Leovold_SuperControl



  • So I have been a quite member of the mandarin since 2000, and every once in a while I post. I always really get really great feedback on deck ideas from the professionals (Soly, Brassman, etc). I have been working on a deck idea, and I need others help. I recently saw Brassman's Serious Vintage post and VSL tournament round playing classical Leovold Control with decklist reposted below from his latest podcast show notes (reproduced below for ease of reference).

    BUG Control by Andy Probasco
    Creature (16)
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
    3 Snapcaster Mage
    2 Phyrexian Revoker
    1 Baleful Strix
    1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
    1 Vendilion Clique
    Sorcery (9)
    2 Painful Truths
    1 Ponder
    1 Treasure Cruise
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Time Walk
    3 Thought seize
    Instant (13)
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Brainstorm
    1 Dig Through Time
    4 Force of Will
    3 Mental Misstep
    1 Fluster storm
    2 Abrupt Decay
    Artifact (4)
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Emerald
    Land (18)
    4 Wasteland
    1 Strip Mine
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Polluted Delta
    1 Misty Rainforest
    2 Tropical Island
    1 Bayou
    1 Swamp
    3 Underground Sea
    Sideboard (15)
    1 Forest
    1 Crucible of Worlds
    2 Trygon Predator
    2 Dismember
    3 Nature’s Claim
    3 Null Rod
    1 Mindbreak Trap
    2 Dread of Night

    I like this list a lot. I think Leovold is great against mentor as it shuts down something like 15 draw spells at once in the average mentor list (Git probe, cantrips etc.). It has more creatures, which help against thorn of amethyst and land denial is a great way to attack so many decks in the current meta with relatively weak manabase (i.e. 14 lands, eldrazi temple in shops, etc). I noticed in the podcast there were differences in play style with the deck with some people playing more control while others were playing the deck more aggressively. I have always loved control, and I wanted to change the deck in that direction. I provide the list below and the reason for the changes (* marks cards different from Andy's original list).

    Super BUG Control by Marc
    Creature (10)
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    3 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
    1 Snapcaster Mage
    2 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy *
    Sorcery (9)
    1 Life from the Loam *
    2 Murderous Cut *
    1 Treasure Cruise
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Time Walk
    3 Thought seize
    Instant (14)
    1 Intuition *
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Brainstorm
    1 Dig Through Time
    4 Force of Will
    3 Mental Misstep
    1 Mindbreak Trap * (over fluster storm I prefer it with Leovold as you can draw from storm targeting opponent to find it before the tendrils copies resolve)
    2 Abrupt Decay
    Artifact (6)
    2 Null Rod *
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Emerald
    Planeswalkers (3)
    2 Dack Fayden *
    1 Jace, the Minsculptor *
    Land (18)
    4 Wasteland
    1 Strip Mine
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Tropical Island
    1 Badlands * (over Bayou for Dack Fayden)
    1 Swamp
    3 Underground Sea

    These slight changes (maybe 10 cards in total really) don't seem like much at first, but they add a strong draw engine that most people have come to expect from modern control decks, allowing one to dig for answers. I will discuss the new cards added below

    Life from the Loam: Although there is a single copy in the deck and a rarely used card in vintage, it is a very strong card in this deck. For example, it can be used early with intuition to start a strip lock. With a flipped Jace, Telepath unbound, dredging back life from the loam puts three cards in the graveyard with 23/60 instant or sorceries in the deck, this creates virtual card advantage as every uptake gives you 1-2 new instants or sorceries that you can play from your graveyard, while allowing you to cast loam to recur wastelands or even aid with color fixing. Loam allows you to feed delve spells faster than everyone else who plays them allowing treasure cruise, dig, and murderous cuts to be even better draws in the early game. Finally, with Dack Fayden, the card works like a CA engine allowing you to fill your hand with lands to discard to Dack Fayden for nearly pure card advantage.

    Jace, Vryn's prodigy: In addition to the interaction with life from the loam, as a control deck the repeated ability to decrease the power of enemy creatures and potential for long game repeated use of the (-) ability to replay instants and sorceries is much more important than the 2/1 body on snapcaster.

    Dack Fayden: allows for a draw engine with Life from the Loam as mentioned earlier. Is a great card against Shops, and with Leovold can force your opponent to draw one and discard 2, which is sometimes useful when you've destroyed their manabase and you want them to discard before they draw the land needed to play what's in their hand.

