Swamps Matter (Grixis Control)

75 posts / 0 new
Last post
My (Mostly) Mono-Black Control deck has evolved sufficiently, so I want to start a new thread to get some fresh opinions. The old thread can be found here if you're interested, though. Here's the current decklist and sideboard:



Thoughts and opinions?
4 dimir charm? Hows that working out for you? That card looks a little narrow to run a full set.



replace one victim of night with an ultimate price, so you cry a little less vs aristocrats.
Dimir Charm has been really good in this deck. It really helps out in game 1 against aggro before I have access to Rolling Temblor, and it's very good against control to have some counterspells in the maindeck, however narrow they are. Being able to fix your next draw or ruin your opponent's is just gravy. It's a great card.

I have also been thinking that three Forbidden Alchemy is too many, so perhaps I'll just cut one and add Ultimate Price in its place. I do have the one Murder for troublesome things, but a Price could be a nice addition, and I don't think six spot-removal spells would be too many overall.
I'd take out some of the non-swamp duals and run basics and a playset of Evolving Wilds.  It doesn't look like you care if a first turn land ETB tapped; and you can effectively run 10 sources of each (2 basics, 4 wilds, 4 shocks) of each shared color.  I think you'll find you will have more access to any of your three colors and still being effective with swamps. 

Why no MD Dreadbore?  Personally, I run Garruk Relentless with sweepers lately as he can make dudes puppies after and is removal as my walker.  Just my observation.
4 dimir charm? Hows that working out for you? That card looks a little narrow to run a full set.



replace one victim of night with an ultimate price, so you cry a little less vs aristocrats.



d-charm is more relevant now than before...blitz being netdecked; everyone in local shops is going to want to run a naya humans. for easy all-in fnm wins.




replace one victim of night with an ultimate price, so you cry a little less vs aristocrats.



d-charm is more relevant now than before...blitz being netdecked; everyone in local shops is going to want to run a naya humans. for easy all-in fnm wins.





Ulitmate price kills a lot of things in naya blitz. Victim of night kills pretty much everything in it.

What does dimir charm do well against outside of naya humans? What are key sorceries to counter? Rakdos return? Maybe farseek?  
4 dimir charm? Hows that working out for you? That card looks a little narrow to run a full set.



replace one victim of night with an ultimate price, so you cry a little less vs aristocrats.


Ultimate price hits what? Which aristocrat are you talking about, Falkenrath Aristocrat or Cartel Aristocrat?
I think the deck would benefit from having some maindeck Dreadbore, Bonfire or Mizzium Mortars.

Not a fan of the singelton Murder here.

 
100th post on 5/29/12 500th post on 8/20/12
it makes me feel disgusting for saying this, but perhaps you should add bonfire of the damned, it is an X spell and by the time you get your ghast out he will be able to pump it for a substantial amount even if its in hand, you can make it even more effective with liliana of the dark realms  as well, might be worth considering.
What does dimir charm do well against outside of naya humans? What are key sorceries to counter? Rakdos return? Maybe farseek?  



There are a lot of utility creatures that it can pick off in plenty of decks; and countering Farseek is pretty good for hurting manabases with all the Shocklands getting fetched.
I'd take out some of the non-swamp duals and run basics and a playset of Evolving Wilds.  It doesn't look like you care if a first turn land ETB tapped; and you can effectively run 10 sources of each (2 basics, 4 wilds, 4 shocks) of each shared color.  I think you'll find you will have more access to any of your three colors and still being effective with swamps. 

Why no MD Dreadbore?  Personally, I run Garruk Relentless with sweepers lately as he can make dudes puppies after and is removal as my walker.  Just my observation.



I have too much early blue in the maindeck, and I need red early against aggro when I board in the Rolling Temblors; I need my sources early. Liliana of the Dark Realms gets me the swamps I need.

I may move back to Dreadbore maindeck, because I did lose to a Garruk Relentless on Wednesday. 
I think the deck would benefit from having some maindeck Dreadbore, Bonfire or Mizzium Mortars.

Not a fan of the singelton Murder here.



Yeah, I'm thinking of going back to Dreadbore maindeck. Mizzium Mortars would be to hard for me to overload with its cost, so that's out. And while I agree with Bonfire, I have blown my entire Magic budget on this deck already, so I'm not sure it's worth the investment. I'll proxy it and if it shines, I may pick one up, though.
 
Ultimate price hits what? Which aristocrat are you talking about, Falkenrath Aristocrat or Cartel Aristocrat?




Well, the aristocrat decks in my area operate more like b/w/r zombie decks.

To face down a bunch of vampire nighthawks, diregraph ghouls, and  blood artists, and see only victim of night in your hand for removal is to know despair.


