Raise Your Standards – Four Control Decks

raise-your-standards

Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  Once a set has been out for a while, aggressive decks tend to lose a little of their steam and control decks begin to gain a better foothold on the format.  Since we’re nearing the end of our time on Ixalan, now is the perfect time to take a look at some deck that have been doing well on Magic Online (MTGO) that are more controlling in nature.


Blue-Black Control

Where better to begin than by starting with the color pairing that’s most associated with the control archetype in Standard – Blue-Black.

 

U/B Control – (by swb110)Torrential Gearhulk

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This is an example of a control deck that’s about as basic as it comes.  It has cards that counter spells played by your opponent, cards that destroy your opponent’s creatures, and an efficient way to close out the game.  Please don’t misunderstand me when I said this deck was basic.  What I meant was that it hits every expectation you would have of a control deck, not that it’s simplistic or easy to pilot.  This is definitely a deck that understands that your life total is a resource you can use, and that the only point of your life that matters is your last point.  Remember that you will often need to take a fair amount of damage until you can stabilize in the late game, which is where this deck really excels.


Grixis Control

The next deck I have for you takes the U/B shell from above and injects it with a dose of Red aggression.  Let’s take a look at Grixis Control.

 

Grixis Control – (by adamherby)The Scarab God

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This deck trades out a little of the black kill spells and a little of the blue bounce in order to gain a bit of red burn.  If your local meta is filled with aggressive or midrange creature based decks, this could be a good option for you to play.  This deck also has a slight energy theme that can be capitalized on after sideboarding via Whirler Virtuoso.  As a Red aggro player, this is a control deck I wouldn’t mind trying out.


Red-Black Control

If you’re not a fan of playing Blue, don’t worry.  I’ve got you covered.  The next deck I have for you still plays a pretty controlling game by going Red-Black with just a hint of Green.  Let’s take a look at it.

 

R/B (with a hint of G) Control – (by PeteyWigz)Chandra, Torch of Defiance

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Maybe I spoke a bit too soon earlier.  Maybe this is a control deck more suited to a player like myself.  Keep the battlefield clean with your spells and let your Planeswalkers take control in the late game.  The Green splash in the deck is solely for Vraska, Relic Seeker, but it’s definitely a splash worth making.  If left unchecked, she will win the game for you in no time.  Chandra, Torch of Defiance is no slouch either.


Black-Green Control

The final deck I have for you today utilizes a card that I’ve been excited to play with since Rivals of Ixalan was spoiled.  Let’s take a look at B/G Control.

 

B/G Control – (by Dr_Smiiles)Vraska, Relic Seeker

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This deck plays a single copy of Tetzimoc, Primal Death as a teriffic way to get your opponent to make mistakes as they try to become hyper aggressive in an attempt to reduce your life total to 0 before you’re able to play Tetzimoc and destroy all of their creatures.  You also have a way to tutor for Tetzimoc if you need to with Mastermind’s Acquisition.  And, let’s not forget that this deck is also playing Vraska, Relic Seeker as another way to close out the game.  While this deck isn’t a traditional control deck since it doesn’t counter spells played by your opponent, it does a great job of controlling the creatures on the battlefield which is why I’ve included it today.


Wrapping Up

Are you a fan of control decks?  Which of the decks in today’s article is your favorite, or perhaps you have a different favorite control deck?  Let me know by leaving a comment.  Or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  And, don’t forget to like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MTGDeckTechs/) to be sure to be notified when a new article is posted.

Also, as of March 1st I’ve been writing articles for GatheringMagic.com.  If you like the innovative decks I write about here each week, you’ll want to check out my articles there as well.

Be sure to join me back here next week for another installment of Raise Your Standards.  I’ll see you then!

Mike Likes

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Mike Likes

Mike Likes

Mike started playing Magic back in 1994, but gave it up at the end of 1995. He came back to the game during the Lorwyn block and has been playing ever since. Around this time, he opened and ran his own comic & game store, while also raising his newborn daughter. After 8 years, he sold his business and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. With the debut of Kaladesh, his entire family became regular Magic players. He now has hopes of competing alongside his wife and daughter at a Grand Prix or similar event in the future. #MTGDad

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