[Post Rotation] Grixis Control

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With blood crypt rotating in,  there's good reason to favor Liliana of the Dark Realms and mutilate.  You can de-emphasize your blue (you're really only splashing for snappy and nico bolas anyway) and increase your swamp count for more consistency.  

Niv-mizzet works, But I think I like Staff of Nin better.  Especially since you're so light on blue anyway.

I would like to see more point removal.  We don't know how important hexproof is going to be in the new meta yet, but tribute to hunger may be the weapon of choice here.

 I really like desecration demon and griselbrand as well.

I guess what I'm really saying is that your blue is not really doing very much for you.   And the one thing you despately need is some sort of life gain.  I think G/B zombies and rakdos aggro are both going to be very fast.  That will cause this deck some problems without some sort of life gain.

Oh, and you should definitely consider curse of death's hold in the main.  It's just too relevant not to use right now. 
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Liliana of the Dark Realms is the forum's troll bait. 

I'm working on a desecration demon/mutilate/blood artist deck myself. I don't think it'll be an FNM champion, but I think it'll be a fun standard/casual deck to play. 

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Well to cover everybody's comments, I'd agree with the Slaughtergames, perhaps just keep it in the SB for now. THough why is the Izzet Charm weak? Counter, burn, and even draw in a two cmc spell. And as for the Counterflux, there are four cards in the set that can't be countered Counterflux amongst them, another of which you said wasn't all that great. So why not play it?

The Bonfires do work, and there is the Blasphemous Act[c] in the sideboard. The three [c]Vampire Nighthawk can do some lifting in terms of slowing down aggro, though other boardwipes seem a little underwhelming. I've seen Curse of Death's Hold used to good effect, so perhpas that?

I'm also not sold on the deck being light on blue. Counterspells, all of my draw, my snapcasters, and my two bombs all require it. Staff of Nin also seems underwhelming.That said, I think Tribute to Hunger could be a good SB, and I may need to yet find space for Griselbrand.

Finally, Havengul Lich seems like good fun. Get Snapcaster round 2, bring back Olivias and Nighthawks, etc. It might just be more fun though than truly competitive. I'll try it for an FNM or two just to have my laughs and to be sure, but I may ultimately replace it.

So in trimming Havengul Lich and Slaughtergames to work toward an 'official' list let's call it, what to add?
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With blood crypt rotating in,  there's good reason to favor Liliana of the Dark Realms and mutilate.  

I would like to see more point removal.  We don't know how important hexproof is going to be in the new meta yet, but tribute to hunger may be the weapon of choice here.

  . 


blood crypt does not magically make mutilate playable in a 3 color deck.

the ONLY deck that should even consider running mutliate and is 3 colors is jund. 

and i don't understand anyone's fascination with grieselbrand in standard... its too slow to be even considered. 

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Snapcaster Mage is the best card of all time. How do you deal?

There are a lot of cards that can't be countered, thanks to cavern of souls.

Izzet charm's counter mode will pretty much never do anything.  Why would anyone play a noncreature spell?  Shock is... underwhelming. 



Caverns aren't the be all end all of the format. There are plenty of Planeswalkers, Enchantments, damage spells, etc. that you'll want to be able to counter. And a control deck, with blue, that can't counter? That seems to be depriving yourself of a very useful tool.

That being said, there are empty slots in the deck. What might work?
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[C]negate[/c] and dissipate are the only counterspells you need.
Staff of Nin is almost never a bad card in control.
This list is too reliant on it's Planeswalkers or Creatures sticking to do much. Silly as it sounds, Nephalia Drownyard is absolutely key to keeping those pesky control decks from mauling you, while giving you something to do with your spare mana. Your list strikes me as infering that you're afraid of grinding a game out and then having no way to kill your opponent, which is something you really can't avoid in a good control deck, but usually at that point you've done too much for your opponent to recover. If that's a bullet you can't bite, then you should probably play a more aggressive build
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This list is too reliant on it's Planeswalkers or Creatures sticking to do much. Silly as it sounds, Nephalia Drownyard is absolutely key to keeping those pesky control decks from mauling you, while giving you something to do with your spare mana. Your list strikes me as infering that you're afraid of grinding a game out and then having no way to kill your opponent, which is something you really can't avoid in a good control deck, but usually at that point you've done too much for your opponent to recover. If that's a bullet you can't bite, then you should probably play a more aggressive build



