Two flavours of control

city of shakarToday I’d like to go through two of my decks and compare and contrast them, in order to demonstrate how control works in EDH. One of the decks is a deck I’ve played for some time now, about six weeks, and the deck is overall undergoing less changes – In Wydwen’s Ward (link to TappedOut.net). Wydwen plays different from any other Dimir general I’ve tried, and in a good way. Whereas Lazav could be – at times – very clunky due to the number of cards that provided incidental mill that the general needed. Nevermind the restrictive mana cost, which can be worked around quite easily at least.

wydwen,thebitinggale.hqWydwen, on the other hand, is also a Voltron-style general, but she requires way fewer slots for achieving a state where a kill is possible. Built-in evasion, the annoying activating ability that both protects herself and can work as a defensive measure, and Flash means she’s tough to deal with, even for decks with a bunch of instant-speed spot removal. In order to deal with her, a deck generally needs both a piece of instant-speed removal or two, as well as a bunch of pressure on the player, in order to make him/her sloppy with the mana. I guess Sudden Death is the greatest anti-Wydwen tech.

Meanwhile, cards like Runechanter’s Pike turns her into a 2-3 turn clock frequently, and even allows her to kill in one hit on rare occasions.

The other 99 cards in Wydwen really only supports a controlling strategy, aside the few equipment pieces that is specifically there to enable a kill from the general. These could be strapped onto any of the other creatures as well, technically, but it rarely happens. All the pieces are really modal, and can be interchanged in accordance with preference, metagame and wallet. In general (pun very much intended), I think Wydwen is underplayed.


The next deck I wanted to elaborate upon in this post is my new blue-green build, Prime Spekar Zegana. The list, currently less “finishedzegana” than Wydwen, can be found here, on TappedOut: Zegana’s Prime Time. I’ve been playing this online and in paper for just a few weeks, which makes me say it’s less finished – though I don’t believe an EDH deck is every truly finished. In some aspects it’s very similar to Wydwen, which might make some wonder why I’d build both – both decks are generally part-blue goodstuff lists, both decks win via creatures, both decks tend to draw lots of cards etc. However, Zegana generally does not win via commander damage, meaning it relies more heavily on creatures of her own to win. Further, Zegana has lots more creatures in the deck, and contains many more synergies, meaning the deck is a bit more fragile to interaction.

What Zegana lacks in resistance she makes up for in explosiveness, and she also tends to recoup better in the late-game than Wydwen, if things go south. Zegana does need another creature in play to work properly, which Wydwen generally doesn’t even want.

Finally, and the biggest difference, is the control elements in the decks. Wydwen has all the tools to deal with almost anything, while Zegana only carries the basic countermagic. However, Zegana plays a more pro-active role in control, it’s very possible to force a board wipe from an opponent even though Zegana might not have one herself. An effect of this is that Zegana tends to be way less discreet about her power on board, unfortunately.

All in all, the decks are different enough to make them play extremely differently, and right now I’m in love with both. I’m looking forward to Friday when I get to bring out both decks, hopefully.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  February 10, 2016

    I can defiantly see the different appeals of the two decks, Zegana is the heavy weight boxer of the two, swinging heavy punches but with little accuracy. While Wydwen is the surgical scalpel, precise and deadly.

    I personally favor the Zegana version of control for it’s more Gung-Ho qualities. But then again, I am a shameless Timmy.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • I feel very Dimir when I play Wydwen, and very Simic when I play Zegana. That’s about the best grades a deck can get, in my opinion.

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