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By: mr_roskam, Jason C Roskam
Jul 15 2015 12:00pm
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 Hello friends, strangers, and everyone in between!  Mr. Roskam back behind the keyboard once again to talk about Standard and what I will be playing once Magic Origins is officially released.  Since this is my first article here on PureMTGO, allow myself to introduce myself.  I am a former writer at MTGBroDeals and am one of the creators and host of the Higher Standards Podcast over on the MTGCast network.  Though I primarily play Standard, I do dabble in other formats.  I'm considered to be the "old guy" around my LGS, as I am 38 years old and everyone refers to me as Mr. Roskam.  I have a 12-year-old son who has been playing Magic for several years and I am working with him on a regular basis to improve his game with the hope that he can eventually break into competitive Magic.  For now, I enjoy playing Standard, Podcasting and making Youtube videos of my MTGO exploits.  

UW Control in Standard: 

Since the release of Fate Reforged, I've been playing one form of control or another, be it UB Control, Esper, and now UW Control.  Since the release of Dragons of Tarkir I've felt that UW Control is the place to be because of three specific cards.  First is Myth Realized:

Myth Realized

This card fits perfectly in a properly constructed control shell.  It acts as a late-game finisher but still has practical use in the mid-game and can pick away at your opponents over the course of several turns and can even serve as a chump-blocker if necessary.  The ability to pump mana into it at the end of your opponent's turn is great in this style of deck as well. 

The next card is Ojutai's Command:

Ojutai's Command

No, it is not Cryptic Command, but it’s probably the best alternative that we're ever going to get in Standard again, and it’s a fine card in this format.  Being able to counter a spell and draw a card is such a beating, but where this card really shines in this deck is when it can bring back either a Palace Familiar or Arashin Cleric and still draw you a card or gain you some life.  On MTGO, the chances of playing against a faster aggro deck are much higher than on paper and this card performs exceptionally well in those matchups.  The life gain can be the thing that keeps you in it long enough to stabilize and take over a game while also bringing back a chump blocker that will draw you another card when it dies.  The diversity of Ojutai's Command makes it a fantastic card in Standard and one that is very underrated right now! 

The final piece of the puzzle is another underrated gem in Narset Transcendent:

Narset Transcendent

Narset is the backbone of the deck, but not for the reasons you would think.  Her abilities are decent, but what she does in this deck is act as a decoy.  Unless I'm already under 10 life in a game, as soon as I drop Narset, all of my opponent's focus almost always goes to her.  Be it removal spells, burn spells or attacking with creatures, the second she's on the board she draws all of the attention of my opponent which is exactly what I want.  And for those opponents who catch on to my ruse and start focusing on me again will pay the price when I start using Narset's -2 ability and copy spells like Dig Through Time or End Hostilities.  Either way, Narset is doing so much work by either keeping me alive or just giving me raw card advantage at every turn.  

The current decklist:


Since many of these cards are criminally undervalued, you can buy this entire deck on MTGOTraders right now for roughly $100!  

Early drafts of the deck called for 3 End Hostilities in the main and 27 lands, however I found myself both A) Flooding out often and B) Desperately searching for a board wipe.  Once I made the switch, the deck flows significantly better.   I've seen similar decks running cards like Elspeth, Sun's Champion as the finisher over Myth Realized, which is fine, but I was going for a little more budget-friendly of a build and, when played correctly, Myth Realized dodges all of those Hero's Downfalls that can easily take out your Elspeth.  On the subject of Myth Realized and playing against removal, you have to play VERY carefully and smart against decks like Abzan that traditionally run a large amount of removal spells between Downfall, Abzan Charm, Ultimate Price and sometimes Utter End.  With only three copies of Myth in the deck, you can’t afford to just blindly activate him into removal.  You have to use Narset to draw out those removal spells, and sometimes turn off all of their non-creature spells with her ultimate ability.  I've done this on many occasions and sometimes getting her emblem is enough to get an opponent to concede.

The sideboard is still in a state of flux, but this is what has been working for me thus far. I tried running 2- Mastery of the Unseen for the control mirror but that ended up being too clunky and was taken out eventually.  Dragonlord's Prerogative is another card that I'd bring in against control decks for more card draw, but due to the fact that I do not actually run any dragons, it has been sub-par at best.  It will definitely be one of the first cards replaced with something from Origins.

