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CardShark Content - Michael C. Webb (3/15/2002)

A minor side note to start things off: After submitting my article last week I realized that in my whole Urza's Rage
Urza's Rage
Urza's RageSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
Kicker 8R (You may pay an additional 8R as you play this spell.)Urza's Rage can't be countered by spells or abilities.Urza's Rage deals 3 damage to target creature or player. If you paid the kicker cost, instead Urza's Rage deals 10 damage to that creature or player and the damage can't be prevented.
solution spiel I failed to mention that I was talking about ways to deal with it *in the MB* which is why I didn't say much of anything about Aegis of Honor
Aegis of Honor
Aegis of HonorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
1
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
1: The next time an instant or sorcery spell would deal damage to you this turn, that spell deals that damage to its controller instead.
. Aegis *is* an option MB for the ultra paranoid but as I laid out in that piece I still favor a pair of Ancestral Tribute
Ancestral Tribute
Ancestral TributeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
2
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
You gain 2 life for each card in your graveyard. Flashback 9WWW (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
s; they do essentially the same thing as Aegis (nullify Rage and other burn) and can also be helpful in matches with decks that don't have any.

I also got some ´´fan mail´´ per se :-) From Matt Enss (and a few others though I chose to use his for some reason or other) regarding my opinion on the viability of Tog decks and their ilk, his letter:

´´I thought I should point out a major error in your article on cardshark.com. You state that 'Tog is completely dead as a viable deck in the Regionals Type II environment, which is completely incorrect. I direct you to http://decks.brainburst.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=620, which is a fairly good look at Regionals thus far. Already, 'Tog has 2 first place finishes, 2 top four finishes, and 2 top eight finishes. Furthermore, none are of the ´´extra creatures´´ variety that you suggested might be viable. This is strong evidence that the deck is still quite strong.

As well, it would appear that you overstated the strength of black decks, as the majority of winning decks are not playing black, except for 'Tog.

Please research your ideas more before making such bold and ultimately false statements in a public forum.´´

The response I gave was as follows:

´´First off, thanks for writing in with your opinion on the article...I do appreciate the feedback but let me explain why I think your logic is faulty...

I could go in depth on why T8 appearances outside of North America or Pro Tour/Grand Prix events don't mean much of anything but I don't know if that'd sway your opinion. The fact of the matter is that in weaker fields superior players can get away with playing something other than the ´´best deck´´ and win by sheer skill...that's why you frequently see odd T8 appearances by decks outside of NA, the metagame isn't as evolved and the fields you have to go through are weaker. That's why the 6 T8's you mention don't mean much of anything to me....3 were from Brazil, 2 of them were from Australia and one from Greece; all 3 of which are very weak fields compared to what you'd see at any of the American regionals. I was completely aware of these T8's when I wrote the article last night and personally didn't think the results meant much of anything for the events that most of the players who read my article are going to be attending.

If and when Tog starts tearing up the NA regionals I'll be more than happy to say I was wrong but the fact remains, in playtesting both Black (pretty much any Black deck running heavy removal) and G/R decks with heavy burn run roughshod over the Tog decks and I think you'll see that reflected in the results as the regionals continue.´´

Mattt *does* make a valid point when he says Black centered decks haven't been T8ing yet but it remains to be seen if it's just an anomaly of the weaker metagame or if I *have* overstated the strength of the color. Stay tuned as the North American regionals will be kicking off soon enough. I still think that cards like Nantuko Shade
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko ShadeSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Shade
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Nantuko Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
will at least make the deck playable against Heavy Control and the removal base already crushes R/G horrifically, thus, if you see R/G starting to become a dominant deck Black should show up in equal numbers to check it back down again. Locally the environment was aggressive for a grand total of 1 week before shifting back to the heavy control that a lot of us prefer to play. Wherever this is true Black will likely not be as big of a factor but in areas where aggro decks are the popular thing Black should be widely used as a ´´Solution´´ deck.

Anyway, back to the topic for this week. The same day my last article appeared, which passingly referred to my U/W Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
deck, Tim Rodriguez also published an article showing his take on the archetype for the current Type II as tuned for the JSS Metagame. I know some people locally who seem to think this deck is going to actually stay under wraps all the way through Regionals but given the fact the metagame *here* has already heartily embraced it over any other control deck (4 of us playing variants of it in the Top 8 last Friday...) I think it's a bit foolhardy to assume that all across the country (and the world) people aren't coming up with lists *very similar* to the one I'm laying out here. I've already gotten a number of responses from people who're working on similar builds and I can't help but think it's going to show up in pretty large numbers at the upcoming US Regionals regardless of whether I write an article on it or not.

