Bant Gifts (non-combo gifts control)

  • #1
    I kind of forgot I had built this deck a while back (pre-bannings) and it was the only control deck I built that had a chance against 12post, combo decks, and aggro decks all at the same time. Originally, I had made this as a means to generate an infinite turn loop off Time Warp + Eternal Witness (usually in conjunction with Venser the Sojourner)... but eventually I found it wasn't necessary to include the infinite turn lock in the deck even if it did give some slight advantages.

    Now, at that time, preordain, and Green Sun'z Zenith had a small spot in here, but they weren't really important pieces of the deck, and having access to snapcaster mage makes this much more powerful.

    The General idea...

    Unlike most gifts decks, this deck uses Gifts more as a card advantage engine than a means to grab specific pieces of hate, or combo pieces. While it *can* grab the cards you need, the real gameplan is to use gifts to chain Snapcaster Mage, Eternal Witness, other recursion effects to gain massive amounts of card advantage.

    The endgame generally starts through chaining witnesses and using Reveillark or Sun Titan to grab back previously dead witnesses to chain back more and more spells. Gifts ensure that you can chain your creatures properly (and at instant speed) while also allowing you access to a small toolbox effect (mainly sideboard) depending on which creatures you need.

    The singleton Meddling mage is great for shutting out Punishing fire engines, combo effects, or any random card you might lose to, and considering that it's eventually going to be recurred via Sun Titan, Lark, or Witness, it's very hard for an opponent to keep the Mage off the battlefield outside of Path to Exile.

    This deck is very strong against aggro as well, since you can effectively clog the battlefield with witnesses, snapcasters, eventually grab kitchen finks & war monk, or simply just use your 10+ maindeck removal spells (not to mention recursion) to stop any hopes they have of winning the game.

    Badd Business's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    creatures
    4x Eternal Witness
    3x Snapcaster Mage
    1x Kitchen Finks
    1x Rhox War Monk
    1x Meddling Mage
    1x Reveillark
    1x Sun Titan

    Instants/Sorceries
    3x Gifts ungiven
    4x Path to Exile
    2x Bant Charm
    1x Condemn
    2x Repeal
    4x Rune Snag
    2x Spell Snare
    3x Cryptic Command
    1x Wrath of God

    Lands
    2x Celestial Collonade
    4x Misty Rainforest
    2x Scalding Tarn
    1x Glacial Fortress
    2x Sunpetal Grove
    3x Breeding Pool
    1x Temple Garden
    3x Hallowed Fountain
    1x Forest
    2x Island
    1x Plains
    2x Flooded Grove

    Last edited by Badd Business: 12/6/2011 8:09:02 PM
    Find me online - I'm on Cockatrice * Tag - Badd B - Or on MTGO - Tag - Cbus05
  • #2
    I don't see why you wouldn't run 1 day of judgment and a noxious revial. I know it seems small but adding in tiny little changes like that can make your gifts a lot better. Also have you considered(possibly in board) life from the loam and ghost quarter to deal with punishing fire? You could also fit horizon canopy into your mana base for when you did sideboard in the loam + GQ that way you can gain card advantage every time you blow up a problem land.

    edit also loam will give your man lands a bit of extra umph against control mirrors.
    In life all we can do is try to make things better. Sitting lost in old ways and fearing change only makes us outdated and ignorant.


    Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
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    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    Thomas Jefferson

    League of Legends on MTGS
  • #3
    Quote from slipknot72102
    I don't see why you wouldn't run 1 day of judgment and a noxious revial. I know it seems small but adding in tiny little changes like that can make your gifts a lot better. Also have you considered(possibly in board) life from the loam and ghost quarter to deal with punishing fire? You could also fit horizon canopy into your mana base for when you did sideboard in the loam + GQ that way you can gain card advantage every time you blow up a problem land.

    edit also loam will give your man lands a bit of extra umph against control mirrors.


    Noxious revival is a terrible card on it's own.... Seriously... the card is awful, and as I mentioned, there is never any single hate card I need that badly that I can't wait a turn and drop a Witness or Snapcaster for it anyway. I play Plow under mostly for the control mirror anyway, since it's a much stronger card by itself, and works very well with a buyback from witness or mage.