    Murderous cut, intuition, and null rods are all metagame slots that don't warrant that much discussion, although it is much easier to fire off murderous cut with dredge 3. Intuition is great for getting life from the loam and strip and sometimes just tutors for exactly what you need. Three instants/sorceries with flipped Jace can all go live, which is also nice.

    Playing other decks:
    I don't have much time to playtest, but I've been starting to online a bit. The deck is definitely on the control side with heavy durdling. It usually wins through Deathrite shaman's 2 damage ability after removing all of the opponents lands.

    Bonus for those not already sleeping

    SB:
    The deck plays best against slower control decks and has a harder time playing against paradoxical storm (unless leovold comes down on turn 2) and fast ago draws from shops and eldrazi. I thought about trying the usual SB slots (Nature's claim, more murderous cuts, etc), but recently I have been playing with a transformational SB to Saheeli Oath with

    2 Forbidden Orchard
    2 Sun Titan
    2 Saheeli Oath
    4 Oath of druids

    and removing all the other creatures in the deck. I'm sure this is not the best idea but there are some great interactions with the strip mine effects and Sun Titan. Firstly, the deck has lot's of ways to find oath (Demonic Tutor, Intuition, card draw, etc) and protect it (3 Thoughtseize, lot's of counter spells, and the element of surprise in G2). If you're lucky, the first oath activation goes infinite for the win, but if only one Saheeli is found then you can copy the Sun Titan with the single Saheeli and use the copy to get Strip Mine and then since the copy has haste you can attack and find another wasteland that has been binned by the oath trigger. This way you attack for 6 the turn you oath and get two strip effects in before passing the turn. If this is done early enough, the opponent likely has no land left and they die to infinite Sun Titans on the next turn. If they manage to get rid of oath before you can oath into the second Saheeli to go infinite, then Sun Titan acts like a recursive strip lock each time he attacks, and the opponent usually can't recover.

    The rest of my SB is typically anti Dredge cards.

    Anyway, this was really long winded, but the deck feels powerful in the current metagame and feels like Andy's BUG control list taken to a more extreme control route. It is also a blast to play and clearly capitalizes on trying to attack weak manabases in the metagame. If anyone has any advice on how to make the main deck or SB better or just wants to tell me that I'm thinking about this all wrong, I would love the feedback. Thanks for anyone who's out there reading.

    Sincerely,
    Marc



  • This is what I have been running on cockatrice for the last month, and doing quite well with:
    // 61 Maindeck
    // 6 Artifact
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Null Rod
    1 Mox Ruby

    // 10 Creature
    1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    2 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
    1 Notion Thief
    2 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy

    // 21 Instant
    1 Dig Through Time
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Brainstorm
    3 Gush
    4 Force of Will
    3 Mental Misstep
    1 Flusterstorm
    1 Mindbreak Trap
    1 Vampiric Tutor
    1 Snuff Out
    2 Abrupt Decay
    1 Lightning Bolt
    1 Ancient Grudge

    // 18 Land
    2 Wasteland
    1 Strip Mine
    3 Underground Sea
    4 Polluted Delta
    3 Misty Rainforest
    3 Tropical Island
    2 Volcanic Island

    // 1 Planeswalker
    1 Dack Fayden

    // 5 Sorcery
    1 Treasure Cruise
    1 Time Walk
    1 Preordain
    1 Ponder
    1 Demonic Tutor

    // 15 Sideboard
    // 1 Artifact
    SB: 1 Null Rod

    // 3 Creature
    SB: 2 Sulfur Elemental
    SB: 1 Ingot Chewer

    // 4 Enchantment
    SB: 4 Leyline of the Void

    // 6 Instant
    SB: 1 Abrupt Decay
    SB: 1 Mindbreak Trap
    SB: 1 Flusterstorm
    SB: 2 Natural State
    SB: 1 Ancient Grudge

    // 1 Land
    SB: 1 Mountain

    Ancient Grudge maindeck is huge. I relly have been loving 1 Notion Thief over 1 Leovold, surprise factor wins games, Snuffout as a singleton has been huge.



