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Welcome back to another installment of Adam Plays Magic. This week, we're cooking up something a little spicy for Explorer, UB See the Truth. The centerpiece of the deck is ostensibly a sorcery speed Anticipate that becomes an Ancestral Recall if cast from somewhere other than the hand.
While See the Truth has been out for quite some time, it hasn't had a critical mass of cards that can enable its draw three mode, until now. With Dominaria United, we were blessed with Founding the Third Path, a saga that can dump a See the Truth into the graveyard either by casting for free or self-milling, then cast it with its third chapter. This was a step in the right direction, but we weren't quite off to the races.
However, The Brother's War introduced us to Arcane Proxy, a Snapcaster Mage of sorts that can be cast for its prototype cost of 1UU for a 2/1 body. When Proxy enters the battlefield, it casts an instant or sorcery with mana value less than or equal to its power from the graveyard.
Now we have two separate cards that combo with our cantrip for a major payoff, both of which are already fairly serviceable spells in their own right.
What I Like
This version of UB Control is built to dismantle creature matchups through a plethora of spot removal like Go for the Throat, discard like Thoughtseize, and card draw like Consider.
Cling to Dust does an excellent job of generating card advantage thanks to all of the cheap spells and self-milling. It also serves as main deck graveyard hate for the highly popular Greasefang, Okiba Boss matchup.
Multi-format all-star Ledger Shredder takes advantage of the spell-slinging by conniving nearly every turn, creating a difficult body to attack into and a decent tempo clock with evasion. Notably, both Founding the Third Path and Arcane Proxy's abilities cast an additional spell that triggers Shredder even while top-decking.
Also, even though the deck is focused around a graveyard interaction, it's not wholly reliant on the graveyard to function. In the face of soft hate like Soul-Guide Lantern, the opponent can be forced to use the exile ability to stop an Arcane Proxy from triggering, but at the end of the sequence, the opponent is down a card and we still have a creature adding to our board presence. It's then fairly easy to restock the graveyard for future recursion.
The worst case scenario is something like Rest in Peace or Leyline of the Void, but the deck still has Ledger Shredder, Professor Onyx, creature lands like Hall of Storm Giants, and plenty of interaction to make sure they connect. In such a scenario, Shredder can always discard away an unwanted Founding the Third Path.
What I Dislike
As with any control deck, it's hard to have the right answers for everything always. The tools in this build are designed to beat a creature metagame. Those removal spells are mostly dead draws against UW Control with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. The clock is also very slow, so red aggressive decks with burn spells like Wizard's Lighting pose significant threats, especially when playing off the top of the deck. The deck leans heavily on Cling to Dust in game one, followed by Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and March of Wretched Sorrow post-board.
Notably, Otawara, Soaring City is the only card in the deck that can remove a resolved artifact or enchantment. If the format moves in a direction where noncreature permanents like Fires of Invention and Enigmatic Incarnation take up a larger metagame share, additional changes or even a green or white splash may be necessary.
UB See the Truth
That's a wrap for another week! I've been really happy with the archetype thus far and I think it's a serious contender in the current Explorer metagame. With a new set as powerful as BRO, I'm expecting plenty of things to shift around, carving out new niches and closing existing ones. We'll see how things develop.
I came across a handful of other players deckbuilding around the same See the Truth interaction, but they've included cards like Tolarian Terror and Sheoldred to bolster their main deck creature suite. These are definitely worthwhile considerations and may end up in a future build for me.
Keep up to date with me on Twitch and Twitter (and given the recent updates to the latter, I'll let you know where else to find me should the need arise). Don't forget to leave a comment, and let me know what else you'd like to see me play. It might be featured on the next Adam Plays Magic. See you all next time!