Standard - UW Control WAR

28 27
0 29 5 26
  • Deck contains 14 invalid cards for this format: Settle the Wreckage (XLN), Glacial Fortress (XLN), Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin (XLN), Memorial to Genius (DOM), Teferi, Hero of Dominaria (DOM), Syncopate (DOM), Seal Away (DOM), Cleansing Nova (M19), Settle the Wreckage (XLN), Demystify (XLN), Spell Pierce (XLN), History of Benalia (DOM), Lyra Dawnbringer (DOM), Fountain of Renewal (M19)
Main 60 cards (21 distinct)
Planeswalker (5)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (29)
Land (26)
Side 15 cards (8 distinct)

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Post WAR mtga release edit: So far the deck has performed very well for me, probably meaningless for now but it's a good sign. Whatever adjustments I've been making have been using the same cards, just a little more of this or a little less of that, if you like a big blowout with Finale of Glory go ahead and throw in another one, experimenting is good!

I'll post the updated version I end up with in a week or so, I just wanted to make this little edit to let people know [[Blast Zone]] is probably the best card in the deck, take out an Island and go up to three that much I'm sure of after blowing up Teferis left and right through a bunch of counters. There's just nothing anyone can do about it.

Version 1.0

Since rotation UW's biggest problem has been spot removal and a more traditional way to close out the game than just Teferi. With the new additions coming in the next set the toolkit is getting where it needs to be to not need a third color, which has several deckbuilding and gameplay benefits.

The strenghts of a deck like this are the reduced color requirements, ability to include utility lands without worry, and an increased volume of counterspells when compared to any other control deck, which is always true of UW in any format.

Let's go over some of the choices:


A bad conditional counter in that whatever rate of X you're paying, it's overcosted but it's what we have and as far as standard goes it is perfectly fine. Scalable and hits everything.

{{Prison Realm}}

Anyone who's played with [[Oblivion Ring]] or [[Banishing Light]] in standard knows how critical those cards were, and that their primary targets were always creatures, so this card not being catch all isn't ideal but hitting creatures plus walkers gets the job done. This is the specific card I think the deck needed to be viable, since [[Cast Out]] rotated there has been no good white spot removal for control, it can't all be up to poor Seal Away.

{{Lazotep Plating}}

One of the new cards to be tested, it can make a blocker at instant speed and disable targeted spells, protecting you from burn against aggro or forced targeted discard, these are not the reasons to run it however, the primary reason for this card being included is protecting Teferi with his untap, that's it. That's all this card needs to do to justify itself, protect Teferi one time. This is also the most likely card to be cut and replaced with:

{{Augur of Bolas}}

Should the need arise for early game deck manipulation, which is very possible.


Has displaced Sabotage as the go to Cancel variant, which was made even more redundant by Prison Realm's Scry, it is the only source of lifegain in the main and it can buy time to find other answers vs creature decks/aggro.

{{Dovin's Veto}}

This might as well be running Negate in the main, which you're not supposed to do right? The reason this isn't say [[Essence Scatter]] or another Syncopate is because the deck has enough answers to creature spells, not so much against all the others, you have to be able to fight the [[Thought Erasure]] decks on game 1 and this helps you do that.

{{Blast Zone}}

About the deck's sweepers, Settle and Nova are all you need, but can you believe they printed [[Engineered Explosives]] on a land?! It's not even technically a sweeper it's whatever removal you want it to be. What a powerful card, and not one that can be easily run in 3 color decks or non control decks so really that just leaves UW to benefit from it.

{{Narset's Reversal}}

To be tested, it's likely best kept in the sideboard since there will be several matchups without good targets, but this is a very versatile effect, can turn around Thought Erasure, Nexus of Fate, burn spells, card draw, removal targeting Teferi, etc.

If you're looking up UW control you don't need me to explain the inclusion of cards from previous sets and the sideboard is self explanatory but I'll get into it a little after this. Here's some additional thoughts about the deck:

1. There are exactly 2 slots that you can use for literally any cards you want than can pass as win conditions, in previous metas these have been ocuppied by say [[Approach of the Second Sun]], [[Entreat the Angels]], [[Torrential Gearhulk]]. In this deck they are Finale of Glory and Teferi, Time Raveler.

Obviously they need to be tested but should they not work for you, know that you can use any cards you think will help you close out the game, Karn, Lyra, Nexus, Nezahal, Dream Eater, Angel of Grace, etc. This is so you're not solely relying on Teferi looping people, it's faster and more merciful. And most imporantly you can get away with it, remember only 2 cards though!

