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Throwing the Doors Wide Open - Alec Collins (12/9/2012)

Lately, my play group and I have been experiencing a bit of a dry spell in terms of wins. I have been doing very well with my Mono Black Control deck that I mentioned last time (more on that later), but the rest of the boys were hurting for a good deck to play. One such friend, Cody, suggested that we sit down across Facebook and try to brew something to snap the losing streak. I agreed quickly as he knew I would. As the rogue of the group, deck brewing is one of my favorite things (besides of course raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens). Cody’s previous deck had been Turbo Fog
Fog
FogSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage or otherwise affect any creature as a result of an attack or block. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is dealt.
; a deck that I still think could be really good in the format. He wanted something a little more classic control though as the blue mage in him longs for a good counter spell. After a good hour of staring at lists and piles of cards, we were stumped. I suggested Brad Nelson’s Hoof There It Is deck, but it wasn’t control oriented enough for Cody.

Finally, in exasperation I typed, “Well, what cards do you want to play with?”

He was silent for a while so I went to get a drink. Upon my return he had some cards pulled up on the screen. Imagine the shock and horror when I saw the screen was nothing but counter spells. Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
, Dissipate
Dissipate
DissipateSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. Remove that spell card from the game.
, Izzet Charm
Izzet Charm
Izzet CharmSet: Duel Decks Izzet vs. Golgari
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
21
Artist:
Zoltan Boros
Text:
Choose one — Counter target noncreature spell unless its controller pays {2}; or Izzet Charm deals 2 damage to target creature; or draw two cards, then discard two cards.
, Counterflux
Counterflux
CounterfluxSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Counterflux can't be countered by spells or abilities. Counter target spell you don't control. Overload {1}{U}{U}{R} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")
, Essence Scatter
Essence Scatter
Essence ScatterSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Jon Foster
Text:
Counter target creature spell.
, and Negate
Negate
NegateSet: Morningtide
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Counter target noncreature spell.
were spread on the computer screen in front of me.

“These,” he wrote, “I want to play these.”

Of course, I am the hater of most things blue, especially the dreaded counter spell. So it would be my luck that I would get stuck with such a monstrosity of a deck. However, I am bound by my pledge to leave no deck un-built. After another few hours of brewing and testing, we produced a finished product. It was mostly a UW Flash
Flash
FlashSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
67
Artist:
David Ho
Text:
Put a creature card from your hand into play. You may pay its mana cost reduced by up to 2. If you don't, sacrifice it.
shell with red for Pillar of Flame
Pillar of Flame
Pillar of FlameSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
149
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Pillar of Flame deals 2 damage to target creature or player. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.
and the cost of Izzet Charm
Izzet Charm
Izzet CharmSet: Duel Decks Izzet vs. Golgari
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
21
Artist:
Zoltan Boros
Text:
Choose one — Counter target noncreature spell unless its controller pays {2}; or Izzet Charm deals 2 damage to target creature; or draw two cards, then discard two cards.
and Counterflux
Counterflux
CounterfluxSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Counterflux can't be countered by spells or abilities. Counter target spell you don't control. Overload {1}{U}{U}{R} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")
. The problem was that the deck did not kill easy. It required the opponent to have no spot removal or board sweepers and it simply folded to main board Cavern of Souls
Cavern of Souls
Cavern of SoulsSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
As Cavern of Souls enters the battlefield, choose a creature type. {T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. {T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast a creature spell of the chosen type, and that spell can't be countered.
. Then there was the Thragtusk
Thragtusk
ThragtuskSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
193
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Thragtusk enters the battlefield, you gain 5 life. When Thragtusk leaves the battlefield, put a 3/3 green Beast creature token onto the battlefield.
menace. If we couldn’t counter it, the life gain really made the game get away from us quickly. Disappointed, we went back to the brew pot, but no matter what we did we couldn’t seem to find a way get around our problems.

Once again, I called upon the Bind
Bind
BindSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
182
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Counter target activated ability. (Mana abilities can't be countered.)Draw a card.
er Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
s to show me what to do with the deck. I flipped to a random page and immediately knew what we were going to do. Something that would cause weeping, gnashing of teeth, table flipping, and tapestries of obscenities to be woven by any opponent we pulled this off against. The biggest, dumbest win con artifact Standard could produce at the moment. Hold onto your knickers, here’s the Door to Nothingness
Door to Nothingness
Door to NothingnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
115
Text:
Door to Nothingness comes into play tapped. WWUUBBRRGG, Tap, Sacrifice Door to Nothingness: Target player loses the game.
.


