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Debate w/5 RULES. Topic: Is control vs. the world

Reply to topic Forum Index -> Standard (T2) Decks
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Joined: 22 Dec 2004
Posts: 321

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tldr, can you sum it up for us in 2 sentences or less?
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Joined: 29 Mar 2010
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read all of the first post. I probally learned a thing or two from it. All though some may complain that it ate x minutes from their life I recomend before they do they read the whole thing again and try to compehend it. I completely agree with the arguement stated. Things I would have never thought of were mentioned. Speed is very important in the meta-game of today's standard and without Caw-Blade control is not the right answer. I thank you Engrish for taking your time to share with us this bit of knowledge and I hope people will actually read the entirety of your post and try to benefit from it. Control for sure seems to be the harder deck to play, I usually stay away from it. But, as was said, all decks do take some skill and that is not to be forgotten. I really don't have much to add. But in closing I will say this, If you don't read the whole first post you most likely don't need to post. ...this is most likely going to get swamped by idiots...
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Joined: 25 May 2006
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it harder to know when to Mana Leak/Day of Judgment, or when to play around them?
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Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 553

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LLSheep wrote:
Is it harder to know when to Mana Leak/Day of Judgment, or when to play around them?

I think Mana Leak and DoJ's skill lies more in their opponent rather than their controller. I've always said it takes more skill to play aggro than control, especially in the aggro vs control matchup. Ultimately, however, we need to first define what we are talking about, and seeing how this is posted in the type 2 forum, I'm gonna assume constructed (since knowing how to play limited is far more skill intensive that constructed).


There is a main difference between aggro and control decks: the strategy behind each. Aggro decks come up with their own strategy and seek to win on it's own terms, or at worst, work around their opponent. Control seeks to always throw paper to it's opponent's rock, to always have the answers to threats, and when the opponent has exhausted their resources, bring out a threat that can't easily be removed and can kill quickly. Combo, on the other hand, is more like aggro, except that instead of using creatures to kill, it uses card interactions that bend the rules to a point of being broken.

With all this being said, combo seems to set the meta, control seems to be completely up to the mercy of the meta, and aggro seems to be somewhat immune (unless aggro is the top of the meta, in which case, bad times ahead).

Now that I've done a rundown of the constructed archetypes, which one is easier to play? There are many factors at work here, such as matchup, card pool, opponent skill, etc.

I don't think anyone can for sure find any empirical data to support one argument or the other, but I do have a hypothesis.

Let's get a large group of players, like say, everyone on this site, and let's all take the Briggs Myers personality test. After that, we all play in a swiss tournament with a predefined rotation of decks until everyone has played everyone else with each deck. Then we chart the results.

If my hypothesis is correct, certain personality types are better at playing some archetypes than others, meaning that the skill level involved in a certain type (control, aggro, etc) may not have anything to do with the cards at all.

One last thing: sometimes, the numbers come up bad. Take Caw-Blade for example. Turn one: card advantage. Turn two: tutoring for a card. Turn 3: 4/4, vigilance, lifelink. Even better, take affinity. Turn 3: win. Sometimes, certain cards in a pool work better than all the others. When this happens, it's up to Wizards to come in and fix it. Unfortunately for the previous type 2, they didn't do this until the meta had already been tainted (and sales of JtMS and Stoneforge Mystic had dropped, I would imagine).[/b]
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Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you're going to blanket it as aggro vs control, then control is clearly harder to play.

Neutralizing threats efficiently is generally harder than applying threats. Usually the aggressive decks need only to slow down when they fear a wrath effect...Which is about as complicated as it gets.

The theory of red being a difficult deck to play because you need to determine "when to go for it" to the dome or when to play control is valid...Because sometimes you need to go "control".

The way I'll put it is this... Poker terms (magic terms)

It's easier to bet (be aggro) than to call (control). You get two ways to win; either they fold (die to your initial rush) or you get lucky (rip like a madman). A call is a finesse play (control)... Sometimes you do it to set something up later (play a big threat), and sometimes you do it to conserve future bets (bait the wrath). When you first learn to play, you're taught to be aggressive and to never call, because it's easier to win that way (less margin for error).

