Tribunal Control - Detailed Description

By: grix15
View other Decks by grix15
Posted: 11 months ago
Updated: 11 months ago
Outdated (FrostSpark patch)
Crafting Cost: 28200crystal
Missing Soul Gems: Add your collection to see the soul gems you are missing.
Tribunal Guard Control

Haldo! I'm writing a little primer for this deck because I enjoy doing things like that. I'll start with a little about my history. I come from MTG. I used to play legacy, modern, standard and EDH. I was the 6th highest ranking player in Ontario for a season, before I stopped playing in tournaments. I recently moved to a new city and sold my MTG collection, and since then started playing TESL to get my card game fix. I've been playing for about four months now, and have made it to Legend rank three of those four months. I'm still learning the game, but I feel I've got a fairly good grasp, good enough to write a deck primer at least.

This deck is something I've been working on for a little while now, but I always felt it was missing something. Mainly Odirniran Necromancer. With the massive dust refund from the recent erratas, I was able to pick up my three set of Necromancers. Since putting in the Necromancers, and tweaking the list to optimize their usage, the deck has been just bonkers. With Christmas I was unable to play as much as I'd have liked, so as of December 28th I was only at rank 4, after making this deck into the list you see here I went from rank 4 to Legend by December 30th. Now onto the deck then!

Reasons to Play/Not Play This Deck

Play Me If:
-You like control decks
-You like the long game
-You enjoy graveyard interaction
-You like big finishers (Parth, Odahviing, Ancano, etc)
-You like Doppelganger
-You like using removal to control the board
-You like neat interactions/smaller combos (There's no game ending combos, just interactions that can put you ahead.)
-You're okay with your opponent having less fun (While I disagree with the notion that control isn't fun, I understand it's widely considered to be a bad time.)
Don't Play Me If:
-You like to win asap
-You like beating face
-You're more interested in dedicated combo decks
-You don't like relying on removal spells (Admittedly, the deck falls apart if you lack the appropriate removal.)
-You don't like decks that discourage a fun environment (Again, a lot of people do not enjoy playing against control.)

Card Choices
Here I'll go over some of the card choices in the deck. I'm going to neglect some cards because I feel their purpose is self explanatory.

Execute/Firebolt: These two are somewhat interchangeable. I used to run one Execute and two Firebolt, but after Goblin Skulk became a 2/3, I figured I'd switch their numbers around. Skulk is a problem with Cruel Firebloom taking out your guards.

I opted to use lots of shouts in the deck because they make for decent removal that get better as the game goes on, additionally, they add value to my Paarthurnax once he's summoned.
Fire Breath/Dragon Aspect: Removal that gets stronger as the game goes on. In the early turns they take out smaller things, and later on they remove the larger threats.

Soul Tear: This lets me loop summon effects, re-use guards that have died, bring back threats that have been removed, etc. Additionally, their upgraded versions make Odirniran Necromancer all the more impactful.

Pretty much the rest of the Action package is removal. It's possible I went a little overboard on that. I've always loved playing removal.dec. Naturally, the numbers on these things can be tweaked as you see fit. It's all a matter of preference. Truth be told, I didn't realize just how big my removal numbers were until I sat down to write this up!


Barrow Stalker: One of the best 2 drops in the game, at least that seems to be the general reddit consensus. The drain keeps your life total intact, the 3 health makes it tougher to remove as well. The amount of time I've seen Stalkers eat a Lightning Bolt is very high.

Word Wall: Now this one is still in testing phase. I figured it's an early game wall with a big butt, so it'll blunt the aggro assault a little bit, while also giving my shouts a little more bang for their buck. If any one has any arguments against this card, please let me know! It's essentially a flex slot right now.

Dark Guardian: This boi is my Prophecy Battlemage tech. Aside from this deck, the deck I use most often is Prophecy Battlemage, and I've found it to be quite successful. So I wanted this deck to have some tech to deal with that, should it come up. He's also got that big 5 health booty.

Piercing Twilight: This is handy in so many ways. A 4/4 guard can take hits, as well as return the hits. Additionally it can really do a lot of work with it's summon ability. The target of choice changes based on the match-up or what options are in the graveyard. But some common choices include; removal that can hit my finishers, combo pieces, win conditions, and cards I know have been Galyn'd.

Wilds Incarnate: I know I said I'd exclude the obvious choices, but I cannot stress how powerful this card is. Maintaining 5 runes isn't especially difficult with this list. Between the guards and the removal, you can reliably get to 7 magicka while keeping your runes intact. This is an incredible guard and draws you two cards. Then you can get into cloning it with Doppelganger and looping it with Soul Tear. Do not exclude this card.

Techy Things
Galyn the Shelterer: This card is an auto-include in decks that include value creatures. My personal favorite thing to Galyn is Wilds Incarnate, though that's pretty greedy. Other powerful choices are Piercing Twilight, Odirniran Necromancer or of any of the creatures I'll list in the section about finishers.

Indoril Mastermind/Elusive Schemer: These two serve the same purpose. They draw you cards/ filter your deck and they run into your opponent's creatures. I look at them like removal spells with legs. These aren't really meant to attack your opponent's life.

Archcanon Saryoni: This is the most important card in the deck. It's what allows the deck to actually exist with three colors. Fuhaha. Aside from that, dropping this when your board is full either wins you the game, or pushes you ahead. Although, if there is a better option for the one Tribunal card, please forward those suggestions.

