Can’t Touch This – (A post rotation deck idea)

It doesn’t have the neon colors or Hammer pants, but this deck is gonna be control’s strongest point post rotation. The metagame is full of creatures that hit hard, and they come at you with such ferocity and in such numbers that traditional control decks that burn, kill, and counter run out of answers before they can end the game. So how can you beat these opponents? It’s time to back to control’s roots: Milling your opponent to death. M13 has given us some great weapons to do this with.

Can’t Touch This

Lands (24):

  • 2 Desolate Lighthouse
  • 4 Sulfur Falls
  • 9 Island
  • 1 Glacial Fortress (4 would be better)
  • 8 Plains

You think cards like Nephalia Drownyard (ISD) would be better in this deck, but I believe you need white in order for mass removal, which is incredibly important. Desolate Lighthouse is a great late game card once the game has been shut down, keeping cards in your hand while you’re opponent discards.

Spells (24):

  • 4 Mind Sculpt
  • 4 Devastation Tide
  • 3 Feeling of Dread
  • 3 Sleep
  • 1 Ghostly Flicker
  • 1 Rebuke
  • 3 Thought Scour
  • 4 Think Twice
  • 1 Divine Reckoning

Mind Sculpt

This is where the deck’s true power lies. It may start off kind of slow, but that’s why you have cards like Feeling of Dread in there. Dread will tap those early game creatures, and should keep your life high until you can start casting Sleep and Devastation Tide. Nothing is more frustrating to an aggro play than having to reset their field every other turn. If things get too out of control, you can throw down a Divine Reckoning (though I think that new Return to Ravnica spell that destroys everything is better, but this is cheap!). This deck doesn’t have a lot of creatures, so blasting the battlefield is fine. Once you have your opponent with a bloated hand, unable to cast anything, then you start milling him. Mind Sculpt has great value at two mana, Thought Scour will help you get card advantage early, and the Ghostly Flicker was a recent addition to help with the creature situation . . .

Creatures and Other (12):

  • 2 Dungeon Geists
  • 1 Geralf’s Mindcrusher
  • 3 Snapcaster Mage
  • 3 Fog Bank
  • 1 Deadeye Navigator
  • 2 Jace, Memory Adept

Jace likes to make flour. Cause he’s a miller, he likes to mill . . . he — nevermind.

This deck really doesn’t need that many creatures, but the ones it does have are pretty good. Fog Bank is a great early card on the second turn and will keep non-trample damage from getting through to you while you build up your attack. Snapcaster Mage allows you to continue using your Sleeps or Devastation Tides while you continue to mill your opponent into oblivion. You know that ONE creature you let live with Divine Reckoning? Well, you can use a Dungeon Geist afterwards and tap him for the remainder of the game. Once you get higher up in the mana count and can stall your opponent, throw down the Mindcrusher and Deadeye Navigator, soul bound them, then mill your opponent for 15 cards the next turn. Most of these creatures have great “Enter the battlefield” abilities, so don’t sweat it if you have to scoop them all up because of a Devastation Tide.


  • 2 Rebuke
  • 1 Divine Reckoning
  • 3 Negate
  • 2 Oblivion Rings
  • 2 Increasing Confusion
  • 1 Void Stalker
  • 2 Nevermore
  • 1 Archangel’s Light
  • 1 Curse of Exhaustion

The sideboard is probably the weakest part of this deck. I’m still working on it, and I’m sure there will be some great cards from the Azorius guild in Return to Ravnica that will fit in. Against control, more mill is always good which is why I’ve chosen Increasing Confusion, and Negate is in there for game enders like Bonfire of the Damned. 2 Oblivion Rings should be fine, because you’ll be constantly be picking up your permanents due to the Tide. Nevermore doesn’t see much play, but I think it could be useful in stopping your opponent from using the card you hate most. You can always change the card when you play it again after a Devastation Tide, and Curse of Exhaustion will cause your opponent to discard all of those cards they just picked up because they can only play one the next turn.

Initial play testing of this post rotation deck has been promising. It’s performed well against Token decks, various beatdown decks, and even Esper control. It still needs some tweaking, but with cards like Detention Sphere and Supreme Verdict coming out in less than a month, I think this Azorius “Detain” deck has a chance to be a powerful deck. Let me know what you think!