Ukitai, I'm not sure about a mainboard Batterskull (I was just advised against even a sideboard Batterskull a few posts back). More importantly, I think Academy Ruins, even with a mainboard Batterskull, is a bad idea. Lastly, having played with 3x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy in the deck for a little over 6 months, I cut them in favor of more countermagic and could not be more pleased with the result.
Personally, instead of those two Jaces, I'd recommend another Snapcaster and either another Kommand or Cryptic Command. I figure if you're gonna put a powerhouse 2-drop blue creature who plunders the graveyard and dies to bolt in there, might as well choose the one with flash who gives you immediate value.
I've been pondering a 3-1 split with Snappy vs Jace myself. Snappy does work when you need to race or use counter magic but I've found Jace is really good at grinding. Flashing back Damnation or god forbid and actual Ultimatum with Jace feels really dirty.
I agree Jace is better in a more proactive deck but I would highly recommend at least trying him out. As I said, he grind better than snappy and most of our spells are fine as sorceries. If you're running a deck with Teachings and trying to operate in as draw-go of a style as possible then he's not the greatest fit, and he obviously doesn't work well with counterspells, but he is a powerful card and I think might have a home here, even if it is as snappy number 5.
Alright, I tweaked it some based on some of your suggestions and some suggestions of a friend of mine and came up with this. It's testing much more cleanly, and still wish I had the second Jace, but I will concede the point that there are a larger number of 2 CMC powerhouse cards in the format right now so 2 Snares should be in the deck. I also moved a Wurmcoil into the board with Academy Ruins, have been trying out Vedalken Shackles, which have been very good, along with some new mainboard card choices.
I agree with ProfoctorZ and his assessment of Jace. In my testing with him, because we run so few creatures, he eats every removal spell the opponent holds. He's also a massive tempo loss, he has to be better than whatever the opponent's turn 2-3 play is. I would put him in the sideboard if anything as a card to bring in for grindy matchups but we're grixis sooooo... no one's really grindier than us.
I think Jace, Architect of Thought is a fine card out of the sidebaord, and probably reasonable main deck if you really wanted one. I still think that Jace VP might warrant a place in the deck though. I actually don't hate the 2 Damnation 1 Anger split. Anger doesn't kill all your creatures and you can set up Damantion pretty easily to favour you
You could go for a 2/2 split on the visions? Loothouse is great if you're playing enough lands to support it (you don't want too many colourless sources if you want to hit ultimatum on 7). Charm is an ok card in all its modes but isn't a great card in any of them, I might play it if you had a card you were really unhappy with but I wouldn't play many.
When it went off, it was pretty big. Getting one with GDD was usually crushing.
Getting it into the yard wasn't all that easy. Suspending it was far more reliable than looting it into the yard. Jace VP doesn't really count as a looter after turn 3, because at most he'll loot you 1 card and then flip; similarly, Izzet Charm was consistently an underwhelming card. Sure, it has a lot of modes, but none of them are very good, and even while looting, you're just trying to set yourself up for a mini-combo with GDD rather than immediately impacting the game. At that point, suspending almost seems like just as good an option. After all, committing 2 mana to loot and 5 to drop GDD the next turn (ideally) is barely better than just resolving an EOT Thoughtflare or Jace's Ingenuity. Both those cards take less wrenching and finagling to work right and give immediate value, and in a deck as grindy as ours, immediate value is pretty important.
After many games with AV in various incarnations, I dropped it. Yes, although when it worked, it really worked, I usually found myself wishing it were a Serum Visions or some other draw spell instead.
Anyway, I'm sure there's a way to do it, but I don't think Jace VP or Izzet Charm are the answer. Well, Jace VP is pretty good if you can stick him (but not for looting purposes), but Izzet Charm is just bad.
This match was pretty brutal, the first game wasn't so bad, I ended up losing to a bunch of planeswalkers making tokens (I'll be adding Dreadbore to my board). Game 2 I basically lost to turn 0 Leyline of Sanctity into a Gideon Jura with double Dispel back up.
Game 1 was a mess, my opponent played 3 Tarmogoyfs which I never found an answer to. Games 2 and 3 were a slug-fest but I managed to stick a turn 5 Keranos, God of Storms in both of them and carried the games from there.
I was expecting this to be pretty tough but I ended up just having all the right answers. Game 2 my opponent drew 6 lands straight which also helped but all in all I think this MU is probably not as bad as I feared.