Therana: Copying removal spells is just insane. There's no Action in this deck that I don't want three additional free copies of. Especially prophecies. My pro tip for this card, that may be obvious, I don't like to cast her unless I'm also playing an action that same turn. I find she just dies too quickly. I feel a common assumption is that when you play a Therana, you're going to combo with her and that's the deck. This, for us, is not the case. She's literally just an extra value push. If you get one or two activations off and she dies - this is fine. They've used up a removal spell that could have been used to stop one of your actual win conditions and if you've only got one activation off her, you've still come out ahead.

Doppelganger: This thing is the stone cold nuts. There are so many powerful targets in this deck. I absolutely love clone effects. I wish I had room for one more! My favorite targets are Wilds Incarnate and Paarthurnax.

Odirniran Necromancer: This is in here to loop my smaller dudes that bring value. Getting additional uses out of Tree Minder, Indoril Mastermind, etc is very valuable. The Necromancer also gets better if it's been powered up via Soul Tear and Galyn.

Nahagliiv: This card is so sweet. It can be used as finisher, but ultimately is a wall that can't be dealt with easily. Though if you can make an army of these with your Doppelgangers, go face!

Ancano: No, Ancano is not a finisher in this deck. He can be used as such, if the setting is right, but that was not the purpose of inclusion. Ancano is essentially a removal spell that can beat face if need be. Additionally, like Therana, people may assume this is your big finisher and will act accordingly. Red herring!

Laaneth: While Laaneth can find your finisher, she herself is not one. She's just a big ol' tutor. Cloning her is sweet and Soul Tearing her is sweet.


These are the cards you're likely going to be either winning with, or using to tilt the game in your favor so you can secure a win. They won't always be the ones dealing the final blow, but they'll definitely be the ones pushing you there. I won't go into why I chose these cards, I think the reasoning is fairly obvious. These are the cards that Galyn wants to play with.

-Blood Magic Lord
-Night Talon Lord

The last finisher isn't a creature, it's The Night Mother. I'm a bit of a Dark Brotherhood fanboy, so what I wanted to play this card. A lot of the time, it gets destroyed before it goes off. But when it does go off - and believe me, it does go off - you basically win that game. There are some cases where even the Night Mother can't stop you from losing, but most of the time it's your game.


Thank you so much for reading! I hope you found it interesting or helpful. Whether you're going to use this card for card or just take some inspiration, I hope you all have fun with Tribunal Control. I'm super stoked on it. Since making the tweaks, the deck has really become a house.

I am ALWAYS happy to hear suggestions and comments and field any questions! Please feel free to comment below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you.

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Hey mate! I like the adventurous list! I am a big fan of Tribunal Control, so I will definitely give this a shot. I just posted a list that is similar to yours in many ways! Also, thank you for the detailed guide. I may follow your example and revise my current guide to be just as detailed. Add me if you'd like to spar when brewing up new stuff: CraniusMaximus. Cheers!
1 Reply
grix15 11 months ago

Hey dude, this means a lot. Thank you!

I'll add you next time I'm playing. We can definitely brew and test. I'd love to try a few mirror matches, I think my control match up needs some work -_-.

I'm glad this guide helped, I'll definitely be looking at your list and reading yours once I get a chance to do so!
Gonna try without the Word Walls and see how it goes. Maybe put a miraak dragonborn in there.
I'm the guy who commented on Reddit that you should quit one Piercing Twilight and put a Doppelganger instead but so far I wasnt able to test it until now. Wait for the update
1 Reply
grix15 11 months ago
Hey dude. I've been thinking of picking up a Miraak, card is sweet.

I'm really anxious to hear back about the changes you're testing out. That's awesome.

I didn't post the list on reddit though, could I get a link to that thread?
rpx 11 months ago
Trying it.

Made some adjustments:

Moose out_ Meta is too aggressive, and without the runes Wilds Incarnate is a bad stated guard for it's cost. Experimenting with Apex Wolf, it stabilized some games, many times not the wolf itself but the creature where is last gasp fell. But undying dragon maybe a better option.

Night Mother: Won me a game, but doesn't fit this deck's plan. Slot open for Miraak, IMHO the signature late game guy for any yellow control.

I don't like the shout package, except Soul Tear. Both fire and aspect to expensive for early game, and on curve may already have little reach. Word Wall could help, but needs to be in hand early when holding a shout too, those synergies are a bit of a long shot for a 75 card deck. IMHO better reinforce the 1 mana removal. Shrieking Harpy also a must, no doubt the cheapest lifesaver this game has.

Love the lords, both BML and NTL, maybe too greedy, but are fun as f... so sticking with them.
1 Reply
grix15 11 months ago
Thanks so much for your input! My days off are coming up, so I'll give all of these tweaks a try.

The current version I've been testing has cut the Word Walls for additional 1 cost removal, and it's going very well.

I appreciate the feedback and the positive comments. :)
kayahaze 11 months ago
Great write up. Going to try it out. Also taking into consideration some of above comments.
1 Reply
grix15 11 months ago
Thank you! I hope you enjoy the deck. :)
Tried it. Man, it did not turn out great. Got 12-8 on 20 games on casual and 10-10 on the ladder. I'm currently rank 2 and it was frustrating some of the time.
I've changed the Dragon Aspect Shout for Immolating Blast ans it turn out pretty sweet. Saves your ass and more than one ocasion.
Other than that the deck is pretty much fun
1 Reply
grix15 10 months ago
Thank you for the feedback, much appreciated. Glad you had fun with the deck!
I'm gonna keep tinkering it a little bit. We'll get there, you'll see
1 Reply
grix15 10 months ago
Sweet! Can't wait to hear back.
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