Help W/ Mono U Control

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Haven't been in the game for a few years. Making this deck to play w/ a new friend that plays magic. I know he runs burn among other decks so I figured a control mono U deck would be a good start to combat not only straight burn but other types of decks. I play casual and stick to vintage as far as card restrictions and bans. Trying to make this deck on a budget. Budget to me is under 20$, but I could go to 30$ max. Just trying to keep it easy on the pocket. I tend to go overboard w/ my addiction and run a LARGE tab on mtgfanatic, ebay, coolstuffinc, etc, which is why I've quit before!

Anyhow, Here's the deck and any advice is appreciated.

20x island

4x dispel
4x spell pierce
4x miscalculation
4x mana leak
4x counterspell
4x forbid

1x ponder (This still restricted in vintage?)
3x impulse

3x boomerang
3x unsummon

3x mahamoti djinn
3x fettergeist

Basically counter and bounce to control the early board till I can get a big flying beater out there for the win condition. Really had no clue on anything that might be more suitable for lands besides basics. This would probably run me about 20$ give or take and I believe it could definitely handle a basic burn deck or any other standard creature deck, etc.

Thoughts?
Needs delver of secrets, prob 1-2 talrand, sky summoner and as many phyrexian mana spells as u can pack into their. Then lots of counters and draw. think twice is useful? ponder and preordain are banned in modern/extended/standard
Thanks for the input jnp5021.

I contemplated the delver of secrets. He seems great, but what's to stop him from simply getting burned or spot removaled if I cast him in the early rounds. Or say I don't and it happens later rounds. Why mess w/ him in later rounds when I could drop the mahamoti djinn or fettergeist?

talrand, sky summoner seems like he would fit great, but seems like if I'm spending 4 converted I might as well be dropping a hvy beater right? Plus, he's certainly out of the price range.

What exactly are the phyrexian mana spells you are referring to?... I've been out of the loop for a while so I'm not sure what exactly you're referring to.

think twice looks great, but you don't think the impulse and ponder will be enough draw to keep the pace up?... Is it worth dropping some counter for you think? Okay, well I play vintage so as far as I know ponder is still restricted which is why I threw one in there.
Holy *&$^. After a bit of searching I found the phyrexian mana cost cards you were referring to. Maybe it's just me but those are some seriously resourceful cards... Reminds me of a force of will. Here is the deck modified. Not sure if the mental misstep is worth removing something even though it seems very handy for early game, not so much for later.

20x island

4x dispel
4x spell pierce
4x miscalculation
4x mana leak
4x counterspell
4x forbid

4x gitaxian probe

3x boomerang
3x unsummon

3x mahamoti djinn
3x fettergeist
Nevinyrral's Disk

Back To Basics

Both are really powerful.

Into The Roil is my favorite bounce spell.  Use it if you want.

I'd scrap Dispel and maybe even Spell Pierce, they aren't really that great unless you know what deck you'll be playing against.


Sphinx of Jwar Isle is loads better than Mahamoti Djinn, blue actually gets good creatures these days.


I'd play Into the Roil over Unsummon, being able to use it to draw cards late in the game is very useful, and it can bounce things besides creatures. If you just want a creature bounce spell then you should probably play Silent Departure, since you can flash it back later.


Sapphire Medallion or Everflowing Chalice would be good. You can play them with three Island out and still leave up a Mana Leak or Miscalculation.


Your deck could really use some Preordain too, it's one of the best filter spells in the game, and better than Brainstorm and Ponder usually when you don't have any fetchlands.


You'll want some card draw. Think Twice or Fact or Fiction would probably be best.


You might want to consider Cloud of Faeries and Spellstutter Sprite.


Narcolepsy gives you a way to deal with resolved threats. There's also Curse of Chains. Edit: Actually Psionic Blast might be best because it is instant speed.


Edit 2: And this deck could really use Dismiss.


Wow. Definitely some great advice. Thanks guys. That sphinx of jwar isle is a super mahamoti djinn!

Okay, so first off, nevinyrral's disk, back to basics, sapphire medallion, fact or fiction are all way too expensive to fit into this budget deck.

I'm having a pretty hard time balancing the counter/draw/bounce and making sure I have enough counter in here and not too much draw. However, I'm feeling the bounce can be cut down. Here's what I came up with. Tell me what you think. (Counter to draw ratio okay or too even? More counter less draw?) If less draw would it be worth it to cut down a bit of the draw to add a few everflowing chalice?

