Going into Eldritch Moon Standard, many players believed that W/B Control was going to transition to becoming a deck centered around Gisela, the Broken Blade. While the angel deck has put up some results, so has regular old creatures W/B Control. Here's my list:


The list may seem old-fashioned but trust me when I say it's not outdated. Liliana, the Last Hope is a powerful card and I am not going to say it is completely wrong to play her, but my preference is not to. In this deck, in order to make her good you need to continuously tick her up after casting her on turn three with the hope that she will get to go ultimate. Admittedly, once Liliana, the Last Hope reaches her ultimate the game does end shortly thereafter. However, there are a few other turn three plays as well, as not playing that particular Planeswalker opens up room for Secure the Wastes.

I have to wonder why people are no longer playing with Secure the Wastes or Westvale Abbey. The amount of free wins this combination of cards provides is absurd. There are some decks that have no shot against it. Westvale Abbey by itself generates tokens and can become a win condition, as well as being another colorless land to help facilitate the sideboard cards. For me there hasn't been a good enough reason to cut it. The format is slowing down rather than speeding up which means that big spells and Planeswalkers are still just as effective as ever.

I was not all that surprised with the way the games played out on Magic Online. Bant Company can be tricky after sideboard since you don't know what sorts of countermagic they will have, but sometimes you have to just slog through it as best as possible. If you can maneuver it so that it is possible to cast Hallowed Moonlight in response to a Collected Company, that is obviously great. I try to avoid playing Gideon, Ally of Zendikar when the opponent has four mana available but sometimes it is necessary. After board you lean pretty hard on leveraging sweepers. I would say the Bant Company matchup is in favor of the control deck.

The other decks we played against aren't quite as popular as Bant Company but they are certainly still important archetypes to be ready for. A couple of the concessions were a little abrupt but it was likely because our opponents were frustrated with the way the White/Black Control deck can dig itself out of really tight spots. As it turned out, against the U/B Zombie, deck the discard and Infinite Obliterations were not that great. Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet can solve a lot of problems though, as we saw.

W/B Control decks are back in a big way, and don't forget that a different version of W/B Control won the Pro Tour! Personally I still prefer the creatureless version of the deck, though there are certainly reasons to go in the other direction. Most versions play a lot of the same cards, but this is the one I like the most for the current metagame.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield