Splashing and Crashing

Posted in NEWS on June 30, 2014

By Adam Prosak

From Friday Night Magic to the Pro Tour, Adam Prosak loves all types of tournament Magic. Currently, Adam is working in R&D as a developer.

For control decks, one of the classic interactions that have helped define them is the interaction between a mass-removal effect and an effect that can repeatedly lock down an opposing creature. This ensures that your mass removal will be able to deal with multiple creatures without letting your defenses down. Many years ago, players used Icy Manipulator and Wrath of God to protect themselves from opposing creatures. Today, 2012 Magic Online Champion Dmitriy Butakov has enlisted Kiora, the Crashing Wave to combine with his Supreme Verdicts en route to a Top 8 at GP Moscow.

Kiora provides quite a bit of power for a white-blue control deck. First, if your opponent plays one creature, you keep it locked down with Kiora. If your opponent commits another creature to get around Kiora, you can Supreme Verdict them both away. Second, Kiora provides some additional card drawing in control mirrors—something that is always welcome. Finally, Kiora's ultimate provides a very real way to win a game. Cards that are capable of controlling a game AND providing a real threat to win that game are often tough to come by, and Kiora's Krakens are a very welcome addition to a deck that is often short on ways to win the game.

Splashing green opens up a few options for a white-blue control deck other than Kiora, the Crashing Wave. Most importantly, splashing a color provides a good reason to play additional Temples and gain full value out of them. Dmitriy's deck plays nine Temples to provide additional control over the quality of his draws. The second thing that green helps provide is a sideboard transformation. Mistcutter Hydra provides a dynamic shift to the deck's strategy—one that many opponents are often unprepared for once they sideboard for a pure control deck.

Dmitriy Butakov's Bant Control

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