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Article Top > Hareruya Pros Blog > Pro Tour Dominaria with UB Control

Pro Tour Dominaria with UB Control

2018/06/09 00:00 

    • Jeremy Dezani
    • Hareruya Pros Blog

Hello Guys!

Pro Tour Dominaria is now in the book. I left Japan for 18 days to play 3 tournaments on each 3 weekend and did pretty well overall.

Grand Prix Toront 2018 (Team Constructed): 7th with Eduardo Sajgalik and Craig Wescoe

Craig Wescoe

Craig Wescoe

Eduardo Sajgalik

Eduardo Sajgalik

Image Copyright: Wizards of the Coast

Grand Prix Washington D.C. 2018 (Team Limited): 18th with Tomoharu Saito and Raphael Levy

Tomoharu Saito, Raphael Levy, and Jeremy Dezani
Image Copyright: Wizards of the Coast

Pro Tour Dominaria (Standard + Limited): 18th

After this trip I am now at 38 Pro Points, secured Gold level again.

With RPTQs and Grand Prix coming in Standard, I would like to share my experience about the format with you.

Dominaria is a great set with lots of good cards. I was very exiting about testing it and making new decks that is my favorite thing in Magic.

The Decks I Made During the Test

Treasure MapKarn, Scion of Urza

There are 3 decks I built, and I didn’t play any of them at the Pro Tour, but I still think something is possible and could be good in the future. They are all running 《Treasure Map》 and 《Karn, Scion of Urza》what I think is one of the greatest unexploited combination since Dominaria.

UR Zahid

Pia NalaarZahid, Djinn of the LampKarn's Temporal SunderingChandra, Torch of Defiance

The deck was a lot of fun to play. Being able to come back from nowhere, playing multiple additional turns in a row with 《Karn's Temporal Sundering》. 《Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp》 has the perfect size against 《Steel Leaf Champion》 or 《Hazoret the Fervent》, surviving to 《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》, 《Cast Down》 and 《Glorybringer》. 《Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp》 can easily be casted on turn 4 with the help of 《Treasure Map》, 《Whirler Virtuoso》 or 《Pia Nalaar》. I didn’t continue with the deck mainly because of the popularity of 《Unlicensed Disintegration》, but if Mono-Red become more popular than Red-Black (RB), the deck could be great.

GrixisBolas

Click to enlarge

Jeskai Planeswalker

Treasure MapTeferi, Hero of DominariaKarn, Scion of UrzaChandra, Torch of Defiance

I wanted to try a deck with no creature to make removals useless. Replacing 《Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp》 with 《Teferi, Hero of Dominaria》 and going for full control. The deck was good to me, and I was able to beat random players playing UW control. Then I played private games against Raphael Levy, and I realized that if the UW player is great, it would be a very difficult matchup. Otherwise, I think the deck is great against any creature decks. In a metagame where Mono-Red and RB is popular, removals should be popular too, and this deck could have a good time.

GrixisBolas

Click to enlarge

Grixis Bolas

DoomfallNicol Bolas, God-PharaohDark IntimationsAbrade

This deck had a pro to deal very easily with plansewalkers. You have access to the best black/red removals against aggressive decks, 《Negate》 and 《Duress》 against control decks. With 《Dark Intimations》 you don’t really care about losing your plansewalkers, and the card make advantage. The design of the card reminds you the feeling when you casted 《Cruel Ultimatum》 before.

GrixisBolas

Click to enlarge

I also tried some Black White Midrange and Boros Aggro deck but I would not recommend either.

UB Control

When we started to test in Washington D.C. with the MTG Mintcard team, one of the deck which performed very well was Eduardo Sajgalik’s UB Midrange.
Glint-Sleeve SiphonerThe Scarab GodLiliana, Death's MajestyChampion of Wits

The deck had a matchup against control that I could qualify to almost unlosable, and was great against anything but Red decks. Both 《Glint-Sleeve Siphoner》 and 《Champion of Wits》 are really weak against《Goblin Chainwhirler》. Since we expected the card to be very popular at the Pro Tour, it was impossible to think about playing Eduardo’s deck. In this metagame, you can’t really run so many 1 toughness creatures. For me cutting small creatures was the way to go, eventually I kept them in sideboard to switch to UB Midrange against control.

Vraska, Relic Seeker

Another weak point in the deck was that 《Vraska, Relic Seeker》 was great in good matchups but weak in bad ones. The card didn’t deal with plansewalkers and didn’t exile creatures. These are just small details but determine cardpowers in the current Standard.

Doomfall

《Doomfall》performed so badly in this deck. It didn’t prepare good fields for 《Karn, Scion of Urza》 and 《Liliana, Death's Majesty》, and basically, did nothing as a discard spell. I remember I changed all 《Doomfall》 for 《Supreme Will》 after playing it against RB where I could see 《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》, 《Rekindling Phoenix》, 《Pia Nalaar》, and 《Goblin Chainwhirler》. The card basically did nothing, 《Supreme Will》 would have been great.

