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Bant Control Finished

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Level 1 Judge

Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 272

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:31 pm    Post subject: Bant Control Finished Reply with quote

I've been working on polishing bant control for a very long time now and now that this standard season is almost over I've got the final list ready. I am very proud of just how good I've made this list, it has next to 0 bad matchups (there are a couple where your an underdog g1, but then post board your a massive favorite). This deck is just sooooooooo good at doing what it does that a great deal of the times its just outright oppressive. Without further adu, here is the list

// Deck file for Magic Workstation (

// Lands
4 [M13] Glacial Fortress
4 [M13] Sunpetal Grove
4 [RTR] Temple Garden
2 [ISD] Ghost Quarter
4 [RTR] Hallowed Fountain
2 [AVR] Alchemist's Refuge
4 [ISD] Hinterland Harbor
1 [AVR] Cavern of Souls
1 [RTR] Forest (5)

// Creatures
4 [M13] Thragtusk

// Spells
3 [M13] Garruk, Primal Hunter
3 [AVR] Terminus
2 [RTR] Jace, Architect of Thought
4 [RTR] Supreme Verdict
4 [M13] Farseek
4 [RTR] Azorius Charm
4 [RTR] Detention Sphere
3 [RTR] Sphinx's Revelation
1 [M13] Elixir of Immortality
2 [M13] Negate

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [AVR] Terminus
SB: 1 [RTR] Jace, Architect of Thought
SB: 1 [RTR] Sphinx's Revelation
SB: 1 [M13] Negate
SB: 3 [DKA] Curse of Echoes
SB: 3 [RTR] Rest in Peace
SB: 4 [ISD] Feeling of Dread
SB: 1 [RTR] Sundering Growth

Now to go over the deck.

26 lands: the perfect number for a deck like this, you consistently hit up to four lands most of the time, and then between draw spells and farseeks your get to 6 quite well most of the time which is where your curve stops.

utility lands

2 Ghost Quarter: the primary target for these are nephalia drownyards. A great deal of control decks seek to win the mirror through milling and drownyards are very difficult to remove otherwise. In addition to this there are many utility lands that can cause issues for you and this will take care of all of them. Usually land count is not an issue for you so losing a land to change one of theirs to a basic is a minor cost. Lastly there are a number of decks that do not run any basics at all (very few these days but they still exist) or very few so they will not be able to search for them later in the game, in these situations quarters becomes upgraded to strip mine which can wreak havok on your opponents mana.

2 Alchemist's Refuge: an incredibly useful utility land that gives you a HUGE leg up in the control matchup. Being able to do everything at the end of your opponents turn means that you get to untap your mana before your opponent does which means A) you can protect your threats from your opponents sorcery speed answers and B) if your opponent uses counter magic, they are tying down their mana for your turn giving you a second chance to resolve threats. Think of it like this, when you are playing the staring contest game with your opponent your able to cast threats without blinking. Lastly this deck has a lot of sorcery speed removal, this upgrades them to instant speed removal which is huge when dealing with the aggro decks that want to hit you with huge haste guys, now you can just use terminus midcombat against thundermaw helkite and save yourself 5 damage.

1 Cavern of Souls: this is strictly for control matchups since at its worst its just another land. But against control thragtusk is your only actual creature so setting this to beast means that yours will always resolve, and due to the nature of thragtusk its always somewhere around a 3 for 1 (lifegain + big body + small body).


Thragtusk: the only creature in the deck. But it does everything you need from a win condition. It generates card advantage, its big, its hard to remove, it plays well with YOUR wraths, it gains your life (which is huge these days with all the haste and burn). All and all, thrag is the best threat around these days.


2 Jace, Architect of Thought: Jace is starting to grow on me a lot more. He's not overwhelming by any means, but he provides enough of a card advantage for this deck to start dominating. In addition his plus ability can stave off your opponents forces for a while and buy you time to hit a wrath. His ultimate can also be relevant if your really grinding for a long time and you have to fight someone who is playing slaughter games. If he takes all of your win conditions then you can just steal his.

3 Garruk, Primal Hunter: the other win condition of the deck. Garruk is incredible! He generates guys who are HUGE for this format and they cost nothing but the down payment which means that you can sit with your mana up cranking out beasts and killing your opponent. On top of that his -3 generates either a lot of card advantage or gratuitous amounts of card advantage which will smother your opponent. Oh and lastly, if your untap after you ultimate you win the game. Garruk is nuts!


3 Terminus: Fantastic sweeper that beats a lot of things like undieing and indestructible but a little on the expensive side making it hard to use to stop an opponent on the early turns. Miracle is quite relevant, and is usually very good each time you do it (even if its just a 1 for 1 its still a 1 for 1 that costs one mana).

4 Supreme Verdict: : Pretty much wrath of god since mana is soooooo good these days, a lot of the times against aggro decks you just have to survive to turn 3 or 4 (depending on if you have farseek). After that you blow your opponent out with one of these and then use thrag, sphinx, elixir, and charm to get back the life you lost. Also the fact that it's uncounterable is relevant if your going up against a control deck that is using a creature win condition. I'll leave these in if my control opponent is hoping to win with creatures.

4 detention sphere: Good versatile removal for a relatively low casting cost. Sphere deals with so many things, tokens, planeswalkers, creatures, pesky artifacts, you name it.

4 azorious charm: so maybe this is not necessarily removal, but that is it's most valuable mode. Being able to make a tempo play like this against an aggro deck gives you time to get to your big threats that they cannot deal with and your sweepers that they have a lot of trouble recovering from. Charm is very good at doing this but the best part is that you don't lose anything in your control matchup by playing it. Charm just turns into a weak think twice which is just fine because the control matchup is not won by one or two cards anymore its won by draw 5, 9, 10 cards now.

