TES Matchup Battles: Jeskai Control

Jeskai Control plays all of the typical control cards in counterspells, card draw, planeswalkers, and removal spells. The deck, which ultimately wins the game with [[Monastery Mentor]], has become the main control deck of the format since the printing of [[Expressive Iteration]] and [[Prismatic Ending]]. These new cards give Jeskai the tools it needs to be the best, and most played control deck in the format. This means we, and every other Legacy player, should have a plan against Jeskai Control.

How does Jeskai Control matchup against TES?

[[Prismatic Ending|]]
[[Force of Negation|]]
[[Expressive Iteration|]]

[[Narset, Parter of Veils]], [[Day’s Undoing]], [[Pyroblast]] – Jeskai Control decks are going to have some number of [[Narset, Parter of Veils]] and [[Pyroblast]] main deck. This is going to make our cantrips and [[Echo of Eons]] a lot worse. Some lists play [[Day’s Undoing]] and that makes [[Narset, Parter of Veils]] even more of a threat.

[[Force of Will]], [[Force of Negation]] – Like most blue decks in Legacy there is [[Force of Will]] and [[Force of Negation]], but the difference here is that there is usually four copies of [[Force of Will]] and two copies of [[Force of Negation]] in the main deck and another two copies in the sideboard. [[Expressive Iteration]] gives Jeskai Control enough card advantage to play more of these spells.

[[Prismatic Ending]] – In previous iterations of Jeskai Control, they didn’t have good answers to remove non-creature permanents. [[Prismatic Ending]] changes that, and even more so when playing three colors. This is problematic for TES if we are playing out artifacts before the combo turn. That is something new to this matchup that we didn’t have to worry about before.

[[Stony Silence]], [[Meltdown]] – There are several artifact based decks in Legacy, and Jeskai Control is prepared with [[Stony Silence]] and [[Meltdown]]. Against TES, [[Stony Silence]] is the better of the two and can make it significantly harder to combo through because we play many artifacts. [[Meltdown]] is another reason why it can be risky to play out artifacts before the combo turn.

Deck List

the epic Storm

Main Deck

  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 1 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
  • 1 [[Defense Grid]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 3 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 3 [[Mox Opal]]
  • 3 [[Verdant Catacombs]]
  • 2 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
  • 2 [[Polluted Delta]]
  • 1 [[Tropical Island]]
  • 1 [[Badlands]]
  • 1 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 1 [[Taiga]]
  • 1 [[Swamp]]


  • 4 [[Carpet of Flowers]]
  • 3 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
  • 2 [[Chain of Vapor]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]

Ways to Win This Matchup

[[Mox Opal|]]
[[Burning Wish|]]
[[Dark Ritual|]]

Our Game Plan

Against most blue control decks, [[Galvanic Relay]] is going to be our best card. With four copies of [[Burning Wish]], one [[Galvanic Relay]] in the maindeck, and bringing in two more copies in during post-board games, there is a good chance we will have access to it. This matchup plays slower and can take several more turns than our average match. We don’t want to play too aggressively into the many free counterspells the opponent has, and they don’t put on much of a clock, so there is no reason to hurry. Most of the opponent’s counters are card disadvantage, so having a card like [[Galvanic Relay]] Our best chance of winning is to try and combo slower with [[Galvanic Relay]] or assembling [[Defense Grid]] or [[Veil of Summer]] for protection. [[Defense Grid]] is the least reliable because of [[Teferi, Time Reveler]] being able to return it to our hand and [[Prismatic Ending]] to destroy it.




-4 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Echo of Eons]], -1 [[Rite of Flame]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], -1 [[Mox Opal]] +4 [[Carpet of Flowers]], +2 [[Galvanic Relay]], +2 [[Abrupt Decay]]

This sideboarding plan lines up with our game plan. We want the extra copies of [[Galvanic Relay]] to play through the counterspells and amass card advantage. This matchup usually plays slower and more turns, so the opponent will have several lands in play making [[Carpet of Flowers]] an excellent mana source every turn. [[Abrupt Decay]] is hit or miss for me, but there’s enough cards to take out and enough potential targets that I think it’s worth it. There can be [[Stony Silence]], [[Null Rod]], [[Narset, Parter of Veils]], [[Monastery Mentor]], and several others. [[Ponder]] and [[Echo of Eons]] are cut because the opponent is going to have many copies of [[Pyroblast]] and [[Narset, Parter of Veils]].


