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Thread: [DTB] UWx Miracle Control

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    Predictor of Miracles
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    [DTB] UWx Miracle Control



    Who Could Have Predicted? An Unexpected Miracle: The Return of the King


    I. Overview
    II. History
    III. Card Choices
    IV. Sample Decklists
    V. Tips/Tricks
    VI. Closing Thoughts
    VII. Further Discussion


    I. Overview

    Miracles still lives! Miracle control has existed for quite some time, and has gone through numerous iterations since the printing of Terminus, up until April 24th, 2017, where the lynchpin of the deck, Sensei's Divining Top was banned. Since then, Miracle control has become a deck centered around the concept of card advantage, in the form of Predict and Jace, the Mind Sculptor alongside with tempo-recovery and enabling of Terminus. With the banning of Sensei's Divining Top, Miracle began to play more library manipulation effects; the most recent being Portent alongside the cantrip suite of Ponder and Brainstorm to manipulate the top cards of the library. It relies on a hard to answer win condition, namely Entreat the Angels and Monastery Mentor.

    All in all, Miracle Control has evolved since its lynchpin card got banned, and now exists within Legacy as a UW(x) control deck with many viable build paths, that seeks to 2-for-1 the opponent and take control of the game. With tools ranging from Snapcaster Mage to Terminus to Ponder to Counterspell, each card in the deck is a premium spell that has broad applications. With these qualities combined together, the Miracles pilot can sculpt the perfect hand with ease.

    DISCLAIMER: It should be noted, that this deck is not easy to play and requires a lot of time and effort to master. Because the deck presents the player with hundreds of options and lines, making the perfect decision becomes much harder, especially when the calculations begin factoring in future turns. However, if playing a powerful control role is your cup of tea, this is the deck for you.

    II. History

    Placeholder

    III. Card Choices

    Creatures:

    Snapcaster Mage: Any creature played in Miracles is played for its ability to disrupt the opponent and/or generate value. Snapcaster is the most common creature played in almost every Miracles variant. Considering the deck runs a good amount of cheap instants and sorceries the card is perfectly at home in this deck. While ideally used to flashback something, it is also perfectly fine to to use Snapcaster as an Ambush Viper when the game state warrants doing so, like when you want to get the pressure going early against a combo deck.

    Vendilion Clique: The second most common Miracles creature for the main deck. This card is not always featured in the main deck as Clique is hit-or-miss against fair decks. However, most lists run at least two in the sideboard for combo and control matchups. In a Delver heavy field this card is probably better left in the sideboard. If you expect more combo and blade decks though it might be better to have Clique in the main, depending on the rest of your deckís configuration. Cliques provides a lot of disruption, alongside a clock, which the deck sorely needs in some matchups.

    Monastery Mentor: A powerhouse card in the pre-ban iterations of Miracles, Monastery Mentor allows you to convert all of the "air" the deck contains, the cantrip cartel, and gain incremental advantage as the game goes on. Eventually it'll win the game, and FAST. The downsides of this card include requiring resources to commit to make it powerful, while also being a 3 mana 2/2 vanilla creature, so it is slow and inefficient up front. However, Miracle control contains a suite of spells that work very well with Monastery Mentor, and is probably the current best deck in Legacy to facilitate the existence of the card. It can play both offensively and defensively, but it needs resources.


    Spells:

    Brainstorm: Assuming you have played even a little legacy you have certainly come across the formatís most iconic card. With Brainstorm and fetchlands every deck gets to play magic at a more consistent rate than usually since inherent gameplay variance like mana flood, dead draws, and such are significantly mitigated against with Brainstorm and other cantrips. This legacy staple is particularly important in Miracles as sometimes hands get cluttered with uncastable Miracle cards that need to eventually be put back on top to become live again. In addition to helping the deck making clunky miracle cards live again, Brainstorm has two other essential functions. Since it is an instant speed cantrip, we can use it to trigger miracle cards on our opponentís turn.

    Ponder: Arguably the second best cantrip in the format, Ponder is a fantastic addition to the deckís arsenal of weapons. Much like Brainstorm, the card excels at mitigating gameplay variance and can be used to set up Miracle spells and chain cantrips.

    Portent: One of the cards exclusive to the post-ban iterations of Miracles, it's essentially a worse version of Ponder, but has the unique capability of setting up opponent-turn Miracle triggers. It also allows you to play around such effects as Leovold, Emissary of Trest which definitely is relevant in Legacy today.

    Predict: The lynchpin of this new iteration of Miracles, Predict is a very interesting card, and before the ban (and to some less extent, even now), polarized a lot of the Miracles and control community. Predict, at face value, is an instant speed draw two, but requires setup. Before the ban, the setup was relatively easy since you always were able to manipulate the top of your library with Top, Counterbalance, Jace, and cantrips, but it's a bit more difficult now. However, the card is extremely important because a control deck can never truly pull ahead if all it's doing is trading one-for-one. Predict is one of the only true 2-for-1 effects within Legacy, creating literal card advantage in a format that, strangely enough, is rather lacking. There is a lot of theory behind the card, and was quite dominant in the pre-ban iterations towards the end, but is now a critical piece of the deck. A means to pull ahead, a means to instant-speed a miracle, and a means to start a counterbattle on the opponent's end step are all quite powerful.

    I have a short primer on the card, pre-ban, located here.

    Force of Will: The card that holds the format together. Being able to stop combo decks on the play with your opening hand is vital. In a deck whose goal is to make land drop the chances you can hard cast this in the late game is reasonable enough. Not only necessary against combo decks but may also be necessary against decks with cards or angles of attack Miracles can have a hard time deal with. There will be many times you will be siding Force of Will out. However, Force of Will is one of the formatís most powerful and intricate tools available to blue decks. Donít auto-side it out in every fair MU just because it generates card disadvantage. Sometimes you need it so as to not die to cards like Aether Vial.

    Counterspell: Since we are a slow deck that seeks to go into the late game, it is important for us to have some hard counters in addition to Force of Will. Good olí Counterspell is our best option in that regard.

    Spell Pierce/Spell Snare/Flusterstorm: If you want to play more countermagic, you can play either of these or both in some combination, but they are quite narrow at times.

    Swords to Plowshares: Arguably the best removal spell in the format. It does not get more efficient than removing any creature for one mana and a card. Always play between three to four.

    Terminus: The removal spell to end all removal spells Ė Terminus. Released in Avacynís Restored, this card was a huge upgrade for UWx Control in Legacy for two major reasons. First, the card has a virtual CMC of 1 Ė this is the most efficient option available for the deck and a strict upgrade from its predecessor, Wrath of God. With all the selection and filtering present in the deck, accessing this cardís effect for the low cost of 1 mana is extremely easy to do. The low price of 1 mana also helps play around taxing counters like Spell Pierce and Daze. Second, the ďMiracleĒ trigger enables Terminus to be cast at instant speed. This allows the Miracles player to cast the removal spell at times more opportunistic, whether it be during the opponentís upkeep, end step, in response to a Brainstorm, or even after the opponent unsuspectedly deploys more creatures. Instant speed also means mana can be held up for counterspells instead. Terminus is also unique in that it gets around "dies" or destroy effects by putting creatures on the bottom of the library, which is almost always an upside compared to a lot of wrath effects. Without top, it's a lot less feasible to maintain the End Step miracle, but it's still completely powerful as a 1 mana draw step wrath, adding an unfair element to an otherwise fair control deck. Portent and Predict also enable it on the opponents turn, albeit at different times.

    Supreme Verdict: The other wrath the deck can play. While Terminus is more efficient, Verdict is always going to be reliable and doesn't necessarily rely on being "enabled." Verdict certainly has weaknesses: Requiring WW in the mana cost, as well as being 4 mana, make it difficult to align against any mana-taxing strategies like Death and Taxes and Delver w/ Stifles, and it also guaranteed to be a sorcery, making it hard to cast multiple spells in the same turn if you cast a 4 mana sorcery. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide if this sort of effect is something you're willing to play.

    Unexpectedly Absent: A new edition to the post-ban decklists, UA takes up what once had cards like Council's Judgment or Engineered Explosives, it started seeing play as an instant speed answer to troublesome resolved permanents. It also has some seemingly cute synergy with cards like Portent and Jace, the Mind Sculptor, as well as Predict. These interactions are far more powerful than they might first appear, and was a massive part of the first few iterations of the post-ban Miracles lists. Still played in many iterations, it creates a crux on turn 2 where the Miracles player could cast Counterspell, Predict, or UA, and creates a focal point for the opponent. Very powerful psychological factor as well.

    Engineered Explosives: Another anti-permanent answer card, EE is utilized very well in conjunction with Mentor, often generating 2-for-1 value while also acting as a powerful psuedo-sweeper. Played more in the Red or Black splash versions of the deck. Utilized heavily against Chalice of the Void decks, as well as
    any token or "wide" strategies such as Elves. An all around great, and sometimes hyper-efficient card.

    Council's Judgment: Was played a lot more often in the pre-ban iterations of Miracles, Council's Judgment is rather inefficient but has the higher upside of getting rid of pretty much any problematic nonland permanent. Excellent against True-Name Nemesis and Leovold, Emissary of Trest this card has the upside, when compared to UA and EE, always costing only 3 mana and having the ability to get rid of planeswalkers.

    Entreat the Angels: The other important Miracle card of this deck. While Entreat takes a good amount of setup, it helps this rather slow deck close out games quickly. This is the main reason that so many lists run Entreat as one of its win conditions still, and is resilient to any resource taxation, as well as being primarily uninteractable, outside of countermagic.


    Planeswalkers:

    Jace, the Mind Sculptor: Needing no introduction, Jace, the Mind Sculptor is one of, if not, the most powerful planeswalkers in all of Magic: The Gathering. Considered ďbetter than allĒ, each of Jaceís four abilities are extremely relevant to the Miracles game plan. First and foremost, Jaceís value comes from the fact that he is a card advantage engine that doubles as a win condition. Jaceís Brainstorm ability is disproportionately powerful in Miracles than in other decks because it has the added benefit of resetting uncastable miracles. Additionally, since the deck has such concentrated raw power, each Jace Brainstorm pushes you forward by a huge amount, making it all the easier to drown the opponent out. The ultimate is also a realistic win condition that closes games quite frequently. However, this typically occurs once the game state has been locked down. As a control deck, the ideal deckbuilding scenario is one where there are as few win conditions as possible, as win conditions donít always contribute to the deckís primary game plan. So, that Jace is a win condition that forwards our plan and more makes it easily overqualified for slots in the list. The other two abilities of Jace are also amazing. Fate sealing (the +2 ability) is fantastic in that it allows you to disrupt your opponentís draws while filtering your own. In conjunction with the cantrip suite, fate sealing yourself allows you to blaze through your deck at the same speed as Brainstorming each turn Ė the tradeoff here is sacrificing card advantage for a means to close the game, which can be correct in certain situations. Fate sealing the opponent deflects cards they might draw that canít be easily handled. Lastly, the Unsummon effect on this planeswalker is relevant in that it is a pseudo creature removal spell that buys time to stabilize. For example, using the -1 ability on an Insectile Aberration is great since the opponent must now recast the Delver of Secrets AND have it flip, while also eventually buying back your own Snapcaster Mages in order to generate additional value. Jaceís only real downside is that it costs a whopping four mana, which sometimes is difficult to cast in a format like Legacy.

    Gideon, Ally of Zendikar: A walker that saw play in some small spots pre-ban, it's started to see a lot more testing in the post ban world. Gideon is unique because it cannot get bolted, isn't blue so it can't get pyroblasted, and costs more than 3 mana so it cannot get decayed, or killed byFatal Push for a multitude of reasons, Gideon excels at any fair matchup because it's extremely difficult to kill and will quickly create a dominant board presence. While still on the level of "fringe," Gideon is very powerful as the format continues to get more and more fair.


    Utility Lands:

    Karakas: Karakas is a strong utility land in Legacy, having wide applications across various matchups. Great against Leovold (sometimes), and other legendary creatures like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Griselbrand, and Iona, Shield of Emeria. Karakas is also very useful alongside your own legendary creatures, such as Venser, Shaper Savant as well as the aforementioned Vendilion Clique to create a sort of "lock" on the opponent and win via your value threats. There is, however, a cost associated with the inclusion of Karakas is that it is, at worst, a white source that gets wastelanded, but also doesn't tap for blue mana. Because Miracles is rather mana-color intensive, not all Miracles builds can facilitate the inclusion of it. To this end, Karakas is often only played in the UW versions of neo-Miracles, as the manabase in the splash variants is difficult to keep consistent while also playing Karakas.