I really don't understand what you're saying; in your mind, what ought a Grixis control list look like? What is functionally wrong with the deck?
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This list is too reliant on it's Planeswalkers or Creatures sticking to do much. Silly as it sounds, Nephalia Drownyard is absolutely key to keeping those pesky control decks from mauling you, while giving you something to do with your spare mana. Your list strikes me as infering that you're afraid of grinding a game out and then having no way to kill your opponent, which is something you really can't avoid in a good control deck, but usually at that point you've done too much for your opponent to recover. If that's a bullet you can't bite, then you should probably play a more aggressive build



I really don't understand what you're saying; in your mind, what ought a Grixis control list look like? What is functionally wrong with the deck?




Its really the fact that you dont have that "big" spell that can win you the game that ISNT a creature/Planeswalker. in the past it was the Ultimatum and Sorin's Vengeance. Could be something like a backbreaking enchantment even. Just looking through the options there really isnt a great non-PW/Creature out there for Grixis right now.


Just my opinion though. 
This list is too reliant on it's Planeswalkers or Creatures sticking to do much. Silly as it sounds, Nephalia Drownyard is absolutely key to keeping those pesky control decks from mauling you, while giving you something to do with your spare mana. Your list strikes me as infering that you're afraid of grinding a game out and then having no way to kill your opponent, which is something you really can't avoid in a good control deck, but usually at that point you've done too much for your opponent to recover. If that's a bullet you can't bite, then you should probably play a more aggressive build



I really don't understand what you're saying; in your mind, what ought a Grixis control list look like? What is functionally wrong with the deck?




Its really the fact that you dont have that "big" spell that can win you the game that ISNT a creature/Planeswalker. in the past it was the Ultimatum and Sorin's Vengeance. Could be something like a backbreaking enchantment even. Just looking through the options there really isnt a great non-PW/Creature out there for Grixis right now.


Just my opinion though. 



Often that's a Devil's Play, which in my build before the rotation was a two of. [c]Staff of Nin[/] is one that's been recommended here, but does anything spring to mind for you the likes of which you're describing?

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This list is too reliant on it's Planeswalkers or Creatures sticking to do much. Silly as it sounds, Nephalia Drownyard is absolutely key to keeping those pesky control decks from mauling you, while giving you something to do with your spare mana. Your list strikes me as infering that you're afraid of grinding a game out and then having no way to kill your opponent, which is something you really can't avoid in a good control deck, but usually at that point you've done too much for your opponent to recover. If that's a bullet you can't bite, then you should probably play a more aggressive build



I really don't understand what you're saying; in your mind, what ought a Grixis control list look like? What is functionally wrong with the deck?




Its really the fact that you dont have that "big" spell that can win you the game that ISNT a creature/Planeswalker. in the past it was the Ultimatum and Sorin's Vengeance. Could be something like a backbreaking enchantment even. Just looking through the options there really isnt a great non-PW/Creature out there for Grixis right now.


Just my opinion though. 



Often that's a Devil's Play, which in my build before the rotation was a two of. [c]Staff of Nin[/] is one that's been recommended here, but does anything spring to mind for you the likes of which you're describing?