    I had played a singleton canopy, but the life loss from it actually started to get annoying, and I never found myself using it.

    I actually used to run a singleton day of judgment in addition to the wrath, but with Snapcaster + Witness, I only need to play one, and as I've stated many many times, I'm not a big fan of wraths in the format.
    Last edited by Badd Business: 12/6/2011 5:04:47 PM
    Find me online - I'm on Cockatrice * Tag - Badd B - Or on MTGO - Tag - Cbus05
  • #4
    Quote from cbus05
    Noxious revival is a terrible card on it's own.... Seriously... the card is awful, and as I mentioned, there is never any single hate card I need that badly that I can't wait a turn and drop a Witness or Snapcaster for it anyway. I play Plow under mostly for the control mirror anyway, since it's a much stronger card by itself, and works very well when bought back late game.

    I had played a singleton canopy, but the life loss from it actually started to get annoying, and I never found myself using it.

    I actually used to run a singleton day of judgment in addition to the wrath, but with Snapcaster + Witness, I only need to play one, and as I've stated many many times, I'm not a big fan of wraths in the format.


    so then your a big fan of losing to zoo? also a single plow under is never going to win you the game against control no matter how many times you use eternal witness to bring it back.
    In life all we can do is try to make things better. Sitting lost in old ways and fearing change only makes us outdated and ignorant.


    Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
    Albert Einstein


    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    Thomas Jefferson

    League of Legends on MTGS
  • #5
    Quote from slipknot72102
    so then your a big fan of losing to zoo? also a single plow under is never going to win you the game against control no matter how many times you use eternal witness to bring it back.


    Huh?

    Wraths aren't that good against zoo.. they never have been. And Noxious revival is even worse against zoo than wraths. If you're going to arbitrarily say stuff as fact, at least give some logic and reasoning behind it...

    And what type of control matchups have you been playing? Plow Under steals a game in control matchups. A resolved plow under basically time walks a control deck for two turns, while also setting their land drops back. If it makes you feel any better, Cliques & Negate come in against control as well, and Bant Charm is very strong in a control mirror.
    Last edited by Badd Business: 12/6/2011 5:30:24 PM
    Find me online - I'm on Cockatrice * Tag - Badd B - Or on MTGO - Tag - Cbus05
  • #6
    Quote from cbus05
    Huh?

    Wraths aren't that good against zoo.. they never have been. And Noxious revival is even worse against zoo than wraths. If you're going to arbitrarily say stuff as fact, at least give some logic and reasoning behind it...

    And what type of control matchups have you been playing? Plow Under steals a game in control matchups. A resolved plow under basically time walks a control deck for two turns, while also setting their land drops back. If it makes you feel any better, Cliques & Negate come in against control as well, and Bant Charm is very strong in a control mirror.


    resolved is the key word. 5 mana sorcery speed spells are pretty bad in control mirrors. Wrath is fine against zoo especially if you tun timely reinforcements or things that block like witness, finks, Aunt Jemima.

    also you really need something to get you to the late game card advantage wise. Used to preordain would serve this function. Also you might want to go up to 4 gifts since you don't have a way to search or dig for them and they are you only source of raw card advantage.
    Last edited by slipknot72102: 12/6/2011 5:43:51 PM
    In life all we can do is try to make things better. Sitting lost in old ways and fearing change only makes us outdated and ignorant.


    Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
    Albert Einstein


    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    Thomas Jefferson

    League of Legends on MTGS
  • #7
    Quote from slipknot72102
    resolved is the key word. 5 mana sorcery speed spells are pretty bad in control mirrors. Wrath is fine against zoo especially if you tun timely reinforcements or things that block like witness, finks, Aunt Jemima.

    also you really need something to get you to the late game card advantage wise. Used to preordain would serve this function. Also you might want to go up to 4 gifts since you don't have a way to search or dig for them and they are you only source of raw card advantage.


