Bring to Light is the most exciting card in Standard. The ability to "tutor" - or search one's deck for a specific card, like Demonic Tutor - is one of the most powerful effects in all Magic. It breaks the rules of randomness that define the game by providing an unmatched level of consistent card access. There hasn't been a tutor as powerful as Bring to Light since Birthing Pod, and Mystical Teachings before it, both cards that WotC regretted printing because they made every game they were involved in feel the same. Bring to Light certainly makes games feel repetitive. Siege Rhino might be a problem for red aggro decks, but with only four copies in the deck, it will only have to face down The Brute on turn four in just over half of its games. With four Bring to Light and four Siege Rhino, there will be a Siege Rhino in play by turn five over 80% of the time, and in over half of games red aggro will have to face two Siege Rhino by turn six.

Tutors are also powerful because they break the rules of deckbuilding. Alongside being used to created incredible redundancy with powerful cards, like Siege Rhino, they can also be used to create a deep toolbox of cards, typically one of each in the deck, that are situationally excellent but too narrow or strategically unfocused to be played in multiples. This makes tutors like Bring to Light particularly invaluable for controls decks, which require having the right answers at the right time, and are vulnerable to having to having the wrong cards in the wrong situation. Playing one-of silver bullet cards along with tutor effects allows for consistent access to these powerful cards with dramatically reduced risk of drawing them at the wrong time. It's this concept that made Mystical Teachings control the premier deck of Time Spiral Block Constructed and later Standard, and that allowed Birthing Pod to not only be a consistent combo deck, but to also have access to an oppressive toolbox of powerful hate cards against various linear strategies in Modern.

Bring to Light Threatens to dominate Standard by providing five-color decks with redundant access to the best cards for their proactive strategies while providing toolbox access to the most powerful and hateful cards against the metagame. As the metagame develops, so too will Bring to Light, and as long as deckbuilders can constantly adapt, there is little stopping them. Khans of Tarkir block and Magic Origins provide many extremely potent cards to Standard, and Battle for Zendikar added the dual lands to cast all of them in nearly any combination imaginable.

Bring to Light has caught the attention of many, and players have been working on the card ever since the set was spoiled. Battle for Zendikar is now Standard legal, and a weekend of tournaments are in the books. Initial results indicate that not only is Bring to Light a contender, it's the driving force behind the best archetype in Standard: Bring to Light Control.

Building Bring to Light

Bring to Light is a blue and green card, but to properly wield it requires access to all five-colors of mana; fetch lands and dual lands make this possible with relative ease. This fact means that Bring to Light Control is a five-color deck with theoretical access to anything in the deep Standard card pool. This is a great boon, and provides the archetype with the tools to succeed, but it also means it's incredibly difficult to construct; this is not a deck that builds itself. There is no road map to follow, so Bring to Light is charting new territory.

The single best card to pair with Bring to Light is Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. There is a ton of synergy here, starting with Jace, Telepath Unbound's ability to re-cast Bring to Light from the graveyard for another search through the library. This creates the value play of casting Bring to Light for Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, which on the following turn can flip and re-cast Bring to Light. Synergy between the two cards also exists in a backwards sort of way, where Bring to Light can search for a spell to cast, and then an active Jace can re-cast that spell. There is also some unseen synergy: Bring to Light reduces the risk of having dead cards by allowing for just one copy to be played, but Jace, Vryn's Prodigy further eliminates this risk with its loot ability, which can get rid of any drawn toolbox cards that aren't situationally useful.

Assuming the best proactive target for Bring to Light is Siege Rhino, that puts the archetype into Abzan. Abzan Charm is a natural inclusion, because as a card draw and creature removal split card, it's the perfect option for a control deck. This proven option is among the best cards in Standard and a natural pairing with Siege Rhino wherever it is found. It's also important for winning the Siege Rhino war as a removal spell for opposing copies.

Expanding from its handful of core cards, Bring to Light Control has many options for building its toolbox:

Nissa, Vastwood Seer
Nissa, Vastwood Seer provides immediate card advantage, and will be an especially strong Bring to Light target on turn seven and beyond, when it can immediately flip into a planeswalker. Playing multiple copies of this card is a fine idea, because it helps find the mana necessary to cast expensive cards like Bring to Light, but it requires paying close attention to the Forest count in the deck.