20x island

4x miscalculation
4x mana leak
4x counterspell
4x forbid

4x gitaxian probe
4x preordain
3x think twice

3x into the roil
4x psionic blast

3x sphinx of jwar isle
3x fettergeist

I didn't realize Sapphire Madallion was expensive, I thought it was chaff that nobody played. Fact or Fiction isn't too expensive though, about a $1 each I think, though I'm not sure what your budget is.


With the amount of Island and counterspells you have I think Spire Golem is going to be better than Fettergeist. At worst it is a Fettergeist with one less power, but at best it is cheap or even free creature that allows you to hold up counters. Delver of Secrets is also incredibly potent in your deck, since it is almost exclusively instants.


You might not want to be running so many Gitaxian Probe, if you get a hand with two Probes and a Psionic Blast that's pretty bad against an aggro deck.




My budget is 20-30$ for this deck. So I can afford say, the playset of psionic blast for 5.50$ off ebay. But you have to keep the entire deck list in mind. That playlist alone takes up a bit of the budget. So even though a card is 1$ makin' the playset 4$, it's not that expensive, but a deck full of them adds up.

I really don't see the huge benefit in the fact or fiction card... Also I don't entirely get it. So the opponent can say, make 4 of the cards revealed one pile, and say 1 island the other pile?... Oh wait... I get it. I would get to choose so they try to make both piles more even... I get it. Still don't see the huge benefit for 4 converted... Is there something more to it I'm not getting?...

I definitely see the benefit in the spire golem. I'll run it over the fettergeist. When I contemplated the delver of secrets I just saw it getting spot removed so easily w/ burn or B/W removal. But I guess that's just something I need to watch out for and for 1 converted I can keep a counter rdy. Sure.

I'm starting to get pretty excited about running this as my comeback deck. Just want to get it perfect before I go droppin' cash online for the cards. How's this?

20x island

4x miscalculation
4x mana leak
4x counterspell
4x forbid

3x gitaxian probe
3x preordain
3x think twice

3x into the roil
4x psionic blast

2x delver of secrets
3x sphinx of jwar isle
3x spire golem
When I contemplated the delver of secrets I just saw it getting spot removed so easily w/ burn or B/W removal



They HAVE to kill Delver or it will win you the game. It's such an awesome critter for control.

I personally think 20 lands for control is too low - going up to 22-24 would be better. Also some Man Lands is good for control decks.

I'm not really a fan of Psionic in here - it doesn't feel right/ I'd replace it with either more board control, or better draw.
Your point about the Delver is understood. Even if it gets taken out, it's occupying the opponents action. If not delt with it's a constant flyin' beater each turn. I definitely get it.

20 too low eh? Would it still be too low if I made room for a few everflowing chalice you think? Or would a few more land be more effective than a few everflowing chalice you think? The fairy conclave looks like it would be decent but for 1$ each I don't think it is worth it in this deck.

I'm gonna have to disagree on the Psionic not being effective here. It seems great to me. For multiple reasons. It addresses board threats that couldn't be taken care of w/ counter. However I think it has more of an edge being an instant and being able to use on(or at the end of) the opponents turn, which makes it better than other options for this purpose like the curse of chains. However, it also has the direct damage use. For instance it could in many cases be the final damage dealer in a game after getting threw w/ 5 damage from say a sphinx. When there aren't any board threats it still has a purpose. For those few reasons I think it's a pretty good fit and makes it better than even more draw or creature enchantment board control.
How about something like this?

4x delver of secrets
2x jace's phantasm
1x talrand, sky summoner
1x consecrated sphinx

3x gitaxian probe
3x vapor snag
4x thought scour
4x mana leak
4x rune snag
2x think twice
1x jace beleren
4x rewind
1x devastation tide

26x island


So jace beleren, the sphinx, and talrand all together should be like...12 bucks. The rest is dirt cheap. Lots of draw, some powerful finishers, lots of counterspells and some bounce. Everyone always forgets about rune snag! This should play pretty well for casual
talrand, sky summoner and consecrated sphinx are both way to expensive to fit the budget... jace's phantasm fits nice but I'm having to rely on the oppoents graveyard for him to be at all effective, which I don't like.

I like the vapor snag but it's only creatures. Thinking into the roil might be a better option because it's more versatile. I definitely like the thought scour and think it might be more helpful than the think twice. Don't see how the devastation tide is very effective because if the deck is serving it's purpose the opponent shouldn't have much of anything on the board 4-5th round, and the little they do have should be able to be handled if the deck is doing it's job... Not a huge fan of the 4 converted cost counter either. Don't really see the huge benefit in getting to untap my own lands when it's always going to be on the opponents turn.

rune snag is a no brainer replacement for miscalculation.

Just to verify, I'll be ordering of mtgfanatic and ebay for more expensive cards in playsets or if you know somewhere cheaper then by all means. Where are you getting your prices from though? I certainly don't have any gaming store local. (closest 45-60 minutes)

Revised:

22x island

4x rune snag
4x mana leak
4x counterspell
4x forbid

3x gitaxian probe
3x preordain
3x thought scour

3x into the roil
4x psionic blast

3x sphinx of jwar isle
3x delver of secrets

I feel like if there was something that fit in this deck so great that it had to go in, that psionic blast could possibly be replaced. However i still feel it would be extremely well fitted and resourceful in this deck. Thoughts on the revised list?
If u want it to stay mono blue, not really. Lol. Mono blue control has too many flaws by itself. That's why u always see or : u: lists for control.
Oh and that price was listed off tcgplayer.com.

Rewind is amazing because it, I don't know, UNTAPS YOUR LAND so u have more mana up for additional countermagic or draw spells.

Aggro decks will try and draw out your counters with weaker plays so they can land what they really need. Rewind prevents that possibility.

D tide is for when your deck DOESN'T function as planned. Jeez man, there are gonna be games where see 1 counter, a critter, then nothing but land. It just happens.

Sure I could play a deck with 6 land and say, yah I can cast my grave titan on turn 6 cuz I have the land! But that's obviously stupid. Sometimes the magic gods are not kind. This is why we build redundancy and back up plans into the builds
I see. Sorry but the "not really" is directed towards?... The psionic blast comment?

Definitely appreciate all your help. Every response I keep seeing cards that are new to me and damn. Some of them are ridiculously awesome. I need to catch up! :P

I see the benefit to the rewind. As far as more mana on the opponents turn to draw, I only have one instant draw card that can be used on an opponents turn in this playlist so far. However, untapped for more counter is definitely a plus. Question is, is it worth it enough to get rid of some of the stuff I have in currently to fit it in?

In the incident where I get mana flooded I would hope w/ the amount of draw cards I have in there, they could hopefully pull my butt out of the frying pan so to speak. Cool

Maybe you're right. Maybe I should two tone it. Your the recent player here and I'm very rusty. I just sorta assumed mono U would be ez to budget and balance. So how would you modify my current playlist? Do you really think I should just go two tone and if so, that I would be able to stay under the same budget and be just as if not more effective than what I'm currently coming to w/ the current list I have going?
While I would most certainly recommend going with more colors, I don't know if that would stay budget friendly. Going 2+ colors almost always means dual lands. At the minimum, drowned catacomb, more serious would be watery grave, then crazy money is underground sea. Haha! U could perhaps do it with just basics in 2 colors, but certainly not 3.

Black gives you more options like discard spells ( mind rot ) and kill spells for stuff your counters miss, like doom blade.

You can certainly keep the mono blue theme, but it gets very easy to hate you out with cards like gaea's herald, cavern of souls, and creatures with hexproof, and creatures with abilities like thrun, the last troll.

Blues biggest issue is dealing with RESOLVED threats. Stuff your counters miss. Cuz blue has very weak critters usually, and you won't be able to go toe-to-toe in combat.

The biggest benefit to going two color is that you'd have more potent threats and better spot removal. However, going two color means a pricier deck. Even the cheapest dual lands that don't come into play tapped like Drowned Catacomb and Underground River are going to cost you $6+ a playset. I think you can certainly keep this mono blue. There have been mono blue decks in competitive formats, and casual play should leave you with less of a burden in terms of aggressive threats that demand spot removal.


I definitely agree with malcos, two Faerie Conclave would be really powerful in this deck. If you don't want to run Conclave then you might want to run two Quicksand.


I have no clue why your most recent build runs Thought Scour. The only good interactions are with Rune Snag and Sphinx of Jwar Isle, and those interactions aren't even that good.


With the amount of counters you're running I still think you should be running Dismiss.



Makes sense. Your comment about the dual lands was funny. underground sea. Lol. The funny part is, I'm the kind of person that tries to find good deals on ebay for cards like that! That's what I'm trying to avoid here. Haha. My all time favorite deck to run is definitely pro blooms so I definitely had a fat stack of cash on quite a few of my old decks!