    Preordain is not card advantage, and has never been card advantage. The fact that you don't understand this demonstrates you're clueless about a lot of facets of control. I get that you're a decent control player, but I really can't buy into the fact that you're any good at constructing control decks.

    There is a TON of late game card advantage here, you just can't see it because it doesn't smack you in the face ala the very obvious "draw 3" effect off thirst for knowledge.

    The main card advantage engine in here is Gifts itself, but more than that, the card advantage engines come from buyback effects via buying back cards with Witness or Snapcaster, then subsequently buying back your snapcasters and witnesses themselves with Sun Titan & Reveillark (thus giving you +2 creatures on board, and 2 cards back from the graveyard).

    It's a very grindy control deck in that you gradually grind out card advantage and chump block anything an opponent plays until you can resolve a titan or lark, then you bury the opponent in card advantage.

    As for Plow Under, I understand 5 mana sorceries aren't great in control mirrors, but they're not bad either. Mirror matches against cruel control are usually lost on them finding a way to resolve a 7 mana sorcery, and you board in an anti-control suite with cliques and negates to help reach that point. Even without the plow, you obviously have other means to win against control too. The thing with plow, is if you can resolve it, you've won the game flat out, so you can play it like it's a combo piece in here from that. Further, control decks typically won't be expecting a plow under coming down on them, so they're not going to be prepared to handle it. Plow under is also very strong against Martyr Proc, Gifts Rock, Tron, or anything that's trying to gain value off their lands and doesn't have a super proactive and efficient strategy.
    Find me online - I'm on Cockatrice * Tag - Badd B - Or on MTGO - Tag - Cbus05
  • #8
    Quote from cbus05
    Preordain is not card advantage, and has never been card advantage. The fact that you don't understand this demonstrates you're clueless about a lot of facets of control. I get that you're a decent control player, but I really can't buy into the fact that you're any good at constructing control decks.

    I know that preordain isn't card advantage but it gets you too your card draw spells faster while smoothing out your early game just a bit. IMO in modern your first 7 mostly determines how your game is going to go. Preordain(if not banned) would fix this problem a bit.

    There is a TON of late game card advantage here, you just can't see it because it doesn't smack you in the face ala the very obvious "draw 3" effect off thirst for knowledge.

    1x Reveillark
    1x Sun Titan

    That is it. What happens when these don't resolve or you don't have the 2-3 cards that you run that work with them? It is not enough.

    The main card advantage engine in here is Gifts itself, but more than that, the card advantage engines come from buyback effects via buying back cards with Witness or Snapcaster, then subsequently buying back your snapcasters and witnesses themselves with Sun Titan & Reveillark (thus giving you +2 creatures on board, and 2 cards back from the graveyard).

    you don't truly get card advantage off of snappy or witness until you set your lark &/or titan up to keep recurring these creatures. You need something to aid you to getting to this point. I guess if you open the perfect grip it won't be necessary, but how do you find the gifts to find your pieces? You hope to draw one that you don't need to use for another purpose? Look at UW gifts decks from the past. they have 3-4 gifts and at least 3-4 TfK because you need that much just to make it to the point to where your engines are set up and at full throttle.

    It's a very grindy control deck in that you gradually grind out card advantage and chump block anything an opponent plays until you can resolve a titan or lark, then you bury the opponent in card advantage.


    I understand this concept. I have been playing gifts rock for years and this is the same principle it wins with although I always had 4gifts, 2/3 tfk, and tons more blockers like STE with more than one finks.

    As for Plow Under, I understand 5 mana sorceries aren't great in control mirrors, but they're not bad either. Mirror matches against cruel control are usually lost on them finding a way to resolve a 7 mana sorcery, and you board in an anti-control suite with cliques and negates to help reach that point. Even without the plow, you obviously have other means to win against control too. The thing with plow, is if you can resolve it, you've won the game flat out, so you can play it like it's a combo piece in here from that. Further, control decks typically won't be expecting a plow under coming down on them, so they're not going to be prepared to handle it. Plow under is also very strong against Martyr Proc, Gifts Rock, Tron, or anything that's trying to gain value off their lands and doesn't have a super proactive and efficient strategy.


