I am a huge fan of White/Black Control in Standard right now. Since Grand Prix New York, the list has changed slightly, so I'm going over those changes as well as the various sideboard plans. Here is what the current list looks like:

DECKID=1265642

The differences between the list from Grand Prix New York and now are subtle but important. Every single card choice is relevant in a deck like this, as a lot of the time the games revolve around how well your one-for-one interaction lines up with opposing threats. The issue in some games is not getting the chance to play a Planeswalker in a good spot, so one copy of Ob Nixilis Reignited has been cut from the maindeck. Initially there were three copies of Ob Nixilis Reignited just to have more threats, but drawing multiples can be clunky. In exchange there is an additional Transgress the Mind in the maindeck.

Transgress the Mind is the best discard spell in Standard, as being able to exile a card from your opponents hand is very relevant in a format of World Breakers and Kolaghan's Command. The downside of playing lots of Transgress the Minds is it's not that good against all-in Mono-White Humans, but that deck isn't super popular. There are a couple more Eldrazi creatures in the sideboard compared to the list from Grand Prix New York, though you do need to be careful about playing too many with only eight sources that produce colorless mana in the deck. The list hasn't changed too much though.

Looking at the games on Magic Online, it should be clear that various control matchups are favorable for W/B Control, as is the matchup versus Cryptolith Rite strategies. We did drop a game to Four-Color Rites, as sometimes you will get those clunky draws, but that is pretty unusual. W/G Tokens is a close matchup, and the version we were up against was a bit different than normal. In general though the games tend to come down to whether you can disrupt their starts and pressure the planeswalkers. An unanswered Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet can win the game by itself.

During sideboarding it is evident that the plans can change somewhat based on what your opponent is doing and if their deck is configured differently than normal. However, I am going to go over how I typically sideboard against the top decks in the format at the moment. Sideboarding with the deck can be tricky, so having a well thought-out gameplan to counteract the opponent is important.

Four-Color Rites

On the Draw

+3 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
+1 Transgress the Mind
+1 Linvala, the Preserver
+1 Ultimate Price

-2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
-2 Ruinous Path
-2 Secure the Wastes

On the Play

+3 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
+1 Transgress the Mind
+1 Linvala, the Preserver
+1 Ultimate Price
+2 Thought-Knot Seer

-2 Ruinous Path
-2 Secure the Wastes
-1 Languish
-2 Hallowed Moonlight
-1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

It may seem weird to have such a different sideboard plan based on whether on the play or draw, but on the play you want to be more proactive, and on the draw more reactive. Rather than play Hallowed Moonlight on the play, my preference is to have Thought-Knot Seer to have the ability to take a Collected Company before it can be cast, or a Reality Smasher, those are the two most annoying cards. Some of the slower cards do come out here as we want to be as efficient with mana as possible.

W/G Tokens

On the Draw

-2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
-1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
-1 Read the Bones
-1 Secure the Wastes
-3 Languish
-1 Hallowed Moonlight

+2 Eldrazi Displacer
+2 Duress
+1 Ultimate Price
+3 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
+1 Linvala, the Preserver

On the Play

-1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
-4 Languish
-1 Planar Outburst
-2 Hallowed Moonlight
-2 Secure the Wastes
-1 Ob Nixilis Reignited

+2 Eldrazi Displacer
+2 Duress
+2 Thought-Knot Seer
+1 Ultimate Price
+3 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
+1 Linvala, the Preserver

This is another matchup where you will see a bit of a different plan based on who is one the play. One common misconception against Green/White Tokens is that Languish is good versus them. The truth is that sometimes it's great, but sometimes it's just not.

When on the play, you want to be the aggressor before the opponent can start taking advantage of synergies like Hangarback Walker + Evolutionary Leap. When you have a creature in play before they play a Planeswalker the games generally go much better for you.

Ramp Decks

+2 Eldrazi Displacer
+2 Thought-Knot Seer
+1 Transgress the Mind
+2 Duress
+1 Bearer of Silence
+2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

-4 Languish
-2 Hallowed Moonlight
-2 Grasp of Darkness
-2 Ultimate Price

Game one against ramp is pretty rough, though if you are able to make Ormendahl, Profane Prince, that should win the game. Otherwise playing Gideon, Ally of Zendikar on turn four can also be enough to win. Normally there is too much removal in W/B Control in game one, so after board you can bring in creatures and more discard. After sideboard the matchup changes dramatically, and most of the time you should be favored after sideboard.

Grixis Control

+1 Transgress the Mind
+2 Duress
+1 Bearer of Silence
+2 Thought-Knot Seer

-4 Languish
-2 Hallowed Moonlight

Grixis Control is pretty fun to play against from the W/B Control side. Sideboarding is pretty straightforward in this matchup; after board you have a number of ways to attack their hand, though sometimes the games can come down to topdecking. Planeswalkers are tough for Grixis Control to deal with, and the same can be said for Secure the Wastes.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield