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Budget UW Jail Control




Instant (4)


This deck is a modified version of the budget vesion of Nevermore, featured in MTGGoldfish budget modern series.

Most of the explanation of how the deck works can be found in their deck, but for some reason any link I add doesn't show up so I guess that you'll have to google "MTGGoldfish Nevermore" yourself. Sorry!

Just to be clear, this deck is bad. It's really cheap, most of the time it won't work. Thug budget life, deal with it.

  • The mana

The mana pool is horrible. Due to my really tight budget, I can't really afford any good dual land, and therefore this decks suffers a lot from really slow lands (Evolving Wilds, Tranquil Cove, Basics)

The only two "decent" lands are the Ghostly quarter, that allow us to put a fight aganist tron decks or getting rid of annoying lands, and Port Town, because at least we have the option of it not being tapped out when it enters. We will probably want to play an island (or port town revealing a land) on turn one, for Telepathy or Peek.

  • The win condition

Another thing this deck desesperately needs is a better win condition, but for now this will do. We have two AEtherling as our main win condition. If we get to cast this, we will have a good chance at winning just by making him unblockable and giving him more power. If the enemy tries to deal with it, you can always phase him out to protect it. Enemy casts Dismember? Phase him out! He answers with Doom Blade or Path to Exile? Phase him out again as an answer! The only two things you need to take care of is that it doesn't get countered when you cast it, and that you have enough mana after casting him to be able to phase him out equal to the stuff in the enemy hand that could deal with him (You should have enough intel thanks to Peek + Telepathy ).

  • The draw

We don't have a lot of stuff that draws cards, and the things we have only draws us a single card, so we won't be getting a lot of disposable stuff.

Spreading Seas, Peek and Cast Out are our only draws, and they should be seen more as a way to replace the cards with something else than proper drawing. Peek will give us information about the enemy hand in exchange of a single blue mana (it's a good turn 1 opening, since we get to know what is the enemy playing and getting information about the enemy hand is always nice for helping with part of our prison)

  • The prison

Finally, we get to the heart of this deck. It's a prison deck, so most of the cards in the deck will either lock our opponent out of the game, help us before the prison is set up or making our enemy unable to break it.

So we start the prison with, well, a prison. Ghostly Prison will help a lot against aggressive decks or tokens, or at least slow them down until we really get to the fun. Getting a few of these running will make it very hard for our enemy to attack us, but not impossible.

But there's where Sphere of Safety enters. It's a bit more costly than the prison, but it makes it more expensive to pay based on the number of enchantments we're running. We're running quite a few of them. You'll find yourself often in a situation where the enemy has to pay about 10 mana to attack with a single creature, just with a sphere and a few prisons. This is really neat aganist a lot of decks, but obviously it falls apart aganist stuff like burn or combo, or anything that doesn't rely on creatures hitting us for lethal.

So now we proceed to the second part of the prison! We're running a playset of Nevermore. Thanks to all the intel we should have on the enemy hand with Nevermore + Peek or Nevermore + Telepathy we should be able to make our enemies unable to cast their core pieces. Playing aganist storm? Play nevermore naming grapeshot. Stuff like that. We're also running a few Gideon's Intervention in our sideboard, and while it's a bit more expensive than nevermore, it also helps you if the threat is already on the board when you cast it. You can probably run three and one in the mainboard if you want.

Last but not least, Dovescape is a really good card in this deck. It's quite slow, but we won't have issues with the triple mana (as we are running U/W), and basically locks out 90% of the enemy answers. If you get to play this, the only answer your enemy has is some sort of ability that comes from a creature. You're covered from everything else. While there's technically a downside (You give tokens with flying to your oponent), Ghostly Prison + Sphere of Safety should take care of it, and our win condition doesn't really care about the tokens having flying.

  • The counterspell

I always like to mainboard a few counterspells. They are always handy. It's not much, but running three Negate and a Mana Leak can be quite helpful, specially when our enemy tries to deal with our enchantments with removal. Between dovescape and negate, our only fear are creatures, but we have a lot of removal just in case.

  • The intel

Peek + Telepathy will give us all the intel we need. Peek will draws us the card that we lose when we cast it, and while Telepathy won't get us our card draw, it's a cheap enchantment that boosts our Sphere of Safety.

  • The removal

First of all, we're playing with a playset of Journey to Nowhere. It's cheaper than path to exile (in money, not in mana) and it leaves us with an enchantment in the board to boost our Sphere of Safety.

We also have two Cast Out to deal with other stuff. It has flash, and again it's an enchantment that will boost our sphere. While it's expensive for removal, we also have the option to cycle it for only a white, so it's not really a dead card in our hand.

I'm still not sold on this, but we're running a day of judgement as a board wipe. It's handy aganist aggresive decks, and since the only creature we're running is AEtherling and it can phase out, it doesn't affect us at all.

Last but not least, Detention Sphere is our bread and butter of removal. Basically a cheaper cast out, that also deals with all the permanents with the same name on the board.

  • The sideboard

We're running Lone Missionary as a way to deal with burn. While it's not ideal and something like Leyline of Sanctity would be way better, it's cheap and it can also be helpful aganist really aggressive decks.

More about aggressive decks, we have a playset of Condemn. While we heal the enemy, it will buy us time to set up the prison, and our AEtherling will take the extra life slowly yet steadily afterwards.

Two Disenchant because you may never know if there's something that could bother you, since our only instant speed enchantment removal is Cast Out, and it's not exactly fast.

Two Gideon's Intervention, for reasons mentioned before.

Two Dispel and one Negate, because you never know when you need to counter a spell (well, if it's in the sideboard, you know that you need to counter a spell, that's why you take them out of here)

  • The maybeboard

Starfield of Nyx gives us an alternate win condition, but the fact that Dovescape gives our enemy a lot of blockers makes it a bid bad on that regard. While bringing enchantments back from the graveyard is good enough to play it, turning your enchantments into creatures is a double-edge sword where you really don't want to be in the sharp edge, since it makes your board vulnerable to wraths and creature removal spells. Oh, and it also makes your Day of Judgment backfire.

Sphinx's Revelation is a nice draw engine, we could run a couple of this on the mainboard.

Supreme Verdict is a better wrath. I'm pending to replace it.

Narset Transcendent goes really well with this deck. The +1 will give us draws a lot of the time (the only creature we run is aetherling, so more than half of the time we will draw something with the +1), the -2 unfortunately isn't too good in our deck (Best we can do is draw two cards with a single peek), but the -9 is amazing in our deck, giving us a permanent emblem that's a strictly better Dovescape, since it only affects our enemy, doesn't give him tokens, and there's no way to remove the emblem for the enemy. I really want to add this.

Temple of Enlightenment would be nice lands to add, and the scry would work really well with narset. Play temple, scry, send a land to the bottom if there's one and use narset.


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Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 years
Key combos

This deck is Modern legal.

Rarity (main - side)

4 - 0 Mythic Rares

22 - 4 Rares

9 - 3 Uncommons

13 - 8 Commons

Cards 58
Avg. CMC 3.12
Tokens Narset
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