Control beats Simic and Sultai Food decks at Magic: The Gathering GP

Standard is seeing a revival in Control decks.

GP Lyon MagicFest Magic The Gathering Top Eight
Image via ChannelFireball and WotC

In a Magic: The Gathering Standard field flooded with Oko, Thief of Crowns and Food, several Control decks made it into the top-eight at the Nagoya and Lyon Grand Prix tournaments this past weekend.

Sultai Food is one of the most-played decks in competitive Magic right now, but there are other archetypes that can beat it. Several players at the Nagoya and Lyon GP events this past weekend used Control and Sacrificial based decks to outplay the dreaded Oko.

  • Grand Prix Nagoya: Yiming Zhi played Azorius Control and finished second.
  • Grand Prix Lyon: Florian Trotte played UW Control and finished seventh.
  • Grand Prix Lyon: Andreas Ganz played BR Unicycle (Rakdos Sacrifice) and finished fourth. 

Julian Felix played a Four-Colored Sacrifice deck at the Lyon GP, finishing sixth. But he also played Oko, Thief of Crowns. 

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.

Image via ChannelFireball

Simic and Sultai Food-based decks are powerful, but they aren’t unbeatable. Due to the Field of the Dead ban and the influx of UG decks, players have been hesitant to go the Control route. But that fear is slowly dissipating since Control archetypes are showing signs of a revival in Standard.  

Thanks to the brave few at this past weekend’s Grand Prix events, perhaps Mythic Championship VI will have a bit more diversity in its metagame—and less mirror Food matches.