American Door

Creatures:
4 Snapcaster Mage
Snapcaster Mage
Snapcaster MageSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
78
Artist:
Volkan Baga
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flash When Snapcaster Mage enters the battlefield, target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (You may cast that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

3 Augur of Bolas
Augur of Bolas
Augur of BolasSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Augur of Bolas enters the battlefield, look at the top three cards of your library. You may reveal an instant or sorcery card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.


Instants:
3 Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

4 Think Twice
Think Twice
Think TwiceSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
86
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Draw a card. Flashback 2U (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

3 Forbidden Alchemy
Forbidden Alchemy
Forbidden AlchemySet: Innistrad
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
55
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Flashback {6}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

2 Sphinx’s Revelation
Revelation
RevelationSet: Chronicles
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant World
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
All players play with the cards in their hands face up on the table.

2 Dissipate
Dissipate
DissipateSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. Remove that spell card from the game.

3 Counterflux
Counterflux
CounterfluxSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Counterflux can't be countered by spells or abilities. Counter target spell you don't control. Overload {1}{U}{U}{R} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")


Sorceries:
3 Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.

2 Inaction Injunction
Inaction Injunction
Inaction InjunctionSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.) Draw a card.


Artifacts:
2 Gilded Lotus
Gilded Lotus
Gilded LotusSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
175
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
T: Add three mana of any one color to your mana pool.

2 Chromatic Lantern
Chromatic Lantern
Chromatic LanternSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Jung Park
Text:
Lands you control have "{T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool." {T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

1 Door to Nothingness
Door to Nothingness
Door to NothingnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
115
Text:
Door to Nothingness comes into play tapped. WWUUBBRRGG, Tap, Sacrifice Door to Nothingness: Target player loses the game.


Planeswalkers:
2 Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of ThoughtSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
M
Number:
44
Artist:
Jaime Jones
Text:
+1: Until your next turn, whenever a creature an opponent controls attacks, it gets -1/-0 until end of turn. -2: Reveal the top three cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library in any order. -8: For each player, search that player's library for a nonland card and exile it, then that player shuffles his or her library. You may cast those cards without paying their mana costs.


Lands:
4 Steam Vents
Steam Vents
Steam VentsSet: Guildpact
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Island Mountain
Rarity:
R
Number:
164
Text:
(T: Add U or R to your mana pool.) As Steam Vents comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Steam Vents comes into play tapped instead.

4 Hallowed Fountain
Hallowed Fountain
Hallowed FountainSet: Dissension
Color:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
174
Artist:
Rob Alexander

4 Glacial Fortress
Glacial Fortress
Glacial FortressSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
Glacial Fortress enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Plains or an Island.{T}: Add {W} or {U} to your mana pool.

4 Sulfur Falls
Sulfur Falls
Sulfur FallsSet: Innistrad
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
248
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
Sulfur Falls enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island or a Mountain. {T}: Add {U} or {R} to your mana pool.

2 Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

4 Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

1 Desolate Lighthouse
Desolate Lighthouse
Desolate LighthouseSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
227
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. {1}{U}{R}, {T}: Draw a card, then discard a card.


Sideboard:
2 Terminus
Terminus
TerminusSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
38
Artist:
James Paick
Text:
Put all creatures on the bottom of their owners' libraries. Miracle {W} (You may cast this card for its miracle cost when you draw it if it's the first card you drew this turn.)

3 Detention Sphere
Detention Sphere
Detention SphereSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
155
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
When Detention Sphere enters the battlefield, you may exile target nonland permanent not named Detention Sphere and all other permanents with the same name as that permanent. When Detention Sphere leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to the battlefield under their owner's control.

2 Talrand, Sky Summoner
Talrand, Sky Summoner
Talrand, Sky SummonerSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
72
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, put a 2/2 blue Drake creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

2 Runechanter’s Pike
1 Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R

1 Witchbane Orb
Witchbane Orb
Witchbane OrbSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
236
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
When Witchbane Orb enters the battlefield, destroy all Curses attached to you. You have hexproof. (You can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control, including Aura spells.)

1 Elixir of Immortality
Elixir of Immortality
Elixir of ImmortalitySet: Magic 2011
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
206
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
{2}, {T}: You gain 5 life. Shuffle Elixir of Immortality and your graveyard into your library.

3 Purify the Grave
Purify the Grave
Purify the GraveSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Exile target card from a graveyard. Flashback {W} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)



Now before the name calling, hate mail, and death threats start let me assure all of you that I have already been called everything under the sun and then some for playing this card. That being said, this card wins games and wins them well. Ali Aintrazi demonstrated this handily by top eighting a GP with a Door Control deck just recently. While my version is not as bold as Ali’s five color machine, I feel it is more efficient in what it is trying to do.

