Home Strategy Magic 2014 Dodge and Burn deck guide

I’m just going to get this out of the way: for the last fifteen years I’ve been obsessed with building janky counterburn decks similar to Dodge and Burn. I put together one of the first effective builds for the previously mediocre Cloudburst deck in Duels 2012, and also managed to salvage Mindstorms in Duels 2013. In other words, I carry a fairly significant amount of Izzet street cred.

So don’t take this lightly: Dodge and Burn is the most powerful blue/red deck to ever see play in Duels of the Planeswalkers, and is at the very least a meta-contender for A-tier in the Magic 2014 deck tier list.

What makes D&B so great? Unlike most of its wannabe midrange and control cousins (Masks of the Dimir, Enter the Dracomancer, Firewave), this Izzet pile is packed with cost-effective board wipes and tempo-saving countermagic. In other words, this is one of the only decks with the tools to destroy early threats en masse and generate the card advantage necessary to pull into the midgame.

As such, it’s more than capable in fights with typical Avacyn’s Glory, Deadwalkers, Mind Maze, Elf, and Samurai builds. Sure, Dodge and Burn may not be well equipped to win against stuff like Chant of Mul Daya, Firewave, or Guardians of Light, but having a handful of bad matchups in a game with fifteen decks isn’t really a big problem.

Despite a generally high power level, this blue and red setup is not something you can simply autopilot. Playing your burn, counters, and sweepers as soon as you get them will result in huge card disadvantage, lots of self-inflicted damage, and waste opportunities to trick your opponent into bad plays. You can learn a lot of strategy nuance from reading my previous Izzet deck guides linked above, but here are some general rules to keep in mind during your time with Dodge and Burn.

  1. If it’s not an immediate, unburnable threat, don’t counter it
  2. If you can afford to lose life, hold back on your sweepers
  3. Burn to the face is good if it’s massive of lethal; otherwise, hit creatures
  4. Use your opponent’s hesitation to buy you the time you need to win

Most of this should be self explanatory, but I find new players (or players new to permission/control decks) will break all of these rules. They’ll counter a 5/5 creature, even though they need that counter to protect their Wee Dragonauts for a game-winning attack next turn. Rookies will use Sulfurous Blast to stop two 2/2 creatures, even when they’re at 18 life and the opponent has enough lands and cards in hand to all but guarantee a better end step card trade. Newbies will waste a Searing Spear on an opponent turn 2, or throw it away on an inconsequential critter late game, despite the other player being at only 7 life. And of course, new players will predictably cast everything they draw, including land, essentially signaling their entire hands and battle plans to the enemy.

Can you be a moron and win with this deck? Sure, possibly. But if you really wanted to play on autopilot, perhaps Avacyn’s Glory or Hunter’s Strength is more your style. For anyone who’s far more interested in planning, setting, and detonating gigantic traps, Dodge and Burn is for you!

Dodge and Burn sample deck list (by mana cost)

  • 2x Pongify
  • 2x Peek
  • 2x Earthquake
  • 1x Banefire
  • 4x Remand
  • 3x Searing Spear
  • 4x Wee Dragonauts
  • 2x Electrolyze
  • 2x Cancel
  • 4x Char
  • 2x Volcanic Fallout
  • 2x Browbeat
  • 4x Sulfurous Blast
  • 1x Fireblast
  • 1x Spelltwine
  • 4x Terramorphic Expanse
  • 10x Island
  • 10x Mountain

This low-creature approach relies on board-sweeping burn to kill off opposing armies while chipping away at your opponent’s life total. Once they’re in the red zone, it’s relatively easy to win with one or two lucky Dragonauts swings or just a massive pile of burn directly to the face.

There are certainly other ways to build this deck, including less sweeper-focused  approaches that give you additional attack options via Kiln Fiend. Or you could just cut blue out entirely and cobble together a strange version of “red deck wins.” Let me know your build in the comments section!