I understand that Devil's Play has flash back but the lack of a Rakdos's Return even out of the bord is disapointing, especialy if your looking for a way to beat control mirrors late game. The amount of value that card generates is insane.
This deck is also missing a certain 6/6 flying trample demon. Jk Abyssal Persecutor isnt in standard.
This list is too reliant on it's Planeswalkers or Creatures sticking to do much. Silly as it sounds, Nephalia Drownyard is absolutely key to keeping those pesky control decks from mauling you, while giving you something to do with your spare mana. Your list strikes me as infering that you're afraid of grinding a game out and then having no way to kill your opponent, which is something you really can't avoid in a good control deck, but usually at that point you've done too much for your opponent to recover. If that's a bullet you can't bite, then you should probably play a more aggressive build



I really don't understand what you're saying; in your mind, what ought a Grixis control list look like? What is functionally wrong with the deck?



You're too threat dense :P

-Add Ghost Quarter because lands that do stuff are hard to supress
-Add Nephalia Drownyard because you need something to do to grind out other slow decks (and possibly side out for more Ghost Quarters or removal)
-If you don't plan to play Gilded Lotus Niv and Bolas are hard to make profitable
-4 Snapcaster Mages is too many when you want to cast larger spells
-Lilianas and Permission (Counterspells) are very bad to lean on, even though they can absolutely dominate some games. Try using fewer preboard to minimize those awkward game 1s.
-Try types of removal other than burn. Blustersquall, Cyclonic Rift, Devastation Tide and other non-"kills stuff", non-"burn" can make you more resilient to resistant opponents.
-Staff of Nin and other value oriented cards can be wholly important to making you more of a threat.
-Forbidden Alchemy seems key

Don't worry so much about having an "I win" card. I also agree about Rakdos's Return... But I also think Increasing Confusion postboard is a very real card too.
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Forgive me if I'm clinging, maybe too strongly, to my old build. It served me well since Innistrad came out and I suppose I'm set in my ways.

Though effect lands are rare in my meta, so Ghost Quarter would probably be a SB card. It's very much an aggro meta. In terms of effect lands in my own deck, I like the Desolate Lighthouse as it allows me to dig into the deck and find what I need. I'll test Nephalia, but I'm not totally sold as of yet.

As for the Snaps, whether it's bounce or burn, kill or counter, he's valuable. I would only feel comfortable at 3x, and maybe trim it to two after play testing.

Liliana and counters have served me admirably. What is the purpose of taking out my effects that take out threats before they even reach the board? I'd much rather counter their Jace than have to waste a Dreadbore. And against the slower matchups you displayed concern over, they're all stars.

The logic of the burn route is that with Magmaquake, every creature on my field that isn't a snap survives, and a wipe of their board while mine is virtually if not totally untouched can really wreck an aggro decks day. And against control, magmaquake also roasts planeswalkers. That, and burn seems a more permanent solution if you will, where Blustersquall only stalls them. Hell, without the burn route it's just a U/B control.

I'm still considering the Staff, and Forbidden Alchemy is something I probably ought add.
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The logic of the burn route is that with Magmaquake, every creature on my field that isn't a snap survives, and a wipe of their board while mine is virtually if not totally untouched can really wreck an aggro decks day. And against control, magmaquake also roasts planeswalkers. That, and burn seems a more permanent solution if you will, where Blustersquall only stalls them. Hell, without the burn route it's just a U/B control.
\



The idea isn't to do away with all of the burn, but to vary the types of removal and stalls available to you (Blustersquall is an absolute stall, but sometimes you want to wait until your next draw step to do much of anything, sometimes pulling more value for your wipes, waiting for that next land drop etcetcetc)
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The logic of the burn route is that with Magmaquake, every creature on my field that isn't a snap survives, and a wipe of their board while mine is virtually if not totally untouched can really wreck an aggro decks day. And against control, magmaquake also roasts planeswalkers. That, and burn seems a more permanent solution if you will, where Blustersquall only stalls them. Hell, without the burn route it's just a U/B control.
\



The idea isn't to do away with all of the burn, but to vary the types of removal and stalls available to you (Blustersquall is an absolute stall, but sometimes you want to wait until your next draw step to do much of anything, sometimes pulling more value for your wipes, waiting for that next land drop etcetcetc)



Gotcha. You'll understand my concern then since I thought you were encouragin me to just forgo the burn entirely. So probably something to the tune of two Blustersquall to slow down those aggro decks just a bit?


