Tag: uw-control

Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - April 23, 2014

Champion’s Deck – UW Control by Simon Stahl (1st at SCG De...

U/W Control
Simon Stahl
1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 4/19/2014
Fated Retribution
While it’s not a newcomer to the top of the pile this weeks winner was able to wrestle dominance away from the big bad Mono-Black menace. One of the most classic styles of control, UW is able to operate more fluidly then Esper versions even though they are relatively the same core concept. Control relies upon a good mix of permission and removal, backed up with a strong finisher once the board has been stabilized. This deck follows that structure to a tee while adding in a few interesting one ofs to round it out.

Since the printing of Return to Ravnica and with it the Azorius guild UW has had an arsenal of weapons that each decklist has been build on the foundation of. This deck is no different with four copies of each Jace, Architect of Thought, Sphinx’s Revelation, Supreme Verdict and Detention Sphere. That group alone is able to provide the deck with so much power and consistency, giving it answers to a plethora of threats. For permission we have a full set of Dissolve, which also help as pseudo-draw, and a pair of Syncopate, which can be key at stopping a dangerous two drop like Pack Rat. For removal you have primarily Detention Sphere to pick off pesky threats of varied permanent types or Supreme Verdict to sweep the board free of creatures, but also a Celestial Flare and two Last Breath as pinpoint removal. We also find the inclusion of Fated Retribution as a catchall reset against all creatures and planeswalkers if necessary. The deck keeps your hand full through the draw power of Sphinx’s Revelation and Jace, which both also help to keep your life total from falling too low, and also a couple of Divination. The finishers are a very tight package which has a one of Ætherling and two Elspeth, Sun’s Champion which you must be very mindfull to deploy only once you have taken over the game. Also, because the deck only runs two colors we find room to squeeze three Mutavault in the manabase which while small over time will produce more then enough damage on an empty board. Another versatile spell in the deck is the Azorius Charm which can either help gain back some life to stable against aggro decks, cycle itself away to dig for a necessary answer or as removal for a bothersome threat. The final card in the deck is some old tech in Elixir of Immortality which just keeps the deck churning even after you’ve depleted so many spells.

So with just a couple weeks left until new standard it is certain that people are looking forward to Journey Into Nyx instead of backwards at our current standard. While I don’t feel that this deck benefits too much from the new set there are two cards with an outside chance to slip in. Deicide could be a good piece of removal depending on how the Gods appear in the meta. Also, Aegis of the Gods is a great way to protect yourself from targeted oppression, but neither are backbreakers for the deck. We will see over the next few months how it plays out.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - March 11, 2014

Deck of the Day – UW Control by Shaheen Soorani (18th at Grand P...

Cryptic Command

U/W Control

Shaheen Soorani

18th Place at Grand Prix Richmond on 3/9/2014

Those that know Shaheen Soorani know that he is no stranger to UW based Control style decks, in fact he can be called somewhat of an expert on the subject. It’s no secret that it is his person preference as far as play style and he has championed those Control decks in every format. Often it is difficult to build a Control deck in a relatively wide open field especially one as hugely diverse as Modern, but Shaheen is never one to back down to a challenge.

As with any Control deck in the post-Lorwyn world of Magic we find a very important package of Planeswalkers. Working as primary win conditions which come down once the deck has taken over the game we find the incredibly powerful dynamic duo of Elspeth, Knight-Errant and Gideon Jura both with their own style of beatdown. Also, we have Jace Beleren or ‘Baby Jace’ which is a very strong source of card advantage. There is also a pair of Vendilion Clique and a set of Celestial Colonnade to help the deck finish off the opponent making great use of Flying to sneak through the beats. Next we get to the permission package of the deck which sports some diverse answer with full sets of each Cryptic Command, Mana Leak and Spell Snare to ensure the opponent isn’t allowed to advance their game plan. There’s also a singleton Repeal to bounce any nuisance which they may have been able to sneak in at some point. And no Control deck would be complete without a range of removal with this deck rife on both spot and mass including a set of Path to Exile, trio of Supreme Verdict and pair of Detention Sphere which will find a way to get rid of anything that was allowed to hit the board. There is also a set of Tectonic Edge in the manabase to fight against opposing manlands, Tron lands or even Valakuts. As for draw supplementing the Jace and Cryptic there is also Serum Visions to help dig through the deck to find that right answer. The last piece of the puzzle is found in a trio of Snapcaster Mage that given this deck runs 23 spell targets for the Snappy to rebuy is a dream for any control player when able to slot them in.

