Dazzling White is the light that casts the Blackest shadow. Linger in it and you will surely perish.

is appreciated if you like this deck, or add it to one of your folders.

C'mon, show some love.

Some of the notes on this deck come from before I made changes due to rotation.

So if you see Non-Standard cards that have been considered, or notes about achieving Delerium, that is why.

You can find a Frontier version of this deck here:

Cast a Shadow [Frontier]

Early Game

Mid Game

Late Game

Points to Note


This is the first time I've won a tournament in a while.

I have put a lot of thought into this deck lately, and have changed it back to how it was after the last rotation. I had changed it to face off against a couple of decks that are rarely played, and that weakened it.

I chose to play this tonight, anticipating that there would be some yuuya-wantanabes-temur-marvel-2-pt-akh and #1 Black Zombies decks played, as the meta at our WNM is full of competitive players.

That was absolutely the right choice, as this deck was well-matched against most of my Opponents.

0-2 Control

This is a tough match up for this deck, and I got handily taken care of in Game 1.

A lot of my cards don't do much against the Torrential Gearhulk which hit the field on Turn 6.

I Sided badly, tossing Fatal Push.

That meant that I was left with only Murder to address the lone Wandering Fumarole, which attacked me until I was on 0 life.

I have updated my Sideboard notes to reflect what I should have changed my deck to.

2-0 Angelic High

This is my partner's deck, and we've played enough against each other to know that mine is stronger.

The matches were very uneven with me killing all his stuff, then hitting him with Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and a Shambling Vent.

At one stage during one of our games he had two Always Watching and one Cast Out on the field, that was locking down my Ob Nixilis Reignited.

I played Cataclysmic Gearhulk and he chose to sac both the Always Watchings.

Since I now had a 4/5 with Vigilance, that meant that any other Creatures he brought out were unlikely to pose much of a threat.

2-0 #1 Mardu Vehicles

I got rid of a crewed Heart of Kiran right away with Fatal Push, then it was all downhill for my Opponent from there.

I was just able to slowly get rid of all his threats, then hit him with Archangel Avacyn  Flip until he was dead.

I tried not to look too closely as he was Sideboarding, as he had all his cards spread on the table in front of him. I couldn't help catching a glimpse of some lands.

I considered taking a punt and Siding in some cards that could act as Counter spell fodder, but in the end I decided not to Sideboard until the third game, once I'd seen what he had.

I also know that the Mainboard version of this deck is very strong.

In the second game I was having a bad draw. I was stuck on four lands for the longest time, despite casting four Harsh Scrutinies in a row.

Luckily I had Grasp of Darkness ready for Heart of Kiran, then Murder to dispatch Aethersphere Harvester.

I was able to hold on until I got out Ob Nixilis, which let me kill a Creature, and get some serious draw happening.

I was also able to get a Sorin, Grim Nemesis on the field to help get more cards in my hand.

I had an Archangel Avacyn  Flip out, but he had gone very wide. He had been able to bring my life down to 7. This meant that the Anguished Unmaking I had in hand was less tempting to cast.

I needed a bit of lifelink. I surveyed the field. I had Archangel Avacyn  Flip, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, and two Shambling Vents.

He had two Scrapheap Scroungers, Thalia, Heretic Cathar, and two Thraben Inspectors.

I animated one of my Shambling Vents and attacked with it and Archangel Avacyn  Flip.

He blocked with Thalia, Heretic Cathar, and gleefully informed me that my Shambling Vent would die without gaining me any life, as Thalia had First Strike.

I said OK, and passed Turn.

At the start of his Upkeep I told him that Archangel Avacyn  Flip would now Transform into Avacyn, the Purifier, all his Creatures would be Exiled due to Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, and I would get five 2/2 Zombies.

He conceded the match.

2-0 Control

Unbeknownst to me, I was now in the final.

This deck was unusual to see played on a Wednesday night. It seemed to be what was left of the deck that used to utilise Reflector Mage.

I was able to out-control it in the first game, whittling down all its Creatures and Counter spells until I had Ob Nixilis Reignited and Sorin, Grim Nemesis out.

My Opponent scooped. I was surprised because, as I pointed out to him, I didn't have any real win conditions on the field.

I had Archangel Avacyn  Flip in hand but he had two Declaration in Stone, so I didn't want to cast her. I know this because I had looked at his hand earlier with Harsh Scrutiny. That also meant he could have dispatched any Vampire Knights that Sorin made, with just one Declaration in Stone.

He said that he really didn't have any solid way to stop Ob Nixilis making his Emblem.

I thought about my Sideboard carefully. I was pretty sure that he would take out any spells like Essence Scatter, as it was clear that I didn't need my Creatures to win. In their stead I thought he would use Negate, against my Planeswalkers.

Well then, I thought, why don't I put in more Planeswalkers to run him out of Counter spells?

I took out three Anguished Unmaking, and put in Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.

In hindsight I should have left those in and taken out Yahenni's Expertise. It's not as though I had needed a board wipe in the first game.

