Monday 3 September 2012

Bant Cheese

Bant Charm
This is a very powerful archetype that showcases nicely what control decks are doing to cope with with the ever increasing power of creatures. High power level cards with wide application is the theme of the deck although the initial idea just came from wanting to play Garruk, Elspeth and Jace in their most powerful four mana incarnations and then each of the corresponding coloured commands. Green is a much more awkward colour to combine with blue in a control deck than any of the others as it adds different things and has many of the same weaknesses as blue. Typically greens best cards are creatures and in a control deck with mass removal this has obvious counter-synergy. As such this list has far less mass removal than typical control lists and aims to use point removal and board position to cope with creature aggression. The green primarily offers ramp to help you get that board position but also offers some card advantage and utility later in the curve. Some decks are very ramp focused and can either get blown out by removal on ramp creatures or by answers to the vital threats that have been ramped up to. With the aim of keeping the average power level of the cards very high, avoiding dud draws late game and a vulnerability to removal there is only a dash of ramp and beyond the one drops they are the least able to become useless.

Austere CommandAnother oddity of this style of control deck is the low quantity of counter magic. The reason being with your higher number of threats, ramp and permanents than your average control deck you neither have the space in your deck nor the desire to hold back mana for counter magic when you could be furthering your position. The deck is robust and without fiddly little quirks or engines, each spell is good value and will get you ahead with card or mana advantage over most other decks. In many ways it is like most four and five colour control decks however the mana is so much more reliable with just three colours and allows you to happily play double and triple colour cards.

The deck got its name when I was building it for the first time claiming my plan was just to play all the best white blue and green cards in a deck together to which my opponent remarked that sounded really cheesy. The deck then went on to systematically crush him in the least fun way possible always curving out with the perfect answers and devastating threats. Those kinds of game where you try and get ahead on tempo and get stopped in your tracks only to realise by turn four you have dealt two points of damage and have a single unexciting card left in your hand and a stagnant board position while your opponent has more lands, a hand full of gas and an unassailable active planeswalker. Due to the miserable experience had by my opponent any further decks of a similar nature came under great criticism for being cheesy and an autopilot durdle-deck. Never the less it is a very easy deck to draft, the hardest part is getting sufficient spot removal, and turns up often enough despite protest and performs consistently well.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor23 Spells

Birds of Paradise
Noble Hierarch
Swords to Plowshares
Spell Pierce

Path to Exile
Ancestral Visions

Arcane Denial
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Snapcaster Mage
Wall of Omens


Sakura-Tribe ElderBant Charm
Beast Within
Eternal Witness

Cryptic Command
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Elspeth, Knight Errant
Garruk Wildspeaker

Baneslayer Angel
Primal Command

Austere Command
Consecrated Sphinx

17 Land

Tropical Island
Baneslayer AngelBreeding Pool

Temple Garden
Hallowed Fountain
Misty Rainforest
Flooded Strand

Windswept Heath
Celestial Colonnade
Stirring Wildwood
Flooded Grove

Simic Growth Chamber / Mystic Gate
Yavimaya Coast


Path to ExileThe list is highly flexible and will function similarly well with a similar ratio of card types (as in removal, ramp, threats etc) and of curve. You can wedge in a Gifts Ungiven side to the deck but it really doesn't need it in the same way the four and five colour control decks do as they tend to have just one solution per problem. The Bant deck has much greater redundancy in its answers and can reliably just deal with things with its draws. You can also have the favourite Trinket Mage toolbox which is cute but unnecessary for much of the same reasons as the Gifts is over the top. Life from the Loam is another engine that could be fitted in to the deck but is just too slow for this more proactive control style. Cards that are much more interesting for this deck are the good control planeswalkers such as Gideon Jura, Wrath of God assuming you have failed to get enough spot removal, big threats that dominate the board such as Simic Skyswallower, Elesh Norn, Frost Titan and any other cheap disruption that ideally maintains card numbers such as Remand. The worst card in the deck is probably the Spell Pierce as it has the highest chance of being dead weight in hand. If you suspect a slow field then this should just be another powerful late game threat or perhaps something like a Kitchen Finks against an agro field. It is notable that Finks is significantly better when you have both Path and Plow in your deck and so are very likely to get the persist effect.

This is probably one of the easiest control decks to play successfully and is a great bridge for people who feel confined to agro decks due to being new to the cube or playing against better more experienced players. While it may rank towards the easier end of cube decks the cube format is the hardest and most skill intensive going and so no deck is easy to play or plays itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment