This is Jace's Angels, a control deck with Tamiyo, Jace and Entreat as it's win conditions.
As always, please feel free to leave commets, criticism or suggestions! I'll try to consider or possibly respond with my reasoning to all.
NONE! That's right, this runs ZERO creature cards. Control at it's core!
Terminus - There is nothing bad about clearing the board in a way that doesn't play into Blood Artist's hands. This is a great way to prevent returning zombies and avoid indestructible effects such as Rootborn Defenses.
Entreat the Angels - One of your win conditions. Big, beefy 4/4 angels are hard enough to deal with, let alone about 4-5 of them off of a miracle, or still a solid 2-3 off of a hard cast mid-late game.
Azorius Charm - This thing does it all. Timewalk, draw or lifelink for your angels in a pinch!
Essence Scatter - Most decks in the current meta are aggro-based, so having an essence scatter is a strong singleton or even two-of in a lot of control decks currently.
Sphinx's Revelation - Blue Sun Zenith without the shuffle that gives life. Two-of is just right for this card.
Oblivion Ring - But we need a few sober ones in here.
Azorius Keyrune - These things remind me of batman. Mana-fixer by day, 2-2 removal resistant flyer by night! Seriously, they fix mana, provide a creature on command, and are competitively costed.
Trading Post - This thing is AMAZING with control. Pay a mana and life for a blocker, or pitch cards you don't need to get your life up if you've been taking a beating! You can even sac a goat to get keyrunes back.
Elixir of Immortality - I've actually LOST on occasion to decking out! Usually this happens in a mirror match. A one-of of this will help me reset my deck and keep pushing for a win! Will also help with some life in a pinch.
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage - She has been a staple in blue for a while now, and with Return to Ravnica, that's no exception. Her ultimate wins games and her presence instills fear.
Jace, Architect of Thought - To be honest, I'm considering running four of these guys. I can't think of anything bad to say. Mini fact or fiction? SURE. Bribery on the opponent and yourself? SURE. Stall against weenies? SURE.
Yes, I'm touching upon land for a moment. The biggest question I'm going to likely get asked is: "RedSeries, WHAI FOR Azorius Guildgates?"
Easy, mana fixing (drop this turn one) and a card that I don't feel remotely bad about pitching to Trading Post.
Geist of Saint Traft - This thing win games. Lots of games. Great in a mirror match.
Nevermore - Want your opponent to not cast their best spell for a while? Here's how!
Negate - Mirror matches suck.
Dissipate - Zombies suck more.
Grafdigger's Cage - Really. They suck a lot more.
Knight of Glory - No really, I hate zombies.
I only have been losing or having a tough time against mirror matchups and similar colors (such as Bant Aggro/Control decks). I think Geist is really needed. I never seemed to use Sundering Growth and Nevermore is better as a two-of in my opinion.
Also updated MAINBOARD!
Syncopate did not live up to my expectations. I would end up siding it EVERY GAME. I think an extra essence scatter is needed. For the spare card, it turns out that I may end up decking myself before I can kill an opponent. Elixir of Immortality is needed just in case I run into that scenario.
Went 3-1 at FNM, Games at 7-3-1. Learned that control beats my control, so updated the deck accordingly. Can't remember many of the matches in too great a detail.
Overall went in to top four with deck and split top prize tonight! Only a total of eight players. I'll only be keeping the full recaps for the most recent tournament, otherwise will later shorten to prevent posts from being too long.
Round 1: Mirror match U/W control. 1-1-1
Game 1: First match I managed to swing in with the Azorius Keyrunes as the opponent did not run any. Dodged as much removal as I could using Trading Post to sack the keyrunes if they were targeted and would bring them back to hand in two turns.
Game 3: Draw due to time.
Round 2: Rakdos Aggro 2-0
Round 3: Jund Aggro 2-0
Game 2: Unsure of opponent sides. I sided in my zombie hate, Witchbane Orb for Geralf's Messenger and Blood Artist, Knight of Glorys, Grafdigger's Cage and Dissipates. Took out Syncopates, Trading Posts, Think Twices, one Azorius Charm and two Azorius Keyrunes. Kept control until a turn 8 Entreat the Angels for the win.
