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Thread: [Deck] Nic Fit (GBx Explorer Zenith Control)

  1. #21
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    I'm glad that I found this thread. Here's a deck that I was working on a few months ago that is very similar to what is being talked about here. I've called it Titan Rock. Sun Titan lock with deed is pretty much unbeatable by any aggro deck. I stopped playing it because combo became too popular and this deck has a hard time with combo. I'm about to play it this weekend in the SCG Indianapolis open though. This is my list currently which may change slightly by then. I'm really like the idea of innocent blood as a further way to sac explorer and control the board.

    3 Sun Titan
    3 Eternal Witness
    2 Kitchen Finks
    4 Knight of the Reliquary
    4 Veteran Explorer
    2 Sakura Tribe Elder

    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Swords To Plowshares

    3 Sensei's Divining Top
    3 Pernicious Deed

    3 Swamp
    2 Forest
    2 Plains

    4 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Marsh Flats
    1 Phyrexian Tower
    3 Bayou
    2 Scrubland
    1 Savanah
    1 Wasteland
    1 Volrath's Stronghold

    Sideboard
    3 Krosan Grip
    1 Bojuka Bog
    3 Extirpate
    4 Duress
    2 Gaddock Teeg
    2 Diabolic Edict

    The sideboard is weak and will probably have a third teeg and maybe more combo hate. I like the idea of green sun zenith, but it just doesn't seem to fit right. My main focus is the get the Swords out of their hands, deed then drop sun titan FTW. I like reveilark as it seems good but haven't been able to figure out how to fit it. Knight is here for acceleration as well as an alternate beater/win condition.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tao View Post
    I think the way to go is a pure control deck. Playing beatdown with fat guys like Goyf and KotR has often left me in a bad spot because many opponents will just deal with them 1 for 1 and follow that with cards that either create CA or outtempo you but they can't 1 for 1 you if all you play are CiP creatures.
    Since you lowered the number of Deeds, try Mystic package. Turn 3 Batterskull is a nice aggro stopper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tao View Post
    And I agree that the initial list is a bit too bad at topdecking. The deck probably wants 2-3 Sensei's Tops and 2-3 additional big guns instead of most of the GSZ one-offs.
    Think of it: when you Swords a Nacatl, you spend 1 mana, opp spent 1 mana. Now, you send KotR farming. Your net income is 2 mana.
    Now, you Counterspell something. Most likely it's not turn 1, so you countered something that costed 2 or more mana. Again, your mana income is most likely >0.
    Now Thoughtseize. You spend 1 mana, opponent spends 0. So you just gained him tempo (and often it's early game, where you want to steal tempo from faster deck).
    This leads me to conclusion that spot discard is bad against anything that is faster than you. Since you're control, that's the majority of opponents. Also, spot discard is bad topdeck mid-late game. Cabal Therapy is the only exclusion since it enables your neat Explorer shenanigans.
    I encourage you to try more threats/answers instead of Thoughtseize (check the list provided by Tinefol). This will improve you topdecks so you'd worry less about manipulation.

    EDIT: In the end it's all about how to abuse Explorer+sacrifice stuff better. Green Sun's Zenith is certanly a viable option, but I'll try some Buried Alive/Intuition+Vengevine shenanigans.
    EDIT 2: Also, this thread gives viable Explorer control approach too.
    Last edited by eq.firemind; 06-02-2011 at 03:52 AM.
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  3. #23
    Taobotmox

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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    @firemind: Discard is universally good. Inquisitioning a Wild Nacatl or a KotR is not as good as removing it, but removal will not help vs. most Combo decks or Landstill. I also already play 4 StoP and every other spot creature removal pales in comparison to it. Drawing discard is very much needed against every deck with counter magic to make sure that you have juicy Eternal Witness targets and that your big threat resolves and every Discard spell improves the Combo matchup.

    For the general strategy of the deck: I want to push this into a very controllish direction. The reason for that is I would often lose games because my opponent had spot removal for my KotR and a Goyf and then I ran out of cards while my opponent plays a Jace / Standstill / Brainstorm. Therefore I removed all 1 for 1 creatures in favor of cards that create card advantage. I had to cut GSZ because like Magicsk8ngenius it just didn't fit right. I assumed with Recurring Nightmare, Cabal Therapy and green creatures it would be an auto include but somehow it is not. Which is unfortunate because the thread has Zenith in the title but what can you do. Maybe it gets added back later but atm I like my list extremely well.

