Quote from idSurge »The data breakdown for GP Oakland.
Some interesting things in there but it shows that nobody should take this as the absolute gospel. The data is incomplete and so should be paired with something else to draw conclusions from it.
For example in this it shows that Spirits has done absolutely terrible against KCI but in ktkenshinxs analysis Spirits does actually pretty decent against KCI. So it's easy to draw wrong conclusions just based on this. If I take this and compare it with ktkenshinxs data though a few things can become clear though.
Spirits indeed doesn't do well against Phoenix. As a matter of fact Phoenix does decent against all decks that rely on heavy board presence to win the game. Bolts for days and Thing in the Ice make sure of that. Against decks that don't do that things are looking not as hot though.
GDS is interesting because in ktkenshinxs data it's not well represented and by the data that is there it looks not so good. Hard to draw conclusions here based on that. Pairing this with my personal opinion though I would at least say that GDS doesn't have a favorable matchup against Phoenix. I think that the matchup is even and very skill dependent. In the last SCG Open Top 8 both GDS players quickly lost 0-2 against their Phoenix opponents.
Misevaluating how much life you can safely pay can be punished quickly and harshly by the Phoenix deck and there is also the fact that GDS is ill-equipped to handle all the angles of attack. Destroy removal is notoriously bad against a flying creature with haste that returns from the graveyard and the premier spell of choice for that is Fatal Push which in turn needs Revolt to even be able to hit a Phoenix. Something that will not the case every single time. Stubborn Denial also isn't at its best in the matchup because both Arclight Phoenix and Thing in the Ice don't actually care if a spell resolves or not. They only care about casting them so if they have a mixture of their 1 mana cantrips and bolts it's trivial to bring back Phoenixes or transform a Thing and Denial won't change that. Speaking of Thing I wouldn't say it's at its best in the GDS matchup but the text is still relevant. Gurmag Angler getting bounced is very bad news and 7 power also means you might not be able to even afford a single hit from it.
I know Phoenix players like Ross Merriam actually say to not bring in graveyard hate against them and I think that's right for decks like UW/x or GB/x which already have maindeck answers to stop getting grinded out by Phoenixes. In GDS you probably really want those Leyline of the Void or Surgical Extractions though to stop that angle of attack. But Phoenix players are also wising up and bring in their own Extractions to counter opposing ones. Something to keep in mind probably.
Quote from tronix »
mostly agree with your other claims. though i think UW control is in the same space as GDS for fair decks. i remember touching on the topic in a response to some generic reddit post, but i believe that UW fails to have a sustained presence despite its 'stats' because the deck runs contrary to what modern is about nowadays. the deck purely reactive and does its best (and succeeds to a good extent) to ignore text boxes, so it gets to that 'alright to pretty good' range against most anything. with modern being about deck counters, proactive decks jousting, and a fast shifting meta though UW isnt offering any edge that top level players might typically seek out. when your goal isnt so much to win matches, but to win tournaments (or place well); the risk reward payoff for choosing a deck that capitalizes on a good read on the top tables and a strong proactive plan that can muscle through games where variance swings your way is just better (imo).
It's funny you say that because I too think there is some hive mind thinking among certain Modern players. I don't want to paint anyone in a bad light here. Reid Duke for example is a way better and more experienced player than me and in many videos of his there is a theme where he states that being proactive is a trait he values and thinks is better. In the last SCG Open he dropped 5-3 with Abzan. Two of his losses were on camera and both times it was against a UW/x player and he lost them pretty convincingly to be honest. Even the commentators said that.
I also remember a watching a Youtube video of a GDS players who said at the beginning that he thinks he has a good matchup against UW. He lost the match 0-2 after that.
Let's make one thing clear. UW Control is an objectively powerful deck. The numbers are there to prove it. Personal opinion doesn't play a role in that. Even the "fair deck killer" Tron doesn't have an auto win against UW because that is not how things work.
Will the deck ever rule the meta? Probably not unless we get stuff like Sensei's Divining Top, Brainstorm, Ponder to unlock the full potential of the Miracle spells and Counterbalance of course or we get some other new toys to play with. But here is the thing everybody should keep in mind. Control by its very nature doesn't appeal to everyone which means it will always have a lower share than it objectively should have.
In RTR-Theros Standard Sphinx's Revelation Control was the objectively most powerful deck in the format and yet Mono-Black Devotion was still played in higher numbers despite of that. There are tons of people who just love to smash with creatures and that is OK. That's just how it is and nobody will be able to change that.
But Control will always be there and it will punish decks and people who don't respect it. Now more then ever in the entire history of Modern. Because Jace, The Mind Sculptor, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Azcanta, The Sunken Ruin aren't screwing around. They can put games away quickly and make it nigh unwinnable for the opponent. A trait that Control didn't really have before them in Modern but it is here now and it is there to stay.