Celestial Light - mostly control deck

#1megamaster125Posted 8/11/2012 9:42:44 AM
Yeah, Iím back from a week at camp. I had the deck finished the night before I left, but no time to post it. Letís just get down to business with the deck list.

Creatures Ė 22
4 Serra Ascendant
4 Soul Warden
4 Ajaniís Pridemate
2 Knight of Medowgrain
2 Lone Missionary
3 Seraph of Dawn
2 Baneslayer Angel
1 Felidar Sovereign

Other Spells Ė 14
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Loxodon Warhammer
2 Recumbent Bliss
2 Solemn Offering
1 White Sunís Zenith
2 Chastise
2 Day of Judgment
1 Marshalís Anthem
1 Well of Lost Dreams

Land Ė 25
25 Plains

General Strategy: I play this as a control deck at heart. The big difference between this and the other control decks is the part where your potential finishers (Ascendant and Pridemate) can be played early. The early game should be focused on gaining life to the magic 30 mark, activating your Ascendants. Any combination of 2 of the Soul Warden, Ascendant, and Pridemate make for a powerful opening play, and you can even put pressure on your opponent early if they arenít doing much. Itís also pretty consistent given 4 copies of each card. After the first batch of cheap creatures, if your opponent deals with those, you can fall back on your removal, shifting into a control style, complete with a mass removal reset button in Day of Judgment. Then come back strong with cards like Baneslayer Angel to finish up, or go for an alternate win condition with Felidar.

Serra Ascendant Ė Donít be afraid to trade one of these in the early game. You have 4, and a way to revive them. Once you hit 30 life, swinging once with this will usually be enough for you to maintain that 30+ life total and seal the game.

Soul Warden Ė Not much to say about this. The life gain will constantly boost you to your target of 30, and also slow down aggro decks, dragging the duel into the late game where you can finish them. Itís something that needs to be removed by your opponent, but not usually something they want to spend their removal on.

Ajaniís Pridemate Ė Turn 1 Soul Warden with a this on turn 2 is a very powerful opening play. While it can fall prey to chump blocking, your opponent generally wonít be able to keep up with that if you start swinging in the early game.

Knight of Medowgrain Ė So I hear first strike and lifelink go well together. A 2/2 for 2 mana plus those abilities puts it well above average.

Lone Missionary Ė Probably my most ďradicalĒ choice of cards to include in the deck, but letís compare it with itís competition. Ajani Sunstriker is more prone to be hit with removal due to lifelink, thereby getting removed before even gaining you life. Lone Missionary gains you life on the spot, whereas Sunstriker is required to be in combat twice just to gain as much life as the Missionary. The Missionaryís other competition comes from Kembaís Skyguard, who does have an extra point of toughness (itís relevant but only a little, as the Missionaryís role is mostly to chump block/trade while boosting my life total). Kemba only gains you 2 life, costs 1 more mana, and you get flying. I feel the flying aspects are already covered by Seraph and Baneslayers, and an online Ascendant. Speaking of which, this is the best card out of the 3 to help you push your way to 30 life. For those reasons, Missionary got the spot over the other 2 creatures.

Loxodon Warhammer Ė Hey look, any creature now becomes a huge, trampling, lifelinking threat. Goes especially great with the Seraphs, Pridemates, Knights, and Missionaries. Trample can also help break a stalled board position. For those reasons, I had to include it.
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Pokemon Black FC - 2151-3329-2763
#2megamaster125(Topic Creator)Posted 8/11/2012 9:44:39 AM(edited)
Recumbent Bliss Ė I was reluctant to include these, given how most decks have answers to enchantments/auras. However, itís competing with the other 2 Chastises, and this deck already has a lot going on at the 4 mana mark, and not much happening at 3 mana (but thatís ok given the shear amount of 1-2 drops). The lifegain does trigger Well and Pridemate and boosts you to those magic 30 and 40 numbers. I didnít want another creature for this slot, I wanted removal, so the Bliss will have to do. Iíd prefer Journey to Nowhere or Oblivion Ring, but we donít have that luxury.

Solemn Offering Ė The only reason there arenít 3 of these is due to a couple of decks not having much in the way of artifacts/enchantments (goblins/burn). But these are great. Remove a problematic artifact/enchantment, and gain a nice 4 life in return.

