Tag: control-magic

Tyson Fraleigh - January 28, 2021

Meta-Man: Magic The Gathering – Standard (January 2021)

What kind of cards should you be holding onto to make up your next favourite Magic deck? What decks have been dominating Magic tournaments? Well, Meta-Man has arrived with all you need to know about the Magic meta in January! Let’s dive right into with –

Dimir Rogues (Black/Blue)

If you want to piss off every Magic player in the world, then this is the route to go. Rogue archetypes in any TCG are a great way to out perform your opponent in unexpected ways. In the case of Magic, control your opponents ability to play creature and non-creature cards while also milling them out of their deck.

The key creatures of this deck are Ruin Crab, Merfolk Wind Robber, Thieves Guild Enforcer, and Soaring Thought Thief. Each one of these you want to max out, allowing you to mill through your opponent’s deck very quickly. Boost Ruin Crab’s Landfall ability by maxing out Fabled Passage to double the mill capability. Add Lurrus of the Dream-Den to give yourself Lifelink and have access to spells from your graveyard.

Non-creature spells are what make this deck really a headache to go up against. Max out Lofty Denial, Heartless Act, Bloodchief’s Thirst, and Drown in the Loch to control every aspect of your opponent’s casting capability. If you really want to focus on the control aspect of the deck, throw in a few Negate‘s or Essence Scatter‘s. However, if you really want to get a rhythm going, switch out the Negate and Essence Scatter to max out Into The Story to draw into more counterspells or into more mill creatures.

You may be tempted to drop an Ashiok into the deck to offer you access to a planeswalker, but that may slow down your end goal. Instead, consider Cling to Dust, Extinction Event, or Lullmage’s Domination to help boost your control game.

Magic Card

Gruul Adventure (Red/Green)

There is no better feeling than swarming your opponent and boosting your front line with unbeatable creatures. If you are itching for a battering ram of a deck, then Gruul is the way to go.

As with any red deck, there are the classics – Bonecrusher Giant, Rimrock Knight, Fire Prophecy, and Shock. All of these will help clear your opponents board before you begin to really lay down the heat. You can also consider Embereth Shieldbreaker for an artifact negate and Edgewall Inkeeper to be able to get a bigger draw pool.

Make sure to max out Brushfire Elemental, Kazandu Mammoth, and Scavenging Ooze, to get more creatures on the board. Brushfire and Kazandu will quickly become your most power creatures with their Landfall capability, while Scavenging Ooze is a solid low tier creature to throw out if you need blockers, especially if your graveyard is getting filled with creatures faster than expected. Make sure to max out Fabled Passage into your lands to boost Brushfire Elemental and Kazandu Mammoth’s damage potential.

The cards that truly make this deck are Embercleave, Crawling Barrens, Shatterskull Smashing. Once you are able to equip Embercleave to a creature, you will be tanking most of the creatures your opponent can throw at you. Shatterskull Smashing will give you a huge damage boost if you need to tank something big, and Crawling Barrens can become a 2/2 creature if you want an unexpected defender.

As a last note: one of the most powerful card you can add is Klothys, God of Destiny. Being able to bump your mana pool or your life and deal damage even before you jump into your damage step is INSANE. I’ve seen a lot of decks that throw this in the sideboard, which seems nuts to me. If you can, make sure Klothys is one of cards that makes the cut.

Esper Doom (Blue/White/Black)

Esper Doom is a fascinating deck, but can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking at. The key is being able to put trigger some powerful Saga and Enchantment cards to reduce your opponent’s casting capability.

The four cards that are key to this deck are Yorion, Sky Nomad, Elspeth Conquers Death, Elspeth’s Nightmare, and Doom Foretold. Set-up both Elspeth Saga’s before playing Yorion to be able to be able to trigger the effects twice by blinking them with Yorion’s special ability. Doom Foretold is a great way to either reduce your opponent’s hand size, or to deal damage and get a blocker on the field to defend yourself without having to sacrifice Yorion. Max out Skyclave Appartion and you have a powerful control creature to exile your opponent’s creatures.

