U/W Control Suggestions and Advice

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Hi All,

I'm currently running this deck. I have a total of 64 cards Mainboard, and would like to cut it down to 60...


Lands

4x Glacial Fortress
4x Seachrome Coast
4x Celestial Colonnade
4x Halimar Depths
3x Plains
3x Island


Spells


4x Rune Snag
4x Counterspell
2x Spell Snare
2x Gitaxian Probe
4x Ghostly Prison
4x Oblivion Ring
4x Day of Judgment
4x Path to Exile
4x Preordain
2x Deprive
2x Story Circle
2x Condemn


Creatures


4x Baneslayer Angel


Sideboard


4x Leyline of Sanctity
4x Echoing Truth
4x Mental Misstep
3x Into the Roil


I'll sometimes run 4x Mana Leak instead of ghostly prison, if I want to play more counterspells.
I don't have much of a problem with this deck, as it does well for me, but what could I do to make it better?
Should I get rid of Day of Judgment and Oblivion Ring  for Supreme Verdict and detention sphere?
Any advice would be appreciated.
Should I get rid of Day of Judgment and Oblivion Ring  for Supreme Verdict and detention sphere?

Yes, and yes.

That said, you seem to have gone a bit overboard on the counterspells.  You really don't need those Deprives and Story Circle can probably go as well.  Your Ghostly Prisons backed up by mass removal and spot removal will keep creatures from running you over and your counters will keep spells from doing any real harm. 

My main concern is that your deck can't really do anything to win if can't get a Baneslayer or Colonnade to stick.  Maybe a one-of Azor's Elocutors or some Luminarch Ascensions would be handy.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

For almost all purposes Halimar Depths is strictly worse than 4 islands + 4 ponder. It may seem like I just added 4 more cards to your deck, but actually they act as deck thinning: your mana is the same as it was with the halimar yet there are 4 cards filling up space and letting you remove other cards. Effectively you'll end up with a 56 card deck compared to before.


I'd drop down to 3 day of judgement supreme verdict regardless. That dramatically reduces your chance of drawing 2 at once, which is practically like losing a card. Unless you actually plan on wiping twice in a row. Likewise you might survive on 3 baneslayer angels, unless you think you need 2 on the board at once.  You could also blend 2-3 banselayer angels with the other above suggestions, if you want more attackers without getting mana screwed.  Likewise you probably won't have the mana for 2 Celestial Colonnade at once.  And it sucks to draw 2 and be forced to put in a land tapped on a turn when you need 1 more mana.  Change it to a 3-of and add a different land that comes in untapped.

Your dual lands seem unreliable, though replacing halimar depths with islands could help Glacial Fortress.  I'd still drop it to a 3-of to avoid drawing 2 with no island/plains in hand.  I like adarkar wastes as a budget dual land.  Likewise I'd use at most 3 to avoid too much forced damage.  I usually take only 0 to 2 damage from it, which makes it a cheap alternative to the high dollar -2 life dual lands.  Sometimes it's even better than them.

And of course each time you figure out 2 spells to remove, the 3rd card is easy: remove a land.

Thanks for all the advice guys.

"For almost all purposes Halimar Depths is strictly worse than 4 islands + 4 ponder. It may seem like I just added 4 more cards to your deck, but actually they act as deck thinning: your mana is the same as it was with the halimar yet there are 4 cards filling up space and letting you remove other cards. Effectively you'll end up with a 56 card deck compared to before."


I know that Halimar Depths doesn't thin out my deck, but isn't the ability to look at the top 3 cards and rearrange them useful in itself? I guess originally my combo in the mid game was to deprive a spell, return the land, and replay it to look at the top three, but you're right about adding in the 4 ponder instead. I remember the times when I've gotten screwed because I needed that second blue to play counterspell, but drew this land instead...

Besides Azor's Elocutors or Luminarch Ascensions, are they other options? 

I'll play test the mana base too to see how it goes. Thanks again.  
The thing with combos is a 2-of and a 4-of for combo pieces makes you unlikely to ever drop the combo.  Even 4-of plus 4-of has poor odds.  To be reliable combos should match the theme of your entire deck, not just 1 card.  Because your deck is not a land bounce deck I wouldn't bother; it will almost never happen.

On its own the ability is useful, but less useful than ponder/preordain/brainstorm/serum visions.  I would only run halimar depths in the very most focused scry decks, because there are 20+ (4x5+) better cards for scrying/arranging.  Ponder lets you shuffle while halimar doesn't, costs the same mana (halimar effectively costs :U: when it comes in tapped), and doesn't eliminate your land drop if you want to wait to re-arrange later.  Neither eats a card for the effect: not halimar because you also get a land, not ponder because you draw.  So ponder is equal or better in all ways.  Having more than 3 lands that come in tapped can screw you too.

I'd help more, but I wouldn't know what I was talking about on other issues.  I'm more of a math/numbers guy.  I can confirm that luminarch ascension is beastly, especially in a deck that can delay foes like yours, but most people know that.  Good luck and I hope others help more.
I personally prefer swords to plowshare over path to exile. Also silence is always a great white control spell. Batterskull or wurmcoil engine are other great finishers. Aetherling/morphling are good although I like them a little less.

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