    It goes well against every deck in the current DtB section. Painterstone is at least even, probably better (couldn't test too much yet) because of all the Removal and Discard. Merfolk, Zoo and Stoneforge Mystic decks have a hard time against Deed plus Wall of Blossoms plus Witness on Swords and none of them can really benefit from Explorer. Against Team America Explorer shines as bright as it gets though Hymns are a pain in the butt. The matchup usually resolves around how many Hymns they can fire at you. It also does quite well against Landstill.


    // Lands
    4 [ZEN] Verdant Catacombs
    4 [LRW] Forest (2)
    2 [R] Bayou
    4 [LRW] Swamp (3)
    1 [US] Phyrexian Tower
    1 [6E] Plains (2)
    1 [U] Savannah
    4 [ON] Windswept Heath
    1 [U] Scrubland

    // Creatures
    4 [WL] Veteran Explorer
    2 [MBS] Thrun, the Last Troll
    4 [FNM] Wall of Blossoms
    4 [FD] Eternal Witness
    2 [M11] Grave Titan

    // Spells
    4 [FNM] Cabal Therapy
    2 [LRW] [ROE] Thoughtseize / Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 [AT] Swords to Plowshares
    2 [NPH] Karn Liberated
    4 [AP] Pernicious Deed
    2 [EX] Recurring Nightmare
    2 [V09] Sensei's Divining Top
    2 [ARB] Maelstrom Pulse

    // Sideboard
    SB: 3 [LRW] Thoughtseize / Duress (so you have 4 Thoughtseizes post board)
    SB: 2 [ARE] Duress
    SB: 1 [ARB] Maelstrom Pulse
    SB: 2 [SHM] Kitchen Finks
    SB: 3 [TSB] Tormod's Crypt
    SB: 2 [OD] Innocent Blood
    SB: 2 [M11] Liliana Vess (really good. comes in vs. Control as addional big gun and against Combo so that they can't topdeck into wins so easily after you run out of the initial discard)

  4. #24
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    Been doing some work on a list to start testing.

    4x BOP
    3x Explorer
    2x Witness
    2x Pridemage
    4x KoTR
    2x Sun Titan
    1x Primeval Titan/open slot

    4x STP
    3x Deed
    3x Diabolic Intent

    1x Elspeth
    1x Lilliana Vess
    1x Garruk

    4x Cabal Therapy

    1-2x Open slots for card draw(Bob/Harmonize) or Finks.

    4x Windswept Heath
    4x Catacombs
    2x Savannah
    2x Bayou
    1x Stronghold
    1x Tower
    1x Wasteland
    3x Forest
    2x Plains
    2x Swamp
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  5. #25
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    @Brushwagg: Why no GSZ? Also that Primeval Titan could be Thrun, as it randomly wins games vs blue based control (and we rarely suffer Innocent Blood which is played by UBG landeed). How are the Bops performing? In my opinion you don't want to topdeck them later and they are pretty useless since you will blow up Deeds for the win since turn 3. Also since you are already playing the full set of KotR, is it possible to fit a Karakas, maybe in place of a fetchland?

    Edit: I found that this deck wants some late game support like Recurring Nightmare and Tops. In my build I play 2 Tops and 1 Recurring. I understand that Recurring is slow as hell and good only in the very late game (although Explorer can put you in late game istantly), but no love for Sensei's Divining Top in here? In my testing it has been wonderful (as it is in the 99% of the times you decide to sleeve it up).
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  6. #26
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    I am still working on this deck, too, but rather from a casual point of view.

    One card I recently discovered is Viridian Emissary. Could it have place here?

    Also, what do you think about 1 Sheoldred, Whispering One instead of Sun Titan or Karn? I know 7 mana is a lot, but this deck should be able to cast it.

    Diabolic Intent seems very interesting, but I think GSZ is a little bit better.

    I am still waiting for my Birthing Pods, wanna test them. :)

    @Tao: Definitely add Volrath's Stronghold to your list.

