4 Color Control



  • I build what i am passionate about and enjoy, so i am frequently casting pet cards and some random singletons. As a rule, there are a few cards in here i would probably be suggested to cut, but that i won't. That doesn't mean i am not looking for any help, insight, suggestions to add/cut because i still want to walk the middle of "some pet cards" and "some actual viability".

    I haven't tested this, i hope that it is not faux pas to be posting here like this. I play 4 color control in legacy, although this is quite different (not just because of the moxes).

    There is a lot more action in here than gas (no Preordain, for example), and i went with a little hard draw with Sphinx and 2 Painful Truths, rather than cantrip, to stay up in cards.

    The standard plan is to battlecruise to victory. Deathrites, Leovold, Kess, Tasigur and Sphinx are the main attackers. A little Drain action for the Sphinx, but otherwise content to sit with DRS, a planeswalker, open mana, and patience as long as you can counter a critical spell and clear some Golems from the board.

    For one, i am not sure if the lands are correct the way that they are. I play the Badlands/Bayou for flexibility, but i might be more correct cutting them for another Trop and Volc? This is close to what i play in Legacy (3 sea, 2 Trop, 2 Volc, 1 Bads, 1 Bayou) and i have moxes here, but i didn't cut too far down so i can remain flexible on lands drops/fetches. That said, there are 3 Dacks, too, though. However, no Gush. Also really unsure of reliability in number of lands. Should i actually be adding 3 more lands maybe?

    I believe the creatures are correct as is. I could be talked out of Tasigur i think, although he seems really strong for a cheap beater that lets you spend well the mana you leave up for counters. I guess i don't need to explain what he does, i'm just saying it seems to be where i want to be at, but also seems like i may not be activating his ability. I may not have 4 mana, or i may not have 4 mana when i have to attempt to counter a spell.

    Is the removal count somewhat reasonable? I included maindeck Grudge since i will probably be able to cast it twice any game i draw it in and have targets, although of course mileage varies different decks. With uptick in Outcome and shops doing fine, might be where i want to sit. Abrupt Decay just seems ridiculous, great catchall. Does not hit Jace TMS, Precursor, or Eldrazi (which is also not huge portion of meta, though). Explosives seems incredible all the time, poop on tokens, moxes, Spheres/Hatebears/Revokers.

    Is Krosan Grip okay right now with some Bargain uptick? Once an opponent knows you have it, you may be out of luck since they can activate any number of times with priority. But there is generally no reason to resolve Bargain and just say "10 cards", right? Instead activating it for 1 to see what you get? 3 mana is obviously a stretch just for that surprise though. But, possibly not totally dead against Shops, since you can kill Ballista or Ravager without any response.

    Is the Drain + Sphinx okay? It seems good. Doesn't seem like a broken tier 1 strategy but doesn't seem embarrassing.

    I also thought about Tinker + Blightsteel, but not sure if i have space, should make space, or be the same deck as Drain Sphinx. Could foresee a couple situations i hardcast Blightsteel with Drain, but eh.

    Trying to assess how the counter suite should be modified, i do not feel it is optimal necessarily. I want extra game against Paradoxical, but i am also a fan of Drain. Because of adding Drains, i am at 3 Misstep and 0 MBT/0 REB.

    I am a less soft to Misstep and Chalice than other decks, which is cool even though Chalice is restricted, but i also kind of put weight on DRS for mana and draining life.

    I don't really know what the sideboard will exactly be.

    1x By Force 1x Meltdown (is this card not favor? I think i like it) 2x Pyroblast 2x Flusterstorm 2x Mindbreak Trap 3x Pithing Needle 4x Leyline of the Void

    Is just a random start. I mean i think there must be some number of Ingot Chewer and Cage for example.

    Other cards i have been looking at:

    Tinker + Blightsteel; I enjoy this, although i have 7 artifacts. With DT and card drawing, i should be able to assemble it. However, i cut it for now.

    Preordain: Just playing more action spells than card filtering. Having 3 Dack and multiple rebuys of restricted cantrips helps. This is kind of just my style.

