Friday, October 1, 2010

What the MUC?!?

...and by MUC I mean Mono-Blue Control to all you non-Magic players.

I've been wanting to build a Mono-Blue Control deck for Legacy for quite some time now. I think I know how I want to build it. Like any good MUC deck in eternal starts something like this:

Force of Will x 4
Counterspell x 4

There are a couple of different routes you can go with a MUC deck these days. Now that I'm becoming a proponent of combo decks I think I want to go in that direction. But I want to have a few roads to victory via a couple of different "soft" locks.

Spell Snare x 3
Counterspell x 4
Force of Will x 4
Cryptic Command x 3
Ancestral Vision x 4

Counterbalance x 4

Sensei's Divining Top x 4

Spellstutter Sprite x 4
Glen Elendra Archmage x 1
Sower of Temptation x 1
Vendlion Clique x 3
Venser Shaper Savant x 1

Mishra's Factory x 4
Faerie Conclave x 4
Riptide Laboratory x 2
Islands x 12
Scalding Tarn x 2

Propaganda x 4
Spell Pierce x 3
Nevinyral's Disk x 3
Tormod's Crypt x 3
Sower of Temptation x 2

There are a few things going on with this MUC build. I based it on a Mono-Blue Faeries build that I had for Extended a while ago. But I added some Legacy action to make it competitive for the format. First off the Force of Wills just make the deck competitive right off the bat. Being able to stop turn 1 and 2 kills is super important in Legacy.

The combo that is in the deck is obviously the soft lock of Sensei's Divining Top and Counterbalance. Counterbalance is basically a Counterspell on a stick as long as the top card of your library shares the casting cost of the spell attempting to be countered. Top basically stacks to set up the Counterbalance. Since plenty of decks in Legacy keep a low curve of 1-3 casting costs it is easy to do and maintain. Turn 1 Top and turn 2 Counterbalance can spell good game for some opponents. It is difficult to play around and hard to disrupt. If MUC can aggressively mulligan to get the right pieces in place it can be devastating. It can single-handedly lock out an aggro Zoo deck or keep a combo deck in check.

The other sub-combo in the deck is Riptide Laboratory and the 10 Wizards available. Riptide allows you to bounce a Wizard you control from play back to your hand. This allows the 10 Wizards in the deck with relevant abilities to become reuseable sources of card advantage. Basically 6 of the Wizards double as Counterspells, 3 of them snag the best card in your opponents hand or changes out your irrelevant late game lands into gas, and the last Wizard is a Control Magic on a stick. This soft combo also provides combat tricks. You can counter a spell with Spellstutter, block and bounce. Effectively creating a wall of blockers if you have the mana and both Riptides out. I know 10 Wizards isn't a lot but with 4 Ancestral Visions and 4 Tops, you are going to get your Riptides and Wizards into play.

The two mentioned combos, er...combo'd with a vast ocean of counter-magic makes the deck (draw) go. Not only does the deck have two ways of creating infinite counters but it also packs a whoping 18 hard counters. No joke. I love me some control spells. FOW for obvious reasons, Countespells because I'm playing a counterspell deck, Spell Snare because plenty of the best cards in Legacy are 2cc (Goyf, Survival of the Fittest, Fauna Shaman, Lord of Atlantis, Counterbalance, etc.), Spellstutters to provide 2-for-1 action (or more), and Cryptic Command. Cryptic might just be a 2-of and I'll increase Spell Snare to a 4-of because Cryptic, although awesome in it's utility, is just too slow for the format. Whereas Spell Snare cockblocks plenty of money cards in Legacy. But my love of Cryptic is keeping it as a 3-of and I may go to a 4-of!!! Cryptic is so damn versatile I could blog all night about it. But I won't. First off, it is a 2-for-1 most of the time. You stop there backbreaking spell AND draw more gas. Or you can bounce ANYTHING. Tap all those angry Goblins. Just saying. But again, it's probably too slow. Sad face.

This version of MUC runs 8 manlands to help in beatdown duties. I wish Mishra's Factory x 4 was Mutavault x 4 but I will not shell out the $50 it will take to get there. The cool thing about the Mutavualts is they can combo with the Riptides as well as helping to add to Spellstutters. Factories will have to make do. Conclave is a nice evasion beater that adds the critical blue mana the deck needs. The two Scalding Tarns are the only two blue Fetchlands I own and help in the reshuffling of the deck if Top becomes dry. I wanted to put in two Vedalkan Shackles but realized that I may not consistently have Islands out to make it effective.

Sideboard options were so up in the air. Larry Nevin's Disk to a reset button if need be. I don't own any Powder Kegs so Disk will have to do. The cool thing about Disk is I can blow up the world but still save Top and bounce Wizards if need be. Propaganda is for decks that need creatures to win, mainly Zoo, Goblins, Survival, etc. You need to mulligan aggressively to get one in hand otherwise an angry Goblin Lackey turn 1 can wreck you. Or early Survival of the Fittest can spell dangerous Vengevine action. Spell Pierce goes in for combo decks and Survival as well. Tormod's Crypt is obviously for anger graveyard happy decks like Dredge, Survival, Reanimator, etc. I threw in two Sowers for creature match-ups. After you drop Propaganda to slow them down you can steal there Goyfs they over committeed with. Happy face.

If I had to play in a Legacy tournament today I'd probably pack this deck only because it takes tight play to win with it. Given the circumstances of a tournament, I think I can pull off tight play. Although, playing casually for so long has made me a worse player (but note: my first FNM back I took down first playing RDWs). I also like taking control in the late game which this deck is meant to do. But I think I'll concentrate next on a Mono-Red Burn deck for Legacy only because you only really need seven action spells to win and it really isn't all that interactive. You just blow up your opponent's face and hope they don't have the FOW for your Fireblast.

I initially wanted to build a version that had Counter-Top as well as Scepter-Counterspell/Echoing Truth/Fire & Ice and 1 Morphling, 1 Rainbow Efreet and 1 Sphinx of Jwar Isle, but I've played the Faeries version a lot and can probably play it better. But I will have to test when I get a chance. My Magic playing days have become so limited (almost none) that I have to resort to blogging about it. I have to try and find some time.

Quick sidenote: The new Scars of Mirrodin's Ardent Sphinx in a MUC build with TONS of gangster artifacts might also be a route to explore for Legacy. Ardent is basically a better/worse version of Rainbow Efreet. It is better because it is a 4/3 flyer vs. a 3/1 flyer and it can "Phase" for only one blue mana versus two blue mana. It is worse because you need Metalcraft to get it's "Phase" on whereas Rainbow just does. But in Legacy, there is an abundance of awesome, broken ass artifacts to throw into your deck, Top, Shackles, Scepter, Disk, Zuran Orb, Mox Opal, Chrome Mox, Powder Keg, Engineered Explosives, etc. just to name a few.

1 comment:

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