2nd Place at the Red Bull Untapped Qualifiers with UW Control

Ricardo Beja

Ricardo Beja

Introduction

Hello everyone! My name is Ricardo Beja, a Hareruya Hopes member from Portugal and I got 2nd place at the Red Bull Untapped Qualifier in Brussels.

The event was limited to 226 players that were selected to play it and I was very lucky to be one of them. The tournament was 3 rounds of Modern Horizons sealed, 5 rounds of Modern and then Modern again in the top 8. Both formats used the London Mulligan. With this result I qualified for Red Bull Untapped Finals in London on 4th August.

Deck Choice

Testing Process

Before Modern Horizons came out, I was playing Tron most of the time but with Modern Horizons being released it didn’t look well positioned, so I decided to try out some other decks like Izzet Phoenix, Mono-Red Phoenix, Burn and UW Control.

Hogaak, Arisen NecropolisBridge from BelowAltar of Dementia

Over time it was very clear that Hogaak Bridgevine was the deck to beat for this tournament.

From the start I decided that I didn’t want to play Hogaak mirrors, so I wanted a deck that could beat it while being good against the rest of the metagame.

Hogaak was so oppressive that it was keeping away several decks from the metagame, so the metagame was very restricted compared to normal. That’s where UW Control shines because it had the tools to beat graveyard strategies like Hogaak and with a predictable metagame you could tune it to beat what you expected to face.

During the testing I kept doing good results at MTGO Leagues and I Top8ed the MCQ on the weekend before the Red Bull Untapped Tournament, going 8-1 on the swiss and losing on Quarterfinals.

This is the decklist I played:

New Cards to UW Control

《Teferi, Time Raveler》:

Teferi, Time Raveler

“It’s insane how good it is”These were my words in my top 8 profile for why this was the best card for me during the Swiss rounds. It lets you easily control the game with your opponent only being able to play at sorcery speed. You can use it to bounce hard to deal with permanents like enchantments and artifacts and counter them on the way back.

《Narset, Parter of Veils》:

Narset, Parter of Veils

Provides you card advantage and card selection while possibly disrupting your opponents by not letting them draw extra cards.

It helps you find most of the cards you need for the matchup you are playing and can also team up with 《Vendilion Clique》 to put a card from your opponent hand on the bottom of their deck without them drawing a card from Clique.

《Force of Negation》:

Force of Negation

Allows you to counter problematic non-creature spells early in the game and protect your planeswalkers later when you tap out for them. The card disadvantage of playing a free Force normally doesn’t matter that much because you get card advantage with your planeswalkers. It’s great against non-creature combo decks and the exile clause is very relevant against 《Faithless Looting》.

《Dovin’s Veto》:

Dovin's Veto

A great card that is not seeing as much play because 《Force of Negation》 got printed at almost the same time but at least one in the sideboard is nice to have as an upgrade to 《Negate》.

Card Choices

A Portuguese player named João Moreira (MTGO grinder Do0mSwitch) was having a lot of success with UW Control in MTGO premier events and he had a well-tuned decklist so I started playing it and made some minor changes.

Here I’m going to talk about some card choices in the deck:

《Surgical Extraction》:

Surgical Extraction

I needed a way to attack Hogaak decks maindeck while also being good or at least OK against other decks. 《Surgical Extraction》 is good vs Hogaak, UR and Mono-Red Phoenix, Scapeshift, Tron and Dredge while also being OK but not great against the mirror.

《Timely Reinforcements》:

Timely Reinforcements

Great against Aggro decks and Hogaak. After I stopped Hogaak’s graveyard shenanigans, I needed a way to stop the creatures and this was a great way to do it.

《Supreme Verdict》:

Supreme Verdict

Why 《Supreme Verdict》 over 《Terminus》? Narset allows you to find cards with her ability and it’s better to find a Supreme than a 《Terminus》. Also the only cards that let me put 《Terminus》 back on top were 2 《Jace, the Mind Sculptor》s.

Why 《Supreme Verdict》 over 《Wrath of God》? It’s a blue card you can exile to 《Force of Negation》.

《Wrath of God》:

Wrath of God

Why play a 《Wrath of God》 in the sideboard over 《Supreme Verdict》? It gives you one more diversity vs 5C Humans to better play around their 《Meddling Mage》s, while also being relevant against 《Welding Jar》 and 《Thrun, the Last Troll》.

《Monastery Mentor》:

Monastery Mentor

After sideboard, my opponents were taking some, if not all of their creature removal out and that’s where 《Monastery Mentor》 shines. It lets you finish games quickly against combo decks or land decks like Tron and Scapeshift.

《Rest in Peace》:

Rest in Peace

With Hogaak being the deck to beat, 4 《Rest in Peace》 were a must. With the banning of 《Bridge from Below》 this number will probably go down to 2 or 3.

《Celestial Purge》:

Celestial Purge

《Celestial Purge》 is a card you need to have to answer problematic permanents like 《Aria of Flame》, 《Wrenn and Six》, 《Arclight Phoenix》 and Hogaak, amongst others.

Tournament Report

Sealed Portion (Modern Horizons)

Ricardo Beja_MH1_Sealed
Battle ScreechIrregular CohortForce of VirtueGiver of Runes

Sealed worried me a little more, because you never know what are you going to get, but when I saw my sealed pool I was happy with it. I had a good enough WB deck with 5 token generators, 5 changelings, 3 ways to pump my team and also 《Giver of Runes》. I didn’t have much removal but my manabase let me flashback 《Smiting Helix》.