The Magic Origins effect:

Now that we have the full Magic Origins spoiler, I went through and wanted to see what changes, if any, I would make to UW Control.  The top card on my radar is Jace, Vryn's Prodigy.  The thing that makes him the most appealing to me is the fact that he can be targeted by Ojutai's Command which will make transforming him into a Planeswalker much easier when you can resurrect him at the end of your opponent's turn.  Jace will also act as a fine early chump-blocker against the aggro decks because, again, you can resurrect him later on in the match.  The biggest question I have concerning his addition to the deck is how many I will actually include.  Right now I am thinking between 2 and 3, probably taking out some combination of Palace Familiar and Banishing Light

The other card I'm looking at is another 2 CMC creature in the form of Harbinger of the Tides!  Again, the ability to resurrect him at instant-speed with Ojutai's Command is phenomenal and he leads to some great tempo swings which can,  no pun intended, turn the tides against more aggressive decks.  I will probably try him as a 2-of in the main and put two more in the sideboard.   

These are not the only cards that I have been considering for the deck but they're the two that will most certainly make the cut for Week 1.  Other possibilities are a card like Day's Undoing.  This card is another attempt to make a less-broken Timetwister.  I'm not 100% sold on its viability in a Control list, but it might be worth exploring.  The "end the turn" clause is really not that bad since you can cast it during your second Main Phase after you've already made land drops, attacked and used Planeswalker abilities.  The biggest issue is that it also lets your opponent refill their hand.  Depending on what deck you're playing against, this could be VERY dangerous.  Day's Undoing might be relegated to the sideboard, only brought in against certain matchups. 

Mizzium Meddler is another very solid blue card that could very easily make it into the sideboard as he is a fat body that can block and kill several red favorites like Foundry Street Denizen and Lightning Berserker while also redirecting a burn spell that is getting thrown at you or a Planeswalker you control.  The thing that is keeping Mizzium Meddler from making the cut in the Main Deck is the fact that his CMC is 3, making him unable to be resurrected by Ojutai's Command.  

In closing:

Overall I am really excited for the new tools that Origins will bring to the table.  I think Languish might be the card to push me back to UB Control. I am currently in the process of brewing up a post-Origins UB Control list which I will try to get out there, so stay tuned! 

I hope you enjoyed my list and please feel free to shoot me any feedback you may have.  And go listen to the Higher Standards Podcast each and every week on the MTGCast Network!  Until next time, be good, kids!

Mr. Jason Roskam

Twitter: @Roskam76


Hey! Always nice to see new by olaw at Wed, 07/15/2015 - 13:04
olaw's picture

Hey! Always nice to see new writers on the site.

If you want an image of a card to come up you just have to type (pic=CARDNAME) and that will link the image from the MTGOTraders website. I assume that is what you were trying to achieve earlier in the article. It won't work for any Magic Origins cards just yet - though you can always copy and paste images into your articles if you like.

Nice article. I haven't played Standard for a while but DTK Standard does seem like fun and I like your list and ideas for the future.

Thank you, Oliver. Not sure by mr_roskam at Wed, 07/15/2015 - 15:00
mr_roskam's picture

Thank you, Oliver. Not sure why the pics came up as broken links because I did use the (pic=cardname). I'll have to go back and double-check.

Ah ok. Yes, I have noticed by olaw at Wed, 07/15/2015 - 15:32
olaw's picture

Ah ok. Yes, I have noticed that with some recent cards. Not sure what the cause of the problem is though.

Also, for anyone wondering by mr_roskam at Wed, 07/15/2015 - 15:03
mr_roskam's picture

Also, for anyone wondering why I'm not running cards like Dragonlord Ojutai, Elspeth or something else as my finisher over Myth Realized, keep in mind this is also meant as a semi budget deck. Either Ojutai or Elspeth would drive this deck towards $200 on MTGO.

I'm glad to see that your by Joe Fiorini at Wed, 07/15/2015 - 15:39
Joe Fiorini's picture

I'm glad to see that your article came out. With each passing week, using the editor gets easier, quicker, and you learn how to do cool things with it. I see that you've already got a lot down, so that's great. If you have any questions, the writers here are very helpful. I simply could not produce the content that I do without the advice and guidance I've received from the regular contributors.

Keep 'em coming!

From the source it looks like by Paul Leicht at Wed, 07/15/2015 - 16:23
Paul Leicht's picture

From the source it looks like there is a lot of excess word "code" aka garbage inserted where the image should be. Maybe Josh can fiddle with it.

==edit== <---this is the culprit. Server script cut off the img name. Probably because it has the wrong permissions set (403 error if you click the link.)

The word garbage just made it harder to see.

Anyway I am a fan of Narset and Myth Realized both though not of the UW Control Standard archetype. That said I would love to see Monastery Mentor in there as a 2-3 of. Welcome to, keep em coming.

My pet card is Ojutai Exemplars by Rerepete at Wed, 07/15/2015 - 18:33
Rerepete's picture

Once this sticks on the table, it is very difficult to deal with. The self-exile negates most removal, first strike/lifelink make battle difficult and the tapping effect negates blockers/attackers.