Arena – B/W Control

Hello! and Welcome. This is my very first article on Magic the Gathering: Arena. Arena is Wizard’s newest online gaming platform for MTG. I will be featuring some standard decks weekly and taking them through a couple games in Arena to test them out. Let me know if you would like to see any specific decks and I will be happy to add them to my queue.

This week I wanted to try a new take on a control strategy. We have all seen the Esper, Jeskai, Blue/Black, and Blue/White decks floating around. We have also seen various Green/Black Midrange decks filling a similar role. I decided to see how well Black and White would pair for a control deck in current standard. Orzhov has always been one of my favorite color combinations and I feel in Ravnica Allegiance they were a bit under-represented. They got a few awesome creatures, but no format staples at first glance. The two biggest cards that stood out to me were Kaya’s Wrath and a favorite reprint of mine, Mortify.

Kaya’s Wrath is an interesting one as Wizards had deemed four mana non-conditional sweepers to be too powerful for standard. I believe it’s restrictive mana cost is what received the stamp of approval; having powerful cheap creatures in standard, a Wrath-effect seems like it was a needed addition.

Mortify is a powerful reprint. A three mana instant speed creature removal leaves a bit to be desired, but the diversity of being able to take out enchantments is where this card’s true power lies. There are several good enchantments currently taking standard by storm, so having access to this instant-speed main-deck answer is awesome.

2x Divest
4x Duress
2x Arguel’s Blood Fast
2x Cast Down
2x Moment of Craving
2x Treasure Map
2x Orzhov Locket
3x Mortify
3x Vraska’s Contempt
2x Kaya’s Wrath
1x The Eldest Reborn
2x Blood Operative
4x Ravenous Chupacabra
2x Doom Whisperer
1x Tetzimoc, Primal Death
2x Karn, Scion of Urza
3x Plains
9x Swamp
2x Memorial to Folly
4x Godless Shrine
4x Isolated Chapel
2x Orzhov Guildgate


The deck I brewed up uses the early game strategy of hand disruption combined with removal spells to trade resources one for one with the opponents. Then it looks to finish the game with bombs such as Doom Whisperer and Tetzimoc, Primal Death. Let’s check out some matches!


While we failed to get there in these two test matches the deck did feel like it had potential. In game one vs. Red / White I feel we were favored if we curved out on time. I may want to look into adding one more land to the deck as hitting our four drops on time is very important to our strategy.

In our second match we grinded resources back and forth with Green / Black. This deck proved that their newly found Blue splash in the form of Hydroid Krasis was well worth it. The match came down to the wire and was very exciting to play. I was very impressed with Arguel’s Blood Fast in the matchup as our key way to keep up on resources. We may need to look into some more life gain effects to ensure we can utilize the card to its fullest potential.

I hope you enjoyed the matches! Let me know what you liked and didn’t like about the deck and what changes you would make. Feel free to stop by and mention this article. I will gladly take the deck for a spin for you on stream!

Happy Gaming!
~ Dave

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