Standard is a fertile environment now that the king has gone. There are many different archetypes and different possible builds available to play, but for me UW Control has been the most successful. I won’t dwell on the effect of Jace being gone has on the format, instead I’ll just jump right in and discuss the list from the video.
Its been working really well for me and I’m pretty happy with it’s matchups across the board. While it isn’t a well focused machine like CawBlade, and doesn’t have cards filling very specific slots such as the Swords, what it does have going for it is that it is capable of handling pretty much every situation. It feels like it is 50/50 at worst against anything that has been thrown at it. It can crush most of the aggro decks, especially mono red, though Tempered Steel (which is becoming more and more popular) can be a little tougher (but you still have Day of Judgement).
It’s Valakut matchup is good too and Splinter Twin becomes good post board. But the card that really pulls all these matchups together is undoubtedly Blade Splicer. Being able to force out two creatures against aggro (and giving yourself protection against Gatekeeper) is very powerful on turn 3, especially if it is reinforcing a Wall of Omens on turn 2, and having the ability to put 4 powers worth of pressure against the combo decks is exactly what you need. Against UB control he is tremendous. I’ll often tap out to cast a Jace, if he resolves then great, if not and your opponent plays theirs then a Blade Splicer still puts you ahead. He turns the matchup in your favour where it otherwise wouldn’t be. I really like the card and think that it is exactly the right tool you need to make UW Control work against such a diverse field.
The Planeswalker package is nice too, and I’m not sure I would change them except that I would consider making room for a single Karn, who is pretty dirty. I’ve always liked Venser, and I think he works very well in this list. You can draw cards with Wall and Spreading Seas, make a 3/3 beast with the Blade, lock down an extra permanent with your Titan or reset a Beleren for free. But the purpose of Venser isn’t to just pull ahead, it is to win the game. Venser can ultimate very quickly and it is almost always game over when he does. What i’ve been surprised with is how many times I’ve used his -1 ability. I’m not saying it is a lot, but there have been quite a few games where I’ve built up an army to defend myself with (blinking Splicers) and then realised that the -1 will just end the game. I mention this because I think it’s quite easy to miss that play. Gideon is a funny one to me. I don’t know why but I always look at him and think I should cut him, but he is invariably good. In fact, he’s great. He beats hard and just locks the aggro decks out of the game.
I’ve since made a couple of changes just for experimental purposes, which seem okay for the time being. I’ve taken the Dismembers out because they are only really there for Splinter Twin, but your game 1 against them isn’t too great anyway, and post board you can bring in Purges and Flashfreeze which is usually enough. In their place I’ve added a third Day of Judgement because it is just the best possible card against Tempered Steel and Elves (though the latter suffers without Dismember for Ezuri). I added a Karn for the other Dismember since he is just awesome and you can’t lose the game when he is in play against control. Just something to note with Karn is that while it is sweet to exile something then Venser him out, you should remember that you won’t get all those permanents back when you ultimate – only the last exiled cards before you Vensered him.
The sideboard is pretty untuned but I can still see it staying mostly as it is. I do think that I’d want the 4th Celestial Purge. It is just great right now, hitting Goblin Guide, Koth, Bloodghast, Dark Tutelage, Grave Titan, Liliana Vess, Splinter Twin and Pyromancer’s Ascension. I have been thinking of trying out Hero of Bladehold in the board as a way to shake things up a little. He seems quite good in the mirror and against combo as he presents a ridiculous clock for only 4 mana.
I can’t say that i’ve thoroughly examined the M12 spoilers yet as I’m just an online player these days and it won’t get released for another month… but some obvious cards are and possibly Solemn Simulacrum. I think that O-Ring doesn’t actually have an apprent place in the present environment. It’s bad against aggro, Valakut and Splinter Twin, and pretty bad against control. But bearing in mind that all the other decks receive M12 cards then it’s going to have to be given its due consideration. I can see it filling in for those Dismembers. I love Simulacrum as it ensures you hit your five drops and can ramp to your Titan. However, I have doubts that it will make a place. Again it just doesn’t really do much against, well, everything? The thing is you usually want to use turn 4 to counterspell. You often will cycle turn 2, drop a Splicer or Jace turn 3 then counter.
UW Control – Match 1 Game 1 Part 1
UW Control – Match 1 Game 1 Part 2
UW Control – Match 1 Game 2
UW Control – Match 1 Game 3
UW Control – Match 2 Game 1 Part 1
UW Control – Match 2 Game 1 Part 2
UW Control – Match 2 Game 2
UW Control – Match 2 Game 3
UW Control – Match 3 Game 1
UW Control – Match 3 Game 2 Part 1
UW Control – Match 3 Game 2 Part 2
UW Control – Match 3 Game 3
So, in summary, I like UW very much and think it will be one of the strongest decks and is an early favourite to be my choice for nationals. I prefer to UB, which is also very good, mainly because of the Splicers, Walls and better Planeswalkers. Please leave your comments and questions and vote on which deck you’d like me to try out next.
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