All in all I was pretty happy with the deck. My sideboard felt a bit rough and I'm going to be tuning it a bit. I also found myself getting stranded on 2/3 lands from time to time which kind of makes me want to go to 25 lands Other than that I'm looking forward to taking the deck to a bigger event on the 14th. That said, I might not be able to borrow any Snapcaster Mages so that could be an issue
I'm still within the turbo Xerox rule as I understand it:
For every 4 1-2 mana cantrip you play you can trim 2 lands
I've got 3 Serum Visions and 1 Think Twice which should cover me. I just find the deck to be really mana hungry. I'm now testing on XMage with the 25th land and liking it so far. It isn't helped by my not owning a 4th visions (which I would play over Think Twice).
The same is (sort of) true with Creeping Tar Pit, I only own 2 and can't currently afford more. That said, whilst I'd play the 3rd (over the Temple of Deceit obviously enough) I'm not sure I actually want the 4th. I like the balance my lands have in my current build. I might play it over the Wandering Fumarole but even then its not a done deal. Whilst Tar Pit is a better card my I've liked the extra Izzet duel.
Finally, the Inquisition of Kozileks have been fine. I would say my deck was slightly better of with them, but not that much. Where they have really shined is Blood Moon match ups where it provides a turn 1 way of dealing with a moon.
This is my Cruel Control list. Feel free to comment on it.
I don't run Ancestral Vision because it's too slow for the meta, in my opinion; and as we all know it's not great late game. I tried Serum Visions for a while, but that card isn't good enough for me personally in these pure control lists. Even the mainline America control lists that have won in the past never played Serum Visions - but I know there are some instances that did run it or of the like. Since I've been playing with Serum Visions in recent months it has just been so lack luster for me that I often wished it were another spell instead of trying to dig for some, even lands that I slimmed some on for the cards. Also, shying on the lands due to this type of draw card just left me in some games with missing land drops, especially against the decks that destroy our lands. I love cards like Kalitas and Tasigur, but I'm running without them. Being as there's so much spot removal in this heavy aggro meta(path, burn, and terminates), that I often wished they were another damnation - which would just kill those creatures if they were on the board anyways. I love Kolaghan's Command, but using it heavily as a defense to keep these creatures included is best suited for the Grixis Midrange decks to do, and not us in my opinion. However, with all that said I don't frown upon them maindeck and/or sideboard, as those two creatures are powerful cards left unchecked.
Counterflux and Countersquall, as 4 of for each, might heavily be frowned upon by many, and I can understand as to why that is. This is my play preference at the moment and I can see arguments against it very much. Many of us have issues with finding the perfect selection of counter magic, as what we have in the format is so polarizing, as well as all-over-the-place, that it can be difficult deciding which counters and which numbers to have. I don't blame any for disliking my choice here and them choosing their own style. I'm not saying I'm correct with my selection, but if I were to change it any it'd merely slim the numbers but never dropping them from the maindeck at this time. Counterflux is so backbreaking against control and combo decks in the maindeck, with such a significant number to back it up, that it goes to the statement of "I'm winning these counter-wars, and your SB isn't packing enough against me." Resolving game ones in such a fashion against these control and combo decks leaves them with hardly anything to say post board - which I love. Counterquall is great against Lilianas and Karns, as well as other cards, early and late game simply saying "No", while paining them. Countersquall gives the race should we be in an attrition war of pecking damage here and there. My deck is able to support these 2 counterspells so heavily due to my heavy base of creature removal.
My SB is not set in stone entirely, but some of those cards hardly ever leave. I work Ashiok in and out of Maindeck and Sideboard because I absolutely love the card, but it's hard to find when the card is correct in the metas. There's been plenty of games where I've single-handedly won with Ashiok against Scapeshift and Gifts decks, on more than one occasion against various players. Ashiok is an absolutely amazing card against creature decks, and even does some damage against control decks should they rely on big threats and/or let the planeswalker go unchecked. I will more than likely try to include Ashiok once more as a 2 of maindeck and/or sideboard. I go back and forth between maindeck and sideboard to include at least 2 sacrifice instants, such as Far/Away and/or Tribute to Hunger. Sometimes I SB 3-4 Leyline of the Void depending on how much I want to try and hate out the heavy-dependent/reliant graveyard strategies. Leyline of the Void also crushes Grixis midrange strategies. I will more than likely work a second Anger of the Gods into the sideboard to deal with the heavy-meta Collected Company Abzan decks.
Also, I'm not sure how many of you that have used Rakdos Charm in this manner, but I've done it more than once: let a player stack up creatures on the battlefield only to fire off Rakdos Charm and choose "each creature deals 1 damage to its controller". There's been plenty of times my opponent was playing Living End and expecting me to exile their graveyard, only to let them resolve it and wipe them out with the charm's last ability. Not only that, but being as we're encountering Collected Company, Rally the Ancestors, Return to the Ranks, Sword of the Meek(if you fire it off twice), Tokens, and other various aggro decks, it is quite possible to end the game with a charm, especially backed with the other damage(loss of life) spells. Playing charm, then snapcaster into charm, is quite amusing as a fast way to kill an aggro deck that surprises you at the end of your turn or during their turn with a wide amount of creatures. Now of course that is harder to do vs abzan company and their sac outlet creatures, thus thinning their heard as not to die, or if living end were to fire off again.