Nature's Chant

《Nature’s Chant》 was good as a sideboard card in rounds 1 and 2 because my opponents had cards like 《Sword of Sinew and Steel》 and 《Force of Virtue》 while also having some artifact creatures like 《Farmstead Gleaner》, so it was never a dead card.

I managed to go 3-0 with it, winning every round 2-1.

Modern Portion

Sideboard Plans for the Tournament

Hogaak Bridgevine

Against Hogaak Bridgevine

Out

Snapcaster Mage Snapcaster Mage Snapcaster Mage Snapcaster Mage
Mana Leak Logic Knot Spell Snare Vendilion Clique
Jace, the Mind Sculptor Jace, the Mind Sculptor Teferi, Hero of Dominaria Narset, Parter of Veils

In

Rest in Peace Rest in Peace Rest in Peace Rest in Peace
Celestial Purge Celestial Purge Monastery Mentor Monastery Mentor
Wrath of God Force of Negation Timely Reinforcements Baneslayer Angel

Izzet Phoenix

Against Izzet Phoenix

Out

Supreme Verdict Supreme Verdict Vendilion Clique
Timely Reinforcements Spell Snare Oust

In

Monastery Mentor Monastery Mentor Baneslayer Angel
Celestial Purge Celestial Purge Dovin's Veto

UW Control

Against UW Control Mirror

Out

Surgical Extraction Surgical Extraction Oust
Supreme Verdict Supreme Verdict Timely Reinforcements

In

Monastery Mentor Monastery Mentor Vendilion Clique
Force of Negation Dovin's Veto Disdainful Stroke

Eldrazi Tron

Against Eldrazi Tron

Out

Spell Snare Timely Reinforcements Vendilion Clique
Surgical Extraction Surgical Extraction

In

Wrath of God Disdainful Stroke Baneslayer Angel
Monastery Mentor Monastery Mentor

5C Humans

Against 5C Humans

Out

Force of Negation Force of Negation Surgical Extraction Surgical Extraction
Narset, Parter of Veils Mana Leak Logic Knot Spell Snare

In

Celestial Purge Celestial Purge Monastery Mentor Monastery Mentor
Wrath of God Timely Reinforcements Baneslayer Angel Vendilion Clique

Mono-Red Phoenix

Against Mono-Red Phoenix

Out

Supreme Verdict Supreme Verdict Spell Snare Vendilion Clique
Teferi, Time Raveler Mana Leak Logic Knot

In

Celestial Purge Celestial Purge Monastery Mentor Monastery Mentor
Timely Reinforcements Dovin's Veto Baneslayer Angel

BGx

Against BGx

Out

Surgical Extraction Surgical Extraction Vendilion Clique
Force of Negation Force of Negation Timely Reinforcements

In

Monastery Mentor Monastery Mentor Dovin's Veto
Celestial Purge Celestial Purge Wrath of God

Grixis Urza

Against Grixis Urza

Out

Supreme Verdict Supreme Verdict Vendilion Clique
Timely Reinforcements Path to Exile Oust

In

Monastery Mentor Monastery Mentor Disdainful Stroke
Celestial Purge Celestial Purge Dovin's Veto

Bant Infect

Against Bant Infect

Out

Surgical Extraction Surgical Extraction Timely Reinforcements

In

Force of Negation Wrath of God Vendilion Clique

Burn

Against Burn

Out

Surgical Extraction Surgical Extraction Vendilion Clique
Supreme Verdict Supreme Verdict

In

Celestial Purge Celestial Purge Baneslayer Angel
Timely Reinforcements Dovin's Veto

Tron

Against Tron

Out

Path to Exile Path to Exile Oust
Supreme Verdict Supreme Verdict Timely Reinforcements

In

Monastery Mentor Monastery Mentor Vendilion Clique
Force of Negation Dovin's Veto Disdainful Stroke

Conclusion

Going into the event, I believed I had the best positioned deck for the metagame I expected to face, and thankfully It was good enough to get to the final. I’m extremely happy to have qualified for the Red Bull Untapped Finals in London on 4th August where I’ll be battling Standard on Arena with the other 7 qualifiers on Red Bull Channel, I’m very excited for the challenge!

Stony SilenceDamping Sphere

Going forward, the changes to the deck depends on how the metagame shifts but I expect to cut down by at least 1 《Rest in Peace》 from the sideboard and add some number of 《Stony Silence》 and/or 《Damping Sphere》 if artifacts decks or big mana decks get too popular. I could also see one of the 3 drop creatures in the sideboard being cut to add one of those cards. The main deck 《Surgical Extraction》s could also stay or be gone depending on how the metagame shifts.

I would like to thank João Moreira for passing onto me his knowledge about the deck, it made my testing much easier. I would also like to thanks Hareruya and all my friends for their help and support.

If you have any question, please let me know on the comment section below.

I hope you enjoyed,

Ricardo Beja

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Ricardo Beja

Ricardo Beja Ricardo Beja is a Pro Player from Portugal and he joined Hareruya Hopes by public offer in July 2018. His highest achievements were two GP top 16s but he made another great finish at the Red Bull Untapped Qualifier in Brussels with Azorius Control (Modern). Now he has another shot to show his marvelous skills at the highest level in the Red Bull Untapped Tournament in London. Read more articles by Ricardo Beja