One of my favorite things about Magic Online is that there is basically a never-ending supply of deck lists every single day from Leagues, or PTQs, or the MOCS. The opportunity to find hidden gems, whether they end up being legitimate decks or not, is incredibly high.
I honestly didn’t think there was a reasonable UW Control list in Standard right now, but the deck I found that was played to a 6-1 finish in a Magic Online PTQ by echecetmat35 contradicts that theory. Sure, it might be more midrange than control, but it definitely has all the attributes of a control deck (counterspells, card advantage, removal, big finishers). Check it out.
Okay, real talk. It’s super exciting to see a deck using Silumgar’s Scorn again. My only reservation is the fact that you only have 4 Dragonlord Ojutai in the deck to really make them pop. To be honest, though, Force Spiking a spell is going to be good enough a lot of the time. Granted, this will typically only work once—your opponents are still going to tap out on turn 4 for their Nahiri, the Harbinger or their Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.
Always Watching is also some pretty amazing tech. It not only makes your Knight of the White Orchid a 3/3 a first striker with vigilance, but it also allows Dragonlord Ojutai to keep his defenses up while he attacks. This is what’s otherwise known as “hexproof for days.”
Unlike a lot of traditional control decks, while this list does have 6 counterspells, it also has a pretty heavy creature count of 18 not including the 4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Two of the creatures, both Knight of the White Orchid and Eldrazi Skyspawner, allow you to go from 3 mana to 5 mana in order to cast your Dragonlord Ojutai or your Archangel Avacyn on turn 4. I would love to then untap, play my fifth (or sixth) land, and cast Always Watching with Silumgar’s Scorn backup.
Declaration in Stone is still one of the most versatile removal spells in the format, and you also have 2 copies of Tragic Arrogance, which is basically the wrath effect you’re stuck with for now. I imagine Descend upon the Sinful might have been an option, but with Arrogance you’re able to keep your Dragonlord around, which you have to assume will often be much better than whatever the opponent is keeping. Arrogance also gets rid of excess planeswalkers, which is extremely relevant right now.
Reflector Mage, while it may look out of place here, actually seems like it does some great work at buying you time and setting up a counterspell for problematic creatures. “Reality Smasher? Bounce that dude, and don’t cast it next turn so I can untap and counter it.” Being a 3/4 with Always Watching isn’t the worst either.
This deck seems awesome, and it has a ton of nuances and angles of attack. Keep in mind I haven’t tried it out myself, but not only are Magic Online PTQs pretty fierce, but I also have to assume that the pilot put some testing in before taking it into the event. echecetmat35 did lose in the Top 8 to GW Tokens, for whatever that’s worth. I don’t think that really says anything about the deck other than maybe it should pack a few more Tragic Arrogance. Unfortunately, there aren’t any Moat-like cards in Standard right now, and you’d have to be fighting both planeswalkers and creatures to come out ahead. Nevertheless, a 6-1 record in the Swiss is pretty impressive if you ask me, and I would love to try this list out in some future videos.
Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you guys later!