Anguished Unmaking would have let me dispatch the Gideon, Ally of Zendikar he got out.

I got a lot of hand disruption cards in hand early in the game.

I was able to leverage a Mausoleum Wanderer and a Spell Queller out of his hand.

He grabbed another Harsh Scrutiny with a second Spell Queller.

Next turn he was able to play Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and made a 2/2 Knight.

I drew a Gideon, Ally of Zendikar myself next turn and also made a 2/2 Knight.

I'm not sure why he made his next play, as it was a bit of a game changer. He attacked my Gideon, Ally of Zendikar with both his Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and his Knight. I chump blocked his Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and lost two loyalty counters.

Next go I attacked and killed his Gideon, Ally of Zendikar with mine. His only blocker was tapped. I had Murder in hand, so I knew I could kill his lone Creature next go.

I started to notice that he had been sitting on four lands for a long time.

I kept attacking him with my Gideon, Ally of Zendikar each turn, and he kept just taking the damage.

I got another Harsh Scrutiny in hand, and cast it. He now had five lands on the field, two of which he tapped to Negate my spell.

I said to him, "You don't want me to see what you have in hand, but I want to," and I cast Transgress the Mind.

He had picked up an Archangel Avacyn  Flip, and was finally sitting on five lands, but now two of them were tapped.

That was basically the end of the game. He told me he had been counting on Avacyn  Flip to help him stay in it.

I just kept hitting him with Gideon, Ally of Zendikar until I got him down to no life.

No more living for you.

If anyone gets that reference I will be mightily impressed.

As soon as our game finished everyone got overly excited, telling my Opponent that I had won.

I think they were all a bit dumbfounded.

The night ended in a four-way tie. I had the highest per game win percentage, which netted me first place. Been a while since I topped the board.

MVP of the night was Harsh Scrutiny.

It let me fix my draw, get knowledge of my Opponent's hand, and get rid of a threat.

It's a great card, and I'm surprised that more people aren't playing it.

I will be playing a tweaked version of this deck at Frontier on Sunday.

Cast a Shadow [Frontier]

It's very different meta, so I'll be interested to see how it goes.

Comments View Archive

Argy says... #1

AgentGreen with the reveal of Yahenni's Expertise this deck may be viable again.

I need a good four of to round out my Sideboard, but I may give this a go next season.

December 27, 2016 8:02 a.m.

AgentGreen says... #2

Argeaux Dump Forsaken Sanctuary for Concealed Courtyard. Having the chance to use that mana right away is HUGE

I'm in the process of picking up 3 copies of Liliana, the Last Hope so I'm going to be fiddling around to make that happen. You're absolutely right that Yahenni's Expertise makes control a thing, and I am excited for that prospect

December 28, 2016 9:52 p.m.

Argy says... #3

Ah yes, you are right re: the lands.

That was just an oversight on my part.

I tried Liliana, the Last Hope in a Rakdos build but I could never make her survive.

She might work in this, due to all the removal. I'll have to test her.

I'd probably remove Gideon, Ally of Zendikar in the Sideboard for her.

December 29, 2016 2:08 a.m.

AgentGreen says... #4

For me Liliana acts as a tank/removal magnet; when she's down the opponent has to deal with her in a hurry or risk getting overran with Zombies

December 29, 2016 12:28 p.m.

clayperce says... #5

I see her the same way, AgentGreen. I kind of think of her as : Roll a D20. If 1-16, soak up at least 4 damage. If 17-19, soak up some damage plus pull something nasty from Graveyard. If 20, win the game.

December 29, 2016 5:53 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #6

Exactly clayperce, plus you can combo her off with Yahenni's Expertise

Play Expertise; clear the board, drop Lili, +1 and kill off a 4 toughness creature

December 29, 2016 6:47 p.m.

Argy says... #7

You both make interesting points, although I'm not sure how she soaks up 4 damage clayperce.

My biggest thing is that I probably can't have her and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar in the Sideboard, and he is how I beat aggro decks.

I would not run her Mainboard as the other two Planeswalkers have draw and destroy abilities, which are essential for this type of deck.

December 30, 2016 8:21 a.m.

clayperce says... #8

Yeah, I didn't explain that well. Though I can successfully race almost any other Planeswalker (including Gideon), Lili has to be answered. So I have to attack Lili (or redirect Burn to her) instead of my opponent. And because opponents almost always +1 her, she's usually starts with 4 Loyalty. So her worst case feels a lot like a "Gain 4 life" effect.

I truly have no idea if she'd be good for this deck, and I'm certainly never happy to see either her or Gideon. But from my (admittedly very narrow) perspective, Lili is actually worse (for me, I mean).

December 30, 2016 8:39 a.m.

Argy says... #9

I understand what you mean, now.

I guess in some ways she actually soaks up 6, because she also nerfs a Creature to give it 2 less damage.

It may just come down to meta. My local meta is a very strange one.

Gideon and Liliana are only going to last for one turn. So Gideon will drop a Creature and Lili will nerf a Creature.

