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Type 3: Five Color Control October 22, 2009

Posted by James in : all, strategy, constructed , trackback

One great thing about Type 3 (Standard without rares) is that all our favorite deck types are still viable. Uncommons are pretty essential for making a good control deck in standard, so Pauper seems to go too far. The control decks you can make without rares aren’t too powerful, but they are powerful enough to be worth playing.

To get an idea about how to make a 5 color control deck, consider the best cards for 5 color control:
Ajani Vengeant (mythic rare)
Cruel Ultimatum (rare)
Lavalanche (rare)
Nicol Bolas (mythic rare)
Baneslayer Angel (mythic rare)
Day of Judgment (rare)
Banefire (rare)
Broodmate Dragon (rare)
Martial Coup (rare)
Essence Scatter
Wall of Denial
Volcanic Fallout
Fusion Elemental
Bant Charm
Jund Charm
Esper Charm
Lightning Bolt
Path to Exile
Bituminous Blast
Resounding Thunder
Bloodbraid Elf
Rupture Spire (Land)
Arcane Sanctum (Land)
Seaside Citadel (Land)
Savage Lands (Land)
Crumbling Necropolis (Land)
Jungle Shrine (Land)
Once we remove the 9 rares from the list, we still have 15 nonland cards left. That is almost twice as many cards as we need. Here is what I would use for a deck:

4 Essence Scatter
4 Wall of Denial
2 Jund Charm
4 Volcanic Fallout
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Path to Exile
4 Resounding Thunder
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Bituminous Blast
4 Rupture Spire (Land)
4 Arcane Sanctum (Land)
4 Seaside Citadel (Land)
4 Savage Lands (Land)
4 Jungle Shrine (Land)
4 Mountain
2 Island

Let’s take a close look at each of these spells:

essence scatter

Essence scatter is one of the best counterspells, especially for a deck that doesn’t want to die to a creature.

wall of denial

Wall of Denial is a lot like creature removal that stays in play, even after mass removal is played, such as Volcanic Fallout.

jund charm

Jund Charm can be played as mass removal, much like Volcanic Fallout, but it can also do other things. Infest is also great creature removal, but it seems to fall short of what Jund Charm is capable of.

volcanic fallout

Volcanic Fallout is also great creature removal. Better than Infest in general because it is an instant and it can’t be countered.

Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt is one of the best creature removal spell, if not the best. It’s cheap and it has a chance at killing the opponent with damage.

path to exile

Path to Exile gets second place for the best creature removal. It stops just about anything for only one mana.

resounding thunder

Resounding Thunder is the win condition. Imagine playing a mirror match and both players kill each other’s creatures. You might have to wait until someone runs out of cards in their library for the game to end. That’s no fun. Resounding Thunder is a pretty reliable win condition. It’s a lot like a poor man’s Banefire. It can’t deal 10 damage, but it is an instant, the cycling ability lets you draw a card, and the cycling ability can’t be countered.

bloodbraid elf

Bloodbraid Elf might be the best creature around. If you get a 3 casting cost spell with cascade, it’s like playing one mana for a 3/2 haste creature.

bituminous blast

Bituminous Blast is like the Bloodbraid Elf creature removal. It is very powerful card advantage.


The 5 Color Control deck for type 3 has tons of powerful cards. The fact that so few cards are common reveal how such a deck could never exist in Standard Pauper, but the deck isn’t too powerful. The most annoying rares have been banned from the format.

There are plenty of good cards available and the deck I made might not be optimal. Fusion Elemental might be a good idea, for example. The deck is also lacking Esper Charm and Bant Charm, which has historically been two essential cards for 5 Color Control in Standard. I am also tempted to think Blightning would be a good idea.

On second thought it might also be possible to make a Jund control deck pretty easily. You can replace Essence Scatter, Wall of Denial, and Path to Exile with Infest, Blightning, Sprouting Thrinax, and/or Putrid Leech.


1. Richard K - October 22, 2009

Blightning is amazing! Personally I’d probably play Jund in T3 (since Jund IS the nuts currently)

Land - 26
4 Akoum Refuge
1 Forest
4 Kazandu Refuge
3 Mountain
4 Rupture Spire
4 Savage Lands
2 Swamp
4 Terramorphic Expanse

Creature - 12
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Putrid Leech
4 Sprouting Thrinax

Spell - 22
4 Bituminous Blast
4 Blightning
4 Jund Charm
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Resounding Thunder
4 Terminate


2. Richard K - October 22, 2009

I’m compelled to do this too:

-1 Swamp
+1 Forest

+2 Baloth Woodcrasher
-2 Resounding Thunder

3. Richard K - October 22, 2009

Also possibly Gatekeeper of Malakir, but that requires a heavy dedication for triple Black mana.

4. alexgcuevas - October 22, 2009

You can’t win exclusively with lightning bolts and resounding thunders… you should probably have some sort of other defensible win condition besides burn. I would therefore suggest turning this build into Naya/Jund with putrid leech and blightning, because the essence scatter and wall of denial don’t seem to be helping the deck much - they just add a burden on the mana.

5. James - October 22, 2009

Resounding Thunder by itself can win. You can deal 6 damage with each of them. Bloodbraid elf might also be able to kill the opponent. The whole point of the article is how to build 5 color control without rares.

I already mentioned that Jund control is also possible. Putrid Leech and Sprouting Thrinax are good cards. Sprouting Thrinax could also be put into a 5 color control deck. You want all the card advantage you can get because creature removal can stop every possible threat otherwise.

6. James - October 22, 2009

If you were to win with direct damage, you would only need to draw half the direct damage: 2 Volcanic Fallouts, 2 Lightning Bolts, and 2 Resounding Thunders. It looks very possible to win with direct damage.

I like Wall of Denial and Path to exile quite a bit. They might not make the deck better than Jund, but it’s worth a try. Jund will require a lot of comes into tapped lands (or Borderposts) for mana fixing, and triple lands could do the same thing but for 5 color control.

7. James - October 22, 2009

Richard, I would be tempted to use borderposts with more landfall cards. Your deck idea looks pretty good overall.

I think Vampires will also make a great Type 3 deck.

8. 神の一手 - October 22, 2009

It is too bad there isn’t a Grove of the Burnwillows replacement that isn’t rare cause then this type 3 deck to burn behind walls could work.

With all this talk of burn, I think I would go for Hedron Mill hiding behind Wall of Denial and using Swerve and Double Negative. Might be able to hobble something together there.

9. 神の一手 - October 22, 2009

Or just Negate.

10. Rob - February 18, 2010

i’m currently working on a 5 colour deck for standard with little or no good cards…tell me how this formula works out.
Turn 1-Swamp-Death’s Shadow
Turn 2-Swamp-Sign in Blood
Turn 3-Forest-Khalni Heart Expedition(2xIsland), Ornithopter
Turn 4-Swamp-Harrow(Plains,Mountain),Zektar Shrine Expedition, Life Link
Turn 5-Black/Green Fetch Land-Twin Cast, Dead Reckoning
If Necessary-Turn 6-Exploding Borders-Top Decking

4 of Each Above Card, 4 Black/Green Fetch Land,8 Swamps, 4, 1 Plains, 1 Mountain, 2 Islands

What am i missing in this equation…I don’t believe magic is a game of casting spells, but rather making 1 continuos spell.

11. James - February 27, 2010


Sign in Blood is too hard to play for a 5 color deck. You should look for something else. If you are playing fetch lands, then you aren’t playing “type 3″. I would recommend some more landfall cards like Lotus Cobra.