Deck of the Day: U/W Control (Legacy)

Grand Prix Seattle is right around the corner, so I’m going to check out a few more Legacy decks! Legacy was once dominated by U/W Miracles. The banning of Sensei’s Divining Top shook up the format dramatically, and it was pretty cool to see people try to take Topless Miracles to the top tables. If you’re looking to play without any Counterbalances but still play the U/W Control strategy, the deck to take down the latest MTGO Legacy Challenge should be just for you.

There was some talk about Stoneforge Mystic being unbanned in Modern, but I’m in favor of keeping it out of the format. This 2-mana creature can completely dominate an entire game. Most lists will run exactly two equipment in the main deck, as Batterskull and Umezawa’s Jitte both can take over depending on the matchup. Activating Stoneforge to put Batterskull into play on turn 3 makes racing nearly impossible, and equipping Jitte to any creature that’s going to get involved in combat can shut down opposing creature decks.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor, however, did manage to find his way into Modern, and he hasn’t been crazy impressive as of yet. In Legacy, things are different. You have free counters, 1-mana removal spells that hit anything, and overpowered 2-drops. This makes Jace a much more powerful threat, although there are plenty of answers. Left unchecked, Jace wins the game. Drawing extra cards, bouncing creatures, or locking your opponent out of good draw steps with fateseal will all help lead to victory.

True-Name Nemesis can clean up against opponents with a lot of interaction and removal. True-Name attacks past all other creatures and wears a Jitte better than all.


This is Legacy and that means that you get cheap card selection. Ponder and Brainstorm both make sure that you’re churning through your library quickly to find action. With a bunch of fetchlands and Stoneforge Mystics to clear away cards you’re not interested in, these ensure you’re always cooking with gas.

Swords to Plowshares needs no explanation. You can’t find removal more powerful and efficient than this. Swords is so good that you actually want the fifth copy and thus a single Path to Exile also makes it into the deck. When you need to remove creatures that either can’t be targeted like an opposing True-Names or when you need to kill something that isn’t a creature, Council’s Judgment will get the job done.

This deck is not heavy on countermagic, but you do need protection for your permanents and answers to combo decks. A playset of Force of Wills is a pretty easy inclusion, making sure you don’t die on turns 1 and 2 and protecting your Jaces. You also want some cheap interaction early on, so a couple copies of Spell Pierce will help you survive some scary threats. When you need a hard counter, good old-fashioned Counterspell does the trick.

With all of these cheap card drawing spells, cheap removal spells, and even cheap counterspells, a playset of Snapcaster Mages will keep the gas flowing, as well as provide a cheap blocker or way to pressure opposing planeswalkers.

Finally, you have Back to Basics to try to lock out a number of strategies. Whether it’s Lands or the plethora of Delver decks that don’t run a single basic, Back to Basics can slow them down dramatically and let your card advantage have time to shine.

These decks have had to shift their game plan dramatically without Sensei’s Divining Top, but U/W Control is still a premier threat in the format that you need to be prepared for if you’re going to GP Seattle or any Legacy events!

U/W Control

A22EN, 1st place at MTGO Legacy Challenge


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