Hexproof
Extending Miracle Control to Standard

Joshua Vanderwall | 16 May 2012 16:00
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Utility

Pretty much the rest of the deck is dedicated to utility. We're running three Faithless Looting which churns through the deck and allows us to discard early Miracles or late Lands as needed. Noxious Revival adds some value to Miracles that have been cast or discarded. This lets us set up a Terminus during the opponent's end step, or Entreat the Angels for our own turn. Noxious Revival has been an all-star in every game I've played with this deck, setting up on-the-spot victories, or dragging the game out to give us time to find our win condition. Snapcaster Mage will typically be used to chump block and Flashback Noxious Revival to buy extra time via Terminus or give us another use out of Entreat the Angels. We've also got a full four Ponders to set up our Miracle draws, so we don't get too many uncastable spells in the early turns. I like library manipulation with Miracles, and this is as good as it gets in Standard right now.

Think Twice is here to allow drawing during the opponent's turn and to simply sift through your deck. Setting up a Terminus with Ponder during your turn, then waiting for the opponent's end step to Think Twice and cast Terminus can be seriously powerful, as it gives the opponent an opportunity to commit more creatures to the board and frees up your own turn for other options. Finally, one of my favorites, Desolate Lighthouse is another card draw tool. Like Think Twice, this lets us draw on the opponent's turn, as well as allowing us to discard a Miracle to set up with Noxious Revival, and helps us churn through our deck looking for Entreat the Angels. It's kind of an uncounterable catch-all for what we're looking to do.

The Mana Base

As to the mana base, I've opted to include only Innistrad and Core Set dual lands here, rather than Scars duals. The reason being that we typically don't care about our first couple of lands coming in tapped, but we want to drop our later lands untapped so we can start hard-casting our Miracles earlier. Scars duals come into play tapped if you control more than two other lands, where these lands come in tapped only if you're lacking in Basic lands. Being a Control deck, we don't ever want to miss land drops if it can be helped, so we're running a total of 26 lands, including two Desolate Lighthouse, plus plenty of card draw. The colored lands have proven to be adequate for our needs, with the only trouble I've so far encountered being getting to three White sources to hard-cast Entreat the Angels. To this end, I added three Evolving Wilds late in the process, which not only finds our Plains when we need them, but gets us an early Basic land to ensure that our dual lands come in untapped.

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The Game

The deck plays out much like a typical Control build, usually eating some early damage before clearing the board with one of the many sweeper effects. A first-turn Ponder can help you set up your turn three Terminus, though this is most beneficial when you're on the draw and your opponent has already committed some threats to the board. Otherwise, you can wait to Ponder on turn two or three to set up your sweeper of choice. Once you've survived the first wave, you're going to be setting yourself up for another sweeper when it becomes optimal. Between Noxious Revival and Snapcaster Mage, this shouldn't be too difficult once you've found your first. Then it's just about surviving until you find Entreat the Angels. With so much card draw, coupled with the four copies in the main deck, this shouldn't be too difficult. If you're short on White mana to hard-cast it, just discard it to Desolate Lighthouse or Faithless Looting and then drop it back on top with Noxious Revival to miracle it next turn. Normally you'll want to wait and cast Entreat the Angels during your own draw step to maximize the amount of mana you have available, but there are times when Think Twice into Entreat will save you during combat.

So, what do you think? If Miracle Control is going to make it in Standard, what kind of tech will we have to adopt? Will straight Blue/White be the most powerful option, or will more diverse colors allow a stronger game?

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