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Thread: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

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    [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    At long last, I finally finished. The older topic can be found here

    MUC has now been around for quite a while in Legacy, usually floating just off the radar while occasionally putting together enough victories to be recognized as a Deck To Watch or such. Still, despite its relative lack of popularity, MUC has thoroughly established itself as a solid choice within the Legacy metagame. Development has been surprisingly enterprising over the past year or so, and two divergent schools of thought have begun to develop regarding MUC's best incarnation.

    The first train of thought is the more traditional build including gems like Brainstorm and potentially even a 'splash' for Engineered Explosives. This style of build focuses more on controlling the stack and using a heavier compliment of counters to make the job easier on their lesser number of board control cards. Operating primarily at instant speed, these builds are very closely related to the old-style MUC build that Randy Buehler piloted to an undefeated record in Worlds 1998.

    For reference, Buehler's list is as follows:

    X18 Island
    X4 Quicksand
    X4 Stalking Stones
    X1 Rainbow Efreet
    X4 Counterspell
    X4 Dismiss
    X2 Dissipate
    X3 Forbid
    X4 Force Spike
    X4 Impulse
    X3 Mana Leak
    X1 Memory Lapse
    X4 Nevinyrral's Disk
    X4 Whispers of the Muse

    Obviously that list relies heavily on permission to handle early game threats, followed up by Nevinyrral's Disk to clear away any potential stragglers and stabilize the game. Whispers of the Muse provided the bulk card advantage, on top of Dismiss, and the ideal end-game would be an end of turn activation of Stalking Stones followed by the ever ubiquitous counter-defense.

    Due to differences in card-pool and available technology, among several other factors, modern MUC lists can't rely as heavily on countermagic to protect against early-game rushes, nor can something as slow and ponderous as Nevinyrral's Disk be counted on to be a reliable board-sweeper in a format where Goblins can kill you on turn 3 and Threshold can deal with Disk in about a thousand ways (the most obvious being countering it). However, you can see the convergent lines of thought between the way Buehler's list was positioned and the way the following list was designed:

    MUC by Marcel Schneider (Doks here on The Source)

    X12 Island
    X4 Polluted Delta
    X4 Flooded Strand
    X1 Plains
    X1 Swamp
    X2 Morphling
    X1 Meloku, The Clouded Mirror
    X4 Brainstorm
    X4 Counterspell
    X4 Force Of Will
    X4 Spell Snare
    X4 Fact or Fiction
    X3 Mana Leak
    X3 Impulse
    X3 Back to Basics
    X3 Engineered Explosives
    X3 Vedalken Shackles

    SB:
    X4 Blue Elemental Blast
    X1 Hydroblast
    X3 Repeal
    X4 Propaganda
    X3 Tormod's Crypt

    While Doks's list contains far more stuff that requires actually using lands on your own turn (le gasp!), the similarities between his list and Buehler's list are fairly obvious. A pilot of this deck would like nothing more than to Force of Will, Spell Snare, Mana Leak, or even just plain old Counterspell all of his or her opponent's threats out of existence, and failing that simply use Engineered Explosives (note the use of fetchlands to provide both extra counters for EE and an extremely important shuffling mechanism for Brainstorm) and Vedalken Shackles to keep the board under control before eventually locking his or her opponent under Back to Basics (or B2B) and finishing them off with Morphling.

    Stuff like Brainstorm and Impulse provides the early game filtering and selection necessary to ensure that counters are in plentiful supply and that no serious threats slip past the defensive wall, while Fact or Fiction does the heavy-lifting in the mid to late game allowing the deck to reload extremely effectively as the game wears on. The major card to note here is Back to Basics, which is really the most important card in any variation of MUC. B2B is an absolute beating in Legacy because almost every deck utilizes some non-basic lands. Even Mono-Red Goblins makes use of Rishadan Port and Wasteland, and some decks, like the ever-present Threshold, are absolutely crippled by a resolved B2B. In fact, the only disagreement I have with Doks's list is the lack of the 4th B2B. Even with the additional card selection of Brainstorm and Impulse I still would want the maximum number allowed because the card is just that good. Still, Doks had noticeable success with this build, finishing in a top four split at the German Iserlohn tournament, so it has certainly put up results despite my own minor misgivings.

