THS: W/B control and Triad of Fates

I hadn’t had much success with control deck in Theros until recently when I did reasonably well with a couple of B/X control decks (2 W/B and a U/B/w deck). Each had at least one Gray Merchant of Asphodel and would have been a monoblack deck in the early days of Theros when it was still possible to draft multiple Gray Merchants of Asphodel. However, white and blue both offer cards that work well in a B/X control deck.

White offers some excellent defensive creatures (Scholar of Athreos, which also serves as lifegain and a win condition), removal (Divine Verdict, Last Breath), lifegain (Hopeful Eidolon, Lagonna-Band Elder), and win conditions (Evangel of Heloid, Sentry of the Underworld), and lets you run Gods Willing alongside Boon of Erebos. I’ve also found Triad of Fates to be seriously undervalued and have often been passed it late by players who see it as too slow. While it is certainly subpar in an aggressive W/B deck, it can be very powerful in control decks that are able to survive long enough to use its white ability to “blink” an Evangel of Heliod, Disciple of Phenax, or Gray Merchant of Asphodel. (Abhorrent Overlord and Ashen Rider are also excellent targets for the white ability, but if you manage to cast either of those, you’re probably already winning the game.) The deck tends to be heavier black than white, so you might end up picking Pharika’s Cure over Wingsteed Rider, especially since you are likely to have fewer targeting effects than an aggressive W/B deck.

Blue also offers excellent defensive creatures (Omenspeaker, Wavecrash Triton, and Coastline Chimera, which is playable even without white in a control deck), removal (Shipwreck Singer, Griptide, Sea God’s Revenge, Voyage’s End), counterspells (Annul, Dissolve), and win conditions (Horizon Scholar, Nimbus Naiad). As with white, it is the multicolor Shipwreck Singer that makes this a powerful color combination and, as we’ve seen previously, it is powerful multicolor cards like these that can make it worth delaying selection of a second color if you start out in either blue or black. (Also, remember to keep an eye out for Triton Tactics once you’ve drafted Shipwreck Singer.)

I tend to prefer W/B over U/B because Scholar of Athreos, Sentry of the Underworld, and Triad of Fates are all powerful cards that fill multiple roles, helping you stabilize and then serving as win conditions once you’ve locked down the board. In fact, a U/B control deck I drafted recently splashed white for Scholar of Athreos and Sentry of the Underworld when I found myself short a couple of cards after switching from W/B to U/B in pack 2 of the draft. Triad of Fates is a riskier splash in such cases because it doesn’t immediately impact the board when played, but it still does provide the ability to retrigger some strong enters-the-battlefield abilities on blue creatures (Horizon Scholar, Omenspeaker, and Mnemonic Wall).

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