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Thread: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

  1. #1
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    [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    Some may know it as an Esper Teachings deck. This plays like a draw/go control deck, almost every spell is an instant/flash. The deck has a solid mix of board control, card advantage/quality, and permission. It revolves around Mystical Teachings - which, while slow, is quite powerful, tutoring almost any spell in the deck. Many of the cards play more than one role (Cryptic Command, for example, is more than simple permission), with that in mind, please recognize that I'm categorizing cards by their usual role, but not their only role.

    Here is a list:

    // Lands - 25
    4 Island
    1 Plains
    1 Swamp
    1 Godless Shrine
    2 Watery Grave
    2 Hallowed Fountain
    4 Misty Rainforest
    4 Marsh Flats
    4 Arcane Sanctum
    1 Creeping Tar Pit
    1 Celestial Colonnade

    // Card Quality/Quantity - 9
    4 Mystical Teachings
    4 Esper Charm
    1 Blue Sun's Zenith

    // Permission - 9
    4 Mana Leak
    4 Cryptic Command
    1 Spell Burst

    // Board Control - 10
    4 Path to Exile
    3 Go for the Throat
    1 Geth's Verdict
    1 Consume the Meek
    1 Pulse of the Fields

    // Disruptive/Stalling Wincons - 7
    3 Vedalken Shackles
    1 Venser, Shaper Savant
    1 Vendilion Clique
    1 Aven Mindcensor
    1 White Sun's Zenith

    // Sideboard
    SB: 1 Vendilion Clique
    SB: 1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
    SB: 1 Mindbreak Trap
    SB: 1 Disenchant
    SB: 1 Surgical Extraction
    SB: 2 Bribery
    SB: 2 Pithing Needle
    SB: 3 Spell Pierce
    SB: 3 Meddling Mage

    As I said, many of these cards can play multiple roles. For example, sometimes it is better to pressure your opponent's hand with Esper charm than draw your own (and once in a while you'll be blowing up enchantments with it).

    This particular build has a solid amount of redundancy in each category, so you can reliably see the effects when you need them, but it also sports 9-singleton tutor targets, at least one in each category which scales very nicely with your manabase and are usually reusable. Cards like Spell Burst and Pulse of the Fields can setup softlocks, but are situational enough that you prefer to tutor them rather than have them in multiples, unlike something as generically useful as Vedalken Shackles.

    Many versions of this deck sport Teferi main and non-flash creatures (which can be tutored after Teferi is in play). In my experience, the deck evolves away from such a strategy. Teferi is a good card in some matchups, but relatively dead in others. I've relegated it to the SB, and the non-flash creatures have disappeared (Shackles has been much better).

    Lastly, I'd like to add that Mystical Teachings allows this deck to run a silver-bullet strategy in both the main and sideboard. It lends versatility to the deck - it is something akin to Cunning Wish with flashback on it.

    Hopefully this can get us started.



    peace,
    4eak

  2. #2
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    I like every bit of this
    Matt Bevenour in real life

  3. #3
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    I never got to play Teachings in Standard, but I did in Pauper, and the card is absolutely insane, I hope this deck can be the real deal.

  4. #4
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    After testing more 12-post matchups, I'm changing the board:

    -2 Bribery (which was simply too slow)
    -3 Meddling Mage (a good card, but not good enough)
    +3 Aven Mindcensor
    +1 Spell Pierce
    +1 Vendilion Clique

    I can't say enough good things about Aven Mindcensor. That card is such a beast in the 12-post matchup (which I am worried about). It stops the ramp, rocks Eye of Ugin, and it beats down. The card is still quite good in other matchups as well, e.g. Dragonstorm, Gifts, and many others, but I would run it even if only for 12-post.



    peace,
    4eak

  5. #5
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    Is Blue Sun's Zenith fast enough to warrant a slot of something less mana-intensive like Careful Consideration? Granted, the thought of searching up a Zenith and flashbacking Teachings to find it again made my head explode, so maybe it's good. I'd also consider Engineered Explosives, as it's awesome against Zoo.
    "Attack with Order of the Ebon Hand."
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    "It has pro white."
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  6. #6
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    Generally speaking, Draw/Go plays a spell in the mainphases under only 4 circumstances:
    • The spell isn't an instant (in which case, unless it is absolutely amazing and/or necessary, it shouldn't be in the deck)
    • You are digging for a non-instant card which you need to play in the same turn. (this should be fairly rare for the deck)
    • Your opponent is largely tapped out, they can't interact with you, and you want to resolve a key spell - this usually occurs where you end step bait and have a false counterwar over it, they are relevantly tapped out, and you untap to cast the vital spell on your turn (which is before they would untap, obv.).
    • You are already winning - your opponent has nothing in hand or threats, you have an answer+mana for the topdeck, and you have enough extra mana that you can cast the another spell in your mainphase without fear. It doesn't matter at this point whether you wait to play it mainphase or on their end step. But, this is not the sort of circumstance for which we select cards for the deck.

