Hexproof
Extending Miracle Control to Standard

Joshua Vanderwall | 16 May 2012 16:00
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Last week we looked at a Block Constructed deck based on the new mechanic, Soulbond. This week, I'd like to look at some of the possibilities with the other new mechanic in Avacyn Restored, Miracle. I built the deck and started writing this last week, and I was overjoyed to see that this past weekend, Alexander Hayne took Pro Tour Avacyn Restored by surprise with his own Blue/White Miracle Control deck. While Hayne's deck was Block Constructed, we've extended the theme into Standard, as well as playing in a third color. The deck itself is a heavy Control build, designed to simply survive the early onslaught through board sweepers, until we eventually get our win condition active. This is a Miracle theme deck, so some of the choices are a little less than ideal but, as with last week's, the deck is largely here to inspire. That being said, in my playtests so far it has definitely proven to be quite resilient. Without further ado, you can check out the deck here.

The Miracles

A quick refresher on the Miracle mechanic itself, the ability reads "You may cast this card for its miracle cost when you draw it if it's the first card you drew this turn." This means that typically during your Draw step, if the first card you drew this turn is a Miracle card, you can reveal it and cast it during the draw step for a reduced cost. Likewise, if you have a way to draw during an opponent's turn, as long as it is the first card you drew on that turn, you can do the same. This ability conveniently ignores timing restrictions, so you are able to cast Sorcery-speed Miracles even during the opponent's turn, which can sometimes be crucial to a winning strategy. One thing to be mindful of, however, is that you can not allow the Miracle to touch the rest of your hand if you want to reveal it. If you're playing with Miracles, or just want your opponent to think you may be, always keep the card you are drawing separate from your hand until you have determined whether or not it is a Miracle, and whether or not you want to reveal it. Now on to the spells!

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This deck sports only a single real win condition in Entreat the Angels, which is why I've included four of them in the deck. We ultimately need to draw this spell, ideally as the first card drawn on a given turn so we can cast it for the reduced Miracle cost. As early as turn four you can Miracle this into an Angel token, which is not ideal, but can still win us games in a pinch. It is usually going to be correct to Miracle Entreat the Angels for as much as you can afford when you draw it. We have ways to get it back later when we have more mana, so don't hesitate to cast it for one Angel on an early turn. In order to stay alive long enough to actually get value out of our win condition, however, we'll need a variety of ways to keep the opponent off their game plan. Since this is primarily going to be creature-based, I've included four Terminus which does wonders against creatures small and large, as well as permanently removing Undying creatures and Loyal Cathar. For smaller creature strategies, which look to clutter up the board with a lot of little guys, we've got four Bonfire of the Damned which we can hard cast as early as turn three to clear out X/1 creatures, as well as a whole range of utility critters such as Birds of Paradise. This can also help out against Planeswalkers, since you can redirect the player's damage to the Planeswalker. The few points of damage isn't often going to be relevant, and keeping an opposing Planeswalker off of their ultimate is going to be much more important in most cases. Our final board sweeper is Devastation Tide, which returns all non-land permanents to hand. This doesn't have much, if any effect on us, given that we only run three creatures, but we can sometimes derive some benefit from being able to recast Snapcaster Mage while also setting back the opponent's plans by a turn or two. Since this is at most a hindrance, I've only included three here, though running more or less may actually be correct.

Outside the realm of win-cons and board sweepers, we've got Thunderous Wrath as a two-of, which can take out a larger creature, though not a Titan, or keep an opposing Planeswalker in check while we look for Entreat the Angels to close out the game.

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