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U/W Control (First Place Gameday HoD)

Standard Competitive Control W/U (Azorius)



So this a return to old form. Classic control at it's best.

I made this deck for Gameday. I've wanted to feel the classic return to ravnica control for a long time. This is the first time where I've actually felt I've gotten close to it.

So let's get a quick run through.

Win Conditions: Kefnet the Mindful, Gideon of the Trials, Hostile Desert

While there aren't a ton of win-cons but you have plenty of protection to ensure they happen and stay on the field. In my testing once the win con was out very rarely were they able to actually get rid of it.

Now keep in mind that since this is more classic control you aren't winning the game on turn 6-7. In fact you are in the double digits of turns before you get to the end in terms of winning. You can win early but it's not a guarantee, nor is it recommended.

In terms of the rest of the cards, it's all support. Early counter spells, into mid game field wipes, into late game draw resulting in a win.

I'll have a more detailed analysis after game day.


So I will be adding more to this when I get that chance. I wanted to give a light version of my game day which I won Undefeated.

Round 1: 2-0 vs Mono Black Control
Game 1: He came off pretty well all things considering but in mono black control it won't hold against creatures like kefnet.
Game 2: He got mana screwed which made the game much simpler. (Didn't really sideboard much in against this as i didn't feel it was necessary.)

Round 2: 2-0 vs Bant Panharmonicon
Game 1: This was a matchup I wasn't too concerned about since it doesn't really hold well against field wipes and counter magic. However he got severely mana screwed which made the game easy. He scooped once I was near to ult'ing Dovin since he only had 3 lands on the field and I had countered everything else.
Game 2: My opponent got a better start but still it didn't hold well against the multiple field wipes. (Sideboard went very untouched.)

Round 3: 2-1 vs U/G Ramp
Game 1: This one I was worried about a bit since prior to me he had played my buddy who built my deck and won against him. I lost this one but it took a while. His deck was ramping into eldrazi so I found it hard to deal with countering them and dealing with the cast triggers. I learned from my mistakes though. (Sideboarded in the extra oketra and kefnet plus essence scatters, took out the cast out's and 1 dec in stone)
Game 2: I slammed Kefnet on turn 3 and just started hammering in on him as quickly as possible. My guess was right and he didn't have any good early game removal or defenses. Countered certain problem cards that could accelerate into eldrazi and won fairly quick.
Game 3: Same thing as before except this time with gideon. Little more tricky since I didn't have the flying but still got the same results with very little issues.

Round 4: 2-0 vs B/W Midrange
Game 1: Was actually pretty good for me. Mid range has never been a big issue since it's slow enough that once the first wipe hits it's pretty much over. (sided inessence scatter's, took out two censor's)
Game 2: This was a bit more hairy but still I managed to get there eventually. thanks to an eventual field wipe. Getting both gideon and dovin down to lock down two creatures really helped.

Round 5: 2-1 vs Ramanup Red Aggro (I hate this deck, I hate this deck, I hate this deck, I hate this deck, I hate this deck, I hate this deck)
Game 1: This was against quite literally PT Ramanup Red Aggro. I was certain I was going to lose here and be out since we cut to top 8 and this was my semi final match. Luckily my opponent made a misplay that slowed their tempo dramatically and allowed me to get down a wipe and then kefnet followed by another wipe and then pull from tomorrow. (Sided in 3 failure's, 2 essense scatter, 2 oketra's last mercy, and 3 blessed alliance. Sided out 4 disallow, 3 cast out, 2 dec in stone, and a pull from tomorrow)
Game 2: The aggro was on point this game. There was no forgiving misplay. I went a turn with a missed land drop which slowed me and I exhausted my few counterspells early on leaving me hard pressed to find a land to drop fumigate or last mercy. (no sideboard changes)
Game 3: This was a tight game. Aggro came out in full force and being on play REALLY helped. Failure got its time to shine really slowing down the tempo of the aggro until I could land a wipe. However the pressure didn't stop and I ended up having to use last mercy to put me back in the game. After that things went more my way despite my opponent getting me to 12 before I stabilized. After then the game pretty much done. There were some attempts with glorybringer, hazoret, and chandra but they were for naught thanks to my massive card advantage.