    Common Sideboard Choices:

    Pyroblast/Red Elemental Blast: There are (arguably) two reasons to be splashing Red in neo-Miracles, and access to sideboard Blasts is one of them. The blasts excel at opposing blue strategies and opposing card advantage battles, namely any deck that utilizes Snapcaster Mage, True-Name Nemesis, Leovold, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. A one mana counterspell for all of these effects, the card is extremely powerful and can be utilized extremely well with your own Snapcaster mages to break open blue mirror matches.

    Blood Moon: The other reason for most people to consider playing the red splash, Blood Moon is very polarizing and powerful in a bevy of matchups. Since our own fetchlands are a lot less powerful without Top in the deck, it's less of a detriment to shut them off, so Blood Moon seems more appealing. Used to shut down popular strategies such as 4c Leovold decks or Lands, Blood Moon is often a meta-dependent card and can sometimes be, simultaneously, the least sideboarded card AND the most powerful card in your sideboard.

    Back to Basics: If you're not playing red and still would like a lot of what Blood Moon does, Back to Basics is both a good replacement, but also sometimes an upgrade! The weakness in comparison to Blood Moon is that it allows the opponent to continue making land drops and cast spells, but Back to Basics doesn't ever really mess with your own mana, and still turns on fetchlands. Often sharing the same effect, there are a few cases where one is better than the other, but definitely a strong consideration when building a sideboard.

    Flusterstorm: One of the sideboard counterspells of choice for most Miracle pilots. Usually played as a two or three-of. Usually brought in against any combo deck, Delver decks with Stifle, and the Mirror. Extremely powerful alongside Snapcaster Mage as well, but kind of a pain to resolve correctly on MTGO! Beware!

    Surgical Extraction: The premium choice for graveyard hate for Miracles, due to it being "free," and not interfering with Snapcaster Mage's graveyard abilities. Since one of the premiere decks of the format is RB Reanimator, having a free form of disruption is extremely critical, and Surgical just does everything the deck wants to be doing against opposing graveyards.

    Disenchant/Wear//Tear: Referred to as an anti-annoying card, these cards were often grouped together and played based on your mana considerations. If you had a glut of red, and perhaps a mountain, Wear//Tear was often played because of its fuse upside, while Disenchant has no such requirement and is able to be played solely off of white mana. You see less copies of these cards than you used to, mainly because most decklists have access to main deck ways to interact with the cards you're normally using this on, Unexpectedly Absent. That being said, if lists move away from UA, then they will also be forced to add more copies of these in their sideboards.

    Pithing Needle: Generic hate. Mainly used for Sneak attack, Mother of Runes, Thespian's Stage, Aether Vial, Equipment, with many many other applications.

    Izzet Staticaster/Pyroclasm/Kozilek's Return: An additional red-based anti-creature effect, which one you use is often based on which matchup you want to target, while maintain\ing ancillary effectiveness against other decks. For example, Staticaster shines vs something like Infect and Elves, while still maintaining utility against Grixis Pyromancer/Delver and a slew of other decks, as it is a source of persistent removal. The one-of effects, Pyroclasm/Kozilek's Return, are primarily impressive when against a lot of x-2 decks, since they can kill both Young Pyromancer AND Deathrite Shama in one swoop. If you play these effects, these considerations are very important to make.

    Ethersworn Canonist: A card that only saw fringe play before the ban, this card/effect is rather important now since neo-Miracles is not able to lean on Counterbalance against the slew of combo decks that Legacy has to offer. Canonist is an anti-storm card, that you utilize against combo decks to primarily protect the Queen and hose them. While it has some dyssynergy alongside Snapcaster Mage, the power level of what it has to offer is often worth it alone.

    Leyline of Sanctity: A somewhat strange inclusion, at first glance, some lists have shifted away from Canonist as storm players begin to play more answers to the card, and towards Leyline which is often just as powerful, while less of a clock. Leyline offers some utility against Burn, as well as the Twirl/Lejay Grixis Pyromancer deck that attacks Miracles's hands. Definitely a strong consideration if you want to maintain your game plan without disruption against these decks.

    Containment Priest: Always a mainstay consideration in any white deck in Legacy, Containment Priest is very good at what it does. Hosing Show and Tell decks, as well as reanimation strategies and creature tutor strategies (Green Sun's Zenith and Natural Order), Containment Priest is quite powerful at accomplishing what you need her to do. Being 2 mana, however, requires that you play her alongside other cheaper, more efficient effects, and protect her as best as you can.


    IV. Sample Decklists

    Stefano Garcia's Soothsaying Miracles:

    3 Counterbalance
    2 soothsaying
    3 monastery mentor
    3 Snapcaster mage
    2 jace, the Mind Sculptor
    3 swords to Plowshares
    4 Terminus
    1 Engineered Explosives
    1 Council's judgment
    2 Counterspell
    4 Force of will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 ponder
    2 predict
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Flooded Strand
    1 Arid mesa
    2 tundra
    3 Volcanic Island
    4 Island
    2 Plains

    Sb:
    2 blood moon
    1 Counterbalance
    2 wear / tear
    1 Izzet staticaster
    2 surgical extraction
    1 containment priest
    3 Flusterstorm
    2 Pyroblast
    1 Red Elemental blast

    Anuraag Das's Miracles from QFP: Black Lotus Event:

    1 Arid Mesa
    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Island
    2 Plains
    4 Scalding Tarn
    3 Tundra
    2 Volcanic Island
    3 Snapcaster Mage
    4 Brainstorm
    1 Council's Judgment
    1 Counterspell
    1 Entreat the Angels
    4 Force of Will
    4 Ponder
    3 Portent
    3 Predict
    1 Supreme Verdict
    3 Swords to Plowshares
    3 Terminus
    1 Unexpectedly Absent
    3 Counterbalance
    3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    2 Search for Azcanta


    1 Disenchant
    1 Engineered Explosives
    1 Entreat the Angels
    3 Flusterstorm
    3 Pyroblast
    1 Snapcaster Mage
    2 Supreme Verdict
    3 Surgical Extraction

    Nicklas Lallo's Miracles:

    3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    3 Snapcaster Mage
    1 Entreat the Angels
    4 Ponder
    3 Portent
    1 Supreme Verdict
    4 Terminus
    4 Brainstorm
    1 Counterspell
    4 Force of Will
    3 Predict
    3 Swords to Plowshares
    1 Unexpectedly Absent
    3 Counterbalance
    2 Search for Azcanta
    2 Arid Mesa
    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Island
    2 Plains
    2 Scalding Tarn
    3 Tundra
    3 Volcanic Island


    1 Council's Judgment
    1 Disenchant
    1 Engineered Explosives
    3 Flusterstorm
    1 From the Ashes
    1 Monastery Mentor
    1 Null Rod
    3 Pyroblast
    1 Red Elemental Blast
    2 Surgical Extraction

    Callum Smith's Miracles:
    3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    3 Snapcaster Mage
    1 Council's Judgment
    2 Entreat the Angels
    4 Ponder
    3 Portent
    4 Terminus
    4 Brainstorm
    2 Counterspell
    4 Force of Will
    2 Predict
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    2 Counterbalance
    2 Search for Azcanta
    1 Arid Mesa
    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Island
    1 Misty Rainforest
    2 Plains
    1 Polluted Delta
    1 Scalding Tarn
    3 Tundra
    3 Volcanic Island


    1 Council's Judgment
    1 Counterbalance
    1 Disenchant
    3 Flusterstorm
    2 Monastery Mentor
    2 Pyroblast
    1 Red Elemental Blast
    3 Surgical Extraction
    1 Vendilion Clique

    V. Tips and Tricks
    1. When playing against Wasteland Decks, and you have a fetch and a Predict you've set up, you can fetch, hold priority, cast Predict, to play around your opponents ability to "get you" via wastelanding your fetch land.


    VI. Closing Thoughts
    Miracle Control continues to exist in Legacy, as a staple of the format. A natural gravitation towards anyone that played the old deck, its strengths and weaknesses are bit more polarized. I believe that this deck is here to stay and definitely deserves both respect and consideration when considering any Legacy tournament you might play in today.

    Special thanks to Anuraag Das, Callum Smith, Marcus Ewaldh, Nicklas Lallo, Anders Thiesen, Angelo Cadei and the rest of the Miracles cabal on helping both put Miracles back on the map in a post-Top world, as well as the work on this primer! Special thanks to Anthony DeLorenzi for the formatting and notation assistance!

    VII. Further Discussion

    The Miracles Discord Server is a good place to chat with other miracles enthusiasts:https://discord.gg/erDdV5a
    The article by PV called Countering Spells: https://www.channelfireball.com/arti...tering-spells/
    The article by Nick Spagnolo called Casting Blue Spells: http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/article.asp?ID=9237
    The article by Reid Duke called Control decks: https://magic.wizards.com/en/article...cks-2014-10-06
    The article by PV called Reducing Variance: https://www.channelfireball.com/home...cing-variance/
    The article by PV called Technical Play: https://www.channelfireball.com/home...echnical-play/
    The article by Mike Flores called Whoís the beatdown: http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/f..._Beatdown.html
    The follow up article by Zvi Mowshowitz called: Whoís The Beatdown II: Multitasking: http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/print.asp?ID=2754
    The article by Reid Duke called Thoughtseize you: http://www.starcitygames.com/article...seize-You.html
    The article by Chad Ellis called The Danger of Cool Things: http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/f...ol_Things.html
    Last edited by Minniehajj; 06-04-2018 at 09:44 AM.
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  2. #2
    Predictor of Miracles
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    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    Miracles FAQ And Deckbuilding Rant by Nicklas Lallo (ItIsUnfair)
    Source Google Doc for suggesting:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

    Mountain
    The reasons to play with a basic mountain are in my opinion 2: Either, because you play with From the Ashes (FTA) and never want to end up with 0 red sources left in your deck. Or, more commonly, because you want to board in a significant number of red cards (especially sorcery speed cards) against decks with wasteland and possibly Life from the Loam. So what does that actually mean?
    If you want to play pyroclasm against d&t you should probably have a mountain. But it is also possible to play with 3 Volcanics.
    If there is a very common matchup with 4 wastelands where you need to board in all your blasts and possibly more red cards you should probably play a mountain.
    What do I recommend? Right now, I would not play a basic mountain, the reason is that right now the main blue decks that you want blasts against are all playing either 0 wastelands, or very few. Go back like 1 year from now when Shardless was the main BUG deck (before Leovold essentially) that we really needed blasts against (Ancestral+Jace) but who also often had up to 4 wasteland, mountain especially out of the sideboard, was very common and it made sense. But now the meta is different. Stoneblade decks that play wasteland are less common (they usually opt to splash a 4th color instead (bant+Leovold)), and the same is true with the BUG decks, now they play 4 colors for Leovold+red, and canít fit any wasteland or only very few, so there is less reason to play mountain there. The other main blast matchups are largely unchanged, namely things like the mirror and show & tell decks. One reason to play mountain would be if you really really want a high number of blasts against the delver decks, but I donít think that is necessary right now, maybe that could change if they started playing like 4 TNN in the future though.

    3rd Volcanic
    The 3rd volcanic is often seen in lists that have multiple red cards, but no basic mountain (Assuming for the moment that 2 volcanics are the norm). I donít think this is necessary if your only red cards are 3 blasts and nothing else, especially since shardless is so rare now a days (more or less replaced by a similar deck without wastelands). But if you decide to play more red cards, like 4 blast, 2 wear//tear, maybe a blood moon, then yeah, I would certainly advise that you add a 3rd volcanic. The mana base of 3 Volcanics 3 Tundras, 4 islands, 2 plains, 8 fetches is one of the most common ones right now. A 9th fetch is always nice with all our cantrips, cb, azcanta, etc, but it will require you to sacrifice something else, such as maybe this volcanic (if you have few red cards), the 3rd tundra (if you have few double white cards) or the 4th basic island. Or of course, if you play 21 lands (at which point the sideboard basic mountain is one of the most common solutions instead). So, if you have more red cards than only 3 blasts I like playing the volcanic, but if you only splash for those 3 and nothing else you are probably better of with another fetch instead of the 3rd volcanic.

