The New Prahv Pillowfort

azorius banner

Out of all the guilds in Ravnica, the ones that I find closest to my heart when it comes to colour identity is the Azorius Senate. Democratic issues are important to me as a person as well, and in my line of work, meaning the lawmaking ruling flavour of Azorius speaks to me as well. It’s a shame, thus, that neither Guild mechanic attributed the Azorius Senate speaks very much to me. Detain does convey the enforcing body of Azorius nicely, but it doesn’t play that well in EDH. Forecast plays better, and according to this old article by Aaron Forsythe, is supposed to reflect the Azorius “action through inaction” though I’d say it better reflects R&D’s unwillingness to print cards supporting Ux Draw-Go like strategies, though that’s not really a bad thing.

My deck came about more or less as an accident. I was rummaging through my cards looking through stuff that I could use in Erebos when I found the remains of my old Damia deck and all the blue goodness it has. Though I wasn’t really up for playing a mono-blue deck any time soon, I thought it was a shame to let them lie there. I was still very much hooked on both Brion and Erebos, but looked through my pile of legendary creatures for something blue to work with.

Then this gentleman shows up:

grandarbiteraugustiniv.hq

Azorius it is. Though I have another white deck (Brion Stoutarm), running Grand Arbiter Augustin IV alongside wasn’t too much of a problem, since I had extra copies of most of the very essential cards – Swords to Plowshares, Wrath of God, Enlightened Tutor etc. I didn’t have an extra copy of Hallowed Burial, but the deck made due without it. Missing Solemn Simulacrum is harsh as well, but white has Kor Cartographer that, while it doesn’t cantrip, finds Hallowed Fountain and Tundra.

Initially, I settled on my usual set of rules for the deck:

tundra.hq

I really like the look of this particular dual, for some reason.

1) The deck should be able to co-exist with my other EDH decks and my Legacy deck (I hate sleeving back and forth). This was a bit of an issue with Brion, but nothing major. I even got the proper fetchland and dual for the deck sitting in a binder, since I’m playing BUG Delver in Legacy, and have done so for the better part of the year. The one Legacy card the deck might want is Force of Will, but that’s it.

2) The deck should make use of the Commander to a great extent. My Brion deck is very dependent on Brion himself for many of the combos – stealing something and flinging it is great fun, though I have some other sacrifice outlets. Erebos is less of a centrepiece in his deck, and more “the best card there is” with his card-drawing ability, resilience and cheap mana cost. With Augustin, I wanted him to shine in the deck.

3) No infinite combos, no infinite turns, no Mindslaver, no items, Fox only, final destination. Some might like to win EDH games out of nowhere with infinite combos, but my play group has effectively banned them by ruling them as unfun, and I completely agree. I think it’s important that EDH play groups can have a pragmatic approach to the format and its banlist, and above all play f*ucking ridiculous things as commander even though they aren’t really legendary creatures. All jokes aside, I wanted a “pillowfort” control deck, not a combo deck with a control-ish commander.

A “pillowfort” deck, as defined by MTGsalvations Wiki, is “a strategy for certain multiplayer formats, particularly the Commander format. The strategy is political in nature, attempting to make being attacked by an opponent undesirable or futile, thus making the rest of the opponents attack each other.” This is what I set out to achieve through some of the cards available to Augustin. The deck contains a few elements central to the deck:

– Controlling enchantments. Propaganda, Ghostly Prison and Norn’s Annex (though the latter might not be an enchantment) has nice synergies with Augustin, since it could force someone to choose between casting spells or attacking you. Aura of Silence, Rhystic Study, and Mystic Remora further taxes people’s spells or benefits Augustin in some way, Island Sanctuary, Treachery and Detention Sphere, finally, are just good utility. Enchantments are one of the harder permanents to remove once they hit play – while Return to Dust is well played in the format, white and green are the only colours that can reliably deal with these permanents.

– Utility countermagic. Countermagic is a touchy subject, even in EDH. Nobody likes getting their big, expensive stuff countered, but then again, nobody likes having their opponents resolve massively broken spells. I wanted a set of countermagic to use both as counterspells but with a bit more utility too. Spell Crumple and Hinder, or rather just the knowledge that these are in the deck, will keep opponents from casting their generals too greedily, Cryptic Command is a fantastic card all-around and can be used as a diplomatic tool with relative ease. The slight downside is the pretty awkward tripple-blue mana cost. Draining Whelk and Desertion has built-in card-advantage, which is always very nice. Stealing someone’s general with the latter is also very fun.

supremeverdict.hq– Sweepers. Sweepers are commonplace in the format, and for a good reason. White has access to most of the best ones, and adding blue to the mix also adds Supreme Verdict! Sweepers will kill Augustin himself if he is on the board, but will in the long run protect me from harm. Khans of Tarkir also brought the new toy of End Hostilities, and since this deck plays just a single equipment, the added effect will likely be very favorable.

– Planeswalkers. The planeswalker cards that are ridiculously strong in Legacy (Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Liliana of the Veil and Elspeth, Knight-Errant) are generally not that strong in EDH, since protecting a planeswalker from three opponents is much harder than protecting them against one. Many EDH decks also play utility removal that hits planeswalkers, but are rarely seen in Legacy (i.e. Beast Within, Chaos Warp, Oblivion Ring etc.). There are, however, planeswalkers I really like in EDH as well, primarily Jace Beleren, commonly referred to as “Communist Jace” in our group. Because the rest of the table eventually will get free cards from Jace Beleren, they are generally less likely to remove him like the rest. Another good upside with the flipside when it comes to planeswalkers is that they can fog a couple of attacks over the course of the next few turns.

isperia banner

Larger than several castles. Still just a 6/4.

I am fully aware that a deck like this will attract a lot of hate around just about any EDH table. People will come after it likely the second I reveal the commander, even if he doesn’t actually do that much for the deck in reality. I included Isperia, Supreme Judge as a back-up commander in case Grand Arbiter Augustin IV doesn’t work out and attracts too much flak and she does the “discourage your opponents from attacking” very well. The adding of her was one of the latest changes to the deck, by the way, which brings it to its current state:

New Prahv Pillowfort on TappedOut.net.

What do you think of the deck? Are there any glaring weaknesses? Any cards I should add? Most importantly – how would you react if I brought it to a casual EDH night?

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8 Comments

  1. psykopatmullvad

     /  November 10, 2014

    This is the deck I got a taste of at the kitchentable during BSK?

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    Reply
  2. Grim Lavamancer

     /  November 10, 2014

    Looks like a fun deck! Well, a fun deck to play at least, but most likely not that bad to play against either, mostly it looks like a fair bunch of cards, no insta-kill combos or things like that. Anyway, have you checked the desk list for the white commander 2014 deck? Comeuppance could be a nice addition to the list, and Sunblast Angel could prove quite valuable. I’m looking forward to play against the list, see how it fairs against the full might of clan Temur.

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    Reply
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