    Now, I mentioned earlier that there are two divergent lines of thought as to how MUC should be built in modern Legacy. Doks's list is a perfect example of the first line of thought. Utilize heavy card-selection and counterspells to control the progress of the game, eventually using some versatile finisher to win the game. The second line of thought, and the path that I myself have championed throughout its development, is based off another great Magic player’s MUC build from just two years after Buehler’s success at Worlds 1998.

    MUC by Zvi Mowshowitz

    X15 Island
    X4 Rishadan Port
    X2 Rath’s Edge
    X3 Dust Bowl
    X4 Faerie Conclave
    X2 Palinchron
    X3 Morphling
    X3 Masticore
    X4 Counterspell
    X4 Miscalculation
    X1 Rewind
    X4 Grim Monolith
    X4 Powder Keg
    X4 Treachery
    X3 Stroke of Genius

    While the shift from Standard of 2000 to Legacy of 2008 leaves a significant amount of technology for Zvi’s exact list either firmly in the trash-can (or on the banned list, thanks Grim Monolith), the similarities in design will be obvious once you compare the two lists. My current list is as follows:

    MUC by Nick Schachter (Kadaj, as you have hopefully figured out by now)

    X24 Island
    X2 Morphling
    X1 Rainbow Efreet
    X4 Force of Will
    X4 Counterspell
    X3 Foil
    X4 Fact or Fiction
    X4 Ancestral Vision
    X4 Powder Keg
    X4 Propaganda
    X4 Back to Basics
    X2 Vedalken Shackles

    SB:
    X4 Blue Elemental Blast
    X4 Chill
    X4 Disrupt
    X2 Jace Beleren
    X1 Vedalken Shackles

    I’m sure at least some of you who are reading this just had a heart attack, so I’ll give you a few seconds to collect yourselves. Better? Good. Now, I’ll address some of the usual things that come up when people first see my list.

    NO BRAINSTORM?!?!?!!!1111

    Yes, no Brainstorm. Contrary to popular belief, Brainstorm is not an auto-include in every single deck playing blue. At least not in my book. Why? Well, for starters, let’s look at what Brainstorm actually does. It draws you three cards, but then requires you put two back on top of your library, so you don’t net any actual card advantage. Instead you essentially get to reorder the top of your library in addition to your hand. While that’s not a terrible effect, Brainstorm really gets ridiculous when a shuffle effect is involved. Now you have potentially shuffled away two cards you didn’t want, in addition to investing the Brainstorm, and replaced them with 3 new cards of higher value. That’s quite amazing! So why isn’t Brainstorm in my list then, now that I’ve finished singing the card’s praises? Count the shuffle effects in my list. That’s right, zero. Not one. So, instead of being the ridiculous cantrip-supreme that just earned itself a place on the Vintage restricted list, Brainstorm is merely an ok cantrip in my list. Would you put an Opt in that slot? I didn’t think so. Don’t let the name Brainstorm fool you into thinking it belongs in every single deck with blue, although it certainly does come very close, this just happens to be one of the rare exceptions.

    Still not convinced? Look at Zvi’s list. Zvi was (and probably still is) one of the all-time great Magic players and deck designers. Brainstorm was quite legal in Standard at the time he put that build together, so why didn’t he include it? For exactly the same reasons I didn’t. It doesn’t do enough without the presence of shuffle effects or a much higher need for early game card selection to warrant its slots.

    Now that that’s out of the wa-- What now?! Oh, Ancestral Vision and Foil? Yeah I guess those do look a bit weird at first glance. And probably second glance too.