    As a sidenote, I find it funny how people tend to get away from Tarmogoyf recently...
    Most people argue(d) that Goyf is superior to Wall of Blossoms, even in a control build.

  7. #27
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    @BOP: In early lists I played they were good. They do everything I want, they provide mana, sac to Therapy or Tower and block random flyers if needed. I feel if I get 2 activations out them I'm happy and don't really care if they bite it to Deed.

    @GSZ: I did play for a while and found it lacking. It doesn't find Sun Titan or Deed and those 2 cards make the deck unfair. Intent is so much better since it does tutor for anything you need. I might end up running a couple of Kitchen Finks for more sacrifices.

    @Recurring Nightmare: I like the idea of it, but once I get Sun Titan going then Nightmare would do kind of the same to a more limited extent.

    @Goyf: My list wants to blow the board up for 2 and maybe 3 sometimes. So Goyf does nothing for me except die.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    Recurring Nightmare provides a sac-outlet for those 3-drops (like Eternal Witness, getting back Therapy/Swords).
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tao View Post
    // Sideboard
    SB: 3 [LRW] Thoughtseize / Duress (so you have 4 Thoughtseizes post board)
    SB: 2 [ARE] Duress
    SB: 1 [ARB] Maelstrom Pulse
    SB: 2 [SHM] Kitchen Finks
    SB: 3 [TSB] Tormod's Crypt
    SB: 2 [OD] Innocent Blood
    SB: 2 [M11] Liliana Vess
    How do you board vs. Hivemind? I would guess something like:
    -4 swords, -4 wall of blossoms, -1 recurring nightmare, -1 deeds
    + 3 seize, +2 duress, +1 pulse, +2 innocent blood, +2 vess

    The Leyline of Sanctity in their board seems like the pivotal centerpiece of games 2 and 3. Maybe even -2 more deeds for the 2 finks in order to establish a slightly quicker clock behind the discard?

  10. #30
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    Didn't even notice that this was pinged. I am also still working on this and have very good results.

    - one card that had completely dodged the radar is Hymn to Tourach. I had to get raped repeatedly by Team America with Hymn until I thought about playing it myself. The BB cost is a bit iffy though.
    - I also didn't value Sun Titan high enough. It won me a lot of games though it makes the deck very dependant on the Graveyard.
    - unfortunately I don't think there is much we can do about the White Leyline against Hive Mind.

  11. #31
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    @Tao:
    Really digging your latest list. I'll give it a spin on MWS (sadly, I'm missing too many of the cards IRL). Btw, is there a particular reason why you play Maelstrom Pulse over Vindicate?

  12. #32
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    The deck plays far more Green than White sources and destroying lands is basically irrelevant (if you get very lucky you might get a 2 for 1 Pulse but the main reason is the Mana).

    Please let me know how your testing went, especially the Cabal Therapies. I feel like Therapy is the worst card in the deck atm and think that something has to be done about it.

  13. #33
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tao View Post
    Please let me know how your testing went, especially the Cabal Therapies. I feel like Therapy is the worst card in the deck atm and think that something has to be done about it.
    Cabal Therapy is a great card. Almost always a 2x1- if you name correctly. The interaction with Explorer is obvious and very strong...why would you ever think of cutting them?
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  14. #34

    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    Aven Mincensor is not in a deck with 4 x Veteran Explorers.

  15. #35
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    No he isn't. If you'd care about the opponent's Mana you wouldn't run Veteran Explorer in the first place.

  16. #36
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    I have to agree about NOT cutting Cabal Therapy. Even if you wiff the first name the second is going to hit and is a sac outlet. After a few games people catch on about Explorer and just leave it alone so the more sac outlets you have the better.

    Thoughtseize on the other hand, is worth moving to the SB though. A heavy discard suit also needs a good mix of land destruction to make it work and the lists being posted don't do that. But it is really hard to balance both in a 3 color deck.
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  17. #37
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brushwagg View Post
    I have to agree about NOT cutting Cabal Therapy. Even if you wiff the first name the second is going to hit and is a sac outlet. After a few games people catch on about Explorer and just leave it alone so the more sac outlets you have the better.

