UB Control Smashes Caw Blade to Win the 2011 US Nationals

August 7, 2011 | Posted by Dee

Update October 18, 2011: This deck is no longer legal in Standard. But here’s a UB Control deck that is legal. It won the first Standard Grand Prix post-Innistrad.

Even with the bannings, Caw Blade has been doing well in Standard. Much to the dismay of many Magic players, it won all of the post-ban Starcitygames Standard Opens and it got a couple top eight finishes in nationals tournaments.

This weekend Caw Blade showed up once again at US Nationals, this time with a whopping six slots in the top eight. Fortunately, Ali Aintrazi was able to keep Squadron Hawks from taking home another first place trophy. In the elimination rounds, he beat two Caw Blade decks and a Pyromancer Ascension deck to become the 2011 US Champion.

He smashed the field with a UB Control deck, going undefeated with two draws (9-0-2) in the Standard portion of the tournament. Check out his list.

UB Control
Creatures (7)
Spells (27)
Lands (26)
Sideboard (15)

Ali built a great control deck for the metagame. He knew Caw Blade was going to be a factor so he fit a Mystifying Maze in his mana base. Mystifying Maze is great because it stops Sword of Feast and Famine from hitting you.

The discard spells are solid against many matchups. They can hit Sword of Feast and Famine and Squadron Hawk. They can stop the Splinter Twin combo by hitting Deceiver Exarch. Inquisition of Kozilek slows down Tempered Steel by hitting the enchantment. Despise is not as good versus Tempered Steel but it can still hit Steel Overseer and Signal Pest.

The deck has 3 Doom Blade and only 1 Go for the Throat because Tempered Steel is more popular than Vampires. The board sweepers, Black Sun’s Zenith and Consume the Meek, are great against Squadron Hawks and aggro decks.

Blue/Black gets mana ramp

Solemn Simulacrum is the only M12 card in the deck but it plays a big role. It gives him mana so he can do more things like activate manlands, Tectonic Edge, and Mystifying Maze. The extra mana can be crucial against Mana Leak and Spell Pierce. Against aggro, Solemn Simulacrum is an excellent chump blocker and it helps him ramp up to turn five Grave Titan.
(Buy Solemn Simulacrum on eBay at a low price.)

The 2/2 fatty split between Grave Titan and Consecrated Sphinx reflects the diverse metagame. Grave Titan shines against aggro while Consecrated Sphinx is good at blocking Hawks with Swords and gaining card advantage against combo and control decks.

Not as good as the best planeswalker of all time, but good enough

I was surprised to see a full set of Jace Beleren because of its weakness against small creature aggro decks. However, it makes sense when you consider how Caw Blade warped the metagame. Caw Blade did a good job beating up on the small creature aggro decks. It was hard for those decks to fight Squadron Hawk, Gideon, and Timely Reinforcements. The number of small creature aggro decks went down, which made Jace Beleren much better.

The rest of the planeswalkers fill their roles well. Liliana Vess gives you a lot a flexibility with her tutoring capability. She’s excellent against control and she’s hard to kill with creatures because of her high loyalty. Karn Liberated is one of the best finishers in the game especially with Solemn Simulacrum to help you reach seven mana.

Find low prices on the popular cards in this deck by clicking the eBay links below.