I don’t think it’s rush and control that Sendokami dislike, I find it pretty clear it is swallow control specifically, and being forced to play it himself if he want to be competitive. As of rush, I am not sure about it. I’ve tried it, and it did not work especially against swallow control. My collection and skills are very lacking to make and use a top tier rush, but I think the main factor is that land acceleration is good at producing colored lands without giving up on the ability to deny your opponent good lands.
As for rush itself being annoying, I have decent chances to counter it reguardless of the army I used, and have been countered a lot while rushing myself, without necessarilly facing anti rush tech. I’ve had some ludicrous games won or lost on turn 3 though, based on matchup, card draw and bluff.
I’m a new (1 month) player and it seems the only ways to beat swallow control is to
- Race them and win before they can play one flower/whale per turn. By race I don’t necessarilly mean rush, midrange with enough lethal threats can be fast enough, and R burn has occasionally worked for me.
- Establish dominance over the whole board (four wells) in order to have a chance to explore the only drawback of swallow compared to a hard removal.
- Use a combo deck which does not require board control, like haste OTK, and preferably whoch does not requires good land placement, like Mana burn.
A fourth possible way is to face bad opponent who would use whales to make “good trades”, allowing you to free your creature the turn after.
In any case, the winning window can be rather small.
I find it very informative that out of the top 4 players of the last monthly cup, 3 used BG ramp with 3 Frog Tosser and 3 Whales. In the few matches I’ve seen a good whale drop indeed meant the whale user owned the board. Even more popular, GY sac, containing the mandatories flying yaks, was used by all 4 of them. GY sac seems flexible, able to feed on rushers death, sometimes able to produce more targets than swallowable and with a decent win condition. Other than that. Other decks seems to be teched to be rushy enough to finish an opponent before, or to have damages from hand to race an opponent after losing board control.
I can’t say how good GY sac is, but I’ve played BG ramp swallow control, and by far it feels and looks like the easiest deck to play among top tier ones, and the lamest (even easier than rush, which also is much more matchup dependent).