Dodge and Burn card-by-card analysis (alphabetical)

Banefire, 3.5/5.0 (4.0/5.0 versus control)

The first card I’m looking at is one I believe most players also severely overrate. Banefire is a great tool in lategame/control matchups (Dimir, demons, Izzet, etc.) where it’s common to sit on tons of land with 7 cards in hand. But as far as mana:damage ratios go, this burn spell is one of the worst in the deck. Almost Searing Spear and Char grant more bang for your buck, and all the board wipes offer the possibility of card advantage. Leave this out of your builds unless you know you’re facing someone playing with countermagic.

Breaking Point, 2.5/5.0 (3.0/5.0 in larger matches)

If this conditional Wrath-style card was an instant, it would be an auto-include for Dodge and Burn. But at sorcery speed? Not so much. Smart opponents will take the six damage almost every time, which may sound great until you’re taking eight damage from their not-killed creatures next turn. Breaking Point does allow you to take down fatties (in theory), but in most situations it’s better to have a more versatile spell.

Browbeat, 4.5/5.0 

Unlike Breaking Point, Browbeat is a card that rarely comes with a downside. Sure, your enemies may not let you draw three cards for three mana, but neither will this spell nuke your Kiln Fiends and Dragonauts when worse comes to worse. In other words, Browbeat is always useful, whereas Breaking Point is dead-in-hand whenever there are no creatures on the table or the only threatening ones are yours.

Cancel, 4.5/5.0

It’s a counterspell. It counters spells. Your foes like casting spells. You get to say no. The two blue requirement will sometimes be an issue, but usually not.

Cerebral Vortex, 4.0/5.0

I’m definitely on the fence with Cerebral Vortex, as it’s incredibly flexible throughout the game. You should be using it on yourself during your opponent’s end step 85% of the time, but there will be the rare occasion when casting it on your turn to fuel a pump creature or make a land drop is the right play. There’s also the rare but important option of burning your enemy… just make sure you’ve got lethal damage in hand before filling theirs with new options.

Char, 4.5/5.0

Other than having the best flavor text on any card in the deck, Char is an immensely powerful spell capable of killing most creatures and inflicting massive pain to your opposing planeswalkers. Paired with Kiln Fiend or Dragonauts, you’ve got an easy way to clear blockers or do massive direct damage. Yes, you’ll take a searing yourself, but sometimes you must accept two damage now in order to prevent twenty damage later.

Charmbreaker Devils, 4.0/5.0

While relatively expensive, Charmbreaker Devils basically win the game if you make it to your next upkeep. These guys are like Mnemonic Wall + Kiln Fiend on steroids, offering everything other than the evasion needed to push them through. Their four toughness puts them out of range of most of your universal burn, and their recycling skill can produce nasty lockdowns even if the devils themselves can’t attack. Expect these guys to be prime removal targets.

Compulsive Research, 4.5/5.0

Drawing three cards is immensely powerful, even when paired with sorcery speed and a huge drawback. I wouldn’t run every copy of both Compulsive Research and Browbeat, but you can’t really go wrong with either. One deckbuilding tip, though: since ditched cards go to the graveyard, this spell is significantly better in decks using Mnemonic Wall and Charmbreaker Devils.

Djinn Illuminatus, 2.0/5.0

This creature’s effect is ridiculously powerful, basically allowing you to churn spells out as often as you can afford to. Unfortunately, he’s sitting on an expensive (and not terribly durable) body. You’ll have this card dead in your hand far more often than you’ll get to use his game-winning perk.

Draining Whelk, 3.5/5.0

Draining Whelk is super powerful, but I’m just not a fan of it in most instances. Against aggro decks, it’s too expensive to stop key threats and less likely to absorb something big late game (if you survive to late game). Against control and midrange piles, it’s still expensive and too much of a liability to sit on for six mana. This guy’s great against Eldrazi, Hunter’s Strength, and Lords of Darkness, but there are twelve other decks you’ve got to account for. Marginally playable.

Earthquake, 5.0/5.0

Kill all the creatures. Kill all the players. Trigger your Dragonauts and Devils, even with X=0. Earthquake is an incredibly powerful spell that makes decks like Avacyn’s Glory, Sliver Hive, and Deadwalkers cry. Don’t feel bad… they deserve it.

