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Felipe Musco
Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 5:27 pm
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianópolis, SC, Brasil
--- description ---
The most annoying (and most efficient) control deck in Standard, if you feel you’re that good, play it!--- end description ---

4 Desert
3 Dimir Aqueduct
7 Island
3 Underground River
4 Watery Grave
3 Dreadship Reef
1 Urza’s Factory
3 Spell Burst
4 Think Twice
4 Remand
1 Sudden Death
2 Persecute
4 Rewind
1 Seize the Soul
1 Careful Consideration
3 Damnation
3 Mystical Teachings
2 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
1 Draining Whelk
1 Skeletal Vampire
1 Extirpate
4 Spell Snare

2 Extirpate
2 Shadow of Doubt
1 Trickbind
4 Bottle Gnomes
1 Damnation
1 Persecute
1 Dralnu, Lich Lord
1 Haunting Hymn
1 Commandeer
1 Repeal

This deck is what is called a draw-go deck, because that’s basically what you do. It’s not about action, but about reaction! You counter the potentially threatening spells played by your opponent, clear the board with Damnation, and just go around building up resources, mana, cards in hand, etc. Then, you drop the bomb: a big Skeletal Vampire, which you’ll usually be able to protect with counters and such, so it can go all the way. It’s a nice deck, but difficult to play as it has a lot of tools to master in use, so I wouldn’t recommend it to a newer player. However, careful on where you play it, as it’s a really slow deck, so matches may drag on too much.

Brewing Cost: U$ 283.20

Adding Future Sight to the Mix:
Future Sight adds in some interesting things to the mix, like Tolaria West, which makes it possible to play Urborg, and consequently, the really good Tendrils of Corruption against more fast aggros (Desert is not that hot anymore since Boros has kind of died). Delay is also a neat answer for a counter-control deck (I discuss it in my article on Future SIght, for this type of build, it’s actually better than Remand). Then, there’s River of Tears, a really good land to add to the mix, and the awesome Pact of Negation (has been played as a one-of in some builds, really good). Tombstalker provides an even better finisher than Skeletal Vampire, coming down earlier (thus speeding up the clock), and both it and Logic Knot can be used to dry out the graveyard, protecting your precious spells from pesky Extirpates. Since this deck is a toolbox, Nix can also find a spot to fill, stopping suspended creatures right on their tracks. I’ve seen some decks splash white for Pull from Eternity, against suspended Chroniclers, Detritivores and such.

How to stop it:
Dralnu is a control deck, and control decks tend to be slower. The best way to stop it is to go all out aggro, with a barrage of quick and solid beaters and preferrably instant-speed burn spells, to they tap out to counter them on their turn, leaving your turn wide open to land even more beaters. Let’s see what can be done about it more closely:

White has it rough, since Wrath of God will never resolve when you need it to (later on in the game), and White Weenie has been hosed down badly by the vast amount of Sulfur Elemental running rampant in Standard. However, a White Weenie deck CAN rush Dralnu fast enough for the kill (and remember, you can pack Mana Tithe to stop that crucial Damnation of them...), although you won’t have easy match-ups against other decks.

Black has potential, in which you can play discard spells to cripple their early game, and you can always try to Extirpate their counters once the first one resolve. Also, Sudden Death stops pretty much anything Dralnu can do right now, unless Dralnu players REALLY decide to go the Tombstalker route.

Outcountering Dralnu is hard, since Extirpate can take away YOUR counters too, but if you are playing monoblue Pickles and you CAN land some morphs down, you may be able to steer of the counterspell barrage. Tron-powered Spell Burst is also a great option to stopping it.

Green can pack SOME punch against Dralnu, by rushing early game with Stuff like Llanowar Elves, Birds of Paradise, Scryb Ranger and Spectral Force. Call of the Herd provides some beating, too, but an Extirpate on it will definitely hurt. Then, if your sideboard has enough room, a Quagnoth can make for a finisher, until they play Damnation that is.

Red has some potential, with Kird Ape and Char, and such providing early beatings. A fast Red Deck Wins can cause dralnu a serious headache, specially since Dralnu can’t really stop Sulfur Elemental from hitting play, and the new Molten Disaster can also gain Split Second to pose a threat. Tron players can try to Bogardan Hellkite eot, drawing away counterspells, so you can hellbent Demonfire for the win next turn.

Some early discard like Castigate MAY be able to slow down Dralnu, but most likely, it’s the heavy beats that will do it. Stuff like Burning-Tree Shaman, Scab-Clan Mauler, Watchwolf and Giant Solifuge, Loxodon Hierarch, heck, even Rumbling Slum if you can make it come down early enough, anything that packs a punch.
I don't like YOU.

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