Grixis Bolas Control

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Lands:
4 - Steam Vents
4 - Blood Crypt
4 - Drowned Catacomb
3 - Sulfur Falls
2 - Dragonskull Summit
3 - Island
2 - Mountain
2 - Swamp
1 - Desolate Lighthouse
1 - Stensia Bloodhall
26 Lands 

Creatures:
2 - Augur of Bolas
2 - Snapcaster Mage
1 - Olivia Voldaren
1 - Sphinx of Uthuun
6 Creatures

Other Spells:
3 - Syncopate
1 - Negate
3 - Think Twice
2 - Forbidden Alchemy
4 - Pillar of Flame
3 - Mizzium Mortars
2 - Dreadbore
1 - Sever the Bloodline
1 - Rakdos Keyrune
1 - Izzet Keyrune
4 - Jace, Architect of Thought
2 - Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 - Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
28 Other Spells

Sideboard:
1 - Jace, Memory Adept
2 - Dissipate
1 - Negate
3 - Duress
1 - Sever the Bloodline
2 - Liliana of the Veil
1 - Mizzium Mortars
1 - Smelt
2 - Slaughter Games
1 - Olivia Voldaren
15 Cards in Sideboard 

the list isn't quite perfect yet or anything, but i think this is a solid start.  the idea is that it has plenty of creature hate to hold its own against aggro, especially zombies.  access to black is huge against UW control decks.  i'd like to fit a few rakdos return in here, but still working on that.  i can probably cut the mortars and sever in the board or something for a few, maybe cut the sphinx maindeck for 1 or something.

anyways, thoughts on improvement? 

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

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Nice to see others repping Grixis control. I'm running a variant that looks quite similar to yours, though budget requirements force me to cut down on things like Snapcasters. You can look at it here.

Maybe you could consider running more card selection and cutting down on the number of finishers? I'm not convinced that Jace, Architect of Thought is strong enough to warrant a playset when you run the risk of getting a hand clogged with 'walkers. I'm also surprised at the lack of sweepers.

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Stupid Jace. :< I could almost afford this list, too.
I'm not sure that 19 spells is enough for the Augur. I was running 23 and still missed fairly often. Wouldn't it be better to hold up a counter on turn two?
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Control decks need to either counter Thragtusk or play their own (preferably both). 
The mage formerly known as kedi. Team GFG - Goons From Ghana - Playing sweet decks since 2010 1:31 AM Nighthavk_: I'm actually playing B/r zombies 1:31 AM Battle7: nice 1:31 AM Nighthavk_: yeah it's pretty sweet really 1:31 AM Battle7: playing esper tokens 1:32 AM Nighthavk_: I like that deck 1:32 AM Battle7: it's sweet
5 CC is gonna be so legit by the end of this. Counter/burn/walkers/finishers in 5 flavors. Haha, awesome sauce. Snapping cloudshift for super thraggle action, bonfire with green ramp elements, terminus before cleaning up with countermagic and discard. Oh the possibilities trololol

Honestly tho, control needs white for terminus-too much recursion going on. Regular removal is next to worthless and pillar/ A fire only takes you so far
Like the list BF.  Been using a very similar list I went 4-1 with this last Friday.  Only (major) differences are my list uses 1x Grislebrand and 1x Niv Mizzet as opposed to your sphinx and Olivia. 

can't say sphinx and Olivia aren't cool here, though.  They're a pretty nice fit.  Grixis has the most "finishers" available to them compared to other control lists, imo.  

Nice list.  How's been against G/W aggro, if you've gotten to toy around against it yet?

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Why Syncopate over Dissipate? To me, I just have trouble imagining a situation in which syncopate would do anything Dissipate doesn't. And against fellow control decks, the term 'exile' is often useful.

I also like Izzet Charm in my build. I most often use it as a burn spell, since a little spot removal at instant speed helps in a lot of aggro match ups, but the counter and draw forms have their uses. Magmaquake has also been quite useful, as that instant speed board wipe can be potent.

For cuts, I would probably take out sever the bloodline, one Mizzium, and the Sphinx. I also don't see you being harmed for running only 3x Jace.
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Is Stensia Bloodhall ever relevant? Seems like you'd be better served with another Desolate Lighthouse, maybe changing the Izzet Keyrune to another Rakdos Keyrune.
Why Syncopate over Dissipate? To me, I just have trouble imagining a situation in which syncopate would do anything Dissipate doesn't. And against fellow control decks, the term 'exile' is often useful.