Round 6: 3-2 vs B/G Constrictor
Game 1: I came out on top after a fairly well fought game. I dropped 3 fumigates and 1 hour of revelation that game. (we didn't sideboard till game 3 because of being best of 5)
Game 2: This time he gained the upper hand and managed to stick out some great early damage and me getting a wipe WAY too late. (Sideboarded in 2 essence scatters, and 3 blessed alliance, 3 failure. Took out 3 cast out, 2 dec in stone, 1 supreme will and 2 rebuff's)
Game 3: He made a bad misplayed that cost hm the advantage which directly led to my win. He admitted he misplayed a card that really hurt him.
Game 4: I got stuck on 3 lands and in no way could stop him from just killing me with double constrictor and quagmire.
Game 5: This was just a slug fest. Him dropping threat after threat and countering what I could, blessed alliance whatever I could. It felt like for turns it could go either way. After a while he ran out of gas and I was sticking too many hard to remove creatures like oketra and kefnet. Before the last swing I was at 26 life and him at 2. I comply'd a spell so I could get the free swing and win.

Overall thoughts. I LOVE the deck and how it play's. It's very skill intensive but rewarding when piloted well. Winning against Ramanup red was huge as it helped me understand where it stood against mono red aggro. I cannot guarantee i would win again against it but I know I at least have a shot and it can't afford to make mistakes against control any more than I can make against it.

Cards that stood out - Fumigate, Failure//comply, Dovin Baan, Kefnet, Gideon of the Trials

I'll have details later. I will say I was almost certain Ramanup was going to run me over but managed to pull it out. It was a hard fought game as was the last.


xSnowCrashx says... #1

I too like the return to U/W, and I like the slow play. I guess my only question (which I'm sure I know the answer to) is, no Torrential Gearhulk?

July 19, 2017 3:26 p.m.

blong217 says... #2

With the limited amount of creatures i wanted ones who were a bit more resilient.

July 19, 2017 3:57 p.m.

xSnowCrashx says... #3

@blong217 At 5/6 and 6 CMC, the only thing it really needs to worry about in the current meta is Abrade. It even survives Hour of Devastation (which Kefnet the Mindful does not). If you were worried about speed or finishing quickly, I can see Kefnet being much faster, but since you specifically note that this is not the case... The reason I was thinking is that the Gearhulk is just so overplayed, it's maybe time for something new, which I like.

July 19, 2017 4:10 p.m.

dthoreson813 says... #4

But, but... FLASH and cast a spell from your graveyard tho..... ;)

July 20, 2017 9:54 p.m.

Pieguy396 says... #5

I'm not a huge Standard player, but I hear that Glimmer of Genius is pretty good in control decks. Also, Dovin Baan seems a little weak, as he doesn't strongly impact the board a lot. Maybe go -1 Dovin, -1 Prairie Stream for 2 Glimmer?

July 21, 2017 9:08 p.m.

blong217 says... #6

Theres actually no need for glimmer when I'm running pull from tomorrow.

July 22, 2017 8:29 a.m.

ceji3 says... #7

My recommendations via the current meta.

-1 Kefnet, -1 Dovin, -1 rebuff, +3 Torrential Gearhulk
I understand you want more resilient threats, but Gearhulk is just so good. He gives so much value for what you want to be doing. Now, saying that, some cards, namely Pull from Tomorrow, are not very good w/ gearhulk.

-3 Pull From Tomorrow, -1 Rebuff, +4 Glimmer of GeniusGlimmer is great, idk why you wouldnt play it. 4 mana dig 4 cards. Pull from tomorrow is 6 mana to do that, although you do draw 4.

Also, rebuff is not very good right now, as there are still quite a few artifacts running around.