Although, in retrospect, pillar of flame would probably be even better than ultimate price here. 




What does dimir charm do well against outside of naya humans? What are key sorceries to counter? Rakdos return? Maybe farseek?  



there are a lot of relevent spells to counter with dimir charm in the meta game, I play dimir charm  in my zombie deck and at last FNM I countered a bonfire of the damned  that someone bumped up to 13 damage, it was going to be his kill spell for me, ended up losing him the game because it left him completely defenseless. Most of the sweepers in standard are sorcieres, stops them from using any kind of duress  type effect on a deck like this, stops rakdos's return, I guess the main reason dimir charm  is so awesome and probably one of the best charms of the block is because its exactly what :B::U: wanted a killspell/counterspell in one card, the psudo-ponder  thing is just gravy.




What does dimir charm do well against outside of naya humans? What are key sorceries to counter? Rakdos return? Maybe farseek?  



there are a lot of relevent spells to counter with dimir charm in the meta game, I play dimir charm  in my zombie deck and at last FNM I countered a bonfire of the damned  that someone bumped up to 13 damage, it was going to be his kill spell for me, ended up losing him the game because it left him completely defenseless. Most of the sweepers in standard are sorcieres, stops them from using any kind of duress  type effect on a deck like this, stops rakdos's return, I guess the main reason dimir charm  so awesome and probably one of the best charms of the block is because its exactly what :B::U: wanted a killspell/counterspell in one card, the psudo-ponder  thing is just gravy.



I agree, it has been great for me so far.
One last bump... the lack of feedback means the deck must be pretty well-finalized now. Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way.
I still think you need to find room for a few rakdos keyrunes. Aside from that though, the decks pretty much done until you share testing results.
I cooked up this deck and I've had amazing results, only needed Elixir of Immortality for Mill in SB so far. 



Really been so happy with this deck so far, everything just seems to work together. Love the numbers and so on. Just had a game against a Rakdos Controlish deck that sided in 2 Pithing Needles againsnt Tamiyo and Olivia, still won with counters, olivia beating, removal, and rakdos's return 
I don't like mind grind. Does nothing other than provide a wincon, and even then is hella expensive for a wincon at that. Either jace memory adept or even nephalia drownyard would be better in it's place. Maybe even more rakdos return.


 rolling temblor is only good against aggro. This is fine if your meta is overrun with it, but the card will prove useless vs midrange and control alike. I would really recommend finding for for mizzium mortars or magmaquake.


And hey, that rakdos keyrune card is amazing.
 
Mind Grind is absolutely sick, never taking that card out of this deck. Give it a try.

Rolling temblor have been a dead draw in some matches so I think I'll SB it. Maybe I will replace it with Rakdos keyrune  

But yeah, Mind Grind I know this isn't a mill deck. But it is such a strong card just x for 3-5 can destroy their game for alot of rounds.

Thanks for input  
I got completely pwned by a Jund Midrange deck running Olivia Voldaren, Huntmaster of the Fells, and Thragtusk. My removal package is terribly ineffective against the first two, and Thragtusk is Thragtusk. I think Syncopate would be a much better sideboard option than Negate because the deck tends to have a lot of available mana.
I should also add that this deck has a very successful time against Naya Blitz/Humans post-board.
Have you considered Curse of Death's Hold as a sideboard card? Just curious. It shuts down aggro so much. I remember playing someone who had a jank esper control, and they beat my red deck because everything would die as it came into the battlefield. I figure you're not going the Nephalia Drownyard route?
This deck is very strong against aggro because I have 8 instant-speed removal spells at 2cmc and 4 super-awesome sweepers. Post-board, I get another 4 sweepers with flashback. This deck struggles against mid-range more than anything else. The control mirror is a lot better now due to 3x Rakdos's Return and 2x Sands of Delirium.
if your having problems with midranged try Appetite for Brains, thragtusk  can't be a problem if he never hits the board, evil twin  is also a funny option, midranged creatures are so good vs aggro these days that copying them can give you enough time to stabilize as a control deck; Soul Ransom  is also good slows them down and gives you a blocker or an extreme CA.
if your having problems with midranged try Appetite for Brains, thragtusk  can't be a problem if he never hits the board, evil twin  is also a funny option, midranged creatures are so good vs aggro these days that copying them can give you enough time to stabilize as a control deck; Soul Ransom  is also good slows them down and gives you a blocker or an extreme CA.



It seems all the good cards that I need to test sit squarely at 4cmc! The problem is that that spot on my curve is the most heavily crowded, so it's tough to include more without sacrificing some consistency. I really think Soul Ransom could make the SB for those difficult matchups... I tested Appetite and it requires them to have the card in hand when I cast it, so I don't think I'm going back to that.
Honestly, I'd rather run 4x Forbidden Alchemy and 2x-3x Think Twice, as there are plenty of other easy cantrips to play (such as Prophetic Prism or sideboarded in Cremate, but Impulses are key for surgical digging, often you'll be just a land or removal spell away from making a favorable play and Alchemy gets there.)

