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Peasant Magic Decks - 2009

/////Blue-White Control - Robert Barone

 

Lands-20

 

4 Terramorhpic Expanse

4 Azorious Chancery

5 Plains

7 Island

 

Creatures-17

 

1 Plumeveil*

4 Spiketail Drakeling

4 Guardian of the Guildpact

4 Deftblade Duelist

4 Ophidian

 

Instants-14

 

4 Counterspell

4 Accumulated Knowledge

3 Judge Unworthy

1 Dawn Charm

1 Disenchant

1 Brainstorm

 

Sorceries-1

 

1 Ponder

 

Artifacts-4

 

4 Isochron Scepter*

 

Enchantments-4

 

4 Faith’s Fetters

 

 

Overview

A tried-and-true Blue-White control deck, this decklist plays exactly like its predecessors even though it is restricted to peasant rules.  The point of this deck is simple: gain incremental card advantage throughout the game until you are far enough ahead of your opponent to outright take the game.  The method and specific plays required are a bit more complicated.

 

Creatures

First off, I prefer to begin with the creature selections because I believe creatures are the core of Peasant Magic unlike other formats.  The creatures in this deck all nullify opposing threats or gain card advantage.

 

I would like to group Deftblade Duelist and Guardian of the Guildpact into the same discussion.  Deftblade Duelist has shroud, which nullifies the opponent’s targeted creature-removal cards. Second, first strike allows Deftblade Duelist to become a nuisance that must be killed by at least a 2/3.  It shines against weenie decks when it is untargetable by spells and unkillable due to first strike.  Guardian of the Guildpact is similar to Deftblade Duelist, but to the extreme.  Protection from monocolored means that any type of monocolored creature removal (except mass removal of course) is useless against it.  Additionally, only artifact or gold creatures can deal damage to it or even block it.  The abilities of these creatures are cumulative, because each one of these in play further invalidates the opponent’s creature removal and makes their smaller creatures more helpless.

 

Spiketail Drakeling fills in the role of slowing down the opponent and countering key spells—all while still being a flying threat.  A Spiketail Drakeling out forces the opponent to either have an excess (2) mana each time they play a spell or withhold playing their bombs until Spiketail Drakeling is gone.  Multiple Drakelings are only better, further restricting the opponent’s ability to play key cards.  Although the cost of UU1 is expensive and color intensive, Spiketail Drakeling was chosen over Spiketail Hatchling for two reasons. 

1) It is a 2/2 flier instead of a 1/1 flier.  A 2/2 flier can end games much quicker than a 1/1, and is a much better response to opposing fliers.

2) The ability to counter a spell unless the opponent pays (2) is much more relevant than (1).  It may seem to be a small difference, but Hatchlings are much easier to play around than Drakelings.

 

Ophidian is a card that needs little explanation.  It is a creature that has a good body to stop aggro weenies (1/3), and it can draw cards and gain crucial card advantage.  Ophidian was chosen over Ninja of the Deep Hours because it has a better body to block aggro weenies and because it is cheaper (this deck is tight on its mana).  U3 is too much for Ninja, and by the time the deck it attacking and Ninjitsu is a viable option, the game should probably be over anyways.  Also, using Ninjitsu and having to replay the other creature is simply too much mana for the deck, as the deck uses all of the mana it can get.  Ninja of the Deep hours would work well with Guardian of the Guildpact since it’s unblockable though.

 

Plumeveil is there because there was one uncommon slot left and it provides a nice surprise to take an opponent’s creature unexpectedly.  It is also efficient for its cost.  I usually never play anything with defender, but for this I made an exception.  It actually isn’t as bad as some experienced players may think.  However, I am also testing Jotun Grunt in this spot.

 

Instants

All of the instants in the deck are 2 mana or under so they can imprint on the scepter.  Pretty much anything can win the game or put you far ahead on the Isochron Scepter.  On their own though, they still play a vital role to the deck.  There are only four Counterspells in the deck, so they should be big-game hunters.  By that, I mean Counterspell isn’t meant to counter a third turn Lightning Bolt, it should be held to counter a game-changing Blastoderm or Skullclamp.

 

Accumulated Knowledge is the best blue instant drawing card in Peasant in my opinion, and its drawing power is crucial to a sustained control and card advantage.  It’s surprising how many times an Accumulated Knowledge on an Isochron Scepter has won me the game.  Brainstorm is simply a powerful singleton for the deck’s draw engine.  Since Ponder can filter cards AND shuffle the deck if no good cards are coming up, it’s proven to be more powerful than Brainstorm and has earned the role of the only sorcery in the deck (Sorceries can’t be imprinted on Isochron Scepter).

 

Judge Unworthy kills creatures and filters your library, which makes it a perfect fit for the deck.  Since it can only be used on creatures during the combat phase, however, there are only three in the deck.  Disenchant and Dawn Charm are utility cards which also can be huge on Isochron Scepter.

 

Enchantments

Faith’s Fetters is really an amazing card for the deck.  Honestly, the deck shares the same weakness as most Blue-White control decks, it’s slow.  The deck begins to establish card advantage and control the game not in the beginning, but the midgame.  Before you are in control, a fast aggro deck can deal some damage to you.  Faith’s Fetters serve to lock down ANY targetable, non-mana producing permanent.  Isochron Scepters, Skullclamps, and big/annoying creatures all fall to Faith’s Fetters (enchantment removal is sparse in Peasant).  Faith’s Fetters really earns its keep by not only nullifying threats, but also gaining you life in the process.  Life gain on its own is not that good, but when you get large chunks of 4 life while still doing other great things, then Faith’s Fetters becomes really good.

 

Manabase

The mana base is solid for the deck, having a fair 20 lands.  The Azorius Chanceries are much better than you may think, because they provide sufficient mana while only slowing down the deck for one turn.  Ravnica Karoos like this help to prevent mana screw by providing quality lands.  If, for example, you have drawn only 3 lands, then the deck is severely limited.  However, if one of the lands was Azorious Chancery, then you at least have an adequate amount of mana to hold out until you draw into more lands.  The Terramorphic Expanses help to smooth out the colors and thin the deck.  The deck has multiple UU costs, such as Counterspell and Spiketail Drakeling and the Terramorphic Expanses help to find a second island if needed.  Conversely, the Expanses can fetch a Plains if all you are drawing is Islands.  They may seem slow, but their benefits outweigh their costs.

 

Gameplay

While playing the deck, the early-game is usually bearable if you can get at least one early creature.  Mulligan if you have less than two lands, because the deck is slow enough without missing crucial early land drops.  Although the deck plays slow at first, it has a great ability to rebound back mid-game and seal the deal late-game.  The deck has some great all around matchups and deserves a play.  It definitely is a deck that gets better with play skill.

 

Jotun Grunt, Man-O’-War, Think Twice, Sunlance, Momentary Blink are all cards that have seen play in this deck.  This decklist is the final version, but this is only my take on Blue-White control.  The deck definitely presents many avenues for alteration.

 

Feel free to send me your ideas and feedback at rbarone293@gmail.com

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