B/W Control in Standard

Hallie SantoStandard

Ramunap Red is the hottest deck in Standard right now, but it may not stay dominant for long. While Pro Tour Hour of Devastation unfolded in Kyoto, stateside Standard players had a few extra hours to tweak their decks before heading to their local Friday Night Magic or PPTQ, and we’re already seeing the emergence of more viable midrange and control strategies. At Mox Boarding House Seattle, our Mono-Red players had a challenging end-boss to face at FNM: Campbell Glass, who had brought a Planeswalker-heavy B/W Control deck to battle.

While Campbell’s deck was an excellent choice for this week’s tournament, where aggressive decks were everywhere, she’s been working on it for quite some time. When a friend sent her an intriguing prototype for a prison deck – featuring Authority of the Consuls, Trespasser’s Curse, Protection of the Hekma, and Overwhelming Splendor – Campbell decided to make some adjustments and see if she could make the deck competitive enough for the upcoming Grand Prix in Denver. Her 4-0 finish on Friday was a sign that she’s headed in the right direction. Take a look at her list below:

B/W Control
Campbell Glass | 4-0, Mox Boarding House Seattle FNM

3 Fatal Push
4 Authority of the Consuls
2 Trespasser’s Curse
2 Anguished Unmaking
2 Bontu’s Last Reckoning
3 Liliana, the Last Hope
3 Live Fast
2 Yahenni’s Expertise
3 Cast Out
3 Gideon’s Intervention
2 Fumigate
3 Ob Nixilis Reignited
2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
4 Aether Hub
4 Concealed Courtyard
4 Ifnir Deadlands
4 Shambling Vent
4 Plains
6 Swamp

2 Trespasser’s Curse
4 Transgress the Mind
1 Flaying Tendrils
1 Gideon of the Trials
3 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Archangel Avacyn
2 Reality Smasher


Campbell’s plan is to control the board with early interaction and board wipes before summoning a trio of powerful Planeswalkers, or “The Hate-watch,” as she calls them. She has some excellent tools at her disposal: the efficient Fatal Push, the flexible Cast Out and Anguished Unmaking, and the surprisingly useful Ifnir Deadlands. She’s less sold on Gideon’s Intervention, which may be on the chopping block when she makes her next set of revisions, but she admits that the four-mana enchantment has won her some games.

“It’s sometimes accidentally a board wipe,” she said. “I’ve had games where my opponent drops two Voltaic Brawlers, and then on turn four, you can play it naming ‘Voltaic Brawler’ and take no more damage from them.”

Temur Energy was the first deck Campbell faced at FNM on Friday, but her six main-deck sweepers made her a clear favorite in the match-up. She dispatched a Grixis Control deck in Round 2 and had the good fortune of facing Ramunap Red in Rounds 3 and 4.

“The deck is basically pre-boarded against Mono-Red Aggro,” she said, referring to the four copies of Authority of the Consuls in her main deck. “Mono-Red is very good right now, but it’s also very easy to disrupt. I feel like people are going to figure it out pretty quickly, and I’m not expecting it to stick around long-term.”

While the format threatens to slow down a bit, Campbell doesn’t fear the midrange decks that could start preying on Ramunap Red and Mono-Black Zombies. The Hate-watch can hold their own against midrange threats, and she’s considered moving Gideon of the Trials into the main deck to help neutralize threats. Her biggest concern is facing more control decks that are more streamlined than the one she encountered this weekend.

“The control match-up still feels pretty rough,” she conceded. “Even with Thought-Knot Seer, Reality Smasher, and Transgress the Mind [in the sideboard], it still feels like the onus is on us to be proactive, and this deck doesn’t want to do that. So I’m trying to solve that puzzle, and I’m wondering if Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is what we want.”

Campbell will spend the next two weeks tuning her list for GP Denver, but if you’d like to try B/W Control for yourself, you can purchase her full decklist from Card Kingdom. Good luck at FNM tonight, and be sure to tweet a photo of your favorite Standard deck at us (@Card_Kingdom)!


Header design: Justin Treadway
Header image: “Gideon of the Trials” by Izzy