    Basically, Ancestral Vision is in my list because it is by far the second best card advantage mechanism available to my build. Standstill is the only card even remotely comparable, and MUC just isn’t equipped to take advantage of Standstill, which leaves AV is the only viable option. Despite the seemingly clunky appearance and obvious lack of speed, AV is actually a total bomb in this list. Being able to invest one mana on turn one, when you would otherwise have no plays anyway, and reap the rewards at a later date for no addition cost is absolutely huge due to the way my build plays. Much like Zvi’s list, this build cannot rely on countermagic to maintain control over an entire game. Or even an entire phase of the game. Instead, it utilizes a whopping 14 permanent board control cards to limit an opponent’s options down to practically nil. Ever tried to attack through a pair of Propagandas playing Threshold? Not fun. Same thing for Landstill, except replace attack with play anything at all and Propaganda with Back to Basics.

    Also, drawing three cards is a hugely powerful effect, even if you have to wait four turns to actually reap the rewards. Seriously, there’s a reason cards like Concentrate cost four mana. Namely, they’d be broken if they required anything less. Ancestral Vision costs just one mana, and none on the turn it resolves, making it extremely easy to defend and an extremely powerful card in its own right.

    Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to Foil. Yes, it does cost an insane three cards from your hand to counter a spell if you want to use its alternate cost. And yes I’m well aware that’s a -2 loss of cards. So why am I including it? Well, it could be because I’m absolutely nuts and am out to ruin everyone’s ability to succeed with MUC. Or, it could be because there is literally no deck in the format (with the exception of Enchantress once it gets going) that draws as many cards as this deck. The sheer volume of card drawing highly mitigates the drawbacks to Foil and allows it to act as exactly what this deck needs it to be. An auxiliary Force of Will to stop crap like Goblin Lackey from running in unimpeded and spewing out a horde of goblins to rape our horses and ride off on our women.

    Now the fun part; Matchups.

    I’ll start with the 800 pound gorilla in the room, Threshold. In short, both variants of MUC have a positive matchup with Threshold. In fact, MUC’s matchup against Threshold is so good that it’s actually a major reason to play MUC in the first place. Will you win every game without even trying? No. There is a reason why Threshold is more or less the undisputed best deck of Legacy, and make no mistake you can and will lose to Threshold if you don’t make absolutely sure to go about the job properly. First off, do not counter cantrips. Ever. They are NOT the threats in this matchup. The things you DO want to watch out for are Tarmogoyf (o rly?), Nimble Mongoose, and potentially Sensei’s Divining Top depending on the situation.

    Tarmogoyf is obviously Threshold’s biggest threat and it can easily end a game before you have a chance to set up, so watch out for it. Nimble Mongoose is similar, but even more annoying because spot-removal is useless against it. SDT makes it much easier for the Threshold player to reload after you deal with their first wave of threats, so it may be warranted to keep that off the board. Basically, the reason why MUC is so solid against Threshold is because it doesn’t fight the same battles as most of the format. Counterbalance is not game-breaking against MUC the way it is against just about everything else (although it is much better against the stack oriented build than it is against the more permanent based build), and Back to Basics is essentially an instant win if you can resolve it.

    Sideboard suggestions are simple. Basically, bring in any additional Shackles you have for whatever excess counterspells you might be packing, and bring in the fourth B2B if you're being foolish and not MDing 4 of them in the first place.

    Matchup Summary:
    Moderately Favorable for Stack-Oriented MUC
    Favorable for Permanent-Oriented MUC

    Next up would be the Goblins matchup. Now, if you've ever heard me go on a rant about this you'll know precisely what I think about the Goblins matchup. Namely, it sucks. Seriously, as a MUC player you have to make major concessions with your maindeck to make the matchup doable, even if you load up postboard. Why? Because if you lose game 1, and I assure you without the aformentioned concessions you will lose game 1 almost every time, the odds of you escaping the overall match with a win are low.