Let’s take a look at the main engine of the deck. Chromatic Lantern
Chromatic Lantern
Chromatic LanternSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Jung Park
Text:
Lands you control have "{T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool." {T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
and, to a lesser extent, Gilded Lotus
Gilded Lotus
Gilded LotusSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
175
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
T: Add three mana of any one color to your mana pool.
provide you with the ability to tap for every color of mana. This way you can very easily activate Door to Nothingness
Door to Nothingness
Door to NothingnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
115
Text:
Door to Nothingness comes into play tapped. WWUUBBRRGG, Tap, Sacrifice Door to Nothingness: Target player loses the game.
and then you win the game. Simple, right? The only thing is that Door takes ten mana to activate and it enters the battlefield tapped so you can’t open the Door the turn you play it. Of course, that means you have to actually stay alive until turn eleven at the very least to win the game. This is no small feat in a Meta that seems dominated by creature decks. Or maybe it isn’t so hard after all. The really hilarious thing is that to date I have played upwards of 50 matches and have been able to open the Door in all but 3 of them.

“What Sorcery is this!?!?” you may be crying in disgust.

To that I say, “Exactly! And Instants too.”

The selection of spells in the deck is tailor made to keep you alive even against the fastest of Mono Red starts. The deck starts slinging counter spells as early as turn two with Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
, however the counters get scarier the longer the deck goes with Dissipate
Dissipate
DissipateSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. Remove that spell card from the game.
and Counterflux
Counterflux
CounterfluxSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Counterflux can't be countered by spells or abilities. Counter target spell you don't control. Overload {1}{U}{U}{R} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")
. I don’t really know why Counterflux
Counterflux
CounterfluxSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Counterflux can't be countered by spells or abilities. Counter target spell you don't control. Overload {1}{U}{U}{R} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")
(besides the mana restriction) is not seeing much more play. You’ll never lose a counter war again and it practically guarantees your big spells will resolve if you have it to back them up. Izzet Charm
Izzet Charm
Izzet CharmSet: Duel Decks Izzet vs. Golgari
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
21
Artist:
Zoltan Boros
Text:
Choose one — Counter target noncreature spell unless its controller pays {2}; or Izzet Charm deals 2 damage to target creature; or draw two cards, then discard two cards.
, Essence Scatter
Essence Scatter
Essence ScatterSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Jon Foster
Text:
Counter target creature spell.
, and Negate
Negate
NegateSet: Morningtide
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Counter target noncreature spell.
didn’t make the main board because they are just too narrow. The might yet find a sideboard slot, but not right now. If your opponent does manage to resolve a creature, never fear. The three Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.
s are enough to keep the board clean when you need it. We started with the full play set, but many times they got stuck in hand. With the amount of card draw and dig you have, you will find a Verdict when you need it or your money back (don’t ask for your money back, I’m poor). The biggest surprise cards in the deck are the Inaction Injunction
Inaction Injunction
Inaction InjunctionSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.) Draw a card.
s. If there was room I would totally run three, maybe even four. The card shuts down a lot of the problematic creatures in the format for that one critical extra turn while drawing you a card in the process. I can’t emphasize enough how important card draw is to this deck (more on this in a minute). I have many times Injunctioned my own creature so I could draw that extra life or death card. The card is just amazing in this format. Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of ThoughtSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
M
Number:
44
Artist:
Jaime Jones
Text:
+1: Until your next turn, whenever a creature an opponent controls attacks, it gets -1/-0 until end of turn. -2: Reveal the top three cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library in any order. -8: For each player, search that player's library for a nonland card and exile it, then that player shuffles his or her library. You may cast those cards without paying their mana costs.
can also shut down creatures (cough, cough, Lingering Souls
Lingering Souls
Lingering SoulsSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Bud Cook
Text:
Put two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield. Flashback {1}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
, cough), but it is also is a fantastic card draw engine. That make him a must have in this deck. Speaking of which, let’s talk card draw.

