Sultai Control by sliiker on MtGO

Creatures (14)
2 Baleful Strix
4 Deathrite Shaman
1 Gurmag Angler
2 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
4 Snapcaster Mage
1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Non-Creature Spells (25)
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
1 Marsh Casualties
1 Painful Truths
2 Ponder
3 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
1 Counterspell
3 Fatal Push
4 Force of Will
1 Murderous Cut
2 Thought Scour

Lands (21)
1 Bayou
1 Forest
1 Island
2 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
2 Tropical Island
3 Underground Sea
3 Verdant Catacombs
3 Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
1 Counterspell
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
1 Marsh Casualties
2 Diabolic Edict
1 Dread of Night
2 Flusterstorm
1 Invasive Surgery
1 Pithing Needle
2 Surgical Extraction
3 Thoughtseize


Shardless Sultai has always been a popular choice among Legacy players over the last several years, but its popularity has waned recently, and with the banning of Sensei’s Divining Top, it looks like it’s time for another type of control deck to grab the spotlight. This deck, Sultai Control, takes the most powerful controlling elements of Shardless Sultai and combines them with the format’s best sweepers, removal spells, and value-oriented creatures to create a very different strategy.

The inclusion of 4 copies of Snapcaster Mage is probably the most obvious initial indication that this deck is far from Shardless Sultai in terms of overall strategy. However, Deathrite Shaman and Baleful Strix have stuck around, due in large part to Deathrite Shaman‘s powerful mana production and graveyard disruption and Baleful Strix‘s excellent blocking ability and card draw.

Leovold, Emissary of Trest is one of the breakout Legacy cards of 2017, and its inclusion in this deck shows its power level. Despite being a control deck, the disruption that Leovold puts on the opponent is extremely valuable in this deck, especially when paired with excellent blockers like Baleful Strix. Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Gurmag Angler round out the creature base. Both are efficient beaters in the late game that take advantage of the presence of Thought Scour.

Due to this deck’s ability to churn through cards, it can play several impactful cards in lower numbers. Marsh Casualties and Painful Truths are situational at best, but you will be able to find them semi-consistently in the matchups where they shine. Abrupt Decay, Fatal Push, and Murderous Cut are the removal spells in this deck, while Counterspell supplements the playset of the usual suspect, Force of Will. Thought Scour ties the room together, and lets you access the cards you’ve turned over with Snapcaster Mage, while fueling the aforementioned Delve creatures.

The sideboard has a similar makeup, with several high-impact one-ofs like Dread of Night, Invasive Surgery, Pithing Needle, as well as an additional copy each of Liliana, the Last Hope, Counterspell, and Marsh Casualties. Thoughtseize gives the deck some much-needed discard effects against combo decks, while Flusterstorm and Surgical Extraction are specifically included for Storm and graveyard decks respectively.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Abrupt Decay

+1 Ponder


-1 Counterspell

+1 Thoughtseize

This is day 138 of’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 read day 137 here, where we featured a Legacy deck that’s looking to cast spells quickly a flip a certain icy monster…

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