UB Control at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir

Posted in Daily Deck on November 4, 2014

By Shuhei Nakamura

Shuhei Nakamura is a member of the Pro Tour Hall of Fame, former Player of the Year, and is one of just six players with more than 400 lifetime pro points.

Although you won't hear it much in daily life, there's a word that gets thrown about a lot when talking about Magic: "metagame." If you happen to be unfamiliar with this term, here's a (really) rough definition: if everyone is playing a game of rock-paper-scissors and you see that rock is trending as a popular default choice, you play paper. But, what if someone plays scissors instead? What then?

That's a bit of an oversimplification, but that's how a metagame works. Today's deck, the UB Control deck used by the ChannelFireball Pantheon at the Pro Tour, is one of those. What makes this deck a metagame deck? It presumes that, since Jeskai Wins and Abzan Midrange are defining decks in the current format, at the Pro Tour, Green Devotion decks will be popular since those decks are strong again Jeskai and Abzan. Continuing the metaphor I used above, Green Devotion is a rock to Jeskai and Abzan's scissors. If that's true, then a paper deck—one that beats Green Devotion—will be the deck to play at the Pro Tour. And if there's anything that beats Green Devotion, it's this UB Control deck.

Of course, there's more to winning than just having a strong deck—all of the Pantheon are extremely skilled players and that can't be discounted, but part of that skill is being able to read the metagame and predict what will be popular and what won't be, and then acting on that knowledge.

"But if this deck is paper to Green Devotion's rock," you may be asking yourself, "what's the scissors to this deck?" The answer to that question can be read in the sideboard.

Owen Turtenwald's UB Control—Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir

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