Standard Deck Tech: U/W Control

At the time of my writing this, there’s been about one Standard event of note. Unfortunately, that event did happen to have 5 Mardu decks in the Top 8. Fortunately, however, there were actually two events this weekend—if you were looking closely enough.

While all eyes were obviously on the SCG Open in Atlanta, the Classic the day after, also in Atlanta, gave us a few more results to work with. Most notably, this sweet U/W Control list piloted to a 10th place finish by Michael Malone.

U/W Control

This wasn’t the only copy of U/W Control in the top 16—no sir. There was another that made 12th and it had 4 copies of, get this—Curator of Mysteries! In Standard! What a time to be alive folks. This one kind of sold me, though, as I really wanted to try Kefnet the Mindful. Both decks also had 4 copies of Pull from Tomorrow, which should give you some idea of how powerful that card can be. While I’m rarely a fan of running fewer than 4 copies of Torrential Gearhulk, I was willing to give this a try—for science!

Yeah, okay, so if I don’t misplay that Mardu match, I think I win there. I was feeling pressured by the clock, so, I messed up—just leave me alone, gosh!

That being said, this deck felt very good. While it’s a bit of a struggle to navigate in the beginning—when you’re trying to stabilize or figure out what you do and don’t need to counter, or the best way to remove a problematic permanent—it definitely has this “ultimate” turn where you feel like you regain control. It’s a tangible feeling.

I would make a few changes to the list, however. I love Cast Out, but I don’t even know if it should have 4. Despite cycling, it does cost 4 mana, but it is extremely versatile. I’m on the fence, here. Similarly, I know everyone and their mother is high on Censor, and the card is great, but it’s always one of my first cuts, every time. I think it’s a fairly skill intensive card—you have to know how long to hold it and how soon to cycle it. Maybe I just want to avoid all that skill intensiveness. Who knows?

I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with Kefnet the Mindful. On one hand, she can be a truly effective win condition or draw engine. On the other, wow, having to have 7 cards in hand is problematic. It’s so easy to force you to cast a card before combat, disabling Kefnet from attacking. There were definitely times I passed the turn with 7 cards in the hopes of blocking, and knew that if I had to counter something before combat it would be awkward. On the other hand, Torrential Gearhulk makes for an excellent finisher. And I’m still curious about Glyph Keeper, though having only 3 toughness makes it fairly sad on defense. Ultimately, I think the one thing the U/W Control deck has to do is find the correct finisher or combination of finishers. The only thing that’s 100% is some number of Torrential Gearhulks.

Did you see how good Pull from Tomorrow was? Man, finally, a card in Standard that can let you draw, 4, 5, 6 cards. There were also situations where, if this were Sphinx’s Revelation, the 4, 5, 6 life would have been huge. I’ll take what we can get, but it’s funny how much better this deck gets when it can freely get out of harm’s way in the mid-to-late game. Additionally, I don’t think you need 4 Pulls in the deck, so I might swap one for another Glimmer (since Gearhulk can actually hit Glimmer).

Anyway, this deck was great, and I may revisit it before too long. Let me know what you think, and thanks a ton for reading!

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