Four-Color Yorion Control Deck Guide – Zendikar Rising Standard

Our Standard Four-Color Yorion Control deck guide features the best deck list for MTG Arena. You can find some general strategy advice and a breakdown of the deck’s key cards and sideboard.

Whale, whale, whale…

Hello everybody, Sam Rolph back at it again with another deck primer! Today, I will be talking about Standard and the new hot technology that Brad Nelson created. This deck is a Sultai Control deck effectively splashing Elspeth Conquers Death. If you’re sick of Omnath mirrors, this might be the deck for you! 

So this is an 80 card control deck and below I will break down all of the card choices and their roles.

Interaction Suite:

Negate: A weird choice considering the breakout card from Zendikar being Omnath, however you’re not really interested too much in countering the actual creature, apart from the mana and the card it creates on entering, Omnath does not really interact with our strategy. The real cards we care about are Escape to the Wild’s and Genesis Ultimatum, those are the main ways they go over the top of our strategy and we need to always have an answer or stop them from playing these cards by disrupting their mana. 

Mythos of Nethroi: An excellent catch-all; a little clunky but this removal spell lets you play the flash role very effectively, as you can leave up cards like Neutralize/Negate/Shark Typhoon, and pick and choose where you fight your battles. Being able to answer anything from planeswalkers to the (un)luckiest clover is a huge boon for not getting caught off-guard by anything new on the ladder!

Agonizing Remorse: A slight downgrade to Thought Erasure, which has left Standard. However this card is still incredible; its utility in exiling cards in the graveyard like Uro or Woe Strider adds to its value. Our strategy is to trade card for card with our opponent and let our Yorion and late game cards take over. 

Bloodchief’s Thirst: A flexible removal spell but the big draw to it is that we play a lot of tapped lands, so having a card that lets us kill a Lotus Cobra on the draw while also letting us develop tapped mana and, even in the late game, being able to answer anything makes this card an all star. 

Confounding Conundrum: This card is one of the best ways to interact with players trying to make multiple land drops in a turn; it punishes Uro and even fetch lands! Also, if you can find the time to develop multiple, it really impacts Omnath deck’s ability to generate multiple land drops. The added value to this card is that it also replaces itself and you get to generate an extra card off it when you cast Yorion.

Finishers and Late game:

Shark Typhoon Art by Caio Monteiro
Shark Typhoon Art by Caio Monteiro

Elspeth Conquers Death: While I am not sold on this card being excellent in the meta game, and it definitely feels like without any planeswalkers and only a couple of cards to reanimate on the final mode it’s not at its best in this deck. However the taxing mode on Elspeth Conquers Death is incredibly punishing to Genesis Ultimatum gamers and also being able to flicker it with Yorion or Reanimate Waker of Waves gives this card a lot of value. 

Shark Typhoon: This deck plays a flash role quite often and, especially after sideboard, Shark Typhoon is an excellent way to beat down and use your mana at instant speed. I don’t really know how else I can sell you on this card being great if you don’t already believe in the power of Sharknado. 

Waker of Waves: Probably the single card that looks most out of place in the entire deck! However this card plays a very important role. This card is kind of like an anticipate however it puts the cards in the graveyard which fuels Uro and like I mentioned earlier: Putting this card in the graveyard is a huge plus as you can reanimate it with Elspeth Conquers Death and create a large 8/8 Whale to beat down your opponent with. I think we are yet to explore the full power of this whale and this is just the beginning. This fish is surely benefitting from the smaller pond that rotation has put it in and will be taking your ranks for months to come. 

Uro: I’m not going to tell you how good this card is as that’s been done to death. However, I will tell you some downsides of this card because it probably needs some. When you are putting lands into play with Uro, if they are the flip lands, you can only place them on the front side. You also cannot put the spell-lands into play on either side, so be aware of this when making your land drops, as playing this deck and having good mana is incredibly tricky. 

Tips and Tricks:

Sneaky Whale: You can put a pause on your draw step before Elspeth Conquers Death triggers its 3rd mode. On your draw step, you can discard Waker of Waves and reanimate your Whale vs an unsuspecting opponent.

Conundrum’s Conundrum: While Conundrum is very good, it does have a downside. If you have one in play, your opponent can return their cycling lands or spell-lands and generate value off cards like cultivate, which can sometimes be a downside, so be careful on how and when you play this card. 

Shaky Mana: I didn’t really have a good title for this one, The mana base in this deck is incredibly hard to manage, but the only white card you want to play is Elspeth Conquers Death. So you don’t need White mana early; I would prioritise blue and black mana early and green mana later for Uro, and white mana only if you think you will be casting ECD as early as turn 5. This deck’s mana base definitely takes a little getting used to and I was still making mistakes after multiple rounds, but it definitely gets easier the more games you play with it.


Ramp // Omnath Gamers: 

+2 Negate 
+3 Mystical Dispute
-2 Jwari’s Disruption
-1 Hagra’s Mauling
-2 Extinction Event


+3 Elder Gargaroth
+2 Scavenging Ooze
+1 Extinction Event
+2 Eliminate
+1 Heartless Act
-4 Conundrum
-2 Negate 
-2 Elspeth Conquers Death
-1 Waker of Waves


+2 Negate
+3 Dispute 
+1 Gargaroth
-1 Hagra’s Mauling
-3 Extinction Event
-2 Blood Chief

This was just a quick Primer on the deck. It’s very difficult to write concrete sideboard plans without knowing the precise configuration of the popular decks, or how things are going to shake up, so this section is incredibly rough and I would switch up plans depending on their lists. However, if there is anything in particular you would like to know, leave a comment and I will get back to you.

That will be all from me today, enjoy riding the 4 Color Whale and I hope you beat every Omnath Gamer you play against! 

1 Response

  1. brooksbs brooksbs says:

    So you’re running green only for Uro? I mean I know he’s great and all but it seems kind of clunky to be splashing a 4th color for no reason other than to fix your mana draws. I’ve been running Yorion for a long time and UWB has been working really well for me. You’re right about the Elspeth saga though…I’ve been thinking about a replacement for it but it still does a lot of work in some matches, but then again being sorcery speed makes it feel so bad sometimes considering the targets I usually want to take out with it. You’ve given me some new ideas though, so I do appreciate your twist on the deck. Thanks!

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