1) Syncopate also exiles

2) There are LOTS of times when that 1 mana against a tapped-out opponent is huge. 

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too lazy to update the list above, but rakdos charm over the smelt is the correct call, even adding a second.  that covers both random artifact hate and unburial rites decks.   if i need more yard hate, that'll come.

bloodhall is actually fairly relevant, as i win with it.  the deck doesn't have a lot of "i win" cards, so having a virtually free card that can in the game works just fine for me.

EDIT:  i'm adding evil twin because sigarda is about the only thing this deck is truly cold to.  doubles as thragtusk hate since most lists running the angel, have the beast. 

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

I produce Dubstep and House beats:

https://soundcloud.com/burning_forest

 

Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

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Im working on a list aswell has sphinx of uthuun been pulling its weight i have been running niv-mizzet, Dracogenius as my 6 drop of choice. He doesn't do much the turn you play him but if you untap he can take over a game
Some ******'s gonna run reanimator, you need to be able to remind him that it's a terrible deck and he should feel bad about himself.


[11:40] <Nighthavk> junk reanimator is so good
The mage formerly known as kedi. Team GFG - Goons From Ghana - Playing sweet decks since 2010 1:31 AM Nighthavk_: I'm actually playing B/r zombies 1:31 AM Battle7: nice 1:31 AM Nighthavk_: yeah it's pretty sweet really 1:31 AM Battle7: playing esper tokens 1:32 AM Nighthavk_: I like that deck 1:32 AM Battle7: it's sweet
1:  No, you aren't running enough creature hate for zombies.
2:  Negate is not a MD card.  It's probably not even a SB card.
3:  Charm over smelt is the best play.  Some ******'s gonna run reanimator, you need to be able to remind him that it's a terrible deck and he should feel bad about himself.  Unless it's a she, then she should feel bad about herself. 


1. i am
2. it most certainly is
3. yes 

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

I produce Dubstep and House beats:

https://soundcloud.com/burning_forest

 

Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

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1:  No, you aren't running enough creature hate for zombies.
2:  Negate is not a MD card.  It's probably not even a SB card.
3:  Charm over smelt is the best play.  Some ******'s gonna run reanimator, you need to be able to remind him that it's a terrible deck and he should feel bad about himself.  Unless it's a she, then she should feel bad about herself. 


1. i am
2. it most certainly is
3. yes 


What leads you to the beliefs expressed in 1 and 2?




4 MD Pillar of Flame with 2 snaps to get them back, along with 2 Augur of Bolas (which does double duty of both being able to dig for a pillar as well as block all of Zombies' 1 & 2 drops save for a loltroll with counters) is plenty of space dedicated to stopping zombies.  Any more specific zombie hate and you start making your deck cold against other decks in the field.

I do agree that negate probably shouldn't be MD, but it is most certainly acceptable in the SB against control and works nicely as an alternate answer to Entreats and such if you don't rip your Slaughter Games early.

Countering Rancor in Selesnya and Zombie decks is relevant as well.
Some ******'s gonna run reanimator, you need to be able to remind him that it's a terrible deck and he should feel bad about himself.


[11:40] <Nighthavk> junk reanimator is so good



I rofl'd. 

Regardless, I think you're crazy for not running Lili, but I don't know where I'd put her. -1 Izzet Keyrune, +1 Izzet Charm? I don't know what mode of the card you wouldn't want here, it's just great value. Sphinx seems awful with no way to recur it and few ways to ramp up to it. Duress feels wrong too when Appetite for Brains deals with Thragtusk. 4 Appetite 3 Slaughter Games should give you a strong way to deal with their main backbone. 

I feel like you can lose a land to put a 2nd Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker in the main board, given the fact you're running a keyrune here or there. He's just GG if he resolves, may as well double your chances of seeing him.  
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Rakdos Keyrune is just way better than Izzet, and I don't see a reason to run a split. Additionally, Mizzium Mortars has massively underperformed for me every time I've drawn it.

IMAGE(http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g424/syreal94/SIGS1AL.png) Sig by zpikduM.

Seems like this works fine against aggro and reanimator; can probably stop a token deck as well.