    Basically here's what it comes down to. Be playing MD Propaganda and multiple ways to back it up (B2B, Powder Keg/EE, Shackles, and a strong mid-game draw engine) or lose. Horribly. Game 2, bring in 8+ cards consisting of anything from Chill to 8 Blasts, to even Douse and hope you pull it out. There really isn't a whole lot to this, as the usual job of making sure that Lackey doesn't connect is really a red herring here. Even if you stop lackey, it's the follow up threats that will do you in. Goblins has one of the strongest, and most underrated, mid-games in all of Legacy, and you simply can't compete with them by attempting to 1 for 1 them over and over again.

    The methods for winning are fairly simple. Hit turn 3 Propaganda as often as possible, no matter what it takes. Get a B2B or a second Propaganda down quickly, use Fact and/or AV to reload once you hit the mid-game and don't give Goblins any room to fight their way back into the game. The methods for losing... well, let's just say they're numerous. Rishadan Port is a bitch, as it will often prevent you from being able to being able to get Propaganda down fast enough before the horde overruns you. Quick Lackeys are just as devastating as you can imagine, despite the fact it is fully possible to win through one through use of Propaganda, and the tandem of Ringleader and Warchief makes the mid-game hell.

    Sideboarding is simple. Bring in all of your anti-red hate and anti-creature stuff. Outgoing cards include Counterspell, stuff like Mana Leak, the 4th B2B, an island, or even a Powder Keg. You’re going to have make certain concessions with numbers postboard, as there’s a lot more stuff coming in then you’ll want to remove. Just remember your SB stuff is in there for a reason, because it’s better at what it does for the specific matchup than the stuff in the main.

    Matchup Summary:
    Terrible for Stack-oriented MUC
    Less terrible, but still bad, for Permanent-oriented MUC

    The final large matchup summary belongs to Landstill, the major control deck in Legacy. With experience, this matchup should be positive for the MUC player, but those who are lacking practice will find this is surprisingly difficult. Usually in control on control matchups the deck with more blue wins (and if neither deck has blue the deck with more colors wins, but that’s neither here nor there), and MUC is definitely the deck with more blue. The problems begin to arise when you realize Landstill often packs fun stuff like Extirpate and Krosan Grip in their board, neither of which are particularly fun to play against.

    Preboard the matchup is fairly simple. Conserve countermagic until you can force through a B2B, use stuff like Powder Keg to make it a royal pain for the Landstill player to attack you, and avoid falling into the trap of playing the aggro role. You are the control deck here, and a Landstill player has to take the aggressive role or you will simply resolve a B2B and shit on him. Stuff to watch out for includes Pernicious Deed out of the 4 color build, Cunning Wish in the UWx builds, and Decree Of Justice, which can catch you with your pants down and is the main way you lose game 1.

    Postboard things get messier and less simple. The presence of Krosan Grip and Extirpate really makes it a lot more complicated, which is why I said earlier that practice is key to this matchup. Knowing how to bait the Landstill player into tapping out on his or her own turn and what stuff is worth countering and what’s just chaff is crucial to winning games post-board.

    Sideboarding is fairly simple. Bring in Jaces if you have them, along with any additional countermagic or anti-control tools. Stuff that can leave includes Shackles and Propaganda in the permanent oriented version, and Engineered Explosives in the stack oriented builds.

    Matchup Summary:
    Favorable for the Stack-Oriented builds.
    Less favorable but still good for the Permanent-Oriented builds.

    In the interests of keeping an already too long primer a bit shorter I’m making the next matchup summaries much shorter.

    B/x Suicide builds are crappy matchups. In fact, they are among the worst non-combo matchups this deck has. Hope to get down as much creature hate as possible and try to ride out the storm, but don’t be surprised to lose this more often than not, no matter what version you’re playing.

    Tomb-Stompy Variants can be equally obnoxious and are usually not particularly favorable, if at all. Dragon Stompy is a little easier than the others because Moon effects are useless against you, which gives them a lot of chaff game one, but after board it gets much harder.