Electrolyze, 5.0/5.0

Three mana for a toned-down Flames of the Firebrand would be good enough, but card draw throws this instant into epic territory. No Dodge and Burn deck should be without this cheap, powerful, flexible card. I especially enjoy the art, which depicts a Selesnya hippie being roasted to death.

Fireblast, 5.0/5.0

At first, I doubted the inclusion of a “red deck wins” card in a two-colored deck. But the option to nuke anything instantly without paying mana is just too broken to ever be bad. It’s possible to win on turn 4 thanks to this card, and pulling bullshit swings out of nowhere on any turn with Devils/Fiend/Dragonauts is not unheard of. Even if you’re forced to pay the regular mana cost, four instant damage for six is still a fair deal.

Future Sight, 3.0/5.0 (4.5/5.0 in blue-heavy mana base)

Getting access to more spells is always good, but getting all the blue mana necessary to cast this enchantment may be tricky. I prefer to load up on mountains over islands, but a blue-heavy build may be able to sustain this card more easily. It’s a fantastic card-advantage machine if you can play it, but don’t force your mana base for this option alone.

Gather Specimens, 1.5/5.0

There are dream scenarios where you get 50 zombie tokens instead of your opponent after casting this card. They won’t happen.

Invoke the Firemind, 2.5/5.0

Okay kids, let’s do the math. If you spent six mana on Invoke the Firemind, you could deal three damage or draw three cards. If you spent the same resources on other cards in your deck, you could do up to twelve damage or draw six cards. Despite the flexibility, Invoke the Firemind is a raw deal for Izzet. Don’t use it.

Kiln Fiend, 3.0/5.0

An absolute beast of an attacker, Kiln Fiend can swing for nearly lethal damage on turn 3 and easily lethal damage on turn 4. That said, it’s also extremely vulnerable to removal… both your own and your opponent’s. This guy will have a target on his back, and with only two toughness he’s likely to be assassinated quickly. Since I prefer damage-based, sweeper-heavy Dodge and Burn builds, I leave Kiln Fiend out… but he could work pretty well with Breaking Point.

Memory Lapse, 3.5/5.0 (4.0/5.0 vs aggro)

Unlike Remand, Memory Lapse prevents your opponent from immediately recasting his or her spell. But also unlike Remand, Memory Lapse doesn’t net you card equity and can’t be used as profitably on your own spells. This is a good card in the aggro matchup, but doesn’t provide enough tempo against everything else for me to wholly endorse it.

Mnemonic Wall, 4.0/5.0

While you may not find Mnemonic Wall in my example build, don’t take that to mean this card’s bad… there are just too many good cards in Dodge and Burn to include them all. This 0/4 is capable of blocking most threats while also surviving your own creature-sweeping spells. Best of all, it nets you the instant or sorcery of your choice. This is a great play following a turn four board wipe and is useful throughout drawn-out games.

Opportunity, 3.5/5.0 (4.5/5.0 vs battlecruiser or control)

Drawing three cards isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Drawing four cards. And while that’s certainly true, the prohibitive cost of Opportunity doesn’t sit well with me considering the large number of dangerous early-game decks. Sure, you can sit on this baby during bouts with Chant of Mul Daya, but you may not live to cast it against speedier adversaries.

Overwhelming Intellect, 1.0/5.0

Expensive and narrow? Terrible.

Peek, 4.5/5.0

Some players scoff at Peek, but putting two in your deck essentially allows you to build a 58-card deck with two “free” cantrips/recons. Knowing what your enemy has allows much smarter use of your counters, burns, and creatures… a critical tactical consideration. If that wasn’t enough, Peek’s draw ability can help you avoid mulligans on borderline hands and it pumps your creatures for just one mana. Awesome!

Pillage, 3.5/5.0 (4.0/5.0 vs multicolor decks or samurai)

The ability to set your enemy back a land (or even a whole color!) is powerful, as is the option to demolish an opponent’s Jitte or Coat of Arms. But this may not be enough oomph to save you against faster decks on the draw. Plan accordingly.

