Control decks elicit emotional responses from players in a way that other strategies do not. People hate having their spells countered, they hate having their board of creatures wiped away and they hate playing long, slow games where they often lose in the end. It only takes a few minutes reading the chat of a gameplay or coverage stream to know that this is true. And having been on the losing side of the table countless times, I know personally that playing against control can be immensely demoralizing.
All of these emotions are magnified by the fact that playing against control is hard. In a normal game, your opponent is trying to beat you, so facing someone who is trying to instead prolong the game can be strange and uncomfortable. People feel out of their element; if the opponent is playing control, it can only follow that things are out of your control.
My goal in this Deep Dive is to demystify the challenge of beating control decks and to alleviate that feeling of discomfort which people feel when facing them. I can’t promise that you’ll win every game, but I can guarantee that you’ll have a clearer idea of what to do each step of the way, from deckbuilding to sideboarding to navigating key turns. By the end, I hope that you’ll feel like the one in control of the game, even when your opponent is the one with the Negates and the Extinction Events.