We’ve seen quite a bit of control in this format. Fumigate and Settle the Wreckage are great sweepers in a format defined by The Scarab God, Hazoret the Fervent, and Bristling Hydra. However, most of the variants we’ve seen are based on Approach of the Second Sun rather than a more traditional plan like card advantage and Torrential Gearhulk. That’s part of why this cycling-focused variant is so interesting:
Blue-White Control - Ixalan Standard | STL_Yeti, 5-0 Standard League
- Creatures (2)
- 2 Curator of Mysteries
- Instants (20)
- 4 Censor
- 4 Countervailing Winds
- 4 Hieroglyphic Illumination
- 4 Renewed Faith
- 4 Settle the Wreckage
- Sorceries (3)
- 3 Fumigate
- Artifacts (1)
- 1 Abandoned Sarcophagus
This is a deck that’s built around the singleton copy of Abandoned Sarcophagus. The existence of this card in your 75 makes it easy for you to spend your early turns leaving up interaction and cycling spells when your opponent doesn’t do anything. Cards like Censor and Renewed Faith are great early on since they give you something to do with your mana and power up your Search for Azcantas.
Once you’ve hit enough lands, you’re happy to use Fumigate and Settle the Wreckage to keep your opponent off the board. If you’re not getting pressured, then Hieroglyphic Illumination is exactly what you want to be doing. All the cycling and card drawing stocks your graveyard to the point where Countervailing Winds is a hard counter.
Drake Haven is what lets you start turning the corner. You can cycle into more cyclers and make a handful of drakes at the end of your opponent’s turn. They can either serve as a surprise swarm of blockers, or a way to start applying serious pressure to your opponent.
Once you resolve Abandoned Sarcophagus, everything changes. If your aggro opponent has gotten you close to dead, you can cast a bunch of Renewed Faiths and put yourself far out of reach. If you’re playing against a control deck, you can start rebuying all of your Hieroglyphic Illuminations and Countervailing Winds.
If you’re looking for a classic control deck, this is a stellar choice. Cycling spells are exciting because of the sheer flexibility you get. You don’t have to feel bad about burning them all early to hit land drops and find interaction. You can cast them for full value and then rebuy them later with Abandoned Sarcophagus. There aren’t a ton of ways to just bury your opponent in cards in this Standard format, but if that’s what you’re looking to do, this is the deck to do it.