Today I will be taking a dive back into standard. I have been out of the format for quite some time but there are a lot of awesome new and exciting cards that are pulling me back. This week I wanted to see how casting the God-Pharaoh himself, Nicol Bolas felt in the newly developing standard meta.

Blue/Red control has been floating around standard for quite a bit now and it got some exciting new tools from Hour of Devastation. I wanted to experiment with replacing some of the old staples with new additions. Here’s the list.


2 Liliana, the Last Hope
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh


4 Fatal Push
1 Magma Spray
4 Censor
2 Negate
2 Essence Scatter
3 Abrade
1 Cut/Ribbons
1 Disallow
3 Supreme Will
4 Hieroglyphic Illumination
2 Hour of Devastation


3 Swamp
2 Mountain
2 Island
4 Fetid Pools
4 Choked Estuary
4 Canyon Slough
4 Spirebluff Canal
3 Wandering Fumarole


2 Negate
2 Glorybringer
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
2 Sweltering Suns
3 Magma Spray
1 Disallow
1 Never/Return
1 Cut/Ribbons
1 Torrential Gearhulk

You’ll notice there are no creatures in the maindeck of the list, not even the mainstay Torrential Gearhulk (though one did sneak into the board). I wanted to see if a control deck could win in standard with planeswalkers as its primary win condition. I also got rid of the small energy sub theme a lot of Blue/Red decks utilize through cards like Harness Lightning, Glimmer of Genius, and Aether Hub. I focused heavily on cycling cards so we could dig thorough our deck consistently.

Two of the new cards I am really excited to try out are Abrade and Supreme Will. Both cards have a “choose one” mode of two choices which is traditionally very powerful in control decks that want various options for unique situations that arise. I believe these two cards will be putting control over the top for quite some time in standard. We also get to play the set titled card Hour of Devastation which gives us a sweet sweeper to answer out of control boards and opposing planeswalkers. Let’s hop into the games and see how it performs!

I can say for certain now that casting Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh felt as good as I imagined it would. The deck itself certainly needs some fine tuning but it put up a really good fight overall. I loved all the new cards and I think the planeswalker theme was powerful. I could see situations where we missed the Glimmers and Harnessed Lightning’s so I feel I will work them back into the list. Maybe even Torrential Gearhulk can hop back in the main. Hour of Devastation felt a little two slow for the aggressive strategies that are popping up in standard but I still think it’s a great card to have access too. I could see moving more into the cheaper sweepers like Sweltering Suns for our maindeck however pushing the Hours to the board.

As always I had a blast recording for all of you and I am open to suggestions on how to improve this deck as well as others you want to see from me. If you enjoyed seeing Bolas be cast definitely stop by the stream at because I suspect I will be doing a lot of that in the near future! Thanks for reading and remember it’s you, the fans, that make it all worth it!