The Frown Yard

Posted in Feature on January 25, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

Yesterday, I looked at one of the few decks in Standard that's always the aggressor. Even after sideboarding, it had no way to slow a game down and take control—just more aggressive creatures and ways to push them through. Today, I'm going to look at the other end of the spectrum: a control players' control deck. This is for the Magic player who doesn't really have anywhere else to be and is looking to play as much match per round as possible.

Nephalia Drownyard

Nick Spagnolo is certainly a control player's control player, and he can always be counted on to show up with a blue deck that's looking to play some serious games of Magic. He was playing Elixir of Immortality well before it was cool.

At the Invitational in Las Angeles, Nick's creatureless control deck could win a game with tokens made by Lingering Souls or Sorin, Lord of Innistrad, but that's definitely Plan B. Most games, he won by running his opponent out of cards (called "milling," after Alpha's Millstone) using his four Nephalia Drownyards and his Jace, Memory Adept.

His entire deck is based around buying time to do that, with a few counterspells, several ways to kill all of his opponent's creatures, and a massive number—sixteen—of cards that can essentially draw more cards.

If you're looking to tap more lands than anyone else in the tournament, this is the deck for you, as it excels at tapping all of its mana on each of the many, many turns it will take every game.

Nick Spagnolo's Esper Control

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