Running the Gauntlet – Cawblade, Day 2 (UW)

Welcome to Day 2 of me trying to find the best Cawblade build! Yesterday I took UWB for a spin, and the mana problems cost me a few games, so today I decided to go back to the straight UW version.

Here is the list I started with:

The way I see it, in the UW build, there is a core you really can’t change:

4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Preordain
4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
3 Gideon Jura
2 Spell Pierce
3 Mana Leak
2 Swords (though one can be Body and Mind if you so please)
4 removal spells (Day of Judgment, Condemn, Oust, Tumble Magnet, Into the Roil)
26 land

That leaves four slots, which I chose to fill with:

The 27th land (Inkmoth Nexus)
1 Sun Titan
1 Spell Pierce
1 Mortarpod

Inkmoth Nexus might seem like an odd card, but I think it’s pretty good. This deck can easily handle another colorless land (2 if you add another land total), and it wears Sword quite well.

Mortarpod is awesome, and I would play it no matter which colors you end up, since it is not only a removal spell but basically a free card.

Sun Titan is sweet, but six is a lot, so I might relegate it to the sideboard.

So, that’s the list. Let’s get to the matches:

Channel LSV: Standard Gauntlet – UW 8-man

To see the rest of this deck’s matchups, as well as the current Running the Gauntlet series, click here!


I managed to (easily) 3-0, playing against UB Control, Darkblade/Esper Cawblade (whatever you want to call it), and mono-red Goblins.

The UB matchup is still really good, despite what the people who did well with UB are saying (I mean, anyone who wins a tournament is going to be convinced the matchup is good).

I beat the Esper deck by resolving Planeswalkers, a part of the matchup that Inquisition is actually not great in. Nobody has really mentioned this, to my knowledge, but the fact that Inquisition doesn’t help against Jace or Gideon defensively is huge. I admit that on offense (when you are trying to resolve your own PW), Inquisition is much better than Pierce, but when trying to stop theirs there is no comparison. By resolving Jace (after getting Inquisitioned even), I forced through a Gideon, and that was that.

The mono-red match is straightforward, and the addition of Firewalkers is very clearly insane. It is a narrow card, but when it comes in, it is usually just the best card ever. I don’t mind having cards like that in my board, and Firewalker performed exactly as expected.

I liked most of the spice cards in this list, even if Inkmoth Nexus never really did anything. Finding the right mix of removal is a huge part of doing well with Cawblade, and I’m going to continue to experiment. Options include:


Day is the most unwieldy, but playing against green decks with or without it is like night and day. Condemn and Oust are both much faster than anything else, but also the least powerful. Tumble Magnet seems awesome now, and I am going to keep two in my deck for the foreseeable future. Journey seems bad, Into the Roil needs testing (in my next UW video I’ll be trying it out), and the 1-drop stuff should probably be in the sideboard.

As for the sideboard, I was pretty happy. The four Flashfreeze are non-negotiable, and the rest is a mix of removal and Firewalkers for aggro, plus random spice cards for the mirror. Reins, Titan, and Belerens seem ok, but I would need to play more before recommending them.

Overall, I was very happy with UW, and right now it seems really awesome. Tomorrow I’ll be running it again, albeit with some modifications!


41 thoughts on “Running the Gauntlet – Cawblade, Day 2 (UW)”

  1. manaburnsuicide

    the picture on the banner with the hawk holding the sword is hilarious. i was thinking of virtually the same thing for a t-shirt the other day, but it looks like you beat me to the punch. kudos.

  2. Lol not keeping DOJ against aggro…I’m so glad you referenced that later in the vid cuz I was shaking my head after that play. The shame concede was cool, and I enjoyed the rally to come back game 3. Great vids today!

  3. No opinion on Baneslayer Angel? She has a good match against, mono-red, boros, elves, vamps, cawblade… plus shes like my favourite card ever 😛

  4. G1M1 He cannot Doom Blade Mortapod’s Germ token even he kept black mana open – Germ is black 😉
    So he didn’t misstapped

  5. @manaburnsuicide and @channelfireball: can I get a grusome encore shirt/mug? it still cracks me up whenever i see it

  6. I love when terribad players rage quit, and I really hoped he would do it again G2 when he Koth’d the newly played Mountain.

    Sooooo bad, but some nice vids, Luis.

  7. Luis Scott-Vargas

    @ cedric

    When I say doom blade i also mean go for the throat, since that deck plays both (and GFT would definitely work there)

  8. Quality and stability seems to be improving, cool!

    Great vids. I defenitely wouldnt mind seeing a mix with slightly new configuration every day against a fellow CFB:er in the other end for possible future videos.

  9. No ads or crashes, and good quality through all of the vids?


    You guys put up more content then I have time to watch, which isn’t a bad thing.

  10. @HH

    “can I get a grusome encore shirt/mug? it still cracks me up whenever i see it”

    As long as you are prepared for the the same print front and back Im all for it 😛

  11. M3 G2 your opponet played so bad. If he had killed jace instead of attacking you (at 20 life) he would probably won that game.