    Loam Variants are a pain in the ass because you usually don’t have much to do about Loam, although it is fully possible to win simply by keeping their win-conditions off the table through stuff like Shackles, Keg, and countermagic. Not particularly fun either way though.

    Storm Combo is decidedly not fun. It is actually by far the worst matchup this deck has. You have no clock, and no matter how much countermagic you stockpile a well-timed Orim’s Chant or Abeyance will strip you of any chance to retaliate before the combo player nails your balls to the wall. Can you win? Sure. Will? Almost definitely not.

    Non-Storm Combo is much more manageable due to the counterable nature of their threats. Save countermagic for the actual engine cards and don’t get tricked into letting a Chant or Abeyance resolve, as if you do chances are you will lose on the spot.

    Cards/Engines Not Included:

    Intuition/AK: Slow, ungainly, and not nearly good enough. Intuition for AK requires 5 mana to net 1 card. That’s not a particularly good deal with AV requires 1 mana to net 2 (with a delay), and FoF can net as many as 3 for 4 mana.

    Counterbalance/Top: This is a big one, and one that will probably be asked about over and over again despite my mentioning it here, but basically this combo sucks in MUC. Before you all throw a fit, Counterbalance is not a hard lock. It’s also not free in terms of deck space. In case you haven’t noticed, MUC is both a very slow deck at actually killing an opponent, making it far easier for someone to break out of Counterbalance, and is lacking in free space to simply slot 7+ cards into the list. In fact, one of the major reasons I bothered to write this primer is because of how far MUC has come, and how close to optimized it truly is. Due to this level of optimization, there is very little room to cut 7 or more cards to make room for Counterbalance/Top.

    On top of that, MUC isn’t the type of deck that needs to counter everything, which is one of the major arguments people usually use to pitch Counter/Top. They claim you can’t counter everything, which is why they want to include it. This is incorrect, simply because you don’t WANT to counter everything. What do you think stuff like Engineered Explosives and Vedalken Shackles are in these lists for? Because playing a deck that does nothing but attempt to counter things will get run over in the mid-game when other decks begin to throw too many threats at you for you to be able to counter all of them.

    Cryptic Command: Slow, costs 4, and doesn’t do enough to warrant deck space. Yes it’s highly versatile, but nothing it offers is worth the price you have to pay for it.

    Stifle: Too narrow, and too inefficient in terms of deckspace. A possible SB card, but nothing more.

    Questions, concerns, flames, yo-momma jokes, and all other manner of inquiries can be directed at my PM box or posted here at your discretion.
    Last edited by Kadaj; 07-20-2008 at 11:10 AM.
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  2. #2
    Sweat pours when muscles cry!

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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Woohoo, I am # 1!

    So first of all, nice to see you back from hospital (whatever you were suffering from).

    Second:

    Nice style of writing - it's the dry laconic "humour" without smileys that makes this new starting post worth reading.

    I love the way you introduced the beginners regarding MUC to the possible ways MUC can go (thank you for linking my list btw).
    I really love the Foils in your list as they allow you to tap out on T3 to drop a board control piece (nothing more annoying than having your Propaganda / Shackles dazed and then being hit by a Mongoose and Goyf...).
    Other than this, there is not much I'd have to add right now (we're near to optimized lists so far, that's right. Maybe 2-4 variable slots depening on the build) except that the B/x Sui MUs are not that bad. Shackles is the way to go, just use everything you have to resolve one and the game will probably turn around when you're not too low on life. Get rid of fast finishers like Shade or their CA (Dark Confidant!) and the game is not that bad against that sort of decks.

    I'll probably add something soon and I am glad to have a new thread with a summarizing introduction that will hopefully save us from unnecessary discussions about certain card choices ;)

    So long, have a good night.

    Doks
    Quote Originally Posted by Osse
    Why not Force Spike?...
    Quote Originally Posted by thefreakaccident
    Because force spike sucks big hairy nut sack in this format...

