Brews for the Weekend: U/B Control

Torrential Gearhulk is just enormous, and presents at least a 2 for 1. In fact, it’s the sole reason control decks can really exist right now since otherwise they just 1 for 1 a whole lot then die anyway. As a finisher it lets you utilize the counters and removal lower on your curve while giving you choice and board presence in the late game. Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet helps shore up difficult spots that no other card could and is almost always game over if you untap with it. Most deck do have plenty of answers, but usually you can figure out when to jam Kalitas turn 4 and when to wait. The beauty is that when your opponent is curving out they are less likely to have the removal spell for Kalitas since their hand is all threats. If they’ve been slower to develop I’m far less likely to play Kalitas and will try to wait until a key turn where I can both play the Kalitas and a removal spell together.

torrential-gearhulkkalitas-traitor-of-ghet

Glimmer of Genius is actually the other reason control decks can exist. It prevents the 1 for 1 until you die dilemma and is the perfect Gearhulk target. Don’t leave home without the playset.

glimmer-of-genius

There is a lot of countermagic in this deck! This is the reason to play this deck right now. Aetherworks Marvel is back on the rise, but these cards just make life miserable for anyone spending a bunch of mana on their spells. Of course, that’s not Mardu Vehicles, but against U/W these are all serviceable, and against G/B they trade evenly or up on mana while giving you the time to get to your Glimmer + Gearhulk endgame. U/W only has a few key endgame threats and your counters line up nicely there. In addition, counters are pretty good versus a lot of the outliers of the format such as Panharmonicon or Metalwork Colossus decks.

negatevoid-shatterscatter-to-the-windssummary-dismissalconfirm-suspicion

Grasp of Darkness and Essence Extraction are the reasons I wanted to play black as my secondary color. I think they are among the best removal spells you can have on the cheap, and the Extraction goes a long way toward undoing early life loss while also answering key threats such as Depala, Pilot ExemplarSmuggler’s Copter, or Spell Queller. Both are pretty mana intensive, but the deck is built with all 12 dual lands so it shouldn’t be all that difficult to curve Grasp of Darkness into a counterspell on turn 3.

grasp-of-darknessessence-extraction

Jace, Unraveler of Secrets is just a final piece of interaction and card advantage machine I wanted access to. I even started with 2, but cut down to 1 because this deck really doesn’t want to tap out except when it feels safe enough to do so.

jace-unraveler-of-secrets

Here’s the full list:

Creature (6):

4 Torrential Gearhulk
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

Spells (28):

4 Anticipate
4 Glimmer of Genius
2 Negate
4 Void Shatter
3 Essence Extraction
1 Confirm Suspicions
4 Grasp of Darkness
1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 Summary Dismissal
1 Scatter to the Winds
1 Ruinous Path
2 Murder

Lands (26):

1 Blighted Cataract
4 Submerged Boneyard
4 Choked Estuary
4 Sunken Hollow
6 Island
7 Swamp

Sideboard (15):

1 Negate
1 Sphinx of the Final Word
3 Thing in the Ice/Awoken Horror
1 Essence Extraction
2 Flaying Tendrils
1 Summary Dismissal
2 Transgress the Mind
2 Dispel
2 Liliana, the Last Hope

I think this deck is really well placed right now in Standard to fight the big 3: U/W, G/B, and Vehicles. Control is poised for a major comeback. The metagame has evolved to reflect the original PT metagame, full of midrange plans, and that’s the perfect time for control to strike. The aggro decks can pressure you fast enough that they can be pretty tough matchups, but I’ve found the black removal spells and sideboard plan give you a good fighting chance at winning anyway.

Thanks Everybody for reading,

Andreas

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