It seems weird to write in the space after Regionals. We’ve been talking about it for months now as the end-all be-all of tournament glories, and now that it’s over, I feel so empty. It’s a good thing I can fill that space with the box of product I won! Herein I will detail my completely original decklist and the path to Regionals glory.
Just kidding, I only wish I could claim this as an original decklist. Granted, I have never seen or heard of anyone playing this deck, but that doesn’t make it original; all I did was take my crappy infinite life deck and hybridize it with MWC.

When Regionals was approaching, there was so much chatter over the net about what to play that I couldn’t make up my mind. I had been playing a really janky infinite-life combo deck on Magic Online just for kicks, and also because I couldn’t afford the really great cards. I thought it would be fun to play at Regionals; too bad it was terrible. Then I came up with the idea of taking out all the terrible cards and putting in really good expensive cards. Out went Well of Lost Dreams, and in came Akroma’s Vengeance. Out went True Believer, and in came Eternal Dragon. Out went Myr Matrix, Platinum Angel, and Leonin Abunas, and in came Exalted Angels and Wrath of God.

It seems weird to write in the space after Regionals. We’ve been talking about it for months now as the end-all be-all of tournament glories, and now that it’s over, I feel so empty. It’s a good thing I can fill that space with the box of product I won! Herein I will detail my completely original decklist and the path to Regionals glory.

Just kidding, I only wish I could claim this as an original decklist. Granted, I have never seen or heard of anyone playing this deck, but that doesn’t make it original; all I did was take my crappy infinite life deck and hybridize it with MWC. This strengthened most of the matchups, and as far as I can tell, didn’t weaken any of them; the old MWC seems pretty dead, so here is its new face. If you’ve read my previous articles you know that I’m not particularly adept at naming decks -“Arbitrarily Large Control” is the name I put on my decklist – but I think MWC+ is a winner. Here it is:


Critters (20):

4 Weathered Wayfarer

4 Daru Spiritualist

4 Silver Knight

4 Exalted Angel

4 Eternal Dragon

Spells (10):

4 Wrath of God

2 Akroma’s Vengeance

2 Pulse of the Fields

2 Decree of Justice

Artifacts (6):

4 Lightning Greaves

2 Mindslaver

Lands (24):

4 Secluded Steppe

4 Cloudpost

4 Starlit Sanctum

12 Plains

Sideboard (15):

4 Worship

4 Purge

4 Duplicant

3 Tempest of Light

I didn’t do nearly enough playtesting with the deck before the tournament, so it’s amazing that I was able to perform so well. If I had done the playtesting ahead of time, I would have known to cut the two Pulse of the Fields and replace them with two more Mindslavers. I’ll discuss the reasons for this shortly in the deck breakdown.

The general strategy of the deck is to do one of two things. You can try to do broken things and win, which is what happens most of the time. This includes the Wrath effects, Mindslaver, Decree of Justice, Eternal Dragon recursion, and smashing face with Exalted Angels. Or, you can win and then do broken things: this means go to thirty-five billion life and if your opponent won’t concede, worry about winning from there on out. Most of the time, as evidenced by the results of the Swiss pairings, you will follow the first route, and the second route is a bonus or an out from a difficult situation. The only time you should go directly for the lifegain is when you have at least three of the four combo pieces in hand.

Here is how the combo works. You need a Daru Spiritualist and another creature in play, a Lightning Greaves, a Starlit Sanctum, and a White mana to activate the Sanctum. You equip the Spiritualist with the Greaves; the targeting effect of the equip triggers the +0/+2 ability making him a 1/3. Then move the Greaves to the other creature. Move them back to the Spiritualist, again activating the ability. If the opponent has no response, you have to demonstrate the loop three times. Once you’ve done this, you can say”I do it five billion times, putting the Spiritualist’s toughness at ten billion (and one).” Sacrifice the Spiritualist to the Sanctum to gain life equal to its toughness, then do a happy dance.

Generally, I hold the combo pieces in my hand until I’m ready to go for it. I don’t think a single one of my opponents expected an infinite life combo, and catching them off-guard is not only priceless, but much more reliable. I will usually commit one small critter to the board; it’s best if it’s a Wayfarer, a Knight, or a morphed Angel, so they don’t see it coming. Next turn, play Greaves and Spiritualist and give it a shot. This prevents you from overextending into removal and gives your combo a whammy factor that will force your opponent to play differently when you have a full grip or any of the combo pieces on the board.

