Deck Guide – Standard UB Control

UB Control has been present in the metagame since Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir, but the real boost to the archetype came with Fate Reforged. Crux of Fate, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, and Silumgar were awesome additions, but Mastery of the Unseen and Outpost Siege have proved their worth so it’s time to bring back an old mainstay: Perilous Vault.

This is the deck list I would play to answer to the GW Devotion deck that performed so well at GP Miami last weekend.

Deck List

It’s time for Perilous Vault to come back. It’s great against Devotion and Abzan Midrange, and as an answer to Outpost Siege. Crux of Fate is definitely cheaper but it’s not an auto-win anymore against Green Devotion due to Whisperwood Elemental and Mastery of the Unseen. Even cards like Xenagos, the Reveler are a huge threat for the deck, so even though Perilous Vault could be destroyed by Reclamation Sage it’s still worthwhile as our main board sweeper.

The rest of the deck is pretty stock—I’ll go into the sideboard guide for the most important matchups, focusing a bit on how the games usually go.

Green Devotion



Thoughtseize is great here since they have few threats and enablers, so if we can make them discard their haymakers we are in a pretty good shape.

The new version with white is more difficult to beat since it plays Fleecemane Lion and Mastery of the Unseen, but thanks to the 3 copies of Perilous Vault we should be able to defeat them too.

If you get to play Perilous Vault on turn four and you are not under huge pressure you basically force them to stop from playing anything until you want to pop the Vault. In the meantime you can play cards like Dig Through Time or Jace’s Ingenuity and sacrifice the Vault at the end of the opponent’s turn untapping with a bunch of cards and the mana to cast them. From that spot it’s hard to lose.

I’m not a fan of Bile Blight here since the only target that it’s worth using on is Fleecemane Lion, and we have 4 Thoughtseize to do that, with the upside that Thoughseize can hit a lot of other things while Bile Blight can’t. I do believe that with Vaults the matchup is pretty good.

Abzan Control



We are favored in game 1 but post-board they remove their bad cards like Bile Blight, End Hostilities, and Murderous Cut and fill the deck with card draw or big threats, so it’s more complicated.

The problems against this deck come from Abzan Charm and Read the Bones, those cards keep their hand full of threats and answers while we can’t attack their life total. Thoughtseize and Negate are very important card to stop their draw engine.

We can’t board in Tasigur, the Golden Fang since they have lots of removal for it—rely on card advantage and grind the game as long as possible.

Once again Perilous Vault is great, but while Devotion deck can’t play any spells under a Vault, this deck can still advance its game plan with pseudo-Divinations or Thoughtseize.

RW Aggro



Tasigur, the Golden Fang is a great way to win the game since they board out their Chained to the Rocks and we are free to play this monster and win the game with him. Also we board out Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver since it’s a little clunky and it’s really hard to find a spot to play it before turn 5-6. I’d rather just stay open with removal and counters, and 1-for-1 all of my opponent’s threats and eventually play Tasigur.

Even if Disdainful Stroke isn’t great it keeps Outpost Siege out of play.

Good matchup overall.

UB Control



Very long-game matchup. Pearl Lake Ancient is huge, and you always have to target it with Thoughtseize if you see it. Tasigur and Ashiok are both fine but not insane, it’s very important to hit land drops and keep card advantage going in this game.




With the rise in popularity of this deck I decided to add a fourth copy of Drown in Sorrow in my board just for this deck. This is not a great matchup for us, we need to draw a lot of life gain lands and get them with Drown.

Possible Additions from Dragons of Tarkir

Ultimate Price

This is a great reprint and a great add to answer all the threats from RW Aggro and Devotion, also it’s easier to cast than Bile Blight and that’s not a small upside—I’d trim a copy of Bile Blight and one of Disdainful Stroke to make room for this great removal spell.

Self-Inflicted Wound

This is a great sideboard card, and what it does best is answer Fleecemane Lion. Since we don’t have to worry anymore about the monstrous Lion, we can run 3 copies of this card in the board and call it a day.

Silumgar’s Command

Not on the same level as Ojutai’s Command, this is way worse, over-costed, and not worth it. I’d rather draw three cards end of turn than play this card.

Stratus Dancer

A rewritten Negate is still a Negate—Stratus Dancer might be good in the mirror match to put some pressure on them once Bile Blight and Ultimate Price come out, but I don’t think that this card deserves a slot.

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