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