Deck Tech: Han Bing's White Blue Dragons

Posted in GRAND PRIX SHANGHAI 2015 on May 16, 2015

By Chapman Sim

MTG Mint Card's Han Bing is the reigning China National Champion and is one of the most respected players in the country. His last solid finish was at Pro Tour Journey to Nyx, where he piloted a Bant Control deck he designed to a 41st place finish, as well as a Top 8 appearance at the previous Grand Prix Shanghai.

Known as a master of control decks amongst the local community, he has shown up with yet another brew of his own and has already secured himself a spot in Day 2! He had an interesting view about the metagame and was happy to share his thoughts with me!

Han's made the Top 8 at Grand Prix Shanghai 2014 and hopes to do it again!

Han Bing's White Blue Dragons

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A brew of his own specifically for this metagame!

Han's Blue White control deck contains similar elements to the Esper Dragons deck. He has a total of five dragons to support Silumgar's Scorn, and also the full set of Dissolve and a pair of Ojutai's Command. That makes a total of up to 10 counterspells in his deck, which is considered high in this era.

"I think that Abzan Control decks will be on the rise because Abzan Aggro is very popular. Having extra countermagic is good against them. Additional Negates and Stratus Dancer in the board compensate for the loss of Thoughtseize."

Not quite as good as Cryptic Command, but Han likes it!

What Han values the most out of his deck is the elegant and uncomplicated mana base. He almost never has to worry about being color-screwed and even has the luxury of playing three Radiant Fountains and a single Haven of the Spirit Dragon. Instead of Drown in Sorrow, Han's got the full set of Arashin Cleric. That also combos with Ojutai's Command, which improves the match up against the red decks significantly.

"Mono-Red and Atarka Red is popular in China. It is an inexpensive deck to build, and it punishes players who don't pay it respect. I choose to be prepared for it rather than ignoring it."

When asked about the control mirror, he was already equipped with a satisfactory response.

"Despite not having Thoughtseize, I have a great match up against Esper Dragons. When they sideboard out their removal spells, I bring in Brimaz, King of Oreskos. Sometimes the mirror match drags on for a long time, it really helps me to steal a game quickly. Mastery of the Unseen also resolves easily and all I need to do is protect it with my counterspells. Once it does, the Esper Dragons player has almost no solutions to it. The popularity of Esper Dragons has reached it peak at Grand Prix Kraków, I think it is dead right now."

Sure enough, he has yet to play any control mirror matches and he is one of the few players running Dragonlord Ojutai in the room. His plan of eschewing his black core for a white core has paid of handsomely.

"The removal is much worse though," he admits.

I have to point out that Devouring Light can hardly be compared to Hero's Downfall. Crux of Fate is better than End Hostilities because Han is playing with dragons. As for Last Breath, it is but an embarrassing substitute for Ultimate Price.

Great against the green stuff.

"That's why I have Encase in Ice and Icefall Regent. Those cards are great in the green matchup. It locks down the Deathmist Raptors, Siege Rhinos and Fleecemane Lions. And because I sacrifice the black removal spells, I am enable to play with Elspeth, Sun's Champion. That card is only getting better and better as green becomes increasingly popular. I knew I wanted to play with Elspeth today."

One of the main reasons Han wants to play with a white base.

Dig Through Time and Anticipate provide the needed card selection, while a pair of Perilous Vault and a lone Ugin, the Spirit Dragon rounded out the rest of his deck. It seems like Han has got all the holes covered. However, at the rather awkward score of 6-0-3, Han needs to buck up in tomorrow's competition.

The bright side is, however, that he's still technically undefeated! Three cheers for Ojutai!