Against the Odds: Lantern Control but in Standard?

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Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Against the Odds! This week, our plan is simple: make it so our opponent can’t possibly win the game, by slowly but surely extracting every meaningful card from their deck. One of the upsides of being in three-year Standard is that we get some redundancy on effects that there are often just one or two of in Standard. For example, our deck has four different cards that can exile all the copies of a single card from our opponent’s deck, in Kotose, the Silent Spider, Deadly Cover-Up, The Stone Brain, and The End. Since we’re nearing the end of our current Standard with Outlaws of Thunder Junction on the near horizon, most of the top-tier decks are more or less set in stone, with most people playing the same handful of cards. Using this knowledge, we can essentially play like Lantern Control but in Standard, by using our extraction cards to remove all of our opponent’s win conditions (and when things go really well, all of our opponent’s non-land cards), making it so they can’t possibly win the game and are forced to scoop in frustration! What are the odds of winning by making it so we can never lose, by extracting everything from our opponent’s deck? Let’s get to the video and find out!

Against the Odds: Standard Lantern

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Wrap-Up and Odds

Heading into our matches, I basically figured this was a meme deck and that we’d get a couple of funny wins but generally wouldn’t have a very good record. Well, it turns out that we got a bunch of funny wins, but the deck was surprisingly strong, going 9-4 overall for a very high 69% win percentage! 

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It’s actually pretty hilarious just how effective this strategy is. Since we are nearing the end of our current Standard, the cards and decks in the format are super well known, which makes it super easy to know what cards we need to extract to make it so our opponent can’t win. This is especially easy against various combo decks that have very few actual win conditions, meaning only a few extractions should be enough to close out the game. And while control might seem like a tough matchup, it’s actually pretty easy since most control decks only have a few win conditions we need to worry about. Of course, our best games were pretty spectacular, like the ones where we managed to exile literally every non-land card from our opponent’s deck against aggro and midrange! While things are tougher if we play against a brew where we don’t know exactly what our opponent is up to, once we use our first extraction effect, we can write down (or take screencaps) of our opponent’s decklist so we know exactly what we need to exile in the future.

While it’s pretty widely believed that cards like The Stone Brain or Kotose, the Silent Spider are too situational to really be main-deck cards, I’m not sure that’s true at the moment. As I mentioned before, since we’re nearing rotation in a couple of months, Standard is really just a few decks playing a few cards, which means the odds of whiffing are pretty low. Sure, our extraction effects aren’t always great against aggro, but the rest of our deck makes up for this by having a bunch of sweepers and cheap removal.

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One word of warning if you think about trying the deck: it only works if you know the Standard metagame really well. The deck’s premise is to exploit our knowledge of the format by knowing which cards we need to extract and which ones we can leave in our opponent’s deck. This is what makes the deck play a lot like Modern Lantern Control, which works on the same theory. While the decks play differently, with Lantern being a strong mill deck and our deck being an odd control brew, the ideas of the decks are essentially the game. As such, you really need to have a firm grasp on which decks and cards commonly show up in the format. If you are new to Standard or don’t play it very much, I’d probably pass on this deck, but if you have a firm grasp on the meta, the deck is super fun, funny, and shockingly good!

Conclusion

Anyway, that’s all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.

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