Mono red is very good right now, so you need to be able to survive to get to those turns. I recommend 1 or 2 Blessed Alliance, as it can remove creatures and gain life for you.

Also, why are you running Gideon of the Trials? Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is just so good.

July 22, 2017 5:45 p.m.

blong217 says... #8

While i do appreciate the suggestions i kindly disagree. Mono red is big which makes abrade a real card. So torrential is very suseptible to that.

Glimmer is weak in this build even with the scry since you don't want to cast exactly on turn 4. Rather being able to hold up counter magic then drop pull on turn 6-7 can create a huge advantage glimmer wont get.

In testing rebuff has proven strong early turn since most arent playing many artifacts due to the excess in artifact hate. I mean you have monuments but also literally every other card in that deck that isnt a monument.

Blessed is in my sideboard.

Gideon of the trials is actually really good. His +1 is strong against many decks.

Dovin is nuts insane and highly underrated. At worse its a draw 3 gain 6 life.

July 22, 2017 7:42 p.m.

If your looking for resilient creatures in U/W look no further than Sphinx of the Final Word. A 5/5 flier that can only be removed by either swinging it recklessly or by letting a boardwipe get through, both things which control can avoid with ease. Not only that but he makes it so you win control v control.

Also Linvala, the Preserver provides a ton of utility on a 5/5 flying beatstick.

July 24, 2017 3:10 p.m.

I like UW control. Had someone beat me down hard with it a couple weeks ago. I was playing Temur Energy. The UW control opponent was the only one I lost against. It's rare in my local meta too. I purchased all the singles today from my local LGS to make this deck.

July 24, 2017 4 p.m.

IXC says... #11

Looks pretty cool. I made a U/W control deck, too, with Approach of the Second Sun as the big win-con and a bit more draw. I'd say you might want to look at replacing some of the conditional counter spells (unless they pay X mana, only counters non-artifact spells) with more all-inclusive. I see the value in it as they are cheaper, but I personally feel like it's just better to have no doubt and ensure an answer. If you want to keep it low-low-budget, a great example is Cancel. I'd appreciate your input on my deck, too. U/W Control Second Sun

July 25, 2017 5:12 p.m.

abby315 says... #12

You should consider some amount of Scavenger Grounds in the main (perhaps replacing the manland, which is often going to be a target for dead removal in opp hand) or in the side. It helps you deal with Earthshaker Khenra, Champion of Wits, and Scrapheap Scrounger, plus the entire dredge/emerge deck that's popular. Since you're two color and not running Gearhulk, the mutual effect isn't cumbersome.

July 26, 2017 3:59 p.m.

The_Grape says... #13


This deck looks very nice, but I agree with a few other people on your wincons, on how you run too few. You say that Pull from Tomorrow is to help enable Kefnet and draw a ton for your planeswalkers and counterspell, but playing Approach of the Second Sun will make it so much easier to win. The 7 life from Approach also helps a ton with sustainability.

When it comes to resiliency, Torrential Gearhulk is nuts. Its ability is gross, allowing you to essentially replay a counterspell and get a big beater (wincon). It might die to abrade, but you can either counter the abrade with a counterspell from hand or another gearhulk, or you can have the abrade target the gearhulk instead of your 2 low-loyalty planeswalkers that die very easily to removal. Ulting Dovin Baan is nay impossible in 1v1 standard, so your best bet is to utilize his draw, which if you do the turn you play him, leaves him open to death from a Shock or some sort.

I believe that your deck needs some additions and changes to make it more competitively viable, but I built it as is and played with and without the upgrades different people (myself included) have suggested, and it worked very well with bot versions. Keep up the good work, I cannot wait to see results from game day. I hope that they provide more insight into how to better the deck.

July 26, 2017 11:31 p.m.

