Last week I wrote about some of the cards in Kaladesh that could signal a resurgence of U/W Control decks. Since the previews were still in full swing, I didn’t have access to the full set at the time, so I just mentioned some of the best looking cards without having seen all of them.
Well, the full set has been unveiled, and there were even more cards that would slot perfectly into a U/W Control shell. Today I want to take a look at a few more cards from the set that excite me and seem like they could be auto-includes.
Worth noting is that I highlighted Impeccable Timing last week, when we already have two superior cards in Standard: Immolating Glare and Gideon’s Reproach. The reason this stood out to me seemed obvious after the fact—there are no controlling or even midrange white decks that have used either card for some time, so they were very far off my radar. Now that I’m thinking about a white-based control deck, however, a white removal spell seems just perfect.
Let’s take a look. (And before you ask, I’m still leaving off the Gearhulks simply because they seem obvious.)
Let’s be clear. This is not Mana Leak. This is not even Rune Snag. But what this is is still good. Think of all the times your opponent has cast a spell and had 2 mana up after doing so. I know for me, it’s extremely rare. No one is waiting until turn 6 to play their Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, or turn 5 to play their Tireless Tracker. It’s just not happening. And if they are, they’re playing completely differently than they normally would, which is also worth something.
Sure, in the late game this gets a little worse, and it can’t counter things like Gearhulks, but cards like Spell Pierce see a tremendous amount of play, and this is actually much more versatile despite the additional mana.
Okay, this card is also super obvious, but I figured it was worth mentioning because it clearly competes with Planar Outburst. With each costing 5 mana, this card is just so much better. I can count the number of times I’ve been able to awaken a Planar Outburst on one hand, and that’s if I’m not holding up any fingers. 8 mana is just too many when you’re trying to quickly clear the board.
Not only does Fumigate have some extremely sad art (jeez), it lets you kill things like awakened lands and has the potential to gain you a ton of life—even 3 or 4 life is a great perk. All the incremental life gain you’re seeing on cards like this and Dovin Baan could really add up.
Glimmer of Genius
This is a card I’m so ridiculously excited about. Not only is it one of the best card draw spells we’ve seen in quite some time, it also provides 2 energy. Because why not? This is great if you’re playing some of the cards I’m including in my Top 8 from Kaladesh article.
Divination was basically a staple when it was in Standard. This costs a mere 1 more mana, it’s an instant, you get to scry 2 before you draw, and you get 2 energy. This card actually seems undercosted! But I have no intentions of saying that too loudly. I can’t imagine a metagame where this isn’t an automatic 4-of in the control deck.
This is definitely the most unassuming card on the list, but it still does a good deal of work. The fact that it has flash basically makes it a blue removal spell similar to Grasp of Darkness. While this isn’t exactly Grasp, I think it’s still pretty good. The flash also allows you to use it on a Vehicle after an opponent has tapped their creatures, potentially nullifying an entire attack.
Sensory Deprivation actually used to see some Standard play back in the day. This is pretty similar, only it grants an additional -1/-0, it has flash, and, one of my favorite parts, it hits you with 2 energy, BAM! This is such a great little bonus to tack on if you’re playing a deck that’s looking to amass energy.
Captured by the Consulate
This is a super interesting card. Some of my friends have told me that this card won’t see any play, and maybe it won’t (it does cost 4 mana, after all, like every other card for the control deck), but it does do something extremely useful.
It’s reminiscent of other pacifying cards like Faith’s Fetters, only with its own unique caveat. The fact that it forces the opponent to get rid of their own creature before they can target yours is pretty huge. “Oh, man, I understand you want to use that Ruinous Path on my Aerial Responder, but unfortunately you have to use it to kill your own Sylvan Advocate.” It just puts the opponent in an awkward spot.
One of the main problems is that Captured by the Consulate still allows the opponent’s creature to block, but I think this is possible to circumvent in control decks by playing solely evasive creatures. Also keep in mind that this protects your planeswalkers from things like the aforementioned Ruinous Path if the opponent has a creature enchanted with Captured by the Consulate in play. It’s also great against burn spells for similar reasons.
The blue and white tools for a control deck are so prominent in this set it’s kind of ridiculous. I don’t have anything brewed up just yet, but you can be sure I’ll be taking a look at the options for Pro Tour Kaladesh. It just seems like the archetype will have everything it needs from sweepers to life gain to card draw to win conditions. Thanks so much for reading, and I’ll catch you soon!