Chastise Ė Itís decent. It can really boost your life total. However, itís 4 mana, so your opponent can totally see it coming, and itís harder to bluff a 4 mana card when you donít have it and want to be casting other things. Swords can be easily bluffed since you only have to leave open 1 mana. The other downside is that it needs to be used on an attacking creature, so if your opponent suspects it, they can just hold back their best creature. Again, itís decent given the cardpool, but not optimal.

Day of Judgment Ė So I hear mass removal is good. I almost feel like Iím playing Obedient dead with this deck, given the similarities. Each has 2 early game mass removal cards, a handful of finishers, and some nice card draw.
Well of Lost Dreams Ė Hey look, nice card draw. The only real downside to this is that there arenít 2 of them. This card can be the deciding factor in some matchups, giving you the card advantage you need to win the game.

Swords to Plowshares Ė One of the best creature removal spells ever printed, and itís an auto-include here. Instant speed, 1 mana, and the drawback is quite negligible, especially for a control deck.

Seraph of Dawn Ė 4 toughness and lifelink will give the aggro decks a huge hassle. Flying helps you control the air. 2 power is a little underwhelming, but overall, I find this card is worth it.

Marshalís Anthem Ė This is not a 4 mana card. The part about boosting your creatures is nice, but what you really want to do with this is revive some of your other creatures (Ascendant, Pridemate, Baneslayer, Felidar, etc.). For that reason, this is one of the finisher cards. Donít underestimate the graveyard revival. Iíd love a Proclamation of Rebirth, but we donít have that option. Anthem is still good for its role.

Baneslayer Angel Ė Well, first strike and lifelink was good on the Knight, turns out that still holds true for 5 mana 5/5s with flying as well.

Felidar Sovereign Ė An alternate win condition. 6 mana for a 4/6 vigilance and lifelink is also nice. The alternate winning ability helps break stalemates between armies.

White Sunís Zenith Ė I didn't like this card in March to War, but here it works. This deck has few finishers, but this one works well here, filling some of the holes of the deck. To me, itís competing with Purity. For 6 mana, you get the same amount of power out of both cards. However, the Zenith does 2 things Purity doesnít do. First, it makes multiple creatures, which can give you an instant army. Second, speaking of instant, you can use this as a nasty surprise for your opponent when they think itís safe to swing in. Suddenly you have an army to block them, and make unfavorable combat situations for your opponent.
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Pokemon Black FC - 2151-3329-2763
#3megamaster125(Topic Creator)Posted 8/11/2012 9:44:46 AM
Purity Ė For the most part, this is just going to be a 6/6 with flying. Itís ability is really only relevant against burn (and somewhat goblins), but this deck should already have good matchups against those decks. For those reasons, and given what the Zenith does over Purity, it was clear to me which one needed to get cut.

Basilisk Collar Ė Half this deck has lifelink as it is, and I havenít found too many situations where I was wishing I had this card. Warhammer is the equipment I want to be spending my mana on, since it turns things into game winning bombs. The collarÖ not so much. Itís still decent, but it would be better with pingers like the Pyromancer in the burn deck.

Cathedral Sanctifier Ė This deck already has a load of good 1 drops. Lone Missionary can trade with a much wider range of creatures, and gains you more life.

Elixir of Immortality Ė Itís really only good as an anti-mill card, and while mill does have some inherent advantages over this deck, I donít include cards that only serve to counter 1 other deck while being useless against other decks. Sure, it gains you life, but so does a majority of the cards in this deck. This deck needs cards that do more than just gain life.

Moment of Heroism Ė I donít dislike this card. If I was playing an aggro build, or just playing a close build but more emphasis on an aggro playstyle, Iíd run this. Combat tricks are nice, and this one is pretty decent.

Pearl Medallion Ė Here come the list of reasons why I cut the Medallions again. Thereís 2 major reasons here. First, there are 14 cards that donít benefit from the Medallions (10 1-drops, the Knights, and the 2 Artifacts). Second, thereís not a lot of high mana stuff in this deck to accelerate into. Sure, thereís other cards I left out, but I canít see myself running the Medallions and some rather mediocre high mana stuff just to accelerate into them. I could see running this if there was more card draw or youíre running both of the Zeniths. This deck doesnít have a high mana curve, and it already has 25 lands.

Kor Cartographer Ė Again, thereís not much to accelerate into. Compared to Lilianaís Shade (continuing on the similarities with OD), Kor can only serve as a chump blocker after pulling a land from your deck, whereas the shade can put game winning pressure on your opponent. The land thinning is nice, but not for this particular build, and not for a 4 mana chump blocker. However, I can see it being better in a build with the Medallions and both of the Zeniths.

