|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (27)|
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Hello, and welcome to my Jeskai Control Deck Tech! This is the list I have taken from the first day of new standard in Arena. My results have been solid as well with my last 2 CC’s with the deck both going 5-1 and with the Arena Metagame Challenge, I bolstered a 6 and 7 win run with 6 attempts, netting me 50 packs over the weekend.
In my opinion Jeskai Control is one of the better decks in the format, though it does have drawbacks. The deck is very expensive and without tight play, players may fail to stabilize. The deck also lacks good life gain leaving the player susceptible to their opponent’s reach.
This deck write up and youtube video reflects v1.11 of this deck. We are now on v1.12! Here is a change log!
Mainboard: -1 Chemister Insight, -1 Field of Ruin, -1 Mountain, +1 Cleansing Nova, +2 Island
Sideboard: -1 Deafening Clarion, -1 Settle the Wreckage, -1 Banefire, -1 Detection Tower, +2 Lyra Dawnbringer, +2 Fiery Cannonade
Mana Base has been changed to become more stable. 4 Chemister Insight felt like overkill, Cleansing Nova helps the stompy matchup. In the side Fiery Cannonade is optimal against tokens and still good vs RDW, Lyra is brought in to combat RDW and perserve our life total through reach at the end of the game.
Let’s look at the removal suite:
3x Deafening Clarion
3x Essence Scatter
2x Justice Strike
2x Lightning Strike
2x Settle the Wreckage
2x Shivan Fire
The primary forms of removal in this list lie in counters with Essence Scatter and Ionize. Note that it is often better to hold up Essence Scatter on turn two instead of playing Search for Azcanta (exceptions apply!). The non-countering removal in this list is meant to clean up things that fall through the cracks. Justice Strike can take care of the majority of stompy and control threats for 2, Lightning Strike helps the early game against 2/3s that Justice Strike misses, but also doubles as a form of planeswalker removal. Shivan Fire helps slow down aggro in the early, especially on the draw until the deck can stabilize. Shivan Fire is also preferred over Magma Spray as even though it doesn’t hit planeswalkers, it is still an active draw into the mid and late game.
The board wipes in Deafening Clarion and Settle the Wreckage allow us to transition from playing on our back feet to stabilizing. It should be noted that when Deafening Clarion is paired with Expansion/Explosion, it can reach six damage, even clearing most stompy boards.
The draw package contains the win cons, which we will go over separately as well as:
2x Search for Azcanta
4x Chemister’s Insight
Search for Azcanta is great card selection in the early game and becomes card selection and card draw in the late game. It isn’t as strong vs aggro or quicker midrange lists, and often is sideboarded out vs base green decks due to enchantment hate, but the card is simply too efficient not to run! Chemister’s Insight has quickly proven to be an efficient replacement for Glimmer of Genius! Running 3 may still be correct, but I like the 4th copy in this list to add consistency to our games.
The Win Cons:
4x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
2x Ral, Izzet Viceroy
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is the best planeswalker in standard! He’s strong enough to potentially push the list into white on his own! The card draw is amazing, the Ult is game ending, and he can win the game on his own by preventing you to mill out via tucking himself back into the deck! Ral, Izzet Viceroy has overperformed to my initial assessment of the card. Although a powerful planeswalker in his own right, he does still play second fiddle to Teferi, and having more than 6 five mana planeswalkers is probably incorrect.
It should be noted that when choosing your win condition for a game, you should pay careful attention to the number of cards remaining in your library. If you have less than 20 or 25 cards remaining, often time it is best to hold up Ral, Izzet Viceroy as removal only and focus on winning with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. When Teferi puts himself back into the deck (after ult’ing) you can cut your opponent’s off land and kill them eventually via mill. The Ral ult has you do 4 damage, but also draw 2 cards for each spell you cast. Teferi replacing himself can save you from self-milling, but not through a Ral ult!
Our Premier Card!
This card is literally insane! I turned my nose up at it when building the initial version of this list, but watching other streamers talk about it, I gave it a shot as a 1 of. It is now a 3 of and could potentially become a 4 of! Let’s talk about how good this card really is!
Expansion is super flexible! Against stompy, it allows Deafening Clarion to wipe boards including Carnage Tyrant by doing 6 damage! It can pair with a removal spell to become an extra copy of whatever is needed in a pinch. It’s not always incorrect to Expanion your opponent’s Chemister’s Insight in control mirrors. Speaking of control mirrors, this card straight up wins counter spell wars!
The Explosion side isn’t dead either! Explosion can be removal in the late game that nets card advantage! In top deck, it can be sent to your opponent’s dome to draw ahead and stabilize the board as well. It also functions as a win condition by being able to present lethal, or by forcing your opponent to draw their entire deck and mill them out! 10/10 recommend!
My Mana Base:
4x Clifftop Retreat
4x Glacial Fortress
4x Sacred Foundry
4x Steam Vents
4x Sulfur Falls
1x Field of Ruin
This mana base hits all the necessary mana requirements but is also very expensive. Earlier builds of my deck did include mana bases running various numbers of Evolving Wilds and although not optimal, worked well enough while building into the list. Feel free to mess around!