    Essentially ask yourself is this my best way to win the control mirror. If it is then cool, but In my mind something has got to be better. None of your engines will work against control decks because your going to struggle to get a titan or a lark to resolve.
    In life all we can do is try to make things better. Sitting lost in old ways and fearing change only makes us outdated and ignorant.


    Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
    Albert Einstein


    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    Thomas Jefferson

    League of Legends on MTGS
  • #9
    I actually put this into my gauntlet and did some testing, in the interest of giving you some honest feedback that comes with actually playing against your list. I jammed it against a 4c Cruel Gifts deck that I've been working on for a minute. Here are my conclusions:

    -Your deck is too threat-light. This is a serious problem. You will not do any recursion because you won't be able to get around to it.

    -You absolutely will never beat Punishing Fire. Not now, not ever with this list. What happened in the games? Mage came down and named Fire, all right, and even when they were stuck in my hand, I had Lightning Bolts or Smothers to kill him.

    -Celestial Colonnade was a good threat, but it requires you tapping out on your mainphase and it still dies to Punishing Fire.

    -Kitchen Finks is a legitimate threat, though yes, it ALSO dies to Punishing Fire. You should continue the list with 4 Finks in it to start.

    -Your counters are really bad unless you draw a bunch of Snags early. A late Snag is worthless.

    -You have nothing worth Snapcasting. Counterspells aren't really worth Snapping.

    -Which brings me to this point: counterspells are really bad in Modern. This is how the games went, with your deck either countering everything it could or holding things to strategically counter. When your deck countered everything, I eventually resolved Gifts anyway. When your deck strategically held counters, your Snapcasters got even worse, I got Coalition Relic online, and your deck lost to hardcast Mulldrifters and the like.

    -You cannot beat Raven's Crime with Life from the Loam. It's impossible in this deck. I got to where I'd just Gift for those two cards and two lands and win the game easily from there. To give you an idea of how bad it was, I had games where your deck would do things like Witness, Lark, Witness, Witness, bring back Lark and a bunch of other goodies. I'd just Crime away whatever you Witnessed back (Lark requires tapping out) and then Fire or Damnation or whatever away all the witnesses.

    -Repeal is bad. Do you really want to spend two mana to Repeal a Wild Nacatl? It just comes back next turn!

    -Cut Reveillark or at least make it worthwhile. Aside from Witness and Mage, you have nothing else worth Larking back! You're not likely to actually Lark a Snapcaster for any gains.

    What you should take from this is that you should either throw away the idea of playing realistic control decks or tune up the list to beat them. I don't know how to do that in Bant, either. Plow Under is a temporary slowdown against Gifts decks, and if they have Coalition Relic out, it probably doesn't even matter.
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  • #10
    Quote from hi-val
    I actually put this into my gauntlet and did some testing, in the interest of giving you some honest feedback that comes with actually playing against your list. I jammed it against a 4c Cruel Gifts deck that I've been working on for a minute. Here are my conclusions:

    -Your deck is too threat-light. This is a serious problem. You will not do any recursion because you won't be able to get around to it.

    -You absolutely will never beat Punishing Fire. Not now, not ever with this list. What happened in the games? Mage came down and named Fire, all right, and even when they were stuck in my hand, I had Lightning Bolts or Smothers to kill him.

    -Celestial Colonnade was a good threat, but it requires you tapping out on your mainphase and it still dies to Punishing Fire.

    -Kitchen Finks is a legitimate threat, though yes, it ALSO dies to Punishing Fire. You should continue the list with 4 Finks in it to start.

    -Your counters are really bad unless you draw a bunch of Snags early. A late Snag is worthless.

    -You have nothing worth Snapcasting. Counterspells aren't really worth Snapping.

    -Which brings me to this point: counterspells are really bad in Modern. This is how the games went, with your deck either countering everything it could or holding things to strategically counter. When your deck countered everything, I eventually resolved Gifts anyway. When your deck strategically held counters, your Snapcasters got even worse, I got Coalition Relic online, and your deck lost to hardcast Mulldrifters and the like.

