MTG Brewer: R/U/g Control aka Counterburn

Unlike the Innistrad/ Return to Ravnica standard format, the RTR/ Theros standard format is honestly not a ripe format for brewing. U/W/x Control, R/G/x Monsters, Mono Black Devotion and Mono Blue Devotion deck are all brutally efficient and there aren’t really many build around Johnny type cards. With that being said I have a new take on a blue based control deck that I have been working on.

As with all my brews, I like to start with a theory and test it out. I also usually like to write about it really before iron out the decklist so I have to start with a warning as usual, this is a very raw brew that needs fine tuning.

The theories are A) – Can a counterburn deck be viable? B) – Can Chandra’s Phoenix be used in a control shell and be used as a source of card advantage?

Here is a working decklist to test those theories out. First the burn spells.

4 Lightning Strike
4 Turn // Burn
3 Anger of the Gods
4 Izzet Charm

Lightning Strike is the best burn spell in Standard, Turn // Burn is the catch all and Izzet Charm is the most flexible card in the deck as it can be a counterspell, removal spell or card draw. Anger the Gods can be a dead card in many matchups and it is also a nombo with Chandra’s Phoneix but without it I think this deck will get overrun by RDW, white weenie and the like.

The Counterspells:
4 Counterflux
2 Dissolve

Counterflux is the best counterspell in Standard. It guarantees you countering your opponent’s Aethering, Elspeth etc. One thing to note is it is a lot better as an answer to your opponent’s threats rather than as a way to protect your spells because your opponent can just use another counterspell while it is on the stack.

The Card Draw:
3 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Thoughtflare

Opportunity is a bit too slow and you really can’t tap out for Divination with this deck so I am trying out Thoughtflares. Plus Chandra’s Phoenixs work really well with both Thoughtflare and Izzet Charm as you can get back them later in the game. Jace is just too good not to include. It gives you some board presence while drawing a bunch of cards.

The Win Cons:
4 Chandra’s Phoenix
2 Aetherling

This deck is centered around Chandra’s Phoenix. They are great as chump blockers, pressuring Planewalkers and it can be a source of card advantage (at least in theory). Aetherling are there to make you can close out games.

Counterburn

Finally I decided to have a slight green splash.

2 Xenagos, the Reveler
1 Kiora, the Crashing Wave

After a little testing, I wanted up the power level just a bit and since the U/R temple hasn’t been printed yet I am going to have to play an off color temple anyways so I thought I can have a “free” splash and I chose green mainly because I want to try out Kiora and Xengos and I feel this deck needs a way to pop Detention Spheres. Green has a good answer in Unravel the Aether. If you want to go down a more traditional route, a Grixis control deck can be very strong.

The Mana Base:
3 Islands
2 Mountains
4 Steam Vents
4 Stomping Grounds
4 Breeding Pool
4 Temple of Mystery
3 Temple of Abandon
1 Izzet Guildgate

I have to admit the the mana base is a little greedy and it is possible the green splash is just not worth it.

You can see the full decklist and the sideboard which I honestly haven’t really work on at Tappedout.net. The deck seems to be a lot of fun and there seems to be a few options to attack the meta in different, unexpected ways.

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