Thoughts on UG Control?
Posted on March 27, 2019, 9:09 a.m. by clayperce
Here's my latest weird Ponza(ish) brew; I'd love your thoughts and suggestions!
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The deck is built around my new favorite Land Destruction spell, Repudiate / Replicate . Yeah, it's conditional, but stifling an opponent's Fetchland is spectacularly evil in the early game. Plus the card offer a bunch of value in the late-game, unlike traditional Ponza spells such as Stone Rain .
Keeping 2 mana up is a VERY real cost though in a Sorcery-speed deck like Ponza, so I shifted to Flash creatures and Instant-speed effects.
Thanks in advance for your comments!
Yeah, maybe ... though the deck generates enough mana that it's probably better to use a three-drop that will also hit triggered abilities (e.g., Nimble Obstructionist , Disallow , Voidslime ). I'll definitely keep Squelch in mind though once I start testing!
March 27, 2019 4:42 p.m.
I run a similar deck, although a bit different. It shares some ideas (like mana hate).
Might be worth glancing at for ideas, I've been refining it for a while now.
March 27, 2019 10:26 p.m.
it basically just looks like a weird mashup of ramp into semi-big threats with suboptimal control elements. besides fetchlands, what activated or triggered abilities are you hoping to stop with Repudiate / Replicate ?
March 28, 2019 2:28 a.m.
March 28, 2019 12:50 p.m.
Also hits ETB/LTB abilities which is important for stoping combo/advantage.
Also can stop stuff like Sanctum of Ugin
March 28, 2019 12:59 p.m.
heckproof: planeswalkers rarely ult in modern. but i don't really see any value in temporarily stopping a planeswalker that the opponent can just use again later, unless the walker can be attacked and destroyed the following turn
March 28, 2019 8:49 p.m.
@PlatinumOne That’s a fair point. I was speaking more from personal experience; my meta runs a surprisingly high amount of Nahiri, the Harbinger , and in many cases a stifle effect is literally the only thing that will save you from hasty Emrakul, and in many cases the Nahiri opponent goes directly for the ult, meaning that stifling it will just straight kill the Nahiri without ult.
I sorta assumed from the build that OP’s meta has enough grindy planeswalker decks to warrant repudiate
March 28, 2019 10:56 p.m.
> weird mashup of ramp into semi-big threats with suboptimal control elements.
That's actually a great definition of what Ponza is all about! I usually describe the deck more like "aggressive ramp into bulk rares that you would never expect could be good in Modern, with an overlay of annoying mana-denial Control", but yours will certainly do. The thing is, it works surprisingly well in many metas.
> besides fetchlands, what activated or triggered abilities are you hoping to stop with Repudiate / Replicate
I actually laid that out in the deck description, but in case you missed it here it is again:
- Opponent transforms a Thing in the Ice? Repudiate the triggered ability and our team stays on the field.
- Opponent wants to make us sac' a creature with Lili, put a Terminus on top with Jace, or ultimate whatever random Planeswalker they have? Repudiate the activated ability and we've totally turned the game around.
- Opponent tries to Modular a ton of +1/+1 counters onto their attacking Inkmoth Nexus, wipe our board with an Oblivion Stone, Equip a Batterskull, Crew a Smuggler's Copter, etc, etc, etc? Repudiate gives us answers (or at least options) we never had in 'normal' Ponza.
Here are more details though, looking at the top meta decks in turn ...
- UR Phoenix: Often game-changing vs. trigger of Awoken Horror . Often good vs. triggers of Snapcaster Mage and Arclight Phoenix .
- Dredge: Often game-changing vs. trigger of Bloodghast and Narcomoeba (if opp has multiple Prized Amalgam in the graveyard) or Prized Amalgam (if there's only one). Often good vs. triggers of Creeping Chill and Stinkweed Imp , and activated ability of Shriekhorn .
- Tron: Often game-changing vs. -X of Ugin, the Spirit Dragon or activated ability of Oblivion Stone . Often good vs. triggers of Wurmcoil Engine , Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger , activated ability of Walking Ballista , Expedition Map , and Relic of Progenitus , and -3 of Karn Liberated .
- Humans: Often game-changing vs. trigger of Kitesail Freebooter , Meddling Mage , Phantasmal Image , and Reflector Mage , and activated ability of Aether Vial . Often good vs. triggers of Champion of the Parish , Noble Hierarch , and Thalia's Lieutenant (plus Anafenza, the Foremost , Deputy of Detention , Kambal, Consul of Allocation , and Sin Collector , if they have them).
- UW Control: Often game-changing vs. actived ability of Celestial Colonnade . Often good vs. +1 (since they're tapped out the next turn) and -3 of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria , and 0 of Jace, the Mind Sculptor (if we think they have a Terminus ).
- Burn: Often good vs. trigger of Monastery Swiftspear and Eidolon of the Great Revel , and activated ability of Grim Lavamancer .
- Hardened Affinity: Often game-changing vs. Modular of Arcbound Ravager and trigger of Hangarback Walker , and activated ability of Inkmoth Nexus . Often good vs. triggered ability of Arcbound Worker , and activated ability of Walking Ballista , Steel Overseer , Welding Jar , Animation Module , Throne of Geth , and Blinkmoth Nexus .
- Grixis Shadow: Meh. Perhaps good vs. trigger of Snapcaster Mage or activated ability of Mishra's Bauble .
- Amulet Titan: Often game-changing vs. trigger of Primeval Titan . Often good vs. trigger of Amulet of Vigor , Trinket Mage and Bojuka Bog , and activated ability of Walking Ballista , Engineered Explosives , Gemstone Mine , Ghost Quarter , Slayers' Stronghold , and Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion .
- RG Rock: Often game-changing vs. +1 and -2 of Liliana of the Veil , +1 and -2 of Liliana, the Last Hope . Often good vs. triggered and activated abilities of Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet , triggered abilites of Tireless Tracker , and activated ability of Scavenging Ooze , Hissing Quagmire , and Treetop Village .
- Whir Prison: Meh. Perhaps good vs. trigger of Bottled Cloister and activated ability of Engineered Explosives , Mishra's Bauble , Tormod's Crypt , Welding Jar , and Inventors' Fair .
- Old-school Affinity: Often game-changing vs. Modular of Arcbound Ravager , Equip of Cranial Plating , and activated ability of Inkmoth Nexus . Often good vs. trigger of Signal Pest and activated ability of Welding Jar and Blinkmoth Nexus .
- Ad Nauseum: Meh. Perhaps good vs. activated ability of Simian Spirit Guide .
- Spirits: Often game-changing vs. trigger of Phantasmal Image , Reflector Mage , and Spell Queller , and activated ability of Mausoleum Wanderer and Aether Vial . Often good vs. trigger of Mausoleum Wanderer , Noble Hierarch , Rattlechains , Geist of Saint Traft , and Deputy of Detention , and activated ability of Selfless Spirit .
All that said, it's clear that in many cases a 2-mana counterspell (e.g., Negate or Mana Leak ) is better than a 2-mana stifle effect ... certainly UW Control has found that to be the case! What's not clear to me yet is if that's the case in UG Control as well ...