Rhox Faithmender Ė The only reason I didnít include him in my build is the lack of flying compared to the Seraphs. Controling the air is important against some decks, so for that reason, I wanted the third Seraph over this. Doubling your lifegain effects is really nice though, and goes well with the Ascendants and Felidar, but I usually find that itís not necessary to get to that 30 mark.

Archon of Redemtion Ė Itís decent, not great, but decent. If you want more flying, go for it. But this build is only running 5 flying creatures (not counting the situational Ascendants). Youíd have to run the Kembas too, and I didnít really want to run those.

Serra Avatar Ė While Pridemates can fall prey to being chump blocked, itís moreso true for this. I expect my 7 mana cards to not have issues with being chump blocked.

Celestial Force Ė Another underwhelming big mana card. Its effect gains you life, and we need something more than that for a lifegain deck. Other than that, itís a 7/7. For 8 mana, Iíd rather play the Zenith and drop five 2/2s on the board at instant speed.

Celestial Mantle Ė 6 mana auras are generally a no no. This one doesnít even offer you trample or flying, just a way to be sure your opponent will block your creature and opening you up to card disadvantage.
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There are no contradictions in the Bible. http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/
Pokemon Black FC - 2151-3329-2763
#4ninja rabbitPosted 8/11/2012 1:33:24 PM
My deck is similar but with a few differences

-2 lone missionaries > 2 Kemba's Skyguard: I'm not a huge fan of the skyguard but it's still a 2/2 flyer and flying is a premium in this environment. Plus I'd rather be playing a knight or pridemate on turn 2 anyways.

-1 seraph of dawn > 1 basilisk collar: The collar is great on a knight, pridemate, baneslayer, skyguard, or purity. Putting it on one of your first strikers will kill almost anything before it can do damage.

-1 marshal's anthem > 1 purity: A 6/6 flyer for 6 mana is a game winner in this environment, espeically if you put a collar or hammer on it. The anthem is a tough cut.
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XBL Gamertag: ninjarabbitmega
#5WiNGSPANTTPosted 8/12/2012 10:46:41 AM
Kembas Sky guard is really underrated and is the perfect play following Ajani's Pride mate
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T3 is all about extremely serious competitive gaming news & opinion articles.
#6megamaster125(Topic Creator)Posted 8/12/2012 1:18:38 PM(edited)
I'm more attracted to the 4 life boost of Lone Missionary as opposed to the flying and 2 life boost. There have been many times where dropping a Lone Missionary made Ascendant go online. I do miss the flying of the Skyguard though, but overall, I prefer the Missionary.
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There are no contradictions in the Bible. http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/
Pokemon Black FC - 2151-3329-2763
#7ninja rabbitPosted 8/12/2012 1:34:31 PM
Lone missionary isn't much more than a glorified goblin piker and he's pretty much destined to die as a chump blocker. At least the skyguard can give you a little bit of offense, especially in a stalemate situtation when your foe has plenty of ground blockers.
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Despite all my rage I'm still just a rabbit in a cage
XBL Gamertag: ninjarabbitmega
#8RhytenPosted 8/12/2012 1:42:48 PM(edited)
ninja rabbit posted...
Lone missionary isn't much more than a glorified goblin piker and he's pretty much destined to die as a chump blocker. At least the skyguard can give you a little bit of offense, especially in a stalemate situtation when your foe has plenty of ground blockers.


That and your chosen 2 drop will always be ajani's pridemate, making the lone missionary kinda dead, while the skyguard is a 3 drop that still bumps ajani's pridemate.
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#9WiNGSPANTTPosted 8/13/2012 8:53:59 AM
In the long run a 2/2 flyer is more valuable. Plus it can't die to Flamebreak which is a common hose to Celestial Light.
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My site: http://www.TopTierTactics.com
T3 is all about extremely serious competitive gaming news & opinion articles.
#10megamaster125(Topic Creator)Posted 8/16/2012 9:26:53 AM
Ok, I'm currently testing out -2 Recumbent Bliss, +2 Kemba's Skyguard. The deck can be a little more aggroy than what I gave it credit for. I'm still keeping the Missionaries because I really like those.
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There are no contradictions in the Bible. http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/
Pokemon Black FC - 2151-3329-2763
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