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My first standard control deck. I thought I'd start with W/U before going to Esper and dropping fat cash on Thoughtseize, Blood Baron, etc. The idea is to rip through the deck as fast as possible with Quicken / Azorius Charm / Sphinx's Revelation to get to what I need, wrath 1-3 times per game, and win with AEtherling , Jace, or Elspeth, but you already knew that.
I need some help, both with the sideboard itself and knowing what to take out for each matchup. Pithing Needle vs Gruul, Gainsay vs Esper or MUD, Last Breath vs aggro (or MUD?) is about as far as I've thought ahead.
Mainboard: Dramatic Rescue is a good cheap removal and life gain outlet, Elite Arcanist is really handy for having endless Sphinx's Revelation or counter spells. Sideboard: Glaring Spotlight is great for that pesky hexproof, and Blind Obedience is great for shutting down aggro. Other than that you've got a great start here +1.
Dramatic Rescue is a card I've definitely been considering, but I don't think it's as good as it looks at first glance in the current Standard environment. Cards like Mogg Maniac , Grey Merchant of Asphodel, and Fanatic of Mogis all have terrifying ETB triggers, and the card only holds off stuff like Stormbreath Dragon for a single turn. Still, I don't have a lot of options, so I'll keep it in mind.
Blind Obedience I hadn't thought about, and it looks like good SB tech. Thanks.
Elite Arcanist is interesting. I honestly didn't even think about it. Quicken and Azorius Charm look delicious imprinted on it, but it is SO expensive to cast and dies to Supreme Verdict . It's not exactly a win condition, so I'm not sure if I can afford to run it. Decks where it's effect would help the most mainboard enough spot removal to kill it the turn it comes out. It might be worth running a singleton in the sideboard, but I might even rather have Isperia, Supreme Judge in those cases.
Just FYI, imprinting Sphinx's Revelation on Elite Arcanist doesn't do anything. You are required to pay X, where X is the CMC of the imprinted spell. This allows you to play the imprinted card without paying it's mana cost. When you play a card without paying it's mana cost, the X in the card's mana cost defaults to zero. So if you imprint SR on the Arcanist, you may pay 3, (SR's CMC), but you will draw zero cards and gain zero life when the spell resolves.
"Budget" and "4 Sphinxs Revelations" are not the same thing.You also might be overdoing it a bit with 4 copies of divination. 2 would be perfectly fine. You might consider adding Haunted Plate Mail as it dodges verdicts beautifully, it kind of serves as a budget alternative to Mutavault
Maybe the deck's not exactly cheap, but I don't think it's miscategorized as "budget" next to the >$500 Esper control decks. How about "Relatively Budget?"
I considered Haunted Plate Mail , but I actually have two Mutavault , and I find it kinda hard to justify compared to Vault or the AEtherling in the sideboard. I'm trying to win the long game here; if I wanted to play faster I would probably mainboard Jace, Memory Adept and AEtherling , and put in Mutavault .