As I said above, card draw and dig spells are so incredibly important in this deck. They let you find answers to your opponent's spells while getting you the pieces you need to open the Door without having to run play sets of each piece. Think Twice
Think Twice
Think TwiceSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
86
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Draw a card. Flashback 2U (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
and Forbidden Alchemy
Forbidden Alchemy
Forbidden AlchemySet: Innistrad
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
55
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Flashback {6}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
have been used in control decks since last season because they are just amazingly efficient card draw engines. Both flashback for even more value on their own so you don’t have to recur them with Snap
Snap
SnapSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand. Untap up to two lands.
py and are just great cards. Desolate Lighthouse
Desolate Lighthouse
Desolate LighthouseSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
227
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. {1}{U}{R}, {T}: Draw a card, then discard a card.
, or Value Tower as I like to call it, lets you filter away excess lands and dig that much deeper in the deck for whatever you need at the time. I have already mentioned Jace and Inaction Injunction
Inaction Injunction
Inaction InjunctionSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.) Draw a card.
, but we also have a creature that gives you some card advantage. Augur of Bolas
Augur of Bolas
Augur of BolasSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Augur of Bolas enters the battlefield, look at the top three cards of your library. You may reveal an instant or sorcery card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
finds you spells you need, but it gives you another advantage of putting what you don’t want on the bottom of your library instead of into the graveyard. This can be helpful if you happen to pull a combo piece off of him because you don’t lose your piece. However, of all of these spells the one that will really stabilize you is Sphinx’s Revelation
Revelation
RevelationSet: Chronicles
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant World
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
All players play with the cards in their hands face up on the table.
. This card digs the deepest into your deck and gives you valuable life that can just slam the brakes on several fast creature decks. I think two is the correct number, but I could see cutting something for a third.

Really quickly, the creature base is not really all that important as you are not ever planning to win by creature damage. Augur, as mentioned, is great card advantage, but he is also a fabulous blocker with a big fat butt of 3. I don’t care how fast you play; your Gravecrawler
Gravecrawler
GravecrawlerSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
R
Number:
64
Artist:
Steven Belledin
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Gravecrawler can't block. You may cast Gravecrawler from your graveyard as long as you control a Zombie.
is not touching this. Lastly, Snapcaster Mage
Snapcaster Mage
Snapcaster MageSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
78
Artist:
Volkan Baga
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flash When Snapcaster Mage enters the battlefield, target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (You may cast that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
is obvious just because the value of flashback is astronomical in a dedicated control strategy such as this.

The sideboard is just a catch all for what I think I might find at a normal FNM. Purify the Grave
Purify the Grave
Purify the GraveSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Exile target card from a graveyard. Flashback {W} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
is a great choice against Rites decks and undying creatures (those guys can be a real pain in the behind) to just pick off the problem cards one by one. The one-ofs are more efficient artifacts. Elixir of Immortality
Elixir of Immortality
Elixir of ImmortalitySet: Magic 2011
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
206
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
{2}, {T}: You gain 5 life. Shuffle Elixir of Immortality and your graveyard into your library.
against other control decks that run the Drownyard strategy, Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R
against Planeswalker Control type decks, and Witchbane Orb
Witchbane Orb
Witchbane OrbSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
236
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
When Witchbane Orb enters the battlefield, destroy all Curses attached to you. You have hexproof. (You can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control, including Aura spells.)
against Mono Red and sometimes Jund
Jund
JundSet: Planechase 2012 Edition
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Plane
Sub Type:
Alara
Rarity:
C
Number:
20
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
Whenever a player casts a black, red, or green creature spell, it gains devour 5. (As the creature enters the battlefield, its controller may sacrifice any number of creatures. The creature enters the battlefield with five times that many +1/+1 counters on it.) Whenever you roll chaos, put two 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens onto the battlefield.
as Rakdos’s Return can really mess you up. Terminus
Terminus
TerminusSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
38
Artist:
James Paick
Text:
Put all creatures on the bottom of their owners' libraries. Miracle {W} (You may cast this card for its miracle cost when you draw it if it's the first card you drew this turn.)
and Detention Sphere
Detention Sphere
Detention SphereSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
155
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
When Detention Sphere enters the battlefield, you may exile target nonland permanent not named Detention Sphere and all other permanents with the same name as that permanent. When Detention Sphere leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to the battlefield under their owner's control.
give you more game against creature heavy aggro strategies. Talrand and the Pikes come in against the control mirror as an unexpected threat that you can grind them out with. Again, this sideboard is very much a work in progress and should be refined based on the meta of your area.

Many of you may be saying, “Ok, Alec. I kinda want play this monstrosity. But is it really worth playing grindy matches while earning myself the title of King Bastard of Magic Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
(thank you Chewie for this, greatest thing ever) at the same time?” [Editor's note: Credit where credit is due, this actually came from Mana Pool cohost Mike, who is my hero.]

To you I say, “Oh yes.”