Pongify, 4.5/5.0

It sucks to admit, but there are just some creatures you won’t be able to beat with low-level burn or stall-type countermagic. And if something like It That Betrays or Vigor makes it to the battlefield, you are pretty much screwed if your plan was basically “spam red spells.” Pongify instantly negates mega-threats like these, turning them into a much-more-burnable 3/3 token. This spell can also be used to “save” your creatures or simply delay a lethal attack for one turn.

Reins of Power, 4.0/5.0

My favorite combo in all of Magic: the Gathering involves this card and Dracoplasm, but in the absence of such an opportunity, this instant is relegated to just “very good” status. It’s a hilarious trick to flip on enemies who’ve amassed an unstoppable army, but it can also be used mid-combat to negate an in-progress swing. More hilariously, use it to control creatures with activated abilities and turn them against one another.

Remand, 5.0/5.0

In addition to your life total, your cards, and your lands, the biggest resource you’ve got in a game of Magic is tempo. Tempo represents your deck’s ability to play the cards it needs to at the right time to pressure or stall an opponent, and Remand is a tempo-generating goldmine. Yes, your foes get to cast their precious spell again next turn, but hey – they might not survive till next turn, or you might draw into a better answer thanks to Remand’s cantrip. It should also be noted Remand can be used to save your own spells from counters or to drive up triggers on your Izzet-y creatures.

Searing Spear, 5.0/5.0

Efficient burn aimed at creatures or players. Use every copy.

Spelltwine, 4.5/5.0

In most instances, Spelltwine will either win your the game the turn you play it or immediately reverse all momentum your foe previously carried. Almost every deck in Duels of the Planeswalkers is stuffed with splashy removal, burn, ramp, and token generation, giving you oodles of juicy targets to ‘twine. Cast your old Browbeat plus your “friend’s” Armageddon, or find a use for Char + Path to Exile. Huge bonus: Spelltwine triggers your pump critters three times. If you can’t win the game with that, I can’t help you.

Spirit Away, 2.5/5.0

A cool effect that’s just too damn expensive without a guaranteed payoff.

Starstorm, 4.0/5.0

Instant X removal with the option to cycle is super powerful. The lack of player damage could be seen as an upside or downside, depending on your build. Personally, I’m biased against this card, but the reality is you’ll be happy to see it in almost any situation midgame or later.

Stolen Goods, 2.0/5.0

Let’s see… you could spend turn 4 killing your opponent with Kiln Fiend or Wee Dragonauts, or you could pay four mana to gamble your turn on whatever your opponent topdecks. No thanks.

Sulfurous Blast, 5.0/5.0

I didn’t know this card existed, so I was blown away the first time I read it. It’s a Flamebreak that hits the air. It’s an instant Pyroclasm. In addition to destroying humans, zombies, samurai, illusions, and saprolings en masse, this thing helps tick away at your opponent’s life total, making the killing blow easier a few turns later. Plus, it’s perfect fuel for your Wee Dragonauts during the combat phase (all the tiny creatures below look like burning ants from up here!).

Swerve, 4.5/5.0

What’s that? You want to Banefire me for eleven? That’s funny… it looks like you really want to Banefire yourself! Redirect effects have always been powerful in Magic the Gathering, and swerve is no exception. It’s not perfect in every matchup, but even against spell-light decks like Hunter’s Strength there are opportunities to cause unforeseen chaos. It also functions as countermagic against blue decks.

Terramorphic Expanse, 4.5/5.0

Since Dodge and Burn really doesn’t get rolling until turn 4 or so, I highly recommend packing your deck with all copies of this land-fetching card. You can easily set up your Sulfurous Blasts and Cancels while also slightly thinning your library of remaining lands.

Thoughtbind, 2.0/5.0

Overcosted and narrow. Terrible, terrible art.

Volcanic Fallout, 4.5/5.0

Remember when I was talking about an instant-speed Pyroclasm? This is it! Volcanic Fallout is incredibly powerful, potentially laying waste to all your enemies’ ranks as early as turn three. I’ve docked half a point because it lacks the versatility of Sulfurous Blast, but the reality is you’ll want to run both/all of these options against the faster, creature-focused decks.

