Zendikar Rising Limited Set Review with MTG Nerd Girl
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Controlled Brewing


Hello everyone! This past week has been crazy at work, so I'm feeling a little strapped for time as I write this article. As such, we should get started because I have a few new decks courtesy of aetherhub.com to show you this week that look pretty cool.

Mirari Fire

The first deck I have for you comes from a user named Syrokko. It's a Jeskai control/combo deck that can win from a few different angles. Let's take a look at the deck:

The Mirari Conjecture
With this deck you will take on the role of a control deck throughout much of the game. Use cards such as Absorb and Syncopate to hinder your opponent while keeping the battlefield clear of creatures through the use of Cleansing Nova, Settle the Wreckage, and Deafening Clarion. Your hardest matchup will be an ultra-aggressive deck such as Mono-Red Burn or Mono-White Aggro. If you can stabilize before you've taken too much damage, you should be able to take over the game by turn four or five. While that seems like a long time, if you're able to use Absorb to counter a key spell or creature that your opponent casts, the three points of life Absorb gives you can help negate a previously played burn spell or attack.

To win the game, you can go the normal route and attack with Niv-Mizzet, Parun (while also pinging your opponent whenever you draw a card), or you can take the longer route to victory via Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. However, this deck is set up with another way to win. Thanks to The Mirari Conjecture, you can cast either a kicked Fight with Fire or a Banefire to deal a large amount of damage to your opponent. Plus, if you are able to benefit from the third chapter of The Mirari Conjecture, you can copy those spells to double up on the damage and potentially win out of the blue. As an aggro player at heart, if I'm going to try out a control deck, it's going to be one like this one that can deal copious amounts of damage unexpectedly.

Etrata Control

The next deck I have for you comes from user Roninn. This deck is a Dimir Control deck that wants to win with Etrata, the Silencer's ability. Let's take a look at it:

Etrata, the Silencer
Here's another control deck that attempts to keep an opponent's battlefield relatively clear with the use of spot removal cards like Vraska's Contempt and Moment of Craving or mass removal spells such as Ritual of Soot and Cry of the Carnarium. It's okay to leave a creature or two alone as you have Etrata, the Silencer that can handle them. This deck also attempts to limit your opponent's options by either countering them with Sinister Sabotage or through discard effects like Thought Erasure and Disinformation Campaign.

With Etrata, the Silencer, in order to be able to win with her special ability, you need to be able to leave a few creatures on your opponent's side of the battlefield. There might be times that this is impossible. In those times, you'll want to rely on attacking with your other creatures in order to finish out the game. Doom Whisperer is the main heavy-hitter in this deck, but Lazav, the Multifarious makes for a nice stand-in when your Doom Whisperer has already died.

Captive Audience Control

The final deck I have for you this week is from a user named Lutre. Their deck looks to take advantage of a Mythic Rare from Ravnica Allegiance, Captive Audience. Let's take a look at the deck:

Captive Audience
The main objective for this deck is to, once again, control the battlefield. Even if you have trouble completely wiping the battlefield clean, Forbidding Spirit does a great job of making it difficult for your opponent to attack you during the following turn. Tithe Taker makes it tough for your opponent to interact with you during your turn. If you've played any kind of 'Taxes' deck in Modern, you'll likely be familiar with how this should play out.

Once you're able to play it, Captive Audience should do a good job of stripping away your opponent's resources (lowering their life total, stripping their hand, and negating any battlefield advantage they might have). If they can't remove Captive Audience the turn after you play it, you're likely to win that game. If you happen to have Angrath, the Flame-Chained in play after your opponent chooses to have their life total become 4 with Captive Audience, it only takes two activations of Angrath's +1 loyalty ability to finish them off, assuming you don't have any faster way to do it.

An Aside Regarding the Nexus of Fate Banning on Magic Arena

Before I go this week, I wanted to take a moment to air my feelings on the recent Magic Arena banning of Nexus of Fate in Best of One matches. While I do feel it was necessary for this banning to take place, I'm not thrilled with the fact that the ban is only in Best of One matches and doesn't apply to Best of Three matches. With the influx of new Magic players thanks to Magic Arena, I feel that Nexus of Fate should have been banned in all Magic Arena formats, if only for simplicity. New players that are used to Best of One matches and then dip their toe into the waters of Best of Three might not understand why Nexus of Fate is allowed in one type of game and not the other, especially since both are under the Standard format.

I'm also not happy with the reparations that were made for the people that already owned copies of Nexus of Fate. They were given a Mythic Rare Wildcard for each copy of Nexus of Fate in their collection. Wouldn't a better replacement have been an amount of gems equal to acquiring a duplicate Mythic Rare card from a set that you already have all of the Mythic Rares from? Why are we rewarding these players with additional Mythic Rares when the card is still usable on Magic Arena? If the card had been banned from all formats, I could understand the Wildcards being given out, but as it is, the people that already had Nexus of Fate got to keep their cards (that they can still use) and also got additional cards as well.

While it's too late to fix the problems I have with this 'solution' currently, in the future when issues happen that require a banning of cards, hopefully Wizards of the Coast will make better decisions.

Wrapping Up

While control decks aren't for everyone, the decks I've shown you today aren't exactly your typical control decks. Each of them has a special victory condition that gives them a unique feel to play.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg) or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!

-- Mike Likes

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