Just for the hell of it, I’m not going to complain about things this week.

Okay, that’s not totally true.  I’m absolutely going to still do that.  So…yeah.

Let’s try this again from the top.

First off, I’m not a fan of ‘Deck Doctor’ articles.  There are many reasons, not the least of which include “Getting burned out after doing them on some other website for a while”; I don’t want to go deeper than that here, because (spoiler alert!) there’s an upcoming article that talks specifically about this sort of thing.

What I will do is exactly what I just said I’m not a fan of instead give you all a look into a recent build process that I took on.  (My hypocrisy knows no bounds.)

CARPE JELLYDONUT

Recently, I started lamenting the fact that I didn’t own a copy of Mystic Confluence.  This got me thinking; since I had recently taken apart all of my decks and only rebuilt two – those being my signature Mishra, Artificer Prodigy artifact/chaos deck and Angus Mackenzie Bant blink/Aluren/ Equilibrium shenanigans – I had a ton of fun blue cards that did similar control-ish things that were now just collecting dust in a box.

I then decided that it was sad that I no-longer had a decent control deck together, and also that I clearly should revisit trying to build a ‘judo’ deck – since that always works out so well for me.  While pondering, I happened to notice that my local hipster books/music/games chain store had a copy of the Commander 2015 “Seize Control” pre-con on sale for $29 (let’s hear it for no-sales-tax New Hampshire!)

Long story short, I’m now justifying spending $30 by documenting this potential trainwreck build process instead of just spending eight or nine bucks on the damn Confluence and jamming it into a deck to satiate my urge.

Lesson learned – try to think less.

THE PLAN

This isn’t new territory, and it’s closing in on a year late – I picked up the pre-con, and set to work pulling out all the chaff to try to re-focus the deck into something that I would be happy to play in my usual games.

What this *isn’t*:

My goal is pretty simple; I want a two-color deck for ease of mana development that runs blue and is very reactive – it isn’t a big-mana combo with Epic Experiment-type deck.  I want to take advantage of the other decks and aim for fun and interesting plays, so it will be very focused on card quality and not so much on theme.  (read: sorry for the goodstuff!)  I’ll steal things and copy things and blow things up and see where things go.

Say it with me, kids: EDH is all about the journey, not the destination.

Wherever possible, I’ll make use of the cards in the deck, because I clearly hate to waste money.  The only exception here is when I decide not to because I want to play a better card instead.

 

Let’s start with the stock pre-con list:

[Deck title=Seize Control]
[COMMANDER]
Mizzix of the Izmagnus[/COMMANDER]
[CREATURES]
Goblin Electromancer
Jace’s Archivist
Talrand, Sky Summoner
Psychosis Crawler
Lone Revenant
Charmbreaker Devils
Etherium-Horn Sorcerer
Melek, Izzet Paragon
Dragon mage
Gigantoplasm
Broodbirth Viper
Illusory Ambusher
Warchief Giant
Arjun, the Shifting Flame[/CREATURES]
[SPELLS]
Preordain
Faithless Looting
Vandalblast
Mizzium Mortars
Windfall
Mystic Retrieval
Stolen Goods
Rite of Replication
Sleep
Chain Reaction
Call the Skybreaker
Blatant Thievery
Epic Experiment
Thought Vessel
Seal of the Guildpact
Awaken the Sky Tyrant
Rite of the Raging Storm
Mystic Confluence
Aethersnatch
Mirror Match
Mizzix’s Mastery
Meteor Blast
Blustersquall
Brainstorm
Echoing Truth
Desperate Ravings
Urza’s Rage
Counterflux
Aetherize
Fact or Fiction
Reins of Power
Steam Augury
Word of Seizing
Act of Aggression
Prophetic Bolt
Firemind’s Foresight
Repeal
Comet Storm
Magmaquake
Stroke of Genius
Dominate
Blue Sun’s Zenith
Sol Ring
Izzet Signet
Worn Powerstone
Thought Reflection[/SPELLS]
[LANDS]
Command Tower
Evolving Wilds
Izzet Boilerworks
Izzet Guildgate
Reliquary Tower
Rogue’s Passage
Spinerock Knoll
Swiftwater Cliffs
Temple of the False God
Terramorphic Expanse
Vivid Crag
Vivid Creek
14 Island
13 Mountain[/LANDS][/DECK]

THE GOOD:

I think the folks in R&D at Wizards of the Coast are getting much better at these Commander decks.  I say this with authority based solely on looking at this list, whilst disregarding everything else printed along with this deck, and really, anything Commander related over the past few years either.

So, kudos.  Looking good, team!

But seriously, this isn’t half bad.  The mana base is proper, with a solid land count and all the right colorless supporting lands.  A few multi-color lands, a Rogue’s Passage and a Spinerock Knoll for those “Gotcha!” moments, and you have the foundation of a pretty decent deck.

The cards of note are clearly Epic Experiment and Mizzix’s Mastery, which are the big, splashy ‘battlecruiser’ cards of the deck.  Coupled with Goblin Electromancer and Seal of the Guildpact, you should be able to power out Mizzix itself and then bust out a big turn of some sort, involving playing a bunch of spells (Experiment) or replaying a bunch of spells (Mastery).

