Trevor Holmes Plays MTGO: UW Blink!

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Hey guys! Welcome to Episode 2 of our Modern Nexus Video Series, where we pick a sweet list and run it through some matches on Magic Online. This week we have Phil Silberman’s 1st Place  UW Blink deck from the SCG Premier IQ in Milwaukee.


For those viewers that offered suggestions on article format last week, expect those changes to go into effect in next week’s series. Also, let me know if you prefer live commentary or Play By Play analysis of recorded games (using MTGO’s replay tool). This week I chose to keep with the live commentary format we introduced last week (as I feel it provides more fluid, in the moment analysis) but I have heard interest regarding the alternative. Let me know!


Deck Tech


Round 1 - Living End

So obviously, countering the Violent Outburst was wrong. I make mistakes, and the evidence is available for the world to see. I have failed you all. This is proof that I (1) have no shame, and (2) don’t cherrypick my videos. Hopefully next round will be better!

Round 2 - Burn


That’s more like it! Burn seems like a great matchup, and getting to cast Meddling Mage and then return it with Ojutai's Command felt pretty sweet. I definitely feel like this matchup can swing in Burn’s advantage if we end up cutting Dispels, so I would highly suggest keeping them no matter what. It’s been this way for a few weeks now, but in my opinion Dispelis currently the best Blue card in Modern. Play four if you can!

Round 2.5


My opponent was unresponsive, which had me worried, but I hacked into his webcam to make sure he was alright. I think we’ll let him rest. I love free wins, but so you guys don’t feel cheated we’ll throw in another video at the end.

Round 3 - Grixis Control


It’s fitting that we make the finals with a deck that keeps surprising me when it makes the finals of real life events. Maybe Phil’s opponents all fell asleep across the table from him as well? If there was ever a deck that would put someone to sleep, I guess it would be this, so the pieces are starting to come together…

Bonus Round - Merfolk


Merfolk seems like a rough matchup, and U/W seems like a deck that has difficulty recovering from stumbling. While the overall record for this series wasn't very exciting, I still think the gameplay was worth watching, as this deck plays differently than many other decks in the format and I'm starting to believe that a lot of its' success is due to people playing wrong against it.


Thanks for watching! As we discussed in the videos, UW Blink has some issues and weak spots in the format, but is capable of fun, powerful things. Disregard it at your own risk, this deck keeps putting up results! How many Top 8’s will it take to put it on the map in your mind? Let me know what you think in the comments, and feel free to shoot me some suggestions for next week’s videos!

Trevor Holmes
The_Architect on MTGO

Posted in Modern, VideosTagged , ,

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18 thoughts on “Trevor Holmes Plays MTGO: UW Blink!

    1. Will, I was planning on holding off on Tokens until after Battle for Zendikar releases online, so we can try the deck out with some new additions. I plan on doing Retreat Combo week 1, and then B/W Tokens after that. What do you think?

  1. Against Living End, you should have used Supreme Verdict first, because he could have Twisted Abomintaion. So he wouldn’t be able to regenerate it when you use Wrath of God.

  2. I like this deck, so it was a nice surprise to see these videos today : )
    I played a similar version with black and its quite fun, nothing like casting a sun titan in modern.

    I personally like more the live commentary.

    And maybe tokens for next week videos? Seems to be getting some small results lately, and also it´s one of my favorite decks, so would be great to see some videos : D

      1. Well you could brew on a Jeskai Tokens list until then xD.
        I’m trying really hard to get a list going, but i’m having quite some trouble.
        BW is fine, but i’d love to bring the explosiveness and unfairness of Jeskai Ascendancy into a common Tokensdeck.

  3. This version of the deck is not very powerful, I’m going to put that out there. It’s simply quite a bit weaker than the UW control version with colonnades, but it was very well positioned at that tournament looking at the Top 8. Basically, any control deck would have done well and as it mainboarded a lot of lifegain too (but not TImely Reinforcements for some strange reason?), then it seemed to have done decently. It seemed to hit the meta correctly in a weird way.

    I think if the goal of Pilgrim’s Eye is to be value, then I think that you really don’t want it. Recurring it only puts the land in your hand and doesn’t help you ramp, which I think would be better for a control deck than just simply hitting your land drow. I don’t like the card much. Solemn Simulacrum in that respect does a lot more for what you want. It’s a 2/2 blocker and is value when it dies from chump blocking a goyf or whatever have you. Pilgrim’s eye seems just like a bad version of that. Plus, if you want to blink your simulacrum, it does a lot more for you in terms of getting there with your ramp / Emeria. That said, I don’t really like either. Both synergize well with Ojutai’s Command and Mortarpod, but you get more value off of the Simulacrum with mortarpod.

    Another note on path to exile, most modern decks run fairly few basics. Having 4 GQ’s and 4 paths is really great because it turns into strip mine for most decks after you fire off your paths.

    Also, I’m sure you realized that Court Hussar is a nonbo with a blink package since when he ETBs, you never actually spent mana to cast him 😉 He will just sacrifice on ETB. You really should put a comment in the deck tech correcting that.

    I think there are way way too many Sun Titans in the deck as well. It’s just not necessary to run that many. I can’t think of a deck where you should. Too much top end.

    The deck overall seems to be a budget UW deck and it’s not bad and definitely synergistic as seen in a lot of the card choices, but definitely needs some Snapcaster, Remand, and Cryptic love. There’s a ton of points to critique in it, but that’s my analysis as someone who played UW Tron and who tests regularly against UW control.

      1. All great points, I think I might have mentioned Court Hussar in one of the vids (or planned to) but that’s a great point to remember and one that isn’t immediately apparent to those that haven’t played with the card.

        I agree with you regarding the budget aspect of the deck, Snapcaster Mage/Remand/Cryptic just seems so much better than Pilgrim’s Eye/Mortarpod/Sun Titan. It’s difficult to say with any certainty, as both versions have their flaws and yet both of them have been putting up great results recently.

    1. I feel like I need to address some of your points because it seems like you just glanced at the deck without really understanding how all of the pieces fit together. I’ve been playing this deck for a few months, although a different 75, and it is deceptively powerful if it is built and played correctly. I think a lot of people look at this deck and start making “improvements” without understanding the whole package, then conclude that the deck sucks when they play their “improved” version.

      Pilgrim’s eye is a key card of the deck. Not the best, but key. One of the most important things to do in this deck is hit your land drops consistently, if you don’t you lose control fast. You believe that solemn simulacrum is an improvement, but it really isn’t because it costs 4 mana. That mana means a lot because it can’t be recurred by sun titan for value. So as soon as you chump block with it, it’s a dead card in the grave unless you get Emeria online.

      Court Hussar is actually a combo with sun titan and Emeria. A lot of the time, you will get your engine online but be in the awkward position of not having anything in your grave to bring back. Court hussar fixes this, if there is one in your grave you can recur it over and over again to draw meaningful cards. This interaction is way more useful than getting the 1/3 body back.

      Snapcaster is not a very good card in the deck. There just aren’t very many good targets for him, most of our deck is creatures or permanents or high cost spells like ojutai’s command or supreme verdict. Most of the time this deck is tapping out to cast creatures or sorceries, there just isn’t a very good time for snap to come in. We would rather have a Wall of Omens in hand than a Snapcaster, hard as that is to believe.

      I have never put up results at a major tournament, so take this with a grain of salt, but I think Silberman is missing a key piece of the deck. It needs 4 Flickerwisps. Flickerwisp is really the best card in the deck, you can use it to blink all of your value creatures, apply pressure, and block and trade favorably. Returning a Flickerwisp with Sun Titan to blink the Sun Titan and get something else is one of the most disgusting value plays in modern. Flickerwisp just does so much for the deck I can not see cutting it, but maybe I’m not getting something because these decks have been putting up results without it. Anyway, I hope this was helpful, please try the deck it’s a ton of fun and actually really good if it’s built correctly.

  4. Nice article. From seeing you try your hand at piloting it, it seems like it’s not the most straightforward deck to grasp. You were pretty decisive when pulling the trigger on a given play line, but the fact that multiple decision trees were there in a lot of cases means this is the kind of deck that requires some reps to grow into. Not much about the matchups surprised me, though – Lone Missionary recursion buries burn, Grixis Control has trouble with decks that can’t be neatly 1-for-1’d into submission, and its stalling strategy just isn’t that effective against the likes of Merfolk and Living End. One thing that did surprise me, though, was that you didn’t trim your Sun Titan count after Game 1 or 2. I think it was pretty apparent then that Living End was the essentially a tempo deck in your matchup, and that a 6-drop’s utility was a lot lower when it’s your main answer and he’s sitting on a Beast Within every time. A bit more pressure from cheaper creatures (and not having the unfortunate possibility of 3 Sun Titans getting stuck in your hand) could have helped.

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