Standard Deck Tech – U/R Control

A few weeks back I remember us playing against what seemed to be a pretty sweet U/R Control deck. It reminded me a lot of the U/R Ramp deck that my Freshly Brewed partner in crime, Ali Aintrazi, was playing before Kaladesh was released. It had counterspells and burn and Eldrazi… I wasn’t sure what more you could actually ask for. Well, a decklist I suppose. I suppose we could ask for that.

Cut to this week, a couple days ago to be exact, when Magic Online user egadd2894 piloted an eerily similar deck to a 5-0 finish in a Standard League. Well, that was good enough for me. The deck had everything I could want: four copies of Torrential Gearhulk, a ton of counterspells, two Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. It even had a Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, cause why not! Take a look.

U/R Control by egadd2894

One of the cards we’ve been seeing more and more of – Weaver of Lightning – can be found here in the sideboard. It’s hard to overstate how versatile this card is. It allows us to deal three damage to a creature with our Kozilek’s Return (or an extra damage with any of our other burn spells), it can block pretty much anything (including problematic fliers) and it can deal a few points of damage.

So, as you may have noticed, the one deck we struggled against the most was the one that could go underneath us. My kingdom for a Pyroclasm! Unfortunately all we have is Kozilek’s Return, and in the sideboard at that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great sweeper, but three mana and not being able to kill three toughness creatures is a pretty big downside in Standard right now.

The one Coax from the Blind Eternities in the sideboard was a little odd. I mean, I don’t know the situation we’re supposed to bring it in, so I just brought it in during the control matchup because it felt nice to have a few more finishers. That being said, I would love to have a couple more versatile Eldrazi in the sideboard if we’re planning on tutoring for them. Maybe something like a Drowner of Hope or an Endbringer or something.

One thing that makes me a little sad is that we’re not utilizing any of the sweet U/R cards, like Saheeli Rai or Brutal Expulsion. I’m not sure if these are perfect fits in the deck, but if they fit anywhere, they fit here. There are so many turns where you’re just countering things back to back, and having a couple Saheelis to smooth out your draws could be nice. Similarly, being able to Remand a spell and kill a creature at the same time could prove clutch. Again, not sure if these are worthy options, but they’re definitely worth considering.

Thankfully this deck definitely proved that not only control but also three-mana counterspells are still very much alive in Standard. I was thrilled with the results and the deck was pretty fun to play. Who knew Torrential Gearhulk was so good? Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you guys next week!

Frank Lepore
Freshly Brewed Podcast with Ali Aintrazi (available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio)

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Frank Lepore

Frank Lepore has played Magic for over 20 years, in which time he has created popular columns like The Leporatory, The Lepore Report, and Modern Monday. In addition to a Grand Prix Top 8 and being a member of the 2014 Magic Community Cup, he recently added a Pro Tour Top 8 to his resume at his very first Pro Tour.
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Published:December 8, 2016


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