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cut the izzet charm, it has a low overall power level, cut the counterflux, it's only relevant when there's something that CAN be countered, cut the slaughter games, it's bad against decks with lots of redundancy, cut the lich, it just doesn't do that much.



Really Cat?  What makes you say Izzet Charm is weak?

I've loved the card so far.  Feels strong, almost never a dead card in hand.  Always love drawing it or having multiple in my opening hand.  Super flexible all around.

Just me?   

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Took first out of 32 with the following list:

1x Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
2x Liliana of the Veil

1x Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
3x Olivia Voldaren
3x Vampire Nighthawk
4x Snapcaster Mage

3x Dissipate
3x Izzet Charm
4x Think Twice
2x Forbidden Alchemy
3x Magmaquake
3x Pillar of Flame
1x Devil's Play
1x Mizzium Mortars
1x Dreadbore

4x Steam Vents
4x Blood Crypt
4x Sulfur Falls
4x Drowned Catacomb
4x Dragonskull Summit
2x Island
2x Swamp
1x Desolate Lighthouse

SB: (made after FNM. it was thrown together heading in)
1x Liliana of the Veil
1x Magmaquake
1x Dreadbore
2x Duress
2x Tribute to Hunger
2x Pithing Needle
?

It's a touch odd and it's the first night after the rotation, so it may not last. However, I went toe to toe with a selesnaya deck and to Jund zombie lists, so there's something to it.

And I'm glad of my decision to run Izzet Charm. There was not a point in any game where it felt like a dead card.

I'm also still looking to building the SB is anyone has ideas or suggestions to offer.
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It's a touch odd and it's the first night after the rotation, so it may not last. However, I went toe to toe with a selesnaya deck and to Jund zombie lists, so there's something to it.



When you say "Toe to toe", does that mean you won those games by a slim margin, or did you barley lose them? If you lost, then what did you feel like you were missing that would have put you over the top to win in those match-ups?

I think Nephalia Drownyard would be a good choice here. And call me a bandwagoner but you need moar Mizzium Mortars! maybe switch the Magmaquake numbers with Mortars'.


It's a touch odd and it's the first night after the rotation, so it may not last. However, I went toe to toe with a selesnaya deck and to Jund zombie lists, so there's something to it.



When you say "Toe to toe", does that mean you won those games by a slim margin, or did you barley lose them? If you lost, then what did you feel like you were missing that would have put you over the top to win in those match-ups?

I think Nephalia Drownyard would be a good choice here. And call me a bandwagoner but you need moar Mizzium Mortars! maybe switch the Magmaquake numbers with Mortars'.



Took first for the night, so I won all my matchups not losing so much as a game; I've got something here.

As far as the matchups:

Jund Zombies - 2:
The first five turns or so are spent burning and killing their creatures, then using creatures like Nighthawk, Olivia, and Niv to control what they bring out from there.

Pillar of Flame proves valuable, to the surprise of no one, and Magmaquake does a lot of lifting, wiping their board at instant speed. Tribute to Hunger was also good in this matchup, once again some instant speed removal with added benefit of life gain; gets around regenerate too, which can be quite relevant against zombies with their Lolteth Troll. The instant speed burn is also helpful as you can just toast off whatever they were trying to attatch Rancor tp, giving you one less of those to deal with.

I'm also under the impression that Nephalia Drownyard would screw you here. By the time it's up and running, I think you'd just be putting crawlers and scavenge stuff in the yard for them.

Selesnaya -2:
The graveyard hate that they have is one the toughest things to circumnavigate. Against most matchups it's in the side, but with Dryad Militant you have to deal with it a lot earlier, and Rest In Peace proves a solid pain. Sigarda, Host of Herons can only be countered or traded with one of the flyers in the deck, and nearly lost me a game in a selesnaya matchup.