Wee Dragonauts, 5.0/5.0

Wee Dragonauts is, by far, the most reliable creature and win condition in Dodge and Burn. As a 3-drop 1/3 flyer, it’s already a capable defensive option. But paired up with your plethora of burn, draw spells, and other tricks, these twins are brutal, evasive assassins. The fact that they can survive Sulfurous Blast, Volcanic Fallout, low-level Starstorms, and any level Earthquake is incredibly powerful, as is the fast that they can end the game the turn after they come out with the right card combination. Do not under any circumstances cut these from your deck.


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36 replies to this post
  1. Our deck lists are a LOT different not that it’s bad just that it doesn’t fit my play style. I kind of feel with this pile more so then any other deck there are a bunch of different ways to run it. I like the near creature less control build that just runs Drain whelks as it’s only creature.

  2. “Opportunity doesn’t sit well with me considering the large number of dangerous early-game decks. Sure, you can sit on this baby during bouts with Chant of Mul Daya, but you may not live to cast it against speedier adversaries.”

    I think I’ve cast it against every deck in the format except MM and ETD both of which I haven’t seen since the DLC came out. You reliably stabilize by turn 4 or 5 plus it’s an instant so if you need to react to something they do that turn you just postpone it.

  3. I find the wee dragonauts build a little susceptible to decks that has has access to removal. I too run an almost creatureless build with draw cards to gain the upper hand, draining whelk as my late game threats. I kinda prefer it this way because in early rounds it makes their removal a dead draw. Also sulfurous blast can’t pump your dragonauts, if you cast it during your main phase it will kill your dragonauts. I would atleast take 2 and swapt Starstorm.

      • You should give the build a shot I know you like your dragonauts so it may not be for you but here’s my list

        12 Island
        12 Mountain
        3 Terramorphic Expanse

        2 memory lapse
        4 remand
        3 searing spear
        1 swerve (mostly for mirror)

        2 cancel
        1 cerebral vortex
        1 char
        3 compulsive research
        2 electrolyze
        2 thought bind
        2 volcanic fallout

        2 Draining Whelk
        2 Opportunity
        1 Overwhelming Intellect

        2 Banefire
        1 earthquake
        2 starstorm
        1 volcanic geyser

      • Ancestral, you run 27 lands??? That is a lot of lands! Personally I would never run more than 25 in a deck, especially one that doesn’t run off landfall.

      • Do not question the man’s methods, Wing; Clearly, the lands serve to ensure he can start playing as early as turn 6 and always has a few lands on hand so that he can pick the ugliest to pitch to Research.

  4. Technically, Memory Lapse gives the exact same Tempo as Remand. Don’t forget: They use up a card draw just to redraw what you just countered. However, it’s arguably worse in that Remand is a fucking TIME WALK in modern clothing.

    As fun as Stolen Goods is to use, it also seems to be broken as hell. Obviously, what did I expect, considering that DotP’ coding team is only marginally better than Dark Souls’… either way, in one match, I grabbed the JITTE out of a Samurai player’s library. Only to then realise that it wouldn’t let me cast it myself because I didn’t respect the game enough or something.
    Of course, I still stomped the guy, because Samurai is absolute shit on toast, but this is a matter of principle.

  5. For some reason I can’t reply to the 27 lands comment the reply button is missing from some of the comments. 27 lands isn’t that unheard of for control. Any deck that you want to hit every single land drop should run either 26 or 27. I have been running constructed control decks for a long time and 27 is usually my go to land count. It’s just much easier to draw out of flooding in blue control that it is to draw into lands if you’re behind. 27 lands also make it easier to keep 2 land hands (ideally I want to be between 3 and 4) because I know the probability is good I’ll draw into them and occasionally I still don’t hit lands which sucks. I still use your general rule of burn creatures first unless you can’t do so profitably then counter as a general rule but I change it up depending on the contents of my hand I want to keep an evanish balance between counter and burn.

