[Development/Discussion] ~Grixis - Machine Head~ (Disruptive Aggro)

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Introduction



What is Grixis: Machine Head?
Let me start off by saying that this is not a control deck. It's midrange. It beats the opponent senseless while they are caught in a stranglehold from our disruption.

Grixis Machine Head is a modern take on an archtype that was let drop after Invasion rotated out of standard; it was a highly disruptive deck that is aggressively curved so that the opponent is forced to focus his/her efforts solely on defence until it is overwhelmed. With the release of Shards of Alara and Conflux, this archtype is now able to come back -- this time with a blue splash -- to rule the metagame again.

"Why should I play this?" you ask?
Because it is extremely fun, effective, yet addictively difficult to master; and it utilizes a strategy that has been around only briefly in the form of TarmoRack since it left the teir 1 stranglehold over the invasion-standard meta. As such, in the current meta, it will be extremely unexpected, and is versatile enough to have good match-ups against a vast array of decktypes and strategies.

"How do I play Grixis Machine Head?" you must be wondering...
In addition to wrecking the opponent's hand and board position, this new incarnation of Machine Head focuses on a relentless assault that just doesn't let up. This is brought to life by the new Unearth mechanic, which is perfectly at home in it's own shard: Grixis.

Know your match ups, and know your game plan. There are two ways to go about winning built into this deck, and it depends on the weakness(es) of the deck you're playing against and knowing how to exploit them. You have to know what you're up against as early on as possible so that your gameplan plays out the best it can, otherwise you'll end up trying to keep up if you started off wrong. Your Sideboard should be tooled around improving these aspects in either given scenario.

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Guts of Grixis



Creatures
Demigod of Revenge - A massive, difficult-to-answer beast that is widely recognized as a wrecking machine. His abilities are all extremely relevant to the deck.

Nyxathid - Your spell-base will have to cater more towards keeping him big and hard to kill. That means Sedraxis, Thoughtseize, and Blightnings are must-haves.

Sedraxis Specter - Perfect for the objective of this deck. It just wrecks control and is certainly helpful at drawing out removal, even though the opponent knows it has unearth. This card gets it's point across, dead or alive. On top of that, it's synergy with Prowler allows it to be a devastating, sneaky attacker.

Viscera Dragger - Cycling improves consistency. Tacked on to a beater that comes back is great. Having the option to hard-cast and beat/chump with it makes it just so useful - it's never a dead card. With Loxodon Warhammer, it just gets better.

Shambling Remains - Highly efficient beater that is above the curve, power-wise. And on top of all that, he has unearth, which is fantastic in this deck's attritive nature.

Oona's Prowler - An early, very aggressive and evasive beater. In addition to all that, it's also in flavor to the deck's concept, and synergizes well with Demigod, Sygg, and Unearth alike. All that the cost of 2 mana.

Sygg, River Cutthroat - Very good as an early blocker and great for overwhelming CA, assuming he stays alive; yet if he draws out removal, that's always helpful, too. The synergy with most of the cards in this deck, dealing damage in 3's, causes it to be a powerful inclusion.

Rotting Rats - The hand disruption is good when it doesn't actualy disrupt you, and his 1/1 chumpiness always helps. Unearthing him is a good way to pump your Nyxie. He's not a priority, but definately adds good support to the deck.


Instants and Sorceries

~ ~ ~ Sorceries ~ ~ ~


Blightning - Burns face, eats cards, and therefore applies pressure. Putting a stranglehold on the opponent is a main aspect of this deck, and this card does it very, very well.

Thoughtseize - It picks apart hands - those pesky cards that will wreck/stop you. It's a vital organ to this deck.

Profane Command - The utility here is amazing, and is entirely relevant to this deck; kill? good. burn? reach = good. reanimation? good. fear? good. A must-have.

Mind Shatter - The most devastating discard spell in standard right now; this card wrecks anything that is as slow or slower than Elf decks, which basically only leaves out Red and WW/Kith. MD or SB, but it is amazing with Nyxathid.

~ ~ ~ Instants ~ ~ ~


Nameless Inversion - Early on removal will be a necessity, as their hand wont be emptied right off the bat; this allows you to kill what they manage to drop early on. If you run Secluded Glen, this could prove to be worthwhile. It can pump those big threats in a pinch, too.

Agony Warp - This is a good answer to aggro as it kills one critter and prevents damage from another early on, and because we almost never have chump blockers, use this aggressively to get 2-for-1s when your opponent blocks. Works like a charm.