So why Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
? Because it has the answers. The deck is creatureless and as such, makes all the removal in your opponent's deck worthless. Most decks aren't even running Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
effects mainboard (though the occasional Deed sporting B/G build is still kicking around) so your win condition is actually much safer and easier to protect. It has the tools to effectively eviscerate the opponent's creature base via the old stand-by Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
with friends Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
, Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Text:
As an additional cost to play Vengeful Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.
(more on this in a sec) and Teferi's Moat
Teferi's Moat
Teferi's MoatSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
rk post
Text:
As Teferi's Moat comes into play, choose a color.Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you.
. It has the best card drawing in Type II with Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
and it's sideboard has access to effective answers to every conceivable deck. In the field of random that Regionals promises to be it's the best thing going because it can handle *anything*

Anyway, for reference my current list:

Toronto Control (U/W Counter Stone)

Win Conditions:
4x Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.


Counters:
4x Counterspell
Counterspell
CounterspellSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counters target spell as it is being cast.

2x 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.

4x Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.

4x Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.


Removal/Tempo:
2x Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.

4x Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.

2x Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Text:
As an additional cost to play Vengeful Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.

2x Teferi's Moat
Teferi's Moat
Teferi's MoatSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
rk post
Text:
As Teferi's Moat comes into play, choose a color.Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you.

2x Ancestral Tribute
Ancestral Tribute
Ancestral TributeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
2
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
You gain 2 life for each card in your graveyard. Flashback 9WWW (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)


Card Advantage:
3x Predict
Predict
PredictSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Name a card, then put the top card of target player's library into his or her graveyard. If that card is the named card, you draw two cards. Otherwise, you draw a card.

4x Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.


land
4x Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar WastesSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add W or U to your mana pool. Adarkar Wastes deals 1 damage to you.

4x Coastal Tower
Coastal Tower
Coastal TowerSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
321
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Coastal Tower comes into play tapped.T: Add W or U to your mana pool.

4x Cephalid Coliseum
Cephalid Coliseum
Cephalid ColiseumSet: Odyssey
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
317
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Tap: Add U to your mana pool. Cephalid Coliseum deals 1 damage to you. Threshold - U, Tap, Sacifice Cephalid Coliseum: Target player draws three cards, then discards three cards from his or her hand. (Play this ability only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)

7x Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

5x Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.


SB is *very* dependent on the current metagame, options for both MB and the SB are outlined below.

If you're interested in comparing this to the list by Tim here's a quick link to his version of the deck:
http://www.card-shark.com/content/view_article.asp?article_id=249

The key differences between our decks are his use of Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
in the 5 slot while I go with Teferi's Moat
Teferi's Moat
Teferi's MoatSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
rk post
Text:
As Teferi's Moat comes into play, choose a color.Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you.
and his use of Circular Logic
Circular Logic
Circular LogicSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each card in your graveyard. Madness U
over Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.
. Tim mentions in his article that his deck is good against everything except for R/G and Sligh...well, that's no surprise because his list only has 4 removal effects (2 Wrath and 2 Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
s) while I run 6 (4 Wrath and 2 Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Text:
As an additional cost to play Vengeful Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.
) as well as Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
s and the game swinging Ancestral Tribute
Ancestral Tribute
Ancestral TributeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
2
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
You gain 2 life for each card in your graveyard. Flashback 9WWW (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
. Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
is one of *the* main reasons I like U/W as a deck right now as it's a bomb against all the aggressive decks. It completely shuts down Black and Sligh and can put a hurt lock on the Green fat dominated R/G decks. I'm certainly not saying the match is a cakewalk because of Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
, far from it, but it does tip the scales to at least 50/50 by stopping about half of their potential threat cards cold while Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
doesn't do much of anything about threats that are already on the table or in hand. Ancestral Tribute
Ancestral Tribute
Ancestral TributeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
2
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
You gain 2 life for each card in your graveyard. Flashback 9WWW (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
is really an ace in the hole, if you can get it off and gain 20+ life they'll often scoop, especially when they realize you'll be able to flash it back if things get ugly later.

Without turning this into a ´´My Fires´´ article I'd have to say that I strongly feel Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
is a classic case of ´´piling it on´´. The card is horrendous when you're not in control and it's still only marginal even when you are. Sure, you can drop 20 cards into their graveyard if you cast it early but at the risk of tapping 5 mana main phase for no appreciable effect on the field itself. If I'm tapping 5 mana with a U/W deck I want to either be burying and/or nullifying a slew of creatures or winning the game.

