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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-21 8:01 pm 

Joined: 2011-Apr-07 11:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I disagree with everything Kong just said.

1) A control deck can be any color/color combination so this point is irrelevant. Now number of colors is relevant (but again solo color decks can be made in a controlling style)
2) The commander doesn't need to have all that much card advantage if it's found in the rest of the deck.
3) Again the deck will determine when your commander needs to be relevant.

Even with your suggestions on what to look for Damnia is pretty meh.

UBG is literally the 3 best colors for options of drawing, which is the only thing Damnia does. And as Kong says the UBG list has trouble finding a finisher. Go with the Mimeoplasm instead.

My favorite control deck commander is Ruhan. He doesn't provide any of the above (except the color wash), but he lets me play a purely controlling deck and comes out to clear my opponents when it's time.

I'd say your commander needs to fill one of 3 criteria in a control deck.

1) An engine that powers up the deck (ghost chieftain)
2) A finisher (Ruhan)
3) Only used for the colors

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-22 4:31 pm 
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What is key to a more traditional control list?

Board wipes.

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-23 1:27 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
The biggest thing to know is that it all depends on your general. Your general has to do a couple things:

1. Give you good color combinations for control.
Jelik wrote:
I disagree with everything Kong just said.

1) A control deck can be any color/color combination so this point is irrelevant. Now number of colors is relevant (but again solo color decks can be made in a controlling style)
Jelik wrote:
I'd say your commander needs to fill one of 3 criteria in a control deck.

3) Only used for the colors


Wait what

Also, UK didn't say he has problem finding 'finishers in UBG [because i have a problem with the colors]', he said 'win cons in control lists (because it's hard to find threats that actually win but aren't antisocial)'.

Which is something of a problem for me, since some people find playing against control (or anything but battlecruiser) is a pain in the ass and no fun.


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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-24 7:04 am 

Joined: 2011-Apr-07 11:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I'm trying to say that your commander doesn't need to give you specific colors. There is no this is the best color for control, thus a commander can't give you good colors for control. But, if you want to go with a specific color then playing a commander specifically for these colors and nothing else is entirely viable. I guess this is saying your commander doesn't necessarily have to be taken into account when building your control deck.

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-24 7:26 am 
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Jelik wrote:
I'm trying to say that your commander doesn't need to give you specific colors. There is no this is the best color for control, thus a commander can't give you good colors for control. But, if you want to go with a specific color then playing a commander specifically for these colors and nothing else is entirely viable. I guess this is saying your commander doesn't necessarily have to be taken into account when building your control deck.

I don't agree with this.

Certain colours are a lot better at the control archetype then others.

Viable and best are two different things. Most things are viable, not all things are best.

A R/W control list is viable, but assuming both are tweaked and designed equally, the U/W list will probably function and perform a lot better.

Likewise, while you don't need to take into account your Commander, most lists that do utilize and have synergy with it are stronger then those that don't. Having constant access to a threat/finisher or a source of card advantage in the Command Zone undoubtedly gives you an edge.

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-24 3:15 pm 

Joined: 2011-Apr-07 11:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
In theory, I don't disagree with what you are saying.

Any color combination is going to have strengths and weaknesses. I disagree that UW is strictly better than RW. The style of control will come into play a lot here (shutdown vs incremental vs draw-go).

I also agree that utilizing your commander is a good idea, see my points 1 and 2. It's just not as important in a control deck as it is in an aggressive deck, and it's in no way mandatory. That being said if you build your deck not around a commander (say 4 color tapout control) there is still always going to be a best option for your commander based on what you deck needs.

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-02 1:19 am 

Joined: 2015-Jan-14 2:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Quote:
Which is something of a problem for me, since some people find playing against control (or anything but battlecruiser) is a pain in the ass and no fun.


This is something I worry about as my tastes shift more to control. Last commander night I went to I took out my Selvala Pillowfort-Lifegain deck and one player in the first pod threw a fit once he saw a couple Pillowfort cards, basically draw-going till he died (I lost that game to Heartless Hidegetsu. I'm bored with playing drop, swing, repeat decks. I want to make something new, something that changes up the game. The automatic shutdown these archetypes cause is frustrating. Neither my nor anyone else's ability to expand unrestricted is a given in Magic, and for myself, the best, most skillful plays I make are always staring a loss in the face.