The rules discourage the notion of infinite life; therefore, you must choose an arbitrarily large number. I put a lot of thought into what number I would choose before the tournament, and I finally settled on thirty-five billion. It’s nice and round, and if you type it out, it’s got nine zeroes. Also, having that much life lets you say all kinds of condescending things to your Goblin opponent, like”Listen, even if you did a million damage for every Sharpshooter ping, you still couldn’t kill me with all four Biddings.” Not that I would do such a thing.

Here is the promised deck breakdown! A lot of these are kind of self-explanatory but I gave them a blurb as a testament of their sweetness.

Weathered Wayfarer

Contrary to what the Knut says, this guy actually turned out to be the best card in the deck. [As I also noted, John Matthew’s card choice selection tends to be ahead of the curve, because he plays things that look awful on paper, and turn out to be surprisingly good when played. – Knut] Other cards are flashier, and certainly more expensive, but none perform like this guy. He finds Cloudposts, he finds Starlit Sanctum. If you mulligan, he will erase the card disadvantage in a second. You can even use him to search out a Secluded Steppe, then cycle it for a card. Sometimes, when I had two of them going, I would rip Plains out of the deck even, though I’d end up discarding one, just to thin the lands from the deck. And he’s a Cleric, so you can sacrifice him to Sanctum to gain life (his measly one point of lifegain actually won me a game against Tooth and Nail!). This guy is the workhorse of the deck and the MVP.

Daru Spiritualist

Part of the combo engine. Also, he’s difficult to kill; you can’t Sharpshooter him, Shock him, Electrostatic Bolt him. The only way Gobbos can deal is if they cycle a Gempalm with three goblins in play or use a Sparksmith; this means you can play him early without too much fear of him getting killed.

Silver Knight

Maindecked so you don’t roll over to Goblins in the first game. He provides time to get an Angel going or to set up a Wrath. First strike is also great against Black decks and elves.

Exalted Angel

A huge fatty with potential to run the tempo game. People complain that she’s too slow for the current environment, but remember there are four Lightning Greaves in here.

Eternal Dragon

He mana fixes, he’s card advantage, he thins your deck – a great package. He is an all-star vs. control (as in, if you don’t draw him or go infinite, you won’t win).

Wrath of God

Kills critters for four mana – there are no Temple of the False God in here due to the number of lands that produce colorless mana (8), so that is why there are four Wraths and only two Akroma’s Vengeance. Due to the speed of the environment, turn 4 is a critical turn.

Akroma’s Vengeance

Kills everything for six mana and wrecks Affinity if you can survive Disciple’s ability. This card is maindecked due to the prevalence of Affinity, and most of the time comes out when you’re playing against something else.

Decree of Justice

I’m not sure about this card’s role in the maindeck. If you don’t have it vs. control, you’ll probably lose, but most of the field is some sort of aggro. The problem with this card is that I never drew it when I was sitting on twenty+ mana; the reason I only included two was because I needed to cut some stuff for the combo, and because it sucks early (which is the only time I drew it).

Pulse of the Fields

Ostensibly included because it’s good vs. Goblins and Affinity, if I could start the tourney over, I would replace both of these with two more Mindslavers. There are several reasons for this: the first is that the deck has oodles of colorless, but relatively few White mana most of the time. That seems weird with sixteen White sources, but four of them get cycled a lot, and I hardly ever Wayfarer for a White source. Secondly, Pulse of the Fields reads: cast me a bunch – don’t die. Mindslaver reads: activate me and win, or do something so ridiculously terrible to your opponent that winning will come in short order. Remember that win condition #1 is”do broken things and win.” Mindslaver is infinitely (arbitrarily large?) more broken.

Lightning Greaves

Another combo piece. Untargetability protects your good critters, like Silver Knight when you’ve got Worship on the table. Also, hasted Angels are good. More on these when I get to the sideboard notes.


One of the best cards in Standard. Look at the good decks in Type Two right now: Tooth and Nail, Gobbos, Ravager – these are either aggro-combo decks or mana acceleration and”money spells.” If you get to take control of their combo or money spells, you will probably win. The truth of this is contained in the match results in part 2: I never lost a game where I activated Mindslaver. On the other hand, a strength of this deck is that it can survive multiple Mindslaver assaults. Paradoxical.

Mana Package

The mana package is perfect. Mess with it at your own risk. The only thing I considered is maybe adding four white fetchlands, but that’s an untested idea.