I love Sands, but Abrupt Decay is a very real problem when playing against any deck that can cast it- so you probably want to find some method of rebuy (since playing 4 Sands makes for terrible draws.)

Appetite is something you don't want to cast until turn 2 or 3 (as in, right before they get into their 4-drop range), but the relavence of hyperaggro and tempo make me think it's best left to the SB.
IMAGE(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af108/acatan/sigwynzermancopy.png) Signature by IMAGE(http://www.poke-amph.com/heartgoldsoulsilver/sprites/258.png)
I've been re-evaluating this deck lately, and here's where I'm at now:



The deck does great against aggro overall, and control matchups aren't too bad. GD Jund midrange completely hoses it, however, so I've had to heavily tailor my sideboard towards that (it's quite popular in my meta). Here's the sideboard reasoning:

Against reanimator, I bring in 3 Rakdos Charm and remove 3 Dreadbore.

Against aggro, I bring in 4 Rolling Temblor and remove 2 Rakdos's Return, Liliana of the Dark Realms, and Forbidden Alchemy.

Against control, I bring in 2 Sands of Delirium and 3 Syncopate and remove 3 Dreadbore and 2 Vampire Nighthawk (unless they are running PWers, in which case I make a judgment call).

Against Thragtusk, Huntmaster, and Olivia, I bring in 2 Evil Twin and 4 Syncopate and remove 4 Victim of Night, Forbidden Alchemy, and Vampire Nighthawk.

Thoughts on all this?
I made my own version of the deck as well, although calling it my own kind of feels like im stealing an idea because theres only a few card difference, basically added griselbrand  and army of the damned, to the deck as alternate win conditions, also added dimir charm  because I have an unnatural obsession with the card and Stensia Bloodhall  as a mana sink for later in the game if i need it; I went with stensia bloodhall  over Nephalia Drownyard  because once pithing needle  hits the field neither of us can use Nephalia Drownyard  when I name it in control match ups.

on the sideboard I changed out sands of delirium  for Mind Grind  because the esper control decks at the local FNM got smart and added witchbane orb  to their deck for control match ups, because mind grind  doesn't target them and it will always hit; also added Pithing Needle  for planeswalkers, Nephalia Drownyard  and other troublesome cards with activated abilities. I added olivia voldaren  to the sideboard to counter aggro match ups because once you get her going against aggro decks they will never recover, and I thought she would be good for midranged match ups because I just take over or kill the creatures they are relying on.

I havn't tested it out yet, and I was curious about how it went vs midranged decks, I think the deck does fine vs aggro match ups and control match ups but midranged match ups are still up in the air, do you think evil twin  is good enough to deal with them?

I would advice against syncopate  on the sideboard, a lot of the time midranged decks are using green to ramp and they might be able to out mana your spells, I would try 2 negates for control match ups and 2 dissipates for control and midranged match ups, hard counters are just nice and reliable, personal preference I guess.
I think Syncopate is just fine in the early game, and in the mid-to-late game I potentially have Crypt Ghast, so it feels good to me. I haven't tested it yet, however, so I really can't comment on its effectiveness. Evil Twin feels good as well, because it flat-out kills Legendaries, and gives me an edge against other troublesome creatures. I'm taking this list to my local Wednesday night event, so I'll have a better idea of how it does at that time.
Mind Grind is a really good card man. It's an alt-win that is a bit more efficient than Sands of Delirium or could easily go along with it. I ran a deck very similar but with uh Gilded Lotus in the mainboard in order to cast some bombs Griselbrand and Nicol Bolas of course. I won a game against Prime Speaker Bant that put me at 3 life from a Mind Grind for 10, followed by next turn flashing in a Snapcaster Mage targeting Mind Grind for 8, and I won purely because of that card. I feel like your deck is a little better than mine, though I think you could use cards like [/c]Tribute to Hunger[/c]. I completely stopped a Bant Wolf Run deck because everytime she would drop a thragtusk or anything really I'd Tribute to hunger and gain an absurd amount of life. I was at 30 life and she was at 20 after Sphinx's Revelation for 7... It was kind of absurd. Devour Flesh is also a good card, though giving the opponent life can sometimes be annoying. Every game I played people underestimated the Gilded Lotus but I was playing like 3-4 spells a turn with like 5 mana still open. I also think you should run some counters like Psychic Strike and Dissipate Also... Tragic Slip? It's a pretty solid card with the Morbid, I used it loads of times to kill things like a thundermaw hellkite and an olivia voldaren. It stops most things especially when you can go Devour Flesh or Tribute to Hunger and they sac like their mana dork or some **** and you just stop any other creature because of the morbid. Also it hits Boros Reckoner without sadness.
The point about sands of delerium is if you stick it, you mill them every turn. With mind grind, it's a one-shot all or nothing, "I must have 10+ mana up" to make this worth it" kind of a play. With sands it's a "when I resolve it, I can start winning".



