Sunscorch Regent BW Revelation Control Deck Tech (Standard) by Mario Ludwinski
I was grinding matchups with my BW Revelation Control, collecting stories and thoughts to create a comprehensive article for all brave souls who want to try it for real.
Games were going good for me. Early defense with life gains, sweep resets on turns 5 and 6 with Crux of Fate/End Hostilities value chain, then a big finisher to close a game in my favor. Ugin, the Spirit Dragon was a shining star. Elspeth, Sun’s Champion saved me many times. Her Soldiers granted me turns off from beating, then after her ultimate flew for my win.
Those were good games.
But there also were bad games, when I was stuck on two or three lands, or drew a sweeper one turn too late.
I ran different versions: more life gain (Honor’s Reward and Dawnbringer Charioteers), more early creatures (Nyx-Fleece Ram and Arashin Cleric. I tried UW version and UB version. I went all Read the Bones and all Sign in Blood instead of Bitter Revelation. I put in a heavy discard package. I tested ramp with clan Banners. I also tried defensive Drown in Sorrow, which worked okay, but didn’t change too much (sorcery speed hurts) – except for Mono-Red or Atarka Red matchup, when it shone its brightest.
Then I remembered about this strong card.
But Dragons… Where do I get Dragons from to use this with most value? Straight BW Dragons are absent in the current Standard. Mono-Black ones are too clunky to help win games. Mono-White… Oh, wait… Here’s the beauty.
A gentle breeze of sadness kissed my eyes, when I bid farewell to Elspeth – just like her loved ones on Theros when she dived into the Nyx to find Xenagos. Good bye!
But, welcome, you, my new friend!
I put two copies of the White Regent into the deck and went testing.
Boy, oh, boy.
Quickly, I went to full four copies and never looked back.
Foul-Tongue Invocation served really well as additional 3-mana removal. Even without life gain option from a Dragon, it bought me time to get my defence proper.
Or time to draw and play the White Regent on turn 5.
Its stats may look innocuous, but try to kill it. Please.
Either you need to use a Black-based point removal (Hero’s Downfall, Abzan Charm), or the best Red removal (Stoke the Flames), or Dragonlord Atarka‘s ETB ability, or you need to combine a 2-for-1 with burn spells and Valorous Stance.
What about a combat damage and a single burn spell, you ask? Well, if you play the White Regent after a sweeper, there is usually no combat damage from the opponent until the end of a game. Every creature activates both Regent’s triggers, making it bigger and gaining you life. Even if a creature does fly like Mantis Rider, its stats don’t match those of your Regent. Besides, you probably have a point removal in your hand to clear problems off the skies. If you play the Regent before a sweeper, you just don’t block – then play Crux of Fate choosing non-Dragons. Racing with you is not a good long-term strategy, because we don’t play it honestly, thanks to Meditation Puzzle or Resupply).
With the White Regent, suddenly the Mono-Red/Atarka Red matchup went from the worst to the best – or to second best, after Heroic decks. Regent blocks almost everything Small Red can offer and pauses board development of Goblin tokens for Atarka’s Command. Matchups of Jeskai Burn and Abzan Aggro also turned better. More Control versions of Abzan also have trouble to keep it off the board. Haven of the Spirit Dragon cancels an opponent’s Hero’s Downfall, and if he/she uses Abzan Charm’s exile mode it means one less source of card advantage to keep up with me.
Another great source of Sunscorch Regent‘s value is its mono-coloured mana cost. WW on turn 5 isn’t that difficult to get for Abzan, neither for GW, Jeskai Dragons, Esper Dragons, Mardu Dragons, nor even for UW Control. Let’s see how it may fit into those decks.
5-mana slot is already populated in Abzan decks by Wingmate Roc. Roc is not a Dragon, however, so it doesn’t play nice with Foul-Tongue Invocation and Haven of the Spirit Dragon. Still, I like it better than Roc, because it gains you life long before attacking step.
GW / Naya Dragons
Atarka, World Render
This chain blows my mind. It may not be easy to build, but even two or three consecutive links should break most of decks.
Turn 4 Thunderbreak Regent into turn 5 Sunscorch Regent lacks explosiveness of a hasty Stormbreath Dragon, but its looming inevitability tastes better. They still die to non-targeting sweepers, but then we gain 1 point of life. Better than nothing.
Oh, if you play Ashcloud Phoenix face-up on turn 4, you have a nice insurance if the opponent uses a sweeper. The Phoenix comes back faced-down and on your very next turn you may flip it up for 6 mana exactly (4RR).
I’m very interested how a game would go, if I started a value chain as fast as on turn 3 with Monastery Siege in Dragons mode. Also, it fuels Silumgar’s Scorn and may serve as additional kind-of copies of Dragonlord Ojutai: a threat that needs to be taken away immediately.
As above, plus it fuels Foul-Tongue Invocation and speeds up a damage clock. It may sit on the battleground in multiples, unlike legendary Dragonlord Ojutai.
After rotating out of Standard by Stormbreath Dragon, the White Regent may take its place as a go-to threat. A lack of haste may hurt a bit, but there is one dusted creature named Zurgo Helmsmasher who patiently (that’s his first, probably) waits for an oportunity to win games.
One turn faster than Elspeth, blocks fliers and gains life in Aggro matchups behind protective veil of counterspells: I think it sounds pretty good for Control players. If the opponent wants to spend his/her point removal on it, Ugin becomes more and more safe play three-four turns later.
Of course, I use it in my BW Revelation deck.
I hope I awakened your curiosity to at least try the White Regent in your deck. It dies quite often, that’s true. But when it does, it means you’ve just took away one of opponent’s great removal and made your next threat a bit safer. It’s good deal, right?
In case you’re wondering, here is my current 75 of BW Revelation. I’m still tweaking it to find the smoothest combination of cards possible.
2 Arashin Cleric
2 Nyx-Fleece Ram
4 Drown in Sorrow
3 Perilous Vault
3 Bitter Revelation
1 Haven of the Spirit Dragon
Thanks for reading.