Video Deck Tech – BUG Control
Yeah, take a good look at it.
That’s right. Reap Intellect in the maindeck.
I bet some of you don’t even know what two of those cards do! Go ahead and hover over them. I’ll wait.
We good? Yeah, upon first seeing it I thought this deck was nothing like anything in Standard currently, but I had no idea how the deck actually worked. Then Melissa and I ran into it in a two man queue. We thought we were in winning position, then wham. our opponent chose to return all our permanents with an overloaded Cyclonic Rift at the end of our turn. But that’s not all! With all of our permanents now in our hand, he cast Reap Intellect with X being four. What happened next was that my opponent chose one Burning-Tree Emissary. one Polukranos, World Eater. one Garruk, Caller of Beasts. and one Arbor Colossus. He was then able to pluck all additional copies of those cards out of my hand, graveyard, and library. I’ll leave it to you to imagine what happened next.
While Reap Intellect doesn’t seem very impressive on the surface, it can be an absolutely gamebreaking card with the right accoutrements.
Let’s see if I can show you what I mean.
BUG Control vs. Boros Burn
BUG Control vs. Monoblack Devotion
BUG Control vs. Boros Burn, Match 2
BUG Control vs. Naya Midrange
3-1 for the deck is perfectly fine by me, especially against four pretty popular and powerful archetypes. Despite the deck having an extremely weird configuration for certain cards, it seems to be very effective at what it’s trying to do.
While there were plenty of times I wanted a third Dissolve or a second (or third) Hero’s Downfall. somehow the deck always managed to draw enough answers or the right answers to the problems it was facing. Except for the Naya match I suppose. I would attribute this to the sheer number of scry and drawing effects in the deck. There are about 19 cards in the deck that either let you draw cards or scry cards, and that’s a pretty decent amount. About one third of the deck actually.
I’m still not quite sold on Festering Newt in the sideboard and I don’t know if those would actually just be better as a couple more Hero’s Downfall and another Abrupt Decay and a Dissolve or some Ultimate Price s, but it’s hard to complain with the way the deck seemed to come together.
Reap Intellect is really the all-star of the deck. Not because it pulls the most weight really, but simply because it’s so obscure. I had to read what it did the first time it was cast against me. It’s a surprisingly innocuous little card that can essentially win games on its own when you cast it for three or more, let alone when you’re able to Overload a Cyclonic Rift beforehand.
I also found another version of the deck that managed to Top 8 a more recent Magic Online Premier Event.