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Dark Science


In the wake of the dominance of control-oriented strategies at Pro Tour Kaladesh, we’ve seen a number of exciting takes on control in Standard. We’ve seen all manner of Torrential Gearhulk decks, ranging from Blue-White to Grixis, to straight four-colors. We’ve seen Dynavolt Tower decks, delirium decks, and much more. But we haven’t seen anything quite like this build from Conley Woods:

The big difference here is how reliant this deck is on counter spells and discard. As a natural consequence of the density of spell-based interaction, there’s very little room for creature removal, which seems strange in a format that is more or less defined by creature-based strategies. The premier deck in this format is currently Blue-White flash; there are a myriad of energy- and vehicle-based aggressive decks; even the controlling decks feature the likes of Gearhulks.

Enter Engulf the Shore. This is the card that makes this deck possible. A big problem that other Dynavolt Tower decks have had is that there’s frequently a critical turn where you need to have a removal spell plus Dynavolt Tower activation to stop yourself from getting too far behind on board. With Engulf the Shore, you can buy yourself multiple turns to get your Dynavolt Tower online and potentially choke your opponent on mana as they try to redeploy their threats.

The other key to this deck is Metallurgic Summonings. This is the card that lets you absolutely dominate control and midrange matchups. You’re in no real rush to get it down, since you’re going to want to be able to defend your Summonings, but once it resolves, it represents an almost insurmountable amount of value. The ability to generate multiple bodies is powerful enough, but adding to the the possibility of buying back all of your card drawing and counterspells to further fuel your Dynavolt Towers? Where do I sign up?

Given the density of discard and counterspells in this deck, I love where it’s positioned in a format that’s currently defined by controlling strategies. As long as Engulf the Shore is enough to buy you an extra turn or two against the more aggressive strategies, this seems like a fantastic way to go bigger than the other control decks.

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