  • I haven't played in quite a while now, but I felt pretty sure Abrupt Decay was underplayed 2 years ago and somehow people are less of it now. I think, in general, the more Decays you play, the better your Mentor matchup will be. It's not a silver bullet by any stretch of the imagination, but tagging their Mentor as soon as they play it giving them only minor value off of it is usually a big deal. I like that the above lists play 2, but I think even 3 might be better.

    But like I said, I haven't played in a long while and who am I anyway?



  • Painful truths is really important for the deck. Games usually boil down to 1 for 1'ing your opponent and truths helps you re-load, so I hate to see it cut. Thoughtseize was definitely a metagame choice for Mentor. In an open field, I would only run 1. Loam is an interesting inclusion over Crucible, and they fundamentally do the same thing, and adding JvP adds value to the dredge, but I don't think you would cast it more than once (KO'ing 3 lands is usually enough). If you are touching on red, finding space for 1 MD grudge would be worth it (as previously mentioned). Any thoughts on Fatal Push vs Cut?



  • To me the beauty of BUG control is that it can be tweaked to answer the metagame and fit your play style. Personally I favor Crucible over Life from the Loam and am not a big fan of Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. I would also be hesitant to expand the deck to splash colors, but this is Magic and you're free to do whatever you want. Painful Truths is also something I can't recommend enough.

    As long as you're having fun and your opponent is miserable things are working out for the BUG deck.



  • Looks good.

    My advice is, play Engineered Explosives. Among utility cards, EE is by far my favorite right now. In conjunction with Abrupt decay it's wonderful against Mentor. It's also great against taxing decks, since you can still play it for two into Thalia and a Thorn and blow up both. It's fine against Oath, blowing up the namesake card. And it's worth at least a turn against Dredge where it blows up zombie tokens.



  • My main issue with BUG isn't the archtype itself, but the emphasis on Leovold to make the deck playable. Don't get me wrong, Leovold is a fine card, but naming the deck "Leovold Control" indicates too much emphasis on Leovold. Leovold isn't a good enough reason to play the deck (after all, we've had Notion Thief for a long time). The main issue for BUG is Mentor and, too a lesser extend, Pyromancer. The BUG colors do have some decent answers against token strategies (Toxic Deluge, Pernicious Deed and Engineered Explosives as mentioned by someone else) but you don't play any of those.

    Against Mentor, you can't afford to 1 for 1 because they'll just outdraw you.



  • @JonHammack

    I tried fatal push and there are times when it's really good, especially with 4 wastelands it's easy to hit cmc 4 creatures. I just didn't want a card that couldn't hit reality smasher. I actually think the best plan is layered removal on curve, something like Fatal push x2, abrupt decay x2, toxic deluge x2. This way you have answers on the early middle and late games that improve in power level. I just couldn't find room for everything.

    To all,
    I definitely considered ancient grudge, painful truths, and Explosives (and also think it is the best mass removal spell at the moment) but I made cuts to get down to 60 cards. Several inclusions like null rod and intuition were concessions since I ran out of room in the SB with all the oath cards. What do people think about post board ways to deal with eldrazi and aggro shops with BUG control? I feel like this is a tough match up. That's why I contorted the deck to fit oath in the SB. Also, in general what do people feel the good and bad matchups are and what are the key cards in these matchups?

    I felt like the deck is good against mentor but not aggro shops or eldrazi.

    For example key cards, I think Leovold is strong against mentor and paradoxical outcome, but I want null rods against outcome. Against eldrazi and shops, I want land destruction and removal, although a black moat would be nice.



  • Without reading through the whole post because I'm also working, I wanted to comment on a couple things I saw throughout this thread, so it's not directed to anyone specifically:

    I 4-0ed with a bug fish deck on Saturday (16 people) and I think the deck is really strongly positioned.

    Fatal Push is AWESOME. I played 1, and I really wish I had 2. The card really did work against Wappla's White Humans/Eldrazi deck.
    Not playing Jace, the Mindsculptor would be wrong. This deck doesn't have an engine, and Jace really helps with that. He was an MVP.
    Tasigur is 100% wrong. He doesn't trade with Reality Smasher, which is where you want to be with your big dumb animals.

    3 Leovold minimum. The card's a Brick House.



  • @Griselbrother You're contradicting yourself by saying we shouldn't rely on Leovold, but then saying that Mentor and Young Peezy are reasons to not play BUG.