I also feel Circular Logic
Circular Logic
Circular LogicSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each card in your graveyard. Madness U
is an inferior choice in a deck that already runs Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
s. Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.
is crap if you don't have a way of putting the card into the GY but Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
(and my choice of low CC card drawing in Predict
Predict
PredictSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Name a card, then put the top card of target player's library into his or her graveyard. If that card is the named card, you draw two cards. Otherwise, you draw a card.
) turns Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.
into a hard counter for only 2 mana. Just look at possible game situations:

Early:
Circular Logic
Circular Logic
Circular LogicSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each card in your graveyard. Madness U
- Sits in your hand. If you do cast it it's not very effective as there aren't many cards in your 'yard.

Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.
- Not optimum but playable in desperation. Usually just a delay tactic though the Predict
Predict
PredictSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Name a card, then put the top card of target player's library into his or her graveyard. If that card is the named card, you draw two cards. Otherwise, you draw a card.
combo *can* be used if a particularly troublesome card is Lapsed.

Mid-game:
Circular Logic
Circular Logic
Circular LogicSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each card in your graveyard. Madness U
- Is castable and will counter most of the time though sometimes aggro players will be able to play around it.

Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.
- Is castable and most likely will be a hard counter.

Late Game:
Circular Logic
Circular Logic
Circular LogicSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each card in your graveyard. Madness U
- Is at it's prime, usually it'll work as a hard counter.

Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.
- Is hard as the Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
will be out doing it's thing.

As you can see Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.
is usually a hard counter both mid and late game while Logic is only completely solid in the late game. Coupled with the lower casting cost of Lapse and the opportunity to use the Predict
Predict
PredictSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Name a card, then put the top card of target player's library into his or her graveyard. If that card is the named card, you draw two cards. Otherwise, you draw a card.
combo for card advantage put it over the top IMHO. Logic is a really marginal counter that I've seen a lot of decks using, personally, I feel the only decks that should be using it are the U/G Speedy Madness decks and Wild Research
Wild Research
Wild ResearchSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
72
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
1W: Search your library for an enchantment card and reveal that card. Put it into your hand, then discard a card at random from your hand. Then shuffle your library. 1U: Search your library for an instant card and reveal that card. Put it into your hand, then discard a card at random from your hand. Then shuffle your library.
builds, nothing else has a full graveyard fast enough or can consistently cast it for it's Madness cost.

Why play Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Text:
As an additional cost to play Vengeful Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.
? Because it's fast. The speedy decks will already have you dead and buried by turn 4 if they get a quick start. Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Text:
As an additional cost to play Vengeful Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.
is card disadvantage but it's also the only real early game solution to a mad rush. When you use it against say, a Rushing Char
Char
CharSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Char deals 4 damage to target creature or player and 2 damage to you.
ged Basking Rootwalla
Basking Rootwalla
Basking RootwallaSet: Torment
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Lizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
121
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1G: Basking Rootwalla gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Play this ability only once each turn. Madness 0
and a Mongrel you're already making up the card disadvantage by getting a 3 for 3 parity. Even when you do have to take the economy loss it's usually worth it. If the metagame slows back down again (or goes control heavy) these can leave for Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
s or even Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
effects.

What about Compulsion
Compulsion
CompulsionSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
34
Text:
1U, Discard a card from your hand: Draw a card. 1U, Sacrifice Compulsion: Draw a card.
? I've been wondering about this card myself. The advantage of being able to cycle your entire deck is obviously a tasty one but the question of what to take out for it has reared it's ugly head every time I considered it. Taking out Predict
Predict
PredictSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Name a card, then put the top card of target player's library into his or her graveyard. If that card is the named card, you draw two cards. Otherwise, you draw a card.
makes the Lapses suboptimal and I'm not going to substitute something for them. Taking out some of the creature removal (Dreams the most likely candidate) is an option but I'm not entirely comfortable with that right now either. It's certainly worth testing though, in a control on control match Compulsion
Compulsion
CompulsionSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
34
Text:
1U, Discard a card from your hand: Draw a card. 1U, Sacrifice Compulsion: Draw a card.
will often give you the gas you need to resolve a critical spell and win the match though it's usually too little too late *or* ends up being a classic case of ´´piling it on´´ against aggro decks.

Anyway...I like U/W as a deck because of the Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
(as I mentioned above) and also because it has playable solutions to all the other archetypes that are dominant, either MB or SB. Just look at a list of possibilities:

Aegis of Honor
Aegis of Honor
Aegis of HonorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
1
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
1: The next time an instant or sorcery spell would deal damage to you this turn, that spell deals that damage to its controller instead.
- Shuts down Black burn and anything packing heavy red; a big MVP in the current metagame.