I don't see a great argument that being aggressive is harder than being controlling, because most of the time while being aggressive all that needs to happen is they miss a land drop. Control doesn't prey on that weakness as hard.
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Joined: 16 Mar 2010
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Impressive Post Engrish, and impressive Topic. Hopefully my english skills will stand the challenge^^:

Your best arguement was that a control player needs to make decisions for both his and the enemie's turns. More decisions, more possibilities to produce misplays, hard to play as a result, but rewarding if played the right way. Can't completely agree on that one. The other side of the coin is that with control youre always able to pick your opponents poison. If he casts a creature, you counter it. No casting? EOT Removal for existing threat. If there are no treats, EOT Utility. Now imagine the typical aggro or combodeck. The active player has to watch for counters, removal and the point of inviolability (like Caw getting SoFaF online). This is already a tough job, due to the quality of current T2s Counters and Removals. In Addition, the Aggro/Combo-Player usually has to make his decisions during his own turn. He cant just pass and wait for the opponent to interact. So this kind of player has less decisions to make, but has to reconsider more variables then his opponent. I think having many similar decisions or few rambling decisions comes down to the same level ot difficulty.

Basically we only have one real control deck in current T2. UB Control. Yes, its also able to create pressure in the midgame, with Tezz or Tarpit. But most of the time you stay passive and move the game to a point where you have many options to go ahead and your opponent is limited to only the ones you can handle. Therefore UB is not too hard to play. The real challenge is to play Aggro-Control, like the current UW Builds are. Combining the aspects early pressure and midgame-control is a tough job, if not ensured by overpowered cards that even see play in Legacy/Vintage. My hypothesis is that wotc just didnt want another Jund/Fae-type deck. But many of the competitive players are so fixed on easy aggrocontrol during the latest sets...afaik the only reason why a suboptimal build like current UW could face foot in meta. Hopefully next Rotation will ensure a straight split in Scissors/Paper/Rock, no hybrids such as caw, valakut and Red Aggro.
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Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 901

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The skill in control, in being able to play around every possible card your opponent could realistically have, whilst maintaining a high enough life total that in the end you will out mana and card your opponent and overwhelm with more powerful difficult to deal with threats. That's why its called control, though sometimes you have to surrender a little bit of control and just accept your going to lose if your opponent has card X this takes skill also as to knowing when this risk is worth the reward and is ultimately a judgement call. Patience is a large key to control.

Aggro is a different kettle of fish. Good control decks places you in damned if you do i have card X, damned if you dont i have card Y situations. So guess what a key skill of a truly skillful aggro player is being able to read people and know which card to play around or even if they have to try to beat both, now that's not easy and even harder to do over the internet. Or simpler skills like knowing to play all your easy to deal with dudes first vs ub, bash them for as much as you can and then once they tap out for black suns zenith plop a mirran crusader and ask them what they are going to do about that. Deciding when to attack a PW when to ignore it and go for the win, another skill that is more needed in aggro. Still being able to read the game and play around specific cards is a general sign of somewhat skilled aggro player though more vital to control, where if you can't do this your not going to win very much.

Control decks will require more decisions to win and more insight into the game on a regular basis. Aggro will have a lot more easy wins but it in my experience can require as much skill to win with as control, just it will probably demand that level of skill on a less frequent basis.

Note this is talking from a very traditional definition of a control and aggro deck, which have been much hybridized as of late probably due to the fact that if this doesn't happen control wins every time.
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Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 553

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Btw, this is neither here nor there, but EngrishSkill: how stoned were you when you wrote this? You're writing is usually par if not better, but between these two posts, I think I had four aneurysms trying to decipher exactly what you were saying.
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Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easier decks to pilot are straight forward decks, it really doesn't matter wether it is pure control or pure aggro. Pure control decks are those running just 4-8 win conditions, the rest of the deck is card advantadge and board control. Take examples over history: MonoBlackControl with arenas, nevinyrral's disk, cabal coffers, nether shadows/ nantuko shades, drainlife; monoblue with morphling, monowhite with sweeppers and angels, even monored has a control version! These decks are pretty easy, you just wait to responde to your opponent threats (or eliminate them just before they can be used if u play black), control the board, and once you are in there just play your wincon and GG. Pure aggro are easy too: stompy, all kind of winnies, suicideblacks, zoo... all of them follow the same guidelines: the best cost/power ratio in creatures, perfect curve, and then some little differences: some play any kind of board control (bolts, terror effects, swords to plowshares...), instant pump (green growths, although growth effects could be considered board control if facing other aggro, hatred) or permanent pump (tempered steel, lords, bad moon).
The hard thing is to pilot an hybrid deck. Wether it is more control oriented (Fae, Caw-blade) or aggro oriented (jund, eva green), there will be a moment during the game when you will have to make the hard choice: do i take initiative or concede it? In other words: is it time to play day of judgement or can i go on with my swordy hawks?
On combo decks i cannot have any fair opinion, i've never played them, but my thoughts are that if you decide to play combo you MUST be used to it to be able to run propperly. It may take some trainning, and that process is hard, but once you know the tricks and how to face control and aggro matchups i can't see the difficulty.
Those are my thoughts in this issue.
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