So the thought scour was simply in there for a converted 1 draw card. The deck mill is just a by product. Am I missing something there? Converted 1 draw seems like it serves it's purpose?... EDIT: If the mill by product is throwing off the vibe I went ahead and replaced the thought scour.

Hows this?

18x island
4x faerie conclave

3x rune snag
3x mana leak
4x counterspell
4x forbid
2x dismiss

3x gitaxian probe
3x preordain
2x peek
1x brainstorm

3x into the roil
4x psionic blast

3x sphinx of jwar isle
3x delver of secrets

I would not run four Faerie Conclave, three is a probably a good number. You probably have enough card draw to get two eventually, and you don't want to many CIPT (come into play tapped) lands in your opening hand.


Doing a 3:3 split on Rune Snag:Mana Leak makes no sense. It's a bad idea to run Snag unless you have four in your deck. If you want a combination of six either go with two Leak and four Snag or four Leak and two Miscalculation.


The reason Thought Scour is bad is because drawing a card is bad for a mana and a card, and often bad even for 2 life and a card. You can't just throw those kind of cards into every deck. Gitaxian Probe is fine because it is versatile in its casting cost and allows you to see your opponent's hand so you know what to counter, but generally a card that just cycles is weak because you have no clue what it will cycle into. Now Scour and Mental Note can be extremely good in some decks, decks where you want to put cards into the graveyard. But all that benefits in your deck is Snag and Sphinx, and those interactions aren't really that great. You definitely want to run four Preordain though, scry is amazing. Whenever a good filter effect is available, most blue decks run a playset.


And the deck is still lacking some reliable draw, which makes Forbid weak. Cards like Preordain aren't actually draw, they just replace one card with another one. Ancestral Vision or Stroke of Genius would be good options. There's also Think Twice, Gush, Inspiration, and Jace's Ingenuity.

Points taken. Is forbid even completely nessecary if I need to remove stuff just to fit in draw to make it useful?... Peek seemed like a pretty reasonable draw since it gives me a view of the opponents hand so I know what to counter like you said, and a draw. Yah?... I'm getting the hang of that magic search engine now. Think serum visions could find a place in this deck?

20x island
2x faerie conclave

4x rune snag
2x mana leak
4x counterspell
4x forbid
2x dismiss

3x gitaxian probe
3x preordain
2x peek
1x brainstorm

3x into the roil
4x psionic blast

3x sphinx of jwar isle
3x delver of secrets

Peek is strictly worse than Gitaxian Probe, so why would you run two Peek when you only have three Probe in your deck? I also don't think Peek is very good, forcing you to pay a mana to cycle it is a pretty big downside.


Serum Visions is good, but only if you already have a complete set of Preordain, since scrying first is better. I also wouldn't run Brainstorm without the expensive fetch lands to shuffle your library.


Forbid I think is good, since it insures you counters when you need them. You might not need four of them though. Like I said though, card draw is essential. Without card draw you could get stuck with less counters than your opponent has threats, and Forbid won't be as good.


Peek is strictly worse than Gitaxian Probe, so why would you run two Peek when you only have three Probe in your deck?



That makes perfect sense... Not sure what I was thinking.


Serum Visions is good, but only if you already have a complete set of Preordain, since scrying first is better.


Also a no brainer...


I also wouldn't run Brainstorm without the expensive fetch lands to shuffle your library.


Not sure why a fetchland would be nessecary to run w/ brainstorm? Is it simply because you can shuffle after you trigger it so you can get rid of 2 cards u don't want?... Still seems useful w/o that option.


Forbid I think is good, since it insures you counters when you need them. You might not need four of them though. Like I said though, card draw is essential. Without card draw you could get stuck with less counters than your opponent has threats, and Forbid won't be as good.



I think we're getting there. How's this?


20x island
2x faerie conclave

4x rune snag
4x mana leak
4x counterspell
3x dismiss

4x gitaxian probe
4x preordain

3x into the roil
4x psionic blast

2x everflowing chalice (maybe?... I also pondered a single  nevinrryl's disk but figured only 1 wouldn't prove too effective)

3x sphinx of jwar isle
3x delver of secrets

Thoughts?

Well the thing about Brainstorm is even though it gets you three new cards right away, it essentially deprives you of two of your draw steps. It is better than Reach Through Mist, but not on the level of spells that actually filter for you. If you have Fetches or other shuffle effects though it is probably the best filter spell in the game.


