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Piecetinkering: Control From Above


Hello again everyone and welcome to another Piecetinkering article. If you haven’t seen my articles before, I usually go into detail about specific decks and strategies. It has been a while since I have written about constructed, so I feel like now is a good time!

So first let’s look at the deck:


Dwarves Control From Above

Champion: Wyatt the Sapper

Troops (6)

3x Archmage Wrenlocke
2x Reese the Crustcrawler
1x Augur of Sirion

Actions  (27)

4x Burn
4x Arcane Focus
2x Heat Wave
3x Time Ripple
3x Crackling Bolt
1x Verdict of the Ancient Kings
3x Countermagic
3x Oracle Song
2x Cripple
2x Zodiac Divination


Artifacts/Constants (3)

3x Incantation of Ascendance

Resources (24)

12x Sapphire Shard
7x Ruby Shard
1x Shards of Fate
4x Shard of Innovation

Reserves (15)

2x Vandalize
2x Heat Wave
1x Crackling Bolt
1x Time Ripple
1x Verdict of the Ancient Kings
3x Throwback
1x Countermagic
2x Cripple
1x Zakiir
1x Augur of Sirion



Before I start explaining the deck, let us understand where the deck came from and why it rose in popularity. The deck was first seen in the early constructed decklists that were posted on the main page from the daily constructed tournament. The deck was used by the group known as Darkmoon Unfair (HTPjtatta, Fleckenwhatever, Stii, etc). At the time, the deck was in its early iterations and later included cards such as Reese the Crustcrawler which provided another win condition.

This type of R/S Control started seeing play as a means to disrupt two popular decks that saw dominant play (Mono-Blood and RW Ramp). Against mono-Blood, cards such as Crackling Bolt prevented Vampire Princess from taking all those Actions in your hand. Cripple prevented Vampire Kings from ever being useful. Against RW Ramp, Burns and Heatwaves were especially powerful in removing RW’s early ramping tools while saving your Countermagics for cards such as Arborean Rootfather. Especially now with the rise of RS Tetzot, this deck is quite powerful as it easily disrupts both Azurefate Sorceress and Duplicitous Duke with simple Burn Actions.

So enough about history and let’s learn how these card choices actually affect our games.

Action Packed Mage

As you can see, the deck is primarily revolved around Actions. What better troop to add than Archmage Wrenlocke to get that good ol’ card draw going. Cards such as Arcane Focus and Countermagic are powerful when an Archmage Wrenlocke is in play. The longer you keep Wrenlocke alive, the better the game is looking for you. Time Ripple allowed you to keep tempo on board which was detrimental in most of my games. Other actions such as Crackling Bolt and Heat Waves allowed for some good trades, even when it was a 1 for 1. Even though there were 1 for 1 trades, the RS Control player had the advantage due to the amount of card draw you had. So even though we had Archmage Wrenlocke as a card draw tool, why do we need more?

Card Advantage Extravaganza

Archmage Wrenlocke, although a powerful card when unanswered, is very susceptible to removal if played on turn four with no interrupts available. The other means of card draw was from Oracle Song and Zodiac Divination which were recommended if you did not feel safe playing Wrenlocke at the time. Oracle Song and Zodiac Divination are powerful cards in this deck because it allows us to get the answers we need. These are cards that opponents ignore and don’t attempt to counter, which most of the time will result in their defeat. Even more-so when Incantation of Ascendance is on the board.

Of course, we have one more way of obtaining card advantage through card draw from our good friend Wyatt the Sapper, who compliments the deck well with his ability.

Incantation of Win

Set 1 and Set 2 saw very little play of any of the Incantation type cards. However, in Set 3, we finally see some experimentation with Incantation of Ascendance.

This is primarily your win condition. I have surprised my opponents with a turn five win before and it feels quite good. This is done by placing a turn four Incantation of Ascendance of the board. On your next turn, you can play a Zodiac Divination which will draw you three more cards. Followed by that, you should now have your fifth charge from Wyatt which will give you the fifth card draw for the turn. By now you usually may have about 8 cards in your hand depending on the match. After you swing for 18 damage, you can potentially win if you drew a Burn with Zodiac Divination.

Aside from this, the deck plays very slow and your goal is to carefully spoil your opponent’s plans until you can transform Incantation of Ascendance and get Lightning Armada through. Cards like Vampire Princess and Vampire King end up being chump blockers against the powerful will of the Lightning Armada.

Augur of Sirion is another card that compliments Incantation of Ascendance quite well. Augur of Sirion allows us to use cards in our deck rather than playing the ones in your hand. (Of course if you necessarily need to play a card from your hand, never hold back). By playing cards from your deck instead of your hand, Oracle Songs and Zodiac Divination give more of an advantage. This is because when you play Oracle Song from your hand you are only actually get one extra card (since you are essentially playing Oracle Song for a card). However, playing Oracle Song from the deck allows us to have two extra cards in hand.

Reese’s Pieces

The reason why Reese the Crustcrawler was added to this deck was to give the RS Control player another win con. With the prevalence of the removal and interrupts, Reese is quite comfortable in any control deck. Since most of the time you just have to let Reese continually pump out troops while you sit on Countermagics and Verdicts.

The Reserves

Vandalize: Great card against RW Ramp that has many powerful artifacts such as Eternal Sage, Droo’s Colossal Walker, Syyn, Etherdrake Nomad, and Eternal Guardian. Who wouldn’t spend one resource to hire a bunch of imps to destroy powerful high-costing troops?

Throwback: Brought in against an aggro deck. Helps mitigate and stall quick and powerful cards such as Quash Ridge Tusker. Burn and Heat Wave can only total to 8 cards in the deck to counter aggro decks so why not add another three more to seal the deal.

Cripple: Bring more in against Mono-Blood and remove Heat Waves as they can potentially be dead cards in this matchup. Also great against Crocosaur if you happen to have more than one troop on the field or keep options open and safely have a back-up plan by saving three resources for a Cripple or Countermagic.

Zakiir: Great in a control or slow matchup. If Zakiir doesn’t get answered by your next turn, you usually have the game under your control.

I hope you enjoy this deck that I’ve been tinkering with and good luck in the IQ or Constructed Daily Tournaments! Thanks again!

Piecetinker is new to the competitive scene of TCGs. Despite this, he placed Top 8 in both the HexTCGPro July and Invitational tournaments. Primarily focusing in Constructed play, Piecetinker will continue to learn and improve his skills. You can find his Twitter here.

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