2 Negate: Number one, it gives you the ability to play the staring game with your opponent and make them insecure about playing their big noncreature spells to hastily and the longer the control matchup goes on the more of an advantage you have. One of the great things about this deck is that as the game goes longer and longer you are ALWAYS the favorite. Also this lets you protect yourself from things like rakdos returns late in the game that can undo your overwhelming card advantage engine. Negates are also great at combating opposing planeswalkers.


3 Sphinx's Revelation: These are incredibly good, but they are terrible early in the game, you only really want them when you hit 6 mana. But after that each of these is game breaking. Be sure not to cast them for less then 4 if you can avoid it. If your at a point where your pressing the advantage you want to hold on to them as long as possible. You just stabilized and both you and your opponent are low on cards its okay to cast one for 4 to get the ball rolling while your opponent is weak. If you are behind hold on to them till the last minute.

1 Elixir of Immortality: I think this is probably the deck that benefits more then any other from elixir. With elixir in the deck you can cast 11 point and 15 point revelations without fear and then just shuffle back everything that you do not need in your "perfect 7." It's also a means to fight other control decks that hope to win through milling. It recycles all of your removal, threats and planeswalkers giving you a huge edge in attrition matches. Lastly it also provides some critical life gain to help you survive against the aggro decks. Elixir is finally good!


1 Terminus: Comes in against any creature based decks, giving you the full 8 wraths and max chance to hit miracle.

1 Jace, Architect of Thought: Comes in against control, they have a lot of difficulty taking him off the board so he can usually generate quite a bit of card advantage and aid in grinding your opponent out.

1 Sphinx's Revelation: comes in against control decks as well. Now that your not under early pressure your totally fine with these cooking in your hand for a while (although note that if your opponent is playing slaughter games you may want to side out all but 1 revelation to preempt them because they WILL name this most of the time).

1 negate: [u/] Again for the control match up. A lot of the times the critical spells are the non creature spells, also this gives you the ability to resolve your spells better.

[u] 3 curse of echos:
OMG why isn't anyone playing these in their control SB? I've never lost after I've resolved one of these. They come in against control (or any other weird deck that's weak to it) and boy do they dominate! The important thing it does is turns sphinxes revelation and all counter magic that your opponent has into blanks (if your opponent is actually dumb enough to cast a revelation into this YOU get to draw first and then if you hit a negate you just counter the original one that your opponent cast). Also any other spell that your opponent plays you get a copy of, Mostly card advantage type stuff though.

3 Rest in Piece: [u/] mostly here for unburial rites decks. Its important to note that these do cause an issue with you not being able to recycle things like threats and removal, so you can't be frivolous with them anymore. On the bright side with most of the decks that RIP is good against you shouldn't need to.

[u] 4 Feeling of Dread:
OMG, just incredible against aggro decks! It is moments piece all over again but cheaper! It also has the psychological effect of making your opponent want to commit more then 2 threats to the board which walks him right into your wraths. It's a beast against all the haste creatures and with azorious charm to back it up you have fantastic odds of surviving the early game and then dominating the late game. What's even better is that this can even help you actively win the game. Just tap your opponent creatures down on his turn and swing in 4 times with thragtusk. This happens quite often actually. Basically feeling of dread blows the aggro match up wide open and I love it!

1 Sundering Growth: its main job is to hit detention spheres since they cannot remove each other and I can reuse it after I use elixir. I picked this enchantment destroyer because it seemed to be the best one for the deck in standard. Populate works well since both thrag and garruk generate tokens.

last little bit of notes, against creatureless control decks I board out the 7 wraths and replace them with the 7 control slots (the 4 singletons and the curses). Against control decks with creatures I take out other stuff depending on what the other deck looks like (a lot of the times some number of charms, farseeks and the terminuses). Against aggro, I take out Jace, and negates and a revelation for feeling of dread and a terminus. Against midrange it depends on what it is, Usually I'll bring in the terminus and that's it. The main deck is pretty well set up as it is to fight midrange.

Anyways that's everything I can think of now. Questions, comments, anything like that is appreciated.
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Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 864

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice primer.
For the sideboard Ray of Revelation is twice as good as Sundering Growth. Also 4 Feeling of Dread are too much. Zombie decks are quite resilientand if you just throw cards at them you run out. I like Silklash Spider a lot. Maybe run the 4th Negate.
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Level 1 Judge

Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 272

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tao wrote:
Nice primer.
For the sideboard Ray of Revelation is twice as good as Sundering Growth. Also 4 Feeling of Dread are too much. Zombie decks are quite resilientand if you just throw cards at them you run out. I like Silklash Spider a lot. Maybe run the 4th Negate.

I think your right about ray, I'll just make that switch. also 4 feeling of dread is exactly the right number. All you need to do is survive long enough to get your wraths online and your card advantage engine going. It is true that they are incredibly resilient but nothing survives a terminus (except thrag) and that really sets them back. At that point your deck far outclasses theirs. They can drop little beatsticks but your dropping revelations, thragtusks, and garruks and wave after wave of wraths. They just can not play the value game with you. I'm pretty certain this is the best deck at the value game.
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Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 901

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Except thragtusk and farseek are not the only green cards in the deck.
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The deck also plays Garruk and uses Alchemist's Refuge. UW control is fine but there are good reasons to play Bant also. And even without restoration angels Thragtusk is very obviously still a good card.
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