    Sweepers
    The best sweeper is really Terminus. It is one of the main reasons why this deck is viable at all. We have access to some of the best removal in all of legacy in both Terminus and Swords to Plowshares. But there is always a small argument for splitting your removal into different cards, cards like Sanctum Prelate, Stifle, Meddling Mage, or Gaddock Teeg, all gets much worse if we have varied our removal suite. I would argue that Supreme Verdict is a good 1:of right now, and so is possibly Pyroclasm, Kozilekís Return, and EE. Letís talk shortly about each one:
    Verdict is the most expensive at 4 mana, but it does work against almost everything: Delver, elves, d&t and eldrazi. The main disadvantages of verdict are: Rishadan Port can easily stop it if they have a good read on you; Doesnít work against Teeg decks; Is so costly so you can rarely play both SV and another spell during the same turn. The last one is probably the biggest, since it is one of the main reasons why Terminus is so good, we win a lot of games against creature deck by untapping, drawing and casting terminus, and then landing a proactive value card on an empty board, such as Jace the Mind Sculptor.
    Pyroclasm is really nicely costed to deal with cards like thalia or empty the warrens tokens. I would argue against playing with it unless you play a basic mountain though, but more about that in the d&t section.
    Kozilekís Return The instant speed makes this a real blowout against decks like elves and any stoneforge mystic decks. The main disadvantage with both this and pyroclasm is that they donít kill everything. Namely eldrazi decks completely ignore these cards, but also most BUG decks right now have too many cards that survive, like Gurmag Angler, Leovold, True-Name Nemesis. So if you do decide to play with these right now it is almost only for decks that have Stoneforge Mystic, Empty the Warrens, or Elves. Another big reason to play with these two red sweepers is Monastery Mentor, if you play a deck with 3 or 4 Mentors I think these gain a lot of value again, since you can still use it with Mentor out compared to Supreme Verdict or Terminus. Another common reason to play this over Pyroclasm is against Death & Taxes, since it gets around the protection from red out of Mother of Runes, and you canít get ported out of red.
    EE is a good catch all answer, the main reason to play it is really that it can function as both a sweeper and as a disenchant effect, even though the sweeper part is only true against very low curve decks or against any token strategies. It is really nice to be able to board out all your terminus against storm, but the card is not really a reliable sweeper against many other decks. If the delver decks go back to RUG (with nimble mongoose) again then EE gains a ton of value once more, but now that they are mainly grixis with stifle it is not at its best. I still like playing the 1:of EE, but the 2:nd copy that was common last year has lost a lot of its appeal. EE also works great with Monastery Mentor, as you can usually cast it cheaply (1 or even 0 mana) in order to gain as many triggers from mentor as possible the same turn you played it just to trigger mentor, and then potentially blow it up later.

    Counterbalance
    So even though we can no longer establish the classic and dreaded Top+CB lock counterbalance still shows up in some decklists, why you may ask? Well there are a few reasons, Iíll try to outline them here:
    Against decks like storm we could really use this effect g1, and no matter what cmc is on top it is almost always relevant. Especially since we have so many dead cards in the main deck in this matchup we canít really attempt to grind them out with cantrip for more and more counterspells anyways.
    This type of effect is very useful in the deck, and it is somewhat disconnected to the frequency of successful flips strangely enough. You see, we need some kind of card in the deck, that incentivizes the opponent to stop slow rolling creatures, every turn they should be faced with the decision to either play all their creatures and lose to Terminus, or slowroll their creatures and get punished by this card. That card can be anything, but it should preferably be a permanent that generates card advantage over time, something that is difficult to remove, and that canít be ignored. Jace serves this function to a certain degree, but it is still a 4 drop so it can easily get say spell pierced or dazed, and also we canít play that many copies. I mention this a bit more in the section ďNumber of Proactive vs Reactive cardsĒ. Another card that can have a similar purpose for us here is actually Search for Azcanta, the discussion about if that card is good or not I wonít try to take here though. But it is worth considering that some number of cards with this type of effect are almost assuredly necessary in order to make a good miracles deck, it is mostly a question about finding what cards do it the best. If we donít have this, good players can easily figure out a strategy that abuses our weaknesses (like never allowing terminus to kill multiple creatures).
    Even without top we have a fairly high percentage to counter a spell with this deck and that is still powerful. Also the true hard lock of top+cb and floating 2 common cmcs on top forever was surprisingly often a win-more scenario, and it turns out that just winning is enough. Sure, Iím not trying to say that the card hasnít gotten worse than it was pre ban, but it is still a powerful effect together with all our cantrips.
    Iím not trying to say that you must play Counterbalance. There are still a number of problems with the card, like if you cast it and then miss all the flips it obviously wasnít worth it. Iím just trying to explain the reasons why someone might play it, and what function it serves in the deck. If you think the cardís power level is too low I recommend you to find other cards that can fill this role and solve the problems we otherwise use CB for, cards such as Ethersworn Canonist against storm decks post board.

    Unexpectedly Absent
    This card is a bit weird. In my eyes it works best together with Predict, and Portent. Firstly it should be noted that UA was first introduced into miracles right after the ban of top, when we were experimenting with the lists and found that the sideboard map didnít work out like we wanted it. At that time UA was first added as a card that you could play multiples in the main deck in order to cut disenchant effects from the sideboard (before this it was common to use 3-4 slots in the sideboard for cards like Disenchant, Wear//Tear, EE, and CJ).

    The main deck UA was included as a card that could both act as a cheap and good catch all answer (CJ is 3 mana and sorcery speed, urgh), but also as another way to setup predict. Around this time we were playing a deck that had just cut all its counterbalances and wanted other ways to generate card advantage and stop combo decks. So we added extra predicts (up to 4 copies) for the card advantage engine, and also added extra Counterspell (up to 3 or 4 copies) for the anti combo, now since we had just added 7-8 new instants, we really wanted our removal to also be instant speed so that we could have all the flexibility and hold up predict/CS/UA/snapcaster at all times. Maybe this story won't help you much in deckbuilding though, so here are some tips:
    If you play UA you need some other good answer for TNN since UA canít get it (compared to CJ).
    If you play UA you need a significant number of white sources (since it costs WWX).
    If you play UA you need a significant number of ways to manipulate your opponent's library. Sometimes it is fine to cast UA for 0, and then have them re-play their card next turn, this is mostly against Chalice of the Void (CotV) since it gives you a 1 turn window to cast all your stranded cantrips which is often enough, or against big cards that are bad tempo (like if you have a mentor out and they cast keranos or batterskull then UA=0 will usually be enough to win). But most of the time you donít want them to redraw the card, or you at least want the option to stop it, since you canít always hope for them to fetch at an opportune moment. I wouldnít play UA without at least 5 -non jace- cards that interact with my opponent's library, primarily Predict & Portent.

    Disenchant
    So, this is obvious to most of you, but you need some kind of disenchant effect, cards like Chalice of the Void exist in legacy. The reason why we often play the card Disenchant instead of say Councilís Judgment or Wear//tear are these:
    CJ - Disenchant is an instant, it makes a huge difference against some decks, namely Stoneforge Mystic decks. It also costs less mana. Against these decks you have enough creature removal as it is, so if you know that all you need is artifact removal in those situations then this is much better. Instant speed makes a big difference since it allows blowouts when they want to use their equipments, but also because it allows you to hold up Counterspell. The extra mana also is huge, it is 50% more mana after all, but specifically when you want to try to snapcaster it it matters a lot. Also, against certain sideboard cards from the opponents it once again makes a huge difference if it is an instant and cheap, the most notable example is Choke.
    Wear//Tear - Wear//Tear is a more powerful version of Disenchant for the same or less mana, so why would you play Disenchant? The reason comes down to fetching mainly, and secondly to the basic mountain again. If you are not going to board in any other red cards against a deck, say D&T, RG Lands, or Eldrazi, than your Wear//Tear, then fetching gets really weird, since you will often have to preemptively fetch out your volcanics just so that if you later draw a Wear//Tear you can cast it, but that has some obvious downsides. So I would say that if you have enough other red cards so that you would be boarding in more than just Wear//Tear in these non blast wasteland matchups then you should play Wear//Tear over Disenchant since you will be fetching red sources anyways, but not otherwise. Also, trying to split 1, 1 between these two makes little sense, donít do it.

    2nd Arid Mesa vs extra blue fetch
    The second Arid Mesa gives you more white fetches obviously. I would argue that you should play this if:
    If you play Blood Moon or Back to Basics in your sideboard it is very important to have find both a fetch for basic plains and a fetch for basic island in the first 3 turns, so it would make sense to skew your fetches slightly closer to 50-50.
    If you play a high number of WW cards (Other than Terminus) as well as 2 or 3 basic plains. For example if you main deck 3 or more cards that all cost WW (CJ, UA, Gideon, Entreat) I would also want more white fetches. In these decks you usually want to have on turn 4: Plains, Plains, Island, Island. So it makes sense to once again skew your fetches slightly closer to 50-50 blue & white. You still want slightly more blue fetches though, since cards like ponder can filter your draws as long as you have found the first basic island.
    If you play with a basic mountain. If you play with a basic mountain you should really try to get all 10 fetches (4 Strand, 4 Tarn, 2 Mesa) if possible. But in these cases it is not so much about cutting any other blue fetches.
    I would not play the 2:nd Arid mesa if I didnít have any WW cards (The builds with Mentor+EE and only 1 basic plains) since you donít need to draw white fetches as often, and also because these lists sometimes have so few targets for mesa that you could run out of them very early.

    Flash VS Slam
    Decide on your gameplan in each matchup. Can you play completely reactively, do you have the best answers and enough of them? The whole thing about ďwhoís the beatdownĒ, this is especially important in the mirror, because in most other matchups we are obviously the more controlling deck (any creature deck), or at least the more reactive one (combo), but in the mirror that is only true for one of the two players. Of course this all goes back and forth depending on what kind of hand you draw, but you should also keep this in mind when building the decklist. For example:
    If you are playing straight UW, with few predicts and no blasts, and you are playing against a heavy blue deck, say the mirror, then you are most likely going to see the best results by just repeatedly slamming threats, curve out that turn 2 CB, t3 Mentor, t4 Jace. Yeah it is stupid and not at all elegant, but you canít play the draw go game against someone with better EoT plays and better late game counterspells.
    If you are playing a high number of Flusterstorms you should probably be more aggressively slamming stuff in all matchups in general, compared to if you had more CS. Flusterstorm is great at making sure your mentors resolve, and also easy to leave up mana for while also casting other spells (like Search).
    If you think it is best to play the ďflashĒ playstyle, that is, not making any decisions until after your opponent has had their turn, and then use your mana in their EoT. Then you need to add additional plays for their EoT in your decklist, 4th snapcaster, extra predicts, extra Cliques, maybe Venser, stuff like that. You should also have more countermagic in general.
    No matter what playstyle you believe is best in the current meta you need to understand that these are just small deviations from the norm. You will still need some powerful sorcery speed threats to play in the ďflashĒ decklists, stuff like CB maybe, or Mentors, stuff that punishes people who donít respect you but instead tap out during their turn all the time. And the same is true the other way, even if you jam your deck full of curve out powerful shit like mentors and Search for Azcanta, you still need to be able to play the instant speed game fairly well if the matchup demands it, for example when you play against Sneak & Show or other combo decks it is probably stupid to tap out for a mentor on turn 3 when you could keep a Counterspell up.

    Number of Proactive vs Reactive cards
    So I already explained a little bit about why you need both of these things. But to expand upon that, in some matchups it is really important that you can play one of these, and in others it is really powerful to be able to play the other. For example against an eldrazi stompy deck with a cavern of souls in play you would probably do much better to just play more in sorcery speed, since you usually get much more payoff for each mana invested in those cards. So the thing it really comes down to is adapting. And in order to adapt youíll need to make sure you can map your sideboard. You need to have a mix of both proactive and reactive cards in your sideboard, and roughly enough so that you can swap out proactive cards in the main deck against reactive ones from the sideboard when you just need to be all reactive (for example against belcher) and the same is true the other way around, if your opponent is playing something super duper fair like Nic Fit you just really need that each card in your deck pack as much of a punch as possible, you know exactly what theyíll do each turn, so you just need to be able to deal with it. A good thing is that our cantrips let us draw the correct cards for each situation, to a certain extent, so even a fairly small number of ďperfectĒ cards can make a big difference. In general I would try to have at least like 6 proactive cards in the main deck, stuff that people canít ignore, that forces them to react to you and not the other way around. This includes: Search, CB, Mentor, Jace, Gideon, Entreat. I would also try to not only have reactive cards in the sideboard, even though they usually make up the majority of the sideboard.