To be blunt, the Standard format has been so so stale as of late. Games can go the full 50 minutes with no one’s life total ever dropping below 20 the whole time. This deck throws up a giant middle finger to this and says, “Gain all the life you want, my win condition doesn’t care about life totals.” Door to Nothingness
Door to Nothingness
Door to NothingnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
115
Text:
Door to Nothingness comes into play tapped. WWUUBBRRGG, Tap, Sacrifice Door to Nothingness: Target player loses the game.
is a threat that wins the game the turn after it is played. End of story. This is exactly what the format needs right now. Something to shake the format up, turn it on its head, and scoff at all the Thragtusk
Thragtusk
ThragtuskSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
193
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Thragtusk enters the battlefield, you gain 5 life. When Thragtusk leaves the battlefield, put a 3/3 green Beast creature token onto the battlefield.
s, Restoration Angel
Restoration Angel
Restoration AngelSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
32
Artist:
Johannes Voss
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flash Flying When Restoration Angel enters the battlefield, you may exile target non-Angel creature you control, then return that card to the battlefield under your control.
s, and Angel of Serenity
Angel of Serenity
Angel of SerenitySet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
M
Number:
1
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
5
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying When Angel of Serenity enters the battlefield, you may exile up to three other target creatures from the battlefield and/or creature cards from graveyards. When Angel of Serenity leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to their owners' hands.
is what I am desperate to find. I believe I have found a cool way to do just that. If you doubt, give it a shot! Just don’t expect to have any friends at all by the end of the night (Disclaimer: Alec is not responsible for lost friends, broken tables, burned deck boxes, or any other things that can, and probably will, happen when you play Door to Nothingness
Door to Nothingness
Door to NothingnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
115
Text:
Door to Nothingness comes into play tapped. WWUUBBRRGG, Tap, Sacrifice Door to Nothingness: Target player loses the game.
).

So before I leave you guys for this week, I just wanted to make mention of some changes to the Mono Black deck I posted last time. I still love that deck and I am continuing to refine it with the format moving away from the Geist midrange decks (hurray). The latest changes involve splashing blue (I know, I know) and green to help the deck deal with had to answer threats for Mono Black decks. I cut the Vampire Nocturnus
Vampire Nocturnus
Vampire NocturnusSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
M
Number:
118
Artist:
Raymond Swanland
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Play with the top card of your library revealed.As long as the top card of your library is black, Vampire Nocturnus and other Vampire creatures you control get +2/+1 and have flying.
, Diabolic Revelation
Diabolic Revelation
Diabolic RevelationSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
87
Artist:
Raymond Swanland
Text:
Search your library for up to X cards and put those cards into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
, Murder
Murder
MurderSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
101
Artist:
Allen Williams
Text:
Destroy target creature.
s, and Reap
Reap
ReapSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Ron Chironna
Text:
Return any number of target cards from your graveyard to your hand. You cannot choose more cards than the number of black permanents target opponent controls.
ers, 1 Sign in Blood
Sign in Blood
Sign in BloodSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
112
Artist:
Howard Lyon
Text:
Target player draws two cards and loses 2 life.
, and 1 Tribute to Hunger
Tribute to Hunger
Tribute to HungerSet: Innistrad
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
119
Artist:
Dave Kendall
Text:
Target opponent sacrifices a creature. You gain life equal to that creature's toughness.
to make room for 3 Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
, 3 Cyclonic Rift
Cyclonic Rift
Cyclonic RiftSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
35
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Text:
Return target nonland permanent you don't control to its owner's hand. Overload {6}{U} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")
, and 2 Vraska, the Unseen (for her minus 3 ability). I also added a Nephalia Drownyard
Nephalia Drownyard
Nephalia DrownyardSet: Innistrad
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
245
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. {1}{U}{B}, {T}: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
to combat control mirrors as this is the decks weakest matchup, 4 Drowned Catacomb
Drowned Catacomb
Drowned CatacombSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
224
Artist:
Dave Kendall
Text:
Drowned Catacomb enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island or a Swamp. {T}: Add {U} or {B} to your mana pool.
s, and 4 Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown TombSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Swamp Forest
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(T: Add B or G to your mana pool.) As Overgrown Tomb comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Overgrown Tomb comes into play tapped instead.
s to the mana base to be able to cast the new spells without hurting your Mutilate
Mutilate
MutilateSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Text:
All creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn for each swamp you control.
s too badly. These changes give the deck great answers to things it couldn’t handle before and keeps it relevant in the Standard format.

Anyway, thanks for reading everybody. Follow me on twitter @axlxexc to find out how the decks perform on MTGO as well as the FNMs I am able to attend. Also drop me a message to let me know how you fare if you try one of my brews out as well as any suggestions/comments you have for me. I love feedback, even the bad kind.

Until next time, keep brewing out there!


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