Round 4: Esper Tokens 1-2
Game 1: Went down to about 10 early, but managed to wipe board and make a Tamiyo emblem to eventually draw into Entreat the Angels for a win.
Game 2: Quick game. Opponent sided in Geist of Saint Traft. Only had two mana, lost after geist hit on turn 4 and swung three times without an answer. Sides were similar to Game 1.
Game 3: Managed to stall against Drakes, Spirits and the occasional Geist, using Nevermore around turn 6 naming Geist. Was kept at one life for about 3 turns then was unable to stop him from making two drakes. Drew no answers. Went to round of four in first.
Round of Four
Round 4: Rakdos Aggro 2-0
This was the same opponent from Round 2, with similar results. I did not side game 2.
Decided to split prize with person who played Esper Tokens, was a long night. Very pleased with how the deck did! Learned I might just want to pick something other than Syncopate, did not help in many matches.
+1 just from the zombie hate description :D Seriously though, this deck is pretty awesome :)
October 10, 2012 9:10 p.m.
Saw it was a solid deck, read the description, agreed that zombies are worse than Satan.
If anything, I'd attempt to run more land here. Sure, keyrunes are nice but there's nothing like your opponents face when they realise that on turn 10 you haven't missed a land drop... and you topped Entreat. Of course, it's certainly not necessary.
The one other thing would be Snapcaster Mage . It would, unfortunately, be a creature but getting anything from a used Supreme Verdict/Terminus to Syncopate is awesome.
Overall, good deck and may all zombies be exiled.
October 10, 2012 9:23 p.m.
@Hunted0Less I actually toyed around with a playset of Snapcaster Mage s in place of the Azorius Keyrune s. While it was nice to be able to flashback a board wipe, I just feel that he doesn't quite fit in the deck. If I decide for more counter-based play I might try him again. As for lands, with Jace, the keyrunes, and all of my card draw I haven't missed a land drop yet. :) Thanks for your comment!
October 10, 2012 9:31 p.m.
October 10, 2012 9:38 p.m.
one of my fav aspects of tempered steel decks was the glint hawk idols surviving the constant board wipes then becoming creatures on command. +1 for bring that back even if just a lil bit!
October 12, 2012 4:46 p.m.
October 12, 2012 5:30 p.m.
October 12, 2012 7:50 p.m.
Tamiyo is so powerful, I hate playing against her so much. She deserves a higher price than Jace
October 12, 2012 11:28 p.m.
@Behgz Yeah, heh, makes those board wipes awfully one-sided.
@Fourtysixn2 While I think Elite Inquisitor is definitely a great anti-zombie card, the reason I go with Knight of Glory is the pro-black. Being able to dodge about 90% of removal against G/B and even like 70% in R/B is amazing. The bonus is he blocks zombies all day like a baller.
@Geoxis Problem with Tamiyo, the Moon Sage is she can be limited. If they have a clear board she's stuck tapping lands until she ultimates (hopefully). I've even tapped her once or twice for a good laugh in those scenarios. Meanwhile, Jace, Architect of Thought has presence regardless of your opponent's board state. But don't misunderstand, I agree wholeheartedly that Tamiyo is the essence of control and she holds a dear place in my heart.
Thanks to all of you for your comments and suggestions!
October 13, 2012 3:21 p.m.
Hi. This is concept is probably how control is going to shape like in the next coming months. I really like how the board can be effectively stalled and it has a great answer to what they thought would be the prevalent metagame: ZOMBIES!
I was hoping not to be too forward but I was hoping you can playtest it against another prevalent concept the G/W aggro, more specifically mine the deck:selesnya-plays-life-gain-aggro , both to see how my build fares and the viability of such a build in the current meta. Like yours,I found that my deck held very well against zombies and Rakdos types more due to its ability to get mana quick and build life extremely fast. Anyways great job on the build and +1 from me.
October 13, 2012 9:11 p.m.
Man your deck rocks and your description rocks more.+1 from me and one suggestion.I have a similar deck and against control or mirror i use jace memory adept which you know how annoying is for control losing cards.
October 17, 2012 8:14 a.m.
I really like the deck. What do you think about Temporal Mastery as a 2 of? That extra turn is great early game to drop an extra land and draw a card. Also, it isn't rare to hard cast late in the game to pump up your planeswalkers. You can also always pitch it with Trading Post against fast decks if you have it in your opening hand.
