Standard - The Rock

20 10 6 24
Midrange Control

 

 

 

 

STANDARD ROCK

SPARK EDITION

This standard list of the Rock functions as a control-oriented midrange build. We attempt to have answers for everything, and can play either aggressively or defensively utilizing the tools available to Green and/or Black. Even before side-boarding, we are able to react to our opponents’ threats. The deck gains even more power in games two and three. Think of this deck as a tool box- you have the right tool for everything. Given the multi-purposed abilities of this deck, the main list can be played in Bo1 formats due to the inherent control and aggression available.

 

Rock (MTG Wiki Explanation)

Wizard's of the Coast Rock Deck Tech Article

MTG Salvation Forum Thread - Where did the Rock Archetype Get its Name

MTG Top8 - Recent Rock Tournament Lists in Modern 

 

THE DECK LIST

4 [[Llanowar Elves]]

4 [[Merfolk Branchwalker]]

4 [[Seekers' Squire]]

3 [[Jadelight Ranger]]

4 [[Wildgrowth Walker]]

2 [[Assassin's Trophy]]

3 [[Cast Down]]

2 [[Vraska's Contempt]]

2 [[Bolas's Citadel]]

3 [[Dreadhorde Invasion]]

3 [[Vraska, Golgari Queen]]

2 [[Ugin, the Ineffable]]

4 [[Woodland Cemetery]]

4 [[Overgrown Tomb]]

2 [[Blast Zone]]

6 [[Swamp]]

8 [[Forest]]

 

4 [[Duress]]

2 [[Finale of Eternity]]

3 [[Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage]]

3 [[Naturalize]]

2 [[The Elderspell]]

1 [[Cast Down]]

 

 

CARD EXPLANATIONS

{{Llanowar Elves}}

4 [[Llanowar Elves]] is frequently reprinted, and is often included in green-based decks for its ability to accelerate board development. This card is a fantastic turn one play.

  

{{Merfolk Branchwalker}}

4 [[Merfolk Branchwalker]]s are included in this list due to the explore ability which has several uses here. Firstly, explore can help reduce our card draw variance by grabbing lands, or filtering out unplayable cards. If you have [[Wildgrowth Walker]] on the board, every time you explore you will gain +3 life, and [[Wildgrowth Walker]] will gain a +1/+1 counter. Life-gain, specifically, is very important for us due to our inclusion of [[Bolas’s Citadel]] which is discussed further below.

 

{{Seekers' Squire}}

4 [[Seekers' Squire]]s are included for almost the same reasons that we include [[Merfolk Branchwalker]]. Note that [[Seeker’s Squire]] starts with 1 attack and 2 toughness, whereas [[Merfolk Branchwalker]] starts with 2 attack and 1 toughness.

 

{{Jadelight Ranger}}

3 [[Jadelight Ranger]]s are included, again, for the explore ability. However, unlike [[Merfolk Branchwalker]] and [[Seeker’s Squire]], [[Jadelight Ranger]] will explore twice when it enters the battlefield. That’s six life-gain with just one [[Wildgrowth Walker]] on the board.

 

{{Wildgrowth Walker}}

4 [[Wildgrowth Walker]]s are included for this card’s fantastic explore synergy. This allows you to face off against very aggressive decks. Be sure to keep this creature alive when playing against Red Decks, because your success will often hinge on [[Wildgrowth Walker]]’s survival. Sometimes its better to play another creature on turn two rather than this so your opponent can waste their [[Lightning Strike]] inefficiently.

 

{{Assassin's Trophy}}

2 [[Assassin's Trophy]] are included in the mainboard due to the prevalence of Planeswalkers in the current War of the Spark metagame. Be mindful of this card’s secondary effect which will accelerate their land count by one (as long as they have basic lands in their deck).

 

{{Cast Down}}

3 [[Cast Down]]s are included due to this card’s fantastic instant-speed removal. Prioritize your targets appropriately. The first creature the opponent plays is not always the best target. For example, don’t target an opponent’s 1/1 token creature when believe they are likely to play a more impactful threat later.

 

{{Vraska's Contempt}}

2 [[Vraska's Contempt]]s are included for the ability to exile creatures and/or planeswalkers at instant-speed. Note that “exile” is different than “destroy”, and cards exiled will not trigger their death-effects.

 

{{Bolas's Citadel}} 

2 [[Bolas's Citadel]] are included for the card-advantage and potential late-game damage. You may have seen other lists running explore creatures and this card. We do not have the same game plan. We are not focused on killing with a combo, but instead take advantage of the significant life-gain to utilize the card-advantage [[Bolas’s Citadel]] provides. Aside from the absolute impact provided when you are ahead or even with your opponent, this card will often snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. With respect to the life-cost associated with this card, although risky play is often rewarded, make sure that you do not kill yourself.

 

{{Dreadhorde Invasion}}

3 [[Dreadhorde Invasion]] are included. This two-mana enchantment is an absolute power-house against control decks. It comes down before they can counter it, and many decks will have a lot of trouble with the pressure resulting. Additionally, this can provide some significant late-game life gain if you have a token at 6/6 or higher. That said, you need to be aware of the life-damage at the start of every turn.