Gilt-Leaf Winnower
Gilt-Leaf Winnower stands out as a Bring to Light target that can destroy an opposing Siege Rhino while leaving a powerful body in play, rather than simply matching an opposing Siege Rhino with another one. This effect is extremely powerful considering the massive tempo and card advantage boost and, considering just how common Siege Rhino is, is an inclusion that seems required. Gilt-Leaf Winnower also destroys Jace, Vryn's Prodigy.

Clever Impersonator
Clever Impersonator might seem like a funny joke as an extra copy of Siege Rhino, but it's actually all business. For one, with Bring to Light so often finding Siege Rhino, it's very easy for this deck to actually play all four Siege Rhino and run out of copies to find. Clever Impersonator provides a de-facto Siege Rhino that brings the effective count to five. Beyond its basic functionality as a Siege Rhino, Clever Impersonator also has potential as a potent Bring to Light target for copying any large creature the opponent might have, like Dragonlord Atarka. It triggers enters-the-battlefield abilities, so it's comfortable copying opposing Nissa, Vastwood Seer to find a free land, or even copying Gilt-Leaf Winnowerto destroy another creature.

Dragonlord Ojutai
Dragonlord Ojutai is a proactive Bring to Light option that will win nearly any game if left unopposed. It's interesting when the opponent passes the turn with instant speed removal in hand, and you can find a hexproof creature that can safely sit in play and make the opponent's life difficult. It's going to be most effective later in the game, after the opponent has exhausted their removal spells and against opponents with few removal spells to begin with.

Languish is particularly important because it destroys everything smaller than Siege Rhino, which leaves Siege Rhino in play to control the battlefield. It's not the most powerful sweeper available, but it's situationally excellent, and presumably a necessary inclusion in any deck with Bring to Light and Siege Rhino.

Crux of Fate
Crux of Fate is a powerful sweeper that catches nearly everything in play, and is the best option when Languish won't do the job, or when there are no Siege Rhino to protect. It's also one of the few cards that can deal with multiple opposing Siege Rhino at once. Don't forget it's also a way to destroy any opposing Dragons while leaving your own creatures alive.

Utter End
Utter End is an option that deals with anything the opponent might throw, including the artifacts, enchantments, and planeswalkers. Utter End is relatively expensive compared to other targeted removal, but the marginal extra cost of a mana is a small price to pay for access to such a powerful catch-all in the toolbox, especially with Jace, Telepath Unbound available for re-using it.

Murderous Cut
Murderous Cut can be conveniently found by Bring to Light, where it's a clean and highly-functional removal spell, but it can also be a great draw in many situations. Bring to Light decks require many fetch lands to function, and these fetch lands are the ideal way to power the delve of Murderous Cut.

Sultai Charm
Sultai Charm is similar to Abzan Charm in that it's a removal spell with an alternative card draw option. It deals with some creatures that Abzan Charm doesn't, and it also provides some extra protection against enchantments. The card draw ability isn't as good as Abzan Charm, but it's pain free and, against aggressive decks, will often be a better target for Jace, Telepath Unbound's -3 ability than Abzan Charm. That being said, it doesn't add anything unique to the toolbox.

Ruinous Path
Ruinous Path stands out for its ability to destroy planeswalkers. Theros block rotating took many of the best planeswalkers away from Standard, but it also removed Hero's Downfall. Battle for Zendikar has some excellent planeswalkers of its own, and Ruinous Path provides a way to stay on top of them. Awaken can't be used with Bring to Light, but later in the game Ruinous Path is an excellent draw, and keep in mind Awaken can be paid for when Ruinous Path is cast with Jace, Telepath Unbound.

Silumgar's Command
Silumgar's Command is an excellent Bring to Light option because of its potential for card and tempo advantage. Three modes of Silumgar's Command impact the board, and it is going to be an excellent option in situations where two of the modes can find targets.