Thanks for the FNM update. I really would have liked to see how the deck performed against mono red. I will try it out tomorrow at a LGS that isn't super competitive (usually). We'll see how it goes. I know mono red is at the top of the meta right now, but I think that the midrange and control decks are still being tuned and with all of the board wipe, counter spell, fog, and health boost cards in the format right now, I think RDW will be dethroned before Ixalan comes. Aggro usually doesn't have good card draw, so if you can counter the early threats and wipe the board, aggro will stall out.

July 29, 2017 11:22 a.m.

blong217 says... #15

Yeah that was my thoughts. The early game is key against aggro and if you can stall anx hurt them enough to minimize damage then you should be fine. Siding in oketra's last mercy after the first game is key. Also essence scatter, blessed alliance, and failure to comply.

July 29, 2017 11:54 a.m.

I'm not sure at this point if Hour of Revelation is too slow. This deck might need to splash in some red to get Sweltering Suns. I haven't tested yet. I'm just expecting to run into aggro and trying to prepare for it.

July 31, 2017 9:16 a.m.

blong217 says... #17

I updated the side to focus more on aggro cause the main is already good against midrange and control.

July 31, 2017 12:04 p.m.

I also play U/W control. Might i suggest possibly using Glyph Keeper? I find he is a very underrated card and can be extremely hard to deal with, as he both automatically counters the first spell or ability thrown at him as well as having embalm.

July 31, 2017 10:13 p.m.

AiryNeon says... #19

Hi. I'm a super intense control player, and I'm a super intense standard player. I'd love to help you out with your deck (if you want my help), but commenting has never really been something I'm good at. If you want, I can make a list of my own as to how I would build the deck, and I can share it with you. I can put my thoughts behind the cards I put in, or whatever you ask me to do. If you want me to do this, mention me here or post something on my profile.

Good luck with your deck!


August 1, 2017 4:40 p.m.

owen.donnelly says... #20

Pull from Tomorrow is really awkward in a lot of situations, Glimmer of Genius is much better and is rarely stuck in hand like Pull can sometimes be. Kefnet, Oketra, and Gideon are fine, but Torrential Gearhulk is an absolute monster, and is almost always a 2 for 1 if not better. I would go up to the full 4 Cast Out, cutting Revolutionary Rebuff, a mediocre card at best. I would also run some number of Essence Scatter mainboard, I play UR control with 3x Essence Scatter and it's never been a dead card, even in the control matchups for Thing in the Ice  Flip and Gearhulk.

Speaking of Thing in the Ice  Flip, you should definitely have some number of them in the sideboard, as they are a real all-star in post-board games when your opponent boards out most of their removal.

Hostile Desert. Really? Why? How do you get lands in the graveyard, I see no discard outlet. It just seems like a colorless land that never gets activated. I guess you have the discard from Pull from Tomorrow, but pull itself usually finds the threats you need, so running it seems useless.

I would play Immolating Glare or Blessed Alliance main-deck in replace for Dovin Baan, as he's a mediocre planeswalker, and those are really great removal spells.

August 5, 2017 11 p.m.

Good job on Game Day! I thought red aggro would be tough, but you made it and that is great.

@ owen.donnelly - He has 4 lands that can cycle and can later be used by Hostile Desert. As OP pointed out, the games are going to go long. So probably plenty of time to cycle an Irrigated Farmland and/or discard cards from hand due to Pull From Tomorrow.

@ blong217 I think it is somewhat amusing that everyone keeps trying to sell you on Torrential Gearhulk. I'm not denying it is a strong card, but if it is as great as people are saying, then why isn't control higher up in the meta? There is more artifact hate now more than ever. I'm not sold on Torrential Gearhulk still being viable. I think Locus God might be good for control or go with an Approach of the Second Sun strategy or maybe a combo of the two. Red might be useful to have to throw in some Sweltering Suns. Not 100% sure though.

August 5, 2017 11:46 p.m.

dthoreson813 says... #22

Congrats on a top finish on game day! You have inspired me to get back on the control train.

I'm looking to go BUR to get some 'x' casting cost spells cast with metallurgic summonings. Along the way, imminent doom may just tick tick tick tick up.... ;)

It's been about fifteen years since I've played blue/x/x control, so this should be fun. I'm having trouble shaving cards off to get to 60 though. Any help would be appreciated.



