Porting the Hallelujah Block Deck (Blue/White Miracles) to Standard
May 23, 2012 | Posted by Dee
When the Hallelujah, or Blue/White (UW) Miracle, deck won the Block Pro Tour two weekends ago, I wondered if the deck could be ported over to Standard and be competitive.
Hallelujah looked fun to play. Plus, adding Ponder and having a better mana base would make the deck better.
So far, the decklist been testing well for me and it’s super fun to play. I definitely recommend it for FNM. Check it out below.
|Hallelujah (UW Miracle Control)|
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The Block deck had Devastation Tide main, but I like it in the sideboard better.
Devastation Tide is good against decks with a lot of mana creatures like RG Aggro and Pod, but it’s pretty bad versus Delver because they have Snapcaster Mage. You don’t really want to be bouncing that guy. They will just replay it and gain card advantage by flashing back another spell.
I cut Feeling of Dread because I felt there were better cards. Mana Leak is one of the best low cost blue cards in Standard. Timely Reinforcements gives you some chump blockers and life gain, which can buy you a lot of time against aggro decks. It’s definitely a good main deck card because there are many aggro decks in the metagame.
The life gain from Timely Reinforcements should be relevant right now since Blue/Red Delver won the Standard Grand Prix this past weekend. That deck has a couple burn spells and life gain keeps you from dying to them.
The advantage with playing a deck full of miracles is that your topdecks are going to be great in the middle and late game. Also, you can play instant speed card draw to gain additional miracle opportunities by casting them on your opponent’s turn.
You will draw miracles in your opening hands though. Fortunately, there are enough blue and white miracle cards that are not too bad at full cost. Plus, I built the deck to survive the early turns so that you can hardcast the miracles.
Temporal Mastery gives you more draw steps, which means more chances to cast miracles. With the maximum number of copies, you have a much higher chance of chaining extra turns and really getting ahead of your opponent.
You get extra attack steps, which are helpful for racing if you have some 4/4 Angel tokens from Entreat the Angels. Sometimes you can just swing a couple times with Gideon to win the game.
Temporal Mastery gives you an extra land drop so it functions like a mana ramp spell. More mana is great because this deck is mana hungry with expensive spells and flashback spells. Also, you keep your opponent from developing his side of the board for one turn.
In some situations, Temporal Mastery can protect you from counterspells. For example, check out the screenshot below.
In this screenshot, I miracled Temporal Mastery to reach six mana for Terminus before he could untap. That allowed me to hardcast Terminus and not worry about Mana Leak or Negate.
The extra land drop is also great so you can pay for Mana Leak one turn earlier.
Late in the game, if you miracle Temporal Mastery, you can spend a lot more mana than your opponent and activate planeswalkers multiple times. It’s always good whenever you kill two creatures with Gideon or tap two lands with Tamiyo before your opponent untaps and takes his turn.
Terminus is actually pretty decent at six mana. In many situations, you would gladly pay two extra for a better Day of Judgment, one that deals more effectively with undying creatures (like Strangleroot Geist and Geralf’s Messenger), Wolfir Avenger, Gravecrawler, and Thrun, the Last Troll.
Its miracle cost is really cheap. You can cast it right away early in the game to deal with cheap creatures like Delver of Secrets and Birds of Paradise. Casting Terminus as a miracle on your opponent’s turn with Think Twice or Thought Scour is pretty sick. Late in the game, the low miracle cost saves you a ton of mana.
Entreat the Angels
4 Entreat the Angels is definitely the right number because it is your main win condition. The card pretty much wins you the game when you miracle it for four or more unless they have a mass removal spell.
The deck is built to reach the late game so you don’t mind hardcasting Entreat the Angels. By then, you’ll have a lot of mana.
Don’t underestimate the deck’s ability to prolong the game and make a bunch of land drops. I played a game against Blue/Red Delver where I miracled Entreat the Angels for six and still had mana left over to pay for Mana Leak. I had 11 lands on the battlefield!
He immediately scooped because he was going to take lethal damage next turn and he knew from Ponder that the top card of his library was not Bonfire of the Damned.
I like the 2/2 split of planeswalkers between Gideon Jura and Tamiyo, the Moon Sage. If you have four copies of the same planeswalker, you risk having one in your hand that you can’t play if you already have one on the battlefield.
By playing two different planeswalkers, you can avoid that situation. Plus, Gideon and Tamiyo work well together.
Tamiyo can tap a creature and then Gideon Jura can kill it. Gideon can force your opponent to tap his creatures during the attack step. Then, you can draw cards with Tamiyo by targeting your opponent with her -2 ability.
It’s pretty hard to lose whenever you have both walkers on the battlefield.
Because of flashback, Think Twice is a decent card advantage spell. It’s an instant so you can cast it on your opponent’s turn to gain an additional miracle opportunity.
Thought Scour is another instant card draw spell. It doesn’t give you card advantage like Think Twice but it is cheaper and it combos with Ponder. If you don’t like the top cards of your library that you see from Ponder, you can put them in the graveyard with Thought Scour.
Ponder is not an instant but it’s great at setting up a miracle for the next turn. With so many miracles in the deck, you often see a miracle in the top three cards of your library. If you don’t see anything good in the top three, you can always shuffle.
Ponder makes the Standard version of this deck much better than the Block version.
The deck has a lot of expensive spells so I’ve been trying out Pristine Talisman. This card gives you a little bit of mana ramp to help you reach five mana earlier for the planeswalkers, six mana for Terminus, and seven mana for Temporal Mastery and Entreat the Angels for two.
The life gain from Pristine Talisman is decent especially when you start taking extra turns with Temporal Mastery.
Ghost Quarter is a good utility spell-land for this deck because it has problems with Inkmoth Nexus and Kessig Wolf Run. A few Evolving Wilds made the deck because they can shuffle cards away that you see from Ponder. Also, having extra mana fixing is helpful to pay for the triple white casting cost of Entreat the Angels.
The Stony Silence in the sideboard is there to fight Ratchet Bomb. Ratchet Bomb is pretty good against Entreat the Angels. Also, Stony Silence is a preemptive way to stop equipment cards like Sword of War and Peace and Runechanter’s Pike.