    Kolaghan's Command: More a mainstay of the 4 color control in Legacy. With Thorn restricted, probably much more likely to cast this, and 3 of the modes seem just fine against artifacts. I don't mind the plan of grinding out shops until they have little board or cards in hand, and this can shoot down 2 creatures, but not all of them. Just have to watch for timing on Factory, but can force movement on Ballista and pop a Revoker.

    Sudden Shock: Was much more interested in this with 4x Mentor decks. With the restriction, should i even play it at all? It does pop Ravager and Ballista but not really sure there's where i want to be with this spell.

    Tutors: Vampiric and Merchant Scroll. I'm not really trying to peel through my deck for just 1 one of a small few game ending threats. So, not really trying either of these.

    True Name Nemesis: I don't know, seems like a great threat. Vintage is not a format of Marsh Casualties and Toxic Deluge. Strongly considering it.

    Yawgmoth's Will: I had this, and felt it was mostly just goodstuff. I didn't have a combo i needed to rebuy or assemble, and i didn't want to pay 3 to buyback on one spell.

    Scavenging Ooze, Manglehorn, Ramunap Excavator, Trygon Predator: I like these, but i felt like playing more spell-based control and my creature selection fits that better. I could see leaning this way a little.


  • TMD Supporter

    I have been playtesting a 4c Leo + Kess deck too. I have found leo kind of lacking, but kess has felt really amazing. How have you felt about leo generally?



  • If Leo is underwhelming, is Green really worth it?

    Abrupt Decay doesn't seem especially well positioned in a metagame of PO and shops.


  • TMD Supporter

    For me the best "green card" was sideboarded grudges. I also like having the ability to pay green to deathrite to gain life, but mine have definitely been mostly grixis. That being said, most of my testing has been against various shops flavors and a litte bit of mentor-esque decks, and little time spent on combo, which may make Leo better overall.

    Green also gave me ramunap excavator which makes the strip mine main and 2x wastelands in the side better for me.



  • That mana base seems unlikely to reliably cast Drain when you want/need it. Badlands and Bayou really gum up your draws to get Drain on line on turn 2. You also have only 5 total Blue lands, making DRS your only real option to cast anything with double blue in it. A single Revoker on DRS can completely shut you out of a game, not to mention how often an early DRS will be Misstepped. I would recommend easier to cast counters like Spell Pierce, or even a Misdirection if continuing on the 4 color path.

    Edit: I can also confirm that TNN is simply a house in Vintage. no one has a plan for it... that being said, it's pretty sad in anything other than creature matchups/Control since Combo can just go over the top.



  • Really appreciate the responses, everyone!

    @garbageaggro said in 4 Color Control:

    I have been playtesting a 4c Leo + Kess deck too. I have found leo kind of lacking, but kess has felt really amazing. How have you felt about leo generally?

    I haven't played him against a Vintage deck yet, however his principle purpose in Legacy against cantrips is the same. He seems especially better in Vintage, though, no? The draw spells are about as plentiful, but more powerful (Cruise, Ancestral, Dack, Gush, Paradox, Yawgmoth's Will); yet conversely, the creature removal in decks is on average much less.

    What haven't you liked about him? Did he just not shut off enough spells?

    He is also a 3/3. His ability to turn off draw doesn't affect shops, but the second makes plinking creatures/you with ballista really bad. Many shops creatures can just go to combat with him easily as well, and Golem kind of slides past. So i was actually mostly thinking he comes out in that match.

    @morbid-spec said in 4 Color Control:

    If Leo is underwhelming, is Green really worth it?

    Abrupt Decay doesn't seem especially well positioned in a metagame of PO and shops.

    Leo's abilities are very, very strong against Paradoxical/Yawgs Will. I do think a little counter magic might come in instead of Abrupt for those decks. You don't really want to be on the plan of "Opponent casts Paradoxical targeting 6 permanents, abrupt decay, they draw 5 instead".

    Seems okay against shops though, no? You still want to remove their stuff, and much of it fits the <3cmc criteria. It's no Split Second card, but Krosan Grip just costs too much.

    Or maybe i will play Krosan Grip just because no one expects it.

    But just as a catchall, it is a great card. Removal that kills Jace VP, Dack Fayden, Mentor, Young Pyro, Delver, Ravager, Inspector, Revoker, Ballista, Cage, Oath, Revoker, Time Vault, perhaps defense grid and any of the hatebears/ww.

