Welcome to the fourth episode of “Science of Pauper”! This week, we will finish with the five-colored Mystical Teachings deck.
A short reminder: The deck aims to survive the first couple of turns to set up a stable mana base with all the colors needed. It tries to control the game with counterspells and removals, and grind the opponent out by card advantage (including searching for appropriate answers with the eponymous tutor).
2 Mind Stone
To not waste any more space, here is the sideboard.
Magma Spray. I wanted to add a cheap removal spell for aggro match ups. Magma Spray is a solid choice since it kills most creatures in the format and additionally prevents any graveyard shenanigans or persist/undying effects.
Divine Offering. It is obvious that this card is intended for Affinity match ups. It should provide sufficient time to control the board with other removal and counters. Furthermore, most Affinity builds use non-artifact threats like Carapace Forger or Atog rather than Disenchant-able creatures.
Dispel. Additional cheap counters to win the counter war against opposing blue control builds. Furthermore, it can be boarded in when facing Infect or Stompy to deal with pump spells, or against burn spells.
Envelop. Black is inherently strong against blue-based control decks. Its cheap discard spells do not only dispose a card from hand, they also supply the black mages with valuable information how to resolve their critical spells. Therefore a cheap answer is needed. Even though Negate is more versatile, it costs one more mana which is crucial to consider. Envelope can counter a turn one Duress when on the play or a turn six Corrupt on the draw after tutoring with Mystical Teachings. Furthermore, Burn also plays sufficient targets that justify playing a couple of one mana counterspells.
Life Burst. This deck has serious difficulties with Burn decks since it needs several turns to get started. Life Burst provides another (virtual) win condition in addition to buying you time to develop your mana base and find sufficient counters.
Wrecking Ball. I wanted to have another versatile removal for creatures. Terminate would obviously be the first choice. However, I decided for Wrecking Ball to have a way of disrupting Cloudpost decks.
Capsize. Anyone who has played with or against UR Cloudpost decks has probably encountered Capsize in some way. This never-ending bounce spell is very useful when facing Infect (as mentioned when explaining Curfew) and – ironically – Cloudpost decks.
Izzet Chronarch. This hybrid of Scrivener and Anarchist is intended as an additional win condition and helper for very grindy match ups. In the very late, late, late game it can be combined with Capsize to lock the opponent either with counterspells or land destruction.
I have to admit that I caught myself doing this mistake quite often and lost quite some games because of it. This deck is indeed aiming to heavily control the game. However, one does not win if the opponent has no non-land permanents on the battlefield. At some point you have to search up your win condition and possibly ignore a minor threat (like a 1/1 mana creature) and reduce your opponent’s life total to 0. Otherwise you will end up decking yourself.
Do not be afraid to cast your draw spells during your turn if otherwise it you missed a land drop. Developing your mana base is crucial since your deck is mana hungry. At least for mana to cast Mystical Teachings plus X mana in order to be able to cast the tutored spell right away.
In the following, I listed some other cards that may be included dependening on the metagame and play style of the pilot. However, I did not explain why I did not include them in my default decklist. If you want to know more about why I do not use certain cards, please feel free to leave a message in the comments section or shoot me an email, I will answer as quickly as possible:
That’s it. Stay clean!