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4c Artifact Control

Reply to topic Forum Index -> Shards of Alara constructed
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Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject: 4c Artifact Control Reply with quote

It seems a number of people have come up with similar ideas to this deck, but most that I've seen are 3c Esper only versions. I've taken the basic core of the deck and added red to deal with the metagame:

// Creatures:
4 Sphinx Summoner
2 Sanctum Gargoyle
2 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Ethersworn Adjudicator
1 Sphinx of the Steel Wind
2 Spellbound Dragon

// Spells:
4 Path to Exile
4 Terminate
3 Volcanic Fallout
4 Courier's Capsule
3 Esper Charm
2 Cruel Ultimatum
3 Traumatic Visions

// Lands:
4 Arcane Sanctum
3 Crumbling Necropolis
4 Exotic Orchard
4 Island
3 Plains
2 Swamp
5 Mountain

// Sideboard:
4 Countersquall
4 Scepter of Fugue
4 Vedalken Outlander
3 Thought Hemorrhage

Basically the idea is to combine the best card advantage and removal in the set. If you have half a brain you can look at the list and see pretty much what the game plan is, but I thought I'd make a few notes on the less conventional choices:

Spellbound Dragon
I'm iffy on this one, could easily replace with something else. It's handy sometimes to get an artifact in the graveyard before playing sharuum. It can filter extra lands but if that's what you're doing you've probably either won or lost already. The /5 is good for avoiding bituminous blast.

Ethersworn Adjudicator
This guy always seems to die before he kills anything, but he's nice to have one of in the deck just in case, and he'll often bait a removal spell so you can play something better next turn

Sphinx of the Steel Wind
This card ends games. In a multicolor block, with two protections, she's immune to almost every creature you'll see on the other side, and the only played removal that gets her is Path and O-Ring -- but she's really meant to beat decks that don't play either of those. Vigilance means she gets to hit the opponent and still stop all their creatures from attacking, and they can't race you because she's got lifelink AND first strike. 8 mana cards better win the damn game for you, and it's basically impossible not to win if she stays on the board.

Traumatic Visions
I threw this in as an extra mana fixer, but it's more likely to get land number 6 or 8 rather than fix land for turn 3. But it can when needed. It also gives you some maindeck resilience to big mana spells like Cruel Ultimatum and Identity Crisis which can otherwise be problematic in game 1.

Volcanic Fallout
This is the main reason I added red to the deck -- you need some mass removal to deal with the Jund aggro decks with Bloodbraid Elf because they can really burst out of the gate. Better than Infest because it can also take down Putrid Leeches. Occasionally handy for zapping an errant planeswalker or just winning the game with the last 2 damage.

Cruel Ultimatum
This seems like the no brainer card for multicolor control, but I'm not sure it's worth it. For some decks this is the main card advantage along with Broodmate Dragon, but this deck has so much card advantage it usually seems unnecessary, and maybe not worth bending the mana for. Possible replacement considerations are Martial Coup, Nicol Bolas, and Banefire.

Cards that didn't make it in:
Ajani Vengeant -- This is probably another main consideration to replace the dragon or the ultimatum. Life gain is great vs aggro decks. But the biggest benefit is probably killing other Ajani's because they can really mess up your game if they come down before you get a creature out.
Borderposts -- They get blown up. Really crushes your tempo and also eats up deck space. I'd rather have mana open to Exile and Terminate stuff
Martial Coup -- Honestly I just forgot, but it hasn't seemed necessary. Fallout gets the weenies and Path/Exile take care of the rest.

Comments on Sideboard:
Vedalken Outlander -- This is for the Jund Aggro decks and it basically stops them cold. Not all of those decks play Maelstrom Pulse, but if they do make sure not to play more than one at a time. If it baits removal that would otherwise get your expensive guys, it's done it's job. Also very handy versus decks loading up on Ajani which can be problematic.

Countersquall -- Good against control mainly for getting big spells like Cruel Ultimatum and Identity Crisis, as well as stopping planeswalkers on the cheap. Also good to bring in against aggro decks with burn, or with decks packing loads of removal.

Scepter of Fugue -- This is for the control decks that really like to sit back, rather than the more pro-active ones.

Thought Hemorrage -- I'm still iffy on this one, could possibly be replaced by Martial Coup. It's there to get spells that really ruin your day like Ultimatum and Identity Crisis, but I'm not sure it's worth paying 4 mana for with no board effect.

It's pretty simple in the end, play the best cards in the set all in the same deck. The notable absentee is Broodmate Dragon, but I think the recursive set of Summoner/Sharuum/Gargoyle is a better bet overall. You can get rid of a dragon or two -- it's a lot harder to stop the Summoner cycle once it gets started.
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