U/B Control by Jim Davis at SCG Columbus

Creatures (5)
4 Torrential Gearhulk
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

Non-Creature Spells (28)
1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 Confirm Suspicions
4 Disallow
1 Essence Extraction
2 Fatal Push
4 Glimmer of Genius
4 Grasp of Darkness
2 Horribly Awry
3 Murder
3 Negate
1 Void Shatter
2 Ruinous Path

Lands (27)
8 Island
8 Swamp
1 Blighted Fen
4 Choked Estuary
2 Submerged Boneyard
4 Sunken Hollow

Sideboard (15)
1 Sphinx of the Final Word
2 Dead Weight
2 Ceremonious Rejection
3 Dispel
2 Fatal Push
1 Negate
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Ruinous Path
1 Blighted Cataract


Let’s continue the trend of SCG Columbus decklists on Deck of the Day this week! The last 3 that we covered were the most successful and popular decks at the Open, but in the next few days we’ll be looking at some fringe decks that put up surprisingly good results at SCG Columbus, which could indicate a bright future for their respective archetypes. Today, we’re featuring Jim Davis’ U/B Control deck, which he piloted at SCG Columbus on January 21 and 22 to a 15th place finish. Jim was up with the top tables all throughout the tournament, and made several appearances on camera, so we have a pretty decent idea about how his deck operates.

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Jim clearly identified a big weakness of the Copycat deck, which was undoubtedly going to be the most popular deck of the tournament. Copycat, while excellent at killing you out of nowhere, struggles against Flash threats, big creatures, and counter spells. This deck has all three as centerpieces. Torrential Gearhulk, specifically, is a great card not only for making this deck run smoothly, but its ability to put a fast clock on the opponent makes it an excellent card against Copycat.

The rest of the suite of counter spells and kill spells makes all Copycat variants excellent matchups for this deck, and is likely what drew Jim to this deck to begin with. The weaknesses in this deck are found when its 1-for-1 counter spells and kill spells don’t line up against the opponent’s cards. Planeswalkers are easy to deal with with various counter spells and Ruinous Path, but what if you draw the wrong half of your deck and they can resolve an uncontested planeswalker? The answer is that you either maneuver your way around it (hard to do) or you lose.

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This deck also has a decent matchup against the flavor of the week, G/B Delirium. In that matchup, it’s important that you use your counter spells as soon as an opportunity presents itself. The easiest way for you to lose in that matchup is to let a few spells resolve in the hopes of countering a bigger threat and instead you get run over by mediocre beats.

Going forward, U/B Control seems to be in an excellent position in the format, and I expect it to have a say on the shape of the format as it continues to develop. Here are the changes I would make going forward:


No changes.


-1 Sphinx of the Final Word

-2 Ceremonious Rejection

+3 Transgress the Mind

This is day 25 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 24 here, where we covered one of the most popular decks from this past weekend.

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