  12. @kurosh

    He stated during the video that he didn’t care about the Zenith because it actually hurt his opponent more than it did him in that situation.

  13. kurosh – As he points out in the vid, the Zenith is arguably better for his than his opponent. You don’t typically counter your own spells ;).

  14. It would be nice to see you test into the roil. I know you are a good player and you won all the Jace wars. It’s a very hard part of the mirror in my opinion. If you stick jace you just win. And into the roil just seems like i fits that roll perfect. Plus it can bounce sword and other planeswalkere.

    I have been playing two Tumble magnets main for a while, so it’s nice to see it in your build. Right now im running 1 condemn and 1 into the roil main. Don’t know if 2 into the roil is better.

  15. did you try one venser maindeck in inkmoth or 3rd pierce sloth?

    what about lotus cobra/fauna shamans decks? don’t you really need ousts?

  16. LSV, I often read articles about people bashing on turn 1 Preordain, but I noticed in your videos (both Cawblade and RUG) that you do it quite often, and it feels right a lot of the time.

    Could you elaborate on your opinion about this subject, either here in the comments or a small section of a future article? Would really like to see your stance here since most people seem to think it’s wrong like 95% of the time

  17. So it’s not reallt “Running the Gauntlet” anymore, right ? :p It’s just 8-mans now 🙁

    Also, I know you’re one of the best players right now… But it’s because you beat UB once that the MU is good for Caw Blade :/ Same thing for Kibler on SCG (who did a lot of misplays). This MU is REALLY hard to play for UB, but if you know how the ins and the outs it’s 50-50 IMO.
    (I wouldn’t say it’s favored either way… UW has a good aggro plan g1 backed up with PWs, but UB is very solid overall and has some awesome SB cards in Golem and Reins. Also generally has more Jace’s, which wins the MU).

  18. Hey LSV, I was watching replays of dailies last night and saw that you had 4-0ed with a similar (the same?) build.

    I thought your comment about not fighting over a Tumble Magnet in the first round video here was funny, since I watched the 4th round replay of that daily and you fought a counter war over Tumble Magnet on two separate occasions. I guess context is everything!

  19. Luis Scott-Vargas

    @ enjambment

    You pretty much just summed up magic (context is everything). Tumble Magnet isn’t a card I’ll always fight over (like Jace), but sometimes you gotta stop it.

    @ Blad01

    I don’t say UW is favored over UB just because of that one match, but because I’ve played a bunch both before Paris and now, and it never has seemed remotely close.

  20. LSV: Very nice videos.

    I have been in a quandry about how to play vs. Valakut while still having enough room in the SB. I would feel reasonably confident with 9 cards to bring in: 4 Outs, 4 Flashfreeze, 1 Sword Body and Mind. I am having trouble finding the space, and I don’t know how we beat Valakut without the Outs. What has been your experience?

    Jeff Stewart

  21. So how do you board with the Sun Titan. What decks is it best for and what do you remove them against? Thanks.

  22. LSV, do you ever consider siding out lands in some matchups? Having 27 is great in the mirror, but would it be worth siding one out against aggro?

  23. @ aaron, the whole reason you play that many lands is because 4-6 of your lands are creatures. Not missing land drops vs aggro is important since all of your finishers are generally 5+ mana (If you ultimate Jace vs Aggro, you are the master)

  24. Nice to see you back in your element. Control4Life!

    Can you talk about your decision in M3G3 to equip Mortarpod instead of hitting Koth for 1 with your Nexus? Were you that scared of Perlious Myr?

  25. Hey LSV. How about a pair of divine offerings in the board just in case a sword is resolved??

  26. This list already seems pretty tight. I can’t think of much to change, although I do like the suggestion of Baneslayer in the ‘board. But playing more of it later this week seems sort of unnecessary. We already know it’s the best deck in Standard.

  27. Finally the player works! ^_^

    This is definitely one of the best decks in standard…

    Mind doing a video on Santa Clause Attack aka RUG Aggro? Unified will in standard is pretty insane….or maybe have someone else put up a video on that. I’m really curious to see what you guys think about that deck.

  28. @GRF: Then you’ve completely and totally missed the point, he’s trying out the Caw-blade variants to compare them with each other and also testing new cards in the standard UW Caw-blade. This has absolutely nothing to do with seeing if Caw-blade is good in standard.

  29. I just want to thank Channel Fireball for all this content! I watch it instead of TV pretty much every day 🙂

  30. @Someguy: Well, I get that. Testing UWb Caw-blade makes sense. If tomorrow he decided to test UWr Caw-blade, that would make sense as well. But running effectively the same list tomorrow doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The way I look at it, given that the “core you really can’t change”, in LSV’s words, is fifty-six cards, and given that two of the other four (Sun Titan and Mortapod) seem too good to change, I just don’t see much point in running the same list with only two cards different.

    I guess he can play around with the sideboard some, but sideboarding is something of a metagame call, anyway. It seems like tomorrow’s testing is going to be pretty similar to today’s testing, and not a particularly effective use of time. (Of course, if LSV brings a significantly different 75, my opinion will change, but given his comments I don’t expect that such will be the case.)

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