Control decks run blue cards. Access to countermagic keeps the board under control and makes sure that the control deck doesn’t have to face something it has no answer to—but what if Standard lets you handle anything without needing blue cards?

Black/white midrange with tokens continues to put up decent results, often splashing blue for sideboard cards and to maximize Painful Truths. You don’t actually need those blue cards, though. It’s basically a free splash if you already want to use fetchlands, since there are no Marsh Flats in Standard and Polluted Delta and Flooded Strand can get both of your colors with the aid of Sunken Hollow and Prairie Stream. Not playing fetchlands or Painful Truths means a slightly higher life total. Scoured Barrens pads that life total further, and playing only 2 colors means you can play powerful colorless lands like Blighted Fen.

Read the Bones offers less raw card advantage than Painful Truths, but it either costs less life or is a strictly better effect if cast for 2. Scry 2 can be worth more than a card (and in fact, a slower deck will often have to discard if cast on turn 3), so Read the Bones makes sense here.

With only black and white, you have access to every type of removal spell you could ever want. Silkwrap, Stasis Snare, Ruinous Path, Planar Outburst, Ultimate Price, Utter End, Murderous Cut, and Valorous Stance will make sure that any permanent is under control.

With your padded life total, Ob Nixilis Reignited is a great way to go over the top. A removal spell that serves as continual card advantage and eventually a finisher is excellent. With so much removal, you can often keep the board under control, and Ob Nixilis has such a high loyalty that it will be a real challenge to deal with in the face of so much more removal, or tokens from Sorin, Solemn Visitor, Secure the Wastes, or Gideon, Ally of Zendikar to block.

BW Control

By Brett Tetley, Top 8 at a Standard Classic