Deck of the Day: B/W Control

Standard players will be familiar with the play style of B/W Control. It tends to always be a player in the format, but it did lose some important weapons. Languish was a loss, though there are other sweepers available. Read the Bones was the big one that turned out to be tough to recover from. Luckily, there are planeswalkers to help make up some of that card advantage.

Liliana, the Last Hope’s stock is on the rise as players rely on Toolcraft Exemplar and Veteran Motorist. While it’s not the strongest card against G/B Aggro, it can keep Ballista in check, slow down Grim Flayer, and make Glint-Sleeve Siphoner look silly. There are enough creatures in the deck to make the minus a relevant as well. The ultimate used to be incredible against control decks, and while Disallow does weaken that considerably, you can still tick up to 8 to keep Liliana alive and force them to keep 3 mana up the whole game. Your other threats can help punish that.

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is a must-answer threat that ends the game incredibly quickly. Creating an army single-handedly is awesome, but so is attacking for 5 every turn with a threat that can’t be hit by the format’s most played removal.

Ob Nixilis Reignited can clean up the biggest creatures of the format, like Verdurous Gearhulk, but also ticks up to high loyalty while getting you ahead on cards. It’s one of the best cards you can have against G/B from any deck that can cast it.

This version of B/W Control actually has many ways to get on the board early. To go with the 3-mana planeswalker, it has a bevy of 2-drops. The most powerful is likely Gifted Aetherborn. While it’s vulnerable to Fatal Push, a 2/3 is a reasonable size to make the lifelink add up. That it can trade up with even the biggest creatures in the format puts your opponents in a spot where they need a removal spell, and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar’s emblem can pile on the pressure.

While Selfless Spirit is also weak to every removal spell the format offers, including Walking Ballista, its ability is strong enough to make up for it. It protects your more valuable creatures from removal, and the evasion can threaten planeswalkers. It’s also a great way to trigger Archangel Avacyn at your leisure.

Archangel Avacyn isn’t played as much as she once was, but she’s still a massive threat that should completely change every combat step from turn 5 onward. With deathtouch creatures, you stand to eat a bunch of opposing creatures in combat, and with enough ways to flip her when you need to, she’s always ready to wipe the opponent’s board and life total.


B/W Control tends to have the format’s best removal, and this time around is no exception. Fatal Push is awesome, especially with cards like Selfless Spirit that can trigger revolt in a pinch. Together with Grasp of Darkness you can take care of any early creature, and this deck features 7 copies of the black early removal spells to keep the board under control.


There are some bigger creatures in the format, and B/W also has plenty of ways to deal with those. There are 2 Murders to take care of anything at instant speed, and 3 copies of Anguished Unmaking to fight Dynavolt Tower and Saheeli Rai. Those all combine with Oath of Liliana, in a deck with 8 planeswalkers, to take down a big creature and then get value down the road.

While not every B/W Control deck runs sweepers, some opponents are able to go wide, or you want to hold your removal for bigger threats. Multiple Fumigates will make sure that those games stay under control. With 12 instant-speed removal spells, Vehicles shouldn’t be a problem. You can even combo Selfless Spirit with Fumigate to simply sweep your opponent’s board and keep attacking.

This version of B/W Control can get on the board early with creatures and planeswalkers, play at instant speed with tons of removal and Archangel Avacyn, and has a powerful late game. There are some vulnerabilities to Saheeli backed by countermagic, but creature decks should be a cinch.

B/W Control

Bernardo Santos, Top 32 at GP Utrecht


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