Control Nature Pilot's Guide

Sifu teaches you how to pilot this healing juggernaut to stop aggro decks cold.

[8M] Sifu
Infinite Mana Professional Player, Seat of the Arena
January 31, 2023

It’s a new year with a new mini-expansion Winter Wanderlands and a few interesting things have changed. Well, at least one interesting thing and one not so much. The not-so-much is that aggro War is dominating the ladder with the new Woodcutter Imp giving the hoards of aggro lovers another coin-flip deck to hit face with. They are happy. The control lovers like myself? Not quite as much, but at least we got a very good consolation prize.

Control Nature became viable for the first time since I started playing. You could play it before as a counter pick in tournaments against Deception and arguably Card Draw Magic, but with the introduction of a few new cards we’ll talk about in a bit, control Nature is now ladder viable. Is it the best deck currently? Probably not. But it’s finally able to get well above 50% against a wide variety of the most popular meta decks.


My current list shown below is expensive. And if you want to perform at the top of mythic you’ll have to put in a good amount of coins to obtain the majority of these cards since a lot of them are not replaceable. However, if you don’t have the budget or don’t want to try-hard in Mythic, a budget version will be very viable, probably even at Ethereal Diamond. Later on, we’ll go through some good budget options as well.


Now, remember that control Nature is a new archetype (being competitive at least) and we have a long way to go before we figure out an optimal base list that you can tweak slightly based on the weekly meta. This has been mostly figured out with the other popular control lists, but there is so much unexplored terrain left with control Nature. That means that this list is my initial testing which will most likely change over time. To find my latest list, you can always check out my GU-profile.

So first off, which cards are absolutely most have in all control Nature lists?

Auto-includes (try hard list):

  • 1x Faeflame Blade

Best early game relic removal in the game. 2x copies most likely as long as the meta is quick.

Arguably the best 2-drop in the game. If you have this in the opening hand vs aggro, you’ll get slightly hard/wet as you wait for them to vomit their 1-drops onto the board that you’ll be ready to trade favorably with.

  • 2x Canopy Barrage

One of the best removals in the game and the main reason (alongside Selenas Mark) control nature is so favored vs Hidden Rush Deception.

  • 2x Lightning Strike

Even better than Canopy Barrage? You got it! This card is the best removal spell in the game (maybe rivaled by Savage Strike--cries as a Magic main).

The best healing card in the game. 2-mana heal 10 and more likely than not, generate a random card. Super strong.

Put two copies of this card into any control list and it’s instantly better. Draw, tempo, and removal all combined into one OP card.

You get 6/6 in stats, 4 heal, and a potential further upside all for 5 mana. Since you don’t need the wild tag for Wild Fire with this deck, Avatar is just straight-up better than the already very strong card Valewarden.

This card alone made control Nature good. It makes you survive to get to your Demos against aggro while also enabling you to outlast control Magic and control War. Even against certain combo decks like Schoolteacher or Arcane Burst, it makes you unkillable if they can’t go off pre-Winter’s Bounty.

Very strong removal that’s important to hit when you get to 6-mana versus aggro decks. This card gives you so much value and is just a straight-up better version of The Hunt.

Auto includes in all control lists.

This card is just too strong to not have in your control List. The power level is a notch above pretty much all other cards in the game so if you can, put it in.

Great cards that should be strongly considered:

Maybe cards - Has some potential:

Meta Dependent cards to consider:

Okay, that was a huge ass list of cards to consider. And therein lies a lot of potential for a lot of tinkering to find an optimal list. It’s going to take a lot of time and surely will change over time as the meta changes but so far, we are in fairly unexplored territory. Exciting!

Budget Replacements

If you want to try out the list on a budget, I reckon you can do pretty well with these replacements:

2x Compost Charm -> 2x Black Jaguar - You can compensate for a lack of healing with a better early game where you hopefully take less damage. Jaguar is such a strong card that it’s not a horrible trade.

Avatar of Nature -> Valewarden Minotaur/Falling Star - Luckily Nature has a crazy amount of good 5-drops. These two should be the highest on your priority list if you have room.

Jason, Medea’s Muse -> Curious Wisp - Wisp does a lot of the same things as Jason. Prevents fatigue and gives you a win condition. Try and wait to play it until your deck is empty.

2x Demorgogans -> 2x The Hunt/Sage of Renewal - This one will probably hurt the most. Sage will be better generally versus control and The Hunt will be better versus aggro.

Thaeriel, the Fallen -> Guerilla Gardener - Big value drop that is very underrated. Not on par with the emo kid but very good.


You need to find your sweatpants, get some snacks, and start-up Sambams stream on a second monitor because you’re going to be chilling while playing this deck. Your win condition is to outlast your opponent. Keep removing stuff, keep healing up and you win in fatigue. So how do you not die?

The way you lose is if you let the board get too big. The only thing control Nature is missing is an effective board clear like Carnage Sweep or Lysander’s Mercy. You have a crazy amount of single removal and then mostly Enchanted Vines for AoE. Your big weak point is that most of your removal can’t be targeted.

So say your opponent has on board Oddie + Skollkin Valkyrie. Now it gets complicated to clean up the board but still possible. You add just a 3rd creature and it becomes a nightmare. So your only job is to try and keep the board as small and with as little health as possible. Even in late-game, you can’t fuck it up, since your opponent doesn’t have to worry about over-committing. That is also why I have Moramag and Seasonal Rebirth on the list of interesting cards since they might partially solve this problem.

For God Power, you’ll 95% of the time pick Selenas Mark since it’s perfect for your fatigue gameplan. The only time you should pick Badger, is when you’re against another super slow control deck or scary combo deck. For example I would pick it against control Light, control Death (that is not playing Sulphuric Rain) and most combo decks like Portal Wrangler or Dralamar.

So your early game will often decide the game. Do you have Boar in the opening hand alongside some other early stuff? Then you’re favored versus most decks. If you don’t, and you’re against aggro, you’re unfavoured.

That’s also why you can’t just use most turns to just heal up while letting your opponent's board escalate.

If you do manage to get to late-game and have your opponent's board under control, you’ll likely win if you find time to play your Thaeriel. The only other thing you should be keeping an eye on is if your opponent has Polyhymnia in their list. Do you have an answer like Grass Roots in your deck? Fine, chill. If not, you have to start sweating and putting on as much pressure as you can so you can close out the game before 9-mana. Thaeriel is your best bet as always.

I’m not going to go over the different matchups in this guide since they all play very identically and there’s little finesse needed that you haven’t learned already from playing other control decks. Just remember the basics, don’t get in lethal range, keep clearing the board while drawing as much as possible, and don’t play Wisp/Jason before late-game/fatigue stage.

Have fun and let the creative juices flow while tweaking your own control Nature-list. Maybe you’ll be the one coming up with the new meta breaker that’ll get Nature back in the top 10 Weekend Ranked. It’s been a while and about time. Good luck fellow gamer.

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