Finkel generally hangs out at the top of the ladder (peaking at #1) with decks that most other people aren’t playing (e.g. Elysian midrange, 4CC control). 4CC control begins with a Combrei control shell (Desert Marshal, Combrei Healer, Siraf, Sandstorm Titan). It splashes Primal for 4X lightning storm and card draw. There is a light shadow splash for Azindel’s Gift, which is good against other slow and durdle-ey decks.
This is a Tier 1 deck with a slightly favorable winrate against the overall metagame.
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Desert Marshal (Set1 #332)
4 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
2 Secret Pages (Set1 #81)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
1 Amber Acolyte (Set1 #93)
4 Combrei Healer (Set1 #333)
4 Knight-Chancellor Siraf (Set1 #335)
4 Push Onward (Set1 #213)
2 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
1 Rain of Frogs (Set1 #221)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
2 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
1 Celestial Omen (Set1 #241)
1 Mystic Ascendant (Set1 #116)
1 Azindel’s Gift (Set1 #306)
1 Sword of the Sky King (Set1 #186)
3 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
3 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
1 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
5 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
1 Combrei Banner (Set1 #424)
4 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)
4 Seat of Progress (Set0 #58)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)
The deck runs all of the Combrei control cards (including 2X Scorpion Wasp to deal with aegis threats) with the exception of Valkyrie Enforcer. The deck runs the best sweepers in the game: 4X lightning storm and 4X harsh rule. So the deck has a pretty decent matchup against aggro as long as you don’t get influenced screwed.
For finishers, there are:
- 4X Siraf – Her ability will win the game if it goes unchecked.
- 4X Sandstorm Titan
- Mystic Ascendant
- Azindel’s Gift – This card slowly gives you card advantage since opponents can’t hold removal (and silences) in their hand for your threats.
- Sword of the Sky King – Some control decks have difficulty dealing with this equipment.
- 1X Celestial Omen
These win conditions can be slow (or easily dealt with like Sandstorm Titan and Mystic Ascendant), so other decks have plenty of time to execute their own gameplan.
This deck has decent matchups against almost all of the metagame. This deck should be favored against durdle-ey midrange decks (e.g. Xenan, Stonescar Weapons, some forms of Feln, Felnscar). This deck may be weak to Stronghold’s Visage + Eye of Winter control, but the prison-style decks see very little play in the high ladder ranks. 4CC may be somewhat unfavored against the greediest Combrei decks that play Marshal Ironthorn and Mystic Ascendant.
If you are constantly facing aggro, then the 3-color version of this deck may work better. Azindel’s Gift is useless against aggro, so ditch the shadow splash. Perhaps substitute in Valkyrie Enforcer, which is strong against aggro and Combrei. The double justice influence requirement is less tough with 3 factions.
Sometimes, this deck will lose to itself. You will not have the right power/influence base and you cannot cast anything. Otherwise, the deck is packed with cards that are good against Bandit Queen (Lightning Storm) and Rakano (creatures, removal, and Harsh Rule). Overall, the matchup against aggro is fine.
Combrei midrange and control: You want to hold silences for Siraf and Mystic Ascendant. Azindel’s Gift is fine in the matchup, but you may not have time to land it while dealing with their threats. Create boardstalls in the hope that the opponent will commit too much to the board so that you can play a Harsh Rule (hopefully not into Stand Together, which costs 3 power and gives all of the opponent’s units aegis and +1/+1).
When their Sandstorm Titan attacks into yours, you should pay attention to Stand Together. You may wish to gang block the Titan to play around Stand Together.
Like Combrei versus Combrei mirrors, sometimes you want to hold Siraf until you have 11 power so that you can play her and get a single ultimate activation before she is silenced.
Visage + Eye of Winter control: You are the beatdown. Carefully play around their 4X Harsh Rule.
Beating this deck
This deck has a greedy influence/power base. If you are playing aggro, carefully pay attention to the Justice influence since Harsh Rule requires double Justice. Otherwise you have to figure out the right amount of power to commit to the board based on the probability that the control player has a Harsh Rule. (Oftentimes 4CC may not have the correct answer for a particular threat.)
This deck has some trouble with 3/3, 3/4, and 3/3 flying creatures since they do not die to lightning storm or vanquish.
You can identify this deck based on the Combrei + Primal influence power base. Both the 3 and 4 faction version are greedy and somewhat slow… you are generally the beatdown if you see 3 factions.