Azorius Control Kaldheim Standard Deck Guide

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So, are we just going to pretend that Doomskar isn’t a card?

This is a three-mana board sweeper with no real restrictions or drawbacks, AND NO ONE IS PLAYING IT!!! I mean sure, you must Foretell it on turn 2 to cast it for 3 later, but who cares? What was a deck playing this going to do on turn two anyway? Play a Glass Casket, or The Birth of Meletis? I am basically an aggro player asking why control players are not just jamming this card like crazy, that is how befuddling this situation is to me. Let’s fix this atrocity.

Control decks aren’t my specialty, but as an aggro player I know what I don’t want to play against in a control deck. After playtesting countless games at the cost of my ranking (yes, I test my decks in ranked to make sure they are strong). I developed my idea of how I wanted the deck to play.

What I Learned From Playtesting

I learned fast that while Yorion builds had more answers, fighting other Yorion decks on the same axis and having a lower chance of drawing the cards I need versus aggro isn’t where I want to be. I want to be consistent and efficient. The best way of doing that is being a 60-card deck. But this means that every card in the deck must count.

Teferi Master of Time was way better than I gave it credit for. He fills several roles the deck desperately needs. First, he gives us a form of card selection drawing us new cards and pitching the dead ones. The discard ability also plays well with Elspeth Conquers Death, pitching a Dream Trawler or Skyclave Apparition to come back later for free, sets up huge turns that can lock out most decks.

His ability to phase out a creature is a great form of pseudo-removal. This makes just killing us with a huge Embercleave creature a lot harder. It should be noted however that if you phase out a creature, it is immune to our removal and sweepers. I haven’t really used his ultimate ability, but I can imagine it being great at burying our opponents in card advantage.

I also discovered that Cosima, God of the Voyage is also criminally under played. Setting her up as a blocker on turn three and exiling her on turn 4 to begin getting counters and become a late game monster that refuels our hand is fantastic. This makes her work great with Dream Trawler. Having Cosima exiled gathering counters, then bringing her back in on a turn we plan on bashing with Trawler can end games out of nowhere or just gain us a ton of life back and swing the game back into our favor.

The vehicle flip side of Cosima also means that having two in hand isn’t really having a dead card in hand. Casting The Omenkeel has a ton of utility in several situations. Since it only has Crew 1, it can be crewed by a human token. You can also do cheeky plays like crewing the vehicle with Cosima before you exile her, so you have an attacker that basically nets you more cards is fantastic.

Dream Trawler is an absolute house and the real backbone of the deck. Most decks in the meta just can’t beat it. So I don’t see why this card isn’t seeing more play since it checks all the boxes this deck wants; it gains us life versus aggro and draws us cards against midrange or other control decks. Adding in its ability to protect itself, makes it the best creature we could possibly play. Most of my games in testing was won with a Dream Trawler and if the rest of the meta picks back up on this card you will see a lot more of it.

The Deck

Putting it all together this is my build:

 

Planeswalkers
3
Teferi, Master of Time
Creatures
3
Cosima, God of the Voyage
4
Skyclave Apparition
3
Dream Trawler
Spells
4
Saw It Coming
4
Behold the Multiverse
4
Doomskar
Artifacts
4
Glass Casket
Enchantments
4
The Birth of Meletis
3
Elspeth Conquers Death
Lands
1
Castle Ardenvale
1
Castle Vantress
4
Fabled Passage
1
Gates of Istfell
4
Hengegate Pathway
4
Island
5
Plains
4
Temple of Enlightenment
Cards (60)
Sideboard (15)
2
Soul-Guide Lantern
1
Disdainful Stroke
3
Drannith Magistrate
2
Negate
2
Weathered Runestone
2
Mystical Dispute
3
Baneslayer Angel

Playing the Deck

Saw-It-Coming-Kaldheim-MtG-Art
Koma, Cosmos Serpent Art by Jesper Ejsing

This deck is made to abuse aggro, but it can also grind with any midrange deck. You will have the occasional blow out games where you just have all the answers when you need them. But in most cases, you must work for it, but that is to be expected from a control deck. The game plan is traditional Azorius Control. We control the game to the best of our abilities with sweepers, removal and counterspells while drowning our opponent in card advantage, then win with a Dream Trawler or a giant Cosima.

One of the most important aspects of playing this deck is knowing when to Foretell and when to hard cast. Generally, you must always think two turns ahead. For example, almost all decks have some form of bomb they want to cast. Naya/Temur/Gruul want to drop a big three-drop creature to set up The Great Henge on turn 4, while Mono Red can drop Anax and make your sweepers look silly. So knowing this information, you generally don’t want to Foretell a Saw It Coming on turn 3 when your opponent can drop a troublesome spell on 3 and punish you for it, unless you have Glass Casket to take care of the threat and can still hold up 2 mana for the Saw It Coming on the following turn.