/rant

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-07 12:42 am 
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Joined: 2008-May-04 6:05 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Wisconsin
Control decks are absolutely viable in any color combination EDH. In fact, I think most EDH decks are some sort of control deck because it's nigh impossible to produce constant threats early or even mid way through the game.

However, good controlling EDH decks do not mimic normal constructed control decks. You have to realize that for every card you draw on your draw step, your opponents collectively draw two or more (depending on the number of players). The same holds true for mana.

Typically, you will not produce more mana or draw more cards than your opponents. And trying to do so is futile. What you need to understand is the politics of the game. When you become threat #1 have fun dealing with all your opponents. If you are the weakest, you'll bare the brunt of free attacks for ophidian, sword of x and y, and lifelink effects. You need to control your position at the table, know when to commit and when to hold back. You need to encourage your opponents to weaken each other, but at the same time, contribute with their efforts and not sit on the sidelines yourself.

As others have mentioned earlier, there are a few key components in maintaining a strong but not overly zealous position in the game.

Resiliency: You need to have cards that can withstand the test of time, Pulse of the Fields, Hedron Archive, indestructibility, and so on are examples of cards and abilities that are useful at all stages.

Value Entering AND Dying: You need to pay cards that produce value both entering and leaving the battlefield (either by themselves or by other means). It's pretty easy to play a bunch of ETB affects, but find room for cards like Goblin Bombardment too. There's a white enchantment that lets you pay 1W when your creature dies to bring it back to your hand. You don't need a ton of these effects, but a couple can go a long way to deter opponents from blowing up your stuff and look elsewhere.

Permanent and Flexible Removal: Running destroy effects just don't cut it in today's EDH unless they produce some other value. Exiling and Tucking are key. So is Graveyard removal. Graveyards are a necessary source of resources for long games and keeping cards out of your opponents graveyards by exiling and tucking will hamper their ability to play the long game. And flexibility to target many threats is also extremely useful. Chaos Warp and Council's Judgement are both flexible, permanent, and fun!


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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-15 11:09 am 
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Location: The Blind Eternities
AK has a point though in my experience if you want to run control, sometimes you have to be willing to make sacrifices that others will not appreciate.

The best colors for that are Blue Black, and Grixis Blue Black Red.

In a Phenax deck I had, I had a number of Enchantments that caused heartache and grief amongst my playgroup because I often ravaged both decks and graveyards, albeit using a little Eldrazi. Descent into Madness, Fleetint Memories, Jace's Erasure, Erebos, God of the Dead, Thassa, God of the Sea, Master of the Feast, Underworld Dreams, Chronic Flooding, Contaminated grounds, Curse of oblivion, Jace Memory adept, Ashiok the nightmare weaver, Sphinx's tutelage, Hypnotic Siren, King macar the gold cursed, curse of oblivion, Curse of Shallow grave, and not mentioning Phenax himself causing creature to mill decks. Grixis colored cards on the hand do some real damage, but Blue Black leaves bruises

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-24 5:16 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Mar-31 8:25 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Zealand
Revisiting this topic.

Does anyone have any neat ideas for a 2 colour control Commander then?

Don't groan, but I'm leaning toward Prime Speaker Zegana.

G/U seems like a solid way to be dominant on both the board and the stack, and Zegana offers on demand card draw, freeing up a tonne of deck space.

It's going to take a lot of self control to not make it over the top however, so I'm open to more ideas.

I think I nailed down my continuing issue with traditional control lists however.

You can't build a control list that isn't obnoxious if it can consistently handle being the arch enemy all the time. So board light, traditional heavy sweeper control lists that I keep trying to build are often fundamentally flawed in Commander from a fun perspective. It's that whole balance between being low hanging fruit because you consistently maintain a low board presence and once your opponents catch onto this, can easily pressure you out of the game, or as said already, playing so much permission that you are basically preventing three other players from playing the game at all.

So I want to build a permission based list that consistently maintains and can protect a good board presence. These are the type of lists I feel that offer the most counter play and fundamentally both Xenagos and Kalemne (my two most played lists) operate this way as well, but lean more towards aggression and less on the permission.