    Good rules of thumb
    When building my deck I use a lot of shortcuts. This is because we have in the past tried a lot of stuff, and we now know that certain numbers are incorrect, and can get ignored, and that other are correct (or approximately so). These are my rules:
    4 Answers to CotV. I see a lot of lists that seem to pick their sideboard cards randomly, but the truth is that the sideboard numbers are very much connected to the main deck cards. It it somewhat fine to go down to 3 of these, especially if you play Spell Snare. But in general I think 4 has proven to be very good. And what I mean by this is that if you want to beat for example Eldrazi Stompy, then you almost always benefit more from the 4th disenchant effect before any land hate effects. But more on that later. The short thing is, donít be greedy and skip these. Donít play only 2 of them and believe that you will be fine since you have force of will.
    White sources. If I play with at least 4 cards that cost WW (other than terminus) such as Entreat the Angels, then I want 5 White sources (usually 3 Tundra 2 Basic plains). But if I play with no WW cards in the main deck and only 1-2 in the sideboard then I can go down to 4 such lands (2+2 or 3+1). I would not go down to only 3 lands that produce white mana in any list, and also not up to 6. These numbers are well tested and work.
    Basics. I always want at least 4 Basic island, and never more than 6 (possible in builds without red). If I play Entreat I want at least 2 Basic Plains, if I play only mentors 1 is possible. 3 Basic Plains is possible in some Back to Basics builds but I wouldnít play it at only 20 lands.
    Number of lands. 20 Lands is the norm today. At least in the builds with 2-3 Jace & 2 Entreat. In the past we have experimented with this a lot. We saw decks with 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, or even 23 lands. The short answer here is to only differ from the 20 Land norm if you make the corresponding changes to your curve, for example if you play 3-4 mentors, no Jace or other 4 drops, no Entreat, no CJ, then you can probably play only 18 lands, especially if you have a sideboard mountain. The same is true from the other direction, say you want to play more than 5 cards that cost 4 or more (like 4 Jace + 2 ETA, or 2 Jace, 2 Gideon, 2 Nahiri, or any Future Sight builds), then you should probably play a 21st land.
    1 plan B in the sideboard. This is obvious and most people do it already, for example if you have ETA in the main it is usually a good idea to have mentors in the sideboard so that you donít get too predictable, but I wouldnít go too deep on this because that would only be wasting sideboard slots. Even just 1 slot in the sideboard is enough. For example most of the lists with Mentor in the main have either 1 EtA, 1 Gideon, or 2 Cliques in their sideboard now a days.
    I want at least 18 lands that can produce blue mana, including fetches. So that means that if I want to add a 3rd plains I go up to 21, same with Karakas, Cavern of Souls, or basic Mountain. There are some exceptions, for example if I play with way fewer UU cards (fewer CS, fewer snapcaster/Cliques and no CB) I can go down to 17. But you have to understand that every time your first 3 lands include 2 non blue lands it is awful and most of your turns will just be ponder go. And also that when regarding whether to keep or mull you always need at least 1 blue land. Now that you donít even have top as a colorless cantrip there is almost no opening hand without blue that is keepeable.
    If you play blasts I like at least 2 volcanics, I have tried 1 volc 1 basic mountain multiple times but it will bite you so I donít like it. The most common scenarios where this backfire is either when you have a basic mountain in your opening hand (urgh), or if you have drawn the volcanic and you tap the volcanic to play something, say ponder, brainstorm, or CB, and then play a Flooded Strand, you obviously didnít want to crack the fetch before the spell, you might have even found the fetch of the cantrip, but you are also unable to blast something this turn, this comes up a lot in my experience.

    Answers to Chalice
    You need them. I aim to play 4 of these. If you play less than 4 you should ask yourself if you have compensated for that in some other way or if you just want to gamble and hope not to play against CotV (bad idea). Of course Chalice is not the only non land non creature permanent that you need to answer, but if you have this one in mind primarily you will usually end up with sufficient numbers for most other things (It turns out Disenchant can also kill Pithing Needle & Food Chain for example).

    Splitting your answers
    This is a fairly common thing for control decks, and Miracles is by no means the first deck to do it. The basic idea is that you want as much flexibility as possible, even if that means you wonít always have the most copies of the most mana efficient card at all times. It really boils down to the idea that you would rather draw 1 each of A & B instead of 2 copies of either one, because at least for the first card the opponent casts that you need to deal with, you will have as much flexibility as possible. For example the split of 1 EE 1 CJ has been very common in miracles for quite a while, because both cards have their distinct advantages and disadvantages it is very difficult to evaluate which really is better, and to a certain degree it doesnít matter, even if you find that say EE is better by some sliver of a percentage in the average case, then youíll still get into a number of situations where EE canít get you out but CJ could, and then just having the ability to draw CJ is very important, especially with the high number of cantrips and card selection this deck offers. The same thing is also true for other answers, youíll see people who add Supreme Verdict to their deck even if they only have 3 Terminus. Or people who play 2 Flusterstorm 1 Spell Snare 1 Spell Pierce. This idea really gets amplified by the fact that we have snapcaster in the deck as well. Because when you draw your Snapcaster Mage in the mid to late game and look down at your graveyard to see what options you have, then it doesnít matter if there is a 2nd or 3rd copy of any card there, the thing that matters is how many different 1st copies you can find.

    Pyroblast & REB
    The idea behind the split is that you dodge cards like: Surgical Extraction, Meddling Mage, Cabal Therapy, and possibly others. The interaction with Misdirection isnít really a relevant thing when determining which one to play, but it could theoretically come up when you play. However if you play with a very high number of Monastery Mentors in your deck it might be worth considering ignoring the split and just play pyroblast, since it can always unconditionally provide you with a prowess trigger for lethal even if there are no blue targets around. All these things are very small percentages of course, so it largely doesnít matter. It is kind of at the same idea as having the same art for each basic land of the same kind so that the opponent canít figure out how many copies of each you play.

    Karakas
    Ok, Karakas is cool, I get it, you can do some nice stuff with clique & venser, but do you need it? Well, it turns out that no, not really, Miracles has in the past been able to put up some really impressive results even without Karakas. Anyhow, hereís my thoughts in a list:
    Karakas can act like a 5th white source in a deck that needs it.
    Karakas should never be played in a list without Clique.
    Karakas is very good in a few matchups such as Show & Tell decks or Reanimator decks. If you are playing a list with 1-2 Karakas you can possibly go down a little bit in sideboard cards against those decks (-1 Containment Priest for example).
    If you play Karakas you probably want at least 3 legendary creatures.
    Karakas is almost always too greedy in a 3 color build. You already have enough other requirements from your mana base to fit a karakas here. It is possible but I would advise against it. Double so if you are thinking about playing with a basic mountain.
    Karakas is usually really awkward in a straight UW build. One of the main reasons to play without the red splash is that you can blank wastelands in order to gain virtual card advantage much more often, and also that you can get to play with multiple copies of Back to Basics, neither of these two things work very well with karakas.

    Mentor
    Mentor could require an entire FAQ of its own. But here are some short things:
    If you play main deck mentor you want more cantrips. You want to be able to chain spells into more spells in order to trigger it efficiently. I would play at least 13 cheap cantrips (usually: ponder, portent, brainstorm, predict).
    If you play main deck mentor you want your other non creature cards to cost less mana, for example CB/Search > Jace, or EE > CJ, so that you can more easily play one of them during the same turn that you play mentor.
    If you play sideboard mentors the above things are not quite as important, but you should still keep them in mind while sideboarding (if you board in mentor donít board out predicts for example).
    The threat of mentor forces many decks to keep in removal against you. Donít let your opponent know if you have the mentors in your sideboard or not. This is not really a thing on mtgo but in paper you should not give away free information.
    Main deck mentors require you to play more ways to stop certain removal spells from resolving, for example in a ETA list you can play more removal and fewer counterspells, and your counterspells can include stuff like Spell Snare that hits very few common removal spells, but a lot of other stuff. If you play Mentor instead you gain more from playing counterbalance or flusterstorm, and can at the same time cut a little removal (usually the 4th terminus) since mentor provides you with another way to control the board.
    Main deck mentors benefit from more tempo-oriented cards. Cards that can trade up in mana get much better if you have 3-4 mentors, mentor provides you with a way to take over the game while your opponent still has spells in hand that they didnít have time to gain value from (inf value from life from the loam engines comes to mind as an obvious example), here we have stuff like: Force (donít board it out as much), daze, UA, Flusterstorm. But we also try to avoid stuff that trades down in mana since our hands could otherwise get very clogged up with 3 and 4 drops, so slightly fewer copies of: Jace, Supreme Verdict, CJ.

    Number of Wincons
    You are a control deck, you only want to spend the absolute minimum number of slots on something as unimportant as winning the game. But unfortunately you need stuff here. I really try to not play more than 3-4 white wincons + jaces. You can add more stuff (2 entreat + 4 mentor + gideon) of course, but there are some seriously diminishing returns, at least if you still want to play a UW control deck, if you believe that it is better to play more midrange, I would recommend you just play stoneblade or esper mentor, or if you dare, my sweet mentor 16 cantrips deck: http://mtgtop8.com/event?e=15948&d=298167&f=LE .

    Backup plans
    You probably want one. If you only play say 4 Mentor main deck and nothing else in the 75, it is easy to get hated out, but if you just have that 1 entreat in the sideboard for example, you can laugh at your delver opponent when they play a Dread of Night. The same is true the other way around, if you only have Entreat you will get shit on in the mirror when your opponent boarded in 4 Flusterstorms and 3 mentors.

    Why are you playing Clique
    Against combo decks such as Storm or Sneak & Show you eventually need to kill them, you can try to just have infinite card advantage and it works alright up to a certain point, but you will get some serious diminishing returns, and it is also really annoying for them if you can attack them from multiple directions, so instead of adding that 5th blast or 4th fluster you should really consider some kind of hatebear. And Clique is the most versatile one. Another option is Ethersworn Canonist or the 4th Snapcaster, you just need something to deal the damage, to force them to react to you and not just wait around forever until they draw their Boseiju or Defense Grid or whatever. Another reason to play with Clique is if you play a particularly high number of Jaces or Counterbalances, since Clique allows you to curve Clique -> Jace against other blue decks when they are just trying to hold counterspells up, this was very common if you wanted to win the mirror before the top ban, since it forced the opponent to both tap some lands, and use some countermagic, right before you untap, so that you could then more easily win a fight over say CB on your own turn. Another small but relevant reason to play Clique is that it kills Jace the Mind Sculptor in one hit, a card that can very strong against miracles if you donít come prepared, for example if you donít play red youíll need to consider things like this so that you have more outs to get rid of a resolved Jace.

    Why are you not playing Clique
    While it is true that Clique is the most versatile anti-combo creature it is also the one that is the least impactful most of the time. It can almost always get boarded in and it really helps the sideboard math in multiple matchups, but it is also almost never that amazing. If a list is not playing with clique it is because they want more narrow but also higher impact cards. Other reason why someone might not play with Clique right now is:
    They donít play any mentors or CB and just want to completely blank Abrupt Decay and similar cards post board if the opponent decides to leave them in the deck.
    They believe that Baleful Strix is too common and want to use these slots to other cards that are higher impact in such BUG matchups.
    They already have enough other creatures or win conditions that (for example 4 mentor 2 entreat) that they donít think they can afford to add more ďwinconsĒ into the sideboard but need the other slots for high impact reactive cards (surgical, blast, fluster, disenchant, etc).
    Curve considerations
    I think most of you have this in mind already. But seriously, donít jam 6 different 4 drops into the deck (Nahiri, or Moat, or whatever) without making sure you change other stuff. Like add a land or cut that Supreme Verdict. Also consider the fact that snapcaster is not really a 2 drop, it is most likely a 3 drop with some rarely used kicker. I see some people try to replace their 2 drops with additional snapcasters while also adding mentors or cliques.