Ojutai's Command
The value chain of Bring to Light for Jace, Vryn's Prodigy can be made even better by Ojutai's Command, assuming there is a copy of the legendary two-drop in the graveyard. Searching for Ojutai's Command leads to the same result, only with four extra life or a free drawn card. Assuming that this line of play comes up often, one slot in the deck is a small price to pay for a large functional gain in real game situations. Ojutai's Command is also a relatively flexible and powerful card, has synergy with Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, and can cycle itself, so it will rarely be a truly poor draw.

Kolaghan's Command
Kolaghan's Command can be searched for to generate card advantage by returning a dead creature to hand and making the opponent discard. Kolaghan's Command will be best when it has good targets for its two damage ability, like against Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, and destroying an artifact is relevant for destroying Hangarback Walker before it grows out of hand.

Crackling Doom
Crackling Doom is interesting as a Bring to Light target because in many situations it will be better than a typical removal spell. Presuming you are always going to destroy the largest opposing creature, Crackling Doom will do the same job as most any other removal spell, but it also deals two free damage. It's also an excellent removal spell for hexproof creatures like Lumbering Falls, Dragonlord Ojutai, and Silumgar, the Drifting Death.

Ugin's Insight
There will be times when Bring to Light will be cast proactively, but a creature like Siege Rhino is not the optimal target, like against control decks loaded with removal spells. In these attrition scenarios, the best use for Bring to Light is finding raw card advantage, which is where Ugin's Insight comes in. Drawing three is fine, though hardly impressive, but the card becomes quite powerful when scry is factored in.

Tragic Arrogance
Tragic Arrogance is not the most flexible sweeper, but in some situations it might be the most powerful. It's perfect for leaving a Siege Rhino and Jace, Telepath Unbound in play and leaving the opponent with one weak creature, but its relatively narrow nature may keep it relegated to the sideboard. Tragic Arrogance is best in lists with Hangarback Walker, which further breaks the parity as an artifact that can be left in play.

Whisperwood Elemental
Whisperwood Elemental is a proactive option that seeks to lock up the board and close out the game with a stream of card advantage. It also has some utility as an answer to board sweepers. It's relatively poor with Languish, and the manifest creatures are relatively weak in a deck with few creatures, so this card is likely to sit on the sidelines.

Cards NOT in the Toolbox

X Ob Nixilis Reignited
Bring to Light cannot find planeswalkers.

X Demonic Pact
Bring to Light cannot find enchantments.

X Radiant Flames
Bring to Light casts cards without spending mana, so any converge ability will default to a value of 0.

X Dragonlord Dromoka
Bring to Light can never find a spell that costs more than five mana.

Beyond the Toolbox

Besides the toolbox package, Siege Rhino, and Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Bring to Light Control also needs efficient ways to interact with the opponent.

Removal spells are important to Stave Off early aggression and are increasingly important as a way to destroy opposing Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. Reave Soul is an excellent option in black, a core color of the Bring to Light Control deck, while splashing deeper into red provides access to Fiery Impulse. With Red Aggro on everyone's mind, and Jace, Vryn's Prodigy everywhere, it's more important than ever to have access to cheap removal spells.

Counterspells are another option for interacting with the opponent. Counterspells have historically found homes in control decks, and this control deck could put them to use as well. That being said, the Bring to Light / Siege Rhino strategy is inherently a tap-out style midrange control deck, and leaving mana up for Counterspells won't necessarily be desirable.

With all of that said, that brings my decklist to:


This list incorporates a little bit of everything, with an extensive toolbox for dealing with any situation the deck may find itself in. The sideboard is focused towards the two extremes, the slow control decks and the fast aggressive decks. Duress and Disdainful Stroke are necessary for disrupting control like Esper Dragons, while Arashin Cleric and Radiant Flames serve as significant roadblocks against aggressive opponents like Atarka Red. Den Protector can be effective in any matchup, and is especially useful for recasting sideboard cards. It's possible to fill the sideboard with additional one-of toolbox cards, but the maindeck options cover most conceivable scenarios. Bring to Light always costs five mana, so it is not efficient at finding the cheap hate cards that are typically found in sideboards. Rather than pushing Bring to Light with more expensive options, it's best to adapt to a leaner game plan.

What Bring to Light toolbox options did I leave out? What does your Bring to Light deck look like? Have any questions? Share in the comments section below!