May 22, 2015

Four-Color Midrange

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Four-color decks have been performing pretty well at tournaments lately. These decks are usually aggressive, featuring the powerful instant Collected Company or the megamorph staples Deathmist Raptor and Den Protector. It's pretty out of the ordinary to see a four-color control strategy at the top of the standings, but that didn't stop Caleb Durward from piloting one to the Top 4 of the TCGPlayer Diamond event in Milwaukee. Caleb's deck looks very much like an Abzan deck that splashes blue for Dragonlord Ojutai.

Abzan decks take many forms, and lately most players have been playing Abzan Aggro or Midrange over the control variants. Players may opt to avoid Abzan Control because it takes a while to set up. Other than Thoughtseize, Abzan Control has very few early plays and most of its lands enter the battlefield tapped, causing you to fall behind quickly if facing a fast deck like Mono-Red. This strategy has a hard time dealing with recursive threats like Deathmist Raptor and that's probably why it hasn't been so popular lately.

Caleb's Four-Color list is an innovative take on Abzan Control. While this deck usually takes a while to win, adding blue to the deck for Dragonlord Ojutai is a great way to speed things up. Some decks have very few answers to Ojutai and he will often close out the game in four quick turns. Adding blue to Abzan also gives you access to some disruptive spells like Negate and Sultai Charm.

While I'm a huge fan of this deck, one thing that I think is a little awkward about it is the mana base. You have to play a lot more tri-lands and fewer scry lands when you're playing a deck with four colors. Losing out on scry lands is huge in control decks because you're usually looking for specific answers to your opponent's threats.

Caleb Durward’s Four-Color Midrange



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