Torment Theme Deck
Black-red control never really feels like control. That's because while the deck deprives your opponents of their cards and lands, it also tries to deal as much damage as possible so your opponents will be out of the game before they can refresh their resources.
The Waking Nightmares deck blurs the line between control and beatdown even further. With any of its fifteen Nightmares - creatures that remove something from the game for as long as they're in play - you can eat away at your opponent's resources and beat them down with the same card.
As with any black-red control deck, it's important to get off to a quick start. Don't be afraid to mulligan if your opening hand isn't aggressive enough. In the early game, play your low cost creatures as soon as you can and start putting on the pressure.
In the midgame, your Nightmares should really torment your opponent. Faceless Butcher keeps creatures off the table, Petradon chokes off lands, and Mesmeric Fiend narrows the options in your opponent's hand. Use your red direct-damage spells to clear a path for your attackers.
If you find yourself in a drawn-out battle, break out Chainer, Dementia Master. Not only will it let you resurrect creatures from any graveyard, but it pumps up every Nightmare in play. Also, don't be afraid to aim your direct-damage spells at your opponent's life total if your ground assault has been neutralized.
One combo in Waking Nightmares is very tricky. With some help from the Odyssey set's Malevolent Awakening, your Nightmares can take things away for good.
How? When you play a Nightmare, such as Faceless Butcher, it comes into play ability goes on the stack. In response, you sacrifice the Butcher to play Malevolent Awakening's ability. Then the Butcher's leaves-play ability resolves first, but the Butcher hasn't removed a creature from the game yet. The leaves-play effect does nothing. So the comes-into-play effect removes a creature from the game that can never be brought back!
* = from a previous set
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