Using Cosima correctly is also very important. Being able to tell when you can afford to let her sit in exile to gather counters and when you need to bring her in is very important. Cosima plays fantastically well with Dream Trawler as stated earlier. But remember that she also gets +1/+1 counters while she is in exile, so she can become a monstrous game ending threat on her own, or just a huge blocker that the opponent can’t beat.

Cards I am Not Playing

Like I said earlier, I didn’t want to be a Yorion deck because I wanted to be consistent and an 80-card deck is less consistent than a 60. The Rogues matchup is hard regardless if it is a Yorion deck or not, so I just don’t see a reason to play it. Sure, you can do cool blink plays, but other decks just do it better and I don’t want to fight them on the same axis.

This is a decent sideboard card in some matchups, but they only matchup it helps in more than other cards is against Rogues. But they can largely ignore it. If they tokens had flying, then I would consider it.

I don’t know how I feel about this card. It’s +1 doesn’t really matter to us, the -1 is sweet and can do a lot, but I don’t feel like it does anything for us. If I was a Yorion deck and played more enchantments and Archon of Sun’s Grace, then I would probably play 2 or 3 copies.

Tips

  • You can close out games using draw spells when you attack with Dream Trawler to get in for more damage.
  • Don’t forget that if you phase out a creature with Teferi it doesn’t die when you use a sweeper.
  • You can save your Fabled Passage to gain more counters and draw more cards with Cosmia, God of the Voyage.
  • If you have The Omenkeel in play, you can crew it with Cosima before she exiles herself.
  • If you have two Dream Trawlers in play, they power each other up when they attack since you draw two cards when you attack with them.

Sideboard Guide

Sultai

InOut
+2 Mystical Dispute-4 Glass Casket
+2 Negate-4 Skyclave Apparition
+1 Disdainful Stroke
+3 Drannith Magistrate

This matchup is a pure grind fest. The key is knowing what spells to counter. You always want to save one for Emergent Ultimatum. If we can stop the Ultimatum and deal with their threats one at a time, then we win.

You may find it odd that post board I cut Skyclave Apparition but leave in Doomskar. This is because Skyclave Apparition also doesn’t deal with Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider or Tibalt which are two of their major threats. We also don’t have an out for the 8/8 token from Kiora Bests the Sea God or Koma, Cosmos Serpent if they run it. So, having a hard out in Doomskar when we are behind is the best we can do.

Drannith Magistrate normally dies to their removal, but it shuts off the card advantage from Tibalt and Ultimatum as well as any Foretell spells forcing the hard cast. They have a ton of removal for him but forcing them to remove him first can gives us time to set up.

Mono Red

InOut
+3 Baneslayer Angel-3 Teferi, Master of Time

I don’t fear this matchup. I think it is hugely in our favor. We just have all the right answers to everything they have. As a result, I only bring in Baneslayer Angel. Resolving any big lifelinker after a board sweep or when they have nothing left is generally game over. Cosmia is a serviceable early game blocker since they don’t look to go as wide as Naya. They can draw the god hand and kill us with Embercleave, but we have enough control to handle it.

I cut Teferi because he generally won’t stick around to long and is pretty low impact.

Naya

InOut
+3 Drannith Magistrate-3 Teferi, Master of Time
+3 Baneslayer Angel-3 Cosima, God of the Voyage

I think this matchup is favorable as well. All they can and want to do is overwhelm the board and go wide while using Showdown of the Skalds for card advantage. Drannith Magistrate shuts that down nicely. Not only can they not cast the cards exiled from Showdown while he is in play, they also can’t cast any creature that they sent on an adventure.

We cut Teferi because he is slow and gets overwhelmed and Cosmia is less of an effective blocker because they go so wide so fast.

Rogues

InOut
+2 Mystical Dispute-3 Teferi, Master of Time
+2 Negate-3 Elspeth Conquers Death
+1 Disdainful Stroke-3 Cosima, God of the Voyage
+2 Soul-Guide Lantern
+2 Weathered Runestone

I think this is our worst matchup, as it is for most other Blue decks. They just attack at two different angles while applying a ton of pressure. I’ve seen some player try to turn this matchup around by adding two copies of Elspeth, Sun's Nemesis, and a few copies of Glimpse of Freedom. But in my experience, they just don’t do enough. Most of the Rogues have flying and just ignore the tokens and take out Elspeth the turn after she comes in. Sure, you are lowering your graveyard count, but you are not advancing your board state.

I just bring in all my counters and graveyard hate to try to shut off Lurrus of the Dream-Den and Agadeem's Awakening which is hard to beat if they resolve it. We cut Teferi because he is slow and clunky, same with Elspeth Conquers Death since it doesn’t have any effective targets when it enters.

