September 23 2016 Friday at 12:08 PM

The EMN swan song - Final lists for the decks I play most

Can you feel it? The excitement that surrounds a new Magic set is contagious. Whether watching Twitch or Youtube, whether reading articles or blogs, nothing brings people back to the game like new stories, mechanics, and of course, NEW CARDS! Magically, those who can’t make time for writing suddenly find a way ;)

As we wind down the Eldritch Moon season, I want to say a few words about the meta that was before gabbering about the meta that will be. I have played plenty of ENM Duels, and the format gave me fits for the longest time. The best decks seemed to be piles of three and four color good stuff, and I also played piles of three and four color good stuff, which made getting an advantage in deckbuilding difficult. After hundreds of games, I think I found builds that are reasonably competitive, so when I am feeling results oriented (like, all the time!) these are the decks I still play.

EDM Friends Final Cut

Creature(12)
2x Sylvan Advocate
3x Reclamation Sage
2x Tireless Tracker
1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer
2x Woodland Wanderer
1x Archangel Avacyn
1x Linvala, the Preserver

Instant(6)
4x Twin Bolt
2x Anguished Unmaking

Sorcery(2)
2x Declaration in Stone

Enchantment(6)
2x Oath of Nissa
2x Oath of Chandra
2x Oath of Liliana

Planeswalker(8)
1x Liliana, the Last Hope
1x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1x Nahiri, the Harbinger
1x Arlinn Kord
1x Ob Nixilis Reignited
1x Chandra, Flamecaller
1x Sorin, Grim Nemesis

Land(26)
2x Plains
2x Shambling Vent
2x Swamp
2x Mountain
2x Needle Spires
1x Cinder Glade
3x Forest
2x Hissing Quagmire
2x Canopy Vista
1x Woodland Cemetery
1x Rootbound Crag
1x Clifftop Retreat
1x Sunpetal Grove
4x Evolving Wilds

To view this deck go to: https://www.magicduelshelper.com/decklist/details/9ceffa45-6837-4e35-a43d-d98cdaddad68

In terms of flexibility, Superfriends is the best deck in EMN. It can play control or aggro depending on the situation, and the cards in the deck fall into three categories - answers, lands, and threats that can win the game by themselves. Some cards even multitask (Sorin and Sham Vents for example). This version of the deck is focused on beating Tutelage decks and winning the mirror. Reclamation Sage still has targets against Humans and Superfriends, but it is required vs Tutelage. I run all three instead of Bellower because the difference between blowing up a Tutelage or Fevered Visions on turn three or turn six can be the difference in the game. I have no sweepers in my deck. Instead, I have four Twin Bolt. My experience has shown that sweepers are only required to beat the best possible aggro draws, while Twin Bolt can play a role in any matchup. Languish won’t kill a turn three Lily from going ultimate. Between Sorin, man-lands and Oath of Chandra, this deck can also deal a lot of incidental damage, and I have closed plenty of games with a few Twin Bolts to the dome. If you play against tribal decks all day, every day, and Twin Bolt doesn’t cut it for you, I can endorse playing Radiant Flames over Avacyn and one Rec Sage. I don’t believe you want or need Languish and Planar Outburst in the current meta. Next deck please…

EMN Spirits Final Cut

Creature(21)
2x Selfless Spirit
2x Rattlechains
2x Dimensional Infiltrator
4x Tattered Haunter
2x Bygone Bishop
3x Nebelgast Herald
2x Spell Queller
3x Thunderclap Wyvern
1x Archangel Avacyn

Instant(11)
3x Unsubstantiate
2x Borrowed Grace
2x Scatter to the Winds
4x Spell Shrivel

Sorcery(2)
2x Declaration in Stone

Enchantment(2)
2x Invocation of Saint Traft

Planeswalker(1)
1x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Land(23)
7x Plains
2x Prairie Stream
8x Island
2x Glacial Fortress
4x Meandering River

To view this deck go to: https://www.magicduelshelper.com/decklist/details/2fe9257b-565f-4128-8fa7-659a88e441f9

The foil to a flexible midrange deck is typically a form of tempo deck. It helps that it is also solid vs ramp and some control strategies. Very aggressive lists will likely beat spirits up, but those decks haven’t been common in tournament play, particularly on XB1, so I registered Spirits in Fight Club Round 2 and the results speak for themselves. This is the version I would register if I had it all to do again. I’d cut Confirm Suspicions and add Borrowed Grace, because on most occasions I could have used Grace to win the game instead of using Suspicions to make it take one turn longer. Essence Flux and Long Rode Home are cute tricks, but Declaration in Stone and Unsubstantiate are just better. The 24th land is traded for a second Bygone Bishop to up the creature count. As one of the only creatures with 3 toughness in the deck, the Bishop is a better target for Invocation than most of my critters. I have said it on Twitch a few times, and it is worth repeating - this isn’t a great deck to ladder with. It does great work against ramp and great work against walkers, but there are plenty of random decks out there that beat these little fliers up.