COP Black - Usable; if they don't have an answer it's an auto scoop

Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
/Dismantling Blow
Dismantling Blow
Dismantling BlowSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Kicker 2U (You may pay an additional 2U as you play this spell.)Destroy target artifact or enchantment.If you paid the kicker cost, draw two cards.
- Critical in the case of a mirror though not the end all and be all answer if they're also siding in Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador LaquatusSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
23
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
3: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
. This is also usable against Wild Research
Wild Research
Wild ResearchSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
72
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
1W: Search your library for an enchantment card and reveal that card. Put it into your hand, then discard a card at random from your hand. Then shuffle your library. 1U: Search your library for an instant card and reveal that card. Put it into your hand, then discard a card at random from your hand. Then shuffle your library.
based decks if they take off and a possible option to bring in against R/G to get rid of UHJpY2Ugb2YgGlory
Glory
GlorySet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
R
Number:
11
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying 2W: Creatures you control gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. Play this ability only if Glory is in your graveyard.
when you can't free enough slots for something like Sacred Ground
Sacred Ground
Sacred GroundSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Whenever an effect controlled by any opponent puts a land into your graveyard from play, put that land into play.
. In a mirror heavy field like the one I'm facing Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
is certainly the better choice and possibly even deserves to be MB, the 1 extra mana doesn't make a difference against any other deck but being able to Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
the Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
they slipped out underneath your counters on turn 2 is a good thing.

Extract
Extract
ExtractSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Search target player's library for a card, and remove that card from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
- The mirror SB card that sees the most use locally. I like Extract
Extract
ExtractSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Search target player's library for a card, and remove that card from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
but it's too narrow for my tastes. I'd much rather be playing something that's more threatening like:

Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador LaquatusSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
23
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
3: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
- My SB card of choice to put the mirror match more into your favor. Yes, they might still be leaving some removal effects in their board, but they might not be. Laquatus is good in either case because he gives you more win conditions and is basically an auto-win if he resolves in the mid to late game. Locally I and my friend Mike G. are the only ones who've started using this for the mirror though I imagine more people will start jumping on the bandwagon when they realize how good the Fish is....a few turns of 9 card Milling action will do a lot to turn the tide in a match where the opponent had managed to sneak out an early 'Stone...much more so than a Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
would. In fact, of the 8 slots I use in my SB against pure control the 4 that *aren't* negotiable currently are the Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador LaquatusSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
23
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
3: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
ones. I've already got a 14 counter base, which means Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
is a nice, but unnecessary, luxury to have. Laquatus is much more dangerous than a Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
and is additionally Legendary so getting one out first is a key as you'll force them to remove it from play (which is often very difficult as they'll usually board out most of their removal) before setting their own version up. A bomb in the mirror, plain and simple. One minor word of advice though, never attack with the little guy, even if you think it'd be cute it's almost never worth the risk it presents. His power is 1, his casting cost is 3 and he Mills for 3....you do the math....20 turns of attacking to win or less than 20 turns of Milling (assuming you stay stranded at 3 mana just for gits and shiggles) for the decking. As entertaining as the attack might *seem* at the time I think you'd start regretting it when the opponent is able to Vengeful Dream it away or pull out other excitement that you weren't counting on because of the move.

Reborn Hero
Reborn Hero
Reborn HeroSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier
Rarity:
R
Number:
14
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Attacking doesn't cause Reborn Hero to tap. Threshold - When Reborn Hero is put into a graveyard from play, you may pay WW. If you do, return Reborn Hero to play under your control.
- Another interesting SB card that some versions are running. I don't like it because it's slow, small, vulnerable to Dreams and that it doesn't advance what should be your ultimate goal, decking the opponent. That said, like the Ambassador, it can be a beating if it gets out early and/or if the removal is boarded out. I haven't run into the issue yet because my deck is so anti-creature that even when I'm boarding in the full complement of Laquatus and Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
the Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
s or Dreams *are still* in the maindeck and as such, Reborn Hero
Reborn Hero
Reborn HeroSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier
Rarity:
R
Number:
14
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Attacking doesn't cause Reborn Hero to tap. Threshold - When Reborn Hero is put into a graveyard from play, you may pay WW. If you do, return Reborn Hero to play under your control.
hasn't been an issue.

Force Spike
Force Spike
Force SpikeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.
- If or when Frog or other ultra speedy decks become popular Force Spike
Force Spike
Force SpikeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.
evens the tables again.