The most success I've had with a Planeswalker lately was Chandra, Torch of Defiance. I often got to ultimate her and she easily stayed around for a couple of turns.

I will do some practice and see if I like how Liliana, the Last Hope works. I couldn't see how Gideon would work for me originally, until I found that he was good against aggro decks.

The good thing is that I have a playset of her, so it won't cost me anything if I decide to add her.

December 30, 2016 10:25 a.m.

Argy says... #10

AgentGreen I played this deck in the current Standard for the first time tonight.

It performed really well, even with me making a few mistakes with my plays.

clayperce and AgentGreen you were spot on about Liliana.

With all the removal I have it was fairly easy to protect her and get her Emblem out.

February 1, 2017 9:02 a.m.

AgentGreen says... #11

Told ya Argeaux. Once she's down it doesn't matter what type of deck your opponent has; if they can't deal with Liliana she will overrun you

February 1, 2017 1:05 p.m.

Argy says... #12

AgentGreen it's the "dealing with" part that's problematic.

I played her in one game and she got wrecked straight away by Ruinous Path.

The fellow I got her Emblem out against said that he didn't have any Ruinous Path in his Sideboard, even though he was playing .

I have no idea why. Maybe he will add some now.

However, the game she worked in was glorious, so she's staying for now.

February 1, 2017 3:16 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #13

That's the point; they burn a Ruinous Path on her, and that's one less removal against Avacyn or Kalitas

February 1, 2017 5:52 p.m.

Argy says... #14

Well yeah, that's Magic in a nutshell.

Also it's why Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is sometimes better than Liliana, the Last Hope.

Unless he is countered he will always make a knight or an emblem.

February 1, 2017 6:26 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #15

Argeaux do you find yourself getting more consistent land drops with 26 lands? I know you don't have any draw spells but do you find you run into blocks of land per turn and run into trouble?

March 20, 2017 3:56 p.m.

Argy says... #16

AgentGreen I haven't actually played a tournament with 26 Lands, yet.

It's been a meta call. I usually play Control with 26 Lands because I can't afford to miss land drops.

This has become even more important facing a deck that plays Elder Deep-Fiend which taps my Lands.

I have also often found myself wishing I had land on Turn 3 or 4, which I didn't have.

I'll let you know how this goes at tournament.

March 20, 2017 10:45 p.m.

Argy says... #17

Tournament means any tournament sanctioned by Wizards.

Magic Tournament Rules

Meta refers to both the meta overall, and the meta at a local level.

Magic Meta Game

April 20, 2017 12:16 p.m.

Argy says... #18

Nope. I didn't.

I mean all of them.

April 26, 2017 5:16 a.m.

Ooooh Lay Bare the Heart and Lost Legacy! Declaration in Stone could be good again if Zombies becomes a thing... +1

May 7, 2017 10:58 p.m.

FYI your maybe list still has Origins stuff in it

May 7, 2017 10:59 p.m.

Argy says... #21

Jimmy_Chinchila I never liked Lost Legacy.

I like Transgress the Mind better than Lay Bare the Heart for what this deck wants to do.

I can put any cards in my Sideboard that I want to. It's really no one's business.

May 8, 2017 8:14 a.m.

AgentGreen says... #22

Argy What is your thought of throwing in Gonti, Lord of LuxuryThat's what I'm leaning towards doing with my BW control

May 29, 2017 3:20 p.m.

Argy says... #23

AgentGreen to me the card is too risky.

You don't know if what you hit will be helpful or not.

Since Control is really about the certainty that you can deal with whatever the Opponent throws at you, it is kind of the Opposite of that.

It also comes out quite early and isn't a game changer like the other Creatures in the deck. It also doesn't have any evasion.

If you can see it you working in your local meta, then go for it.

I won't be adding it to this deck.

May 29, 2017 7:55 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #24

I look at it this way

Since my metta is chock full of Marvel, it's a reliable way to damage a deck

May 30, 2017 8:10 a.m.

Argy says... #25

May 30, 2017 9:26 a.m.

AgentGreen says... #26

Dispossess Would be nice; but I have none in my possession.

Anguished Unmaking & Cast Out both have the same problem; by the time they throw down Marvel; before you have a chance to remove it they will have most likely enough energy to spin and a T4 Ulamog is a bad day.

May 30, 2017 11:44 a.m.

Argy says... #27

Well yeah, that is the point of Marvel, after all.

Ulamog is not always guaranteed on Turn 4. Then you break their shit and watch them cry.

If it does come out, and you have four lands, you can always Dec in Stone Ulamog.

May 30, 2017 7:04 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #28

True, but not before suffering extreme pain at the loss of two permanents so early in the game

May 30, 2017 9:29 p.m.

I have a soft spot for anything that features a playset of My Preferred Unconditional Kill Spell.

September 25, 2017 2:18 p.m.

Argy says... #30

Simon_Williamson I am partial to that spell too.

Especially in this deck, which has so much life gain.

Sad to see it rotate out.

September 25, 2017 3:47 p.m.

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