Is it really possible that cutting longtime favorite Kitchen Finks leads us to the right build of Cascade Control?
If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know that Kitchen Finks is one of my favorite cards. I loved it in Jund Mana Ramp, respected its ability to crush an opponent with Ajani Goldmane and Persist… Generally loved it in everything from G/W Little Kid to Reflecting Pool Control.
But apparently the right way to make Cascade Control is to cut Kitchen Finks!
A few months back I wouldn’t have easily accepted that cutting Borderland Ranger was right, but this current version of Cascade Control has been treating me pretty well, and its only three mana spells (main deck) are discard spells.
1 Obelisk of Alara
4 Bituminous Blast
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Captured Sunlight
1 Enigma Sphinx
4 Enlisted Wurm
4 Esper Charm
2 Primal Command
4 Baneslayer Angel
4 Exotic Orchard
1 Graven Cairns
4 Reflecting Pool
4 Vivid Crag
4 Vivid Grove
4 Vivid Meadow
1 Wooded Bastion
3 Ajani Vengeant
2 Maelstrom Pulse
2 Primal Command
4 Hallowed Burial
Obviously this deck has a bazillion lands–that is 28 lands. I have been asked online if it would still work without Vivid lands… and I am not sure. One of the things I like about this version is that a large chunk of it will translate to the new Standard… But that new format will not have Vivid lands. I think a combination of enemy fetch duals and Alara tri-lands will help make the mana viable.
Primal Command, though, is a card that I really don’t want to see disappearing from my deck lists.
The unique element of this deck–which is not actually unique because I stole it from GerryT–is that all the three mana spells are some kind of Stupor. Therefore you always know what you are going to get on a four mana Cascade, and you can play your Cascade spells in general without fearing you might accidentally turn over a Maelstrom Pulse.
Win percentage with this deck has been awesome. So far I have a legitimate loss to Merfolk, a couple of manascrews (how is that even possible with all these lands?), and one loss to my own B/R Blightning Beatdown deck (at least it looked like it with tri-lands, Tarfire, Goblin Outlander), when he drew three Blightnings in the deciding game; the vast majority of battles have been very favorable for the deck.
By far my favorite match so far was against the R/W Spanish Inquisition. The opponent got Ajani Vengeant going, but I had depleted most of his hand, and had lands back. I tried for Baneslayer Angel. He had Oblivion Ring; I answered with Enlisted Wurm. At this point I could flip almost any card in my deck and get out of the Ajani, which was at that point on five counters. Blightning would tear off three counters. Esper Charm would free the Baneslayer to attack. Captured Sunlight would be a proxy for one of those two, whereas Bloodbraid Elf might kill the Ajani outright in concert with Blightning (but still be just fine with “only” Esper Charm and its own three power). Primal Command would set up some kind of a disaster (probably involing setting up Bloodbraid Elf and forcing a re-cast).
… And so on.
But despite having a Bituminous Blast in hand… Unfortunately that’s what I flipped.
So my world blew up two turns later.
Still, I came back!
I had a couple of Vivids in my hand, and used Esper Charm to draw up instead of attacking him or like his Goblin Assault.
I drew up to six, and ran out Baneslayer Angel and Enlisted Wurm (or more precisely, I ran out Enlisted Wurm, which ran out Baneslayer Angel).
With him dead on board and me commanding 2 5/5s… he pulled Martial Coup!
Back to zero.
I ran it back with my remaining Baneslayer Angel.
He responded with Obelisk of Alara to stay even.
I did a little trickery to get him to blow up a Bloodbraid Elf (no more threes in the in deck), which used his ability to gain five life that turn; I had been sandbagging a Blightning, which as a three point Fireball was just enough to finish it.
I know the new Zendikar cards are super fun to look at, but if you need a Standard deck–for now–you might consider this one. It’s a bit worse against creatures than the Rhox Meditant Deck (which couldn’t really lose to creatures) but the heavy discard options (and sometimes card drawing one) make for some more strategic Magic.
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