    Careful Consideration pushes you to play it mainphase, and unless you were already winning, it is almost always wrong to play it mainphase. Usually this card just digs 4 and you pitch you worst 3 cards (which isn't card advantage).

    Jace's Ingenuity is likely better, and it actually competes with BSZ for mana efficiency. 3 for 5 vs. 2 for 5. It takes 8 mana or more for BSZ to be more mana efficient. BSZ can be win-more. It depends on the matchup.


    peace,
    4eak

  7. #7
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    After playing some more against 12post, (which seems to be all I play against when I'm playing this deck) I agree that Bribery is way too slow, I was just thinking last night that I wish there were more Mindscensors in the board for that matchup.

  8. #8
    The word is "Fight! Fight! Fight! For Iowa!"
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    You don't always have to mainphase Careful Consideration. They played it in the original Teachings deck and it was awesome. But yeah, Ingenuity seems better, as you can't cast it until turn 5 off a Teachings anyway, and at that point UUUX to draw 2 or 2+ is probably better.
    "Attack with Order of the Ebon Hand."
    "K, block with Jotun Grunt?"
    "It has pro white."
    "Swords?"
    "It still has pro white."


    Looking for Russian JTMS, Grove of the Burnwillows, RIPs,and German Counterbalances - PM me
    Team OMRIAIGTWYFEWARTCAE Team RTD
    @shawnldewey

  9. #9
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    This Esper list 3-1'd a Daily Event:

    Main:
    2 Celestial Colonnade
    2 Creeping Tar Pit
    1 Drowned Catacomb
    1 Glacial Fortress
    1 Hallowed Fountain
    3 Island
    4 Marsh Flats
    2 Misty Rainforest
    3 Mystic Gate
    2 Plains
    2 Sunken Ruins
    1 Swamp
    1 Watery Grave
    25 lands

    1 Baneslayer Angel
    1 Grave Titan
    3 Kitchen Finks
    2 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
    7 creatures

    1 Consume the Meek
    4 Cryptic Command
    1 Day of Judgment
    4 Esper Charm
    2 Go for the Throat
    3 Mystical Teachings
    2 Path to Exile
    4 Rune Snag
    1 Smother
    3 Spell Snare
    1 Surgical Extraction
    2 Wrath of God
    28 other spells


    Sideboard:
    1 Consume the Meek
    2 Deathmark
    1 Divine Offering
    1 Extirpate
    1 Kitchen Finks
    1 Mindbreak Trap
    1 Negate
    1 Pulse of the Fields
    3 Spreading Seas
    3 Thoughtseize
    15 sideboard cards


    I'm not sure how I feel about it, it plays a lot of non-instants. A RUG list that ran 2x Teachings also 3-1'd the same daily, and a Grixis list 3-1'd a different one. I do like the idea of Rune Snag instead of Mana Leak though, what do you all think?

  10. #10
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    Great opening list and gj Arew. I was really trying to play a control deck in Modern with the ability to run Puilse of the Fields, and I came to this archetype. Teaching is insane with Pulse and other silver targets!
    Decks that I care about:
    Steel Stompy
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    Dreadstalker
    DDFT (10% practice)

    Mangara on MWS? You must be masochistic. -kiblast
    Quote Originally Posted by Gheizen64 View Post
    REB is a fantastic sideboard card against blue... in blue decks :/

  11. #11

    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    This deck is sick. I predict that esper teachers along with u/w will set the standard for control in modern.

  12. #12
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    I didn't play that list to 3-1, just wanted to post it, I've been searching all the Modern DE's that get posted for decks that run Teachings.

  13. #13
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    Free bump for OP, id like to see how this goes
    I will make use of every tool that fate presents.

  14. #14
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    So, there's a modern even coming soon(ish)*™ nearby and I just love mystical teachings, and I would also have a chance to play my DCI Meddling Mages? Also, add to that one of my favorite creatures from Maverick, Aven Mindcensor? Count me in!

