Posted in Feature on December 5, 2012

By Conley Woods

Last week, I wrote about a deck I played in Grand Prix San Antonio that was a solid four colors. At the time, I thought I was pushing the boundaries on what mana bases in Standard could look like. Even at four colors, with one being a splash, I found myself running into occasional mana issues. You can imagine, then, what it would take to get a five-color mana base working! Ali Aintrazi managed just that, though, and saw it piloted by Mark Nestico to a Top 8 finish in the TCGPlayer 5k in Indianapolis.

Chromatic Lantern

Ali built the same Farseek package I was using, but when he went to include things like Sphinx's Revelation alongside Griselbrand and Huntmaster of the Fells, four copies of Farseek were not going to cut it. If you check for additional fixing, you can see that Ali turned to three copies of Chromatic Lantern to smooth out his mana even further! With a Lantern in play, he can easily hit four black mana for his Demon finisher while still being able to cast Sphinx's Revelation to find it the turn before!

But with a free rein on mana, what do we want to be doing with our spell suite? Theoretically, we have access to anything and everything, so how do we give our deck definition and identity? Ali chose to run a control deck, as it better fits the mana fixing and acceleration of the deck. An aggro deck wants to deploy as many threats as possible quickly—something that awkward early mana prevents. With awkward early mana and great late-game mana, cards like Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker and Sphinx's Revelation are quite appealing. While the exact spells can certainly shift around, the notion of a control deck is a solid one that Ali picked up on.

Ali Aintrazi's 5C Control

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