Tuning UB Inverter in Nagoya

Lee Shi Tian

Lee Shi Tian

My Deck at Players Tour Nagoya: UB Inverter

Hello everyone,

I have just come back from a top 8 in Nagoya, the first major Pioneer event. Last week, I wrote an article about the Pioneer format. Yet the format shook up a little bit as a new two-card combo was found with 《Inverter of Truth》, using it to clear most of your own library and following up with either 《Thassa’s Oracle》 or 《Jace, Wielder of Mysteries》 to trigger the win.

Thassa's OracleInverter of TruthJace, Wielder of Mysteries

Here is the list I played in PT Nagoya:

There are some major changes from the stock list (Kanister’s list) and I would like to talk about the tuning process.

Card Choices

Main Deck

Mana Base

Island

5

Swamp

4

Fetid Pools

4


Watery Grave

4

Choked Estuary

4

Drowned Catacomb

4

The deck played 4 《Thoughtseize》 and 4 《Fatal Push》. If you ever read the guidelines to consistent mana set by Frank Karsten, you would know 14 untapped turn 1 sources is the ideal number to cast them. I was stunned by the stock list playing only 9, which is how I lost with the deck when I started testing with UB Inverter. There are lots of games I just got run over by different types of aggressive decks especially when I was on the draw.

Choked Estuary

4

《Choked Estuary》 is the trick to make the mana base become functional against aggressive decks. I know people are worried about playing 《Choked Estuary》 from past experience. However, with shock lands and cycle lands to enable it, the check lands are actually extremely functional.

Fabled Passage

0

The biggest drawback is that we are not able to play 《Fabled Passage》 which synergizes with 《Dig Through Time》 well. Yet it is a cost I am willing to pay as being able to cast my spells in the first two turns and it is just the most important thing in a combo deck. I also believe that the mana base would be a major upgrade to any ally color deck which is my biggest finding for this testing.

《Omen of the Sea》

Omen of the Sea

4

《Omen of the Sea》 fits with the deck’s play pattern the most. You can hold up mana for 《Censor》 or removal while having the option to cast Omen if your opponent decides to hold back a little bit. The Scry ability also lets you use excess mana to compensate for the giving up of Castles. I seldom lack action thanks to 《Omen of the Sea》. The devotion count is also relevant when you have one card left in the deck and worry about your 《Thassa’s Oracle》 being removed before the trigger resolves. Other sorcery speed cantrips just don’t compare to it. Once again the biggest drawback here is lack of synergy with 《Dig Through Time》.

The Removal Package

Fatal Push

4

Tyrant's Scorn

2

Languish

1

As I said, I believe the deck only loses to aggressive decks in the format and removal is the way to handle that. I passed on 《Ultimate Price》 and 《Cast Down》 as they both are not flexible enough. 《Tyrant’s Scorn》 is the card that can buy time against any threat either killing it or bounce it. The singleton 《Languish》 is to take advantage of the open decklists at the PT to keep our opponents honest.

Sideabord

《Coax from the Blind Eternities》

Coax from the Blind Eternities

1

Moving to the sideboard, we do not have any alternate win condition except 《Coax from the Blind Eternities》. We do not need any alternate win condition unless 《Inverter of Truth》 was extracted by 《Unmoored Ego》, 《Lost Legacy》 or 《Slaughter Games》. The deck played extraction effects the most are 5-Color Niv to Light and mirror matches, where resolving 《Inverter of Truth》 is still the best strategy against them compared to any other alternate win conditions.

Unmoored EgoLost LegacySlaughter Games

Therefore 《Coax from the Blind Eternities》 was the pick to hedge against extraction effects. Once you shuffle the 《Coax from the Blind Eternities》 back to the library, you can keep recasting it to get the other 3 《Inverter of Truth》 the getting exiled, which also means it is actually generating multiple threats with only one card. This allows us not to dilute the deck so much in its role as a combo deck.

《Treasure Map》

Treasure Map

2

《Treasure Map》 is our 3rd and 4th 《Dig Through Time》. You will often find yourself resolving it turn 2 on the play and win the game with it against mirror or control matchups. 《Mystical Dispute》 is the most commonly played sideboard in the format and 《Treasure Map》 can go under it and make it blank after flip.

《Drown in the Loch》 in the Sideboard

Drown in the Loch

1

The last card I would like to mention is 《Drown in the Loch》. This card is a perfect sideboard card as you will board into the correct interaction in terms of removals or discards. However, it underperformed in the main deck multiple times during my playtesting. Don’t be surprised to see me sideboarding it in every matchup; it is put in the sideboard rather than maindeck for a reason.

Sideboard Guide

Mono Color Aggro

Red/Black/Green

Against Mono Red/Mono Black

Out

Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize

In

Grasp of Darkness Grasp of Darkness
Drown in the Loch
Murderous Rider

Against Mono Green

Out

Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize

In

Grasp of Darkness Grasp of Darkness
Drown in the Loch
Noxious Grasp
Grasp of Darkness

The game plan of winning with double Inverter actually works after sideboarding as opponent will cut some removals. Replace 《Murderous Rider》 with 《Noxious Grasp》 against Green as the body does not block well there.

