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Single Scoop: Gadrak Control (Standard, Magic Arena)

With a freshish meta in standard, I decided to take a stroll through the best of one queues. To nobody's surprise, it was insanely aggro so with that, I've decided to try to attack the best of one meta with a different take on control...

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We're still a controlling game plan and we're looking to stall the hordes of aggro decks. We don't do too well against pure control decks as counterspells are a bit rough for us to deal with. However, most of the best of one ladder has been cavalcade red and with that, I figured why not play Flame Sweep and Kaervek, the Spiteful. Thats when I decided how sweet would it be if we added a specific dragon..

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Its a sweet card in the Bo1 queues that is tough to deal with if you're an aggro deck. It'll require opponents to double Shock but more importantly, if it lives, we get to fire off sweeper spells like Flame Sweep and tons of our removal spells to get a ton of treasures. The best part is a card like this survives the debuff that Kaervek, the Spiteful gives to all creatures. This means the two can soft lock a Cavalcade of Calamity deck. If not, it can at least stall long enough to stabilize. I think the only issue I've got with this deck currently is our lack of ways to gain life and accrue a silly amount of cards. But for now, here is the card advantage I've come up with ...

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I think Mazemind Tome is a pretty sweet card and will definitely get even better post rotation and is currently one of the best ways for us to smooth out our draws. It seems passable in it's worst matchups which could be red. The life gain is very important and often what saves us from death but it also allows us to draw cards and scry for free. Ontop of that, we have Chandra, Heart of Fire which is a card that I want to find a home for as the first of two +1 abilities is definitely a solid way to stay in games as that is essentially a draw 3 and puts chandra to 6 loyalty. If not that, having an additional Shock effect every turn is quite valuable in Bo1 so I'm trying out a few copies of her. It also doesn't hurt for us to have a few targets to ramp into with all of our treasures. This is also why we have a few other big planeswalkers on our curve! 

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Speaking of Planeswalkers, its always fun having some kind of sideboard shenanigans in best of one and Karn, the Great Creator does just that! Now, the sideboard can definitely be fine tuned a bit more but the options for artifacts are sort of lukewarm. We really just want Sorcerous Spyglass, graveyard hate, Meteor Golem and the rest of the artifacts could pretty much be a potato and that would be okay. 


The deck still needs help in the life gain department and as you'll see in the video, it gets bodied by decks that aren't creature-based. If I'm being completely honest, I think that's the way it has to be in best of one as I'd rather be prepared for aggro & Simic flash and just agree to lose to the decks that go bigger than us currently as it's so hard to hate out a Simic ramp deck. The deck was fun and definitely is in its early stages but a huge factor for something like this would be that it survives rotation quite nicely. We'll have to see what happens then but Gadrak and Chandra, Heart of Fire are just fun cards that I want to build around! Another thing to mention is that this deck absolutely does not do well in Best of three. If it were to do so, it would need 15 cards to full hate out the "go bigger" decks. 

Thanks for watching and reading.

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-Your Friendly Neighborhood AsianAvenger

Twitter: @TheAsianAvenger || Twitch: || Email:

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