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 Post subject: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-04 5:53 am 
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Joined: 2014-Sep-30 6:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Introduction:
Do YOU like annoying, grindy control? Do you like wraths, pillow forts and lifegain? No? Well too bad, because this deck is basically that. So this list is a typical Esper control build with a focus on Oloro's amazing lifegain abilities. Once this deck is on a roll (or on an oloroll :roll: ) it is hard to take down. There are only a few ways to beat this deck once my life total reaches 100+, and those are mainly decks that combo out, voltron, token swarm or some alternate win condition like poison. This deck has a few ways to win, which boils to two basic ways. I slowly bleed out my opponents, using beefy creatures like Divinity of Pride to speed things up, or the use of the Sanguine Bond + Exquisite Blood combo if a game is in danger of being lost / someone is being that guy, and he reaches level 4 douchebag, and it is time to bring him down a notch / it is 11:30, the game has been going on for 2 hours and I have shit to do in the morning. Overall, the deck is fun to play, and is fair enough that you can't complain about an easy win.

Old Introduction
Hey guys. I know just posted a decklist, but I want to post all the decks that I already have built. Anyway, because the last deck I built was a weak, unfocused build, this time I want to show you my most powerful deck. Ironically, this was my first deck, my second best deck is my #2 best, my third deck my third, and the bant list is my last, so I might be getting worse at this as time goes on :facepalm: .

Anyway, this deck is a slow, grindy control deck based around the synergy that Oloro has with lifegain. He often does not come out of the command zone for long periods of time, but when he does, he becomes an incredible value engine (not that he needs to be in play to do that already!) and can help bleed out my opponents. Now, this deck is actually a bit watered down. This is because it was a bit too good, making my friends not want to play against it, so I needed to power it down a little. Additionally, some of the cards in it were needed to help some other decks, so if you are wondering where Wurmcoil Engine, Sun Titan and Sphinx of the Steel Wind are, know that they did wonders in here and may return one day... if I want to kill you :twisted: . I took advantage of some of the reworkings to slot in some cards to help me deal with a few of this decks weaknesses.

First, this deck is surprisingly vulnerable to tokens. Even with multiple sweepers and annoying enchantments and artifacts, they can overwhelm my few big creatures and do too much damage for lifegain to solve, so I upped the count of cards that hurt those decks. This deck is also vulnerable to Voltron decks that use commander damage, so the additional sweepers help deal with that problem. Combo decks that milled me out gave me problems as well, so I added more noncreature removal and Swan Song to deal with combo pieces. The most ironic problem this deck faces are other lifegain decks! I discovered a lot of this decks problems in a couple of games against a Rafiq deck and a Trostani deck. After we killed the Rafiq guy before he could wreck us, I was destroyed by the token deck. I could not draw a sweeper, and he kept gaining life, so any attempts to bleed him out were futile. Erebos can help me out with that now, but it still can be a problem, especially in multiplayer.

So here is the list, posted in convenient order by use.

General:
Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

Pillow Fort:
Propaganda
Vile Consumption
Norn's Annex
Sun Droplet
Blind Obedience
Crawlspace

Creature Spot Removal:
Swords to Plowshares
Reckless Spite
Path to Exile
Curse of the Swine
Go for the Throat
Rapid Hybridization

Wraths:
Day of Judgment
Wrath of God
Toxic Deluge
Supreme Verdict

Noncreature Removal:
Utter End
Revoke Existence

Countermagic:
Swan Song
Counterspell

Mass Sweepers:
Cyclonic Rift
Merciless Eviction

Graveyard Hate:
Honor the Fallen
Relic of Progenitus

Card Advantage:
Bloodgift Demon
Lim-Dul's Vault
Well of Lost Dreams
Erebos, God of the Dead

Tutors:
Increasing Ambition
Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic Revelation

Reanimation:
Archaeomancer
Phyrexian Reclamation
Obzedat's Aid
Mnemonic Wall
Unburial Rites

Threats:
Treasury Thrull
Sorin Markov
Divinity of Pride
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled
Ashen Rider
Sun Titan

