a "draw-go".

Heypharaoh

chose to combine proactive impactful cards like Teferi, Time Raveler and the other planeswalkers, with various powerful instant reactions like Counterspell and Archmage's Charm, all with a focus on better sequences, backups and mana optimization. That’s all for today, see you next time!
Profile Main Image

Gabriel Nunes

Escritor para a Cards Realm, Streamer e Jogador de MTG Online.

Social Twitch Brands iconTwitter Brands icon

Profile imageSign in and join the conversation
User profile image

Be the first to comment

Same Author

Modern: Five Decklists with Death's Shadow

Modern Death's Shadow

Modern: Five Decklists with Death's Shadow

In today's article, we are going to analyze some variations of Death's Shadow and what the...

Modern: 5 Decks with Yorion, Sky Nomad

Yorion in Modern

Modern: 5 Decks with Yorion, Sky Nomad

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at one of the most used companions in ...

Modern: Hardened Scales and Metagame Changes

Modern and Changes

Modern: Hardened Scales and Metagame Changes

In this article, we'll look at a deck that was getting back in the spotlight before Lurrus...

Modern: 8 Cards that got better with Lurrus' ban

Modern Ban

Modern: 8 Cards that got better with Lurrus' ban

With the Companion banned, today we are going to see some cards that may be better positio...

Modern: Jund Food and Multiple Choices

Jund Food

Modern: Jund Food and Multiple Choices

Today we're going to see a Jund version that manages to be different from what we've seen ...

Modern: Assault Loam and Boseiju's arrival

Assault Loam

Modern: Assault Loam and Boseiju's arrival

In this article, we will see how the use of channel lands can affect a format, giving spot...

More from same author

Most read articles today

Pauper: Top 5 Best Cards from JumpStart 2022

Pauper & JumpStart 2022

Pauper: Top 5 Best Cards from JumpStart 2022

In today's article, we present the five best cards from the last Booster Set of the year, ...

Standard: Azorius Soldiers Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Azorius Soldiers

Standard: Azorius Soldiers Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

The Brothers' War brought a new strong tribal deck to Standard, Azorius Soldiers! Today, w...

Top 10 Best Preconstructed Commander Decks

Top 10 Commander Precons

Top 10 Best Preconstructed Commander Decks

A Top 10 of the best preconstructed Commander decks ever released, ranked by Commander, Sy...

Top 10 Weirdest and funniest Commanders in Magic

Top 10 Commanders

Top 10 Weirdest and funniest Commanders in Magic

In this Top 10 for Commander, we will see some of the most insane creatures with the weird...

Upgrading Commander Precon:  Urza's Iron Alliance (Urza, Chief Artificer)

Upgrading Urza's Iron Alliance

Upgrading Commander Precon: Urza's Iron Alliance (Urza, Chief Artificer)

An analysis of The Brothers' War Commander Precon: Urza's Iron Alliance, the artifact them...

The Japanese Alternative Arts of StrixHaven's Mystical Archive cards

The Japanese Alternative Arts of StrixHaven's Mystical Archive cards

The Japanese website of Wizards of the Coast revealed the 63 arts that will only be possib...

Upgrading Commander Precon: Chaos Incarnate (Kardur, Doomscourge)

Chaos Incarnate Upgrades!

Upgrading Commander Precon: Chaos Incarnate (Kardur, Doomscourge)

Today we analyze the Commander Starter Deck, Chaos Incarnate, and bring a guide on how to ...

All Kamigawa Neon Dynasty cards with anime or altered art

Nani!

All Kamigawa Neon Dynasty cards with anime or altered art

We can finally see all cards with altered art or in anime style form from the Kamigawa Neo...

Modern: Izzet Murktide Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Modern Izzet Murktide

Modern: Izzet Murktide Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Izzet Murktide is Modern's current best deck, but it's also challenging to play it masterf...

Standard: Rakdos Meld Aggro Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Standard Rakdos

Standard: Rakdos Meld Aggro Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Today, we'll take a look at a new Standard deck which have appeared upon The Brothers' War...

Jumpstart 2022: Top 10 Best cards for cEDH

Top 10 Jumpstart 2022

Jumpstart 2022: Top 10 Best cards for cEDH

Jumpstart 2022 is among us and it brings the age old question: what is good? Will your poc...

Upgrading Commander Precon: Grave Danger (Gisa and Geralf)

Starter Deck Upgrades

Upgrading Commander Precon: Grave Danger (Gisa and Geralf)

A review of Starter Commander Deck: Grave Danger, a classic Zombies deck with the infamous...

Pioneer: Upgrading the Challenger Deck - Izzet Phoenix

Izzet Phoenix Upgrades

Pioneer: Upgrading the Challenger Deck - Izzet Phoenix

The Pioneer Challenger Decks 2022 are here! And today, we present a guide on how to improv...

Upgrading Precon Commander: First Flight (Isperia, Supreme Judge)

Upgraded Precon

Upgrading Precon Commander: First Flight (Isperia, Supreme Judge)

This article brings a guide with card recommendations to enhance the initial Precon Comman...

Pioneer: 5 Competitive Decks to Start Out in the Format

Pioneer Options

Pioneer: 5 Competitive Decks to Start Out in the Format

Pioneer is a very fun and diverse format, and also stars in the competitive circuit that l...

Pauper: Azorius Caw-Gate Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Caw-Gate Deck Guide

Pauper: Azorius Caw-Gate Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Caw-Gate was the big news on this weekend's Pauper Challenge, taking advantage of one of t...

Top 10 Magic: The Gathering's most impactful sets

Top 10 Sets

Top 10 Magic: The Gathering's most impactful sets

Which were the most memorable sets from Magic: The Gathering? In this article, I present t...

Pioneer: Upgrading the Challenger Deck - Dimir Control

Dimir Control Upgrades

Pioneer: Upgrading the Challenger Deck - Dimir Control

Despite the flaws in its winconditions and manabase, Dimir Control offers a solid base for...

Modern: Hammer Time Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Hammer Time Deck Guide

Modern: Hammer Time Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Hammer Time brings one of the fastest combo-kills in Modern, but with the resilience to ha...

Quiz: Which MTG Plane matches you the most?

Find out with this quiz!

Quiz: Which MTG Plane matches you the most?

So, which Magic: The Gathering plane has you written all over it? Answer our quiz and find...

Decklists and Commanders from Starter Commander decks 2022

Starter Commander Decks

Decklists and Commanders from Starter Commander decks 2022

Starter Commander decks are five different two-color decks that have everything you need t...

Legacy: 8-Cast Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Affinity for Turtles!

Legacy: 8-Cast Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

In this article, we'll get to know one of the decks that recently appeared in Legacy and d...

Commander Deck Tech: The Ur-Dragon + Upgrades Guide

Dragons!!!!!!!!

Commander Deck Tech: The Ur-Dragon + Upgrades Guide

How about a storm of dragons to terrorize your opponents on the table? In this article, we...

Upgrading the Commander Precon: Token Triumph (Emmara, Soul of the Accord)

Commander Precon Upgrades

Upgrading the Commander Precon: Token Triumph (Emmara, Soul of the Accord)

A review of the Starter Commander Deck: Token Triumph, this time the Selesnya Tokens comma...

X
Hi