    High number of cantrips vs unnecessary stuff
    Ok. Here is the one that really gets me frustrated. I see way too many people, especially those who are new to the deck, cut the cantrips and add random shit they donít need, like main deck Back to Basics or Gideon when they already have 2 ETA. The thing is this, this deck already have some absurdly powerful cards, all it needs is to have the correct cards at the correct time, sure you can cut all your portents for blood moons, and they might win you a game every now and then, but the number of games you lose because you miss your 3rd land drop or because you canít find a terminus in time is going to be significantly higher. Our deck does play more cantrips than almost any other non combo deck in legacy, but it also makes sense, the whole idea with the miracles cards is that you need to manipulate your draws to make them powerful, and if you could reliably do that with only 8-9 cantrips then every blue deck would play some number of them, or at least some other deck. So in short, donít cut the portents because you want to add more ďfun offsĒ, and also if you add all the cards you think you should have into a pile, and find that it is 61 cards, then I would really recommend you to go through all other cards multiple times over and find something to cut there before you take the easy solution and just cut a cantrip. I donít say that you need to play 12 of the 1 mana cantrips in every list, but your goal should probably be to do that as often as possible, or to be as close as possible. Clarification, it is not necessarily about the number of cantrips, but rather, you should aim to be as consistent as possible. The deck already have some incredibly powerful tools, just casting Terminus followed up by Jace on the correct turn is amazing and the main reason this deck is so powerful, and I believe you will lose more to not finding the terminus during the correct turns than anything else (some hyperbole but still). And in the same way, if you believe that you can do this more consistently with a lower number of portents or similar, than that might be better of course. Right after the ban when everyone was experimenting with everything and no one was having any success yet I wrote this post on the mtgthesource forum, and then proceeded to pick up some 5-0ís immediately to prove my point: ďYou are all playing way way too few cantrips. The reason miracles was so good was because it was very consistent. If you count top as a cantrip most lists had 12-16 cantrips. Now most of you seem to think you can do the same with only 8-10 while replacing the other cards with useless stuff. You can try that for a while but you will never find it as consistent, the stuff you get to play in the extra slots might look good though. Trying to go down on cantrips when you don't have top is insanity, you should go the other way and add more. We all know that the deck can sink a mana or two into cantripping almost every turn and be fine, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to use top before the ban.Ē Other than the simple 1 mana cantrips we do have other cards that also increase other consistency in different ways, for example Search for Azcanta could help us to not draw any white cards in blue matchups. So if you play many of these cards you can cut a few cantrips. Also you want to weight the number of cantrips in your deck against the cards that you dig for, if all the spells that you dig for are tempo-negative or they donít play to the board, cantripping for them is much worse, since you are essentially spending extra mana on them you will need to recuperate that when you cast the cards that you find of your cantrips, Terminus is an excellent example of a spell that is great together with cantrips since even for 2 mana more it is still worth it. If you start cutting these cards, either during deckbuilding or sideboarding, you should also consider shaving a cantrip, and the opposite is true as well, if you add more such cards you can have extra cantrips. Example: 1. If you sideboard out terminus and board in Counterspell you probably want to shave cantrips. 2. Long before the top ban Reid Duke played a list with 4 Jace the Mind Sculptor and Supreme Verdict (1 main, 1 side) as well as only 3 Terminus, since these cards are more tempo negative than the ďnormalĒ setup at the time he had fewer ponders and extra lands instead.

    Sideboarding maps
    If you want to share your decklist, or if you want to bring your deck to a big tournament. You should seriously consider writing a proper sideboard map. It will teach you a lot about how many slots you need to have for each opponent. Apart from the obvious things like ďoh I want to board out all removal against sneak & show so Iíll need an equal number of sideboard cards to board inĒ you should also consider what The Brainstorm Show recommended in their episode about sideboards, which is to put a score on each card in each matchup, so that you make sure that you make significant upgrades, and so that the more widely boarded in cards (like Clique) can get compared to more narrow cards (like containment priest).

    Storm
    For the storm matchup you need both counterspells and hate permanents. Yes, it is technically possible to just have a ton of countermagic but it will almost assuredly not be the most slot efficient solution. Cards like Ethersworn Canonist or Leyline might seem very narrow, but something like that is needed, you canít pretend that storm isnít a thing or that you will be fine with only your 2 Flusterstorm.

    Eldrazi
    You mainly need an answer to Chalice. If you have that you are usually good, Chalice is easily the number one most common way they beat you. Cards like Blood Moon or Back to Basics also do work here of course. You mainly want to make sure that you can board out all dead ish countermagic like Counterspell or Counterbalance and instead board in cards that directly interact with the board. Also having just a 1 off clique somewhere in the deck is surprisingly useful as they sometimes open up with hands that have 2x Ancient Tomb, and then you can just aggressively cantrip towards your clique and punish them, Ancient Tomb is supposed to have a drawback, but if your only attacking creatures are Angel Tokens then it doesnít really matter if they are at 20 or 6 life, you still need to do all the same setup with hitting extra land drops and triggering the miracle draw.

    4c Loam
    Once again, cards that interact with the board are better than countermagic. You want to really diversify your answers here since they have a ton of different threats that best get answered by different removal. Also, jace is awesome against all these ďfairĒ decks. While sideboarding this is a matchup where you usually cut a little bit of everything but not all the copies of any one card, yeah, it is weird and reminds us more of playing a combo deck.

    Lands
    Respect Tireless Tracker, Respect Marit Lage. Surgical is awesome, and early Mentor can easily outclass punishing fire. This is one of those matchups where if you donít play any nonbasic land hate effects you should really consider a 3rd surgical instead of the containment priest in order to make the sideboard mapping work.

    Mirror
    While not super common right now miracles was the biggest (and best) deck last year at this time, and many people still have the cards laying around. Here you need to really keep the ďflash vs slamĒ gameplans in consideration. The best way to beat the mirror is to play both the best proactive cards (Cb, Mentor, Gideon, Search, Squadron Hawks) and the best reactive ones (blasts). Right now I would not board out any Jaces here, but if we go back to to a meta of 4 counterbalance that could change. There is a ton to say about this matchup but Iíll save most for some other time. Some small things that could be worth keeping in mind:
    Mentor is very good in the mirror. It dodges most of the common counterspells (fluster, snare, blasts) and require your opponent to dig for a sweeper, if they play supreme verdict that is also a tempo positive trade for you, but even if they use Terminus they usually had to ďwasteĒ multiple cantrips to find it instead of finding blasts or predicts or such.
    If you play a UWR CB mirror you should respect CB a lot, for example, before the ban I had the rule: If Iím on the draw and I have the opportunity I always fake a blast on turn 1 (never cantrip if you can leave up a fetch). That is not quite as necessary now since those 4 blast 4 CB mirrors are much less common, but similar things are worth keeping in mind.

    Death & Taxes
    Here is a matchup where I see a lot of people making mistakes. First, regarding red, you really have to decide during deckbuilding, are you going to play like a two or a three color deck post board here. And since it is right now possible to have a favourable matchup against Death & Taxes without boarding in any red cards I really prefer that. So donít play that 1 of Pyroclasm or 1of Wear//Tear and force yourself into fetching volcanics against a deck with this much mana denial. Just find another card and then play like a straight UW deck whenever possible. And if you decide to play with red, then make sure that you bring the best stuff and accept the worse mana, play those wear//tear over disenchant if you are going to board in Pyroclasms and a basic mountain anyways. Simply decide first and then go all out of that. Secondly, work on the sideboard math properly here, if you play 4 CB and want to take them all out you probably need more sideboard cards to board in compared to if those 4 main deck slots were 2 predicts 2 UA. Just think before you add cards, it is that simple.

    Delver
    The solution is not to play 30 lands, but if you have a sideboard mountain you should board up to 21 lands. The answer is also not to play infinite 1 for 1 removal, since you will need more lands in play than they do at any point in the game you will also need extra card advantage to make up for this, otherwise you will just die empty handed with 6 lands while they have 3 lands and 1-2 creatures. Last, you need to threaten something proactive, some delver decks have gone to great and ridiculous lengths in the past to punish us if we just tried to play reactive magic, Winter Orb is probably the best example of this. It doesnít really matter what proactive cards to play though, it could be search, or CB, or mentor, the point is that they should always feel afraid, they should have some pressure on them to play out that extra creature instead of slow rolling to play around terminus, they should not dare to brainstorm back or sideboard out that force of will and be left shields down even though it is bad card advantage, etc etc. You just really need to make 100% sure that the lategame is yours, that their pathetic attempt at ďgrinding card advantageĒ is not enough, so that they need to be aggressive even in the face of terminus or supreme verdict or EE.

    Shardless BUG and 4c pile (hymn + jace decks)
    Blasts are great, swords to plowshares are fairly poor but you need to leave in like 2 copies since you donít want to terminus for every single lone deathrite. Since most of these decks have switched away from wasteland in favour of more greedy mana themselves we can also rely more on only 2 Volcanic Island than we could before (when we almost always had to play either a 3rd Volc or a basic mountain). Another thing that is important to keep in mind against Hymn+Leovold decks is that you want to make sure that the cards to play in order to gain an advantage (predict, CB, Jace, etc) do actually play to the board, you donít want your entire ďadvantageĒ to be in the form of cards in your hand, but instead in the form of permanents on the battlefield if possible, this makes it so that any hymns that come later than turn 2 or turn 3 get much much worse. But you of course want to do a bit of both, especially since Abrupt Decay could otherwise destroy your day and take away your day and everything you have fought for.

    Reanimator and RIP
    I see a lot of people adding Rest in Peace into their sideboard right now and I donít really understand, it is possible that Iím missing something but it is also possible that they are just modern players that havenít used their brains. So here is the thing. RIP is great against slower graveyard decks, it kills dredge hard, it makes those mongoose+deathrite+goyf decks look pathetic, yeah, it seems great right? Wrong. No one is playing that BUG deck, even just goyf is super rare right now, also dredge is not that common, and we could just containment priest for them. What else? Oh right, snapcaster, against almost every deck that you want graveyard hate you also want to keep in snapcaster, and that is not a combo. What else? Reanimate. Right, reanimator, against reanimator RIP is bad, it is just way too slow, you need to mulligan every hand that doesnít have a force or some other kind of turn 0 / turn 1 interaction, you basically need to play surgical here or else they just kill you. And if you survive to turn 2, well then you donít need RIP anymore, you are already like 80% favored to win, donít bother with sideboard cards for the win more situations. What else? Lands, lands is probably the 2:nd most common GY deck right now, and it boards in 4 krosan grips because they have to respect blood moon, just play surgical on them, one of those will forever cripple them enough. Yeah, before I started playing legacy I also hated Surgical, but now I see why you need it here. However, if you decide to play a list without Snapcaster Mage in it, then I would once more consider RIP, if only because it is quite good against those BUG decks with Deathrite+Snapcaster+possibly less common others (Kess, Goyf, Lilia LH minus ability), but only now because you suddenly donít have any cards of your own that interacts with said graveyard, if so I would still play at least 1 Surgical because of Reanimator though.

    4th snapcaster mage
    This is a value card, it also makes sense that a 4th would be great since we already play 3, why not a 4th? Well it turns out that the main deck doesnít really have enough good flexible 1 mana spells to make a 4th snapcaster than good in game 1, honestly even the 3rd is kind of mediocre. But postboard this usually changes, we have a lot of cheap cards in the sideboard, like Flusterstorm, pyroblast, disenchant, surgical, so in g2 & g3 snapcaster is truly awesome, and a 4th copy would be awesome as well, but now the question is mostly, is it worth a sideboard slot, or would you rather just play another answer directly? That is up to you, but this is the reason that some play it and some donít. You can play it in the main if you want to ďsaveĒ a sideboard slot as well, but you will have to accept that game 1 is going to be worse, since youíll draw a lot more of those double snapcaster hands that only have cantrips and no interaction in the GY while you are playing against a combo deck.