Maxing Golden Egg and Omen of the Sea will help keep control of your side of the board. Drop your Golden Egg whenever you are hurting for life or mana, while Omen of the Sea will help offer a little control over your card draw. Throw in some Negate‘s, Eliminate‘s, and Heartless Act‘s to be able to infuriate your opponent with total control of their casting potential.

Know any other cards that would help boost these decks? Let us know in the comments below!

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Three Kings Loot - May 15, 2014

Conspiracy – Marchesa the Black Rose, Selvala Explorer Returned,...

So, we had a number of new Conspiracy cards get spoiled (Full card gallery here) and they showcase a number of interesting new mechanics.  I’m not sure what to make of some of the stuff, but it would appear as if we are headed to very dynamic and chaotic multiplayer variant  (if things shape out sort of how the new mechanics suggest) meaning this could be super fun and very refreshing.  Let’s take a look at what we got spoiled!

Marchesa, the Black Rose


Marchesa, The Black Rose– A 3/3 Legendary Creature- Human Wizard for 4 mana  (1 colourless, 1 blue, 1 red, 1 black) that comes with the new Dethrone ability, grants all your other creatures Dethrone, and when a creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it dies return that creature to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step.  This looks insanely powerful because it becomes a Lord to all creature types with the Dethrone ability…but what does that mean?  Dethrone, from the description on the card, suggests that if you attack the player with the most life (or you are tied) then the creature gets a +1/+1 counter. This seems very interesting because the description implies you are playing MORE THAN ONE PLAYER AT A TIME! That’s…mind blowing! For a DRAFT format to envision playing more than a single opponent is bonkers and that is truly amazing.  I’m already stoked.  However, let’s get back to the card at hand. The ability to give your WHOLE team the ability to rack up +1/+1 counters is huge.  Also, once they get the counters they become MUCH more resistant to any sort of removal because they return to the battlefield at the next end step.  That’s big. I mean, really big.


As much as this seems super powerful I have 2 issues with this: First, triple colour casting cost.  If this ends up being pick 1 in your draft then you automatically are running three colours…which can be extremely difficult in draft…usually.  This format might take all that conventional wisdom and toss it out the window, but I’d be leery of the triple colour Grixis casting cost.  The other concern is the Dethrone ability in principle.  I’m going to draw an analogy to a race.  Usually, to win a race you want to get out early and close it down.  There is reason that in racing sports cars that the pole position and getting out to an early lead is so crucial in determining who will win.  Well, the same is true in Magic.  Usually, you want to get out early and try to close out the match.  However, Dethrone is premised on the opposite, on falling behind and needing a big finish to steal the match.  Now, in racing this strategy is very viable but it creates a more risky situation if you fall too far behind and this is no exception.  If you get too far behind, you might now be able to close down the gap and you will be looking up at a loss beside your name.


This card looks super interesting and I have no doubt that EDH players will love this addition because her ability is very powerful.  For draft, she could be very straining on your mana base, but without knowing what else is in the set it is hard to tell just how much of a strain it will be. Hopefully we’ll see some very neat mana fixing and fun options to make this cool new card come together as part of strategy.

Selvala, Explorer Returned


Selvala, Explorer Returned– A 2/4 Legendary Creature- Elf Scout for 3 mana (1 white, 1 green, 1 colourless) that has Parley.  Parley seems to be an ability that when tapped, forces all the players at the table to reveal their top card of their library and then something interesting happens. In the case of Selvala for each non-land card revealed you add 1 Green mana to your mana pool and gain a life then each player draws a card.


So, let’s break this down in a couple of ways, first off a 2/4 for 3 mana is actually good value.  Don’t believe me, check out Courser of Kruphix as it does work in Standard right now.  Next, she ramps you…and if you’re in green you are totally on board the ramp plan.  Third, she gains you life.  This is an incremental gain similar to that of Courser of Kruphix again and could be hugely valuable as a multiplayer game grinds on.  Fourth (yes…we are at fourth) she enables card draw.  My only issue with Selvala at all is that each player draws a card, but as it has been pointed out with other cards that may not be bad, particularly if you are in control of WHEN people draw cards.  However, I think in her instance, I would be prepared to ignore the fact that my opponents draw cards in favour of me getting access to more cards (and hopefully more gas!) so I think this ability is pretty reasonable.  So, Selvala is packed full of value.  She would be totally first pickable, but would need to be backed up by some serious value and heavy hitters to exploit the advantages gained.  I’m in on this one…bi g time.