 

3 {{Vraska, Golgari Queen}}

3 [[Vraska, Golgari Queen]] included. This planeswalker provides many tools and really epitomizes the general deck theory. [[Vraska, Golgari Queen]] provides removal, life-gain, card-advantage, and even an alternative route for winning. The +2 ability also synergizes very nicely with [[Dreadhorde Invasion]] and [[Ugin, the Ineffable]]. If you have [[Bolas’s Citadel]] out, make sure you save the +2 ability until after you are stuck with a land on the top-deck.

 

{{Ugin, the Ineffable}}

2 [[Ugin, the Ineffable]] are played. The +1 ability provides board pressure, defense, and card advantage. The -3 ability is also extremely useful for the removal afforded. Like with [[Vraska, Golgari Queen]], if you have a [[Bolas’s Citadel]] on the board, make sure to save the +1 ability until after you get stuck with a land on the top of the deck.

 

SIDEBOARD

{{Duress}}

4 [[Duress]] are included for control match-ups. This card works wonders against decks that seek to control your game by pro-actively removing their answers.

 

{{Finale of Eternity}}

2 [[Finale of Eternity]] are included for against creature-based decks.

 

{{Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage}}

3 [[Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage]] are included for the control match-up. You can severely hinder your opponent with this card, combined with [[Duress]].

 

{{Naturalize}}

3 [[Naturalize]] are included to combat [[Wilderness Reclamation]] decks, which allows for its removal at instant speed. We choose this over [[Thrashing Brantodon]] and [[Crushing Canopy]] due to the two-mana cost and the ability to remove artifacts.

 

{{The Elderspell}}

2 [[The Elderspell]] should be played against lists that feature a high amount of planeswalkers.

 

{{Cast Down}}

1 [[Cast Down]] is included to sideboard against aggressive decks. In games where you sideboard this in, you’ll also probably be sideboarding out [[Dreadhorde Invasion]].

 

 

HOW THE LISTS LOOK POST-SIDEBOARD

 

Post-Sideboard vs. Aggressive Decks

 4 [[Llanowar Elves]]

4 [[Merfolk Branchwalker]]

4 [[Seekers' Squire]]

3 [[Jadelight Ranger]]

4 [[Wildgrowth Walker]]

2 [[Assassin's Trophy]]

4 [[Cast Down]]

2 [[Vraska's Contempt]]

2 [[Finale of Eternity]]

2 [[Bolas's Citadel]]

3 [[Vraska, Golgari Queen]]

2 [[Ugin, the Ineffable]]

 

Post-Sideboard vs. Control Decks

4 [[Llanowar Elves]]

4 [[Merfolk Branchwalker]]

3 [[Seekers' Squire]]

3 [[Jadelight Ranger]]

4 [[Wildgrowth Walker]]

1 [[Cast Out]]

2 [[Assassin's Trophy]]

2 [[Vraska's Contempt]]

4 [[Duress]]

 2 [[Bolas's Citadel]]

3 [[Dreadhorde Invasion]]

 2 [[Vraska, Golgari Queen]]

3 [[Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage]]

  

Post-Sideboard against [[Wilderness Reclamation]]

4 [[Llanowar Elves]]

3 [[Merfolk Branchwalker]]

3 [[Seekers' Squire]]

3 [[Jadelight Ranger]]

4 [[Wildgrowth Walker]]

2 [[Assassin's Trophy]]

2 [[Cast Down]]

3 [[Naturalize]]

4 [[Duress]]

 2 [[Bolas's Citadel]]

3 [[Dreadhorde Invasion]]

2 [[Vraska, Golgari Queen]]

 

 

 

 
Write-up version 1.0 created on 5/7/19
Comments

3 comments

gropiux
i've been playing golgari control for a while now. u should add a couple of assasins trophy or an ugin to deal with anoying enchantments. yw
Risendragon
Thank you for your kind words on my article this morning! In return and in the flavor of experimentation, I will try this deck out and tweak and report (if I have time of course)! Thanks again.
Ramza1987
I really like your take on this old deck idea.
Looks like a solid deck and fun to play.
CaptainJamoke
Last Updated: 21 May 2019
Created: 06 May 2019
TCGPlayer Partner
3033 247 3

Mainboard - 60 cards (16 distinct)

Creature (20)
$0.34
$0.64
$2.99
$1.02
$5.28
$0.20
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (10)
$8.25
$0.94
$0.14
$2.42
Land (24)
$0.30
$0.25
$2.47
$5.99
Planeswalker (6)
$6.02
$27.49

Sideboard - 15 cards (4 distinct)

$0.15
$0.34
$3.24
$0.46
Main/Sideboard Rarity Count
7 10 19 8 0
4 7 4 0 0

Mainboard - 60 cards (16 distinct)

4 Wildgrowth Walker
4 Merfolk Branchwalker
4 Jadelight Ranger
4 Llanowar Elves
2 God-Eternal Bontu
2 Leyline Prowler
3 Vraska's Contempt
3 Command the Dreadhorde
3 Ob Nixilis's Cruelty
1 The Elderspell
7 Swamp
9 Forest
4 Woodland Cemetery
4 Overgrown Tomb
3 Vraska, Golgari Queen
3 Liliana, Dreadhorde General

Sideboard - 15 cards (4 distinct)

4 Duress
3 Cry of the Carnarium
4 Dreadhorde Invasion
4 Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage

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