    • @Toraka
      The curve is actually quite low 10 two drops 12 three drops I frequently play multiple spells before turn 6. And I have enough draw to maintain a high number of cards in hand throughout the game. The high land count does help with compulsive research but not in that I can discard the ugliest land. With research I want to discard a land and hit my land drop next turn which means I need two lands in hand after I draw 3 cards. If you don’t believe me that 26-27 is the right number for the control build here is an article http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/890_MmmmmmmmmanaFive_Rules_For_Avoiding_ManaScrew.html

      • My one note about the lands is this: perhaps 27 lands fits into competitive Magic deckbuilding, but in competitive Magic you have normal (Paris) mulligan rules. In Duels, you get a free 7-card mulligan, essentially doubling your odds at a good starting hand before normal mulligan options.

        For this reason and the high % of cantrips I think hitting your land drops should be easy, especially against midrange decks.

      • Am I a goddess or cursed that NO ONE GETS MY SARCASM?
        Especially when I’m in absolute bitch mode thanks to reasons and wholly expecting to get people crying about harassment again.

        What I’m saying is that: You just listed every reason why 24 lands is perfectly enough. In a deck with as much draw as this one, you could arguably run 23.

        Just be glad you get free mulligans in DotP. Going into paper with normal Paris mulligans, it felt like a complete roadblock to have to instantly mulligan down. Also teaches you something about why you don’t build decks that are as fragile as some of DotP’s.

  6. I would consider 26, that’s what most of the similar builds on the wotc forum use but 23 or 24 is lunacy for the style of play.

  7. Here is my build.
    10 Islands
    10 Mountain
    4 Terramorphic Expanse

    2 Memory Lapse
    4 Remand
    2 Cancel
    2 Thoughtbind
    2 Draining Whelk
    1 Overwhelming Intellect
    1 Gather the Specimens

    2 Earthquake
    3 Searing Spear
    2 Electrolyze
    3 Char
    2 Starstorm
    2 Volcanic Fallout
    1 Sulfurous Blast
    1 Volcanic Geyser
    2 Banefire

    3 Compulsive Research
    1 Cerebral Vortex

    In my opinion it works better than the Dragonauts version. The game will take slightly longer to play though. Almost every card you have is an instant; you play reactively to whatever your opponent does, with the exception of Compulsive Research, Banefire, and Earthquake. Your opponent won’t be able to do much for most of the game, and when you get to 6 mana after having denied them anything meaningful before that, as well as damaging them at their end step, you use Draining Whelk or Gather the Specimens as a finisher. That, plus Banefire, Volcanic Geyser, or Fireblast on the subsequent turn makes winning with this build incredibly easy. Many of the cards that are undervalued in the deck guide above are quite powerful in this version.

    As far as land counts go, you really only need 3 at the beginning of the game, given your ability to stall and draw, so I’ve never needed more than 24.

    As far as deck playing advice – I would probably use Remand early and at every opportunity even if it’s not an immediate threat (depending on the deck I’m playing though). The point is to slow them down and speed me up. If I were playing the Dragonauts build though, I guess I’d conserve the Remands.

    • For a while, I ran the Dragonauts build with Charmbreakers thrown in because they can get pretty out of control. Eventually, I opted for this instead, and I’ve been pretty happy with it.

      By CMC:
      12 Island
      10 Mountain
      2 Terramorphic Expanse

      2 Pongify
      2 Peek
      1 Earthquake
      1 Banefire
      1 Swerve
      4 Remand
      2 Memory Lapse
      3 Searing Spear
      2 Electrolyze
      2 Cancel
      2 Volcanic Fallout
      1 Compulsive Research
      2 Browbeat
      2 Sulfurous Blast
      2 Mnemonic Wall
      1 Future Sight
      2 Draining Whelk
      2 Charmbreaker Devils
      1 Gather Specimens
      1 Spelltwine

      Since most of my spells that need 2 or 3 of the same color are blue, I find that the 2 extra islands is faster and more reliable than 10/10 with 4 Terramorphics. Initially, I can pretty much counter and burn with impunity, especially Remand, since every time I cast one is another chance to draw one of the cards that will fetch spells from my graveyard in case I need more. When that’s the case, I can pump the charmbreakers to well over max life in a single turn (Spelltwine does an obscenely good job of this). It can also make their own bombs work for me with Gather Specimens and Draining Whelks. If something huge does end up on the field at a time where I can’t counter it, Pongify+Searing Spear takes it out for 3 mana, even on their turn.