Here is what I suggest; I've played around with it on the playtester and it seems fun.
I took out a Jace, Architect of Thought because he can be a dead draw with a pumped Jace, and I took out a card:Sphinx's Revelation because it competes with other cards for mana. Still, one of is nice.
Also, Elixir of Immortality is a wonderful card, it has helped in so many binds. It is good against fast aggro decks and later in the game to get your best spells back in your deck or handy as a Trading Post draw engine.
Keep tinkering! I think you really have something here. :)
October 23, 2012 12:13 a.m.
Oh jeez, I've kind of let the comments on this one go by the wayside. Guess I can respond a bit.
@_egravant Thanks! Yeah, I was considering running adept in the sideboard.
@drizzy Oh man, interesting thoughts here. I have a friend who's been tinkering with an Izzet deck based around miracles like Devastation Tide , Temporal Mastery , Bonfire of the Damned and even a Reforge the Soul . It's interesting and it's shown me just how powerful a top-decked temporal can be. It can win games! I just want to look at the items you mentioned to remove.
Azorius Keyrune - Saying this loses to Detention Sphere is falling to the dreaded "Dies to Doom Blade" mindset, in which it affects so many things that it's silly to say that a card is not good or should be run less simply because of it. I do agree, however, that the keyrunes can still competently be run as a 3-of and do it's job. I just am not sure I would want to considering how useful these keyrunes are.
Jace, Architect of Thought - It's hard ever justifying taking this card out. While I can see your point on having a dead card in my hand, that's actually hardly ever the case. I will sooner kill off my Jace than pump him.
card:Sphinx's Revelation - I used to only play a one-of of this card, but the utility and life gain proved far too useful. Hence the two-of. I can see it as a one-of again in favor of a temporal.
Now, I don't want to just discard your idea. I think it's interesting. Temporal Mastery is a great card for two reasons: It provides ramp off-color (provided you have a land) and it stalls to allow you to draw, cast, and use more answers. The drawback is it gets exiled and is EXPENSIVE non-miracled.
Does it have a place in this deck? Yes. I think it might. It plays into the strengths of the deck very well and can probably win a game or two.
What would I take out to play it? Believe it or not, I would probably take out an Oblivion Ring and a Azorius Keyrune . I agree that the Keyrune can be a 3-of, and I have enough removal at this point that losing one is not that big of a deal.
So am I going to modify it? No. While I really like the idea (really, it's great), I just don't think it matches my playstyle very much. An extra turn is always nice, but with the amount of control I push against my opponent, I rarely would need it anyway. I'd likely sit there, play another land and pass the turn. In the instances where I run against fast decks, like RDW, I usually have an answer in the form of a board wipe or a +1'd Jace.
October 27, 2012 2:19 a.m.
Hey, thanks for the concise response. I've been playing around with the deck with the modifications I've made and I found that really the Temporal Mastery is a god send when you have planeswalkers and/or Trading Post out and can win the game late with Entreat the Angels hard cast right after and swing on your second turn.
The problem is, these situations happen about 30% of the time, the other 70% of the time all it does is let you play an extra land and draw an extra card. While that is nice, it's not quite as nice as I thought it would be, I think you are right, it's not the best addition to the deck.
Keep building, seriously, this is my favorite deck right now, I really like U/W control and I think this deck does it all really well.
October 28, 2012 2:53 p.m.
@drizzy Thanks! And thanks for the report on your findings!
October 28, 2012 9:11 p.m.
November 6, 2012 4:23 a.m.
@drizzy At that point, you might as well make an American Miracles deck.
November 9, 2012 2:50 a.m.
November 9, 2012 4:58 a.m.
@Tunde I think Psychic Spiral is a neat card, though it would be a dead card for a while due to cost and the niche it fills, especially if I'm against aggro. I can see it against another control matchup I guess. I don't know about mainboarding it however. I might stick one in the side to try out.
November 11, 2012 7:27 p.m.
True that it can be a dead card for a while... However if you say have drawn the Elixir early and are forced to use the Eilixir early for the life gain then you can first use it if it is in your hand to shuffle it back in as well as get a leg up on the milling. Remember you don't need to mill them a lot but instead just enough that you don't deck yourself out first. Although I really did mean it as control match-up tech in the SB.