Lifegain Enablers:
Vizkopa Guildmage
Chalice of Life
Exquisite Blood
Debt to the Deathless
Wall of Reverence
Vampire Nighthawk
Thrull Parasite

Lifegain Combos:
Boon Reflection
Sanguine Bond
Angelic Accord
Cradle of Vitality

Mana Acceleration:
Burnished Hart
Pristine Talisman
Chromatic Lantern
Darksteel Ingot

Other:
Cackling Counterpart
Swiftfoot Boots

Lands:
Azorius Chancery
Transguild Promenade
Temple of the False God
Command Tower
Barren Moor
Vivid Meadow
Orzhov Guildgate
Thespian's Stage
Temple of Deceit
Caves of Koilos
Dimir Guildgate
Arcane Sanctum
Lonely Sandbar
Rupture Spire
New Benalia
Azorius Guildgate
Esper Panorama
Orzhov Basilica
Evolving Wilds
Jwar Isle Refuge
Vault of the Archangel
Scoured Barrens
City of Brass
Ghost Quarter
4x Plains
5x Islands
7x Swamps

Update: 10/20/14
After going through the feedback, and a very productive trip to my LGS, I have made some tweaks to the deck. I plan on making bigger changes in the future, once I obtain some more expensive cards that might change the way the deck plays. I will post the changes here, then put the most current version of the list up, as well as keeping the old list on the bottom, so I can keep a record of the deck as I change it.

Out:
Kirtar's Wrath
Death Grasp
Exsanguinate
Tithe Drinker
Basilica Screecher
Obelisk of Esper
Azorius Keyrune
1x Swamp
1x Plains
1x Islands
These cards were mostly substandard utility cards that got upgraded or deemed unnecessary. Kirtar's Wrath was not needed and too expensive, Death Grasp was inefficient, and the mana rocks and extort dudes were meh. Exsanguinate is the exception, it is a powerful card, but Debt to the Deathless is just better, and I didn't need that effect twice.

In:
Go for the Throat
Counterspell
Sun Titan
Rapid Hybridization
Scoured Barrens
City of Brass
Darksteel Ingot
Utter End
Ghost Quarter
Relic of Progenitus

I added better removal, increasing the amount of target spells as well as adding some more non-creature removal. I also improved the mana fixing

Sun Titan is back, which is probably the most significant change,and he quickly reminded me why he is so awesome. When doing some testing, just playing against myself, I drew him and Well of Lost dreams. Very quickly, my hand began to fill up, but I simply had to discard cards with CMC 3 or less, then attack with titan to get them back. Then I got Burnished Hart.... Which basically turned him into a "fair" Primeval Titan. By turn 9 or 10, I had at least 15 or 16 mana available in a deck without green, and about 10 cards in hand thanks to the Well plus Bloodgift Demon. So, in short, OMG HE IS SO OP BAN NOW PLZ RULES COMMITEE LOLOLOLOL.... Not really but he is so good I think that this time he is sticking around. The main reason I took him out was to Help out another deck, but I now have another copy. I traded with a guy for a slightly damaged M11 prerelease foil. This guy was really interesting. He apparently has been bouncing around several TCGs, and after planning on the sidelines for a few years, bought into magic a few weeks ago. And when I mean bought into magic I mean Standard, Modern, Legacy and Vintage. He insisted that he had only been playing for a few weeks as I stared at a binder containing some of the most powerful cards ever. He had a playset of JTMS in there! Then, at the end, when he made sure no one else was looking, he pulled something out of his pocket and showed me... A Black Lotus. Note to self: NEVER have a midlife crisis. It will bring financial ruin.

Sorry about that tangent, but I mean wow... anyways, I also got an alter Counterspell from him. It is the Jace vs. Chandra card, so it is a common style but still very cool. Not much else to say, nothing super crazy has been done to the deck since a major overhaul in September.... I probably will wait to mess with it some more until after Grixis season passes, because some hot cards for this deck are requests, so best to wait for those.