  3. #3

    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    With something like 7-8 cards between Propaganda and B2B in the maindeck, why not a copy (or two) of the Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale squeezed in somewhere? Especially in the sideboard, where it can come in and really gum up the works for a creature deck.

    Of course, besides the "75 bucks each" thing.

  4. #4
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    It's wasteable and doesn't produce any mana, not even colorless, so it's not good in the early turns.
    In the later turns, cumulative lock pieces (especially Propaganda!) and B2B seal the game more or less.
    Letting your opponent pay 4 to attack only to get his single attacking creature shackled is fun - for you.
    The other build blasts every relevant creature away and then just stops anything too dangerous from hitting the board.


    Doks
    Quote Originally Posted by Osse
    Why not Force Spike?...
    Quote Originally Posted by thefreakaccident
    Because force spike sucks big hairy nut sack in this format...

  5. #5

    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Doks View Post
    It's wasteable and doesn't produce any mana, not even colorless, so it's not good in the early turns.
    Don't consider Tabernacle a land when counting it. Although it is Wasteland-able, consider it an artifact. It also synergizes greatly with Propaganda.

  6. #6
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    I'm not a big fan of Tabernacle because it's usually fairly win-more. When it's really good it's usually good because you have out either Propaganda or B2B, in which case you should probably be winning anyway. There's also not a whole lot of room in either list to make space for it, but that's a secondary concern to the fact that it really doesn't pull it's own weight well enough.
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  7. #7

    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Kadaj, could Misdirection find 2 slots in the current stages of MUC? I can still envision matchups against direct damage (red) and discard (black) where it would be excellent.

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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    I don't anticipate Misdirection earning a slot in MUC anytime soon, no. Yes, it can be good against stuff like Cabal Therapy, Hymn to Tourach, and all manner of burn, but Burn is already helped tremendously by the 8+ hate cards you should probably be packing in your SB for Goblins and discard is usually not the sole reason you lose to decks like Eva Green. It's the discard, coupled with the LD, coupled with the MD Seal of Primordium, coupled with the Tarmogoyfs, etc. So no, I don't think Misdirection would be effective enough.
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Also, Kadaj may be selling the Goblins match-up short. He once told me he's reached the point where it's about even for the board controlling version and I think it's reasonable to believe seeing that the 7 hard counters for the Vial/Lackey and the ability to put a stop to the horde with the 4 MD Propagandas to slow the game down to your pace (so Visions can resolve), along with the ability to Keg any Vials/Lackeys few turns later, it seems fairly decent.

    At the point they are either casting spells or attacking and if they're attacking, they can't make those Goblinous turns of "Warchief > Matron > Pile > kill you". Also, thanks to the multitude of ways to deal with Vial, they should be short on mana, especially with B2B, forcing them to significantly slow down their tempo, opening the doors for a Morphling, Shackles or similar to take control of the board and finish the job.

    The deck is brutal, no question, and when Propaganda doesn't appear, winning can be nigh' impossible (I should know, long ago I played Goblins in the testings and overran the then Propagandaless build practically every time), but thanks to the presence of the 4 MD Propagandas, the match-up is much more winnable, close enough that I could almost call it "even". It helps that Rishadan Ports are being cut all over the world.

    EDIT: Have you considered Misdirection in the Disrupt-slot in the side? Or split it 2/2? Looks like being able to misdirect LD, discard and Vindicates could be tremendously helpful, evening up the pace of the game and potentially screwing them up with their Hymn (and allowing you to tap out for Powder Keg, et al.).

  10. #10
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Against a list without Rishadan Port the matchup is much better, as the main way you lose is by not getting Propaganda fast enough. At any rate, the reason I rated the Goblins matchup as low as I did is because while I have personally been able to achieve decent results against Goblins in testing and in actual tournament play, I have played that matchup over a 100 times with my list and know it inside and out. Therefore, I have a distinct advantage over someone who has only played the list say 10 times total and only once against Goblins.