    These decks aren't that scary, as long as you leverage Abrupt Decays and Such. After board, you get other very good cards. Both of these decks fold pretty hard to a resolved leovold btw, because they spend too much time plowing/bolting your other cards.

    I played 3 Thoughtseize and never felt behind against mentor in testing (baring their nuts "Lotus, mentor, sapphire, probe you, ancestral, pearl, volcanic, Time Walk; on time walk turn float 2, gush, probe you, preordain, force preordain, flusterstorm force, smash for lethal" hands, which actually happened to me once)



  • @JonHammack

    Loam is an interesting inclusion over Crucible, and they fundamentally do the same thing, and adding JvP adds value to the dredge, but I don't think you would cast it more than once (KO'ing 3 lands is usually enough).

    Just to be clear, although you might cast it once for the purposes of destroying your opponents lands, you might very well cast it again just to have lands to discard to Dack Fayden's +1. In this respect, it works like Gush to increase the value of looting as more pure card advantage. I made the changes discussed in the original post because I think this deck is well positioned in the metagame, but I wanted more control elements than traditional BUG decks and after playing decks like Sylvan mentor, who doesn't want to discard lands and draw off Dack? Loam has much more synergy in the deck than crucible, but if all I wanted was land destruction, I wouldn't play loam.



  • I already got Andy's opinion on Dark Confidant, but I am appalled by the lack of Bob in this thread. I've played many games with it in a similar deck, and I would not even think about playing Painful Truths especially in this format where no one plays removal (no, 4 Swords is not "removal").



  • @Water0 said in Leovold_SuperControl:

    I already got Andy's opinion on Dark Confidant, but I am appalled by the lack of Bob in this thread. I've played many games with it in a similar deck, and I would not even think about playing Painful Truths especially in this format where no one plays removal (no, 4 Swords is not "removal").

    Walking Ballista.



  • @socialite Okay, I'll admit that I hadn't played the deck since Aether Revolt, but I'll still stand by Bob vs every other deck especially over casting a 3 mana sorcery vs shops.


  • TMD Supporter

    I mean 4 swords and 3 ways to recur swords isn't nothing. Also all the shops decks are or should be playing 4 walking ballista as @socialite mentioned. Also, keep in mind that many vintage games are compressed in number of turns. The impact of bob is a lot lower if you don't have it in play for 3+ turns as compared to a one time injection of 3+ cards.

    Another important point is that we no longer live in a format where you can expect to get in a ton of damage with a random creature with the effect you want stapled to it. Goblin welder beats are no longer a real win condition, and incidental damage from bob, is much less likely to be in the 6-8 damage range. There are just to many creatures running around now that can block. Mentor tokens make bob look terrible.

    There was a time, even when bob was the de facto choice for many decks for a draw engine, when some folks were playing Night;s Whisper because bob wasn't surviving long enough to get two cards worth of extra value, and there were fewer remove spells and blockers then by a fair margin.



  • @Water0 Enjoy 0-2ing with your Dark Confidants.

    Mentor: 4x Swords to Plowshares
    Workshops: 4x Ballista and ~1 Triskelion
    Oath of druids: <-4x
    Paradoxical Outcome: Sweet, you tapped 1B and passed turn for a do-nothing. You're fucking dead.


  • TMD Supporter

    I know a lot of people claim he's weak in the shops matchup, but I can say from the Walking Ballista side of the table, Leovold can be a pain and creates a lot of problems. In the early game he can hold off the small attackers, while at the same time forcing serious deliberation when wasting/striping. Worst of all, killing him with Ballista is a draw 3. Ouch!



  • @Soly I can do this too.

    Mental Misstep
    Null Rod
    Abrupt Decay (you should literally never, ever lose to Oath of Druids as BUG EVER)
    Null Rod again or you could just not play it until you've picked apart their hand.



  • @garbageaggro I see all of your points here, but the alternative is running a 3 mana sorcery that's more likely going to cost 4 or even 5 when Bob is not taxed by Thorn. Bob ONLY loses to Walking Ballista against shops; Painful Truths loses to their entire deck.



  • Why not just run Baleful Strix? I know its only a single card, but it immediately replaces itself against Removal, also deals with creatures better than Bob does.


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