Building for Success: UWR Control with Mark Pinder

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£20 PTQs & Dinosaurs by Magic by Mark Pinder

Building for Success: UWR Control with Mark Pinder

Recently I had become a bit disenfranchised with Magic, I’d not won an event in a few weeks and whilst I had some regular winning records there was also an events where I had some losing records where I felt I had little destiny over my fortunes.

The first thing I decided was that I needed to play a deck that I enjoyed playing and would feel comfortable with, this meant I would ditch playing aggro decks and play some form of control or midrange deck. This helped as I always knew the deck had the answers and could rely on my skills.

However, after a couple of weeks playing net decks I decided that I wanted to build a deck that could win my local FNM. Rather than rape and pillage the decks I had built I decided to start with what I had spare.

My choice was a UWR Flash build:

Supreme Verdict4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Steam Vents
4 Sulfur Falls
4 Sacred Foundary
4 Clifftop Retreat
1 Slayers Stronghold
2 Mizzium Mortars
2 Pillar of Flame
2 Izzet Charm
2 Turn/Burn
3 Counterflux
4 Supreme Verdict
2 Sphinx’s Revelation
2 Terminus
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Augur of Bolas
2 Boros Reckoner
4 Restoration Angel
Boros Reckoner2 Aurelia, the Warleader

Sideboard

2 Azorius Charm
2 Pillar of Flame
2 Rest in Peace
3 Izzet Staticaster
2 Planar Cleansing
2 Assemble the Legion
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Entreat the Angels

I knew the deck wasn’t perfect but it felt like a good place to start, I liked the Snapcaster graveyard shenanigans and felt comfortable going into my first night.

Night One Learnings

How on earth do I deal with bucket loads of removal and Sam’s Dragon’s Maze deck, this may well be a local phenomenon but knowing your local meta game is essential if you intend to win your FNM. With this in mind I started to consider what answers I had for Dragon’s Maze and decided that Ghost Quarter was an option here as not only did it deal with Dragon’s Maze but also deal with Kessig Wolfrun and Moorland Haunt. Going forward it will also be an answer for Mutavault.

My second major learning was that whilst my deck was built to destroy aggro decks, well they are the primary form of deck in Grimsby the deck was actually quite slow against such decks. Dreg Mangler and Hellrider both caused many problems, with much of the removal being sorcery speed my opponents were able to sneak in some extra damage. With this in mind I removed the Mizzium Mortars to sideboard as I had enough board sweeping effects and replaced them with Searing Spears. I also put the extra Pillar of Flames from the sideboard to the main deck, too many early drops and recurring threats like Gravecrawler and Blood Artist in the field.

Night Two

AetherlingSo I had made a few changes and was ready for my next night with the deck. This proved to be an interesting night.

My first round was an interesting match as I was facing a Claire with a Selesnya Hexproof aura’s deck, I was worried about the match up but it was more comfortable than I thought, I was able to draw into the mass removal to take out the Hexproof creatures and the non Hexproof creatures would fall to my removal.

My one defeat comes to  Mike and his Dimir control build but almost milled me out game one before my creatures won out but the two games I lost were to Aetherling. To be fair only one player uses Aetherling but I may need to look at my sideboard and Pithing Needle could be useful. Things were not helped game three with mana issues as had the answer to Aetherling and opponent tapped out but could not answer.

I’ve now slipped Warleader’s Helix into the deck as it takes out most threats and will also generate some lifegain if required. Certainly causes problems for aggro decks and being about to repeat the lifegain from a Snapcaster Mage is awesome.

The other matches were interesting and Assemble the Legion from the board frustrated more than one opponent. The swapping of a Boros Reckoner  for an Augur of Bolas made the deck more aggressive. Aurelia, is a blow out card that can win from nowhere and as an excellent win condition.