    ****END OF PART ONE****
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    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    ****PART TWO****

    Nonbasic hate
    Nonbasic hate is very powerful, but the slots are very difficult to find. If you donít play any you will need to have some other gameplan against those decks (basically, ask yourself the question of how you beat punishing fire, or eye of ugin searches). Anyhow, hereís a summary of the most common hate cards:
    Blood Moon - This one stops everything, sure that eldrazi player could have a basic wastes but donít bother considering that now. This is the best answer to those annoying 4 or 5 color value decks that just pile up all good cards they own. Some of them are seriously playing 1 basic island and 2 Hydroblasts because they have no other good way to beat this. Others have to always keep up G+B and a abrupt decay in hand during the late game because if they tapout they would instantly lose to Blood Moon. The disadvantages of moon is: It is the card that punishes us the most on this list, since we canít fetch any more; Since it is usually cast with just one W and one U in play you should consider this while deckbuilding and sideboarding, and favor mentors instead of entreat as your wincon for example; It requires tuning your fetches slightly, since you want to really make sure you had access to a basic white source before you play it and not just a tundra.
    Back to Basics - This is the card that do the least damage to us (you can still fetch out additional basics, and use the shuffle effects to improve the cantrips), but could also be the easiest to ignore or beat for the opponent, for example your opponent can still make a Marit Lage token through it. If you want to play this in a 3 color build you will most likely need a basic of the 3rd color, or make sure that you donít board in any cards of that color in the same matchups as you board in B2B (Similar to how Joe Lossett did in his legends build pre ban).
    Ruination / From the Ashes - These are worse against BG Depths than any of the previous, and they also more or less require you to play a basic mountain, but otherwise they are quite sweet. A well times Ruination can really ruin someone'sí day.
    Dwarven Blastminer - This is a troll and a jerk card. Fun, but donít play it.
    Search for Azcanta & Karakas - While playing with these cards you have to weigh the land hate against these landsí utility in the matchups. Sometimes it is just the case that if the land hate resolves you donít care because you are going to be winning anyways and this stuff is just win-more, but other times not. Overall Search is the best with Ruination / From the Ashes, since you can usually set it up so that there is no conflict at all, you might even get value if From the Ashes feeds the GY enough to flip Search afterwards. But Search is still fine with B2B and Blood Moon, youíll just not flip it if you draw both but keep the scrying (milling) machine going, it also turns out that this scrying gets much more useful when you can no longer fetch under a blood moon in combination with your cantrips. However with Karakas it gets worse, and if you really want to play with 2+ copies of nonbasic land hate I would recommend you to not play any copies of Karakas in the same list.
    Advancing your game plan
    This is going to be a very theoretical section, maybe a bit too abstract, but Iíll try to come up with some concrete examples towards the end of it. While most sections up till now have mostly talked about Tempo-advantage, and Card-advantage, and possibly attacking from multiple angles and diversifying your answer, there is still one very important point I have skipped. And that is the idea of your game plan.

    The idea is that every turn you should try to advance your game plan if possible. Especially game 1 you rarely have the perfect mix of interaction in your deck to really lock the opponent out from ever achieving theirs, so if you donít advance yours but just try to stop everything that your opponent is going, then they are still slowly slowly going to advance theirs (kill you), so you really need to do this.

    This mostly comes up when playing, but also a bit during deckbuilding. For example, when playing you might sometimes run into games where your current suit of interaction aligns very poorly to what your opponent is trying to do, most notably this comes up against Storm and against Lands. So what do you do? Well you try to complete your own gameplan as fast as possible, ignore things you canít deal with, and deal with the others as well as you can, kind of like patching up a leaking ship while trying to race past the finish line. For example the lands deck might have Life from the Loam together with Ghost Quarter, and many builds donít have any way to permanently stop that game 1, so what you really need to do then is focus on hitting every single land drop, forcing any explorations, maybe even force a loam, save 2 fetches in play and 2 white sources in the deck, and then try find entreat the angels while you still have enough mana left. Basically, play to your outs.

    The most notable mistakes I see here are when people havenít thought far enough ahead, they cantrip badly in the first few turns and miss their land drops because they see some good interactive cards like CJ or Terminus, and then they lose because they didnít make any progress, and eventually the opponent got past their interaction. You should always remember that the entire reason you play with cards like Terminus, Counterspell or Swords to Plowshares is really so that you can survive long enough to play out your real gameplan and wincon. The interaction in the deck is a means to an end, and donít forget the end.

    For example, if you are playing a Entreat the Angels build of the deck, you should really try to hit a land drop every turn of the game if possible. Sure, there are some exceptions, and you shouldnít throw all thoughts of value out the window in order to advance your game plan, like sometimes you should be patient and wait for a setup card instead of cycling a predict with a unknown top card. Another thing you should keep in mind is that you sometimes need say no to that miracle trigger on entreat on turn 5, because that is your only copy of ETA and youíll need to set it up to make sure it resolves against daze, spell pierce, or force, much later.

    The opponent should always feel like they have a timer ticking above their head, like they have to do something or else you will just get into a lategame that very much favours the miracles deck. And in order to make this happen you need to always make progress towards that end game. Not necessarily every single turn (we can still win even if we miss a land drop), but you should make sure you donít suddenly stop making progress for a long time. This is also why we play so many lands. Progress also isnít just in terms of land drops, it could be in other forms, it all depends on the matchup, for example in the mirror progress is very much in the form of cards in hand and number of card advantage permanents in play, and the game plan is usually all about resolving those important card advantage spells, but if you do, then suddenly other cards such as ETA that the opponent could cast later mean much less.

    You should also remember to ask yourself if you really do have inevitability in each matchup. Because when you do it is quite easy, you can miss a land drop or two and just play the game of card advantage, and then you can win with whatever sometimes later when you have drowned the opponent in cards. But when you do not have inevitability, then that is where things get tricky, for example against that annoying Eye of Ugin or Punishing Fire + Grove, then you really need to make sure you make progress towards your wincon. Because if the game goes too long then suddenly mana is plenty (tempo doesnít matter) and suddenly card advantage donít matter either (It is really difficult to grind against Eye of Ugin searching up Reality Smasher or Ulamog/Kozilek every turn).

    How does this relate to deckbuilding? Good thing you ask. The primary question you should ask yourself when designing the deck is ďWhat is my game plan?Ē, sure it might depend on the matchup, on your hand, or whether this is pre or post board, but you should always have a plan, and the entire 60 card deck at any time should be built with this plan in mind. For example, if you play with monastery mentor in the main deck, then you should consider how you are going to make sure mentor can do its thing. Especially game 1 most other decks have a lot of removal which is otherwise somewhat dead again us if we donít have mentor, what is your plan against that? You can either say that blanking removal is a dead concept, and that the opponent would just brainstorm such cards away anyways, and just try to grind 1 for 1 until the opponent runs out of actual cards and ignore the virtual card advantage idea. Or you could play cards that protect your mentors, for example CB with a 1 on top is very likely to keep mentor alive against most of the decks in the format, so then your game plan suddenly becomes: Hit your early land drops, Gain enough card advantage to resolve my threats, Resolve CB, put a 1 on top, Resolve Mentor, Trigger Mentor multiple times.

    Another example is the obvious 2 plains one. If you play with entreat the angels you should probably have 2 basic plains in your main deck, because when you have ETA in the deck the idea of having WWX up every single time you draw a random card becomes very important for your game plan, just in case it turns out to be this miracle card. And the best way to make sure you can keep WWX in play (When X is usually just a great number of basic Islands or Volcanic Islands) at any time, is really to play with basic plains, just to stay safe from those wastelands.

    Do Something

    The idea is of course that we can wait for the opponent, that we can sit back with a grip full of answers and play draw go forever. Or at least until we are well into the late game and topdeck an entreat or something. But is this really the best strategy? Not quite, as I said in the previous section we want to do some stuff. We are a control deck, but that doesnít mean we can be purely reactive. Legacy is a format where you need to both interact and also have a strong game plan of your own that your opponent gets forced to interact with. There are many decks out there that we are not perfectly equipped to just play draw go against, where our answers donít line up well against their threats, at least in game 1. This is why we need some number of proactive elements in the deck as well. Previously this was almost always Counterbalance, but even main deck Back to Basics saw some play. In addition to this there is always Jace as well. The idea is that we should actively try to build an advantage every turn, if we believe that the opponent has no interaction in their hand (or only of the wrong type, for example flusterstorm and abrupt decay against Jace) we should make sure to play something that gives us a real advantage before the opponent gets a chance to draw out of the situation, or before luck screws us over (for example getting flooded). Also if we have unspent mana during a turn, because the opponent didnít force us to use all our mana to interact, then we should preferably use that mana to increase our advantage, Senseiís Divining Top was a great example of this, where we used top to filter our draws every turn if we didnít have to use all our mana to interact, and then over a long period of time we were essentially guaranteed to draw ďbetterĒ than our opponent.

    This is why cards like Predict are commonly played in the deck. Because if you play against a deck that only interacts with you on the battlefield, say they only have creatures and removal spells of various kinds in their deck, then we can easily outclass them and gain a huge advantage by spending a few mana to gain card advantage every now and then while their hand is full of the wrong type of interaction. Magic and especially legacy does contain a lot of trading 1 for 1, but if we can deny the opponent the opportunity to trade their cards against ours until we have a significant numbers advantage in cards then we can much more easily win. When we are finally up 4-5 cards we can trade off the remaining cards in their hand, and then win with our last 4 cards that they have no interaction for left.

    So if you even find yourself with a hand full of only interaction while playing, and then cast your last cantrip in hand, say a ponder, and see more interaction, but nothing else, then you should probably shuffle, even if that interaction was likely to do just fine trading 1 for 1, what you are really looking for should be some cards that pull you ahead, you already have enough 1 for 1 trades in your hand to keep you alive for the foreseeable future, and should focus more on what happens next.


    ****END OF PART TWO****



    [B]Callum Smith's (Whitefaces) Miracles Matchup + Sideboard Guide:[/B
    ]

    Source Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

    Miracles Matchup Analysis and Sideboarding Guide

    In this document I aim to cover most of the tier one and two matchups you might face, and how I approach them along with some sideboarding tips.

    One point Iíd like to make is that I donít believe copying straight sideboard tables will do anyone much good, since we are a reactive deck itís our job to be answering what the opponent is doing. This greatly affects how we should be sideboarding, as well as how we should be playing out the games. There are some fast and loose rules that can be abided to, but you also have to trust yourself to make the right decisions too.

    Also keep in mind that what Iíll be writing below will also be tied to the list Iím playing, small changes can have pretty big effects. Also please take everything below with a grain of salt, itís not gospel, just how I like to approach the matchups at this time. Everything is prone to change.

    Miracles Ė Callum Smith

    ∑ 3 Snapcaster Mage
    ∑ 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    ∑ 2 Entreat the Angels
    ∑ 4 Terminus
    ∑ 3 Portent
    ∑ 4 Ponder
    ∑ 4 Brainstorm
    ∑ 4 Force of Will
    ∑ 2 Counterspell
    ∑ 2 Search for Azcanta
    ∑ 4 Swords to Plowshares
    ∑ 1 Council's Judgment
    ∑ 2 Predict
    ∑ 2 Counterbalance
    ∑ 3 Volcanic Island
    ∑ 3 Tundra
    ∑ 4 Island
    ∑ 2 Plains
    ∑ 4 Flooded Strand
    ∑ 1 Scalding Tarn
    ∑ 1 Polluted Delta
    ∑ 1 Misty Rainforest
    ∑ 1 Arid Mesa

    Sideboard
    ∑ 1 Council's Judgment
    ∑ 2 Monastery Mentor
    ∑ 1 Vendilion Clique
    ∑ 1 Ethersworn Canonist
    ∑ 3 Flusterstorm
    ∑ 3 Surgical Extraction
    ∑ 1 Disenchant
    ∑ 2 Pyroblast
    ∑ 1 Red Elemental Blast

    I wonít be going into any deckbuilding discussion here, Nicklas Lallo aka ItIsUnfair wrote a fantastic FAQ recently on that which should cover a lot of questions. Find that here - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...yWJ4xVcso/edit

    Grixis Delver

    One important thing to note is that you should try and establish what build theyíre playing quite quickly. There are three main ones, Cabal Therapy, Stifle or two+ copies of Spell Pierce. Knowing which build youíre facing letís you build a gameplan around that information.