Sacred Ground
Sacred Ground
Sacred GroundSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Whenever an effect controlled by any opponent puts a land into your graveyard from play, put that land into play.
- Land destruction? Balancing Act
Balancing Act
Balancing ActSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
10
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player chooses a number of permanents he or she controls equal to the number of permanents controlled by the player who controls the fewest, then sacrifices the rest. Each player discards cards from his or her hand the same way.
? Obliterate
Obliterate
ObliterateSet: Invasion
Cost:
8
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
156
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Obliterate can't be countered.Destroy all artifacts, creatures, and lands. They can't be regenerated.
? Hah :-) For a little fun wait until after they've already cast UHJpY2Ugb2YgGlory
Glory
GlorySet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
R
Number:
11
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying 2W: Creatures you control gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. Play this ability only if Glory is in your graveyard.
then lay this baby next turn and be the beneficiary of infinite mana loops on their turn.

Juntu Stakes
Juntu Stakes
Juntu StakesSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
304
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Creatures with power 1 or less don't untap during their controllers' untap steps.
- Shuts down Squirrel Nest
Squirrel Nest
Squirrel NestSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
274
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Card Text: Enchanted land has ``Tap: Put a 1/1 green Squirrel creature token into play.``
and hurts the Frog version of R/G pretty badly.

Morningtide
Morningtide
MorningtideSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
10
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Text:
Remove all cards in all graveyards from the game.
- The jankiest card on this list but if Twilight's Call
Twilight's Call
Twilight's CallSet: Invasion
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
130
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
You may play Twilight's Call any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Each player returns all creature cards from his or her graveyard to play.
or Reanimation themed decks become the rage Morningtide
Morningtide
MorningtideSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
10
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Text:
Remove all cards in all graveyards from the game.
will come to the rescue quite effectively.

Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
- The old standby for control on control matches. Effective if you *really* want to force your Ambassador out and are willing to give up having Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
s *and* Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
s in your board. It's a much more aggro way to play it but it certainly seems like it'd be worth looking into as in my experience, he who gets out Laquatus first is very likely going to win the match.

Life Burst
Life Burst
Life BurstSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Target player gains 4 life, then gains 4 life for each Life Burst card in each graveyard.
- Some versions locally run copies of this in the MB to give further delaying tactics against the speedier decks. Those versions usually run without the Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
and Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
which are replaced with Burst and then substitute Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
for the Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Text:
As an additional cost to play Vengeful Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.
. I like the card because against aggro decks like U/G Madness Threshhold Beats, Solid Black Rush or the R/G decks it can give you that extra time you need to set up a Wrath and put the game back in your favor. Against slower decks it's a horrendous dead slot though which is why I go with the more versatile Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
(which pulls it's weight in a mirror where you need to get rid of their Laquatus, just wait for them to tap out to Mill you down and then Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
the little bastard) and the extremely effective Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
.

Kirtar's Desire
Kirtar's Desire
Kirtar's DesireSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
27
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack. Threshold - Enchanted creature can't block. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
- This has been getting some play lately and has proven itself to be a solid card for pretty much any White deck. I'd consider putting it in the deck in the spot Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Text:
As an additional cost to play Vengeful Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.
currently takes if you want to experiment with it. Early removal is a great thing to have in the current environment and being able to nullify an early Nantuko Shade
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko ShadeSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Shade
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Nantuko Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
or Mongrel for the low, low cost of 1 White mana often ends up being a bargain, and all without the card disadvantage Dreams will make you take (granted, at the cost of not being able to hit multiple creatures *and* at the cost of not having it be an instant)

Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
- Obviously

Or, not so obviously:

Plagiarize
Plagiarize
PlagiarizeSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Until end of turn, if target player would draw a card, instead that player skips that draw and you draw a card.
. I'm not going to go into Plagiarize
Plagiarize
PlagiarizeSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Until end of turn, if target player would draw a card, instead that player skips that draw and you draw a card.
too heavily this article as I've got enough material to do a friggin' Master's thesis on it (and will be delving into it heavily in a future article) but I'd have to say that it's at least *viable* as a SB card against other control decks. With a single Coliseum active on your side of the board Plagiarize
Plagiarize
PlagiarizeSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Until end of turn, if target player would draw a card, instead that player skips that draw and you draw a card.
*will* draw the counter magic out, lest they be on the receiving end of a mini Mind Twist
Mind Twist
Mind TwistSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Text:
Opponent must discard X cards at random from hand. If opponent doesn't have enough cards in hand, entire hand is discarded.
plus Ancestral for you.

So how does this deck fare against the current metagame?