EMN Esper Final Cut

Creature(5)
3x Felidar Cub
1x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
1x Linvala, the Preserver

Instant(22)
3x Blessed Alliance
2x Horribly Awry
3x Telling Time
3x Grasp of Darkness
2x Scatter to the Winds
4x Spell Shrivel
3x Murder
2x Anguished Unmaking

Sorcery(2)
2x Languish

Planeswalker(5)
1x Liliana, the Last Hope
1x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1x Ob Nixilis Reignited
1x Sorin, Grim Nemesis

Land(26)
2x Plains
2x Shambling Vent
2x Prairie Stream
4x Island
2x Sunken Hollow
4x Swamp
2x Drowned Catacomb
2x Isolated Chapel
2x Glacial Fortress
4x Evolving Wilds

To view this deck go to: https://www.magicduelshelper.com/decklist/details/79a0bba9-0fe3-4f6d-a4f3-1d4febbcae13

This is basically a planeswalker deck with counters instead of the green creatures. It leans harder on Black, and black has a great removal selection - Murder, Grasp and Languish, with Dead Weight hanging around if you want it, is easily the best removal set you can find. Unfortunately, nothing there deals with Walkers. Enter Blue - just counter the damn things - and White - Anguished Unmaking and Sorin! - and you get Esper Control. I think the biggest problem for Esper is the popularity of Tutelage, so I have Felidar Cubs up the wazoo. The mana and the glut at the three spot makes me take the Cub over Collective Effort or Solemn Offering, even though those seem like better control cards. Cub can also be brought back by Liliana, and sometimes it is just a good thing to have creatures around. I still play Esper because I find it to be a challenge, but I don’t think it is the best control deck around. That honor goes to…

https://www.magicduelshelper.com/decklist/details/bc3cedee-d71c-426c-a8c9-8317d4e76b68

Jeskai Tutelage/Visions/Walkers aka Inevitability

I never gave this deck love for most of the season because I saw it as a complicated take on what could be simple - Fevered Tutelage. I missed the point to some extent. This is really a planeswalker control deck with Tutelage and Visions as extra planeswalkers - repeatable “free” effects that give you a small advantage each turn that snowballs into a large advantage. Visions and Tutelage also have the advantage of being enchantments and being cheap. They get under most walkers and counterspells, and not everyone brings Reclamation Sage and Felidar Cub to the party. I will likely play this deck until the update drops, and I don’t expect it to disappear with the KLD release.

Honorable mentions - I play these decks, but I don’t expect to win as much. Perhaps I never nailed the correct build, or perhaps these are in-fact tier two trying to be tier one.

https://www.magicduelshelper.com/decklist/details/4f3cdade-af40-4a1e-a863-070ed7e88202

Bant

The deck suffers from being creature-based midrange in a format with more creature removal than planeswalker and enchantment removal. It is fantastic against creature decks, it is frustratingly less amazing against control. I tried to combat this but upping the card selection instead of creature quantity (Oath of Nissa, Telling Time), I kept the planeswalker count high, and of course I run Reclamation Sage. Bellower is fine here because the deck can close quickly, you don’t always have to kill the Tutelage or Visions to win.

https://www.magicduelshelper.com/decklist/details/8beccb4f-d4fc-4966-b3bc-3fa10528ba1d

Temurge

This is my favorite paper Magic deck right now, so trying to make it happen in Duels has been a painful passion of mine. Of course, we have no Emrakul. Rarity restrictions mean we get only one or two of all the key cards. Is it still worth doing a delirium, emerge, spell mastery, Kozilek’s Return thing? Hard to say. Results have been good, especially against Superfriends, but I also lose to all kinds of oddness. When the deck works, it is a blast, and it is very challenging to play it well. If you are going to ramp, I enjoy this ramp.

So how do these decks stack up against what is coming? Come back for my next entry, where I will update these decks with cards from the new set. Kaledesh is coming!

A quick announcement before I go - I will be on BBB’s podcast at 6 pm Eastern Time on Twitch - https://www.twitch.tv/oc616 Tune in to catch the crew’s thoughts on all things Kaledesh and all things Magic Duels.

<3 CGB

The End Credits -
Bookmark - http://www.hauntedflower.com/blogs/duels-diaries
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CGB’s Deckbox - http://www.magicduelshelper.com/decklist?userId=CovertGo%20Blue