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UWx Pristine Control [primer]

Reply to topic Forum Index -> Standard (T2) Decks
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Joined: 24 Jul 2009
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:24 am    Post subject: UWx Pristine Control [primer] Reply with quote

There was much talk about a sleeper card waiting to burst out of the gates, into the scene with guns a blazing. Many people (meaning me and a coworker of mine who always seem to agree with me - because i'm awesome and not because i'm the boss's nephew) have even went so far as to say it's in the same league as BSA(!). So without further ado, it is my pride, my privilege, nay, my pleasure to introduce to you Pristine Control.

This is a deck I first saw when Tom Martell made a feature article about it on CFB. The deck is basically a UW control deck that uses Pristine Talisman as an accelerator to power out Karn and X spells in the form of White Sun's Zenith and Blue Sun's Zenith with the bonus life gain that makes life hard for some aggro decks. All the while controlling the board with sweepers, counterspells and planeswalkers.

Here is TomM's list on CFB:


4 Mana Leak
3 Dissipate
1 Negate
4 Think Twice
3 White Sun's Zenith
1 Blue Sun's Zenith


2 Divination
4 Day of Judgment

Artifacts & Enchantments

2 Oblivion Ring
4 Pristine Talisman


2 Gideon Jura
2 Elspeth Tirel
2 Karn Liberated


4 Seachrome Coast
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Ghost Quarter
7 Island
7 Plains

The first thing that people may notice is "Ohmaigad, a blue deck with no Snappy, imma flame this m*f* for posting such a noob deck". The reason behind this is the deck just can't make use of Tiago well enough. It neither has cheap removal spells like doom blade nor has ways to fill your graveyard with goodies (forbidden alchemy).

Now that we have that out of the way, let's see how this deck plays out.

The Plan

Being a control deck, the first order of business is developing your mana base while keeping yourself from dying. You need to hit your lands drops and hopefully accelerate with a Talisman. This is where your Think Twices and Divinations come in handy. A Talisman on turn 3 means you can Divination on turn 4 with leak up. And Divination on turn 3 isn't such a bad play either.

The not dying part is where your DoJ's and WSZ's come into play. Disclaimer: Resetting the board by ambushing attackers with white fluffy cats may sometimes lead to rage quits.
The incremental life gain from the Talismans also forces that opponent to extend a little bit more than usual, setting us up for "better wraths".

This deck isn't a Draw-Go control deck. You are often casting spells starting on turn 3 through 7. You just don't have enough CA sources nor counterspells to be solely reactive.

If we live through this tumultuous phase of the game, we can now start tapping out for Karn. There are very few high drops that fare well against Karn so we can stop holding up mana for counters. We then use the said counters to protect Karn and facilitate in the thorough mopping of the board and hand of our opponent.


I am honestly having trouble winning with this deck on a consistent basis. But here is what TomM has to say about the match-ups:

(Paraphrased from CFB)


"Can't touch this." Easy as pie, etc.


+3 Timely Reinforcements, +2 Celestial Purge, +2 Flashfreeze, +1 Divine Offering

-1 Negate, -3 Dissipate, -1 Karn Liberated, -1 Blue Sunís Zenith, -1 White Sunís Zenith, -1 Mana Leak

U/W Illusions

"If the opponent doesn't kill us first, we win." Seriously, that's what he said.

+3 Timely Reinforcements, +1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, +1 Phantasmal Image
-1 Negate, -2 Dissipate, -1 Blue Sunís Zenith, -1 Karn Liberated


Something about adding Sensory Deprivation to your SB. So, yeah...

GW Humans/Tokens

"Kill their guys. Play your guys." ikr, very insightful. Moving on.


+1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, +1 Negate
-1 Karn Liberated, -1 Blue Sunís Zenith

UB Control

"I'm 15-1 in this MU. Honest!"

Whatever he said about you having as much counters as them, i don't get it. They have Snappy, thats +4 counters right there. Anyways, the key to this MU is dealing with their Nephalia Drownyards. If you don't, well, you just lose. This is why the deck runs the full set of Ghost Quarters.