I guess copy paste should do it as I can't link my deck sorry.

Ty again

August 6, 2017 9:19 a.m.

Oketra the true? you only have 2 other creatures in the deck...You need Torrential Gearhulk in the deck

August 8, 2017 6:03 p.m.

blong217 says... #24

I do not need torrential gearhulk, nor do i want it. Also I have 4 creatures. Technically 5 since Oketra makes creatures.

Gideon of the trials
Oketra the true
Kefnet the mindfull
Token soldiers
Hostile desert

August 8, 2017 7:18 p.m.

@yahli8404 im pretty sure youve never played a control deck.. you never need more creatures when it comes to true control. Where Gearhulk is absolutely insane as a card, clearly Blong is doing just fine without him in [email protected] congrats on gameday win! love your deck and have been playing a very close variation of it for a while now, with not quite as much success. but nevertheless, congrats!

August 9, 2017 5:11 p.m.

sagartomar99 says... #26

Not to put you down or anything but seems like you got more lucky than actually won with the deck from reading about the matches. Just an observation.

August 9, 2017 6:03 p.m.

blong217 says... #28

While I do appreciate the thought, since gameday I have been playing more; especially against decks like Ramanup Red. I can beat it fairly reliably (especially with authority now in side). I didn't feel the need to post ALL game results as it seemed pointless. I can post those if you would like.

Proformrocks 311 you are correct. While Torrential is insanely good it also creates a fragility the deck doesn't have an could potentially hurt me in the long run.

August 9, 2017 6:45 p.m.

Phenn says... #29

Awesome deck list. I've really wanted to play Kefnet, and this looks perfect. Do you anticipate it'll survive rotation well? What would you sub in for Blessed Alliance and Declaration in Stone?

August 10, 2017 10:49 a.m.

blong217 says... #30

I do believe it will survive rotation. The cards i will lose aren't the primary staples of the deck. Its part of the reason i built it like i did. As for replacements im still looking. I will wait foe the new set incase something new shows up.

August 10, 2017 11:19 a.m.

myronrocks says... #31

Nice game day update. It's nice to read about deck/pilot game performance. I always try and update with tournament results if I can.

Congrats on the win!

August 10, 2017 12:40 p.m.

Om3gaOm3n says... #32

Upvote just for the simple fact that you made a very useable UW control deck WITHOUT Gearhulk. The only thing I might suggest is a possible turn 1 creature (for aggro) Thraben Inspector just an idea for the added card draw or Expedition Envoy for the 2 power. I'm more of a creature based player which is why I suggested it. I think I'll invest in a deck like this. :)

August 12, 2017 3:42 p.m.

blong217 says... #33

I will say aggroing out can be difficult at times but kefnet makes it possible on turn 4 if i can drop him turn 3. Though I've run into only a few times i needed to actually do that.

August 12, 2017 4:52 p.m.

SharkyBigJaws says... #34

So why is oketra a thing in this deck, just for the activation? and because if u have kefnet and oketra you can turn her one via one activation? Because Wouldnt it just give them something to do with their main board removal?

August 12, 2017 5:31 p.m.

blong217 says... #35

Oketra has a big caboose that gets around hour of devestation. Also gives me another creature incase a card like lost legacy resolves. Also she can be easy to activate with kefnet, gideon, and hostile desert. Not to mention she makes good chump blocking dudes that help you withstand edict effects.

August 12, 2017 5:50 p.m.

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Date added 4 months
Last updated 3 months

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 3.17
Tokens 1/1 Warrior
Folders Idea Farm, Try me!, Cool Decks, Good Decks, Standard, Control, Favorite Standard, Standard, Try These, izzet, See all 31
Top rank #1 on 2017-08-13
Views 8709

Revision 8 See all

4 months ago)

+3 Authority of the Consuls side
-3 Negate side