Up until recently, the major distinction between Jeskai Control and U/W
Control in Modern has been that the former operates at instant speed as a
traditional, reactive control deck while the latter plays more of a tap-out
style, laying up some early defenses before slamming powerful planeswalkers
that take over the game.
In recent months, even U/W Control has moved to a more reactive plan
centered around the power of Terminus as a sweeper against typical creature
decks as well as the graveyard-based decks that use recursive threats as a
built-in answer to most sweepers, like R/B Vengevine and B/R Hollow One.
However, there is still room for the older style Azorius deck, so long as
you’re willing to commit fully to the tap-out plan. Today’s list has a
scant five counterspells, three of which are Cryptic Commands, which have
plenty of functionality outside of the counterspell mode. Instead of Logic
Knots, we have more two-drop cantrips, up to a full set each of Wall of
Omens and Spreading Seas.
Both the disruptive half of that duo and the defensive half put in work
here, slowing down the opponent so you have time to make more land drops
and cast planeswalkers on an even battlefield. Following up those
planeswalkers with a sweeper ensures continued card advantage, which rather
quickly runs away with the game.
And if your opponent is playing a combo deck, most of the planeswalkers
here apply significant pressure as well, giving this version of the deck
the ability to switch tactics to a more aggressive mode when needed, a plan
that is further supplemented by the copies of Geist of Saint Traft in the
The commitment to this tap out plan is nowhere more evident than in the
single copy of Oath of Teferi. It typically blinks one of your two-drops,
where you can conveniently move a Spreading Seas to a creature-land played
later in the game, but the real value comes from the second ability. These
planeswalkers are powerful enough on their own, but getting to activate
them twice a turn so your Gideons always turn sideways and your Jaces get
to play defense and gain card advantage at the same time is ludicrous.
Maybe it’s win more as a five-drop, but the reality in Modern is you need
to be doing very powerful things to trump what the rest of the format is up
to. And I’d rather try to trump what they are doing with powerful synergies
of my own than take the Jeskai route of having to have a direct answer to
nearly every threat.
- 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
- 1 Jace, Architect of Thought
- 1 Elspeth, Sun's Champion
- 1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
- 2 Gideon of the Trials
- 2 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria