Wednesday 6 February 2013
Global Ruin 5cc
Very few cards are auto includes in 5cc, the ones that are probably only has Vindicate, Fire / Ice, Pernicious Deed, Eternal Witness and Sensei's Divining Top within their ranks. All other options are dependant on your specific build and then the meta if you have information. The only things that can be said to be common across all 5cc control decks are a desire for these few cards, few win conditions, slow card advantage engines and an abundance of answers. They generally have a lot of gold cards as they have access to all of them effectively and gold cards tend to be slightly more powerful to offset the casting restrictions. As such it fills up on the most powerful and suitable gold cards for which RtR block is providing an abundance.
When playing 5cc I like to be able to vastly impact the board in all manner of ways so as to stop those tenacious decks from recovering as they so often do. I also like to be able to abuse the fact that I have domain. For non Zoo decks there are not that many exciting Domain cards with the exception of Global Ruin. The inverse Sundering Titan leaves you with five lands in play and them with an average of less than two. It kills of all non-basics and works very well in combination with the Life from the Loam engine. You can go all out and combine it with Collective Restraint but I see little need with a wealth of good removal at your disposal. Global Ruin basically only works in this deck and so really doesn't deserve a slot in the A cube however it is my favourite way to build this deck as it is more proactive than most other incarnations. I shall try and give some good examples of 5cc that look highly different to this and explain why that is the case in time but for now this serves as a fine poster boy for the archetype.
Birds of Paradise
Swords to Plowshares
Sensei's Diving Top
Fire / Ice
Life from the Loam
Bonfire of the Damned
Other builds of 5cc without Global Ruin will use just Bird of Paradise or even no mana critters at all in favour of cards like Sakura-Tribe Elder and Nature's Lore. Obviously ramping lands when you are going to reset your count to five is not ideal and so the critters cover you here. Gifts Ungiven is very potent in the deck but assures it's slot in this list because of the Life from the Loam synergy. Most of the time you get three lands and Loam with it although it is still basically a tutor effect when you need it to be with the good redundancy in your removal suite and high number of recursion effects. Even by 5cc standards this list is rather light on win conditions. You can win with utility creatures, man lands or the two planeswalkers however they are not the best walkers for winning games on their own nor do you have many man lands as they don't survive the Global Ruin. With the Primal Command you can often find that decking people is one of your faster routes to victory... by the time you have gained complete control libraries often have few cards left in them.
I have been saying how dissimilar most builds of 5cc are however the mana bases tend to look quite similar. Only those with Life from the Loam tend to bother with cycling lands and those with Tribe Elder are forced to run some basics. Other than this they all have lots of the dual lands with basic land types and lots of sac lands to get them. They also supplement these with a couple of the dual man lands more often than not. The mana base is the most key thing in the deck, if you balls it up in construction or even just getting the wrong land with your sac land it will cost you games, it is the most common way this deck loses and something to be really wary of. In drafts the lands should always be picked above the spells, it may seem like taking a Tundra over a Pernicious Deed is madness but there are plenty of things that while not as good fill in for Deed well enough and still leave you with a solid deck. If you don't get an outstanding mana base you won't be casting your Deed so having it isn't all that helpful. It is a risky deck to try and get in most forms of drafting as the lands are also good picks for most other people and should they get wind of what you are doing will take them before you can get all the ones you want. In a field full of one and two colour decks it is a beating, especially the Global Ruin version, but as people move into three colour decks the lands dry up too fast. You cannot really run this deck of pain lands, filter lands and M13 lands and should go three colour yourself if it is all you have. The Vivid land cycle is an acceptable replacement for a lack of sac, shock and original dual lands if they are available to you but as yet they are the only other lands suitable to reliably power a five colour deck like this, even if it has been careful to only have single colour requirements for most of the colours.
You want some access to counter magic or hand disruption on top of any mana base disruption and other removal you might have. Generally you are not at all worried about things that become permanents as you can easily dispatch with those however some instants are annoying and some sorceries are devastating making it well worth playing some insurance against them. In this build I favour counter magic over discard as blue is easier to get and discard has less synergy with land destruction. Despite wanting some you want less than most blue or black based control decks. Partly this is to avoid having too many inappropriate cards in hand at any given time but also because they are not at all required in the majority of your matchups although they are not awful in them. With you card quality, tutor effects and recursion you can make just a couple of cards in your deck seem like they make up more like a quarter of your deck and so you only need a few to give you this option.
A very hard deck to play although technically quite easy to draft. Is there a land - yes, then take it, no then take the most powerful control card as a simple decision tree will get you a decent deck when not too many people are taking the good lands from you. This deck simply can't win fast nor should it try to, some control decks can't deal with the odd thing and so have to apply pressure at some stage to give you good odds of killing them before they can beat you with a problem card. This deck has an answer to everything and is so slow to get card advantage you are almost always best just efficiently dealing with what is in hand and getting back to gaining card and mana advantages over your opponent. It doesn't really have any bad match ups although is hard to play against all of them, for the best results you want to be familiar with anything you could come up against. Generally the extremely fast decks are the hardest and to beat them require aggressive muliganing to get your relevant cheap disruption. It is more often the quick combo decks over the agro decks that cause issue as the relevant disruption is often more niche and thus less catered for in your particular choice of suite. Some storm decks pose a really tough match and is another solid argument for the Global Ruin. Otherwise you simply don't have enough spells that do anything to them and they can just play at their leisure under no pressure at all until they can comfortably go off even if you had every useful disruption spell in your deck ready to cast. The Global Ruin either totally resets them or just forces them to play under time pressure so as to best avoid it.