Magic: The Gathering Control Decks Beat Sultai & Simic Food Decks at Grand Prix Events

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By Jake Vyper | More Articles MTG Writer/Streamer
November 04, 2019  03:23 PM


"Oko, Thief of Crowns" continued to dominate Magic: The Gathering's Standard format at this past weekend's Magicfest events, but Control decks have proven that they can beat the Simic Food, Sultai Food, and Bant Ramp decks that play the overpowered Throne of Eldraine Planeswalker.

The Top 8 results for Grand Prix Nagoya and Grand Prix Lyon show that even in the field full of Oko-based decks, Magic players that didn't choose to play Oko still have the chance to defeat others who decided to play the oppressive Planeswalker card that fans want to get banned from Standard already. 

In Grand Prix Nagoya, Yiming Zhi made it to 2nd place with his Blue/White Control deck that main-decks two copies of "Aether Gust", one copy of "Tale's End", and three copies of "Prison Realm" to weaken Oko decks' strategies. The Azorius build also plays two copies of "Agent of Treachery" and two copies of "Mass Manipulation" to control his opponent's big threats to turn the tides of the battles around. The deck also runs two copies of "Sorcererous Spyglass" in the sideboard to disable Planeswalkers' abilities and it can even shut Gilded Goose from laying out food tokens. 

At Grand Prix Lyon, Florian Trotte finished seventh with a similar Blue/White Control deck but with four "Prison Realm" instead of four, and cards that control opponent's threats. He also has three "Aether Gust" and one copy "Sorcerous Spyglass" in the sideboard to fight Oko decks. 

As shown in the Day 2 metagame at Grand Prix Lyon, Food-based Oko decks are still dominant in the format (over 40%), and according to Channelfireball, almost 29% of those registered as Sultai Food. 

The day-two metagame at the Lyon Grand Prix consisted mostly of UG Food-based decks (over 40 percent), with almost 29 percent of those registered as Sultai Food, according to ChannelFireball.


Julian Felix, the Top 8 finisher at Grand Prix Lyon played a Four-Color Sacrifice deck that also ran Oko, and he finished sixth with it. 

Standard decks that play Oko may be so dominantly powerful, but they're not unbeatable, and it seems that some players are already figuring out ways to take them down with Control strategies, so thanks to the brave few players at the Grand Prix who proved that this past weekend. Sure, they didn't ultimately win Grand Prix but their Top 8 finishes show that Oko decks still have weaknesses. Wizards of the Coast will still most likely ban Oko from Standard after Mythic Championship VI this month, so I hope we'll see more Control strategies in the Standard meta soon. 

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Related: MTG is Getting Its First Legendary Squirrel Soon

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Jake Vyper is a Fantasy & Sci-Fi Author, Social Media Manager, and Founder of
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