I want my cards so that my deck is optimized to (hopefully) not lose to creature decks game one, and thereafter, with counterspells to either win the arguments early or late game, with the upside of doing damage(loss of life). Bolts, Squalls, Electrolyzes, & K Commands = 30 points of damamge, not including other threats like Cruel, Snap, Creature lands, and Keranos.
When Spell Snare is good, it's great, but when Spell Snare is bad, it's horrific. Such a polarizing card, and to top-deck it and it do nothing against a wide range of decks in the format with mana all across the board is just a "no" for me. I understand the power of Spell Snare, and I get its purpose, but it's not really that great. It can be a two of in a particular field, but it isn't something I'm willing to sacrifice when I want consistency. I'm not that honestly concerned about a tarmo that I can't just terminate or etc. Besides, in my experience, I've hardly ever lost a matchup to Jund decks, and that includes at 50Ks and/or GPs were I've played them back-to-back and rounded them out. Now, Jund has stepped up its game lately, but with the new spells they've gotten it only goes to show how worse Spell Snare is in those matchups. Spell Snare shines best, in my opinion, against opposing Snapcaster decks.
Having access to all the colors on turn two and/or three can be rough on occasions, but largely it's not and it doesn't put me behind. It's only particularly rough if I have the creature lands in the hand and that somehow sets me back against a fast deck, say like infect or something another. I honestly wouldn't say it's hard to acquire all three by then, especially by turn four.
To the Tron statement, I can see the blight with why I don't have Crumble to Dust or what-have-you. Not having to worry about remand, spell snare, and/or mana leak whiffing against Tron, countersquall and counterflux do more than enough damage to snaring up their spells. Plus, with their thought-knots taking the 2 or so Crumbles from me can be rather painful, and it's exiled. I'm only really concerned against the fast Karns, which come out too quickly before a Crumble would be casted. Duress helps from the board in this department, and Duress taking that slot hits a lot of other decks too, such as burn, combo, control, and/or whatever else.
I try to balance out the creature removal post board against decks where they'd otherwise do nothing. This is why I have two negates, along with the other spells, to cycle all the many creature removals for counter magic against the control and/or combo decks.
Kitchen Finks is annoying, but nothing Electrolyze and/or Snapcaster can't keep under control, along with all the other removal. Anger is optimal against the abzan company decks, and I might consider a second for the board since they're soaking a lot of the meta. Voice is far worse for me to see, in my opinion, than a Kitchen Finks, but luckily those seem to be seeing less play. Kitchen Finks doesn't ever really get out of hand for me, honestly, and it's no worse than our Snapcasters keeping pinned down. Hitting one Finks, with say a bolt or whatever on their combat, convinces them to put more creatures onto the battlefield, which then get swept up by Damnation.
That I'm uncertain of at this time. Since this is a new list, I'm not entirely sure how it fairs up against burn - and I know that's one of our worst matchups. I'm hoping the Duress and Dispel from the sideboard can soak up some of their more threatening spells, taking the slots of cards maindeck that might not best be suited for the matchup. I hope to just dodge burn, but if it's an issue than I'll try to go back to cards like Tribute to Hunger and/or Batterskull.
You just keep doing your thing and we'll see you when we see you.
You're not being rude or upsetting me in any way or shape, so don't fret. I can get aggressive with my discussion, too, so forgive me if I come off negative, as I, too, don't mean to come off rude or what-have-you.
Now, as we are playing control we are playing a reactive list predominately. Or, rather, some of us are heavily playing reactive lists, even when lists leaning on proactive playing more seems to be the better game in Modern. You show me, for example, or just take a gander at the most successful true control lists throughout Modern's history. Lists that aren't focused on backup or forefront focused combo builds, or the ones leaning more midrange in strategy. In many cases, as we know, true control is dead and the lists that come up successful are very rare, or are hybrids of some form or another. The only lists we've came across that have been successful in Modern's history on a large note is the American Control lists, that we all know. Unless I'm mistaken or just forgetting something another. From what memory serves me, these pure control lists are highly reactive, even in the form of draw spells.
