The second of coming of Planar Cleansing is in Dominaria and I like that there is a nuclear launch button we have access to and just wipe everything non-Lyra, non-Scarab, non-Hazoret, non-Kiran and non-Walkers.
Wait a minute, are we saying we’re building a deck around a card that can’t deal with Standard’s strongest cards? Yes. Why? Because we’re also playing Standard’s best Legends.
Gonti, Lord of Luxury remains playable even as his set nears its rotation because he just does it all. Kills anything without indestructibility and nets you a powerful card. Lyra is just a hoser in the air. If you are using a deck with no clean answer like Mono Red then Lyra literally switches the tide of the game once you see your life totals equalize and go ahead. Demonlord Belzenlok is another card advantage card that sits on a 6/6 flying, trample body. The deck has 24 cards that costs 4 and above which means the likelihood of drawing more than 1 card off of Belzenlok is high.
We are also not short of powerful planeswalkers in our color. Gideon is one of those cards that if main boarded can shut down early threats or stop an Approach player from stealing the game from you because you don’t run Negate. Karn starts our 4-drop Walkers we can get from Belzenlok and him being colorless makes him an easy inclusion. We won’t be ticking him down often because we’re not running any artifacts but he will potentially tick up 4-5 times in a game to net you more cards, while ticking down sometimes to fish a card your opponent didn’t want you to have. Liliana is again another 4+ drop we can get from Belzenlok (ironically) and she’s essentially a reanimator if the opponent does get rid of our creatures.
Of course we can’t have a deck with all 4-drops so for early interaction we have Fatal Push, Cash Down and Doomfall to get rid of attackers that prevents us from getting to the late game. Fatal Push and Cast Down are the ones boarded out against a mirror control deck like UW for Duress, Lost Leacy and additional copies of Doomfall.
More 4-drops to complete the 6-playsets of Belzenlok Treats! Settle the Wreckage is an all-star against GPG decks which we are seeing another emergence thanks to the Goblins of Dominaria. Vraska’s Contempt for anything that we don’t want to kill twice like Rekindling Phoenix. Dark Bargain is a weird common you’ll see in this deck because it’s an overcosted but a bit more powerful Anticipate (which was spoiled to be in M19 core set). It costs 4 mana, digs 3 cards, put 2 in the hand, lost 2 life. It does a bad impression of Glimmer of Genius but I will play 2 copies because it’s an Instant and we need as much card advantage outside Karn and Belzenlok.
Here’s how the BW Legends Control deck looks like. Honestly I find this much better than the RB brew I posted a few days back mainly because of Ruinous Blast and Lyra.
3 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
3 Lyra Dawnbringer
3 Demonlord Belzenlok
2 Gideon of the Trials
3 Karn, Scion of Urza
2 Liliana, Death’s Majesty
4 Fatal Push
3 Cast Down
2 Dark Bargain
2 Settle the Wreckage
4 Vraska’s Contempt
2 Urza’s Ruinous Blast
4 Concealed Courtyard
4 Isolated Chapel
2 Field of Ruin
2 Scavenger Grounds
3 Authority of the Consuls
2 Lost Legacy
2 Ixalan’s Binding
We are seeing a lot of low-to-the-ground aggressive archetypes attempting to sneak below mid-late game decks and punish them for keeping a low-interaction or land-heavy/land-light hand. Decks like Mono Green Beatdown that brings down Ghalta on Turn 3-4, RB Aggro, Mono Red, Vampires and Tokens. Authority of the Consuls help us buy time to get the answers we need and at the same time counter punishes the opponent for keeping a threat-light hand. Against aggressive matches, AotC can also give us the lifepoints to spare and cast our Dark Bargain and take hits from Belzenlok’s ability without going to low on life.
Most control decks that are established now as Dominaria gauntlets run 2-3 end-game cards like Approach, Teferi, Torrential Gearhulk. The gearhulk is not as problematic in our deck since we have a 2/3 deathtouch that doesn’t care about a 5/6 robot. We have a 5/5 flying lifelink that can trade blows with ease. And we have a 6/6 flying, trample robot crushing demon too. However for cards like Approach which we can’t deal with once it’s on the stack, we have Lost Legacy and Duress to fish them out in case the opponent still decides to win with it. Duress is one of the cheapest way to deal with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria or an opposing Karn and save your Vraska’s Contempt for later if they get to topdeck another copy.
Fragmentize is there for the Vehicle Match-up to add more interactions. It also gets rid of Ixalan’s Binding or Cast Out that’s sitting on our threats. We will also play our own Ixalan’s Binding which is a great followup after we wipe the board with Urza’s Ruinous to really stop the flow of threats.
I like how the deck came together with some pockets of synergies scattered all over. From running a non-Legendary sweeper in a Legendary deck, to CMC-driven card advantage c/o Belzenlok and a couple of non-blue card advantage in Karn and Dark Bargain, Gonti and Belzenlok. I am sure the quantities are still off for some and will require some playtesting to get the mix just right.
Today’s another PPTQ attempt. Yesterday I managed to land on 3rd place with a 4-1-1 record after 6-rounds of Swiss (33 players). Then we went to draft and I lost in the Semi-finals. It was a fun experience brewing with a limited pool and I won my quarterfinals drafting a bunch of 1 power or 1 toughness creatures and ride behind Tetsuko for the win. In commemoration of Tetsuko, I’ll bring a deck around him(or her) soon.
|Opponent’s Match Win Percent||Opponent’s Match Win Percent|
|1||Rama, Philip Christopher||14||6/4/2/0||62.9074||78.7324|
|2||Profeta, Francis Robert||14||6/4/2/0||62.037||72.2556|
|6||Marcelino, Mark Joseph||13||6/4/1/0||50.8704||59.5224|
I was defeated by Philip Rama, who I was told represented the country in the ProTour, and I can really see how play sequences and resource management takes a lot of practice, grinding and experience to master. And pulling 2 Serra Angel, Teshar and Shanna also helps. Congrats to Francis Profeta for bagging 1st place as well who I escaped and ID’ed in the swiss but stlll lost to him in the Semis. Damn Sylvan Awakening.
Jeremiah came in 2nd but bagged 1st place in prize pool for drafting Karn as his 1st pack-1st pick.