Return up to three target artifacts and/or creatures to their owner's hands.
You may cast a card with converted mana cost 4 or less from your hand without paying its mana cost.
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Baral's Expertise Discussion
4 hours ago
Deck update: 3/30/17
2 days ago
Hmm... Well a good way to keep tempo, and lower the power level of board wipes would definitely be ETB effects. Or cards that do things on death (similar to Filigree Familiar). Maybe Baral's Expertise? It would slow them down and help build extra temp for you, casting more of your spells for free. Also could bounce some of your ETB creatures if need be.I don't know how easy Delierum is for your deck to achieve, but if its easy enough, Topplegeist can help you with more control. Essence Flux can be used to protect the key creatures in the deck from board wipes, as well as trigger more of you ETBs you have plenty of. For control against Aggro decks (especially token aggro decks) Declaration in Stone is great. Eerie Interlude could save you from board wipes as well, and hit the ETBs.
I don't know if you want to play around with your ETBs as much as I am thinking, and I apologize if I missed the mark, but a lot of your control seems to come from ETBs. Hope that helps?
I'll let you know if anything else comes to mind
3 days ago
These I would cut based on the expenses/efficiency:
3 days ago
I was curious about that strategy. I was just playing straight up; Swing, drop land, drop creature, pass turn. I was given the advice to watch out for Yahenni's Expertise and Baral's Expertise. Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Heart of Kiran Ob Nixilis Reignited and Jace, the Mind Sculptor were pretty hard on the deck too. Heart is the only card I had an answer to. Control draws so many cards they could get all the answers, and my deck only has clues to help my hand. I wish I could play 6 copies of Blessed Alliance and Decommission lol. I often have to play 2 on the stack because of counter spells wrecking the first one played.
With a few tweaks and a decent pilot I think tribal decks can do OK at FNM. I did beat the Ally Tribal and an Elf tribal played by newer players. So at least I won the matches I should have won. I'm pretty new to MTG too so a lot of times I see decks for the first time at FNM.
5 days ago
I'll try to help you the best I can :) I've also dabbled in U/R control casual decks based on modern formats in the past and recently started working on a new UR control based on energy counters. I'll link them for inspiration at the end of the post.
The general gist of the deck is ok, Though you have 64 cards atm ;). Try not to go over 60 to have the best chances of drawing what you need. There are definitely some more improvements to be made. I'm assuming you're playing against a large variety of decks, though tokens/creatures being very present.
- Peek is a cantrip that lets you look at your opponent's hand, but it doesn't do much else to control the board. You'll generally recognize threats as they're played or when you know what deck your opponent is playing. Control needs answers and peek isn't an answer.
- Sphinx of the Final Word has a very strong ability vs control matchups but the ability is useless against other decks. It also costs 7 mana. Considering you also need to keep mana open for removal/counterspells against THEIR drops, the earliest you'll drop this is around turn 10 if you're lucky, so the effect isn't really all that useful over the course of the game. For the rest it's a nice creature, but there are cheaper options more in line with your average CMC that can do something similar. I'm a big fan of Niblis of Frost, AEtherling or Goblin Dark-Dwellers for example. Another big 7-mana finisher is Pearl Lake Ancient, but because it has flash, you can keep your mana open and play it at the opponent's end step, which is much more beneficial as it leaves you free to respond when needed. There are many good options and your finisher is mostly a thing of preference, so you COULD keep it.
- Pyromancer Ascension is mostly in there for fun I presume. Doubling counterspells isn't really a usable gimmick, mostly the extra draw and extra damage make it good in fast burn decks for example. This is different and I'd probably run it with something that can really benefit from the effect (I've used Harness the Storm as budget variant for extra energy counter generation for example)
Slagstorm is an odd choice if your plan is to go wide with Pyromancer and Talrand. You might want to use a boardwipe targeting specifically opponent's creatures. Electrickery maybe, AEtherize or AEtherspouts can also do well. If the board isn't too big yet, Baral's Expertise is a great value card!
Desperate Ravings is nice card advantage with flash back, but the 'discard at random' will sting more often than you'd like. Things like Serum Visions (Much less expensive nowadays) or Anticipate go through 3 cards in your deck instead of 2, and you get to CHOOSE what you discard, which can be very important. It's okay to keep some copies of this, but I'd personally also look into cards that cycle through your deck with more interaction. Steam Augury is always a fun card to challenge people to think. Magma Jet's Scry effect is also very nice in combination with the burn.
You also need a few more counterspells (I'd aim for 8-10), especially to deal with big creature threats from your opponent. You simply don't have the damage or removal to deal with those currently and late game your Mana Leaks no longer work. Cyclonic Rift is expensive, but Baral's Expertise could also help for example if they're important creatures that don't attack into Aetherize.
Finally, it's of course the most important that your deck is FUN and you like to play it. If you really wish there were some cards in there that I suggested to remove, you can put them back in. Another thing to make it more fun is to run into a few different but similar cards from time to time which makes the replay value of the deck much better.
Here's an old deck that I worked on: U R being Controlled and a new one: Lightning, Fire and Frost. The latter is definitely more fun imo, but the old one is more in line with the traditional control that you built. I hope that helps!
6 days ago
I second Warped Landscape being in one colour means that tapping for colourless is a lot less of an issue.
I am looking at a standard mill deck too and I have to recommend Baral's Expertise as a 2-of due to this scenario.
Startled Awake Flip creature on the battlefield. Thing in the Ice Flip with 2 counters. You baral's expertise targetting your startled awake creature and 2 of their artifacts. You return startled awake to your hand and then cast it for free with the second half of expertise and feel like the dirtiest bastard in the game.
That's best case scenario. You can still return 3 of anything to their hand if you don't have a spell in hand. That to me is still worth 5 mana
1 week ago
I'm also wondering if Baral's Expertise could be relevant. I'm thinking probably but it depends on the strength of your meta. Expertise into Wheel could be great.
1 week ago
I agree about the too many high drops. Just take Gonti's heart out. Replace with a Baral's Expertise. Much better at buying you time and lets you cast your mech prod for free.