White

Against Mono White

Out

Tyrant's Scorn Tyrant's Scorn Opt Opt
Omen of the Sea Thassa's Oracle

In

Grasp of Darkness Grasp of Darkness Drown in the Loch Murderous Rider
Thought Erasure Noxious Grasp
ThoughtseizeGideon of the TrialsNoxious Grasp

White is not as aggressive as other mono color aggro decks with the combo elements in it. Therefore discard spells are actually fine against them. On the other hand, they run much more value creatures like 《Thraben Inspector》 and 《Arcanist’s Owl》, therefore we do not want to be overloaded on removal but also need to win quickly. Keep removal for 《Gideon of the Trials》.

Counter Spell Aggro

Spirit

Against Spirit

Out

Thassa's Oracle Thassa's Oracle Thassa's Oracle
Censor Censor Censor
Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute
Grasp of Darkness Grasp of Darkness Murderous Rider
Thought Erasure Noxious Grasp Drown in the Loch
Grasp of DarknessDrown in the LochMystical Dispute

《Thassa’s Oracle》 cannot block any creatures. I believe the matchup will end up with you aiming to control them with Inverter and removals. The matchup is one of the hardest in the format.

Izzet Ensoul

Against Izzet Ensoul

Out

Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize
Censor Censor Censor
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries Thassa's Oracle

In

Grasp of Darkness Grasp of Darkness Drown in the Loch Duress
Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute
Thought Erasure Murderous Rider
Inverter of Truth

《Thoughtseize》 is a liability against 《Shrapnel Blast》 and 《Thassa’s Oracle》 blocks better in the matchup. Once again, Inverter control is a very real plan after sideboard.

Midrange

5-Color Niv to Light

Against 5-Color Niv to Light

Out

Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push
Tyrant's Scorn Tyrant's Scorn Opt Opt
Languish

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Murderous Rider
Thought Erasure Noxious Grasp Drown in the Loch Duress
Coax from the Blind Eternities
Coax from the Blind EternitiesSlaughter Games

Cut the bad removals and bring in the 《Coax from the Blind Eternities》 to hedge the extraction effect. It is a very good matchup as long as they did not extract your Inverters. Counterspells are great in the matchup. Make sure you can answer a turn 3 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 and you will be fine answering their threats.

Control

UW Control

Against UW Control

Out

Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push
Tyrant's Scorn Tyrant's Scorn Thassa's Oracle Thassa's Oracle
Languish Opt

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Murderous Rider
Thought Erasure Noxious Grasp Drown in the Loch Duress
Treasure Map Treasure Map
Treasure MapTeferi, Time Raveler

Once again 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 is the main threat as they have lots of counterspells after sideboard and blank yours at the same time. 《Treasure Map》 is great on the play but do not tap out into 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 on the draw. Make no mistake, Map is still great against control, just noting the play pattern is different depending on who goes first.

UB Inverter

Against UB Inverter

Out

Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push
Tyrant's Scorn Tyrant's Scorn Thassa's Oracle Thassa's Oracle
Languish

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Murderous Rider
Treasure Map Treasure Map Drown in the Loch Duress
Thought Erasure
Fatal PushTyrant's ScornCoax from the Blind Eternities

Consider keeping one to two removals over cantrips if you saw 《Pack Rat》, 《Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy》 or 《Thief of Sanity》. The same applies to 《Coax from the Blind Eternities》 if you see 《Unmoored Ego》 or 《Lost Legacy》.

Combo

Lotus Breach

Against Lotus Breach

Out

Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push
Tyrant's Scorn Tyrant's Scorn Languish Opt

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Drown in the Loch
Damping Sphere Damping Sphere Thought Erasure Duress
Mystical DisputeDamping Sphere

Your counterspells will become blank once they put down 《Lotus Field》 and copy it with 《Thespian’s Stage》. The secret is to counter cantrips in the early game and hope they cannot combo off before you do. 《Damping Sphere》 after they play 《Lotus Field》 is a game winning play. You do not need to run out the Sphere before they sacrifice lands to Field.

Conclusion

Dig Through Time

3

I believe that covers the majority of the decks. Moving forward, I believe the meta game will shift towards more counterspell aggro and UB Inverter with fewer mono color aggro decks. I can see swapping the removal package with the discards in the sideboard. I will probably add a third 《Dig Through Time》 as we do not need 《Fabled Passage》 to enable it in mirror matches but via naturally trading resources with each other via discard spells.

That’s it for today. I hope you enjoy this newest addition to the format. Thank you.

Lee Shi Tian (Twitter / Twitch)

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Lee Shi Tian

Lee Shi Tian Lee Shi Tian is a super star from Hong Kong. He has 5 PT top 8s and 10 GP top 8s with 1 trophy and is well known as a Modern specialist. He is an outstanding player but also well known as a great community leader for Asia. Lee and his squad "Team Mint Card" made a lot of excellent results one after another at pro scene. His impressive results and contributions were rewarded and he was elected Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame 2018. Read more articles by Lee Shi Tian