B/W Control decks look well positioned right now. You get to play some of the best and most efficient removal spells in the format, awesome sweepers, and efficient planeswalkers. You even have a nice way to tutor your planeswalkers while putting a big body on the board.

Djeru, With Eyes Open doesn’t have the most impressive stats, but it’s definitely something you can work with. A 4/3 creature for 5 isn’t worth writing home about, but you get some nice bonuses to go with the built-in vigilance. First, you get to draw a card, and that card is going to be a planeswalker. Second, Djeru will help protect your planeswalkers from burn spells and combat.

Liliana, the Last Hope and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar are the stars of the show. Liliana is peaking now that much of the format revolves around the early creatures of both Mono-Red and Zombies. The fact that Liliana can start ticking up to ultimate to beat control decks is another nice bonus. The natural synergy of minus'ing Liliana to get a Djeru to go find more planeswalkers is also pretty sweet. Gideon is Gideon. We all know what he’s capable of by now—and most of us are already pretty sick of it! The reason is that Gideon is just completely busted. Making creatures every turn, crashing in for huge chunks of damage, or going ultimate to boost the entire team are all awesome, and chaining Gideon ultimates to pump Djeru and find more Gideons is tough to beat.

Thraben Inspector provides some early protection and some late-game value in a Clue. The only other creature in the deck is one that is more than capable of completely taking over in Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. With all of black’s cheap removal, not to mention Liliana, you can often kill a creature the turn Kalitas comes down to start making tokens. Untapping with Kalitas is usually lights-out, and you can even cast a sweeper with Kalitas out to leave behind a Zombie horde.

Fatal Push and Grasp of Darkness are what make black so incredible right now. Spot removal that often trades up in mana give you the time to get your power pieces into play.

Cast Out and Stasis Snare give you additional answers to problematic or indestructible permanents. With Gods, Scrapheap Scroungers, and eternalize creatures in the format, having answers to these potential issues is important. Cast Out can also deal with opposing planeswalkers, as well as a single copy of Never // Return.

Fumigate is the best sweeper in the format, especially when you could use some additional life gain. Yahenni’s Expertise is another option, but you have so much cheap removal to deal with early creatures that you really want an answer for when things get out of control. If everything goes totally sideways, Descend upon the Sinful will handle the dirty work.

The final finisher in a deck highlighting Djeru is Sorin, Grim Nemesis. There are few answers to Sorin in the format and he’s sure to completely dominate the board, killing creatures while gaining life and drawing cards while reducing your opponent’s life total.

B/W Control gained a nice body that can tutor up the planeswalkers to give you powerful mid- and late game. When combined with early removal, that sounds like a recipe for success!

B/W Control

Yongil Park, 1st Place at a Grand Prix Minneapolis Trial