As anyone who has read any of my MTG content will tell you, I’m not the biggest fan of Control decks in Magic. Instead, I’m much happier when I’m been aggressive or dropping giant green threats on the battlefield to punch my opponent’s life total into submission. So, when I tell you that I have found a fun and interesting Control deck that I actually enjoy playing, you know it has to be good. Well with the cold front we have here in the UK, it very well might mean that hell has frozen over, as I have indeed found a Control deck that I like.
Izzet Control in the current Standard meta can be summed up in one word. Flexibility. I’m 100% serious when I say that Standard Control has never had it so good, and a lot of that is down to the sheer number of options players have open to them. And I don’t mean in terms of a card pool, as we have had many times in Standard past where we have had some great card choices. No, I mean in terms of how a great many cards in the deck have multiple options in how they are played.
From Adventure cards like Brazen Borrower and Bonecrusher Giant giving us the chance to remove a threat before resolving a creature, Foretell allowing us to split the cost of spells over a few turns, or even if we want a spell or a land drop, there are so many options that allow you to tailor your strategy to best match your opponent. This is the crux of what make Izzet Control so effective in the current meta.
Now while there are a few different ways you can take the deck in terms of competitive playstyle, I will share with you my current build of the deck. If you want to try some else out in the deck, or want to play around with the land choices then that is absolutely fine. This is just the build I have had the most success with up until now. With that said, let get to the deck.
I’m going to start a little backwards and kick things off with the win conditions and then move on to the control elements. As mentioned above, Brazen Borrower and Bonecrusher Giant not only give us removal options but are solid creatures, capable of delivering a stead beatdown once we have a stable board. We also run three copies of Shark Typhoon, which most of the time will be cycled to give us an instant speed threat when our opponent is tapped out.
The real big threat though come in the form of Goldspan Dragon. This 4/4 flying haster is a great fit in the deck, because it avoids the pitfalls of many other Control win conditions. You see, often Control decks have to wait out until they have enough mana to both cast their bomb and protect it with a counter spell. This can give your opponent time to dig for answers and find a way out from under the pressure you have applied. However, Goldspan Dragon not only gives you twice the value on Treasure Tokens, but gives you one whenever it attacks or is targeted. This means even if you tap out on turn five and attack, you still can have the mana available to protect your Dragon with an Negate or similar instant. Now how’s that for efficiency.
So that covers our win-cons. Now on to the meat of the deck. Counter spells and removal. For counter magic, the deck runs a full playset of Saw It Coming, as well as a selection of other spells such as Miscast, Disdainful Stroke, Essence Scatter and Negate. To pair up with our Adventure based removal, we run three copies of Frost Bite and Shatterskull Smashing (the latter of which works quite well with all those Treasure Tokens we will be producing). Lastly, the deck runs some card draw with a playset of Behold the Multiverse.
For lands we are going to run a nice selection of Snow-Covered Islands, Snow-Covered Mountains and Volatile Fjord to take full advantage of Frost Bites ability. To help with fixing and thinning the deck runs four copies of Fabled Passage, and a playset of Temple of Epiphany to keep the top decks strong.
4 Brazen Borrower
4 Bonecrusher Giant
4 Goldspan Dragon
3 Frost Bite
2 Disdainful Stroke
2 Essence Scatter
3 Shatterskull Smashing
4 Saw It Coming
4 Behold the Multiverse
3 Shark Typhoon
6 Snow-Covered Island
6 Snow-Covered Mountain
4 Temple of Epiphany
4 Volatile Fjord
4 Fabled Passage
2 Essence Scatter
3 Scorching Dragonfire
2 Mystical Dispute
2 Storm's Wrath
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Weathered Runestone
For a sideboard we have a few different options, depending on the match up. First off, we can tailor our counter spells to better suite the situation, with extra Negates and Essence Scatters. For the mirror match (or any heavy blue deck) Mystical Dispute is a nice addition, while we can add more removal for creature heavy decks with Scorching Dragonfire and Storm’s Wrath. Tormod’s Crypt can be added to help deal with any decks that want to abuse their graveyard, and Weathered Runestone stops Tibalt’s Trickery in its tracks.
And that is Izzet Control for Kaldheim Standard, a deck that has quickly become my go too brew for jamming games on Magic Arena. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to build it IRL when we can get back to life as normal. But even if not, I have had a blast playing it. But what do you think about today’s deck? Is this what you want to play in Standard? Or have you a different brew you want to try out? Please let me know in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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