White-Blue Control in Modern (Videos)

Feature Article from Seth Manfield
Seth Manfield
4/7/2017 11:01:00 AM
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Recently the White-Blue Control deck has been putting up results both online and at Grand Prix San Antonio. Any deck that surges in popularity in this metagame should have at least a reasonable matchup against Death's Shadow, and this one does. Condemn was not typically played in White-Blue Control until recently, and are in the deck now primarily because of their effectiveness against Death's Shadow.

I don't think that the White-Blue Control deck is only a “team” deck. There were some decks at the last Grand Prix that only were played because it was a team event, and not because they were legitimate contenders in the metagame. White-Blue Control doesn't fall into that category, I saw multiple teams playing the deck, and it was one of the top-performing archetypes on the weekend. Geared toward beating creature decks in game one and then sideboarding into more counters for the bad matchups, White-Blue Control has game in all matchups. In fact, Gregory Orange won GP San Antonio with the deck.

The deck played out for me about as I expected it to. Sometimes it takes a while to take over the game, but like any good control deck there is a point where you take total control and it is only a matter of time until you can finish off the opponent. The match versus Mono-Red Goblins was frustrating. Even though that isn't a mainstream deck, the swarm of Goblin and Bushwhackers was very annoying. Both games we lost it came down to a Lightning Bolt, so it is a matter of thinking about whether we could have preserved our life total more. Overall, I'm happy with how we played those games, and the matchup felt good even though we lost the round. Kor Firewalker is insane against any mono-red deck, and it showed in game two. The other two games we were on the back foot and never able to fully stabilize.

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White-Blue Control did its thing in the other two matches. Even though the White-Blue Hatebears deck has access to annoying cards like flash creatures and Aether Vial, we were able to navigate the games so that we had all the answers at the right time. Spell Queller can be a tricky card to play against, but in general I am okay with playing a card into a Spell Queller if there is a good way to unlock that card from under the Spell Queller later on. Some of the hatebears were effective, but others like Meddling Mage ended up being more or less a Grizzly Bear.

The Grixis Control deck with Blood Moon was very similar to a traditional Blue Moon deck, but had some unconventional cards. Glimmer of Genius plus Torrential Gearhulk is great in Standard, but I'm not so sure about Modern. Ancestral Vision is such a powerful card in these matchups as you can get way ahead on cards, and the opponent isn't putting on lots of early pressure, so you have time to set up. After sideboard the additional counters, Vendilion Clique and even the Celestial Purges definitely helped.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield




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