    Thoughtseize on the other hand, is worth moving to the SB though. A heavy discard suit also needs a good mix of land destruction to make it work and the lists being posted don't do that. But it is really hard to balance both in a 3 color deck.
    I agree. Thoughtseizes are not worth maindeck slots, since you should already know what you don't want to hit the table and easily name it with Therapy.

    What you guys think about Diabolic Intent / GSZ split? I absolutely love Intent as sometimes is broken in this deck ( Demonic Tutor and fetch 2 basics? or sac outlet for Witness and tutor Recurring Nightmare ? sign me up... ) but often I just want to tap 4 and get a KotR or Witness without saccing anything. I guess a good 3/3 split should work, since this deck normally does not play enough creatures ( I see 14-17 creatures in most list) to fully support 4 Intents, given the fact that we have so many sac outlets that sometimes I lack creatures to sac...
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  18. #38
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    I've finally added GSZ to my list and it has proven very worth while. I haven't tried diabolic intent as it just seems more cute than anything. I have some other sac outlets in place that you will see in my current incarnation of this list.


    3 Sun Titan
    2 Eternal Witness
    1 Kitchen Finks
    4 Knight of the Reliquary
    4 Veteran Explorer
    2 Fleshbag Maurader
    1 Tarmogoyf

    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Swords To Plowshares
    2 Green Sun's Zenith

    3 Sensei's Divining Top
    3 Pernicious Deed

    3 Swamp
    2 Forest
    2 Plains

    4 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Marsh Flats
    1 Phyrexian Tower
    3 Bayou
    2 Scrubland
    1 Savanah
    1 Wasteland
    1 Volrath's Stronghold

    Sideboard is still in the works as it's constantly changing. The most difficult matchups for this deck tend to be the UW control decks because Jace is so difficult to answer. The best matchups tend to be anything creature base, especially Merfolk.

    I recently played this list at the SCG Open in Indianapolis and took a horrendous loss to a burn deck and 2 UW control decks putting me in 50th on some really bad tie breakers (thanks burn player).

    I find thoughtseize in the main is incredibly strong as it makes your therapies much more valuable and you don't always have to rely and sacrificing a dude to get value from therapy. Also it's really helpful against anything combo and control as you can just rip apart their hands with thoughtseize and therapy.

    I think you're crazy for even thinking about cutting therapy. My first round in this tournament I played against dredge. I go turn 1 on the play forest veteran explorer go. He does draw discard go. Turn 2 I attack drop a swamp therapy naming breakthrough, he has 2... then sac vet naming putrid imp, he has 3 of them in his hand. needless to say i won that match... yeah beat dredge game 1, take that!

    I tried running quasali and a few other GSZ tools but nothing really stuck so I've been using a single tarm in the 2 drop spot as a GSZ target and it's been okay. Quasali doesn't do anything that you're not already doing with deed.

    I also noticed nobody running the fleshbag maurader. I was skeptical on this guy too at first, but after playing him it's really sick. It's an additional sac outlet while upgrading your guy and edicting them. It's also a lot of fun with Sun Titan running.
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  19. #39
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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

    Quote Originally Posted by Magicsk8ngenius View Post
    Sideboard is still in the works as it's constantly changing. The most difficult matchups for this deck tend to be the UW control decks because Jace is so difficult to answer. The best matchups tend to be anything creature base, especially Merfolk.
    The big problem is that control decks don't care about KotR most of the time. They just Sword / Deed it 1 for 1 and that is unfortunately very good for them.
    My last list on top of the page runs no KotR for those reasons. Only Explorers and creatures that create card advantage when hitting play. It plays 2 Thrun and 2 Maelstrom Pulse to deal with Jace. Its main threat vs. Control are the 2 Karn Liberated because many Control decks just cannot beat a resolved Karn. It enters the battlefield and either eats their only Factory so they can never attack it or goes to 10 loyalty and they can't deal nearly enough damage to put it in any danger. It also has another Pulse in the Side plus 2 Lilianas and addional Discard. Liliana might seems like a bad choice but they are imo the best choice in the matchups they come in against.

    With that setup the Control matchup becomes quite favorable because it lets you win by playing the control role.

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    Re: Nic Fit (GBW Explorer Zenith Control)

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