How does it perform against all the w/u/x control running around though? Seems like it would struggle against those
Rakdos Keyrune is just way better than Izzet, and I don't see a reason to run a split. Additionally, Mizzium Mortars has massively underperformed for me every time I've drawn it.


yea, i quickly jumped on board rakdos keyrune being the best of them all and made the switch.

mortars has been really good, then again, i'm seeing a lot of blue/white humans and selesnya decks where mortars is basically my wrath.

and to cat, others have answered you with basically my thoughts.  negate is good since this format is a lot slower and more control oriented with noncreature stuff than most think.  once you get past zombies, this format is all about the grind, and having a cheap answer like negate is nice.

pillar > zombies 

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

I produce Dubstep and House beats:

https://soundcloud.com/burning_forest

 

Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

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What do you think of nighthawk for life gain?

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I'm a big fan of barter in blood at the moment, it's usually a wrath, aside from sigarda(horribly designed card), it's answers pretty much everything.
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How useful has Forbidden Alchemy been for you instead of Desperate Ravings?

I know Forbidden lets you dig deeper, but doesn't having to toss 3 cards to get 1 hurt slightly more than drawing 2 and losing a random one? I'm just curious what draw engines work best
The mage formerly known as kedi. Team GFG - Goons From Ghana - Playing sweet decks since 2010 1:31 AM Nighthavk_: I'm actually playing B/r zombies 1:31 AM Battle7: nice 1:31 AM Nighthavk_: yeah it's pretty sweet really 1:31 AM Battle7: playing esper tokens 1:32 AM Nighthavk_: I like that deck 1:32 AM Battle7: it's sweet
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yea, i saw that page yesterday.  a little depressing all the thrags at 4-0.  the grixis list is a little awkward for my taste, but it has been really something the amount of searing spears seeing play on MODO, and not just in the obvious RDW or BR zombies either, but most decks running red.

mostly i look at the list and think "now here's someone who hasn't purchased new cards yet" 

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

I produce Dubstep and House beats:

https://soundcloud.com/burning_forest

 

Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

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I actually like Cremate a lot in Grixis decks.   Even in the maindeck.  It has applications against most decks in this format and you're running Snapcaster and Augur.  Just a thought.

Is Appetite for Brains becoming a card worth considering?  Various planeswalkers (Jace mostly), Tusk, Angels, the aforementioned Sigarda.  I dunno.  It just seems this format is much more grindy than I thought it would be. 
Appetite has been established as awesome sauce. Run 4 sb in Jund zombies, which I feel is stronger vs the meta than b/r zombies. B/g zombies is just trash.

Jund version just handles thragglrock so much better. And I'm tellin ya'll, artist and wave still get it done in the end when that late game fat like A wurms and crap hit the fan. Really lets you win out of left field.

Thrag is still a poorly designed card tho.

Has anyone found lilly of the veil useful in this format? Everytime I try to fit her in a control deck with black, it's been...lack luster.
Lily is useless in this format. Two premier decks are Thragtusk.dec and Zombie. What's Liliana going to do, 3 mana sorc edict that gains you 1 life? That doesn't look good.

Since people are realising meta is shaping up exactly as I told it would be, here's what you need to run: Essence Scatter, and loads of it. Most jund decks are extremely greedy and rely only on 3-4 threats to resolve. You don't want to bother with the tempo from Huntmaster of Thragtusk.

The mage formerly known as kedi. Team GFG - Goons From Ghana - Playing sweet decks since 2010 1:31 AM Nighthavk_: I'm actually playing B/r zombies 1:31 AM Battle7: nice 1:31 AM Nighthavk_: yeah it's pretty sweet really 1:31 AM Battle7: playing esper tokens 1:32 AM Nighthavk_: I like that deck 1:32 AM Battle7: it's sweet


Is Appetite for Brains becoming a card worth considering?  Various planeswalkers (Jace mostly), Tusk, Angels, the aforementioned Sigarda.  I dunno.  It just seems this format is much more grindy than I thought it would be. 



depending on the deck, probably yes

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

I produce Dubstep and House beats:

https://soundcloud.com/burning_forest

 

Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

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So, why not Essence Scatter? Also, think that a 3rd Slaughter Games would be worth running SB. Drawing a second one isn't generally a very bad thing, and I would think that drawing one to hit Thragtusk will be a big deal.

Also, I want Mind Control back. I want BUG to be good.

also, not a major fan of Think Twice. Think it would be better served as Desperate Ravings. 

(at)MrEnglish22

But essence requires them NOT to run caverns...and with your mana requirements ghost quarter could be a big problem to run...