R/G: First match is a tough win. The heavier fat versions are actually easier to deal with as a Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
set to green will shut down most of their offense though the slew of burn can end up being too much to deal with unless you can cast your Tribute. After SB it turns heavily in your favor, Aegis shuts down their burn completely and the only real creature threats you have to watch out for are Wild Mongrel
Wild Mongrel
Wild MongrelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
283
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Wild Mongrel gets +1/+1 and becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
(because of it's color shifting) and a possible Flametongue. Make sure to remember UHJpY2Ugb2YgGlory
Glory
GlorySet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
R
Number:
11
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying 2W: Creatures you control gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. Play this ability only if Glory is in your graveyard.
or Obliterate
Obliterate
ObliterateSet: Invasion
Cost:
8
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
156
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Obliterate can't be countered.Destroy all artifacts, creatures, and lands. They can't be regenerated.
out of their SB though...in a R/G heavy field playing Sacred Ground
Sacred Ground
Sacred GroundSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Whenever an effect controlled by any opponent puts a land into your graveyard from play, put that land into play.
in the SB is a must.

The Straight Frog versions are more of a threat simply because they can get ´´the draw´´ where they come out of the gate and you're dead with two Coastal Tower
Coastal Tower
Coastal TowerSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
321
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Coastal Tower comes into play tapped.T: Add W or U to your mana pool.
s in play and a couple of Wraths in hand doing a bunch of nothing about the whole situation. That's just the way the chips fall sometimes. Even with SB their insane starts can be too much to handle at times but I'd say this match is about 50/50 and considering that it's the *worst one* I've seen for this deck that seems pretty decent. This match is why I still run Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Text:
As an additional cost to play Vengeful Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.
mainboard, it gives you a critical chance of stopping the god draw and establishing mid game control.

Sligh: This is basically the same match as R/G and again the MB Tributes come to the rescue. Resolve one of them in the first game or lose, it's usually as simple as that because they run the full set of Urza's Rage
Urza's Rage
Urza's RageSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
Kicker 8R (You may pay an additional 8R as you play this spell.)Urza's Rage can't be countered by spells or abilities.Urza's Rage deals 3 damage to target creature or player. If you paid the kicker cost, instead Urza's Rage deals 10 damage to that creature or player and the damage can't be prevented.
. However, it becomes very easy for you to win after the SB. All of their creatures can be shut down with a single Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
and all their burn is finished with a simple Aegis.

Black (Aggressive): Fast Black decks have a lot of trouble dealing with the global removal as well as the Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
. Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric FiendSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
69
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Mesmeric Fiend comes into play, target opponent reveals his or her hand and you choose a nonland card from it. Remove that card from the game. When Mesmeric Fiend leaves play, return the removed card to its owner's hand.
and Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
can be a minor pain if they snag your only removal effects but the deck just doesn't have enough gas to keep up with your severe card advantage. Versions running Ichorid
Ichorid
IchoridSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Ichorid. At the beginning of your upkeep, if Ichorid is in your graveyard, you may remove a black creature card in your graveyard other than Ichorid from the game. If you do, return Ichorid to play.
in particular are at a huge disadvantage against this deck as the Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
or Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful Dreams
Vengeful DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Text:
As an additional cost to play Vengeful Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.
will nullify/remove their ´´best´´ creature. It's this inability to deal with the Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
that seals this game in your favor and after SB you can pile it on by going with COP Black.

Black (Control or Burn): A bit more dangerous than it's creature based brethren. They'll likely have a lot of dead weight against you but their denial can strip away the effects you *do* want to keep in hand. The nightmare play of Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
, Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric Fiend
Mesmeric FiendSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
69
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Mesmeric Fiend comes into play, target opponent reveals his or her hand and you choose a nonland card from it. Remove that card from the game. When Mesmeric Fiend leaves play, return the removed card to its owner's hand.
, Braids is very difficult to recover from but overall the match will be yours to lose as the superior card drawing of FoF will help you recover from the early game disruption faster than they can draw more threats.

Versions splashing White (like I laid out in my last article) are a bit more dangerous as they can get even more insane starts than the straight Black versions like Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
, Fiend, Vindicate
Vindicate
VindicateSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Destroy target permanent.
a land, Braids, soft lock you down. I've also considered a version splashing Blue for FoF (big surprise there huh?) which'd make the deck much more viable against Heavy Control decks. In any case SB will allow Aegis or COP Black to come to the rescue again and an already favorable match even more solidly to your advantage.

Wild Reserch Based Burn: These decks are all over the map right now in terms of construction but all have the potential to burn you out pretty handily in the first match if they get a Research out. Thus, it's your job to make sure that Research doesn't resolve plain and simple. Without it the deck will still have some punch but will also have severe difficulty killing you before you Mill them out as they'll have been helping you by thinning their deck out the whole match. After SB Aegis will again hose their whole concept horridly and Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
/Dismantling Blow
Dismantling Blow
Dismantling BlowSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Kicker 2U (You may pay an additional 2U as you play this spell.)Destroy target artifact or enchantment.If you paid the kicker cost, draw two cards.
is also an option if you want to worry less about the engine ever getting off the ground to begin with.

