Temple of Control

Posted in Feature on November 14, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

What do Arbor Colossus; Magma Jet; Elspeth, Sun's Champion; and Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver have in common? If you answered "they are all sweet," well, that's correct. More importantly, though, they are all part of a Theros Block Constructed deck that went 4–0 in a recent Daily Event. I haven't seen Five-Color Control rear its head since the days of Vivid Creek, and it's pretty awesome seeing it happen in one-set Block.

Temple of Triumph

This deck worships at the Temple of Temples, using every Temple in the set to give it some semblance of decent mana. Temples, a ton of Forests, four Sylvan Caryatids, and four Nylea's Presences seem to work well enough, after which the creator of the deck apparently just picked out the twenty-eight best cards in the format and went to town. I can get behind that, and the idea of defending Ashiok with Reaper of the Wilds, Xenagos, and Elspeth just seems too awesome to pass up.

As with most control decks, the first thing to look at is the disruption/removal. This deck starts with Thoughtseize and ramps up with Magma Jet and Hero's Downfall, although I'd include Sylvan Caryatid as a solid early play as well. That's a good set of cards, and the middle part of the deck is at a low enough curve that you probably only need to cast one of these early spells to survive (especially since Theros Block isn't as fast as Standard).

The middle of the curve is mostly green things, with Polukranos, Arbor Colossus, Xenagos, and Reaper of the Wilds all providing huge roadblocks and potential win conditions. With monstrosity, the middle of the curve also secretly is the top, as there is no Sphinx's Revelation-type effect that just puts the game away. Instead, activating a PolyK or Colossus will often do the trick, shifting to offense seamlessly.

Elspeth is the most expensive spell in the deck, so it's fitting that she can get you back into a game you are losing very effectively. Keepsake Gorgon is another powerful and expensive effect, with the full four giving this deck a rock-solid way to get ahead against creature decks.

I always find one-set blocks to be interesting, and if this is a viable deck in Theros Block, this format is no exception.

rc6311's 5-Color Control

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