Vraska's ContemptTorrential Gearhulk

To me 《Vraska's Contempt》 looked the best card in standard, dealing with any kind of threats. I wanted to play more than 4 and this is why 《Torrential Gearhulk》 was great.

Karn, Scion of Urza

《Karn, Scion of Urza》is a card with an uncertain powerlevel, could be an early game breaker or just a “draw a land gain 6 life Points”. Normally, in UB you have possibilities to play it on empty board with the help of the cheap removals and counterspell, and you can make card advantage with him.

I made a UB control deck and started to test against RB. Results were very good. Kelvin Chew and Eduardo helped me to improve the deck and we finally achieved a 12 / 0 session, and it convinced us that this was the deck to play. Tomoharu Saito and Raphael Levy joined us to play the deck, most of all the other teammates wanted to play RB.

At this moment, we only know the deck is good against RB. To find the best list in a short term, we separated the work to do. Kelvin and I focused on maindeck and post side games against UW control, Eduardo on Mono Green and Black-Green, and Tomoharu on Mono-Red.

Then we grouped to talked about what list we think is the best post side games against all these decks, and made the list of every card we would like to have. We had a list of something like 65 cards for 49 spells slots available in main deck (34) + sideboard (15). We kept discussing and removing less important cards from the list until we got the right number. Then, we tried to make the best maindeck/sideboard combination with this card pool to remove the weakest points and we finished with this list that we all would play at the Pro Tour.

Here are our results with the deck at the Pro Tour:

IN / OUT

Against "Red-Black"

Against "Red-Black"

Out

!--4枚つづり-->
Karn, Scion of Urza

In

The Scarab God

We made this deck as good as possible against RB maindeck. This is why you almost don’t sideboard anything in the matchup. Game one is very favorable. Post side RB is improving and you want to cast a threat earlier, this is why we had the third 《The Scarab God》. If RB is playing 《Bomat Courier》, you could side In some 《Gifted Aetherborn》.

Against "Mono-Red"

Against "Mono-Red"

Out

Karn, Scion of Urza Karn, Scion of Urza Karn, Scion of Urza
Disallow Disallow
Negate
Syncopate

In

Knight of Malice Knight of Malice Knight of Malice
Gifted Aetherborn Gifted Aetherborn
Cast Down
The Scarab God

Against "UW Control and Esper Control"

Against "UW Control and Esper Control"

Out

Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push
Cast Down Cast Down Cast Down
Vraska's Contempt Vraska's Contempt Aether Meltdown
Essence Scatter Essence Scatter Essence Scatter

In

Duress Duress Duress Arguel's Blood Fast
Glint-Sleeve Siphoner Glint-Sleeve Siphoner Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
Gifted Aetherborn Gifted Aetherborn Negate
Knight of Malice Knight of Malice Knight of Malice

Against "Green Black Constrictor and Mono Green"

Against "Green Black Constrictor and Mono Green"

Out

Syncopate Negate
Karn, Scion of Urza
Aether Meltdown

In

Gifted Aetherborn Gifted Aetherborn
The Scarab God
Cast Down

There are some matchups like UB Midrange and BW Midrange where you should be aware of information you get in game one. They can normally go slow after sideboard for a better late game. What you have to know is that 《Duress》 is not great against them and it’s better to keep mana open for counterspells. I would basically do this but there are differences between each list, the game plan changes between game 2 and 3, that makes strategies more complicated.

Against "UB Midrange"

Against "UB Midrange"

Out

!--4枚つづり-->
Syncopate Syncopate Aether Meltdown
Cast Down

In

Glint-Sleeve Siphoner Glint-Sleeve Siphoner Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
The Scarab God

Against "BW Midrange"

Out

!--4枚つづり-->
Cast Down Cast Down Aether Meltdown
Vraska's Contempt Vraska's Contempt

In

Knight of Malice Knight of Malice Knight of Malice
The Scarab God Negate

Any Change?

I would not make many changes but this is what I can see.

Evolving Wilds

Cutting 《Evolving Wilds》 for a 《Swamp》. We put this 《Evolving Wilds》 to respect the number of sources, being able to use 《Fatal Push》 to bigger creatures. To be honest I feel like it’s not a big matter compared to the fact that you might timewalk yourself and delay your 《The Scarab God》 or 《Torrential Gearhulk》.

Gifted Aetherborn

Adding third 《Gifted Aetherborn》 in sideboard if you expect Mono-Red and Green decks.

Fungal Infection

Having 1 or 2 《Fungal Infection》 for the sideboard if the metagame is full of Mono-Red.

I am very happy about how I played, the results, the fact I reached gold level, the deckbuilding process for the PT… I also had a great day at Niagara Falls where I really felt “Play the Game, see the world”.

Don’t forget that, in MTG sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Small details make the difference between dropping and winning a trophy. Keep your faith and working hard, and these will pay off.

Thank you for reading,

Jeremy DEZANI

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