Opposition
Opposition
OppositionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Text:
Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
: The only other heavy control deck that's currently dangerous in the environment. The tide of Squirrels will overcome most decks but Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
will save your bacon here (sensing a trend people?) Static Orb
Static Orb
Static OrbSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dermot Power
Text:
Players cannot untap more than two permanents during their untap phases.
can be annoying if it resolves (and if they're even playing it) but you can play under it. Just *do not* let the Opposition
Opposition
OppositionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Text:
Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
resolve! Again SB in your Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
effect (or the Stakes if you have them in there) and just concentrate on Opposition
Opposition
OppositionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Text:
Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
and the Orb in the second and third tilts. Mongeese and/or Kavu Chameleon
Kavu Chameleon
Kavu ChameleonSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
191
Artist:
John Howe
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Kavu Chameleon can't be countered.G: Kavu Chameleon becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
s (for those who still play the buggers) are the only real creature threats and can be easily Dreamed or Wrathed off the board if they become troublesome.

Tog: Well, last article I repeatedly said this deck is completely dead which won me some hate mail, and I still feel that *it is* but it's admittedly been winning some Regionals over in APAC & Europe so I felt mentioning it was necessary. Again, these winning decks are using the 4 lonely Togs with occasional Nightscape Familars as the win conditions and as such they're very vulnerable to all the removal, the Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
and the counter magic in your deck. They usually run about an equal number of counters but many run Memory Lapse
Memory Lapse
Memory LapseSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Counter target spell. Put that spell on top of owner's library.
with only a few Predict
Predict
PredictSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Name a card, then put the top card of target player's library into his or her graveyard. If that card is the named card, you draw two cards. Otherwise, you draw a card.
s or the currently sub-optimal (and easy to play around for another control deck) Force Spike
Force Spike
Force SpikeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.
. Played correctly U/W should have no problem dominating this deck even without SB. If you're still nervous feel free to slip those COP Blacks (particularly against newer versions like Seth Burn's ´´Anti-Tog Tog´´ which runs Possessed Aven
Possessed Aven
Possessed AvenSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
45
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Flying. Threshold - Possessed Aven gets +1/+1, is black, and has 2B, T: Destroy target blue creature.
s along with the Familar and Togs) or (for the ultra paranoid) Pit Trap
Pit Trap
Pit TrapSet: Ice Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Text:
2, T: Sacrifice Pit Trap to bury target creature without flying that is attacking you.
s in.

Enforcer Go: Well, if I mention Tog I felt obligated to say something about Enforcer. This deck is rarely played anymore as the Mystic Enforcer
Mystic Enforcer
Mystic EnforcerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
290
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Protection from black Threshold - Mystic Enforcer gets +3/+3 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
isn't widely regarded as the most efficient kill mechanism for U/W anymore but that said, the Enforcer *will* win matches a lot faster if he resolves and stays in play so it's certainly viable against creature heavy metagames or when piloted by a superior player. Enforcer is vulnerable to the same things Tog is as far as untargetted removal goes but it's a better choice in the burn happier metagame as Red decks will have to spend at least 2 cards to try and kill the Nomad Mystic, and likely won't have enough gas to get it off the table before it kills them. The match is a pretty even one but the Mill deck has the advantage of the cheaper win condition so it gets the edge IMO. Out of the 3 decks that are largely dead in the current metagame (Tog, Tings, Enforcer) this is the deck that's most likely to survive in one form or another simply because it can win once it has control established much faster than the straight Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
version can. In a tourney format that has tight time constraints I can still see this deck pulling it's weight because you don't have to worry as much about never being able to finish (or even start for that matter!) the third match.

Strangely enough Ancestral Tribute
Ancestral Tribute
Ancestral TributeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
2
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
You gain 2 life for each card in your graveyard. Flashback 9WWW (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
can even be good in *these* matches...witness last Friday...I'm playing Team Cardshark member Travis Cullum in the first round. He's with Enforcer and has been using Compulsion
Compulsion
CompulsionSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
34
Text:
1U, Discard a card from your hand: Draw a card. 1U, Sacrifice Compulsion: Draw a card.
to thin his library down heavily and only has 12 cards left in his library while I have two Coliseums out. I'm still sitting at 19 life, and we're both spent on counters as he lays the Enforcer. The game looks grim but I cast Tribute for the win by jumping my life total to a massive 75. Even if he could have countered it I had enough mana to flash it back next turn anyway.

