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In League with Morgan: Mardu Control

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I have found that in any given Standard format, casting a Planeswalker is the most powerful thing I could be doing at any given time. Back when I started playing, it was Liliana of the Veil; then, it was Domri Rade, who became Elspeth, Sun's Champion, and now it’s Chandra, Flamecaller and friends. I’ve played a Chandra, Flamecaller deck before, but the deck I have today is one that is built around Planeswalkers, rather than just having a Planeswalker at its top end. The mana base for this Mardu deck was a little worrisome, but overall, the deck seemed very powerful and, more importantly, it was a ton of fun.

Round 1 vs. R/G Ramp (Oblivion Sower Version)

In this match, our opponent never really got off the ground. However, R/G Ramp can be a tough matchup for decks like W/B Control or B/G Seasons Past because neither deck has a very good ability to put pressure on the Ramp player. The last thing that we want to do is give the opponent time to top-deck the land or the fat that needed, so a turn-four Nahiri, the Harbinger felt good. Nahiri herself does not really do much against the deck, but her ability to draw us into more action is strong.

Round 2 vs. W/B Control

Imagine you are playing a deck with a mirror-breaking sideboard plan that other players don’t have access to. Now, imagine that you are main-decking it. That is what this matchup felt like. Planeswalkers are the nut against a deck that only has a couple of Ruinous Paths and maybe some copies of Transgress the Mind to interact with them. The menace on Goblin Dark-Dwellers and Sin Prodder turned out to be super-relevant.

Round 3 vs/ U/R Eldrazi

First, our opponent’s deck was really sweet. I think the fact that our deck actually could have made it in Game 2 was a testament to its ability to grind out games. In this matchup, I wanted more Goblin Dark-Dwellers. In the end, though, it was really embarrassing to lose that way . . . sorry, guys.

Round 4 vs. R/G Ramp (Threat-Heavy)

In this matchup, when our opponent has a much higher density of threats like Tireless Tracker, our main deck is much more live—Ultimate Price, for example, is much harder to cast against a deck packed with Hedron Crawlers, Nissa's Pilgrimages, and World Breakers. We killed the opponent’s guys and ripped apart the player’s hand, and our top end finished the opponent off.

Round 5 vs. R/G Ramp (Traditional Piker Flavor)

Transgress the Mind is a very important card in matchups like this one, where there may only be one Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger in the entirety of our opponent’s deck. That is what it felt like here. Our main-decked Radiant Flames, which would have been effective in certain matchups that we never saw today, actually got some work done in killing the 2-drop mana creatures this game, too.


Mardu is one of those decks that has a mix of sweepers, removal, disruption, and finishers that can be tailored to fit a certain expected meta. For example, we expected G/W tokens and felt the deck was weak to aggressive strategies like Mono-White, so there were five sweepers in the deck. Cards like Nahiri, the Harbinger allow us to play cards that would be dead in certain matchups because they essentially cycle. As a result, the deck is fairly fluid when it comes to non-Planeswalker interactive spells.

I did like Goblin Dark-Dwellers pretty consistently, so I want to include more of them in the deck. I did not like Anguished Unmaking—3 life was a heavy cost, especially if that was the only removal spell I had to flashback with Goblin Dark-Dwellers. Declaration in Stone, while drawing our opponent a card, may be the answer we are looking for to a card like World Breaker. In the sideboard, going up to three Dark Petitions is excessive in most matchups, so I added a Linvala, the Preserver to give Nahiri another option on creatures to grab with her -8 (which I activated a surprisingly high number of times).

Main Deck:

−1 Anguished Unmaking

−1 Ultimate Price

+1 Declaration in Stone

+1 Goblin Dark-Dwellers

Sideboard:

−1 Dark Petition

+1 Linvala, the Preserver

Thanks for watching!


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