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~ The Evolving Meta ~ Vol. 4

Randy Nixa
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 23:45

Rotation is just around the corner so I figured I'd share with you the latest version of my deck.  Here's where my deck ended up:








  • 4x Plains
  • 6x Islands
  • 1x Swamp
  • 4x Glacial Fortress
  • 4x Drowned Catacombs
  • 2x Isolated Chapel
  • 2x Evolving Wilds
  • 2x Vault of the Archangel



Now to the interesting bits.  You'll see that the maindeck curve is very aggressive stopping at 4CC.  The old zenith build had to durtle around for several turns before any win cons were viable.  The new win cons are 2 and 3 mana.  Intangible virtue makes every casting of lingering souls a win con and vastly improves upon Sorin's ability to poop out tokens.  2/2 or 3/3 lifelinkers are a big deal.  The control spell structure is basically the same as before, but with the lower curve I was able to drop the land count down to a slick 25 and I put 2 ponders in the place of those lands for turn 1 fixing or just for a little more digging.  I used to hate ponder, but it's growing on me.  It's decent late game with evolving wilds and is still useful even when not playing delver.  The other addtion to defense was Oblivion ring.  I dropped my obsession of snap synergies and just played old faithful.  O-Ring lets you extended a little more knowing that you can deal with a wide array of permanents. 


I can't say enough about Intangible Virtue.  Maindeck answers to enchantments are few and far between, so they tend to stick around and more than likely you'll have a few in play.  The vigilance on the card makes it close to broken.  You can fly in everyturn and still have the defensive powerhouse of souls + vault of the archangel.  This is all going while Sorin flops down and really starts to shine.  Elspeth had her place in my heart, but now the Dark Lord is my new project...until Tamiyo drops, but that'll come later.


The sideboard is basically Sun Titan tools.  I'm really close to adding Nihil Spellbomb and Ratchet Bomb to compliment him even more.  But first off we have:  Ghost Quarter


Ghost Quarter is such an important card right now for control.  It's really the only esper tool to combat lands.  Everydeck in the format is playing Kessig, Moorland, or Gavony and these lands will take over a game, just as our Vault will.  Ghost quarter is how this deck can beat kessig and using it sets us back so much, so I remembered that Sun Titan + Tec Edge was amazing, so Sun Titan + Tec Edge's retarded cousin Ghost Quarter will have to do. 


Phantasmal Image is the other Sun Titan powerhouse.  He slays Geist in the early game and comes back to become a Sun Titan copy to lock up the game.  A recurable legend killer is pretty dope.


The rest of the sideboard sort of explains itself.  Karn Slays any long battle, Sword of Feast & Famine destroys in control mirrors (very good with Midnight Haunting), and Curse of Death's Hold can just shut off a large percentage of certain decks.  The card that I side in the least is Divine Offering.  It's in there to face the RG agro lists that slap down Sword of W&P on turn 2.  Gideon is in there to help on weenie decks. 


A lot of the sideboard could be worked into the maindeck, but my thinking was to keep the MD streamlined and try to kill fast.  The meta is very quick, so I wanted a control deck that could threaten right back.  When it does come time to sideboard, I often sideboard out a lot of the spot removal and lessen the sorin count for the answers I need. 


Overall, I've been very pleased with the this deck.  Lingering Souls is amazing and this deck does a good job of making it even better.  Turn 4 you start to come alive.  Flash back Souls with mana leak open. Turn 5 you drop a virtue with dissipate open, swing for 4 if you chumped/traded, swing for 8 if you have all souls on the board.  It's a bunch of damage on board and you still have defensive spells at your disposal.  With a virtue you the table, you can ride 2 souls to victory at a stable pace while fiddling around with Snapcaster shenanigans.  I was originally playing a lot more timelys, but the recovering life gain from vault and vamp tokens had a surprising impact and the instant speed fliers of Midnight Haunting proved to be much more valuable.


I hope you've enjoyed the evolution of my esper token build.  I'm eagerly awaiting Tamiyo and dreading Cavern of Souls.  Avacyn Restored will undoubtedly shake up the meta and I'll be here brewing and concocting to control all the pieces in play in another edition of.... duh duh duh


The Evolving Meta  


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