    Cabal Therapy builds are the most grindy, they lean on clearing the way for Young Pyromancer more than the others and games can go longer. Because of Therapy you want to be playing to the board as much as possible, Search for Azcanta is a good example, and Counterbalance is phenomenal here.

    Generally I sideboard out 2 Force of Will, 2 Counterspell, 1 Jace and 1 Entreat the Angels for 2 Monastery Mentor, 2 Flusterstorm and 2 Pyroblast.

    Force of Will is the worst vs this build of Grixis Delver because of the Therapy package as it punishes us for being more reactive and trading down a card, and I keep a copy of Entreat for similar reasoning, itís Therapy proof and the games go longer than the other versions. Flusterstorm is also worst vs this build as the information gleaned from more peeks at our hand allows them to play around it more, or Therapy it away if needed. I cut Counterspell vs all versions of Grixis Delver, the cost of flexibility is too high and weíre basically never trading evenly on mana, and thatís part of what theyíre taxing with soft counters.

    Stifle is arguably the most aggressive version and they have the most ways to disrupt a Terminus, making Young Pyromancer and True-Name Nemesis especially scary. If you see multiple TNNs you may want to board in more Blasts, or if itís from the Stifle build consider a couple, but it makes you weaker to Stifle and Wasteland obviously.

    The first few turns are the most important and you need to be prioritizing getting their creatures off the battlefield via Swords and fetching up basics lands. Stifle gets poor very fast and their late game is a lot weaker than Therapy versions, so just play to survive here and think about card advantage later. You can punish Stifle draws by not doing anything too, if the Delver player is forced to leave up a mana every turn, this is giving you time to make land drops. If I have a land heavy hand and suspect they have it, Iíll actually run out fetches first and sometimes not even crack them if they tap out. Itís like a pseudo Rishadan Port.

    A very nice trick with Flusterstorm vs Stifle to keep in mind is if you have any fetches, crack them in response to the opponent casting a cantrip. If they Stifle it you can usually eat the cantrip too. Sometimes if youíre lucky you can bait two Stifles with this. But even without this trick, Flusterstorm is one of the best ways to fight Stifle as itís usually uncounterable.

    Vs Stifle I keep all copies of Force of Will in, side out 1 Jace, 2 Counterspell, 2 Entreat the Angels for 2 Monastery Mentor, 3 Flusterstorm. Search isnít at its best vs Delver generally, this is probably a flaw in the way this 75 is built, but itís a Ďrampant growth with suspendí, which is what you want vs Stifle sometimes. I donít bring in any Blasts as usually that involves fetching up Volcs, with our duals and fetches being attacked itís too much to ask, except for the TNN example above. This is something you have to decide on the fly.

    Vs the Spell Pierce builds you want to tread a line between the two when playing game one, and after sideboard they have access to Cabal Therapy so Iíd sideboard quite similarly to that. If youíre playing in paper try to see how many cards theyíre siding in/out, it can tell you if theyíre bringing Therapy in or not. Search and Entreat get better if they are, FoW worse etc.

    The general idea against all delver decks is that we want to lower the overall average cost of our spells, especially our interactive spells, as much as possible while still keeping the ability to grind them out with more and better card advantage spells later. Swapping Counterspell for cards like Flusterstorm and Pyroblast is the best example of this. With a lower curve we run a lower chance of getting destroyed by their tempo plan, but we must still keep in our card draw to ensure that we are the control deck when the game goes long.



    Miracles

    Since weíve mostly adopted Counterbalance again, a lot of the old rules for the matchup are true. Iíd advise you to read some of the content that is already out there if youíre not well versed in it already.

    Game one you want to draw the least white cards as possible, itís sometimes even worth shuffling off a cantrip if you donít have access to a Brainstorm yet as theyíre pretty close to a dead card. Search, Counterbalance and Jace are huge haymakers and can swing games singlehandedly, try to keep these off the board at all costs.

    For sideboarding you want to be cutting all Swords, at least one basic plains (you can cut both If youíre greedy), down to two sweepers, Supreme Verdict is better than Terminus in the matchup due to the amount of countermagic and it pitches to Force if you have them. I bring in 2 Monastery Mentor, 1 Vendilion Clique, 3 Flusterstorm, 2 Pyroblast and 1 Red Elemental Blast. Take out 4 Swords to Plowshares, 2 Terminus, 2 Plains, 1 Portent. Cutting a cantrip isnít ideal and another flaw in my 75 as it is, but itís the worst of the 61 cards left.

    If you are playing some other build than this one things could change dramatically. For example if you know you have 4 mentors and believe that your opponent has 0, then you could easily cut all Terminus.

    If you believe that your opponent is not playing Counterbalance that also changes things a lot, cardís like Force of Will becomes a lot worse, and the game is much more about raw card advantage suddenly. Another card people are playing is Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, if they have that or other walkers youíll want the second Councilís Judgement too.

    4 Colour Control (Czech Pile)

    This is a matchup that weíd been struggling with a bit, but the addition of Search for Azcanta and Counterbalance has flipped it. Youíre playing a long attrition game, card advantage is key and their scariest cards are Hymn to Tourach, Leovold and Jace usually. If you can beat these the rest falls into place quite easily.

    Similarly to Cabal Therapy from Grixis, because of Hymn you want to be playing to the board, this is why Search and CB have changed the matchup so much. Some builds are starting to adopt Decays again, but generally preboard they donít have many answers for Enchantments. They have access to Blasts after board so keep that in mind when sequencing these two, itís usually better to lead with Counterbalance which is better to be answered on the stack, this can take away the line of them cantripping for a Blast. Predict is also a key part of the matchup, unless youíre in a really tight spot try to avoid cycling them early. We need to use every card advantage option we have available to us.

    They play some frustrating creatures for a control/midrange deck, you need to respect DRS and Leovold so unfortunately we need to leave in enough removal. I side out 2 Swords to Plowshares, 1 Terminus, 4 Force of Will, 1 Plains for 1 Councilís Judgement, 2 Monastery Mentor, 2 Flusterstorm, 2 Pyroblast and 1 Red Elemental Blast.

    The reasoning for Swords being a generally poor card in the matchup is because it only trades at parity with Deathrite Shaman, Leovold will trigger and Strix and Snapcasters have already accrued value. While in the literal sense we lose the matchup to creatures, itís only chip damage theyíre hitting us with. Itís not a winning axis to fight on by trading a card for their two for ones, in tandem with Hymns and Kommands we risk being run down by cards, and their value creatures will keep coming. In retrospect to Grixis Delver, I donít see DRS as a must answer, itís still threatening early, but I try to turn it into a way to gain a card with Terminus rather than Swords it. As we head into the mid and late game he becomes very low impact and itís an angle Iíd like to try and monopolize on. We take every scrap we can in the matchup.

    Lands

    Another matchup where a lot of tips and tricks from pre-ban can be used. There is so much to say about it that Iím going to avoid going into too much detail here or Iíd go on a large tangent, but learning how to play around GQ and Ports is a big part of it, always have access to X+1 white mana when passing your turn, where X equals the number of ways for your opponent to GQ/Port/Wasteland you (assuming the combo is on the table). Counterbalance is insane game one and you should try to establish that and float 2cmc where possible. Once assembled, find a Jace and keep brainstorming 2s to the top, if youíre able to, put two 2cmc cards back, this protects Jace from Punishing Fire in your draw step.

    I side out all 4 Terminus, 2 Counterspell and 1 Councilís Judgement for 2 Monastery Mentor, 1 Vendilion Clique, 3 Surgical Extraction and 1 Disenchant. If you see multiple Tireless Trackers in game two it might be worth boarding in a Terminus or two again for game 3.

    Sneak and Show

    This matchup is actually pretty simple, stop their dumb cards from resolving and hope they donít have more things than you. Of course thereís a little more to it than that, but thatís the gist.
    Game one, like the mirror, try to avoid drawing white cards. Sometimes youíll get an Emrakul with a Terminus, but itís rare, if Griselbrand hits the battlefield youíve probably lost. Counterbalance is a great way to follow up a Ďfirst waveí of their Show and Tells and Sneak Attacks, cutting off cantrips can be big. Otherwise until their hand is depleted you need to play a Ďflashí game, try and brainstorm early to be able to run out a snapcaster for some value and get a clock going. A turn two CB can also punish a weaker hand from them by turning off cantrips, if you have no other interaction going on itís probably worth slamming.

    Sideboarding I take out 4 Swords, 4 Terminus, 1 Plains, 2 Entreat the Angels, 1 Jace, 1 Portent for 2 Monastery Mentor, 1 Vendilion Clique, 1 Ethersworn Canonist, 3 Flusterstorm, 2 Surgical Extraction, 1 Disenchant, 2 Pyroblast, 1 Red Elemental Blast. Keep in mind that sometimes they have Grim Lavamancer, if you suspect it or see it G2 and go to a G3, you might want to have some CJ or STP.

    BUG Delver

    BUG.dec is generally a very good matchup for UWx as Jace is so hard for them to beat, Swords is also phenomenal when none of their threats go wide.

    You plan in this matchup is to resolve Jace pretty much. He takes over the game so easily, after that you kill everything and itís fairly easy sailing. Entreat is also a lights out card.

    Iím still undecided on the best way to approach the matchup, one way is to blank Abrupt Decay by siding out CB, Search and not bring in Mentors. Or you can overload them, you can also mix this up between games if you suspect theyíre bringing in/taking out Decays. Thereís some room for mind games here, try and see how many cards theyíre bringing in/out.

    From the sideboard BUG can bring in Planeswalkers, namely Jace, so you should be prepared for that with some blasts. I like bringing in the second CJ too, so you can trim on some other removal. They also have access to Sylvan Library which is one of the best cards against us, two copies of CJ should be enough of a hedge against that without bringing in a Disenchant.
    Flusterstorm is OK, your main target is Hymn or opposing Forces, but it can be narrow at times. Snagging a Brainstorm is also pretty strong as theyíre a clunky deck and need it to fix hands more than other Delver variants. Itís a bit better on the draw as youíre then protected from turn two Hymns, and on the play you have a couple of turns to play out cantrips and hide lands/spells you need on top.

    So generally Iíd be looking to bring in 1 CJ, 0-2 Monastery Mentor, 0-1 Clique, 0-2 Flusterstorm, 2-3 Pyroblast (3rd if theyíre on TNNs and Leos) and cutting 2 Forces, a Terminus, 0-2 CB, 0-2 Search.

    Knowing what exact list they are on here is huge, if they donít have any TNN or Leovold but instead multiple Tombstalkers or extra Lilianas you could easily cut a Terminus or two post board, against those lists it is never going to be the creatures that you actually lose to, but instead their noncreature permanents, so you donít want to get flooded on removal. Also, BUG has no reach, no Lightning Bolts or Fireblasts, so it is fine to take a few more hits while you cantrip to set up that perfect terminus against them.


    Eldrazi Stompy

    This matchup is basically all about Chalice of the Void. If you can keep it off the table you will likely win unless the game goes very long and they start activating Eye of Ugin.

    Prioritize killing their creatures before gaining card advantage, you want to stay out of range of Reality Smashers if possible. In game one, donít play out Counterbalances, theyíre blanked by Cavern and the high cmc of their deck, itís better to hold onto them in case you draw a Brainstorm or to pitch it to Force. Also keep Thought-Knot Seer in mind, you want to be hiding your bomb cards like Entreat and Jaces when possible, donít draw them off cantrips early if it can be helped, and avoid tapping out for extra cantrips if you have a lone Swords in your hand because youíll need to cast it in response to the trigger. Also because of Cavern, if you have an opportunity to play a Counterspell, do it. It can become a dead card without warning. Portent is one of the better cards to stabilize, if you deal with their first wave I like to aggressively Portent them off cards that matter, itís one of the few ways we can Ďinteractí with Eye of Ugin, donít let them draw it. Jace +2, Predict and Snapcaster also help lock up games like this. Bear this strategy in mind when playing out cantrips early, if you donít need to hit a land for your land drop, itís sometimes better to play Ponders over Portents.

    Two cards to keep in mind in this matchup that can be blowouts are Warping Wail (usually on Terminus or Entreat) and All is Dust. You can usually get a read on them by how the opponent plays.

