Normally when remaking a standard deck type Peasant decks lose some of the key cards. This is especially true for non-creature based decks which normally rely on powerful enchantments or sorceries to control the game. So far I haven't heard many people seriously propose a mono-Blue Control Deck for this format. In peasant magic Blue = Skies, or that's how the typical thought process goes. Well that simply isn't the case. Try these control decks on for size.
Jalopy (Remake of Turbo Chevy)
3 Thieving Magpie (Uncommon)
2 Living Wall (Uncommon)
2 Wayward Spirit
2 Waterfront Bouncer
1 Thalakos Scout
4 Accumulated Knowledge
2 Power Sink
4 Memory Lapse
Chevy and Turbo Chevy are part of an Archetype that have been around for a good long while but have generally been fairly quiet. Recently these decks have been making a little bit of a splash in type II.
Turbo Chevy says "I can't shut you down, but I can slow you down and that big flying creature (historically Air Elemental) will rip your arm off and beat you with the wet end in the mean time." The key to this philosophy is card drawing. The deck doesn't have enough creatures to be a threat as a creature deck, nor does it have enough counters or bounce to control the game. Instead it has a balance of these three things and uses a massive amount of card drawing so it has the *one* card it does need when it needs it. Unless you are an experienced Blue player you will find that almost every game leaves you gasping on the edge of your seat as you recover from winning. Experienced Blue players often feel like the are a lot more active and that they are playing the deck wrong because of it. Either way Turbo Chevy is fun and sometimes you will play better because you are enjoying yourself the whole time.
The next best thing about Turbo Chevy is that the deck loses very little to the peasant format. The only really key lost to the uncommon restrictions are the alternate casting cost counters. While you could still have the good ol' Force of Will that would mean taking out the Thieving Magpie and this would really kill the turbo charge of this deck. To compensate, this deck contains a little extra land (compared to regular Turbo Chevy which have almost no land compared to classic Blue control). Also, since this is a creature heavy format we can afford to throw in 4 each of Exclude and Repulse into the deck. This provides some service at slowing the opponent and also lets you draw those precious cards.
The core of the card drawing engine (how many more puns can I fit in this article), however, is found in Opt and Accumulated Knowledge. Right now, Turbo Chevy uses Slight of Hand instead of Portent since Portent isn't in Type II and since it doesn't get you as deep into your library. What Portent does do, however, is let you control the flow of the game and this can prove to be important. I always use the Portent on my opponent's library and I try and push the threats away for a few turns if at all possible. This works wonders in this type of deck where one turn can equal 3 or 4 cards. Some players may wish to substitute Gush for either Slight of Hand or Portent. This has the advantage drawing more cards and getting deeper (or as deep) into the library, but it is also slower and returning 2 Islands to your hand really equals slowing down your momentum by 2 turns except in the mid/end game. Other great options are Omen, Impulse from Visions which is lets you look at 4 cards, or Merchant Scroll which allows you to pick your card but doesnít get you deeper into your deck. Merchant Scroll can also give a huge psychological boost since your opponent knows that you can now counter any spell he casts.
The creature component of this deck is what seems really odd to almost everyone. The first thing everyone notices is the Living Wall. I almost didn't include this card because when I started playing the game the picture always grossed me out. Having said that, the card shines. Living Wall = Blasto-who? Alternatives to the wall, if you don't care for the picture, include Glacial Wall, Wall of Junk, and Shield Sphere. Both of the other artifact walls come out faster but have some pretty hefty disadvantages attached to them. Glacial Wall is pretty close. It comes out 1 turn sooner and has 7 on the backside instead of 6 but it doesn't have the ability to regenerate or to block Karoo Meerkat (don't ask). You may also prefer to take out one of the walls and throw in Wash Out. This isn't a bad idea but I'm not convinced that it is as good as it sounds. The wall will be there for a good long time, Wash Out blows your whole load at once.
The Wayward Spirit takes the case, in my own mind, as the best Blue creature in the format. It's a 3/2 flyer for 4 mana, but you can return it to the top of your library to keep it from being bolted. The other beat stick is more like a beat twig but after all, this isn't a green deck. Thalakos Scout may be a weenie, but he does have shadow and he too can be made immune to the bolt. If you have to the Scout can win a locked up game. Also, and this may not be obvious, please protect your Thieving Magpie. Every card you draw puts your opponent further behind.
Forfetti (Forbidian Variant)
2 Washout (Uncommon)
3 Forbid (uncommon)
4 Chaos Confetti
1 Wayward Spirit
2 Thalakos Scout
Forbidian was a power house. It was also darn expensive with all of those Morphlings and Powder Kegs and other superpowered rares. The engine itself, however, was run by an uncommon (forbid) and a common (Ophidian), thus making it worthy of it's very own peasant variant.
The first problem, of course is that the massive permanent control of the original is all found in the rare (and very expensive) department. For our purposes, Unglued comes to the rescue. If you never thought you would say that join the club. Anyway, Chaos Confetti can be a very powerful form of permanent removal. It can also be a disaster. This deck will not work in ventilated spaces nor will it work without some practice throwing little bits of cardstock. Also, if you are going to play this deck make sure you have a stack of Chaos Confetti cards or that your opponents will let you rip up a proxy (you should always ask but keep the judge in mind as well).