Game Play

For the first game, I was on the draw, and my opening hand had cantrips, [[Defense Grid]], and [[Veil of Summer]], so I kept it. Neither of us did much the first couple turns as my opponent and I just played cantrips until I cast a [[Defense Grid]] on my third turn. On the opponent’s third turn, they cast a [[Prismatic Ending]] to exile the [[Defense Grid]]. On their following turn, the opponent played a [[Narset, Parter of Veils]]. On my turn, I drew a [[Burning Wish]] and [[Dark Ritual]], giving me a way to combo and a [[Veil of Summer]] for protection. I decided that was the turn I wanted to go for it.

Matchup Battles Jeskai Control - Image 1

I had the choice of [[Burning Wish]] for [[Galvanic Relay]] or [[Empty the Warrens]]. In this matchup, [[Galvanic Relay]] usually wins the game, but in game one, Jeskai Control doesn’t have any answers to [[Empty the Warrens]], so that’s what I went with. There’s always a chance [[Galvanic Relay]] can miss or lose to an opponent finding a counterspell on their turn.

Matchup Battles Jeskai Control - Image 2

My opponent answered a few of the tokens with [[Swords to Plowshares]] and [[Snapcaster Mage]] on [[Swords to Plowshares]], but it ultimately led to a concession.

Matchup Battles Jeskai Control - Image 3


For the second game, my opening seven cards had two lands, two copies of [[Abrupt Decay]], [[Galvanic Relay]], and two copies of [[Veil of Summer]]. This was a really slow hand and too defensive for how I like to approach this matchup, so I decided to mulligan.

Matchup Battles Jeskai Control - Image 4

I ended up keeping a hand with lands, [[Burning Wish]], rituals, and a [[Galvanic Relay]]. I didn’t have any protection, but [[Galvanic Relay]] fills that role nicely with this hand. During the first two turns neither of us played any spells and just made our land drops. I drew another [[Burning Wish]] and [[Lotus Petal]], and decided on the third turn it was time for me to go for [[Galvanic Relay]] to setup a turn-four win. I started off with [[Dark Ritual]], and it was met with a [[Force of Will]]. Using the two lands and a [[Lotus Petal]], I could still cast [[Galvanic Relay]] for five Storm. All of the copies resolved and revealed [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Chrome Mox]], land, and [[Wishclaw Talisman]].

Matchup Battles Jeskai Control - Image 6

My opponent played a [[Narset, Parter of Veils]] and put a [[Force of Will]] into their hand and ended their turn. On my turn, I started casting the cards in exile from [[Galvanic Relay]]. I knew the [[Wishclaw Talisman]] would be countered by the [[Force of Will]], but I wanted to build up Storm count and force the counterspell so my [[Burning Wish]] could resolve.

Matchup Battles Jeskai Control - Image 7

Once that happened, I was free to cast [[Burning Wish]] for another [[Galvanic Relay]] for six Storm. I exiled [[Brainstorml]], [[Chrome Mox]], land, [[Rite of Flame]] and two copies of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and ended my turn. On my opponent’s next turn, they activated [[Narset, Parter of Veils]] again and put [[Red Elemental Blast]] into their hand. During my turn, I played out both copies of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and then the [[Brainstorm]], which was countered.

Matchup Battles Jeskai Control - Image 8

From there, I had enough Storm off the rituals and the counterspell that I could [[Burning Wish]] for [[Tendrils of Agony]] to win the game.

Matchup Battles Jeskai Control - Image 9


The printing and addition of [[Galvanic Relay]] to TES has given the deck a new angle to fight against blue control decks. There has also been a decrease in number of [[Flusterstorm]] as the format moves to [[Force of Negation]]. This amplifies how great [[Galvanic Relay]] is in the current format, and we saw that in the example match. The opponent had several counterspells, and I was able to cast multiple copies of [[Galvanic Relay]] to amass card advantage and grind through them over several turns to win the game. TES being able to play three copies in the main deck and four copies of [[Burning Wish]] to tutor for the one in the sideboard in post board games is why I believe TES is favored. I hope you enjoyed this article, can take some of the lessons learned, and apply them to your own playtesting.