2. It's likely incorrect to not run the fourth Chemister's, should you feel you need it I think what I'd cut is 1 Teferi but it's really hard to tell, I'd first try to get in some early filtering like [[Opt]], [[Anticipate]] or [[Augur of Bolas]]. Remember to cut cards with a similar CMC to whatever you're adding, this is a low CMC deck to it's benefit.

3. Counterspells should always be between 8 and 10, this version has 9. Any less and you dilute a strenght of the deck, any more and they actively work against you. You have to know what you let get through and clean up with Prison Realm or Seal Away (or let a board build up and sweep), especially when you sense an incoming non creature threat, never undercut the value of your counterspells by tapping out/not threatening one when you know your opponent is trying to resolve something. 

Try to get value out of Syncopate early cause it's power goes down dramatically later, especially if you Settle you can kiss it's usefulness goodbye pretty much.

4. Do NOT tap out in the early game to remove a threat, you can take the damage but you can't unresolve something that needed to be countered while you were tapped out, the one and only exception is Azcanta, especially if you're having land issues.

As far as the sideboard I only have 2 things to say:

History of Benalia is brought in vs Control of course and always 4x since they benefit from each other.

Spell Pierce I originally included because of mono blue, but it's very good at messing up early turns in Control mirrors, it'll be up to you how many to bring in, including the second Narset's and the third Dovin's, the obvious cut is Syncopate, a card that I almost always board out when I'm going second. The third Pierce can also be one of the cuts to include the fourth Chemister's.

Honorable Mentions:

{{God-Eternal Kefnet}}

Could be tested as a win condition, ignoring the effect which is unlikely to amount to much in this deck, a recursive 4/5 flyer for 4 cmc could be just what we're looking for, they'll never be rid of it and we can go very long.

{{Blink of an Eye}}

Versatile, cheap, always useful, can protect Teferi, option to draw, it's thought of as more of a tempo card which is right but sometimes control decks need a little tempo too. Anything you can't deal with just bounce it for now and look for an answer.

Avoid at all costs:

[[Revitalize]], [[Ixalan's Binding]], [[Warrant]]

Overcosted and outclassed.



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Hey, I love this deck! Thanks for sharing :)
What about adding Meandering River ? Maybe not as it is coming tapped...
Really enjoy playing this deck, I have not seen to much trouble with any particular archetype. I made one change dropped one Prison Realm for a single copy of God-Eternal Kefnet, that is been my closer more often than not.
Nice deck! Blast zone is one of those cards that I love to see in a control deck. It reminds me engineered explosives ;)
Any reason to not go for Jeskai colors? I've been playing very similar list in BO1 since early RNA, and it still works very well in CE (I'm getting 5-7 wins most of the time). Red color lets you play Clarion and Niv without much trouble, and I didn't feel any inconsistency in terms of mana. Banefire + Fight with Fire +Mirari conjectutures serve as alternative win conditions, won me a lot of games vs control mirrors. Also good vs slower midrange decks like Sultai.
Discard will never not be annoying to deal with, I just roll with it, your opponents are also annoyed at your counters and removal.

If you're having that much trouble with it try the 4th Chemister's and throw in some Opts, I don't think the deck needs that card but it can help you get out from under the discard effects, and is itself a bad target for them.

By the way, if you run 4x Opts you can cut a Plains, just throwing that out there.
having trouble with grixis control with discard, any tips?
Sweet deck! I love me some UW control. I stuck a copy of Commence the Endgame in the sideboard and it's an all-star in the draw-go control mirror.
I've only run into Ilharg (in some Temur pod deck) and Kefnet a few times, just proceed as usual and remove them, yeah in 3 turns they can come back but that's so slow by that time you can remove them again or just counter and avoid the problem.

But you should get to ulting Teferi or whatever sort of clock you're supposed to be putting people on with your build, it's not gonna get easier when you're out of removal.
what do you do against gods? since they keep coming back, seems like a pain
I Tried The Deck Without Finale Of Glory And With One Gideon Blackblade.
Good Treat, Good Body, Good Ultimate Ability.

Also I Think Oketra Is Better Than Kefnet For This Deck...Very Good Body, Very Good Performance For Me, Especially Against Rdw.
Teferi Time Raveler Is My Mvp Against Other Control.
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Last Updated: 26 Apr 2019
Created: 19 Apr 2019
31064 3920 12

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Main/Sideboard Rarity Count
17 16 22 5 0
5 3 2 5 0
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