Here it seems you want more spot removal, and counters are quite valuable for Thragtusk and the like. More Mizium Mortars would also be valuable here, I think. They also have the option of Rootborn Defenses against your wipes, so leaving counter mana up is probably a good idea.

Rakdos -1:
The easiest matchup of the night. A Nighthawk turn three then a two-point Magmaquake when they swing in the next turn handles their strong board presence early on. Though I will say this is another matchup against which Tribute to Hunger shines. Their strength is in their potent four drops. Wipe the board of the small threats, then either chump a Nighthawk or force them to Tribute their big demon and then it's just a matter of time.

However, Rakdos's Return is worth leaving up the countermana. If things go well, their intention seems to be to get a few unleashed critters on the board early on, then wreck your hand to get rid of your answers and make it safe to cast their large threats.


What I feel I need to prepare for is an Azorious matchup. More countermana is probably a wise choice, and maybe Slaughtergames as unless I deal with them preemptively their enchantments are going to keep down whatever their detain can't. Rakdos's Return seems like a good SB against this matchup, probably replacing Devil's Play. My thinking is that in this matchup the game is going to be much less about burning things on the board, and more about controling their hand and utilizing your counters. Judge's Familiar will probably be used to throw a wedge in this plan, so Magmaquake will stay Main deck as at least a two of in this matchup, and Olivia will probably pull her weight here.



I'm also thinking about Tormod's Crypt in the side with all the graveyard shenanigans running around. Cremate might not be a bad Main Deck option to consider given so many of the tough decks right now utilize their yard.

That's what I've got so far for meaningful feedback. I'll be updating the list on the frontpage with the new list and an updated SB.

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Took first out of 32 with the following list:

1x Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
2x Liliana of the Veil

1x Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
3x Olivia Voldaren
3x Vampire Nighthawk
4x Snapcaster Mage

3x Dissipate
3x Izzet Charm
4x Think Twice
2x Forbidden Alchemy
3x Magmaquake
3x Pillar of Flame
1x Devil's Play
1x Mizzium Mortars
1x Dreadbore

4x Steam Vents
4x Blood Crypt
4x Sulfur Falls
4x Drowned Catacomb
4x Dragonskull Summit
2x Island
2x Swamp
1x Desolate Lighthouse

SB: (made after FNM. it was thrown together heading in)
1x Liliana of the Veil
1x Magmaquake
1x Dreadbore
2x Duress
2x Tribute to Hunger
2x Pithing Needle
?

It's a touch odd and it's the first night after the rotation, so it may not last. However, I went toe to toe with a selesnaya deck and to Jund zombie lists, so there's something to it.

And I'm glad of my decision to run Izzet Charm. There was not a point in any game where it felt like a dead card.

I'm also still looking to building the SB is anyone has ideas or suggestions to offer.

i certainly like the list, but i would play a gilded lotus singleton in it (it probably wouldn't be good, but i love that card, and the list is loaded with ubersinks).

for the board, seems like graveyard strategies aren't inhibited here.  slaughter games?  rakdos charm?

i certainly like the list, but i would play a gilded lotus singleton in it (it probably wouldn't be good, but i love that card, and the list is loaded with ubersinks).

for the board, seems like graveyard strategies aren't inhibited here.  slaughter games?  rakdos charm?


I've thought about mana rocks before, and were I to put one in it would be either Gilded Lotus or Chromatic Lantern. The lotus for ramp (turn 6 bolas), the lantern for fixing in a tri-color deck. Yet I just haven't had need of them, and whenever I was thinking where I might put one in, I always came to the conclusion that it was better as a mortars or devil's play.

Graveyard Strategies are a concern, though I haven't faced one yet other than zombies. And for zombies, Pillar of Flame takes care of the gravecrawler issue, and by the time they can use scavenge in any meaningful way I've got the board pretty well locked down. Slaughtergames ought be in the sideboard, though I'm not sure where I'll work in Rakdos Charm.
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Have you considered adding Hypersonic Dragon? It could increase the appeal of your sorceries and can turn all your cards into counters.
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