In this list this pilot uses 26 lands, with no cheap cantrips such as Serum Visions. Now, this is that pilot's play preference, and just because they won with the list in that meta doesn't mean it's true to this current meta or that the list was even correct then. Bare with me. Now we have Ancestral Visions, but many don't agree with the card's usage in these lists, or maybe even at this time. The truth in AV needing to be these lists or not has not be properly hashed out, but I personally thing it's not good enough for us. So moving back to Serum Visions as card selection. Serum Visions is okay, but it clearly is no ponder, which is arguably what we needs in these lists. It just isn't there enough for us, in my opinion, and from my play testing with it vs not has shown me time and time again it is better without it, as well as many numerous other lists of true control is Modern's history that has also chosen not to utilize the card. Even if you look at the pure UW control lists that have popped up during Modern's lifespan you'll see that they don't lean on Serum Visions, even when they're arguably more controlling than we are.
Now, shifting to the statement of cards like Spell Snare and/or Inquisition of Kozilek. These are two cards that I have played with at various times and will shift back to possibly depending on preference and/or meta, and I do agree more so that they can fit our decks vs possibly SV and/or AV. I do, however, disagree with the statement that, as a pure control list, that we have to be using these cards and/or doing anything for the first turn. That's each person's judgement call and/or the meta that allows such to give to fruition or whether or not it's the best call and/or the correct one. Spell Snare is a great card, as it does great damage against Burn, Bogles, and America Control, which are some of our hardest matchups. I've given my statement about Spell Snare, so I won't delve deeply back into it, but I think it simply isn't consistent enough and whiffs bad against other strings of decks in the meta. Inquisition of Kozilek is a great card, and discard is a great advantage for our decks. I mostly disagree with IoK, depending on the meta, because it becomes so dead for us late game, which is what our decks are going to go to. Now, that statement could be said about AV, where it shines so bright in refilling our hands. However, I'm still not sold on the card and I've played with it in the past. Maybe I'm incorrect about AV, and might change my mind, but I'm thinking not.
Again, I disagree with the statement that we have to have such powerful or not so powerful one-drop spells and trying to do things in the first turns of our games. If you look at other pure control lists, even they get away without having to do anything on turn one, even if they can possibly do something. These four cards simply don't offer enough consistency for us, especially in decks that we have to have the correct things at all stages of the games. IoK and Spell Snare, as well as SV and AV, can simply do nothing late game. SV can do more late game, arguably late game, than the rest when drawing and playing it because it can replace itself(yes, I know that AV does more late game too, but you have to fire it off early game). What's it replacing if it simply draws you something else that you don't need and/or want when it simply could have been replaced with that card or something potentially better? Have you ever played Legacy, or seen others play Legacy, and seen them fire off a Brainstorm as quickly as possible in the first few turns? It's almost habitual tendency to fire it off, because it's always a great card, but as an old Vintage and Legacy player, as you might have encountered, heard, and/or even agree with, that simply because you have the brainstorm doesn't simply mean you need to fire it off when you can, even if the other opponent isn't doing something. It isn't that you have to be doing something, especially when that something isn't adequate enough at accomplishing much, even more so if the set back late game is possibly back-breaking for you or just simply not enough to hash out the game and/or win. These other lists, such as Jund, RG Tron, Burn, and etc that are doing proactive things in the first few turns, as you know, simply are not us and aren't the same play style. Besides, not only are the cards powerful, but they're powerful because of those lists and they can afford such. Even if we can afford to take a whiff for the greater potential to catch more, with such polarizing cards like Spell Snare, doesn't mean it's best for a deck like us to take that risk in doing so.
Please, I encourage discussion deeply into these matters and people's opinions about them. This doesn't mean I'm correct, but maybe you're all wrong too. Maybe we're all wrong. Maybe our line of thinking needs to revert back to the original play styles of control, instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing and/or simply doing it because it's there and it seems like the only choice we have.
Hi all, just finished what I guess you might call an Open here in the UK. I made the semifinals and went 6-1 in the Swiss (I was the only 6-0 before losing to my 5-1 burn opponent). All things considered I'm pretty happy, especially given that I didn't have any Snapcasters!
Don't forget that control decks have very meta-dependent lists guys! Keep that in mind when offering criticism.
I play forked bolt and dreadbore to beat infect and tron in my meta, but that might not work in your local meta.
I haven't been too active due to my job, but after I'm done learning about Jet Engines I'll be more involved.
those jet engine- i mean thats a good point control its a meta dependant since we are trying to disrupt our opponents plan, i have been having troubles at my last FNM's that much troubles that i even tried to run storm withouth pyromancer ascencion wich came out terrible yesterday, so the meta here its pretty simple, there is a GRTron, a Infect, a weird burn, and a lot of creature based decks(humans, ally's, cats; yeah cats) im even thinking of using radiant flames as an extra of anger of the gods, and i kind o think my mana base its a litle to UB focused so sometimes getting 1RR at third turn its not easy.
P.D: im trying to start a curse server in wich people can talk like in this threads but in real time so its easier to solve specific problems, i really just started so you might be the first member if you will https://curse.com/servers/b5M7Sq