Tyrant’s Choice


Tyrants Choice a 2 mana (1 black and 1 colourless) that exemplifies the new Will of the Council mechanic that effectively presents a voting situation for your opponents.  The choices on this card are that if the majority votes for death, the opponents each sacrifice a creature or if Torture is the vote your opponents all lose 4 life.  This is very nicely costed at 2 mana…and both options are good for a player playing black, but my issue is simply that you are no longer in control of either option, much like Tribute in Born of the Gods.  If your opponents decide to put the screws down to you, you don’t get the effect you were looking for and ultimately leaving you no further ahead…and with a table full of opponents who are a little pissed at you and looking to bury you.  This feels very much like a “win more card” where if you are in the lead, it is awesome. However, if you are behind and need one effect or the other…well…you are likely getting screwed by your opponents, leaving you exactly where you were and no better off.  This looks like a fun new mechanic, which will make things very interesting at your game table, but it introduces a ton of unpredictable results that you can’t bank on, so be leery of this card and others like it unless the effects are extremely powerful.  We’ll see what the remainder of the set provides.

Control Magic

Control Magic- Wow, I’ve missed this card.  4 mana…take your creature…and at uncommon? This classic reprint of one of one of the iconic spells in Magic makes this super valuable.  This will rarely be a dead card in your hand as it is good in almost every situation and is very reasonably costed to cast.  If you see this one in your pack it is good enough to picked very early in your draft and you will not regret it.

Three Kings Loot - February 27, 2014

Duel Decks: Jace vs. Vraska Decklists & New art

Jace vs Vraska Logo

Jace vs Vraska box cover

Jace Deck

Lands (24)
Creatures (22)
Other Spells (15)
Planeswalker (1)

Vraska Deck

Lands (24)
Creatures (24)
Other Spells (11)
Planeswalker (1)

Aeon Chronicler Body Double Future Sight Jace, Architect of Thought Night’s Whisper Ohran Viper Putrid Leech Reaper of the Wilds Remand Spawnwrithe Vinelasher Kudzu Vraska the Unseen

Three Kings Loot - February 13, 2014

Conspiracy – Card Gallery, Release notes and Artwork

Conspiracy Art 1

Pick. Plot. Play. Experience a Magic format where the intrigues begin long before the first spells are cast! Revolutionary new abilities impact every part of the play experience, starting with the draft itself.


Conspiracy Symbol

The first-ever multiplayer-focused booster set has new Magic cards with new mechanics that enhance multiplayer play. Returning favorites from throughout Magic’s history round out the set and cultivate an environment of deception and treachery. The Magic: The Gathering–Conspiracy set is designed to be drafted with six to eight players who then split into groups of three or four players for free-for-all multiplayer games.

  • Number of Cards: 210
  • Release Date: June 6, 2014
  • Three-letter abbreviation: CNS
  • Twitter Hashtag: #MTGCNS
  • Initial Concept and Game Design: Shawn Main (lead), Dan Helland, David Humpherys, Kenneth Nagle, and Matt Tabak
  • Final Game Design and Development: David Humpherys (lead), Dan Emmons, K. Joseph Huber, Sam Stoddard, and Gavin Verhey, with contributions from Matt Tabak
  • Languages: English, Japanese, Chinese Simplified
  • Available in: Booster Packs