While Chaos Confetti alone would not be enough, the Confetti is backed up by the all powerful Washout. It is important to remember that once you have Forbid in your hand you may need to clear the board of blockers to allow your Ophidian to sneak through for the card draw. Because of this you may wish to save the Confetti or Washout until needed. If your Ophidians are failing you the peasant version of this classic contains a number of cantrips to help fuel Forbid. Both Exclude and Repulse will give you no net loss, in a pinch you can also scrap the Capsize or the Thalakos Scouts after buyback or bounce respectively. The MVP for non-creature Forbid fodder is Gush. This will fuel 2 full uses of Forbid all by itself. If it wasn't so critical that this deck have a start for a fast start I would be more than happy to yank the Opt in favor of Gush and Inspiration.
Desert helps to scare off your opponents smaller creatures and don't be afraid to block with the Ophidian if you need to. As a matter of fact, in a pinch all your creatures can make decent blockers. Feel free to exchange a Scout for another Wayward Spirit. They are kind of a toss up. Both can return to your hand which is good, but doing so really causes some problems with the flow of the deck. It may be a wise decision, especially considering the metagame, to swap out 1 or 2 of your 3 finishers in favor of Weatherseed Faeries.
This deck is hard to play. More so than even your standard Blue deck you need to be patient and saving spells until you can stabilize the game through a well timed Chaos Confetti or Washout is very important. Until that point you will be almost defenseless or, if you toss away a lot of spells early, you will end up unable to maintain a strong lock even with Forbid in hand. With some practice this deck will win almost all of itís games if it can survive past turn 7 or 8 and if you can throw the Confetti well (Try letting the pieces fall from above or walk to your opponentís side of the table, also practice with different sized pieces).
Rhystic Proposition (Propaganda Blue)
4 Propaganda (Uncommon)
1 Maze of Ith (Uncommon)
4 Rhystic Study
2 Rhystic Deluge
4 Power Sink
2 Dream Prowler
1 Wayward Spirit
3 Slow Motion
1 Fade Away
This deck is nasty when your playing against creature decks. In fact, main deck there are 17 cards devoted purely to dealing with your opponentís creatures. With 15 (11 not counting Exclude) counter spells you also have the ability to stop the rest of your opponentís deck. The main power of the deck, however, is forcing your opponent to tap out their lands.
Obviously you want to get the Propagandas out as soon as possible. By making your opponent pay 2 mana per creature per Propaganda to attack you are really forcing them to choose whether they want to cast spells or attack. Even if they attack your are slowing down their deck as they will soon find the number of creatures they can attack with is severely limited. Add to this the fact that you can tap their best creatures with Rhystic Deluge and make them choose between paying mana for every spell or having you draw a card because of Rhystic Study and you can see how this deck can get annoying very fast. The longer the game the worse it gets until you have a strangle hold on the game.
You will notice that unlike the other blue decks there are no instants that allow you to draw cards. The most obvious reason is Rhystic Study which will net you a bunch of cards with any luck. Donít be surprised, however, if this doesnít go as planned. Most good players will pay the extra mana 9 out of 10 times. This will slow them down enough so that you can put your backup plan into effect. Though slower than dedicated card drawing, both Exclude and Repulse will draw some cards for you while slowing down your opponent. The rest of the backup plan is more of the same (although without the cantrip effect), that is slowing down your opponents game.
Be aggressive in your use of early counters and bounce. Stalling your opponent is the best way to win since you canít start doing anything that produces a long term advantage until you have more than 3 islands in play. Go all out, although this is a defensive deck there is no hidden strategy be blunt and hold nothing back. Once that first Propaganda hits the table you will feel the pressure start to ease. With a Propaganda or two and Maze of Ith or Rhystic Deluge you should have little to fear from their creatures.
The only card that really needs much strategy in playing is Fade Away. This card could be taken out and exchanged for something else with almost no problem. If you need it in the early game it is okay, but unless they are tapped out it will do little harm. In the mid/late game they will be tapped out thanks to the Rhystic spells, Power Sink, and Propaganda. By now they will probably have a fair number of creatures and Fade Away can put your opponentís recovery out of reach for good.
Your own creatures are also made to help you deal with their creatures. As a 1/5 Dream Prowler is a good blocker and as we know very well by now, Wayward Spiritís bounce ability is so useful it borders on amazing. It will take a while to kill your opponents with these guys out but never fear and just repeat with me, ďthe longer the game goes the better for me.Ē
You may have noticed that up until now the creature mix was almost always the same. One reason is that Wayward Spirit really is that good in this format. Thalakos Scouts or Mistfolk are also pretty hot choices. Here are some other creatures to think about when you design your own decks:
Ghost Ship: at 2/4 he can survive a bolt. He flies and for 3 mana regenerates. All for 4 mana. With lots of decks packing Incinerate and Swords to Plowshares heís still not as safe as Wayward Spirit but he is darn close and may be better in your deck. As a matter of fact, I still wake up at night and wonder if he is even better than the Spirit.
Dream Prowler: I used him in the last deck and he isnít for everyone or every deck. 1/5 is good though and if your opponent is locked up itís safe to attack and he canít be blocked. For 3 mana heís a steal.
Whirlpool Rider: This is an interesting card especially if you are looking for a combo or a specific card in your deck. Save him for when your hand is full of chaff and then play him for a look at 5 or 6 new cards.
Have fun and be creative. There are lots of decks out there use your brain and if your stuck go back and look at the archetypes and the decks that have been played for years. I guarantee you will find something worth playing.
- Jason Chapman