  8. I play this deck almost every game. It’s incredibly entertaining to imagine the look on my opponents face when I steal his army of 13 4/5 plants against Mul Daya, or wipe all those stinking illusions out of existance against Mind Maze. I have yet to find a deck that can win consistantly against this one- aggro decks get wiped, and stompy decks die before they can start stomping.

  9. I find the deck to be quiet annoying and over powering in a two headed giant match. Really awesome deck build don’t get me wrong. I just think it takes away from the balance of the game. Like Panatonic Mirror and time warp Or playing double Jace decks back in magic 2013.. Yay you win!!!.. by being a ….

  10. I was really looking forward to your assessment of this deck Wing, since I love your guides. Surprisingly I find myself disagreeing with the guide on the matter of a ton of cards. Here’s how I built the deck:

    12 Island
    10 Mountain
    2 Terramorphic Expanse

    2 Pongify
    2 Banefire
    1 Swerve
    4 Remand
    2 Memory Lapse
    2 Starstorm
    1 Volcanic Geyser
    3 Searing Spear
    1 Cerebral Vortex
    2 Electrolyze
    2 Cancel
    2 Volcanic Fallout
    3 Compulsive Research
    1 Breaking Point
    2 Browbeat
    2 Draining Whelk
    1 Gather Specimens
    2 Opportunity
    1 Overwhelming Intellect

    I love to play D&B late, so I guess there is where most of the disagreement comes from.

    The Wee Dragonauts, Kiln Fiends and Devils get so much removal piled up on them, it’s nighly impossible to keep them alive without burning a ton of counters. They also leave me with no mana to use this turn to protect them. So I decided to leave them out completely and play for time while removal lays dead in the enemies hand.

    I’m winning with Draining Whelks and Gather Specimens providing creatures at instant speed who almost always get a free swing in after the enemy used up all mana. Also Volcanic Geyser+Banefire combo at the end step of the enemy makes for mindblowingly stupid amounts of damage.

    I hate Char like the plague. To play it in a deck without lifeleech lategame against a marginally small amount of 4 toughness threats in 2014 like the Moroii somehow doesn’t sit well for me. I resort to countering those until the inevitable turn 6 comes around the corner.

  11. On the matter of Overhwelming Intellect:
    Opportunity has one use for me: Provide card advantage in your opponents end step at instant speed when no threat is played that has to be countered. If you play as a reactionary deck, Overwhelming Intellect can do exactly that *while* countering a heavy threat. It did wonders for me in numerous occasions and is far from terrible in my eyes, which is why I’m slightly confused at the 1.0/5.0 rating?

  12. I’ve been playing this deck a lot lately, and I have a few notes.

    1) 23 land is plenty for the deck considering the massive amount of draw in this deck. It’s rare for me not to get mana flooded in some games. I run 10x Island, 10x Mountain, and 3x TE.

    2) This deck can run into problems if you’re up against any kind of deck that has substantial lifelink going for it. Avacyn’s Glory can give you massive problems especially if they include their one counterspell card that gives life equal to the amount of damage they would have taken. Even the Bant deck can be hard to stop once it gets going. Spells like Char and Earthquake hurt you just enough to cause problems in games where an opponent can get life back. I would have to say that the Aura deck is the worst matchup for D+B…it can get so much life it’s silly. A Dawn Elemental will ruin all your plans if you can’t counter it.

    3) Remand works extremely well with Draining Whelk. It’s one of the best combinations in the deck. Counter the spell, draw an extra card, and Draining Whelk it next turn. Peek works just as well.

  13. I took red out completely from the deck so it’s just blue.. it’s a great support deck only down side is you must play it with 28 islands because there isn’t enough blue spells.