The above example is why I like Tribute over other Rage solutions like maindeck Aegis. Aegis is extremely narrow and does absolutely nothing against control decks while Tribute can come to the rescue in any number of situations. The only thing it's truly dead against is the mirror while Aegis is dead against anything not running burn.

U/G Threshhold Madness Abuse: This has also made a decent showing at some Regionals and can bring a very fast rush ala Frog. The advantage for you is that unlike R/G they don't have burn and unlike most Blue decks they don't run many counters which makes this match much easier than Red based aggro ones before boarding; in fact, the aggressive cycling nature of their deck will often mean you don't have to do much Milling at all to win the match. The downside is that they can get off some insane plays like Careful Study
Careful Study
Careful StudySet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Draw two cards, then discard two cards from your hand.
, Rootwalla
Rootwalla
RootwallaSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Lizard
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
1G: Rootwalla gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Use this ability only once each turn.
, Rootwalla
Rootwalla
RootwallaSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Lizard
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
1G: Rootwalla gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Use this ability only once each turn.
and other such fun. After you can stablize early game it becomes more manageable but the power of Compulsion
Compulsion
CompulsionSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
34
Text:
1U, Discard a card from your hand: Draw a card. 1U, Sacrifice Compulsion: Draw a card.
is always a threat you have to look out for. All told though, I'd rather play this deck than Frog, it has more broken plays but less spells that aim directly at your head. At the SB put your Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador Laquatus
Ambassador LaquatusSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
23
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
3: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
's (Laquati?) in and go to town; the match should go from mildly in your favor to a near landslide.

´´Rice Snack´´ (Domain with Harvest-Burn Combo): The most critical thing in this match is keeping the Holistic Wisdom
Holistic Wisdom
Holistic WisdomSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
243
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
2, Remove a card in your hand from the game: Return target card from your graveyard to your hand if it shares a type with the card removed this way. (The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land and sorcery.)
s/Restock
Restock
RestockSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
206
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Return two target cards from your graveyard to your hand. Remove Restock from the game.
s from resolving. If they can't reuse their 1 or 2 win conditions (usually a Death Grasp
Death Grasp
Death GraspSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
95
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
Death Grasp deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain X life.
and a Ghitu Fire
Ghitu Fire
Ghitu FireSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
144
Artist:
Glen Angus
Text:
You may play Ghitu Fire any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Ghitu Fire deals X damage to target creature or player.
) they're not going to be in very good shape. Evasive Action
Evasive Action
Evasive ActionSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
23
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each basic land type among lands you control.
is their only counter so there isn't much work at all to this match as again, like the Threshhold based deck above, they're doing most of the work for you by aggressively thinning their own decks out. At the sb you can again go for Aegis to put the final nail in the coffin for this match.

Mirror: The Mirror for this depends entirely on what version of the deck each player is running. I strongly feel the versions that run the Ambassador sideboard have a monster advantage over the ones that don't and also think the Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
is key additional aid for my particular version in winning the war. Life totals are totally irrelevant, and first go it's all about who can get out an early Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
and do some damage. The second and third sets are much less predictable because of all the different stuff that people can be boarding into and out of. As Laquatus catches on with more players Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
becomes less and less effective because your Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
s will be relegated to desperation win conditions while the Fish will be your primary path to victory, as such the difference between boarding into say 4 Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
or 4 Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
can make the match play out much differently. Currently I still play with Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
s but that's likely to change in the weeks to come and I see Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
and the Fish being the slots I'd be most likely to use come Regionals. Mana Short
Mana Short
Mana ShortSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All opponent's lands are tapped, and opponent's mana pool is emptied. Opponent takes no damage from unspent mana.
is a very effective way of either forcing out your own Ambassador or forcing a Wrath followed by your own Fish. Cephalid Coliseum
Cephalid Coliseum
Cephalid ColiseumSet: Odyssey
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
317
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Tap: Add U to your mana pool. Cephalid Coliseum deals 1 damage to you. Threshold - U, Tap, Sacifice Cephalid Coliseum: Target player draws three cards, then discards three cards from his or her hand. (Play this ability only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
s can also come to the aid in these matches, *do not* forget that you can target your opponent with them if the race is tight, it can often make the difference in a first set where both players get their Stones out and running at about the same point in the game.

So that's my version of Toronto Control for the current metagame. I personally think it's one of the better decks around right now, and I'm seriously considering taking it to Chicago for Regionals as it's one of the few decks that can effectively deal with what promises to be a wide open metagame for the US and Canadian Regionals. Even if you don't plan to play a deck like this make sure to playtest extensively against it; it hasn't gotten much press to date but I guarantee you it'll be showing up in numbers all across the country as the Regionals move Stateside.


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