Deck 10/8/14
General:
Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

Pillow Fort:
Propaganda
Vile Consumption
Norn's Annex
Sun Droplet
Blind Obedience
Crawlspace

Creature Spot Removal:
Swords to Plowshares
Reckless Spite
Path to Exile
Curse of the Swine

Wraths:
Day of Judgment
Kirtar's Wrath
Wrath of God
Toxic Deluge
Supreme Verdict

Noncreature Removal:
Swan Song
Revoke Existence

Mass Sweepers:
Cyclonic Rift
Merciless Eviction

Graveyard Hate:
Honor the Fallen

Card Advantage:
Bloodgift Demon
Lim-Dul's Vault
Well of Lost Dreams
Erebos, God of the Dead

Tutors:
Increasing Ambition
Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic Revelation

Reanimation:
Archaeomancer
Phyrexian Reclamation
Obzedat's Aid
Mnemonic Wall
Unburial Rites

Threats:
Treasury Thrull
Sorin Markov
Divinity of Pride
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled
Ashen Rider

Lifegain Enablers:
Vizkopa Guildmage
Death Grasp
Chalice of Life
Exquisite Blood
Debt to the Deathless
Wall of Reverence
Vampire Nighthawk
Exsanguinate
Thrull Parasite
Tithe Drinker
Basilica Screecher

Lifegain Combos:
Boon Reflection
Sanguine Bond
Angelic Accord
Cradle of Vitality

Mana Acceleration:
Burnished Hart
Obelisk of Esper
Azorius Keyrune
Pristine Talisman
Chromatic Lantern

Other:
Cackling Counterpart
Swiftfoot Boots

Lands:
Azorius Chancery
Transguild Promenade
Temple of the False God
Command Tower
Barren Moor
Vivid Meadow
Orzhov Guildgate
Thespian's Stage
Temple of Deceit
Caves of Koilos
Dimir Guildgate
Arcane Sanctum
Lonely Sandbar
Rupture Spire
New Benalia
Azorius Guildgate
Esper Panorama
Orzhov Basilica
Evolving Wilds
Jwar Isle Refuge
Vault of the Archangel
5x Plains
6x Islands
8x Swamps



Looking at my list, I might have too many sweepers as as opposed to spot removal. I think this deck needs more ways to deal with Artifacts and Enchantments, and maybe another counterspell or two. I also need to find a few more threats, or slot one of the ones removed back in if I am able. Getting a Ghost Quarter or a Wasteland (or both!) is another priority. Still, this deck wins, and I love it. If my opponents can keep my life total in check early on, then this deck can struggle, but that does not result in a loss all the time. If I can get my life total to 80 or more, I rarely find myself in danger of losing from damage. In fact, often the game reaches a point where we just stop keeping track of my life total, because it just is irrelevant :lol: . One thing I want to do is find a way to protect Oloro. I don't need him on the board to win, but he is always nice to have, and late game I often need the card draw. But he dies to all of my sweepers, so I need a way to give in indestructible, Darksteel Plate perhaps? AnyMost feedback is welcome :wink: .

_________________
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Last edited by DarksteelElephant on 2014-Oct-20 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-07 2:11 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
I like it. It looks like a pretty good list, with only a couple cards that kind of stick out as candidates to replace (kirtar's wrath, death grasp).

With these control decks (Oloro, and esper in general) I'm always sort of torn between using goodstuff win-conditions and combo win-conditions. I'm not sure which is worse! I don't want to be the guy that always assembles exquisite blood and sanguine bond, cause, really, how many times is that interesting? Also I don't want to be the guy that always wins with rite of replication on sphinx of the steel wind, cause, really, rite of replication always wins if it resolves.

Which ever way you go, here are some things I noticed :

no crypt ghast? probably only good if you use urborg, tomb of yawgmoth and cabal coffers. Which you should also use. Cuase, man, these three cards make a great engine in this deck. If your mana base gets somewhat more sophisticated, expedition map is a great add that can function as ramp.

no drogskol reaver? read this card then read your general.

better sweepers : terminus, austere command. Both are better than kitar's wrath.

only 1 ETB effect means.... you need to run torpor orb. It works against trostani. :)

If tokens are a serious problem I'd love to see you play aether snap. Cause, man, that's hilarious.

