Deck Tech: Blue-Red Control with Peter Vieren

Posted in Event Coverage on December 4, 2016

By Tobi Henke

Peter Vieren was no stranger to playing at the highest level. He had been part of the Belgian team who made it all the way to the finals of the World Magic Cup just two weeks ago. Plus, he had twice reached the Top 8 at Grand Prix events so far, the last time at Grand Prix Prague in 2015. Vieren had piloted a blue control deck then and this weekend he was doing the same. In fact, his deck, with which he went 8-1 on Day 1, hardly could have been more true to the tradition of blue control.

On the surface, it looked rather similar to what Pierre Dagen had played to a Top 8 finish at Pro Tour Kaladesh. Had this been an inspiration?

"Not really. Dagen's deck was half control, half burn," said Vieren. "It had Fiery Temper which is a bad removal spell, but obviously great when you want to hit the opponent. It also had those sorcery card draw spells. This, on the other hand, is a complete draw-go deck. Only counterspells, card draw, and removal. Pretty simple actually."

Two Dynavolt Towers were literally the only spells in Vieren's main deck that couldn't be cast at instant speed. Dagen's Top 8 deck had had four and was using the artifact differently too. Said Vieren, "You would almost always slam Dynavolt Tower as early as possible with Dagen's deck. This is not a Tower deck, it's pure control. You only use the Tower for some additional staying power in the late game. And you certainly don't just cast it on turn three."

Peter Vieren

Vieren pointed out the many counterspells in the deck and suggested that if you ever let your guard down, you would live to regret it. Or, worse yet, not live but regret it all the same. "For example, against White-Blue Control on the draw you don't want Dynavolt Tower at all. If they Gideon you, you're dead."

Vieren said that the Thing in the Ice in his sideboard was actually the better card in almost all regards and matchups. The poor Thing only started in the sideboard because Vieren knew he would encounter more creature removal before sideboarding than afterward.

I asked Vieren about his deck's matchups, expecting Aetherworks Marvel to be just marvelous. Vieren chuckled. "Yes, Marvel is indeed a bye. Delirium is favorable. White-Blue is about even. Vehicles is rather bad but not, like, unwinnable. The actual bad matchup is what some of the Dutch are playing, this Zombie deck. So much creature recursion. I don't think I can ever beat that."

This particular Comparative Analysis may have ended in a Summary Dismissal, which was hard to Negate but easy to Anticipate, rather more like one were to Confirm Suspicions. Then again, what's one unwinnable matchup when you can play with all of the cards listed in the previous sentence in your main deck? A true blue control player's dream ...

Peter Vieren's Blue-Red Control

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