After looking at Strixhaven’s draft archetypes last week, we’re returning to Standard, and eyeing the Prismari Control deck: a versatile deck that lives up to its name by putting you in control of a powerful set of features.
PRISMARI CONTROL – DECKLIST
Prismari Control is fun to play against all decks and, excepting Rogues, absent of headache-inducing matchups. From this new set, Strixhaven, it has gained 21 new cards in the main deck (excluding the four dual lands) and 3 in the sideboard.
The first two additions are part of the creature package and almost as powerful as Goldspan Dragon. Torrent Sculptor has a dual function, allowing you to improve your hand card quality, drawing and discarding, while simultaneously putting a spell in the graveyard for Draconic Intervention.
The “Warded creatures” package will be instrumental in matchups like Yorion Control, making those creatures a formidable threat to your opponent. You will often find yourself discarding Magma Opus/Creative Outburst in turn two and then landing a threat between Torrent Sculptor or Galazeth Prismari on turn three.
Galazeth Prismari, the College’s founder, is the second addition, and provides a treasure when he comes into play. All treasures can be tapped to give mana for instant and sorcery cards, which works perfectly with the whole deck and all the treasure makers. It makes expensive spells, like Magma Opus, playable, so you have more options to choose from when figuring out your next move.
The versatile Prismari Command is the first new spell added in this deck, and this card can help you at every turn. For example, imagine playing against aggro and dealing 2 damage to one of your opponent’s creatures AND creating a treasure that will allow you to accelerate into a turn four Goldspan Dragon.
Remember when Lovestruck Beast felt unbeatable and you were losing so many games to Adventures decks? Draconic Intervention, the new mass removal spell, solves this problem with the ability of the deck to easily put cards to the graveyard, practically making it a Day of Judgment.
Now let’s look at the two spells that would elicit the response “How can you play a card like that?”.
I actually wondered that too, but that last line of each card makes them fundamental to this deck. There will be many games where you will discard one of these cards on turn two to create a treasure, but you will only realize this strategy after gaining experience playing with the deck. However, there will also be a lot of games where you’ll resolve a Magma Opus as a finisher.
The addition of Frostboil Snarl allows us to play 12 dual lands that give either blue or red mana. We lose the snow component in this addition, so Faceless Heaven, which was certainly useful in some matchups, becomes unplayable, but the large presence of specific mana forces us to make this choice.
PRISMARI CONTROL – SIDEBOARD
This is the most played deck in the entire ladder with MonoRed, making for a lengthy game where it will be essential to quickly resolve threats and put pressure on your opponent. If the first game is balanced, then your post-side situation improves. Eight counters will help you defend your pieces on the board, and, thanks to Test of Talents, your opponent will have more problems to resolve an Emergent Ultimatum.
This could be a nightmare matchup, but our MVP, the Prismari Command, makes it a dream. The ability to break an artifact will keep you alive when encountering an Embercleave, and as icing on the cake, will deal 2 damage to a creature.
Draconic Intervention then gives you a great help to reverse a bad situation.
All of your four-drops are also hard for your opponent to kill, who may lose a lot of time trying to come up with something to get past them.
We are set up so well pre-side that we only have three Redcap Meele to put in along with two Essence Scatters.
This is the only bad matchup for the deck. The first game is almost impossible to win, as all your threats are quietly killed. Compared to you, your opponent has more counters and draws, and he or she will also mill your deck, reducing your resources.
The situation improves slightly post-side by getting some help from the additional counters, however this is negated by his own additional counters and his discard spells.
Let’s just say that we hope to avoid this deck whenever we play.
The biggest problem with this matchup is the Seasoned Hallowblade, which is hard to handle for these types of decks. Elite Spellbinder is also problematic, because it might delay our Draconic Intervention during critical times. Managing spot removals will be crucial.
In the sideboard we have practically nothing, only two Essence Scatter, we already play so many main deck answers. Overall, this is an even matchup.
Draconic Intervention strikes again by improving a previously unfavorable matchup. And we also have a main deck solution to The Great Henge — Prismari Command!
This still isn’t a good matchup, due to its annoying threats, but at least it now feels even.
The situation is better post-side, even though we don’t gain much. Instead, they gets Klothys, Vivien and other threats that we can’t easily handle.
I would recommend this deck if you love this archetype, and even if you don’t: it’s great if you want to try something new, fun and different from the usual decks.
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