I'd run more card draw and ramp... simple stuff like phyrexian arena and greed are awesome. Or creatures like harvester of souls and arcanis the omnipotent.

For ramp in esper I really like oath of lieges, which also makes a lot of friends at the table and helps everyone keep up with the douchy green-ramping guy. Also you could use better artifacts : sol ring, thran dynamo, darksteel ingot, gilded lotus (ditch obelisk of esper and azorius keyrune).

_________________
Decklists:
Kothophed (mono black control, ETB abuse)
Teferi, Temporal Archmage (blue pillowfort superfriends)
Glint-Eye Nephilim (combat tricks, card draw, & creature pump)
Oloro Upkeep Tribal (enchantment-based control)
and more:Decklists


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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-07 7:14 am 
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Joined: 2014-Sep-30 6:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Thanks for the feedback. In order of you pointing it out:

I actually was running Crypt Ghast, but at the time there were less swamps in the deck, so it got cut. Looking at the list now, I guess I can add it back in.

I know I need a Reaver, I have known that since I got the deck, I just have been unable to find one, which is kind of weird but I now can order online (I did not have a credit card when I first built this deck) so I hope to fix that problem soon.

Kitar's wrath was only added recently as filler for better things, it will be cut once I figure out what to put in that slot.

It never occurred to me to use the orb, thanks!

Tokens are not that much of a problem since I upped the count of sweepers, but Token decks that can quickly rebuild are annoying. I don't play against a lot of them, so I need to test a bit more, but whenever I play against one, it is usually Trostoni + Sacred Mesa which late game is brutal.

For the arena, it is basically the same situation as the Reaver, I just have not had a chance to get one out of a binder yet.

I lack a lot of crucial ramp cards, so I make do with what I have. I only have 1 sol ring, so I gave it to my artifact deck, which could use it better. I want to put one in here, and the ingot as well. I also might put in land tax, if I can get one.

Right now, artifacts and enchantments are a pain, so I might add disenchant to deal with that. Pognify may go in as well, to balance out the mass removal and spot removal. I think this deck needs another counterspell or two, just in case combo rears its derpy head.

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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-07 9:52 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-19 12:15 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Sacramento, CA
You'd be better served by adding Return to Dust than Disenchant if you want more artifact/enchantment removal.

If you run Torpor Orb then you should also consider Hushwing Gryff too.

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Current Decks:
Bruse Tarl / Kraum, Ludevic's Opus
Marchesa, the Black Rose
Mayael the Anima


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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-07 10:28 am 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Celerus wrote:
You'd be better served by adding Return to Dust than Disenchant if you want more artifact/enchantment removal.

If you run Torpor Orb then you should also consider Hushwing Gryff too.


Agree. Also, Sun Titan + Seal of Cleansing is a real value option. Necrotic Sliver + Sun Titan. Burnished Hart + Sun Titan. Druidic Satchel + Sun Titan. Anything 3 mana or less that is a permanent + Sun Titan. And it gets mostly around Torpor Orb - because it triggers on attacking too!


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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-07 10:54 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-19 12:15 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Sacramento, CA
He already said he took out Sun Titan to power down this deck and improve others.

_________________
Current Decks:
Bruse Tarl / Kraum, Ludevic's Opus
Marchesa, the Black Rose
Mayael the Anima


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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-07 11:10 am 
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Joined: 2014-Sep-30 6:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Celerus wrote:
He already said he took out Sun Titan to power down this deck and improve others.


True, but Sun Titan was such a value engine that I definitely will add him back once I get a second copy.

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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-08 2:44 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
Cool! Glad some of my suggestions were helpful. I like the deck you've got going here. :)
DarksteelElephant wrote:
I lack a lot of crucial ramp cards, so I make do with what I have... I also might put in land tax, if I can get one.

