BFZ Spotlight: Awakening Control

Changing pace from my recent ramblings about modern. Let’s take a look at a few new cards from Battle for Zendikar and how they may change things coming up.


This is the core of what I predict will be a new control deck moving forward in standard. The awaken cards seem, to me, to be very powerful in that they allow you to go even lighter on win conditions compared to recent control decks. Your board wipes, which you’re going to play anyway, are also win conditions on a long enough timeline. So are your removal spells. We’re also really early into spoiler season, so there is plenty of time still for new cards to be spoiled for this deck.

The cutest trick here is that you can awaken onto Shambling Vent, make it a 4/4, and then during combat activate the ability to turn it into a 6/7 lifelink if you so desire. This helps out with the life loss from using Ob Nixilis’ +1 ability (whom you’re going to want to include for sure), as well as letting you use your life total as a resource.

Another perk is that you are very free to either run simply , or splash any one of the other colors. seems like the weakest splash, though it probably has the best matchup versus aggressive decks due to cheap interactive spells, plus Crackling Doom is pretty sweet. gives you access to Den Protector and Abzan Charm. gives you the best mana base (due to 8 fetchlands plus the new duals), plus Dig Through Time and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy.

Chris Wendelboe

Chris is a level 2 judge from Ashland, New Hampshire. He enjoys Scapeshift, modern, and putting on the best events possible.