Hello Alchemists! I’m sure the title of today’s deck tech got your curiosity bone vibrating because I’ve been saving this deck tech for quite a while written on gas receipts somewhere in my wallet.
With the rotation of Ob Nixilis Reignited, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, the variety of Planeswalkers you see getting played have been reduced to Chandra, Torch of Defiance.
There are however quite a number of powerful Planeswalkers that never got enough attention. I’m talking about Dovin Baan, Gideon of the Trials, Nissa, Steward of Elements, Ajani Unyielding and Nissa, Vital Force. Sorry, Jace, Cunning Castaway is not part of the crew tonight.
Gideon of the Trials in a vacuum is a pretty strong Planeswalkers for 3 mana. The fact he doesn’t have activities that give up loyalty counters is good enough, but he can protect both himself and you from damage from any permanent. On a clear board, he swings for 4. And his last ability basically gives you Platinum Angel status.
Dovin Baan is another Planeswalker that does everything you want a Planeswalker to do. He stops a creature by nerfing its power and shutting down its abilities, draws you card and gains you some life, and lastly he wrecks your opponent’s ability to play decent Magic by putting him under pseudo-stasis.
Nissa, Steward of Elements is my favorite Planeswalker thus far because of her color combination which is so cool, the artwork is gorgeous, and she’s the first Planeswalker to ever get ‘X’ loyalty counters. She great at fixing our draws, cheats a creature or land into play, or swings for 10 thanks to animated flying lands.
Another Planeswalker worth playing is Big Nissa, Vital Force. Her ultimate is one of the easiest and most poweful emblem we can get from the deck. She replenishes our hand which helps us stay in the game. At times her 5/5 blocker can help us stabilize if needed. But the best ability is her minus ability which can get us back any permanent including Planeswalkers. At 5 loyalty for 5, she is also a tough nut to crack.
Ajani Unyielding was considered a bulk Planeswalker because he was just too slow. But let’s not deprive him of some street cred because his plus ability in the right deck is basically an Ancestral Recall, his minus ability is a Swords to Plowshares, and if you do get to his ultimate with a bunch of Planeswalkers on the battlefield, you can’t lose.
Given that the meta now is very aggressive with a lot of snakes, cubs, khenras, hydras and dragons, it will be extremely difficult to durdle early while we wait for enough mana to cast all of them. We might be dead, or the walkers might just hit the bin before you can do anything with them.
Early interaction is important but we don’t have the best removal in these colors so we need to improve a bit.
We don’t kill creatures well but we are good at keeping them out of the battlefield. Unsummon and Perilous Voyage are straight-up bounce spells which helps us scry early. It’s not very good against creatures with ETB abilities like energy, but it can screw combat or timewalk an opponent.
Keeping creature count in the battlefield low will also aid Gideon and Dovin Baan in neutralizing the battlefield. They can’t hose the entire board like Jace, Architect of Thought but if we can keep the threats low, they won’t have problems.
Delaying the gameplan of the opponent also allows us to lure them into a huge Settle the Wreckage or Fumigate. The tendency of the opponent is to unload the cards we kept bouncing or risk discarding them. Once they unload, we can cash in a Fumigate to regain control.
Cast Out and Ixalan’s Binding gives us ways to remove permanents that we can’t bounce or sweep away. Favorite targets include opposing Planeswalkers, indestructible Gods, and artifacts or enchantments.
We will also play a number of cards that give card advantage. Pull from Tomorrow will be a one-off to allow us to restock our hand after unloading our walkers and bounce spells. Supreme is there to help dig the sweeper we need to restart the board. While Glimmer of Genius is just straight up card advantage.
So here’s my Bank Walker Control list:
3 Gideon of the Trials
3 Dovin Baan
2 Nissa, Steward of Elements
2 Nissa, Vital Force
2 Ajani Unyielding
4 Settle the Wreckage
1 Select for Inspection
3 Perilous Voyage
1 Pull from Tomorrow
2 Supreme Will
2 Glimmer of Genius
2 Ixalan’s Binding
1 Cast Out
4 Irrigated Farmland
4 Glacial Fortress
2 Sunpetal Grove
3 Botanical Sanctum
2 Evolving Wilds
2 Ixalan’s Binding
3 Forsake the Worldly
4 Authority of the Consult
2 Approach of the Second Sun
The sideboard plan is just to protect us from hand disruption which is brutal if we get probed or surgically extracted by Lost Legacy.
I am pretty much annoyed with GPG decks because sweepers don’t work really well with them so I want to pack some artifact hate. It also works well with opposing Ixalan’s Binding or Cast Out.
A full playset of Authority of the Consul comes in against Ramunap Red, RB agro, Vampires and other creature-heavy decks. The lifegain is quite relevant and I love how it taps down haste creatures which makes our sweepers much more effective.
Lastly is 2 copies of Approach of the Second Sun. Against midrange decks that can go on and on, I want a way to steal a win with Approach. Since we have a lot of draw effects from our walkers, scrys from spells and Nissa, and draw spells, we should be able to cut 7 cards deep a bit faster.
The deck looks pretty fun to play in an FNM, and also puts to good use some of the Planeswalkers we pre-ordered but never gave us mileage in sanctioned events.
Give them a try and let me know!