Blue-Black Control at Worlds

by Kelvin Chew on 12 October 2017, Thursday

Kelvin Chew

Blue-Black Control at Worlds


Hi everyone, last weekend I had the chance to compete at the World Championship and managed to make Top 4 playing Blue-Black Control. I went 6-2 at Standard and would like to share some information about my deck choice. Firstly, these were the matchup I played against at the World Championship.

  • Christian Calcano (Ramunap Red) - Won 2-0
  • Brad Nelson (4C Energy) - Won 2-1
  • Eric Froehlich (Ramunap Red) - Lost 1-2
  • Samuel Black (Blue-Black Control) - Won 2-1
  • Josh Utter-Leyton (Blue-Black Control) - Won 2-1
  • Owen Turtenwald (Temur Energy) - Won 2-0
  • William Jensen (Temur Energy) - Won 2-0
  • Reid Duke (Temur Energy) - Lost 0-2

I anticipated that the metagame would consist of mostly midrange decks such as Temur Energy and Sultai Energy, as well as aggro decks such as Ramunap Red. I don't think that control decks would be popular at the World Championship because it is still quite an unknown deck at that time. Hence, I tuned my list towards aggro and midrange decks and had a pretty good matchup.


If I were to play Blue-Black Control again, this would be my updated decklist.

Allow me to explain some of my card choices.


Search for Azcanta


I think 2 is likely the correct number because you don't want to draw multiples against Ramunap Red and Temur Energy, because they might run you over very quickly. It's best against control mirrors because it takes over the game if left unchecked.


Field of Ruin


I really wanted the third copy in the maindeck but it just hurts the mana base way too much. You can play more Evolving Wilds or Submerged Boneyard to increase the number of colored sources but sometimes having those lands come into play tapped or having a colorless lands might really hurt your whole turn.


Aether Meltdown


It is the best two-mana removal you can get at instant speed. Sometimes, you just don't have the counterspells to answer every creature and occasionally threats will resolve. Aether Meltdown does well at answer some creatures like Earthshaker Khenra, Ahn-Crop Crasher, Glorybringer and so on.


The Scarab God


I think playing three The Scarab God is the correct number because you want to draw one copy in the early or mid game. It is the best threat against Ramunap Rep and Temur Energy compared to Torrential Gearhulk. An unanswered The Scarab God simply wins the game easily. Many decks cannot handle it at all.


Gifted Aetherborn


Three copies of Gifted Aetherborn is fine against Ramunap Red and Control decks. even though it does die to Lightning Strike (or Abrade), if they do not have it, you will just win the game easily. Having a lifelink creature to return with The Scarab God also helps you stabilize against red decks.


Gifted Aetherborn was also the main reason that I beat two Blue-Black Control mirrors even though their version was geared towards beating the mirror match. Normally, control decks will side out Fatal Push and once that happens Gifted Aetherborn will do a great job at applying pressure.


Arguel's Blood Fast


I think increasing Arguel's Blood Fast is good if you anticipate a lot of mirrors. It is the best card against Blue-Black Control mirrors as they have no way to remove it. Once resolved, it allows you to draw up to nine cards over the span of the game. If you have Gifted Aetherborn, it is also a great combo since every attack will gain you one additional card.



Sideboard Guide


Against Ramunap Red 

This matchup is about controlling the early few turns and land The Scarab God to take over the game. Try to save Vraska's Contempt for Hazoret the Fervent. After sideboarding, we have access to more life gain cards to help stabilize in the early turns.

-1 Bontu's Last Reckoning
-2 Glimmer of Genius
-2 Search for Azcanta

+2 Essence Extraction
+3 Gifted Aetherborn

Temur Energy (PGO Version)
Peach Garden Oath came up with a tweaked version of Temur Energy. Even though I lost to Willian Jensen in the semifinal, I feel that the matchup is favorable for Blue-Black Control. You are advantaged pre-sideboard because they are overloaded with removal spells which are not good against your deck. after sideboarding, the matchup becomes more even as they transform into a "creature-control deck".

-2 Essence Extraction
-2 Aether Meltdown

+1 Bontu's Last Reckoning
+3 Duress

Blue-Black Control Mirror

Game 1 is all about who owns an unchecked Search for Azcanta. After sideboarding, save your Duress to help you resolve a threat, or use it to discard either Arguel's Blood Fast or Search for Azcanta.

-1 Island
-2 Aether Meltdown
-2 Essence Extraction
-1 Bontu's Last Reckoning
-2 Censor
+2 Negate
-4 Fatal Push

+4 Duress
+2 Arguel's Blood Fast
+1 Field of Ruin
+3 Gifted Aetherborn

4-Color Energy

I did not bring in Duress post sideboard as they have less spells compared to the PGO Version of Temur Energy. It is easier to land your threats because they do not have access to Essence Scatter.

-1 Essence Extraction
+1 Bontu's Last Reckoning

Sultai Energy

This matchup is fairly easy because their Fatal Push and Hostage Taker are useless against us. Only cast your The Scarab God if you have enough solutions for their Hostage Taker. Try to counter or kill Glint-Sleeve Siphoner as this is their very few ways to gain card advantage.

-2 Aether Meltdown
-1 Disallow

+1 Bontu's Last Reckoning
+2 Essence Extraction

This marks the end of my article and I hope it will help you guys playing in Nationals this weekend. I appreciate all the support I received at World Championship. This weekend, I will be battling at Singapore Nationals to try to become that National Champion of Singapore. Cheers!


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