I would say keep victim of night over tragic slip, since 9 out of 10 times it's better. 



as far as the list goes, I can't help but notice you have a big chunk of cards that need a hefty mana investment ( 4 cards at the 5+ slot, 7 cards counting rakdos return which you never want to play for less than 5 mana anyway). With only 4 crypt ghast, it feels like there are going to be games you just die outright to removal.

7 removal is great, but with only 4 spots for instant speed removal, and that removal being tempermental, it's more than just a little concerning. Try to diversify your removal so you can hit all threats.


My suggestions:
 
-1 victim of night
-1 dreadbore
-1 staff of nin
-1 rakdos return
+2 dimir charm
+2 dissipate
I would only sugggest mind grind  over sands of delirium  because other control decks have adapted to the environment and started using witchbane orb  as a means to counter other contorl decks in the meta game, mind grind  targets all enemy players so they can't avoid it, otherwise sands of delirium  is a far superior anwser to control, because you can continually use it.

on another note, ive been toying around with augur of bolas  in this deck with some sucess, he acts as a 1/3 wall early in the game and helps you look for some sweepers or kill spells early in the game, I think he finds a better spot in the deck than forbidden alchemy  right now, theres enough sorceries and instances to make his investment worth while, and with him as a 1/3 body for early game blockers you probably won't need vampire nighthawk as much to stablize which leaves more room for other spells; In the version i've been testing ive only been using 3 vampire nighthawk  as a sideboard option verus aggro and midranged match ups.
I saw Travis Woo playing a deck with Heartless Summoning, Crypt Ghast, and Griselbrand as 4-ofs.  I don't think Heartless applies here, but Griselbrand just takes games away when he hits the field. 
I saw Travis Woo playing a deck with Heartless Summoning, Crypt Ghast, and Griselbrand as 4-ofs.  I don't think Heartless applies here, but Griselbrand just takes games away when he hits the field. 



heartless summoning  makes me sad, it has so much potiential, but I don't think anyone is going to find a real way to play with it and make it work as a top teir deck while its in standard, the -1/-1 is too substantial to when facing midranged decks that just ramp out creatures with green, too slow when facing control decks that just blow everything up, and too slow when dealing with aggro decks that beat your face in on turn 4.

I think the place for heartless summoning  is in a combo deck of some sort, something like perilous myr  + havengul lich  or falkenrath noble  +  2 Myr Retriever, but I don't see anything like that popping up in standard for us to play with when we only 2 sets to go before it cycles out and even if it did, it won't last long.
4 dimir charm? Hows that working out for you? That card looks a little narrow to run a full set.



replace one victim of night with an ultimate price Tragic Slip, so you cry a little less vs aristocrats.




FTFY.

Ultimate Price won't do anything against any of the aristocrats, they are illegal targets as they are both multicolored.




-NW "Behold blessed perfection!" --Sheoldred, Whispering One
I think I am going to take this deck to a place where milling is the main win-con. I kind of want to cut the red splash, but Rakdos's Return is just too damn good, and having access to Rolling Temblor is pretty sweet as well. If I do cut red, then I feel like I would have to add white and end up in Esper instead.

I'm going to try to keep this in Grixis because I just love it, but we'll see what happens.
I think I am going to take this deck to a place where milling is the main win-con. I kind of want to cut the red splash, but Rakdos's Return is just too damn good, and having access to Rolling Temblor is pretty sweet as well. If I do cut red, then I feel like I would have to add white and end up in Esper instead.

I'm going to try to keep this in Grixis because I just love it, but we'll see what happens.



just take out the some of the expensive costing cards and replace them with mind grind, then the main win condition is mill, this deck is nice and flexible in the win condition area.
I've been thinking about it and I was wondering what you guys would think about Mercurial Chemister  in this deck, its a divination  every turn for   or you can kill one of their creatures by discarding something like a army of the damnned  then cast it from the graveyard for its flashback cost. I'm not sure what to think of him, the 2/3 body for 5 mana has me a little concerned because they could just searing spear  him but I think he might be worth it maybe; I wish he has a bigger body then 2/3, if he was something like a 1/5 or a 1/4 he would be significantly worth more.

EDIT: nevermind its probably too weak to removal, i'd rather have staff of nin  for late game draws.