Team Atlas Video: Modern UB Control by Scott

I love the modern format. These days modern is the most wide open format that enables players to play their favourite cards as either build-arounds or in popular archetypes while still being competitive. If you are familiar with my most recent videos, the modern deck I have for you today will not come as a shock to you.

This deck has everything I like, mainly blue and black cards, and happens to be a very competitive deck as well. This deck largely revolves around Liliana of the Veil and Jace, the Mind Sculptor as win conditions combined with a bunch of cards to protect them. When Jace was unbanned the community was up in arms about it ruining slash being too good for modern… then… nothing.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor, to date, has been largely absent from major modern tournament top eight decklists. In my humble opinion, the reason behind this is the utilization of Jace. The decklists I have seen have been largely counterspell heavy, meaning you need to play Jace and hope you get to untap to protect it. The UB list above allows you to disrupt your opponent enough that you are working with near perfect information so when you play Jace, you KNOW you will be able to untap with it and then run away with the game.

If you are interested in seeing this deck in action check out the video below!

After playing with the deck for a while now I have come to dislike Bitterblossom. I find a lot of decks in the format are very aggressive and I find myself being the control deck for the first half of the match. By the time I’m ready to turn the corner I find myself in one of three positions: 1) Soo low on life that Bitterblossom will kill me before my opponent, 2) Attacking my opponents with Snapcaster Mage(s) or Creeping Tar Pit(s) will kill them faster than taking a turn off to play Bitterblossom, or 3) Using -12 on Jace, the Mind Sculptor because it’s faster than attacking my opponent. My current list is now the following:

Cutting Bitterblossom is essentially cutting a “win-con”, which is why one of the replacements is Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. Askiok is a great planeswalker without a home and ends up being very good in this deck. Even in non-creature matchups I have had this card be useful. For example I had a lantern control opponent with an Ensnaring Bridge on the field that I could not deal with and after I took care of Academy Ruins with Spreading Seas, I was able to mill them out with Ashiok.

The second addition was a main deck copy of Collective Brutality that acts a great utility card. Removal for creature matchups, life gain for burn, discard for control, and multiple modes for when you need it.

Quick Sideboard Guide (current top decks)

IN: 2 Collective Brutality, Liliana, the Last Hope, Damnation, Engineered Explosives
OUT: 3 Thoughtseize, 2 Spreading Seas

Hollow One
IN: 2 Nihil Spellbomb, 2 Surgical Extraction, Damnation, 1 Collective Brutality
OUT: Liliana, the Last Hope, 4 Fatal Push, 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

IN: Damnation, Engineered Explosives, Liliana’s Defeat, Liliana, the Last Hope
OUT: 1 Liliana of the Veil, 1 Fatal Push, 1 Cryptic Command, 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

IN: Damnation, Engineered Explosives, Liliana, the Last Hope, 3 Ceremonious Rejection, 2 Collective Brutality
OUT: Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor, 1 Liliana of the Veil, 3 Thoughtseize

IN: 2 Collective Brutality, 2 Countersquall
OUT: Damnation, Liliana, the Last Hope, Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, Hero’s Downfall

IN: 3 Ceremonious Rejection, 2 Countersquall, 2 Surgical Extraction
OUT: 4 Fatal Push, Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, Collective Brutality, Liliana, the Last Hope

Mardu Pyromancer
IN: 2 Nihil Spellbomb, 2 Surgical Extraction, 2 Collective Brutality, Liliana, the Last Hope, Engineered Explosives
OUT: 4 Fatal Push, Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, 2 Spreading Seas

Until next time,

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Scott Janssen