However slaughter games has been soo clutch! Like Jman said, it's great in multiples and can really just make the game Unwinnable for the opponent, especially midrange.
But essence requires them NOT to run caverns



Most decks in Standard don't even run Cavern right now, and those that do don't care much about Essence Scatter to begin with (see all variations of Zombies).

Essence Scatter is really good right now.

i'm really hesitant to run essence scatter since noncreatures can be just as scary sometimes.  syncopate, therefore, should still be the main, go-to counterspell in standard.  otherwise, dissipate is a good secondary.

and wouldn't you know it.... cavern is a legal card.... only a matter of time before it starts seeing widespread play.

i don't think R&D realizes just how much they screwed up this format. 

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

I produce Dubstep and House beats:

https://soundcloud.com/burning_forest

 

Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

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True on the format sucking. Cavern is a card and will start seeing play when people realize that maindecking essence is a really quality choice.
They killed ld too. I was all excited to smash mana bases with the return to ravnica and ld got nothing. Not even Blood Moon to equalize the mana base shenanigans.
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also, not a major fan of Think Twice. Think it would be better served as Desperate Ravings. 



I was thinking this as well. The risk of losing something useful from the random discard effect seems to get outweighed by the extra card you get to draw. Anyone else agree with this?

Still looking for more opinions on Forbidden Alchemey. Do you think the ability to dig through 4 cards and grab a specific one makes up for losing 3 to the grave in this deck?
also, not a major fan of Think Twice. Think it would be better served as Desperate Ravings. 



I was thinking this as well. The risk of losing something useful from the random discard effect seems to get outweighed by the extra card you get to draw. Anyone else agree with this?

Still looking for more opinions on Forbidden Alchemey. Do you think the ability to dig through 4 cards and grab a specific one makes up for losing 3 to the grave in this deck?



the extra card you get to see, not draw

think twice and ravings net the same amount of cards.  i personally thing ravings is incredibly overrated.  i'll take think twice any day.

and alchemy is good, why woudl you care about losing cards? 

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

I produce Dubstep and House beats:

https://soundcloud.com/burning_forest

 

Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

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A friend of mine has been testing Grixis extensively after I linked him to this thread, and after back-to-back-to-back wins with this specific list, I felt I should share our success. I was playing this deck or playing against it a fair amount of the time, and we have put up solid results vs Bant, Zombies, Jund, GW, the mirror. We haven't tested Reanimator and haven't had a good time vs UWx tempo decks with maindeck Geist, but we feel it has a solid plan vs those decks and the tools to get there, so we're not super worried.


 We were on Slaughter Games in the SB to pre-emptively answer Thragtusks, Jaces, Sphinx's Revelations, and maybe opposing Nicol Bolases, when we realized Appetite hit all of those except for Revelation, which we had more than enough countermagic for. On that note, Dispel has been incredible - your opponent just doesn't get to counter your threats, or they just don't get to resolve theirs.

Dissipates in the main are in consideration, as is a singleton Devil's Play. Rakdos's Return wasn't quite getting there for us, but Devil Play's relevance vs creatures could definitely warrant testing. I'd love to fit 2 Dissipate in the MD, maybe over a Lili and something else, but the deck is playing quite smoothly as-is. At the very least I'll be updating this thread with changes / bragging due to apparent lack of need to change.

I think Draft is the best format in Magic.

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What does Lilly do for you? You can only recur a few spells with snap, and there are only so many spells you can safely pitch in whatever matchup you have.

In a format where everything comes back, her -2 seems...not so hot.

Her ult isn't even good vs aggro, only control, so why maindeck her at all?
I'm curious why you guys say the format is screwed up. I don't really play standard so you'll have to excuse my ignorance, but it seems like there are a fair number of decks and archetypes. The only thing I can think of is that each deck is centered around one over powered card and so it only seems like there are many options.
You hit it.

Play thragtusk and build.
Play zombies and build.

That's it. Thrag is in control and midrange. People splash green just for him no matter what they run.
I'm curious why you guys say the format is screwed up. I don't really play standard so you'll have to excuse my ignorance, but it seems like there are a fair number of decks and archetypes. The only thing I can think of is that each deck is centered around one over powered card and so it only seems like there are many options.



Exactly! It's basically just a question of do you play Thragtusk ? Virtually every deck is better off with Thragtusk in it and matches usually just end up with people durdling with Thragtusks until time hits or somebody messes up and gets one-shotted. Stuff like Restoration Angel and Angel of Serenity don't help the situation either.