I just realised, what I'm essentially describing is that I enjoy mid-range lists haha. However on a mid-range scale of control to aggressive, Xenagos is probably strictly mid-range, Kalemne is aggressive, and I want to make something that leans more towards control. Ya, that's spot on.

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-24 9:37 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Dragonlord Ojutai was my control general of choice for quite a while. It basically played like a Voltron list with a heavier focus on countermagic and wraths than you'd normally see.

To me, the key to a decent control list is an ironclad win condition. This is crucial because if your win conditions aren't capable of getting the job done, you'll spend the entire game wrathing and drawing cards and generally durdling and doing very little. This isn't fun for anybody because you just end up setting back the table again and again and dragging the game out.

A good set of midrangey creatures don't tend to be enough for this, at least in my groups. So against a multiplayer table, there are only really two ways to be sure your win conditions will be enough- 1) general damage, because you always have access to your Commander and thus can count on inevitability, or 2) Combo, because it ends the game on the spot once you're ready to go off and thus inevitability isn't needed.

I personally find 2) distasteful (not wrong, just not my thing), so I go for 1). UG Zegana looks more like it would lean towards 2), though Zegana could get pretty large and nobody would expect a Voltron finish out of that deck...

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-25 1:59 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
GoodbyeWorld: like you, my tastes have drifted more toward control lately. I wanted to build something different, something more like a control deck you'd see in other formats. I found it pretty hard to do.

I think the most effective thing is to land something like Humility and then try to protect it; with countermagic or privileged position or stuff. I've also tried black versions of this with stuff like spreading plague and tainted aether, but that leaves you weak to ETBs and random other crap (since you can't run torpor orb cause it shuts down those two cards). Obviously, nothing's as effective as humility.

The second problem was having a good win-con, which, if the deck is all about blowing away creatures repeatedly or making it hard for them to do anything while on the board, can be difficult to find. I've tried Planeswalkers but that's (surprisingly) slow and boring; and I've tried infinite combos of some sort, but I don't like that route myself. I've tried Eldrazi Titans, but that's just kind of dumb.

IDK. I realize your deck you're proposing is more about just having answers to stuff that people play, w/o being proactive about it. I guess I agree you're talking about midrange. :)

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-25 3:18 am 
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Joined: 2014-Jul-28 8:30 am
Age: Dragon
I've been kicking around ideas for Leovold, Emissary of Trest and I think the best home for him is going to be a more traditional control list. I know that probably isn't a shock to anyone, but he seems tailor-made for the role. Now the question becomes does the deck go BUG superfriends with Doubling Season shenannigans or threaten a combo finish with Thought Lash and Laboratory Maniac? I'm torn, because I've had a foil Gilder Bairn languishing in my binder forever waiting for counter doubling hijinks, but labman is one of my favorite cards ever.

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Last edited by kirkusjones on 2016-Aug-25 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-25 3:20 am 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
kirkusjones wrote:
I've been kicking around ideas for Leovold, Emissary of Trest and I think the best home for him is going to be a more traditional control list. I know that probably isn't a shock to anyone, but he seems tailor-made for the role. Now the question becomes does the deck go BUG superfriends with Doubling Season shenannigans or threaten a combo finish with Thought Lash and Laboratory Maniac?


It plays Teferi's Puzzle Box with counterspell back up.


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 Post subject: Re: What is key to a more traditional control list?
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-25 3:23 am 
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Joined: 2014-Jul-28 8:30 am
Age: Dragon
Epsilon wrote:
kirkusjones wrote:
I've been kicking around ideas for Leovold, Emissary of Trest and I think the best home for him is going to be a more traditional control list. I know that probably isn't a shock to anyone, but he seems tailor-made for the role. Now the question becomes does the deck go BUG superfriends with Doubling Season shenannigans or threaten a combo finish with Thought Lash and Laboratory Maniac?


It plays Teferi's Puzzle Box with counterspell back up.


Now that will be a vile pile. Works for me.

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Basically, when it comes to commander, I want you to stab me through the heart, not cut off my balls.

Gath Immortal wrote:
Twenty Kavus and a Dream is not a legacy deck.


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