Night Three

With M14 now legal I decide to run with Shock in my deck as instant speed fast removal for one mana is extremely solid, whilst I had Izzet charm doing a similar job the lower mana cost is more helpful.

Warleader's Helix 233My first round was against Aggro vampires. This match does not go well for my opponent,  I have awesome start hands with removal by the bucket load. Although some little guys come down the bigger threats succumb to mass removal or Warleader’s Helix. My opponent Danny certainly doesn’t like Warleader’s Helix as it gives me enough life to survive his initial onslaught, then my Restoration Angel can nibble the win.

My second round is against Perry and his Izzet deck, this match is one that proves to be very frustrating as Perry has quite a significant amount of counter spells and is able to prevent my first Sphinx’s Revelation. However, as fast as Perry can land a Guttersnipe or Nivix Cyclops  I can deal with it.  Snapcaster beat down is a solid win but beefed up by Slayer’s Stronghold is very effective. Boarding in the Counterflux and Assemble the Legion are very solid.

My third round opponent is Phil with his Gruul dec k, Phil is an excellent player and is wary of the matchup.  The first game I am in dire trouble with hasty Flinthoof Boars and a Boros Reckoner to contend with. However, Wareleader’s Helix comes to my rescue in game one. Game two is bad for Phil stuck on three land and apparently Hellrider’s in hand.  Resolving a Sphinx’s Revelation coupled with a pair of Helix’s is enough to put the game out of reach for my opponent.

My final match is against Ken, Ken has been playing really well tonight and a victory will put several of us onto nine points and tie breakers decide the winner.  Game one is a torrid affair, I cannot draw a Supreme Verdict or Terminus, as Trostani is populating Beasts all over the place, but I have a Boros Reckoner to shore up the defences and a Restoration Angel as well. I am surprised Ken isn’t swinging but maybe my reputation precedes me as he has seen the Snapcaster’s and removal blow out other opponent’s, he is gaining life and enough creatures for an alpha strike. The first fame is won when Aurelia hits play so my Angel’s are able to fly over for the win. Game two is really unkind to Ken, I am able to take out his field on turn four and turn five is Assemble the Legion followed by Aurelia.

The night was an awesome one for me, each match was won two nil but I did have a fair bit of luck on my side.

This is where I am now with the deck.

Restoration Angel 2234 Hallowed Fountain
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Steam Vents
3 Sulfur Falls
4 Sacred Foundary
3 Clifftop Retreat
1 Slayers Stronghold
2 Ghost Quarter
2 Shock
2 Pillar of Flame
2 Searing Spear
2 Turn/Burn
2 Warleader’s Helix
4 Supreme Verdict
3 Sphinx’s Revelation
2 Terminus
1 Entreat the Angels
4 Snapcaster Mage
Aurelia, the Warleader3 Augur of Bolas
3 Boros Reckoner
4 Restoration Angel
2 Aurelia, the Warleader

Sideboard

2 Blasphemous Act
2 Pillar of Flame
2 Rest in Peace
2 Izzet Staticaster
2 Planar Cleansing
2 Assemble the Legion
2 Counterflux
1 Aetherling

I am pleased how the deck is playing, I think maybe the Aetherling could replace Entreat the Angels but this is still one of my favourite win cons. I know the Staticaster’s are supposed to be good but still haven’t played them.

Winning at Magic takes perseverance and also some degree of luck on any given night. However, to put yourself in a position to win you should be evaluating your results each week to see what works, what doesn’t and where the field is positioned. You also have to be objective, you may win a game or even a match you shouldn’t and at that point you may need to recognise that part of your deck may have been fortunate to pull out a result but it may not be able to consistently do this.

This deck has become one of my favourites and will miss my Snapcaster Mage’s when Theros joins us, this was the deck I took to our M14 Gameday and it powered through to victory. The Aggro decks did not fair very well against the removal suite and Counterflux stopped my opponents from dealing with my threats.

Thank you for reading, thanks for sharing.

Mark

 

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