This weekend at Grand Prix Phoenix I saw the White-Black Gideons deck on camera and it made me want to pick it up and try it. I've been trying various iterations of Orzhov Control for the past couple years, but I haven't tried it since they changed the planeswalker rule that allows you to have multiple different versions of the same planeswalker on the battlefield simultaneously.
Kyle Cohen, Gert Corthout, Diego Luz, and ZYRNAK online have been winning with the archetype in various tournaments, so I looked at each of their lists and pulled together the things I liked about each list and tried it out this week on Magic Online. I felt like there were a lot of learning points in the matches played, so instead of showing you the live matches I am using the replay method. This way we can focus on the lessons learned and talk through the plays that are complicated while fast forwarding through the ones that are not.
These are the sideboard plans used in the matches:
I'm not convinced this archetype is tier one, although I think it can be a good choice if your metagame is heavy on creature decks. The deck has some award mana draws given the high mana cost of some of the cards in the deck, but it has cheap spells to often buy itself enough time to set up. It can have a bit of a weakness to a fast Blood Moon, especially out of something like Ponza, and it can have a difficult time beating combo decks that do not get disrupted by creature removal spells. Against the creature decks such as Affinity, Humans, Hollow One and any of the Collected Company decks I think the deck is great. Going forward, I might try more copies of Wall of Omens and perhaps add a few more basic lands to combat Blood Moon. Once Dominaria is released, you'll also want to replace Leyline of Sanctity in the sideboard since it will no longer protect planeswalkers from burn spells once the new rules change goes into effect.
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