Jeskai Control by Luke Feeney at SCG Richmond

Creatures (3)
3 Torrential Gearhulk

Non-Creature Spells (30)
2 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
2 Quarantine Field
1 Stasis Snare
3 Anticipate
4 Disallow
4 Glimmer of Genius
4 Harnessed Lightning
2 Immolating Glare
2 Negate
2 Shock
1 Skywhaler’s Shot
1 Void Shatter
2 Fumigate

Lands (27)
5 Island
4 Plains
4 Aether Hub
3 Inspiring Vantage
4 Port Town
3 Spirebluff Canal
4 Wandering Fumarole

Sideboard (15)
2 Dragonmaster Outcast
3 Spell Queller
1 Confirm Suspicions
2 Dispel
1 Negate
1 Shock
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Fumigate
2 Radiant Flames

Summary

The second major event of Aether Revolts is in the books. Two decks dominated; Jeskai Copycat and B/G Delirium or Aggro variants. The top 8 was rather drab, but Luke Feeney brought to the table a dedicated control deck that somewhat resembles the Jeskai Copycats just, without the…y’know, Copycats. Over 2 days on January 28 and 29, Luke piloted Torrential Gearhulk all the way to the elimination rounds, where he met his match in the semifinals and fell to Invitational-winner Dylan Donegan.

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One thing that we’ve learned over the past 2 weekends about the Jeskai Copycat deck is that it very frequently wins without the combo. As it turns out, Torrential Gearhulk is a very powerful Magic card. Additionally, the mirror-match feels a lot like a traditional control mirror match from Standards pass, and all of the same rules apply; hitting land drops is crucial, counter spells are important, card draw is the ultimate decider. In fact, it’s not very common to see a player combo off with Copycat in the mirror. Instead, the game comes down to resolving and making good use out of the big, beefy Torrential Gearhulk. This Jeskai Control deck operates how Jeskai Copycat does in the mirror. However, instead of lackluster cards like Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian, it plays Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, Quarantine Field, and Fumigate. This shift in strategy allows the deck to play more at what the format is all about; instant-speed kill spells, card advantage, and board control. Counter spells, specifically, are excellently positioned in this format, and I think that adding even more counter spells is a good way to move this deck going forward.

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Against the Jeskai Copycat decks, this deck thrives. It may have lost to Dylan Donegan in the semifinals, but over more matches I think it will be clear that the combination of more counters and better removal swings the matchup in Control’s favor. Against B/G variants, this deck appears to be fairly strong, as it has no trouble with Walking Ballista, and B/G’s removal spells are often stranded. Going forward, I expect control decks like this one and Jim Davis’ U/B Control to see more play, especially at Pro Tour Aether Revolt in only a few day’s time.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Stasis Snare

+1 Anticipate

Sideboard

-2 Dragonmaster Outcast

-1 Shock

-1 Fumigate

+1 Negate

+2 Decommission

+1 Release the Gremlins

This is day 30 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can ready day 29 here, where we covered a unique Standard deck that’s looking to attack the format from a completely new angle.

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