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FNM Testing Update —July 27, 2017
So I took the deck to both a FNM and Wednesday Night magic for testing against decks. Here are the results and some thoughts.
Vs Temur Energy 2-0: This is a friends deck who is highly competitive. There was no point during the entire match I felt like I was near losing. Timely fumigates and counterspell's just kept his deck completely off tempo. Even after he sided in prowling serpopard I could just keep the deck from getting done what it wanted to do. Failure's and essence scatters came in in place of rebuff's and a single censor.
Vs G/R Energy 2-0: Literally same as the first in idea except easier because he didn't have as many backup's to try and save his creatures from field wipes and counters.
Overall vs energy; thoughts: This seems like a fairly easy match-up. Midrange decks have always struggled against control. This was no exception. The biggest problem they had was dealing with kefnet. Often removal sat dead in their hands doing absolutely nothing because kefnet just avoided it all. This is another reason I choose Kefnet over Torrential and it's more and more becoming evident that is was the better choice.
vs Grixis Control 2-0: It was a very weird and grindy matchup. He ran the atypical cards; torrential, hour of devestation, nicol bolas, locus god, yada yada yada. He did land one hour against kefnet but it didn't bother me because the very next turn I pulled x6 and got another right into my hand. Every time he dropped gearhulk I just countered it leaving plenty of mana open for a second or even third counter spell. I double countered bolas and generally kept him from playing things. Yes glimmer could get 2 cards into his hand but I well out drew him often for x=5 or higher. One game I won off the back of manland and gideon.
vs U/R control 2-0: This was possibly the hardest matchup. Two color control tends to be much more efficient in the long run. However this match demonstrates why I ran U/W control over any other. U/W offers the most variety in terms of removal. He played thing in ice, torrential, and I can't remember the other creature. Torrentials only made it to the field rarely and often died shortly after without dealing damage. I disallowed a thing flip which was funny cause he was tapped out. Often the times I let torrential hit the field I did to get card advantage then remove it right after. I do agree that it's a harder matchup but still possible to win even relatively easy if you play the long game.
Overall vs control; a weird and slow matchup to be certain but the theory remains the same. Kefnet is near impossible to properly deal with unless to invest enough resources and often doing that puts you on the disadvantage. In one instance I played kefnet mid-late game and he torrentialed in response in which I just countered the torrential because I had way more open mana than he did. After kefnet was on the field he had nothing to deal with it except hopefully getting hour but I still had enough open mana to counter that. Sideboard wise it's just add negates and Oketra since she get around hour of devestation
Vs Sultai Delirium 2-1: This was.....odd. I never expected to play against delirium because it seemed dead. Low and behold I played against delirium. The first game was more getting my footing and trying to understand where it was coming from. I won but it was a hard battle due to the fact the deck thrived off the graveyard. I will probably add in graveyard hate in the side just to deal with that deck and the monuments deck or any other that needs to use the graveyard.
Vs B/W Curses 2-0: Uhhhhh side in second of hour of revelation. Counter most anything that resembles hand attack. Let maybe 1 or 2 curses hit and cast out a little later. Yeah curses struggles hard against control. It's trying to control itself but won't get there.
Final thoughts: The deck is playing like I expected. The sideboard changed slightly to meet more evident problems but overall the main remained the same. Deck is brutal and very controlly. I stand by my decision to not play Torrential. I this urrent meta there are TONS of removal floating around that can easily deal with torrential. Casting a 6 mana creature creates less of a chance to protect it from targeted removal. Kefnet not only allows for more open mana to protect but he also draws cards and make most removal dead in hand. I can't count the number of times that cards light harnessed lighting, never to return, unlicensed disintegration, abrade and many more sat dead in a players hand because they couldn't use it against Kefnet. I look forward to game day and will report with those results. I do fear aggro a bit but I need to play against it first to really see what it's like.
Sideboard changes: -3 horribly awry +1 approach -1 essence scatter -1 failure +2 oketra the true (good vs control) - 1 blessed alliance +3 negate (good vs control)
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.
With the limited amount of creatures i wanted ones who were a bit more resilient.
July 19, 2017 3:57 p.m.
@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.
But, but... FLASH and cast a spell from your graveyard tho..... ;)
July 20, 2017 9:54 p.m.
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.
Theres actually no need for glimmer when I'm running pull from tomorrow.
July 22, 2017 8:29 a.m.
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.
July 22, 2017 5:45 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
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.