Control didn’t put up terrific numbers at the Pro Tour, but Ramunap Red was by far the most played deck, and that was a tough matchup for U/R. Shoring up that matchup while preying on the decks that beat Red could be a great position, and U/B Control looks to do just that.
Torrential Gearhulk is your main threat. You’re still playing a blue deck, you’re going to load up on instants, and you have access to the best card draw, countermagic, and removal in the format. Gearhulk comes down as the biggest creature on the battlefield, can ambush in combat, and generates card advantage. Gearhulk ends the game in short order, and the mere threat of it changes the way the game is played once you hit 6 mana.
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is a great answer to aggressive decks. It’s a large body out of Abrade range that can gain a ton of life, and the combination of Kalitas with cheap removal is impossible for aggro to beat.
The Scarab God allows you to play a totally different game. Untapping with the God in play lets you eternalize any creature in any graveyard, and that’s already attached to a 5/5 for 5 that can’t be killed by Abrade, Grasp of Darkness, or Fatal Push. Once you start making tokens, you get to throw in some scry and drains—not that the game wasn’t already over.
U/R Control was an appealing deck thanks to a cheap sweeper in Sweltering Suns and some early removal in Magma Spray and Harnessed Lightning. While Red has picked up Hour of Devastation and Abrade, black already has the best removal in the format. Fatal Push and Grasp of Darkness do an incredible job of trading up with bigger and more expensive creatures. Black also has access to Flaying Tendrils, which is an awesome sweeper against cards like Dread Wanderer, Scrapheap Scrounger, Relentless Dead, and Earthshaker Khenra.
Murder gives you an insurance policy against bigger creatures and Vehicles, dispatching otherwise tough threats like Elder Deep-Fiend.
You have all of blue’s usual assortment of counters. Censor is a great addition to blue control decks, allowing them to have early interaction and a replacement card late. Disallow gives you a hard counter and a way to stop planeswalker ultimates. Essence Scatter and Negate are still solid cards.
Supreme Will lets you counter spells or go digging. Mana Leak and Impulse are both blue all-stars from the past, and while adding a mana to each is quite the cost, the flexibility is worth it, and gives you lots of options at instant speed. Glimmer of Genius gives you more excellent card advantage and selection.
With the ability to side in better counterspells, more cheap sweepers in Tendrils, and some cheap blockers to trade up in Gifted Aetherborn, U/B Control can fight on all axes.