Deck Tech: Restore Balance with Peter Vieren

Posted in Feature on September 2, 2011

By Bill Stark

There was only a single player battling with Restore Balance in his deck at Pro Tour Philadelphia, and that player was Peter Vieren. Though he ultimately ended up at .500 with an 8-8 record, the deck worked well enough for Vieren to make it to Day Two.

Restore Balance

I sat down to talk with Peter about his deck, and ask him why he thought it was a good fit for the format.

Why did you choose to play Restore Balance?

"I played Restore Balance in Amsterdam. The format for Philadelphia changed just prior to the Pro Tour, and I was on vacation so I didn't have time to test. I was happy with the Amsterdam deck; it was very good for the Belgians who played it. In the weeks leading up to Philadelphia, the predicted metagame was mostly Zoo and Twelvepost, which are both very good matchups. But the metagame changed; Splinter Twins were sold out of the dealers—and that's by far the deck's worst matchup."

Tell me about the key plays for the deck.

"The deck wants to resolve Restore Balance with few or no lands on the battlefield, and no creatures. I usually cast it by cascading into it, because it's the only card my cascade spells can hit. I have 16 Borderposts to keep my land low so Restore Balance is always an Armageddon.

Firewild Borderpost
Greater Gargadon

"Greater Gargadon helps you sacrifice any lands you do have on the table. Idyllic Tutor lets you search up Ardent Plea to cascade into Balance, and you also have an enchantment toolbox with March of the Machines, Blood Moon, and Oblivion Ring. Thieves' Fortune is a three-mana Impulse to help you find your combo pieces without messing up cascade triggers, and Gideon Jura is a secondary win condition."

What changes would you make to the deck after this weekend?

"I'd probably cut the Gideon Juras from the maindeck. You're already favored in a lot of game ones, so you don't really need it. Maybe it could go in the sideboard."

Speaking of game ones, which decks are favorable for you and which are unfavorable?

"Twelvepost, Zoo, and Elves are good. Anything that's not combo really. The rule is, if it has Islands it's probably bad for you, if it doesn't it's probably good."

Tells us about the sideboard.

"It has some basics like Leyline of Sanctity. Leyline of Singularity was sideboard tech for Splinter Twin, shutting off their combo. Krosan Grip helps with Splinter Twin, Pyromancer's Swath and Pyromancer Ascension, and against Affinity. I got a free win against a Storm player with Leyline of Sanctity earlier in the weekend because he didn't have an answer for it, and I had it on turn zero. But truthfully I think the sideboard should always be reevaluated for any given tournament."

Leyline of Sanctity
Leyline of Singularity

Finally, what changes would you suggest for the deck after the Pro Tour?

"The main deck is mostly fine, but Gideon Jura could be cut. The sideboard should change depending on the metagame."

Peter Vieren's Restore Balance

Latest Feature Articles


August 9, 2019

Commander (2019 Edition) Design Philosophy by, Glenn Jones

I hope you've enjoyed preview season for Commander (2019 Edition)! These products have a special place in my heart, as I've been on a design team for each one since joining Wizards. Comma...

Learn More


August 9, 2019

Commander (2019 Edition) Release Notes by, Wizards of the Coast

Compiled by Eli Shiffrin, with contributions from Laurie Cheers, Carsten Haese, Nathan Long, and Thijs van Ommen. Document last modified July 3, 2019. DOC Download Links:English | Españ...

Learn More



Feature Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All

We use cookies on this site to personalize content and ads, provide social media features and analyze web traffic. By clicking YES, you are consenting for us to set cookies. (Learn more about cookies)

No, I want to find out more