U/W Control by ColdPier on MtGO

Creatures (11)
3 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
3 Snapcaster Mage
2 Vendilion Clique
3 Wall of Omens

Non-Creature Spells (23)
2 Condemn
3 Cryptic Command
4 Mana Leak
2 Ojutai’s Command
4 Path to Exile
4 Supreme Verdict
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Detention Sphere
2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

Lands (26)
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Flooded Strand
4 Ghost Quarter
2 Glacial Fortress
2 Hallowed Fountain
4 Island
1 Mystic Gate
2 Plains
1 Polluted Delta
2 Tectonic Edge

Sideboard (15)
2 Aven Mindcensor
1 Crucible of Worlds
2 Disenchant
3 Dispel
3 Negate
1 Spellskite
2 Stony Silence
1 Timely Reinforcements


In a format with so many linear strategies, sculpting a control deck that has the right mix of answers for those strategies is no easy task. In Modern, it’s generally said that “control isn’t viable” due to the impressive amount of decks it has to tailor its deck to beat, but to rule out control decks in any format is foolish. This U/W Control deck, piloted by ColdPier on MtGO on January 13, could be the control deck that Modern is looking for, especially after the banning of Golgari Grave-Troll and Gitaxian Probe.

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U/W Control as an archetype has seen some success here and there in Modern, with good Pro Tour performances from Kuo Tzu-Ching, Eduardo Sajgalik, and others. In many ways, this deck is a collage of successful Standard control decks from different eras over the past 10 years. There are elements of U/W Sphinx’s Revelation, U/W Delver, and Caw Blade all throughout the deck. The longer the game goes, the more favored this U/W Control deck is, so bridging the early game to the late game is critical. That is where cards like Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and Wall of Omens‘ value is seen. Drawing and filtering cards is critical for this deck, and being able to have a proactive play on turn 2 changes the shape of the game immediately.

The rest of the deck is made up of the format’s most efficient counter spells, removal spells, and sweepers, along with 2 copies of Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, which functions both as an effective tool to clog boards and a finisher that is difficult to stop over the long term. Another end-game option for this deck is looping Ghost Quarter with the single copy of Crucible of Worlds. After all, your opponent can’t win if they can’t cast their spells.

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Condemn is a very interesting card in this deck. It’s a removal spell first and foremost, but it can also be an effective life gain spell against burn, or a cheeky answer in the Death’s Shadow Zoo matchup. If the opponent has 2 copies of Death’s Shadow in play, casting Condemn on one of them will make them gain enough life that they hit 13 every time, which will then kill the other copy. With the popularity of that deck inevitably falling after the banning of Gitaxian Probe, Condemn may fall slightly out of favor.

As the rest of the format is weakened by bannings now and in the future, expect U/W Control to become a bigger part of the format. The deck isn’t very forgiving if you don’t know it in and out, but it rewards you for tight play and knowledge of the format. Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Ojutai’s Command

+1 Sphinx’s Revelation


-1 Crucible of Worlds

-2 Aven Mindcensor

+3 Kitchen Finks

This is day 15 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature an interesting Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our attention. You can read day 14 here, where we covered a Legacy deck popularized by Jeff Hoogland.

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