I wouldn't go out of your way to get a land tax. Land tax isn't really ramp (although it enables you to hit your land drops), but really it's some kind of pseudo card draw, and you want to maximize that by running stuff like brainstorm and scroll rack (which are also marginal carddraw by themselves), and looting effects like faithless looting; all of which let you turn extra basics in your hand into real cards that do stuff. But in Esper you don't need all that crap, because you have better card draw available in blue and in black. In Esper it's more important to actually ramp - increase the number of mana you have available beyond having X land available on turn X. There's very few cards that do this in white : oath of lieges and kor cartographer are all I can think of. In blue there's just dreamscape artist. In black, there's literally nothing. There are some popular artifacts that put extra land into play (solemn simulacrum, burnished hart, wayfarer's bauble, explorer's scope, druidic satchel, walking atlas); and of course there's artifacts that tap for mana every turn (sol ring and friends). Most of those are one-shots (although worth using), or require a lot of setup (like top-deck manipulation or evasive attacking creatures)... except oath of lieges. That card is the best.

So if you're considering a land tax, I strongly suggest considering an oath of lieges instead, which can be obtained for approximately zero dollars.

_________________
Decklists:
Kothophed (mono black control, ETB abuse)
Teferi, Temporal Archmage (blue pillowfort superfriends)
Glint-Eye Nephilim (combat tricks, card draw, & creature pump)
Oloro Upkeep Tribal (enchantment-based control)
and more:Decklists


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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-08 3:33 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-19 12:15 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Sacramento, CA
Not missing land drops is just as important as drawing ramp, so in that sense, Land Tax is very beneficial. However, its usefulness is inversely proportional to the amount of ramp in your deck. Also, Land Tax is good for thinning your deck even if you don't have cards like Scroll Rack or Brainstorm.

_________________
Current Decks:
Bruse Tarl / Kraum, Ludevic's Opus
Marchesa, the Black Rose
Mayael the Anima


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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-14 9:15 am 
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Joined: 2014-Sep-30 6:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Normally, I would not consider dropping 7-8 bucks or more on a boring utility card like land tax, but my friend who got me into magic has one in his binder, and he always gives me good trades, so I can probably get a good deal on it. He only really plays super casual (he doesn't even use sleeves *gasp* seriously, his decks are in rough shape, and he has the premium sliver deck AND the premium graveyard deck!) so he has no real attachment to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-15 11:40 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jun-01 10:21 am
Age: Drake
Location: Montreal, QC
I like the deck - it's got some odd cards that you don't see being played everyday, like Chalice of Life. The only concern is that Voltron commanders don't care about your extra life - so I would suggest more spot removal and more pay X life cards, and less straight up lifegain cards. Here are some potentially useful cards for Oloro builds which I've found useful:
Unspeakable Symbol: Use it to screw with combat math, to push through extra damage or to protect your guys. Versatile and powerful.
Righteous Aura : I came across this in an old box full of old cards and it seemed like Oloro secret tech. It's an answer against most voltron commanders, even Uril as it does not need to target.
Whip of Erebos : Giving all your guys lifelink is fun (even though some already have it). But whipping out a surprise lifelinking blocker from your graveyard because everyone forgot about the whip's second ability is always a riot.

Lastly, do you often assemble the Exquisite Blood & Sanguine Bond combo and how does your playgroup react to it? It seems like one of those "that was sweet but please don't do it again" combos like Enter the Infinite + Omniscience.


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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-16 6:37 am 
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Joined: 2014-Sep-30 6:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Thanks for the tech!

Since I posted this, I have added some more spot removal and will update soon.
I rarely go out of my way to assemble the combo. I will only tutor up one of the pieces to end a game if I am in danger of losing soon or if the game has been going on for a long time. I usually win by bleeding out my opponents.

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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-16 6:51 am 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Drogskol Reaver is kinda....OPish in this type of deck. Between Oloro, refuge lands, high market/miren/diamond valley, claws of gix, druidic satchel, vault of the archangel'd creatures, elixir of immortality, disciple of bolas, treasury thrull, swordsing your own guy, being sworded, and any erroneous life gain someone else can toss your way...

just a monster in my oloro/evangela deck.

Get it quick, you will not rageret.


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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic Control
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-20 1:18 pm 
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Joined: 2014-Sep-30 6:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Just updated the decklist, read the first post to see the changes.

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