Deck Tech: Sultai Control with Lukas Blohon

Posted in GRAND PRIX MANCHESTER 2016 on May 29, 2016

By Tobi Henke

With one Pro Tour Top 8 and five previous Grand Prix Top 8s (including one win) to his name, Lukas Blohon clearly was no stranger to success at the highest level. Going into the tournament, he also found himself at 46 Pro Points, just four points shy of reaching the highest level in the Pro Players Club.

"I'm looking for an X-3 record here, for an additional point to lock up Platinum [together with the three points guaranteed for attending the final Pro Tour of the season]," said Blohon. He was referring to the fact that only the best six of a player's GP finishes in a season count toward a player's point total, his sixth currently being an 11-4. "Anything better, then there's the possibility of qualifying for Worlds and becoming captain of the Czech team for the World Magic Cup. But my goal is X-3."

When I spoke to him, however, Blohon wasn't just on track to reach this modest goal. He was in fact still undefeated and sat at the very top of the standings with a record of 10-0!

Lukas Blohon

The deck that got him this far was an interesting take on the control decks based in black and green, first seen at the Pro Tour. Blohon retained Languish as well as the engine of Dark Petition, Nissa's Renewal, and Seasons Past. But his list also included a sizable blue component in a full set of Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, a pair of Dragonlord Silumgars, and a Silumgar's Command, to make it a proper three-colored Sultai deck. How did that come about?

"I started with Yuuki Ichikawa deck from the Top 16 at Grand Prix Tokyo," said Blohon. "I didn't like the Sylvan Advocates or the Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in testing, and decided to turn this into a more controlish deck, at least for game one. With this setup, I have a better late game than most other decks. And I can still sideboard into a more streamlined version, with more removal or more creatures, whatever the matchup demands."

Looking back at the tournament so far, Blohon recounted wins against Ramp, White-Black Control, Blue-Red Dragons, Naya Midrange, more White-Black Control, and various others. "I haven't played against Humans or Green-White Tokens yet, also no Four-Color Rites or Bant Company," said Blohon.

"To be honest, I think most matchups are favorable for the deck, if only slightly. Especially the somewhat slower decks without black and blue, decks like Green-White Tokens and Naya Midrange, those decks that have big spells but no disruption, no discard or counters, they are great matchups.

"The Collected Company decks are harder to beat, especially after sideboarding when they have counterspells, but definitely beatable. Against Humans it all depends on whether you can draw that Languish.

"What I wouldn't like to play against are combo-ish decks, decks like Mono-Blue or Blue-Red Pyromancer's Goggles, anything that doesn't rely on creatures. Ramp probably isn't great either because you only have Transgress the Mind to deal with Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and have to kill them fast, which this deck isn't really good at. It gets better after sideboarding of course.

"Basically all decks that go way under me or over the top of my deck are hard, and everything else is easy," Blohon concluded. Since Green-White Tokens and Naya Midrange were the two most-represented decks at the top tables this weekend it was easy to see why Blohon was doing so well.

"Standard is great right now, all matchups are close, games take a long time," said Blohon who had, you may have guessed, a reputation as a control player. "Which admittedly is a problem for this deck. It's really complicated, so I would recommend playing with it a lot. As usual in three-color decks, even sequencing lands is, well, not difficult, but you have to think about it. Avoiding draws has to be a priority."

The best way of avoiding draws, of course, is to simply win. It was going to be interesting to see how long Blohon could continue doing so ...

Lukas Blohon: Sultai Control

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