Zombie GoliathWrap in VigorWoodvine ElementalWood SageWind DancerWhispergear SneakWarmonger’s ChariotWakestone GargoyleWakedancerVow of DutyVictimizeVedalken OrreryVampire HexmageValor Made RealUnquestioned AuthorityUnhallowed Pactuncontrollable angerTyphoid Ratsturn the tideTrumpet BlastTraveler's CloakTragic SlipTorch FiendSwords to PlowsharesSulfuric VortexStifleStave OffStasis CellSpontaneous CombustionSpiritmongerSpectral SearchlightSoulcatcherSky SpiritSkeletal Scryingsilverchase foxSilent ArbiterSelvala's enforcerScaled WurmSakura-Tribe ElderRuned ServitorReya DawnbringerRespiteRelic CrushReflecting PoolReckless SpiteQuicksandquag vampiresPride GuardianPredator's HowlPlummetPlated SeastriderPlagued RusalkaPillarfield OxPhage The UntouchablePernicious DeedPelakka WurmPeace StriderNecromantic ThirstNature's ClaimMortifyMorkrut Bansheemoment of heroismMirrodin’s CoreMirari’s WakeMarche'sas EmissaryMarchesa’s SmugglerMagus of the MirrorLiliana’s SpecterJetting GlasskiteIntengible VirtueIll-gotten GainsIgnition TeamHunger of the HowlpackHeckling FiendsGuardian ZendikonGrenzo's RebuttalGrixis IllusionistGrenzo's CutthroatGlimmerpoint StagGamekeeperGalvanic JuggernautFlamewrightFireshriekerFavorable WindsFact or FictionEnraged RevolutionaryElvish AberrationEdric, Spymaster of TrestDeathrenderCustodi SquireCustodi SoulbindersCourier HawkCookclaw TransmuterCogwork TrackerCogwork GrinderChartooth CougarCharging RhinoCanal DredgerBreakthroughBrainstormBoldwyr IntimidatorBite of the Black RoseBarbed ShockerAssassinateApex HawksAltar's ReapAltar of DementiaAjani’s SunstrikerAir ServantÆther TradewindsWolfbriar ElementalUnhallowed PactSkitter of LizardsPower of FirePitchburn DevilsOrcish CannonadeMinamo ScrollkeeperMana GeyserLead the StampedeHydra OmnivoreFlowstone BladeFlaring Flame-KinExplorer's ScopeEchoing CourageDeathforge ShamanBrimstone VolleySporecap SpiderShorline RangerGrudge KeeperGnarlid PackDoomed TravelerCopperhorn Scoutcinder WallVent SentinelTwisted AbominationReckless ScholarNoble TemplarKor ChantInfectious HorrorHowling WolfEnclave EliteDream FractureCompulsive ResearchSecret SummoningRealm SeekersProvokeLizard WarriorGrenzo, Dungeon WardenDeathreap RitualDack's DuplicateCouncil's JudgmentCoercive PortalAcademy EliteIterative AnalysisMuzzio, Visionary ArchitectAgent of AcquisitionsPaliano, the High CityTreasonous OgreUnexpected PotentialAether SearcherBackup PlanBrago's RepresentativeDeal BrokerDecimateDrakestown ForgottenExplorationMarchesa's InfiltratorMisdirectionPower PlayRoutScourge of the ThroneSelvala's ChargeWorldknitPristine AngelSecrets of ParadiseRousing of SoulsReito LanternMuzzio's PrepartaionsImmediate ActionDimir DoppelgangerBrago's FavorBasandra, Battle SeraphReign of the PitWhispergear SneakVolcanic FalloutTerastodonSplit DecisionSentinel DispatchPlea for PowerLurking AutomatonLore SeekerHeartless HidetsuguExtract from DarknessDouble StrokeCouncil GuardianCogwork SpyAdvantageous ProclamationSquirrel NestSquirrel TokensControl MagicSelvala, Explorer ReturnedMarchesa, the Black RoseDack FaydenBrago, King EternalMagister of WorthCogwork Librarian

Conspiracy Tokens

Zombie Token Cospiracy Wolf Token Cospiracy Squirrel Token Cospiracy Spirit Token Cospiracy Ogre Token Cospiracy Elephant Token Cospiracy Demon Token Cospiracy Dack Fayden Emblem Cospiracy Construct Token Cospiracy

Conspiracy Drafting Video

Conspiracy Booster Box


Conspiracy Booster Pack

Conspiracy Booster Pack

Conspiracy Artwork

Brago, King Eternal Artwork

Dack Fayden - Artwork

Selvala, Explorer Returned Artwork

Rout Artwork

Paliano, the High City Artwork

Misdirection Artwork Marchesa, the Black Rose Artwork Muzzio, Visionary Architect Artwork