    @enderfall said in 4 Color Control:

    That mana base seems unlikely to reliably cast Drain when you want/need it. Badlands and Bayou really gum up your draws to get Drain on line on turn 2. You also have only 5 total Blue lands, making DRS your only real option to cast anything with double blue in it. A single Revoker on DRS can completely shut you out of a game, not to mention how often an early DRS will be Misstepped. I would recommend easier to cast counters like Spell Pierce, or even a Misdirection if continuing on the 4 color path.

    It's 5 blue lands, 6 fetches, a mox, not including Deathrites is 12 cards in deck that can 'get' blue. Looking at it that way, i can see how 1 in 5 cards is not enough for double blue often.

    If i were to play Drain the way i am, are there edits to lands you would think would be better? Should the Bads and Bayou be a Volc and Trop, for example?

    I don't have an issue with getting 3 blue in Legacy (that's not to say i play spells of triple blue requirement, that's how i fetch in anticipation of wastelands, before i bring out the bads/bayou), but my mana there is 7 fetches, 7 blue duals, and 1 basic island. That's 15 cards that 'get' blue and i face wasteland. However, it is more cantrip heavy since Brainstorm and Ponder are unrestricted, so a little easier to find lands when need be than in this build where my cantrips are minimal comparatively.


  • TMD Supporter

    I think my main issue is with leo has been, that he is just slow in the matchups I want him, or my opponent is playing a fair amount of removal. So in the case of paradoxical the 3 different mana pips, makes me feel like they are already drawing a ton of cards before i get him in play. Against mentor, they jsut have the removal spells, and they otherwise don't care all that much about my creatures, because their velocity is so much higher than mine they are going to find their win conditions faster. I like kess in that much because she out values them at some point, and is really good when you are casting her. Basically she feels like playing JTMS used to for me. Against paradoxical, I think i would rather have a lower cc creature that either provided some disruption, or just some discard spells to take away their high impact spells. Null rod also helps a lot.



  • @garbageaggro What have you been running into most for removal? Basing off decklists, stuff like mentor control seems to be playing a couple Swords and a red blast.


  • TMD Supporter

    3+ swords, 1+ pyro and multiple snapcaster/jvp amount to a fair amount of removal against leo, especially when they have mentor and young pyros to blank most of my other creatures.



  • @garbageaggro What do you think you would prefer to be doing in that case? He still blanks their draw spells until doing so, and draws you a card for your trouble? I mean i don't think getting to draw a card off the trade is really all that bad, since they go down a card. You want something with an ETB or something like True Name for evasion instead?
    Do you like Leovold against all the combo? (paradoxical bargain?)


  • TMD Supporter

    I haven't run into a lot of combo yet, so I admit that is probably coloring the appeal for me. But against mentor and shops, he has just felt very medium. I just would rather cast something worth potentially more cards that is better when there is a board full of stuff. So far for me that has been kess, or alternatively more/another planeswalker.



  • Current build.

    Moved away from Consecrated Sphinx, it was fun but i wasn't playing enough lands to get there, even with Drain.

    Speaking of, took out Drain and added a couple lands (blue duals). Still have Bayou and Badlands. They just feel so flexible, having 4 colors on 2 lands, and being able to Abrupt Decay or Abrade if i want both open on turn 2.

    3 Dacks right now, but thinking about making one a Mind Sculptor again, or another Notion Thief. I do like where i am at, and not having too many dead cards against shops Game 1.

    Still not on the Preordain train. I like having extra power cards. I don't know necessarily that my thinking is right, but sometimes it just feels like not enough win cards, even if you see them on time sometimes they just get blasted away. So i have a little more raw power "do something" spells that don't simply filter. And i am also on 3 Dacks right now.

    Playing with a Life From the Loam in the sideboard, i got to toy around with that against white eldrazi hatebears.

    Has anyone experimented with any card similar to Izzet Charm? I don't know what else exists, and i don't necessarily think Charm is superb. But i love the flexibility, and i would love a card that can counter a spell or remove a permanent. Seems like it rocks with Kess, too, but at the moment i am not going to test this.

    Murderous Cut over Dismember? Was hesitant about 3 delve spells, but.

    Sideboard is still the most confusing part of my life.


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