4-Color Control by Michael Hamilton at SCG Cincinnati – 1st

Creatures (2)
1 Torrential Gearhulk
1 Linvala, the Preserver

Non-Creature Spells (31)
2 Dovin Baan
1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 Nahiri, the Harbinger
1 Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh
2 Cast Out
2 Abrade
1 Blessed Alliance
2 Censor
2 Essence Scatter
4 Glimmer of Genius
2 Harnessed Lightning
2 Magma Spray
2 Negate
1 Pull from Tomorrow
3 Supreme Will
2 Fumigate
1 Radiant Flames

Lands (27)
2 Island
2 Mountain
3 Plains
4 Aether Hub
1 Fetid Pools
4 Inspiring Vantage
4 Irrigated Farmland
2 Port Town
2 Spirebluff Canal
3 Wandering Fumarole

Sideboard (15)
3 Glorybringer
3 Spell Queller
1 Chandra’s Defeat
1 Dispel
1 Essence Scatter
1 Forsake the Worldly
1 Jace’s Defeat
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Confiscation Coup
1 Radiant Flames

Summary

The first major tournament with Hour of Devastation is in the books! SCG Cincinnati had many surprises in store for everyone, and it might signal the start of a healthy and diverse format. Many predicted that the same old decks would dominate the format, but the results of SCG Cincinnati have indicated we might be in for a bunch of new and exciting decks to compliment the existing ones. The deck we’re featuring today is the winning deck, 4-Color Control, which uses several new and exciting Hour of Devastation cards.

One central feature of all blue control decks is counter spells, and this deck has several. Censor, Essence Scatter, Negate, and Supreme Will all making the cut. The notable absence from this list is Disallow, which was deemed too costly and too rigid. Supreme Will is the only new one in this suite of cards, but it adds a lot to the deck. While a conditional counter spell is usually mediocre due to its inability to counter spells in the late game, this one has a very positive fail state by using it as a 3 mana Impulse.

Another constant in all control decks is a diverse set of removal spells. This deck plays Cast Out, Abrade, Blessed Alliance, Harnessed Lightning, and Magma Spray to that end. Abrade‘s printing has any and all red mages excited, as it’s a very efficient removal spell that can also target and deal with pesky artifacts efficiently. Harnessed Lightning kills much of the format’s creatures and Cast Out is an unconditional removal spell, while Blessed Alliance regularly misses the creature you want to hit and Magma Spray struggles to hit any of the truly impactful creatures in some matchups.

Control decks are also famous for sweepers and draw spells, and this deck is no different. The sweepers in this deck are Fumigate and Radiant Flames. Fumigate kills every creature no matter the size, while Radiant Flames can only hit creatures with relatively low toughness, making it hit or miss in many matchups. For draw spells, this deck plays Glimmer of Genius and Pull from Tomorrow. Glimmer is significantly more consistent and a much better mid-game play, while Pull from Tomorrow has the ability to bury an opponent in card advantage in the late game.

Lastly, it’s important to recognize the creatures and planeswalkers in the deck. For creatures, this deck plays 1 copy each of Torrential Gearhulk and Linvala, the Preserver, which both gain value before they have a chance to be killed. For planeswalkers, this deck plays Dovin Baan, Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, Nahiri, the Harbinger, and the new marquee planeswalker, Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh.

Dovin Baan is rarely seen in Standard, but it may have found a home in this deck. Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh on the other hand hasn’t had an opportunity to shine yet, but it’s already won an Open, and it’s where the fourth color in this deck comes from. With the ability to draw cards, force the opponent to discard, remove opposition creatures, and end games quickly, the Grixis ‘walker may have found a home in this deck.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Blessed Alliance

-1 Radiant Flames

+1 Fumigate

+1 Essence Scatter

Sideboard

-1 Essence Scatter

-1 Confiscation Coup

+1 Radiant Flames

+1 Jace’s Defeat

This is day 198 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 read day 197 here, where we featured a Modern port of a current Standard favorite.

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