    Has anyone at all actually played this deck lately? Modern subforum seems to be a bit quiet. What about the manabase? I really like 4eak's list, but I'd like to do some changes.

    I would like to include:
    1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
    1 Extirpate
    1 Pact of Negation
    0-4 Wall of Omens // Wall of Denial
    (1 Oona, Queen of the Fae for the cool factor)
    (1 Logic Knot - maybe to take place of one mana leak)

    What I thought about taking out:
    3 Vedalken Shackles
    1 Venser, Shaper Savant
    1 Vendilion Clique
    1 Mystical Teachings


    I have no idea at all about what should I change in my sideboard, I guess I would have spell pierces, Meddling Mages and few Damnation/Wrath of God's.

    update 1:

    Made a list and tried it out. Timely Reinforcements works wonders and rest for the weary buys you a lot of time when/if played. Against combo - I ain't having fun. MD I have 2 lifegain cards, ~6 spot removal, consuming the meek and two damnations. At the moment my side is something that I just scrapped up fast, but when playing against combo I don't have enough cards to bring in. There's just so much stuff to be sided out. I might even go for 4 Meddling Mages with spell pierces/duress/inquisition. At least 1 mindbreak trap is a must, and a negate wouldn't be too bad. I feel like deathmark and damnation will go from sideboard. I'll test more this weekend.



    2 Snapcaster Mage
    1 Consume the Meek
    1 Doom Blade
    1 Smother
    4 Cryptic Command
    1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
    4 Esper Charm
    1 Gifts Ungiven
    4 Mystical Teachings
    1 Pact of Negation
    4 Path to Exile
    1 Rest for the Weary
    1 Extirpate
    4 Island
    1 Plains
    1 Swamp
    1 Godless Shrine
    1 Watery Grave
    1 Hallowed Fountain
    4 Misty Rainforest
    4 Marsh Flats
    4 Arcane Sanctum
    1 Creeping Tar Pit
    1 Celestial Colonnade
    1 River of Tears
    1 Isolated Chapel
    2 Damnation
    1 Logic Knot
    1 Geth's Verdict
    1 Deprive
    2 Mana Leak
    1 Timely Reinforcements
    1 Oona, Queen of the Fae
    SB: 3 Inquisition of Kozilek
    SB: 1 Damnation
    SB: 2 Deathmark
    SB: 1 Mindbreak Trap
    SB: 2 Gather Specimens
    SB: 2 Timely Reinforcements
    SB: 1 Disenchant
    SB: 1 Negate
    SB: 2 Meddling Mage


    Oona is there just because I like the card really much, and I think she's so pretty.
    Last edited by Machahiko; 05-31-2012 at 03:10 PM.

  15. #15

    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    I'm fairly locked into teachings for GP Chicago, here's my current list:

    26 Lands
    4 Creeping Tar Pit
    1 Hallowed Fountain
    4 Marsh Flats
    1 Scalding Tarn
    3 Island
    2 Swamp
    1 Plains
    3 Glacial Fortress
    2 Watery Grave
    1 Hallowed Fountain
    1 Godless Shrine
    1 Isolated Chapel
    2 Mystic Gate

    2 Creatures
    2 Snapcaster Mage

    31 Instants
    1 Doom Blade
    2 Path to Exile
    2 Disfigure
    1 Victim of Night
    3 Spell Snare
    3 Mana Leak
    4 Mystical Teachings
    1 Muddle the Mixture
    1 Think Twice
    1 Sphinx's Revelation
    1 Consume the Meek
    4 Esper Charm
    1 Echoing Truth
    2 Cryptic Command
    1 Geth's Verdict
    1 Surgical Extraction
    1 White Sun's Zenith
    1 Rest for the Weary

    1 Sorcery
    1 Supreme Verdict

    Modern seems to be a format built on accepting terrible match-ups. So far the only deck I feel like I cannot beat is R/G Tron, and that's mostly due to cutting targeted discard from the deck. I'll explain some choices:

    Diversified Removal
    I don't think there is an absolute optimal removal set-up without knowing the metagame. Disfigure is excellent in the format, killing everything from Bobs to Delvers to Kiki-Jikki. Doom Blade gets the nod over Go for the Throat because Affinity and Infect have artifact creatures, and Spell Snare answers the only troublesome black creature in the format, Bob. Geth's Verdict is the best edict effect in the format because it costs two, although it's arguable that Tribute to Hunger is the superior option against Geist of St. Traft decks because it can't be Spell Snare'd, although being able to Muddle for it is a great plus.