    But yes, assuming you have some concept of what you're doing, the matchup isn't nearly as bad as it used to be for the permanent oriented version. It might even be constituted as "even", although that might be a bit of a stretch. Either way, it's still not fun at all. Especially when Propaganda doesn't show up.

    Regarding Misdirection in the board, I had considered it briefly, but I prefer Disrupt because more often than not you'll have mana open in the early game against the sort of deck that will be attempting to throw millions of misdirectable disruption spells at your head. Disrupt is also much more flexible, being a serviceable card against other control of all kinds and even Burn and combo, whereas Misdirection is fairly narrow in application.
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    And I was totally gonna load up on links to bullshit like construction equipment distributors and elephant disenfectants and then run over there and spam the shit out of them for a change.

  11. #11
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadaj View Post
    Regarding Misdirection in the board, I had considered it briefly, but I prefer Disrupt because more often than not you'll have mana open in the early game against the sort of deck that will be attempting to throw millions of misdirectable disruption spells at your head. Disrupt is also much more flexible, being a serviceable card against other control of all kinds and even Burn and combo, whereas Misdirection is fairly narrow in application.
    If you have mana open in the early game, then Divert may be better than Misdirection. What about that one?
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  12. #12
    Plays whatever whenever, and fails anyway
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nihil Credo View Post
    If you have mana open in the early game, then Divert may be better than Misdirection. What about that one?
    You still run into the problem of Divert having a fairly narrow application whereas Disrupt is much more versatile. Yes, Divert is quite good against stuff like Hymn and Sinkhole, but so is Disrupt, and Disrupt is much better against opposing control, where it can fight opposing counterspells (yes I'm aware Divert can also do this, but Disrupt is better), cantrips, and stuff like Fact or Fiction when Divert would otherwise be dead.

    If you know, or just anticipate, that your expected metagame will have a lot of targeted discard and other disruption then by all means include Divert, or Misdirection, in lieu of Disrupt, or perhaps in addition to. However, in a more open metagame I vastly prefer Disrupt due to the aformentioned flexibility that Divert and Misdirection both lack.
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  13. #13
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Well written writeup! I am definitely going to play permanent based MUC at a tournament during the next months.

    @ Kadaj: You once have played 25 lands, even without Foil. Are 24 enough to make a constant landdrop possible?

  14. #14
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    If you run any sort of draw, 24 lands is definitely goinf to give you a constanst stream of lands...

    Nice write up, it was a pleasure to read, as well as informative...

    I hadn't polished my list in quite some time, and have lost out on the newr techier lists... I will definitely try out the two primary lists you posted, they looks pretty solid...

    Also, he may not run the fourth B2B because his meta does not have much control... or something to that extent.
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    While it's true that your build isn't Draw-Go, I don't think Zvi's deck is a perfect analogue either; that deck was called Accelerated Blue, and used acceleration to power out bombs and threats. You still only have 2 Morphlings, 1 Efreet; Zvi had 3 Morphlings, 3 Masticores, 2 Palinchrons. Legacy doesn't have Monolith, so I'm not sure what it would look like here (and it's, incidentally, something I've been tinkering with for a while), but it would likely involve lands, maybe Moxen or Mind Stones or something. (Faerie Stompy is the other deck which comes to mind, but that's off over the other end.)
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    The choices of me and idraleo is like kadaj list but with the following mods:
    -3 foil
    -1 island
    -1 powder keg
    -1 back to basics (no good in multiples like propaganda)

    +3 cryptic command.
    +3 chalice of the void. The invaluable element of control. Generate infinite card advantage vs some decks.

    We can both guarantee the deck has the same power.