Terror - Still the best black removal because of its cost. The deck is so tight that it's hard to even find removal slots, but if you can get a few, run these first.

Grixis Charm - Same goes here. This kills annoying creatures, bounces annoying permanents (or CiPT lands for extra tempo ), and can help finish the game if Bitterblossom (if you run it) managed to produce a sufficient number of tokens to finish the game with a bit of mass pump. But in general, it goes in as removal. Run it if your 3-slot isn't already clogged.

Puncture Blast - As removal that is still competitive as 3cc 3 damage burn, it's Wither ability is where it really shines. In addition to preventing regeneration in most cases, it also prevents persist and deals with Shield of the Oversoul, which is are extremely annoying hurdles to have to jump at times. Additionally, it can hit big beaters with a lasting effect so it deals less damage and sticks so that you can finish it off later.

Magma Spray - 1cc can fill out the curve very well, and it's RFG aspect can help immensely against persist and Lark.

Flame Javelin - If you feel your mana base can handle this, it provides great removal and awesome reach. One problem we have is 4+ toughness critters.

Incinerate - Best burn spell in standard. It's solid, early burn that hits dome late-game/against control.

Lash Out - In a weenie-ridden meta where costs are low, chances are high that you'll win a clash, but generally, Incinerate is better.

~ ~ ~ Artifacts ~ ~ ~



Loxodon Warhammer - Rediculous with Unearth. Just rediculous. Turn 5 12 life swing, and trample? Those specters love their trample... It's stronger against Red and Tokens, and sometimes Kithkin. If you don't MD 2-3, sideboard them.


Putting the Deck Together
~The Mana Curve~
1cc - 4-8 - Curve filler is always good, but in general, any threats are too underpowering for this build, and aren't recommended. So this slot is better suited to spells.
2cc - 10-14 - Some efficient beaters may be usable at this slot, but in general, removal and disruption fit here better.
3cc - 12-16 - A lot of powerful creatures and spells fit here. It's important not to clog this slot, but more important to make sure that you utilze it.
4cc - 0-6 - Not a lot of playable cards fit in this slot. If there were, this number would differ, probably, but for the most part, we're more interested in playing multiple spells in a turn anyways, and so the 4-slot gets pushed aside.
5cc - 4-6 - Similar deal as the 4cc slot, except that our main finisher sits his big butt here.
6cc - 0-2 - There isn't much I can think of that really fits here, or anything higher that are still quick enough for midrange.
Xcc - 0-4 - The cards that fit here are very devastating, but you always want to limit X-cost spells.

~Building the Mana Base~
It's a good idea to utilize CiPT lands to help the curve out a bit. If you would have a land untapped due to what you play, play a CiPT land instead, because in general, their effects are better, obviously. The most important thing to this deck is always having the colors it needs. In all likelyhood, you will need black mana turn 1, or for your 1-drops, so it's best to use lands that can singularily add . And due to this, the black filters are generally better.


The Mana Base
Underground River, Sulfurous Springs, Shivan Reef - run 8 max, because the mana intesities in this deck demand a lot of color, and that means it's coming from here. (This is why we run Loxodon)
Sunken Ruins, Graven Cairns, Cascade Bluffs - 6 max, total, because drawing too many in the starting hand sucks.

Secluded Glen, Auntie's Hovel - Definately run these if you find your mana base if you have at least 10, even 8 of either given creature type. Pretty much the only reason Nameless Inversion sees play here.

Vivid Creek, Vivid Crag, Vivid Marsh - CiPT can be well used to fill out the mana curve decently, and make the mana base more reliable. But always start with the Necropolis.

Faerie Conclave, Ghitu Encampment - Probably not necessary as they are almost certainly too vulnerable. The red one is more viable because of first strike, which is good with the hammer.

Reflecting Pool - 3-of. Period.

Crumbing Necropolis - Better than the vivids.


Sideboard
Fulminator Mage - Kills control. Limiting their plays by tempo advantages means more stuff that they don't want to discard, but will have to.
Rain of Tears - Secondary to Fulminator mage, if necessary. It's not a creature, so it can't chump, and it can't be reanimated.

Stillmoon Cavalier - Devastates such a vast quantity of the meta that it nearly warrents maindeck mention. Swings a hammer hard.

Goblin Outlander - Since the deck is black-heavy, Stillmoon and its utility just way out-rules this guy. And even still, this guy is pretty good.

Sower of Temptation - Good against midrange, and decent against aggro. Unanswered, this can swing a game.

