[Editor’s note: This deck contains Emrakul, the Promised End, which was banned in Standard, but since this deck doesn’t rely on the card, we decided that the content still had value. We hope you enjoy it!]
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about a deck piloted by my good friend Case, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. While Case is mostly known for his Hearthstone hijinks as Koyuki, he usually brews some pretty spicy decks up for the likes of FNM and whatnot, and they always catch my attention.
A week or so ago there was a Cassius Marsh (from the Seattle Seahawks) Charity Tournament at Mox Boarding House in Seattle. Case was in attendance and, knowing I was a fan of both his brews and all things Sultai, he was excited to show me the list he played.
I was immediately curious as to his record, and he told me an impressive 4-0! It made sense to me—I loved most of the cards in the deck. It was basically a Sultai control deck with strong threats and a delirium sub-theme. It also had a lot of the cards that were proving super effective in other control decks, like Glimmer of Genius and Void Shatter. To say I was excited to virtually sleeve this bad boy up was an understatement.
Well, that didn’t go quite as planned. I would question how Case went 4-0 with the deck, but I faced some unique matchups that I’m sure Case was able to dodge. As you could tell, the “dredge” matchup was particularly bad for me, as I didn’t really have an efficient way to stop what they’re doing.
The mana base is one of the more complicated parts of the deck. You only have about 13 lands that enter the battlefield untapped after turn 4, and 4 of those only count if you control 2 basics. This leaves you with 11 lands that are going to always enter tapped on turn 5 or 6. This can be a little rough when you’re eager to cast your 5- and 6-drops, or maybe cast a Grasp of Darkness and a Void Shatter. That last part definitely speaks to the number of cards in the deck that have double mana symbols in their costs, and I wonder if Spell Shrivel would be a better replacement. There were times I didn’t have 2 blue or had to specifically search out a blue to cast the Void Shatter. And come on, who even has an extra 4 mana anyway? Maybe your grandpa because he’s been saving up his mana for all those years, but that’s about it.
Speaking of replacements, I can’t imagine not wanting Fatal Push over Grasp of Darkness, especially in a deck with 4 Evolving Wilds, the less successful brother of the fetchlands. One black instead of two is a real game changer.
As I mentioned throughout some of the videos, I think the biggest problem was that I simply didn’t have enough threats or ways to pressure the opponent, giving decks like the “dredge” variants infinite time to assemble their game plan. Even the energy deck has a leg up because you’re playing a 1-for-1 strategy against a deck that sometimes doesn’t even need to use “one” to counter your removal spells.
I still love the idea of the deck, even if the execution was lacking. It still felt like control decks of old with lots of counterspells, creatures with card advantage, and removal. Sometimes it feels like all you need is a sweeper, or something to deal with creatures that emerge from the graveyard. If only someone had some—expertise on the matter!
Thanks for reading, guys, and I’ll catch you later!