  17. #17
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Great write-up. However, I missed the (necessary :[ ) Chalice- and TfK-bashing.
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    1) Excellent writeup. Major kudos.
    2) Foil: Your explanation doesn't justify 3 copies of a card that has a huge drain on your resources, however numerous they may be.
    3) Stifle: How is it narrow? LD, tempo control, stifling ringleaders, and pwning combo are just a few of the many uses of this cheap, wonderful card. I'm already eyeing this list as -2 Foil, +2 Stifle. Please explain why not.
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  19. #19
    Plays whatever whenever, and fails anyway
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    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Illissius View Post
    While it's true that your build isn't Draw-Go, I don't think Zvi's deck is a perfect analogue either; that deck was called Accelerated Blue, and used acceleration to power out bombs and threats. You still only have 2 Morphlings, 1 Efreet; Zvi had 3 Morphlings, 3 Masticores, 2 Palinchrons. Legacy doesn't have Monolith, so I'm not sure what it would look like here (and it's, incidentally, something I've been tinkering with for a while), but it would likely involve lands, maybe Moxen or Mind Stones or something. (Faerie Stompy is the other deck which comes to mind, but that's off over the other end.)
    The reason I used that build as an analogue is because the basic idea is using permanents (in this case the creatures you mentioned) as the major way of controlling a game as opposed to counterspells. I'm well aware it's not a perfect comparison, but nothing's perfect in this world. I did briefly screw around, along with Eldariel, with an Accelerated Blue variant, but it runs into the issue of Masticore not being as ridiculous as it once was, among other things. Basically the important comparison between the two lists is the lack of counterspells and addition of more lands and permanent game winning bombs.

    At any rate, Chalice of the Void and TfK were something I probably should've mentioned in the "Cards not included" section, and perhaps I will go back and edit it in. Basically, they suck in MUC, contrary to what people continually try to claim. In fact, Chalice sucks much for the same reason Counterbalance and Stifle suck. It provides tempo, not card advantage as some people seem to think, that this deck is ill-equipped to take advantage of.

    That is, incidentally, only one of the reasons Foil is about a hundred times better in my list than Stifle. Stifle generates tempo. What, exactly, am I going to do with that tempo? Nothing, but MUC can't take advantage of it anyway. By the same token, Stifle and Foil fulfill two completely different roles. What is Stifle going to do against a turn 2 Tarmogoyf? Smile at it? Same thing with something like say, Argothian Enchatress, or a Dark Confidant. Foil shines there because it provides yet another method of keeping that sort of garbage off the table. It's also better against stuff like Lackey and Vial because instead of simply delaying their effects for a turn you actually stop them cold.

    As far as the drain on your resources goes, chances are you will cast maybe one Foil with its alternate cost per game. That is an investment you can recoup easily with both AV and FoF supplying additional ammunition. Any additional Foils are usually hardcast, with the occasional alternate cost being paid against something like Landstill in a lategame counter-war where you'll usually be pitching excess lands anyway.
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  20. #20

    Re: [Deck] Mono-Blue Control (MUC)

    Hi Kadaj,

    I only have one concern about the opening post : I think you're overestimating B2B. Don't misunderstand me, it's a very powerful card. But it's not as "ultimate" as you're implying (ie "auto-win against Threshold").

    Keep in mind that most Threshold players (well, good ones anyway) will always fetch a basic land first against an unknown opponent. And probably second too if they don't feel the need for a third color / suspect something.
    Most 3c lists nowadays run 6 duals (3 Tropical Island + 3 other blue ones of the splash color). Compared to four basics, 2 Islands, 1 Forest, 1 Swamp/Mountain/Plains (once again depending on the splash), and 7 fetches.

    I know from experience (as a MUC player, and as a UGW Thresh player) that it's a good card, but not more - at least in this matchup, if you're facing a competent opponent.

    Oh, and to be fair, I feel like you're underestimating the Goblin matchup ;). Once again, let's be frank, I'm not pretending it's good in any way. But it's not THAT terrible. I'd say (from my own - limited - experience) you definitely should win one match out of three, at the very least.
    Last edited by ParkerLewis; 06-24-2008 at 12:37 PM. Reason: horrible typo.

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