Banefire - In general, Profane is more relevant to the deck, so it gets the nod to MD, but SBing 3-4 of these will always be a good move for Fae, 5CC, and Bant decks.

Infest - You will need a board sweeper in your sideboard. Which one you'll be using is a meta call. This one aviods those pesky forge-tenders.

Volcanic Fallout - Hate Fae yet? Well, uncounterable, instant sweepers are always welcome.

Deathmark - Very high on the consideration list, as its range of targets is vast, to be sure. Sorcery speed is only relevant against RDW and Fae, but you wont likely use this there anyways.

Pithing Needle - Shuts down so many things - Fulminator, Archmage, Manlands, Planeswalkers, Story Circle, equipment. It's crazy good.

Relic of Progenitus - If GY Shenanegains run rampant, end them with this.

Everlasting Torment - Forge-Tenders, Story Circle, Runed Halo, fog effects, wither is good. Just hugely relevant.


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Match-Ups



Macth-ups -- Always a work in progress
Currently working on post-conflux info. The deck changed quite a bit because of the new set, so I'm just going to start the MU section over.

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Sample Decklists




From events
They'll come. Just you wait.

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Credits



Thanks and cookies to
~CyrusBales for creating that magnificent banner.
~Hudoku for the sweet dividers
~everyone who posts constructively and supportively in this thread.

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Current Thread Progress

I recommend that you read this if you are new to the thread and don't want to read loads of posts to figure out what has and hasn't been discussed.

In this section, I will summarize how the archtype-to-be has progressed in this thread. Points will be made in the following categories:

Under discussion
[indent]Deck Stregnths
Deck Weaknesses; Sideboard options to answer them
Strategies/Synergies
Individual Cards[/indent]

Determined Under Concensus (and not to be rediscussed unless new issues cause it to arise)
[indent]This will be in point form, and will contain things like cards that don't go in the deck that are often brought up.[/indent]


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Grixis Machine Head - Progress Report

The OP is undergoing an overhaul. There will now be midrange and aggro variants included, and there will be a well-organized system to help build the different preferences, and there will be match-up info for EACH build, to give you an idea of why you'd build one or another beyond preference. Different builds work better in different metas.



This will always be updated and reposted on my first post of each page. Look here if you've missed out on the thread. If anyone ever thinks something needs to be addressed in here, don't be afraid to tell me.

To clarify, I will always post a new one at the beginning of the last page. In addition, this one here will always be up to date with the one on the last page.
I don't like the prowler at all in here...instead I think the two slot should be used for critterblossom



No SB yet..also added Broken Ambitions...figured since grixis is blue...Might as well take advantage of it ...Also might think about adding some burn
Yea, bitterblossom is easily a good alternative for Prowler, assuming it + cashsieze + pain lands dont kill you.
Yea, bitterblossom is easily a good alternative for Prowler, assuming it + cashsieze + pain lands dont kill you.

That's why I md THE HAMMER!
That's why I md THE HAMMER!

*drools*

And it's really good with Unearth, too.
I'm interested in knowing how people are finding sedraxis specter in this deck. My thoughts on him are undecided as of yet. One part of me says "AWESOME", and the other part says, "harder to cast hippie".

I'm not sure how I like Broken Ambitions in this deck. This build seems like it has a very proactive disruption style, and ambitions forces you to be too reactive.

I really like BB + Grixis Charm. awesome.
personally tho I wanted to have a pre SB answer to chameleon
I haven't been able to test hippie yet, but Sedraxis specter has worked out surprisingly well. The fact that he has three power really does matter. Additionally, is infest really necessary? I can't think of anything it does that pyroclasm doesn't, and clasm is both cheaper and easier on the manabase.

I think this will be my deck of choice for standard.
I'm playing the original decklist with Bitterblossom in the place of Cashseize, Hippies in the place of Sedraxis Specter, and I'm still thinking of a replacement for Mind Shatter/Loxodon Warhammer. Would that work or does it just detract too much from the deck overall.
I think this should be a DTB because it just seems so consistant and so effective. I really liked it with land destruction but i would definitley use Hippie over Sedraxis
I haven't been able to test hippie yet, but Sedraxis specter has worked out surprisingly well. The fact that he has three power really does matter. Additionally, is infest really necessary? I can't think of anything it does that pyroclasm doesn't, and clasm is both cheaper and easier on the manabase.

I think this will be my deck of choice for standard.

Kithkin's Pro-red guy can be really annoying at times... stops regen, too. And at the point you want to cast it, it makes no difference what the CC is, really.


