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December 21, 2015

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Daily Dose of Oath of the Gatewatch – Losing Control

Welcome to another edition of the Daily Dose of Oath of the Gatewatch. Previews are starting to come in in anticipation of the new set coming out in January. Today we will be taking a look at some cards that could see some play in Control decks in the near future. In today’s Standard metagame, there aren’t very many Control decks going around, safe from Esper Dragons. Some of these cards could help Control players, whether it be Esper Control or Grixis Control.

Let’s first take a look at one of the new Planeswalkers from Oath of the Gatewatch, Chandra, Flamecaller.

ChandraFlamecaller

There has been a lot of talk about how Chandra is quite over costed at 6 mana and won’t see much play. I believe it will see some play if placed in the right type of deck that will take advantage of some of its powerful Planeswalker abilities. Let’s take a look at them all.

  • +1 – Put two 3/1 Elemental creature tokens with haste onto the battlefield. Exile them at the beginning of the next end step.

While playing control, you will be able to have many opportunities to clear the battlefield of creatures, either with Chandra’s third ability, or with cards like Crux of Fate. Once you have taken Control of the battlefield, being able to get in 6 points of damage a turn will finish the game off quickly.

  • 0 – Discard all the cards in your hand, then draw that many card plus one.

Never underestimate the power of drawing cards. Not only will this allow you to get an extra card each turn, it can help fuel all of your Delve cards like Dig Through Time, Treasure Cruise, and Murderous Cut. At 0 Loyalty cost as well, this can be used over and over again for major card advantage!

  • -X – Chandra, Flamecaller deals X damage to each creature.

This ability allows you to clear the board of a number of smaller creatures on the battlefield. True, it will not be able to kill, Siege Rhino or Tasigur, the Golden Fang, but will do some great work on helping you control the battlefield to your liking.

Next, let’s take a look at a creature that screams out for Control players to play it as a game finisher. Here is, Sphinx of the Final Word. Come on people, it even has Final Word in its name.

Sphinx of the Final Word

Let us break down Sphinx of the Final Word to see just how powerful it can be for late game Control players.

Playing a long game against another Control deck, well Sphinx of the Final Word can’t be countered. This will ensure you can stick a late game threat with a short clock on the board.
Once it’s on the battlefield, it has evasion with Flying making it hard to block and it also has hexproof, which means it will very hard to kill unless your opponent has a full board clear.
To top it off, for the rest of the game, while it’s in play, none of your instant or sorcery spells can be countered which means you can win the spell war needed to win the game.

We’ve now seen a Planeswalker and a Creature that can help Control players, now let’s take a look at a new Land. All Control players, please welcome Mirrorpool.

MirrorPool

Mirrorpool is a land that will allow you to sway long games in your favor. Imagine being able to copy a late game Dig Through Time or Treasure Cruise to gain some major card advantage. You can also use it to copy a removal spell to help you stay in the game. Mirrorpool becomes even more valuable in conjunction with Delve spells, allowing you to cast them for less mana, and then copy them for their full effect.

When it comes times to finish the game off, you will be able to copy a big threat you’ve put out like the above mentioned Sphinx of the Last Word. This will turn most games into a two turn clock that your opponent has to try and deal with.

Coming into play tapped, and being able to only tap for colorless mana, could be an early game problem, especially playing 3 colors. I do think that the advantages of this card, far outweigh its disadvantages.

Thanks again for being with us for another edition of the Daily Dose of Oath of the Gatewatch and I look forward to seeing you again next time as we take control of some more previews.