+2 Negate, +1 Blue Sunís Zenith, +1 White Sunís Zenith
-4 Day of Judgment

Wolf Run Ramp

Remember what I said about Karn trouncing most of the other 6+ drops? Primeval Titan isn't one of them. Since even if you take care of the Prime Time with Karn, it has probably already conscripted two other threats in the form of Nexi or Wolf Runs.

This is our worst MU, since it actually ramps to more threats. Threats that are near impossible to stop with our tools.

The key point in this MU is stopping them from resolving a Primeval and to minimize Thrun's efficacy by dealing with their Wolf Runs via Ghost Quarters. Elesh Norn stops them from attacking with their Nexi, ending their "combo win" potential.


+2 Flashfreeze, +1 Phantasmal Image, +1 Blue Sunís Zenith, +1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, +1 Divine Offering
-3 Mana Leak, -1 White Sunís Zenith, -1 Elspeth Tirel, -1 Negate


That wraps up this primer. I have been toying around with different builds for this deck and I'm planning to post my misadventures with said iterations.

Last edited by Mizukage on Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Posts: 307

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blue without snapcaster? FLAME WARS ON! (I know right? Dipshit no-imagination idiots who can't imagine an X deck without Y card).
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Joined: 24 Jul 2009
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

he means Druidic Satchel

@Druidic Satchel

In my experience, just having Pristine Talisman is enough of a durdle already - and this gives you instant mana and life gain. Compare that to Druidic Satchel thats only ever really good in the waiting game. I'll have to confirm this thru some games, but at first glance it even gives up the inherent advantage we have over red decks and does not help us n the MU's that we need t improve on.
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Joined: 24 Jul 2009
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that I have a decent amount of games under my belt, let me share my thoughts on the deck.

First off, the deck sucks. Considering only my matches against tier1 decks (mostly illusions, WWu humans and GW Humans/Tokens) piloted by decent players, i barely broke the .500 mark. I'm not saying that the deck is unplayable, its just that the only outs against these decks are DoJ and Gideon. And even then, youre from far stabilized. So making the deck suck less is top priority.

Here as some of the common pitfalls you'll encounter while playing the deck.

An Insectile Aberration is staring you down on turn 2. You are basically dead to a Mana Leak. In this scenario, which happens quite often, you need many things to go right to even have a shot at the game. First off, you need to have/get said DoJ/Gid and have counter backup or 3 mana open. Pristine Talisman buys you a turn at least from the life gain and another turn for the acceleration.

You have just DoJed to fend off your opponents horde of greean and white critters. He plops a Hero of Bladehold onto the battlefield and starts swarming you with little white men.

Quick Fix: Add the white(and blue) doom blade. This was actually the very first thing I thought the deck lacked. It makes you less vulnerable to 1cc critters and stops the army in a can reload.

The deck mulligans badly. Why do you mulligan? Because you want at least a DoJ and a counterspell. Your only way of mitigating the mulligan is through your very slow CA (Think Twice and Divination).

Quick Fix: Card Selection - Ponder/Forbidden Alchemy. Ponder just seems really bad without shuffle effects, but i guess its the easiest way to dig 3 deep for that DoJ.

I think its right to cut one WSZ MD to make room for Dismember. And Mental Misstep is steadily becoming a good SB card, mostly because of Delver.

Q. Why would you want to play this deck?

1.) Wolf Run Ramp is the concensus best deck. UW Illusions preys upon WRR. RDW just points at UW Illusions and it goes kapoot. RDW stares at your 2 Pristine Talismans and curses at the 4 Vulshok Refugees in his SB for not being Manic Vandals instead. Artifact removal just isn't that big of a game right now.

2.) Day of Judgement is just really good right now.

3.) UB Control wishes it had access to planeswalkers that actually have relevant abilities. That and it cant, for the life of it, beat an early shrine. Oh, and WRR runs Autumn's Veils now. Sad.
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Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like a lot of mana (30 cards!) to ramp into 2 copies of Karn and WSZ. I'd look into more/better threats: Sphinx, Frost Titan (eats Illusions), Wurmcoil, etc.
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