    (( Don’t play single duels with it just for Two-headed Giant ))

    28 Islands

    3 Pongify
    2 Peek
    4 Remand
    2 Memory Lapse
    2 Cancel
    2 Thoughtbind
    3 Compulsive Research
    1 Reigns of Power
    1 Stolen Goods
    2 Mnemonic Wall
    1 Future sight
    2 Draining Whelks
    1 Gather Specimens
    2 Opportunity
    1 Overwhelming Intellect
    1 Spelltwine
    1 Djinn illuminatus
    1 Spirit away

  14. Nice guide!
    2 cards I disagree with your rating totally.
    They could be higher in this meta.

    Overwhelming Intellect, 1.0/5.0
    counter + draw is bad? and invoke the firemind get a 2.5?
    Yes it is situational, worse its a x2 cost cancel+ 1 card draw.
    but most of the time like Draining Whelk, you will want to counter at least a 3 or more cmc.
    So it will be a cancel + 3 – 4 or more cards and look …a instant 4 card draw which is Opportunity cost 6 too.

    Thoughtbind, 2.0/5.0
    Actually in this meta, it can be sometimes better than remand. Sure remand got a lot of upsides like counter your own things. but as your opponent gain more mana, it loses it values. And thoughtbind is great throughout the game when you want to go “counters heavy” and you won’t feel “wasteful” countering low cost but annoying cards that the big 3 or the new decks have.
    Eg, Look at all impt new deck cards that have cost 4 or less. (New decks: all the elfs, jittes & swords, crazy black enchantments, low cost exalted creatures)

  15. I have had two–and only two–opportunities to play Swerve thus far. Once to Pacify my opponent’s Dawn Elemental when I didn’t have Pongify on hand, and once to force my opponent to sac Demon of Death’s Gate with Diabolic Edict when they tried to remove my Wee Dragonauts. The second was especially satisfying.

    Also, right before I headed this way, I read a post from one of the heathens who disparages Peek. I can only assume his name was Timmy.

    • That’s the beauty of cards like it and Reverberate. They don’t do much outside of specific scenarios, but when they work, it’ll have been so epic that you’ll keep running it just to hope for another opportunity like that.
      Speaking of Opportunities…

  16. I stopped playing magic (irl) years ago, and I may not have been the best in the world I did win 2 ptqs and placed high in every event I attended. So to me all this talk of having land pools in the upper twenties is like some one asking me if it’s a good idea to super glue their junk to a car bumper and have someone drive off in hopes of it stretching their donger out… It’s just not. Honestly very few decks need anything more than 20 lands. Nothing is worse than needing to top deck ANYTHING to win and drawing a land. Depending on your mana curve most decks don’t need to draw more than 4-6 lands in a game to win. Anything more is a waste. Obviously every deck differs depending on what your trying to do but I’ve managed to break the top 150 on psn m14 with all of my decks running 20 lands with the exceptions of chant and Dracomancer.

  17. I have been working on an enhanced version of this deck on Paper Magic, and i find myself changing almost all of the cards.
    But in the restricted area of DotP, i agree strongly with your decklist, but i find it almost too easy to win with this deck and it’s 10ish sweepers. I just play it with only 2 Terramorphic Expanse, i have had no trouble playing with “only” 22 lands because most of the overcosted cards are out of this build.

  18. You are so cool! I don’t suppose I’ve truly read through something like that before.
    So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this topic.
    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is
    something that is required on the web, someone with a little originality!

  19. The first time I used this deck was in a match-up against the AI using Hall of Champions. I hadn’t changed it yet, so it still had all the available cards, including Spirit Away. Let me tell you, Spirit Away on a Mirror-Sigil Sergeant was a very nice introduction.

    That said, Spirit Away was one of the first cards I removed from this deck. I think the only thing I’d noted that wasn’t mentioned here (mind you, I haven’t used this much) was that Stolen Goods is a useful card in combination with Memory Lapse. It doesn’t really make it worth it, but it’s at least got /something/ going for it.

    Overall, a great rundown.

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