Daily Digest: Make Them Stop!

Many players are advocating traditional control strategies to stop Eldrazi in older formats, but Ross Merriam is hot on the heels of a Standard strategy that takes that philosophy and runs with it! See his latest scoop before Sunday’s #SCGPHILLY Standard Classic!

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<p><a href=Reflector Mage is dominating Standard and the Eldrazi are dominating Modern. So what happens when they join forces? I’m not sure I want to find out, but Clayton McKinsey did, piloting this innovative U/W list to an IQ Top 8 finish. I wouldn’t really call this a control deck, as there are many aggressive elements, but it does build to a very powerful end-game in any creature matchup, as Eldrazi Displacer with either bounce creature will eventually dominate any battlefield.

The blending of Eldrazi with Dragons is a nice idea, since it allows Haven of the Spirit Dragon to serve as a tri-land of sorts. Also note that Icefall Regent is the last piece in a removal suite that contains twenty ways to deal with opposing creatures without putting them into the graveyard, no doubt a response to the rise of Four-Color Rally, while also blanking opposing Kolaghan’s Commands and Ojutai’s Commands. Limiting the potential of Rally the Ancestors allows you to retake inevitability with Eldrazi Displacer unless your opponent sets up a huge board with Nantuko Husk, which is unlikely.

The downside to this removal package is that we are unable to play Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, but it may not play particularly well in this deck anyway, since we are looking to apply pressure and would be hard-pressed to find the tools to make Jace a good late-game threat without adding another color.

To me, the strange cards are Ojutai’s Command and Negate. Command is awkward in this deck, given its dearth of two-drops and the presence of many midrange threats that leave you unable to frequently hold up four mana. I would prefer to take the deck in a more aggressive direction and play Eldrazi Skyspawner, which has some small synergy with Displacer and can let you land your Dragons ahead of schedule. I could also see Wingmate Roc doing good work here, but the mana is likely unworkable and it is not appreciably better than the Dragons.

Negate is strange to me, since I would much rather have Dispel. It is easier to leave up and most of the cards we are scared of are instants. This deck is excellent at pressuring planeswalkers and there are not many sweepers being played that we would have to worry about. I would at least swap Negate with some of the sideboard Dispels.

The sideboard is haphazard, highlighted by the lack of a fifteenth card, so that is where the most work is to be done. Besides having Arashin Clerics for Atarka Red and additional Dispels, I am not sold on anything else. I would prefer Valorous Stance to Suspension Field, as the instant is more valuable against Abzan Aggro, and some card draw would be nice against control decks. I am also surprised to not see any Disdainful Strokes, as this deck appears particularly vulnerable to ramp strategies.

The Linvala, the Preserver is certainly exciting, given the potential with Displacer, so I would definitely keep that and would be tempted to find room for one in the main. The sideboard is naturally going to be limited by the fact that you are only two colors, but with the Eldrazi cards, it is too difficult to stretch the mana further. But when you are playing cards that have been dominating in Modern, I would say you are in a good place in terms of power.

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