This deck might be able to use some Force Spike. I don't think Gitaxian Probe is really necessary, and you need to spend your life on Psionic Blast anyway. Speaking of Blast, I'd cut Blast to three and kick the Roils up to four.


And you still need draw. I would not rely on Dismiss and Into the Roil as your only draw. Run a couple Fact or Fiction or something. I'd recommend Gush, but it's worse in a deck with Sphinx of Jwar Isle.

I really don't see how running the sphinx of jwar isle would effect gush in any way?... Are you saying that because returning the two lands to hand essentially slows down the sphinx hitting the board? It can always be played for it's converted 5 too.

I'm contemplating removing the psionic blast all together? Heck, think running 4 Accumulated knowledge would fit here?... Or even amass the components? While searching cards I came across a few of these... Maybe I can fit a couple of these in for draw? counsel of the soratami, deep analysis, or divination. Can't decide if the extra 1 converted cost is worth that flashback...



20x island
2x faerie conclave

4x rune snag
4x mana leak
4x counterspell
3x dismiss

3x divination
4x preordain

4x into the roil
4x psionic blast

2x everflowing chalice

3x sphinx of jwar isle
3x delver of secrets


?
Amass the Components is terrible in your deck because it is sorcery speed. Careful Consideration would basically be strictly better in your deck, but I still wouldn't run it because if you cast it at instant speed it doesn't get you any card advantage. Fact or Fiction really is the way to go I think. Gush is a card you want to put in a deck that will usually cast it by returning to Island to its hand. If you cut the Sphinx for a different threat that might be the way to go. And the reason I suggested Force Spike is because it allows you to counter things turn one, you might want to get ahold of some just incase you find yourself playing decks that are too fast. Also if you bring back a couple Forbid you can pitch extras to that. 
Okay. Well let's try this again here. ( We will eventually get it perfect! ) I never did get your thoughts on the everflowing chalice. Maybe it can be removed to make room for gush and I'll drop down a psionic blast. Now the question is what blue beater fits best? I see how amazing the consecrated sphinx is while searching but it's out of the question for very obvious reasons. I mean, my blue beater knowledge is oldschool. Mahamoti djinns and the 4/4 flyer that I can't recall the name of... I'm positive there is better stuff out there now. Heck, could even be artifact. There is the affinity one but I would like it to be a BEATER, and his offense is weak. Needs to be at least 4 D as well because I don't want him being able to be picked off by simple direct damage. That's what I really liked about the one we had in there. The shroud...

20x island
2x faerie conclave

4x rune snag
4x mana leak
4x counterspell
3x dismiss

3x fact or fiction
4x preordain
3x gush

4x into the roil
3x psionic blast


3x blue beater that fits?...
3x delver of secrets

EDIT: Currently searching the magiccard.info page... Maybe something like deep-sea kraken that can stay suspended while I control board w/ counter and bounce?.... EDIT 2: As I continue to look threw cards maybe a good cheap suspend beater is something that might work really well? Suspend it early and control board is what I'm thinking. Errant Ephemeron. Or maybe Guile? I'm just throwing out ideas as I search here. Jetting Glasskite?

Errant Ephemeron is probably the best option out of those for your deck, though I think Spire Golem might be better. And you're right, there are better artifact creatures than Djinn now, like Wurmcoil Engine.


I think something like this might work well:


[C]Dungeon Geists[/C] are great for control. As long as you control them, an opponent's creature is pretty much useless. See if you can incorporate some of those into your deck.
I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
How bout this? (I don't like all the 1x, only having 3 toughness beaters, and the return land 2 converted counter if I'm already running Gush)



@ JararoNatsu - Thx for the tip. I already saw them and weighed the pros and cons and decided there are simply better beaters I can have occupying a spot in the deck over them. But they do seem really effective.

That build looks good.


The reason for the one ofs:
I don't really see much of a downside to running Deprive if you only have two Gush. Having a fifth Counterspell can be really nice. Miscalculation cycles, so it will never be a dead card. Prohibit hits most things, but not everything. All these counters are good as singletons, but not really good as playsets.


The reason I used Spire Golem instead of Errant Ephemeron is because it can save your ass if you need a blockers.

Got it. Yeah, I see how they are good in singles but not playsets. I'm just sorta O.C.D. about my deck organization at times. I like the Errant Ephemeron's suspend and 4 offense.

Cool. Got the deck list set in stone. Now I just need to make sure this guy is gonna want to play regularly and see if he knows a few other players so I'm not wasting money and I'll let you know how the deck plays out. Thanks again for all the help.
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