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Deck Guide Update: Modern Azorius Control

Modern Azorious Control is a fan favorite – who can resist this combo that goes all the way back to Alpha?

CounterspellWrath of God

I wrote about this deck a few months ago, and it’s due time for an update. Wafo-Tapa has been continuing to battle with it, and he even has started streaming. Honestly, how lucky are we – I can’t imagine how cool it would have been 15 years ago to get to watch Wafo, the undisputed control master, stream his gameplay. Don’t take it for granted, and do check out his stream. In any case, here’s what the deck looks like now.

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Modern Azorius Control

 

Counter or kill anything the opponent plays, and gain advantage using planeswalkers and card draw.

Jace, the Mind SculptorTeferi, Hero of DominariaTeferi, Time Raveler (Retro)

This is a gameplan as old as time, and truly what control is known for.

 

Solitude

This deck now features four copies of Solitude, which as people have realized, is one of the best cards in MH2 (and there are a lot of good cards it’s competing with). Not only does this give you a 0-mana way to exile a creature against fast starts and unfair decks, but hardcasting it is a sick 2-for-1 that leaves behind a 3/2 lifelink. Don’t leave home without four of these.

 

Memory Deluge

Fact or Fiction and Cryptic Command have been replaced by Memory Deluge, which is turning out to be the best 4-mana spell for this strategy. In a deck that aims to play long games, which this certainly does, having the flashback mode is key. If you ever are in a position to flash back Deluge at the end of their turn, the game is usually just about over.

 

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Jace is the 7th planeswalker slot, and adds a little bit of extra power to the deck. I would definitely make sure to have four Time Ravelers and two Heroes of Dominaria before looking to play Jace, but one has been feeling good.

Spreading SeasShark Typhoon

I like a split of 3-2 right now, but you could easily play 4 Seas and 1 Typhoon instead. Either way, you likely want four of each between main and board, as Seas is the best counter to Urza’s Saga and Typhoon is critical for control mirrors.

Mystic GateHall of Storm Giants

These are minor changes, but you definitely want four Mystic Gates (casting Archmage’s Charm and Solitude can be tricky without them), and Hall is better than Celestial Colonnade. Entering untapped early plus finishing the game in 2-3 hits instead of 4-5 is quite good.

 

These are the cards that haven’t changed, mostly because they play such a crucial role in the deck’s gameplan.

Prismatic EndingCounterspellArchmage's Charm

Early interaction is key, which Counterspell and Prismatic Ending give you, while having eight cheap hard counters means you can stop anything the opponent is doing. There’s a reason so many Modern decks play these 12 cards, and they are the best cards in the deck at keeping the opponent off their gameplan.

Teferi, Time Raveler (Japanese Alternate Art)

It’s hard to overstate how good 3feri is. There’s a reason this got banned in Standard (and it’s not just because it’s one of the most annoying cards in the world to play against). Don’t leave home without four.

Chalice of the Void

This remains a good Chalice deck, and I love having exactly two. It can steal games easily, but you don’t usually want to draw multiples, or even draw it lategame. One is the most common number to play this on, though you can play it on zero against Cascade decks.

Supreme Verdict

It’s hard to get away from a good old Wrath, and Verdict is a concession to this deck’s propensity to fall behind. If you ever need a reset button, this is the best one out there.

 

  • You are in no hurry to win the game. When it comes to the decision between tapping out for something or leaving up counters, you usually want to leave up counters.
  • Don’t be afraid to burn early Shark Typhoons against non-blue decks. You have plenty of ways to close out the game, and making sure you hit land drops and have good answers is important.
  • If you have Chalice on one, be sure to cast Prismatic Ending for 2, even when targeting a 1-drop.
  • Teferi, Time Raveler can bounce your own Spreading Seas and Solitude. This comes up more often than you might think.
  • Raugrin Triome is there so you can cast Ending for 3, and is usually the first land you fetch if you don’t need an untapped land.

 

 

Jund Saga

+1 Spreading Seas

+2 Aether Gust

+1 Shark Typhoon

 

-2 Chalice of the Void

-2 Supreme Verdict

 

I don’t like Chalice here, despite them having a fair amount of 1-drops. The problem is they have good ways to get rid of it, and the only 1-drops you really care about are discard spells, which they tend to play early. I’d rather have cheap interaction and another way to get rid of Urza’s Saga.

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Amulet Titan

+1 Spreading Seas

+2 Aether Gust

+2 Dovin’s Veto

 

-3 Supreme Verdict

-2 Chalice of the Void

 

Gust is great at getting around Cavern of Souls, and Veto is worth including to deal with Summoner’s Pact. You might want to leave in one Verdict if they tend to play out a bunch of creatures, but Solitude mostly does the job there.

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Hammer Time

+1 Spreading Seas

+2 Shark Typhoon

 

-1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

-2 Memory Deluge

 

You don’t usually have time to lean on 4-mana card draw spells here, so I prefer to just max out on Typhoons to block with (and Seas to deal with Nexus or Saga). Chalice can also go on zero on the play, so keep an eye out for that.

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Burn

+2 Aether Gust

+1 Blossoming Calm

+1 Sunset Revelry

+2 Dovin’s Veto

+1 Force of Negation

 

-3 Spreading Seas

-2 Shark Typhoon

-2 Supreme Verdict

 

This is a particularly hostile SB for Burn, which makes postboard games pretty good. Blossoming Calm and Revelry help gain a lot of life, with the counters being effective as well.

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4C Omnath Control

+2 Shark Typhoon

+2 Mystical Dispute

+2 Aether Gust

+2 Dovin’s Veto

 

-2 Chalice of the Void

-2 Prismatic Ending

-2 Supreme Verdict

-2 Spreading Seas

 

Boarding in this matchup is tricky. Prismatic Ending mostly sucks, but hitting Wrenn and Six is important, and figuring out what counter mix you want depends a lot on how they are configured.

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Cascade

+2 Dovin’s Veto

+2 Mystical Dispute

+1 Force of Negation

+2 Rest in Peace (vs Living End)

 

-4 Prismatic Ending

-1 Spreading Seas (-3 vs Living End)

Cascade comes in three main forms: Crashing Footfalls control, Living End, and Glimpse of Tomorrow combo. Chalice on zero is great against all of them, as are counterspells, with RIP being good against Living End specifically.

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UR Ragavan

+2 Aether Gust

+2 Mystical Dispute

 

-3 Spreading Seas

-1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

 

If they don’t have Dragon’s Rage Channeler, and just have Ragavan, Aether Gust is likely better as Dovin’s Veto (since they have a spell-heavy deck at that point). Otherwise, I like the plan of cutting Seas and Jace for cheap interaction, since they try to go under your big stuff. Chalice on one is fantastic here.

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Mirror/Blue Control

+2 Shark Typhoon

+2 Dovin’s Veto

+2 Mystical Dispute

+1 Force of Negation

+1 Spreading Seas

 

-3 Supreme Verdict

-2 Chalice of the Void

-3 Prismatic Ending

 

Spreading Seas isn’t really important, but it’s better than Prismatic Ending, and Chalice and Verdict are close to blank. Teferi, Time Raveler and Shark Typhoon are the two most important cards, and most fights will be about those two.

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This deck is perfect for anyone who likes the finer things in Magic, and is still one of the best decks in the format. It’s definitely my weapon of choice, and I highly recommend it.

 

LSV

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