Moving to the Sideboard:
1x Detection Tower- Detection Tower in a 3 color deck? Yes! Let me explain! Field of Ruin is a dead draw vs Mono Green Stompy and Mono Blue Tempo. It’s simply a colorless source. Detection Tower, though still colorless mana, does provide us the ability to fight through Green’s Hexproof creatures and dive downs utilized by Mono Blue Tempo.
1x Banefire- The most cuttable of the sideboard cards. Banefire gets the nod over Inexcapable Blaze due to its utility. Yes, Banefire is capable of closing games, but honestly, its more likely planeswalker removal in most instances.
4x Negate- Essence Scatter is bad vs creatures, play this in place of it in spell heavy lists
2x Remorseful Cleric- Remorseful Cleric has overpreformed. Its relevant vs Control to shut off Azcanta flips and to deny value from Chemister’s Insight. It’s usefulness against Golgari is obvious, and its not shabby vs Risk Factor, though admittedly less good against that deck. Even though it has overperformed, the effect is generally only needed once per game, so 2 of seems to be the right number to see it at some point in the game.
2x Disdainful Stroke- Even some of the more aggressive Boros builds play 4 drops in Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice. This becomes almost as good as hard removal in most match ups. It could even be considered to mainboard 1.
2x Invoke the Divine- Invoke is the deck’s only artifact and enchament removal without a hard counter. It is also the lists only form of life gain. I have won some games by killing my own Search for Azcanta in response to burn. If Invoke the Divine is in hand. Prioritizing the front side of Search for Azcanta is usually correct.
1x Deafening Clarion- Add against aggro/stompy.
1x Settle the Wreckage- Add against Stompy.
1x Nezahal, Primal Tide- Alternative win condition vs control. Nezahal is very expensive, but very sticky and hard to remove.
Matchups (Best of 3):
Mono Green Stompy: Slightly Favored, being on the play helps keep the board from getting out of control. Board wipes are important and become even more relevant on the draw. Remember to utilize Expansion/Explosion with Deafening Clarion to deal with those Carnage Tyrants!
Boros Angels: Very Favored, they lack card draw and generally only play one threat a turn. Punish them for this.
Boros Aggro: Slightly Favored to Even, being on the play is very important, and against good draws, you sometimes cannot stabilize. A good board wipe is usually enough to swing the game in your favor.
Izzet Drakes: Very Favored, we can usually out sustain and stabilize easily. Drakes are removed without much difficulty. Spells can be a problem, but with Negate post board, shouldn’t be an issue.
Mono Blue Tempo: Very Unfavored- They are built to beat control. Their card draw keeps protection in their hand and makes it difficult for us to interact. If you can get through the creatures, stabilizing afterwards should pose much of an issue.
Golgari Midrange: Slightly Favored, answering the creatures or answering their walkers isn’t too much of an issue, but if we can’t efficiently set up to do both in each game, we can get beaten down into submission or outvalued by a Vraska or Vivian.
Blue Black (x) Control: Very Unfavored to Unfavored, they are built stronger to face control lists than we are. They can efficiently strip our hands down while keeping their own full. Holding cards to discard to Disinformation Campaign is important as well as understanding the main win condition turns to Nezahal or a luck burn spell to the face.
Mono Red Burn: Unfavored, they have too much reach, unlike other aggro lists where we can generate value from board wipes, they simply have more damage than we do counter spells.
Selesnya Tokens: Slightly Favored, they run lots of small dudes, we run lots of boardwipes. Against inexperienced players this is GG, however better players can play around us to some extent. March being instant is huge for them!
Lava Coil- 4 damage for 2 and it exiles! If you are encounter a lot of Rekindling Phoenix, 1 of in the side could be correct, but, Justice Strike is usually sufficient and instant speed! The sorcery speed tends to be this card’s biggest draw back.
Niv Mizzet, Parun- Is a decent creature that is uncounterable. However, at triple blue and triple red, I find the costs to be too steep. In further comparison between Niv Mizzet, Parun and Nezahal, Primal Tide, Nezahal seems to stick to boards better by not being as easily tucked into the deck by Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. In my opinion, just run Nezahal!
4th copy of Settle the Wreckage- Settle is a powerful card, but it’s the only thing in double color in this list (outside Explosion). I find that Deafening Clarion does well enough to not need the extra copy of Settle the Wreckage, but I couldn’t fault someone for running it.
Mission Briefing- Double Blue in the mana cost? No thanks! Expansion/Explosion is flexible enough to not need this as another flex spot in the list.
Enhanced Surveillance- Without Sinister Sabotage this list doesn’t have enough surveil to take advantage of this card. Teferi keeps us from milling ourselves out. This card is a crutch and a bad one at that!
Sinister Sabotage- Yes, this card’s second ability is far more relevant than Ionize, however, double blue is too restrictive. Run Ionize instead. Your mana base will thank you for it.
Anything I missed? Have opinions or new ideas? Let me know!