    Muddle the Mixture
    I threw this in originally as a test slot and discovered that it was incredible. Outside of being a hard-counter against the few relevant sorcery/instant spells, it functions as a fifth, albeit far more limited Mystical Teachings. The card to play over it would be Negate, not Mana Leak, as the hard-counter aspect is what makes it justifiable. Being able to tutor for a Rest for the Weary on turn five is a surprisingly powerful play, and definitely one I make.

    The Wraths
    I used to play three Wrath effects (two Wrath of God, one Consume the Meek) but the card is very rarely more than a 2 for 1 and I was continually unimpressed by it. Supreme Verdict is superior to Wrath, in my opinion. Not being able to kill Thrun is relevant, but having an uncounterable Wrath against Fish is far more important. I currently have a second in the board. Consume the Meek is either very good or a completely dead card, but it's tutorable which gives it the nod over a second Supreme Verdict.

    Draw Spells
    Think Twice is being played over a 27th land. Being flooded is mitigated by Flashback spells, but I feel like 27 was still too many. Think Twice is certainly the weakest card in the deck, but it serves a nice function to smooth out draws a little. Esper Charm obviously has flexibility as a bonus point, but I would probably still play four if it was just and instant speed Divination. Before Sphinx's Revelation was printed I played Jace's Ingenuity which is a fine card, but nine mana to tutor and cast for three cards is a bit too high of an investment. Regardless, I think the deck needs one card that draws over two cards to really break parity with all the one-for-one's, and I prefer the life-gain/scaling of Sphinx's Revelation to Jace's Ingenuity, Blue Sun's Zenith and Careful Consideration (which is totally a fine card, I just dislike the timing restriction)

    Silver Bullets
    The maindeck bullets I'm playing are Rest for the Weary and Surgical Extraction. Echoing Truth could be considered one but that card has so much value with Snapcaster Mage that it's rarely a dead card. Surgical got the nod over Extirpate because it's free, so it's four mana to tutor for it and cast it. It works well against some combo decks, but also you can tutor for it to get rid of a problem card in a matchup (Liliana against Jund, Geist, etc.) if you have time. Rest for the Weary is the main reason to play white in the deck. Gaining 8 life and flashing it back later is a very easy way to beat burn and other aggressive decks. I spent some time testing a Grixis version of teachings but ultimately abandoned it because I could find no substitute for Rest for the Weary. RftW gets the nod over Pulse of the Fields because it costs lest, is tutorable via Muddle, gains you more life with one resolution and doesn't need your opponent to be winning to work.

    Win Conditions
    Creeping Tar Pit is insane. Celestial Colonnade is in the deck because I can't play five Tar Pits and also to occasionally block a Restoration Angel. White Sun's Zenith is an easy way to win the game in a turn, and also gives you a fairly reliable way of beating decks like Martyr/Proc that gain a ridiculous amount of life via decking them. Zenith also is a fine play at four and five just to make a cat or two.

    No Discard
    I will admit to having never been a fan of targeted discard. I was underwhelmed by the range of Inquisiton of Kozilek in testing, and while Thoughtseize was certainly better I still think it's generally not what the deck wants to do. Obviously, lacking discard makes Surgical Extraction worse, and it definitely weakens you against specific cards (like Geist and Liliana) but I have never really missed a discard effect except when I play against Tron decks. I think discard is justifiable but it isn't necessary by a long shot, and I'd rather play other cards over it.

    Questions
    I am unsure over the right number of Mana Leaks and Spell Snares. Snare shines in the Jund and Storm matchups, but it is a dead card against some decks (mostly Pod variants but also some Doran decks I've seen). Mana Leak is often terrible. It works very well in the early game against removal-proof threats (like Geist and Liliana (can you tell that I don't like playing against those cards?)) but really fails to impress as games stretch out. Three might be too many, but as modern is such a creature-heavy format I'm leery of playing too many Negate-style cards. A friend of mine suggested Remove Soul which sounds interesting. I haven't tested it at all and will probably do so soon. I also believe that my mana base is sub-optimal. It seems to work 95% of the time, but there should be a way with the incredible amount of mana-fixing in modern to make it work 100%. Also, if the mana gets good enough I'd do more testing with Haunted Fengraf which I had very positive experiences with (game 1 it's essentially a third Snapcaster but it's obviously super cute).