    -You cannot beat Raven's Crime with Life from the Loam. It's impossible in this deck. I got to where I'd just Gift for those two cards and two lands and win the game easily from there. To give you an idea of how bad it was, I had games where your deck would do things like Witness, Lark, Witness, Witness, bring back Lark and a bunch of other goodies. I'd just Crime away whatever you Witnessed back (Lark requires tapping out) and then Fire or Damnation or whatever away all the witnesses.

    -Repeal is bad. Do you really want to spend two mana to Repeal a Wild Nacatl? It just comes back next turn!

    -Cut Reveillark or at least make it worthwhile. Aside from Witness and Mage, you have nothing else worth Larking back! You're not likely to actually Lark a Snapcaster for any gains.

    What you should take from this is that you should either throw away the idea of playing realistic control decks or tune up the list to beat them. I don't know how to do that in Bant, either. Plow Under is a temporary slowdown against Gifts decks, and if they have Coalition Relic out, it probably doesn't even matter.


    These are some decent pointers to be fair. As for Raven's Crime life from the Loam... well.. that would be worth concern if there were actually any decks worth caring about that play both of those cards. Raven's Crime and Loam are good against any control deck. This is like saying Goblins lose to Engineered Plague and expecting it to be some new revelation as to why something shouldn't be played.

    Second, I don't think you were even using the sideboard. You bring in Nevermore for Punishing Fire. Mage is just a singleton maindeck creature for combo decks. I'll probably get rid of him eventually when things get smoothed out a bit. Did you not play any Cliques vs. the control decks? Seriously.. the sideboard does matter.

    Repeal is awesome. Yes... they recast their Nacatl the next turn. Setting Zoo back a turn & drawing a card is good... it's actually very good. Repeal also answers other random stuff that decks play such as planeswalkers, artifacts (swords, shackles, etc) and even allows you to double up your value on Snapcasters & Witnesses when you have nothing better to do with them late game.

    -Your counters are really bad unless you draw a bunch of Snags early. A late Snag is worthless.


    What are you strategically holding counters for? I guess I have no clue what deck you were playing against, but if I did, that would help.

    Either way, if this deck has a weakness to other control decks.. then whatever, i'm fine with that since the meta clearly is anything but control right now.
    Find me online - I'm on Cockatrice * Tag - Badd B - Or on MTGO - Tag - Cbus05
  • #11
    You'll rarely Clique a Fires and Fires rarely come in just ones. Clique's ability goes on the stack, meaning that the opponent can just unload whatever kill spell they'd lose anyway on the faeries.

    I think your justifications for Repeal would also apply to Oblivion Ring, which can more solidly solve a problem.

    Nevermore stops Fires, I'll definitely grant you that. I don't think it's a reliable solution, especially with only two and with your deck having zero draw spells. I tested zero sideboard games, full disclosure.

    As I said, I was testing it against a 4c Gifts deck.

    My point about you losing to Crime is that your strategy inherently revolves around using counterspells to slow down or stop an opponent. There's very little in this deck that you can topdeck in the face of active Crime and pull ahead of the discard effect. If you don't fear it, that's fine, but you'll encounter a lot of the same problems from random dudes playing BG discard-heavy decks. If you murder zoo full-time, even Big Zoo with things like Elspeth and Fires, then you probably still have a fine list.

    I can tell that you're pretty emotionally invested in this deck; I'm not personally attacking you and I only posted to give you some feedback.
    I write a free, no-BS, no-ads newsletter for my site with weekly MTG Financial content. When you sign up, you'll get our ebook with five articles about speculating and trading Magic cards.
  • #12
    for the most part this is good advice. However I will note that repeal is quite good when your on the play. I honestly can't see not running loam in a gifts deck. 1 loam and 1 worm harvest is nuts against just about every deck that you will ever face in modern.
    In life all we can do is try to make things better. Sitting lost in old ways and fearing change only makes us outdated and ignorant.


    Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
    Albert Einstein


    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    Thomas Jefferson

    League of Legends on MTGS
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