While the trend for Control in Modern had been to go with a Blue/White shell adding Red to supplement with reach through burn that route does limit some of the options available to you and relies heavily upon cooperation from your manabase to operate effectively Shaheen was content to stick with the two colors and while it didn’t pay off with a top 8 it did get him 18th out of some 4300 players which is none too shabby. I expect with this result we should be seeing more of the straight UW Control builds and they will as always never end in their constant tweeking and tuning to adapt to an ever-changing metagame.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - January 27, 2014

Champion’s Deck – Azorius Control by Alexander Hayne (1st Place at...


Azorius Control
Alexander Hayne
GP Vancouver Champion

Lands (27)

Creature (1)

Other Spells (25)

Planeswalkers (7)


Local Montreal hero and perennial golden boy Alex ‘Insayne’ Hayne went on to win yet another Grand Prix tournament in what is turning into an illustrious and formidable young career. As you may have already heard that makes three such victories in the past six months. If he keeps this up there’s no telling where he and his team ManaDeprived will soar to this year. And to mention his team Alex had to battle fellow teammate and Montrealer Jon Stern, who has also been making waves on the Pro circuit, in the semifinal in a tough battle spotlighting the talent emerging from ManaDeprived and Montreal alike.

The deck he piloted is a rather straightforward U/W Control shell based around the Return to Ravnica trilogy of Sphinx’s Revelation, Supreme Verdict and Detention Sphere with full set of each of those. For his win conditions Alex chose a singleton Ætherling to go with a trio of Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. He was also able to squeeze three Mutavault in by bringing his land count up to twenty-seven to have the extra reach against other control decks. The permission package is a robust combination of a set of Dissolve and a trio of Syncopate to prevent threats from hitting the board. To keep pressure off the board there is a set of Last Breath which do well to answer a variety of threats big and small. We also have Jace, Architect of Thought with its ability to either weaken opposing armies or dig for answers which has been a key to many a blue based decks success. The final cog in the machine comes from the versatile Azorius Charm where a pair of them help to either gain some life in a pinch, bounce a pesky creature to the top of the library or most often as a means to cycle for another card which is hopefully the one you’ve been waiting for.
With the ability to answer so many questions I don’t doubt that this deck is going to show continued success going forward into Born of the Gods Standard. There are a few cards which look interesting with the most important of course being the UW scryland Temple of Enlightenment. I’m also interested to see if Ephara, God of the Polis can be work into Elspeth heavy builds to max out on draw potential. I could also see some possible sideboard options with Glimpse the Sun God, Fated Retribution or Revoke Existence. Only time will tell us what the new look of U/W Control deck is going to be.
In honor of this amazing win by Alex we are offering a 5% discount on all Standard sets this week until Friday Jan. 31st.
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - December 19, 2013

Deck of the Day – UWR Control by Steven Phillips (2nd at SCG Las...

U/W/R Control
Steven Phillips
2nd Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 12/14/2013
Lands (26)

Planeswalkers (4)

Spells (30)


The title of this deck is a little misleading as it really is a UW Control deck with a tiny splash of red mainly to gain a little edge in the control mirror and for some extra options out of the sideboard. The core of the deck is the standard UW classics with full sets of Sphinx’s Revelation, Supreme Verdict, Azorius Charm and Detention Sphere which work overtime to control the board, draw through your deck and regain lost life once you stabilize. The primary wincons come through the always powerful planeswalkers Elspeth and Jace, with a pair of Mutavault to plink in as well. The control package sports pairs of Dissolve, Syncopate and the reason for the red splash Counterflux. There are two one of artifacts with the new hotness Elixir of Immortality to recycle your used spells back into the deck and Ratchet Bomb which can take care of numerous permanent problems especially rat or soldier tokens in a pinch. We finally get to a little bit of cuteness in the deck with Quicken which while limited in targets does make Verdict into a surprise sweeper or turns Divination into an instant speed Concentrate.

Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - December 8, 2013

Champion’s Deck – UW Planeswalker Control Joe Lossett (1st Place a...

Azorius Charm
UW Planeswalker Control – UW Control 
Joe Lossett
1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 12/7/2013
Lands (26)

Spells (27)

Planeswalkers (7)


Here we have a UW Planeswalker Control list  from Joe Lossett which is rather similar to the list we featured last week piloted by Stanislav Cifka at GP Vienna.  Joe showed us that his twist was well positioned against a varied Devotion field after battling through Mono Black Devotion in the quarterfinal, Mono Blue Devotion in the semi-final and then R/w Devotion in the finals.  The deck remains true to the UW core with full playsets of Jace, Architect of Thought, Sphinx’s Revelation, Supreme Verdict and Detention Sphere all of which have proven to be vital to controlling the board and keeping ahead in card advantage.  The primary win condition is Elspeth which once you’ve stabilized the board can very quickly spiral out of control with a battalion of soldiers appearing by her side in trios, and additionally there is also a pair of Mutavaults to help out as well.  The permission package is pieced together tightly with Dissolve, Syncopate and Essence Scatter to hold the peskiest threats at bay.  The removal comes primarily from Verdict & Spheres but is shored up with some spot removal in Last Breath which covers a wide range of popular creature threats in the current meta.  We see Joe decided to go with two Divination for some additional card draw which has been a popular choice seen in years past.  There is also the very versatile Azorius Charm which can either cycle itself, bounce a pesky attacking/blocking creature to the top of the library or even grant your legion Lifelink in a pinch should you need a few extra points.  The final card that he squeezed in is a misers copy of Elixir of Immortality which is a great card to run for a variety of matchups as it can help you to really go long against other control matchups by recycling your graveyard into your library or giving you that boost of life needed to just stabilize and grab hold of the game against aggro matches.  Going forward I think that this list has a lot of the tools needed to fight through the meta and wouldn’t be surprised to see it continue to rise to the top.
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - December 4, 2013

Deck of the Day – UW Control – Stanislav Cifka (Grand Prix Vi...

Elspeth, Sun's Champion

UW Control – UW Planeswalker Control

Stanislav Cifka

Grand Prix Vienna – Top 8

Lands (27)

Creatures (0)

Other Spells (26)

Planeswalkers (7)


I have to admire this very traditional feeling UW Control deck.  While technically creature-less it does use Elspeth as a primary win condition with Mutavault as backup.  The permission comes in the form of Dissolve, which works with the Temples to provide some dig with Scry, and Essence Scatter to fight off troublesome creatures.  The deck then boasts a rather robust amount of removal starting with Supreme Verdict to sweep away aggro swarms, Detention Sphere is very versatile in controlling all other threats, and Last Breath is the spot removal that can handle most of the threats in standard currently.  Azorius Charm is a useful with all it different modes either as another spot removal, to cycle for another draw or as a way to gain some quick life.  The deck is topped off with Sphinx’s Revelation which is without a doubt one of the keys to the success of the UWx Control strategies.  This list of Cifkas also included a very interesting sideboarding plan with Archangel and Fiendslayer capitalizing on a lifegain theme to build on a heavy creature package that’s brought in to combat the red decks.

Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - October 11, 2013

Deck of the Day: Master of Waves UW Control (Theros Standard)

Master of Waves
Master of Waves Azorious Control
 Davey Cadaver
1st Place at Oregon Standard Event on 10/5/13

Instants (8)

Lands (25)

Enchantments (3)

Planeswalkers (7)

Creatures (13)

Sorceries (4)

Sideboard (17)

Here is a very interesting Blue + White control deck which looks to abuse devotion to blue in a very strong way.  Using the standard shell with Azorius Charm, Sphinx’s Revelation, Detention Sphere and Supreme Verdict it is already a very powerful control machine.  Elspeth and Jace work their usual magic to power up the deck and work towards the end game.  But the addition of Thassa and Master of Waves is what takes the deck in a new direction, and with Frostburn Weird, Jace and the other blue permanents it isn’t hard to get the devotion online.

Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - October 9, 2013


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