    Sideboard
    The sideboard is a big question mark. There are certain cards I know I want to have in there, and then other options depending on the metagame. Here are the cards I think should be in every sideboard:
    1 Disenchant
    1 Rest for the Weary
    1 Celestial Purge
    1 Aven Mindcensor
    2 Wurmcoil Engine

    My sideboard changes with the predicted metagame, obviously, but here are a list of cards I have considered:
    Timely Reinforcements, Kitchen Finks, Mindbreak Trap, Negate, Consume the Meek, Surgical Extraction, Steel Sabotage, Darkblast, Temporal Isolation, Flashfreeze, Supreme Verdict, Phantasmal Image, Teferi, and Gather Specimens (which I think might be too slow, but it seems like the only answer I could find to play against Tron).

    Sorry for the long post but I have invested some time into this deck and would love some feedback, etc.
    Last edited by woremak; 10-25-2012 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Forgot about Gather Specimen

  16. #16

    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    Really like the list, though indeed, I would probably like some discard.

    As far as the SB goes, I like some of the cards you have there, e.g. Disenchant, Negate and Celestial Purge. If you already have a Rest for the Weary MD I might want a Pulse in the SB if you want another lifegain effect. When I played Esper Teachings, that card was nearly unbeatable for me.

    Mindbreak Trap seems well positioned after Storm with Electromancer showed up at the latest PT. Also seems reasonable against the Nivmagus deck and just happens to be a hardcounter for Emrakul.

    I'd want some Thoughtseize and Extractions in the SB for the Tron/Combo matchup. A few Cliques seem reasonable as well - hard to beat Tron without a clock and disruption, and they're likely to take out the Pyroclasms in G2.

    I like Darkblast, Flashfreeze, Teferi, and Fracturing Gust as possible options as well. Also possible is Hurkyl's Recall.

  17. #17

    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    The original plan against Tron was to scoop but bringing in Clique seems reasonable. A plan a friend of mine suggested was bringing in Delver, Bobs, Cliques and Seizes and morphing into a tempo deck post board. I don't really like that.
    Gather Specimens might be too cute to work, but I really want to try it out. It obviously doesn't solve Karn, but maybe Negate + Surgical can handle that? Either way, Tron seems like it might get more popular (because it beats Jund, right?) and I think that it is inherently a bad matchup.
    Anyway, thanks for the feedback and now I'm just going to get some matches in with this sb:

    4 Thoughtseize
    2 Vendilion Clique
    1 Negate
    1 Surgical Extraction
    1 Celestial Purge
    1 Disenchant
    1 Supreme Verdict
    1 Rest for the Weary
    2 Wurmcoil Engine
    1 Aven Mindcensor

  18. #18
    Here I Rule!!!!!!!!!!
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    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    Quote Originally Posted by woremak View Post
    Either way, Tron seems like it might get more popular (because it beats Jund, right?) and I think that it is inherently a bad matchup.
    Not as much as you'd think. When I played Jund I was getting over 50% against Tron. Basically you just need them to not get a nuts starting hand, and you can race them pretty effectively. It takes a lot of turns to windmill an Emrakul with that deck.

    As for your list, have you thought about running Lilianas in there? Geist is a huge problem against blue, as you've mentioned, and I'm not sure the amount of sacrifice effects you're currently running is going to cut it. Aside from that, Lily kills opposing Lilys, counts more or less as a win condition (and is relevant against Tron), and with as much card advantage as you're running, the +1 is actually going to be better for you than for opposing creature decks.

    But mainly, Geist.
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  19. #19

    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Ignition View Post
    As for your list, have you thought about running Lilianas in there?
    That's a good point. Just looking at the list, what would you suggest cutting for Liliana? I'm not a huge fan of tapping out (hence why I'm so interested in teachings) but that card definitely seems like it would carry its weight in a lot of matchups.

  20. #20

    Re: [Deck] UWB Teachings Control

    Having played Teachings a lot when Modern was fresh and new and Tron wasn't a deck, I don't think Liliana makes a lot of sense. Like Woremak said, you really don't want to tap out. The deck itself has 3 Mana Leaks, a Supreme Verdict, a Geth's Verdict, and a Consume the Meek, along with two flashy blockers in Snapcaster Mage. If you want more outs, I'd make them outs which continue on the axis that the deck is try to utilize.

    MD Thoughtseize or Inquisition, a second Verdict, or a singleton Tribute to Hunger seems more logical to me. Thoughtseize would be my choice, as it gives more game against decks that will likely be popular after the PT - Eggs, Storm, Jund (taking BBE out before Jund can cast it is the best way to deal with it) and you have a MD Extraction, but that's just me.

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