Sideboard Stuff


Incredibly incredible versus Goblins. Take out two Vengeance and two Decree of Justice when playing against them to put these in. What will happen is this: you overload the Goblin player with threats. They will probably side in one of a few things against you: Naturalize, Oxidize, or Shatter. But then they are faced with a difficult problem. First off, they are taking out threats to put in answers. This gives you more time to set up your win condition. Secondly, they can’t side in as many answers as you have threats; even if they side in a full four Naturalize against your Greaves and Slavers, they now have four Worships to deal with. Chances are you will combo out or win by the time they can do anything that even remotely scares you. One guy told me he sided Insurrection, which would have been pretty devastating, but he didn’t draw it in the two-turn window he had before I went arbitrarily large. Also, some people side Tendrils of Agony, so watch out for double-Black mana. I was just waiting for someone to cast False Cure on me when I combo out, but I don’t think that will ever happen.


Awesome against Affinity, and splash damage on rogue-type Black decks like Braidsgroom or zombies. Take out slow stuff like Pulse and DoJ for them.


It’s hard to decide who was the sideboard MVP, Duplicant or Worship. I think it’s got to be a tie, because they are both incredible. You will need these guys vs. Tooth and Nail.

Tempest of Light

Uhhh, yeah, it kills enchantments. I expected to play against Slide, okay!? I never sided them in once during the tournament. If I could do it again, I would take out these three guys and put in two Decree of Justice along with a Scrabbling Claws for the control matchup.

Matchup Tips

Goblin Bidding

If I seem to be talking about Goblins a lot, that’s because I am happy at how well the deck performed against them. I don’t have strict percentages here, but it’s even before boarding and you have a ridiculous advantage afterwards. As you’ll see in the matchup section, I didn’t lose a single game post-board to Gobbos.

In the first game you may want to mulligan aggressively. This means you need a Silver Knight or a Weathered Wayfarer, or most of the combo pieces. Generally, it’s harder to get the Greaves and the Spiritualist, since you can use Wayfarer to tutor for the Starlit Sanctum. Try not to play too many guys at a time and Wrath early and often. Angels are your best friend and if you see any chance to combo out do it.

Game two, play Worship. Then win. Slaver is incredible in this matchup.

Ravager Affinity

This is basically the same as vs. Goblins. Wrath away anything your opponent plays, including single Disciples of the Vault if you get to a low enough life total (they could drop a Ravager and sacrifice you to death). If there is a Disciple on the board, do not cast Akroma’s Vengeance unless you are absolutely sure they will not kill you (they’re tapped out, or have no Red mana for Shrapnel Blast). Once again, if you can combo out, do it.

After boarding, you’re a heavy favorite. Kill everything that moves with spot removal and Wrath effects, then smash face with Exalted Angel. Remember, if you combo out, you will win.

Tooth and Nail

This is the one matchup where you want to combo out as fast as possible. There are several reasons for this; first off, if they’re smart they play Cloudpost instead of Urzatron; they will Reap and Sow your Cloudpost to get one of their own, giving them significant mana advantages. Also, they can kill your Starlit Sanctum, which is bad. You have no way maindeck to deal with Colossus except possibly Mindslaver. Wrath away anything on their board that produces mana (Vine Trellis) and thin your deck with Wayfarer as much as you can, even if you start discarding lands.

After sideboard you can feel much more comfortable, however, you still want to combo out as quickly as possible. Exalted Angels can be your best friend in this matchup, as some early lifegain can give you that valuable one extra turn when facing double-Colossuses.


Wrath as much as possible. Once they Clamp or otherwise manage to kill their own Wirewood Herald, you better believe they’re going for a Caller of the Claw, which could spell bad news for you. Save your Greaves until you’re ready to combo out because, they will cast Viridian Shaman.

Side in Worships. It’s not as good as it was against Gobbos, since they certainly have Naturalize and Viridian Zealot, but the difference is that they have no way to kill an Exalted Angel or an Eternal Dragon, and they still have the Greaves combo to worry about.


Consider mulliganing aggressively; the most important thing about this matchup is that you get an Eternal Dragon as fast as possible. Second, don’t let them beat you in the mana race – if you do there are terrible consequences, like end-step Decrees and Mindslaver. Don’t commit more than one or two creatures to the board at one time to force them to use their Wraths.

That’s it for this section! See part two for my actual match information and a great funny anecdote.