Cosima isn’t a good blocker and while we want to draw some cards, it can be counter productive in some situations. You can bring in Baneslayer since it is a great blocker and there is a chance that they board out their removal, but I don’t want to stick a 5 drop just to get timewalked by a removal spell.

Temur (Obosh)

InOut
+3 Baneslayer Angel-3 Teferi, Master of Time
+1 Disdainful Stroke-1 Behold the Multiverse

Temur (Genesis Ultimatum)

InOut
+3 Baneslayer Angel-3 Teferi, Master of Time
+1 Disdainful Stroke-3 Cosima, God of the Voyage
+2 Mystical Dispute-2 Behold the Multiverse
+2 Weathered Runestone

This matchup plays a bit different depending on which build it is. Some run Ultimatum, some don’t. Baneslayer is fantastic in either since it walls Goldspan Dragon and Terror of the Peaks. I bring in more counters against the Ultimatum build since it is hard to beat if it resolves.

You can bring in Drannith Magistrate if you really fear them getting value from their adventure creatures, but I find that it is irrelevant as they can just hard cast the creatures and laugh at your 1/3 while they attack with their 5/5s.

I don’t bring in Mystical Dispute against the Obosh build because they don’t really run a lot of blue spells and they often don’t have the mana to compete in a counter war anyway.

Cycling

InOut
+2 Negate-3 Elspeth Concours Death
+1 Disdainful Stroke-3 Teferi, Master of Time
+3 Baneslayer Angel-2 Behold the Multiverse
+2 Soul-Guide Lantern

Don’t let Zenith Flare resolve. That simple. After that it is just a case of answering their board. I bring in the counters to take care of Flare and Soul-Guide to exile their graveyard so if they do cast it, it does nothing. Baneslayer is another creature that can clock them and gain us some life back from their Pyromancer and such.

Video

Wrapping Up

I really loved how I never felt behind playing as I generally always had an out somewhere in the deck. Azorius Control has a ton of potential and has already began popping up in top 8s and I hope this guide has been helpful for you. If you are a control player that is tired of the standard norm or just love grindy games, then I highly recommend tying this deck out.

As always, you can follow me on YouTube or Twitch for more decks and content. You can also follow me on social media for memes and such. Also, check out my Patreon! All those links will be below! Until next time Planeswalkers, Hero out!

The MTG Hero

My name is The MTG Hero. I have played Magic for over 15 years. I am a consistent high Mythic ranked player. Follow me on Twitch and subscribe on YouTube!

10 Responses

  1. Kalessin says:

    I’d love my mtga meta to be doomskar-free. I’ve even been doomskarded THRICE in a single game, not to mention mass exiled and the like ( II play an orzhov cleric-angel deck that’s quite recurring so it’s hard to get rid of my guys).

    Anyway, loved this list, I’ve been wanting to do something similar, but hadn’t got enough time to put work into it.

    My doubt: why not Kiora bests the sea god in there?

    • The MTG Hero says:

      I don’t think a huge spell like that is needed. We can’t ramp into it or cheat it in early so its slow and hard to protect. At best in a mirror scenario, it would be turn 9-10 before we could safely cast it with counter protection, which is a lot for a card that doesn’t auto win. Then even if we do cast it, it also doesn’t help us against our worst matchups. I would rather the slot be a card to turn the 50/50 matchups in our favor.

  2. damianvc31 says:

    Doomskay is a good card, but it’s not well positioned right now, let’s not pretend the exile sweepers are not much better in the current meta

    • The MTG Hero says:

      I do think the exile sweepers are fantastically positioned. But I think there is a strong argument to be had about the ability to destroy all creatures on turn 3, and think that the ability to do so in and of itself can’t be poorly positioned since it hits all creatures regardless of CMC. I suppose I should have done a paragraph about it comparing Doomskar to the exile sweepers. I will be more mindful of deep diving in the future! Thanks for reading!

  3. Rob says:

    Great article, especially the sideboard section.

    Doomskar is like a safe warm hug, I always love to see it in an opening hand.

    Cosima gives me pause because I don’t like pulling her in the late game. And if you’re in trouble, it’s not a card that can bail you out of a tough situation. I see the appeal though.

  4. Sean McClung says:

    I’m surprised that’s there’s no Shark Typhoon is the 75.

  5. Jose says:

    Good article and deck, I am testing azourious control as well have 2 versions one with Archon + enchantments and one more like yours.

    Have to mention that reading you I find weird you say teferi is good in the main but in every single matchup you side him out

  6. Geezman says:

    Is this deck viable in one game matchups, and how would that change howyou build it?

  7. Geezman says:

    Is this deck viable in one game matchups, and how would that change how you build it?

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