There are also some cards that do things in the deck.  There are cards that counter other cards, and some that blow up or burn down other cards, and there are some creatures that do some things.  It’s good that these cards were included.

THE BAD:

I think the folks in R&D at Wizards of the Coast are really missing the mark with these Commander decks.  I say this with authority based on the “Experiment Counter” mechanic that was introduced this year, which allows players to abuse low-hanging mechanics with a super-charged upgrade that can’t be interacted with.

So, boo.  Looking bad, team!

But seriously, this is about half-bad.  The mana base is proper, with a solid land count and all the right colorless supporting lands.  A few multi-color lands, a Rogue’s Passage and a Spinerock Knoll for those “Gotcha!” moments, and you have the foundation of a pretty decent deck.

The cards of note are clearly Epic Experiment and Mizzix’s Mastery, which are the big, splashy ‘battlecruiser’ cards of the deck.  Coupled with Goblin Electromancer and Seal of the Guildpact, you should be able to power out Mizzix itself and then bust out a big turn of some sort, which in stock form in this deck really isn’t much of anything other than chaining together a Blustersquall, a Prophetic Bolt, and a Stroke of Genius with X=o.

There are also some cards that do things in the deck.  There are cards that counter other cards, and some that blow up or burn down other cards, and there are some creatures that do some things.  These were…er…cards that were included in the deck.  I sure do love me some Desperate Ravings.

THE UGLY:

I haven’t built the deck yet, so we’ll get back to this one.

SNIPSNIPSNIPSNIPSNIPSNIPSNIPSNIPSNIPSNIP…

For today, I’m going to detail what is getting cut out.  I’ll also detail what might get cut out. Stay tuned after that for Part 2, where I probably change my mind on some of these things and then show you what gets added back in, and then maybe detail the total trainwreck of a  test run.  This will be a hoot!

OUT FOR SURE

Urza’s Rage – I mean, I like overpaying for effects as much as the next guy…

Dragon Mage – Reactive decks *love* constantly discarding their hands and drawing new ones.

Etherium-Horn Sculptor – Because with my luck, I’ll Cascade into counterspells all day long.

Charmbreaker Devils – Random regrowth is random.  Non-evasive creature is sad-face.

Lone Revenant – I hate it when I want to play Impulse, but I can’t get past my opponent’s Ornithopter.  Or, I could just, you know, play Impulse.

Awaken the Sky Tyrant – If I’m jumping through hoops like this, I’d damn-well better get more than a single 5/5 dragon.

Epic Experiment – The milk’s gone bad!

Arjun, the Shifting Flame – See Dragon Mage above.

Desperate Ravings – We can do better.

Blustersquall – I’m cold on tap effects for the most part.

Rite of the Raging Storm – The first time I saw this resolved, the next two players both followed up with Goblin Bombardment.  True story.

Broodbirth Viper – It’s a 3/3 for five mana with no evasion or abilities?  Does it make me a sandwich or something?  What’s that?  <reads Myriad>  Cool.  Do those ones make me a sandwich either?

Illusory Ambusher – I spilled a Diet Coke on this while sorting the deck, so it’s gotta go.

Warchief Giant – Oh, good.  Haste.  That’s much better.  Do I get my sandwiches faster?

Mizzix of the Izmagnus – It’s no secret that I really dislike Experience Counters, and of the whole Commander 2015 bunch, this thing is arguably the most egregious offender.  Even if all I wanted was to play fair and get a few-mana discount on Blue Sun’s Zenith, people are going to take one look at my command zone and nuke me out of the game if I stick with this.  No thanks.

ON THE BUTTON

Vivid Creek – Viva la Rule #4!  That said, there are better dual lands if I’m not looking to make other colors outside of my own deck’s identity.

Vivid Crag – See above.

Izzet Guildgate – See above above.

Swiftwater Cliffs – See above the above above.

Repeal – I’m thinking this is nice because it draws a card and hits any non-land permanents, but I have a sneaking feeling that I can find a better card.

Echoing Truth – This might be a good option, but I’m so completely blind to perceived low-value effects that I’ll likely pull it and get mobbed by twelve-thousand goblin tokens.

Vandalblast – I like blowing up all the things, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a stronger option here.  Or I could be totally wrong.

Sleep – It’s the top end of an effect that I’m not sure is quite good enough.  Now, if it were an instant…

Meteor Blast – The Desperate Ravings of this section.

Mizzix’s Mastery – The Epic Experiment of this section.  Slightly less bad in this deck, since I can see my targets.  Still, it might not be enough value to make the cut.

Melek, Izzet Paragon – Most of my spells are not ones I want to copy.  (See: Counterflux)  Most of my cards are also better when they’re a surprise and not sitting revealed on my library.  (See: Gather Specimens)

Psychosis Crawler – Meh.  This isn’t a big card-draw deck.  If this had any evasion, I’d be all over it.

Jace’s Archivist – It might be a good way to reload, but it might be too slow.  I tend to prefer spells that get me the effect immediately.

Seal of the Guildpact – Close to the line of being too expensive for the effect.

 

CLOSING TIME

You know how when you’re driving down the road, and there’s a card crash, and it’s horrific, but you just can’t make yourself look away?

Yeah.

😉

Cass
@GDCCommander