    Sideboarding you take out Counterbalances and Counterspells, itís also sometimes reasonable to shave a cantrip or two vs Chalice decks if you donít have enough to bring in. I board in 1 CJ, 2 Mentor, 1 Clique, 1 Disenchant for 2 CB, 2 Counterspell and 1 Portent.

    ANT (Ad Nauseam Tendrils)

    This is one of the matchups where experience is king, the player who knows how to approach it from their end will win more on average, though we do have some haymakers like Counterbalance to mitigate this. Itís important to get a clock going, so like the Sneak and Show matchup try to play a Brainstorm early to set up getting a Snapcaster on the battlefield at the end of their turn. Also try to find a Counterbalance as fast as possible, if you manage that you sometimes need to decide on floating 0s, 1s or 2s, all have reasonable hits. If you have countermagic you can play in your hand itís usually best to float a 1cmc to protect it from discard. If itís your only piece of interaction, float a 2 for Infernal Tutor. 0 cmc hits LEDs and Petals, itís less good than 1s or 2s, but good to keep in mind.

    A flipped Search is also a fantastic way to Ďplay aroundí discard by activating it in response to their business spells, itís also a way for us to bury them in countermagic as the game goes on. Because of Search, their best approach now I think is to go under us, keep this in mind and be prepared on the first couple of turns.

    I side out all 4 Swords, 2 Terminus (leave in the last two for potential Empty the Warrens, and something for Xantid Swarm or Dark Confidant), 1 CJ, 2 Entreat, 1 Plains for 1 Vendilion Clique, 1 Ethersworn Canonist, 3 Flusterstorm, 3 Surgical Extraction, 1 Pyroblast and 1 Red Elemental Blast.

    If you see, or even just suspect Xantid Swarm, it could be wise to leave in extra copies of Swords to Plowshares, we rarely did this before the ban, since we could still maintain the counterbalance+top lock even after they attack with it and silence us, but now things are slightly different and we will now almost always need to stop Xantid.
    TES (The Epic Storm)

    Due to Search being such a powerhouse vs combo decks looking to go long, I actually believe TES to be a harder matchup than ANT at the moment. This has always been the other way around in the past as ANT could grind us with multiple Tendrils. Our setup phase in the early turns is slow and we struggle to hide interaction as well as we used to without Top. You still want to approach how you play the matchup similarly to ANT but with a few changes to sideboarding. TES doesnít use its graveyard, so I wouldnít bring in Surgical Extractions. It also leans on Empty a lot more so Iíd be looking to leave in all Terminus. Itís also a bit more all in, so if you can stop the first wave that gives a good opportunity to play a Mentor and pressure them. It can also beat smaller Empties.

    Side out 4 Swords, 1 CJ, 2 Entreat, 1 Plains and 1 Jace for 1 Vendilion Clique, 1 Ethersworn Canonist, 3 Flusterstorm, 2 Monastery Mentor, 1 Pyroblast and 1 Red Elemental Blast.
    Death and Taxes

    Against DnT you play ĎUW Jundí, kill everything and if you survive until Entreat or Mentor you usually win. This is one of the matchups where Entreat can shine as Mentor isnít at itís best vs equipment.

    Vial is their scariest card, if they lead on it and you have a Force, Force it. Itís going to be dead otherwise. If they donít have a Vial then the power of the deck is hugely mitigated.

    I tend to keep the full set of Forces in, itís good against vial, if you need tempo to cantrip for land drops, their 4cmc haymakers like Gideon, Cataclysm etc. Itís a very versatile card and the disadvantage isnít what the matchup swings around.

    One of the scariest things they can do is set up Mother of Runes plus a Prelate on 6, because of this if they have a vial on one and you have the option to cantrip or hold up stp, always hold up the swords.

    I take out all other countermagic, so 2 Counterbalance and 2 Counterspell for 1 Councilís Judgement, 2 Monastery Mentor and a Disenchant.


    Aggro Loam

    Another Chalice matchup, but Punishing Fire is also a big threat. Game one an active Fire can keep Mentor or Jace in check, this is where Entreat is at its best. CB floating twos can help to keep Fire in check, but they also play Abrupt Decay so itís less reliable than vs Lands.

    You want to be playing to the board where possible because of Liliana too, so getting an early Search, Jace or Entreat down can give you a big boost to use your reactive cards as you draw them to disrupt rather than answer. We donít always have the tools to grind them out in game one, so we have to take an aggressive stance, but choose your spot wisely. Games can start slowly so make sure you know your plan as the pace of the game becomes apparent. Preferably you want to play a ďTurbo AngelĒ decks here, just hit every land drop and then cast Entreat for as much as possible as early as possible, this way you blank the biggest portion of their deck, and donít have to do the impossible in finding a permanent solution to Life from the Loam or Punishing Fire in game 1.

    In this matchup I trim on the removal and try to overload on threats. I tend to take out 1 Swords, 1 Terminus, 1 Portent, 2 Force of Will and 1 Counterspell for 1 Councilís Judgement, 2 Monastery Mentor, 2 Surgical Extraction and one Disenchant.

    Surgical is pretty much just for Punishing Fire and along with Snapcasters two copies is plenty, trimming a Counterspell is because itís only situationally good, and with Snaps itís a virtual two copies which is fine.

    Dredge

    Dredge has been gaining popularity recently so while I donít think itís at the state where we need to play things like Rest in Peace yet, thereís a good way to approach the matchup.

    Preboard is pretty horrible, but with Terminus and Swords we do stand a chance, itís not as bad as other decksí matchup game one. Try to save Swords for their Ichorids, and remember to throw Snapcasters out there if theyíre attacking to take out Bridge from Belows. After sideboard you should almost never try and Surgical Dredgers. One reason is because most lists now have incorporated Street Wraith which can lead to an uncounterable blowout, the other is if you can surgical Bridge and Ichorids, they canít do much. Alternatively you can Surgical Narcomoebas and Ichorids, leaving them having to hardcast their dudes then use Therapy to get Bridge triggers. This is my plan for any deck with Surgicals, Snaps and a sweeper. Take those two out, theyíre then just left with Narcomoabas and maybe some zombie tokens which are easy to clean up.

    I take out 2 Search, 2 Counterspell, 1 Councilís Judgement, 2 Counterbalance and 1 Plains for 2 Monastery Mentor, 3 Flusterstorm and 3 Surgical Extraction. Some versions still play Careful Study, then along with Breakthrough thatís enough targets to bring in Blasts on the play. Blasts can also kill your Snapcasters or Cliques in a pinch to get rid of Bridges.

    Black Red Reanimator

    BR Rea has waned in popularity recently, but itís still present enough to have plans for. Unlike UB where they have countermagic, if you can live a few turns BR is very easy to out grind. Swords and Jace are fantastic especially.

    Preboard youíll sometimes just lose to a fast hand or redundancy, itís a high variance game. You should always counter the effect putting a creature in the graveyard, like an Entomb, if able. They play a large amount more reanimation spells than this effect. Postboard you have Surgicals, so itís often better to let them resolve. Thereís a rule of thumb that you should mull hands without two pieces of 0 cmc interaction, but I wouldnít recommend doing this to a T, assess every hand in what itís capable of stopping. Also remember that Flusterstorm can get through a Chancellor trigger, the Chancellor will counter the original copy but all storm copies will go on the stack.

    I take out 2 Entreat, 2 Terminus, 2 Predict and a Plains for 1 Vendilion Clique, 3 Flusterstorm and 3 Surgical Extraction. Disenchant is also fine to bring in, it can hit Animate Dead with the trigger on the stack and the creature will never enter the battlefield. Sometimes they keep no or one landers with Chrome Mox and you can punish that.
    Last edited by Minniehajj; 12-27-2017 at 10:30 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by B88 View Post

    People Use Statistics as a Drunk Uses a Lamppost ó For Support Rather Than Illumination

  4. #4

    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    Great work on this primer Minniehajj
    Nobody plays Legacy anymore, the tournaments are all too crowded

  5. #5

    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    Thank you for your time and effort invested into this Primer!

    I think I can speak for all the Topless Miracles players when I say that we appreciate your work in trying to support this archetype.

  6. #6

    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    Very nice!

    I'd love to see some further discussion of general gameplay strategy. One topic is Portent -- especially when it is correct to Portent the opponent vs. yourself (i.e., how aggressive to be with Portent).

    Someday, a sideboarding guide for the main-deck Mentor version would also be of interest. (I'm never sure how 'correct' my sideboarding is.)

  7. #7

    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    Thanks for all the hard work. I've been looking forward to this SB guide for quite awhile.

  8. #8
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    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    Quote Originally Posted by AppallinglyDull View Post
    Very nice!

    I'd love to see some further discussion of general gameplay strategy. One topic is Portent -- especially when it is correct to Portent the opponent vs. yourself (i.e., how aggressive to be with Portent).

    Someday, a sideboarding guide for the main-deck Mentor version would also be of interest. (I'm never sure how 'correct' my sideboarding is.)
    Will definitely be addressing these points!
    Quote Originally Posted by B88 View Post

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  9. #9

    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Minniehajj View Post
    Will definitely be addressing these points!
    Any reason why you don't recommend bringing in Back to Basics against Shardless? You recommend them against Jund, and Shardless has a manabase that's about equally as greedy as Jund, and also sometimes plays Creeping Tar Pit as well. I think BtB is great in that matchup. I know there's also the temptation to leave in some Forces to deal with Ancestral and Jace, but Forces are awful otherwise and you have red blasts/snapcasters to deal with those.

    Honestly though you should probably add an entry for 4c Control too, as much as I love Shardless it seems like most people have shifted over to that deck due to its improved combo matchups.
    Nobody plays Legacy anymore, the tournaments are all too crowded

  10. #10

    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    Real glad to see that we've made it to 'Established Decks'

  11. #11

    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    Good work

  12. #12
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    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    It only took a banning but Miracles finally gets an updated primer

    Good work
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    Ugh, there he goes again, talking about the girlfriend. We get it dude.

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    Re: UWx Miracle Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Mcdonalds View Post
    It only took a banning but Miracles finally gets an updated primer

    Good work
    Yea, just on time too.
    It is better to ask and look stupid then keep your mouth shut and remain so.
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    Something about how fun it is pulling the wings off flies and microwaving the neighbors cat?

  14. #14

    Re: [DTB] UWx Miracle Control

    Congratulations for the hard work! The new primer seems great!

    Nice for the deck to return in the DTB too.

    EDIT: Mainly for history/nostalgia reasons, a link to the old primer can be added.
    Last edited by Sefir; 07-16-2017 at 03:34 AM.

  15. #15
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    Re: [DTB] UWx Miracle Control

    Very good work, Minniehajj!
    I hope now that we have a primer, we continue to discuss with the same passion and dedication, improving ourselves and THE archetype.
    Last edited by Hrothgar; 07-16-2017 at 10:36 PM.

  16. #16
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    Re: [DTB] UWx Miracle Control

    Welcome back. Right where we belong. Shout outs to Whitefaces, Alakazimdk, minnifer, Sam roukas, Johan Steurs and ozmandiguy.

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  17. #17

    Re: [DTB] UWx Miracle Control

    Regarding your sideboarding suggestions, what is the reasoning to bring in Monastery Mentor in the mirror? I always thought that was one of the weaker matchups for that card.

  18. #18
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    Re: [DTB] UWx Miracle Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobal View Post
    Regarding your sideboarding suggestions, what is the reasoning to bring in Monastery Mentor in the mirror? I always thought that was one of the weaker matchups for that card.
    Because white cards shouldn't be in and it doesn't get flusterstorm or rebd.

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  19. #19

    Re: [DTB] UWx Miracle Control

    Awesome! Though the large paragraph about JTMS needs to be reworked. It mentions interactions with counterbalance and divining top, as if those cards were still in the deck. Seems like it was copy/pasted from somewhere.

  20. #20
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    Re: [DTB] UWx Miracle Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuuri117 View Post
    Awesome! Though the large paragraph about JTMS needs to be reworked. It mentions interactions with counterbalance and divining top, as if those cards were still in the deck. Seems like it was copy/pasted from somewhere.
    Someone on reddit point this out, it's fixed now!
    Quote Originally Posted by B88 View Post

    People Use Statistics as a Drunk Uses a Lamppost ó For Support Rather Than Illumination

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