As far has Hyppie vs. Sedraxis: Sedraxis really fits the recursion subtheme a heck of a lot, and is probably actually EASIER to cast. The random discard is nice though. I might add 2 Hyppie in addition to Sedraxis.

I will not use counterspells in this deck... ever. Bitterblossom is a very good card in this deck. I just can't find space. I'm also worried about it + pain lands, because the noobstic takes a while to get going to compromise for it.

It wont be a DtB until it places well in major tournaments. Just wait.
i've been very interested in this type of deck...i've got a grixis control deck later i put the control list here...by now..i've been toying around with...here it's

Lands
4 Crumbling Necropolis
2 Sunken Ruins
1 Graven Cairns
2 Cascade Bluffs
1 Shivan Reef
2 Underground River
1 Sulfurous Springs
5 Swamp
2 Island
3 Mountain

Creatures
4 Fulminator Mage
4 Sedraxis Specter
4 Mulldrifter
4 Demigod of Revenge

Spells
4 Thoughtseize
4 Blightning
3 Grixis Charm
4 Rain of Tears
2 Makeshift Mannequin
1 Profane Command
3 Firespout
2 Cruel Ultimatum

Sideboard
4 Deathmark
4 Bottle Gnomes
2 Mind Shatter
3 Everlasting Torment
2 Pithing Needle
This deck is looking really good. I just have one question, How has the Warhammer performed? It looks cute with Unearth creatures but has it been too situational. I alternate between a more control-ish version with Ultimatiums, and well similer to Mrc Brazil's list above (minus Rain of Tears and one Nucklavee added) and a list similar to yours. I personally like the interaction between Bitterblossom and Charm more than Warhammer, but that's just my preferance.
This deck is looking really good. I just have one question, How has the Warhammer performed? It looks cute with Unearth creatures but has it been too situational. I alternate between a more control-ish version with Ultimatiums, and well similer to Mrc Brazil's list above (minus Rain of Tears and one Nucklavee added) and a list similar to yours. I personally like the interaction between Bitterblossom and Charm more than Warhammer, but that's just my preferance.

My mono-black deck ran Unearth + Warhammers tonight, and the hammer was usually just equipped to something else... but a few times they clicked, and they're great together. Furthermore, that deck ran no specters, which are much better with hammer than draggers.

Also, Bitterblossom + Hammer is very good in a slow game.


Another note, and this is going into the OP:

I'm really trying to push Control builds out of here. This is a midrange-aggro deck. No cruel ultimatums, mannequins, etc. We want the curve low, the drops recusive, and the abilities and spells to be highly disruptive.
I've been playing the control version for a while now, and trying out different build of it. I just drew up a new aggro version, and have been trying it out.

While I haven't tried the Dragger yet, I've been running Blossom instead and it has won me most of my games, by either the token holding a Big Stick or with three or four tokens and a Grixis Charm. No one expects that extra 6-8 damage. I've been having problems with board sweeps though, especially because Oona's Prowler only has 1 toughness.
I'll post my deck lists later, once I've done more testing. One thing I'm testing is Earwig Squad in the sideboard, to switch with Agony Warp against Toast. I figure I need the disruption and the body more than removal with them, and I run 4 blossoms and 4 prowlers.
I've been playing the control version for a while now, and trying out different build of it. I just drew up a new aggro version, and have been trying it out.

While I haven't tried the Dragger yet, I've been running Blossom instead and it has won me most of my games, by either the token holding a Big Stick or with three or four tokens and a Grixis Charm. No one expects that extra 6-8 damage. I've been having problems with board sweeps though, especially because Oona's Prowler only has 1 toughness.
I'll post my deck lists later, once I've done more testing. One thing I'm testing is Earwig Squad in the sideboard, to switch with Agony Warp against Toast. I figure I need the disruption and the body more than removal with them, and I run 4 blossoms and 4 prowlers.

One thing I noticed is that not running Bitterblossom makes their mass removal dead. They'll side it out... then you side in blossom. HAH take that.

My build wins without it.


On another note, I got to test against my old type 1 sligh deck, with all the bell and whistles... and most of the time, I wrecked it. That's one of the best decks I've ever seen in person... rips apart almost everything I've played against (for the last 11 years)... and this deck is good against it, 60-40. What I like about that is the consolation that my red deck is MUCH faster, MUCH more powerful than modern RDW... so our match-up against that will be even better. And I don't run Bitterblossom because of this. I even want to go as light as possible on the pain lands. The only problem might be the Demigod itself, what with the recursion issues, and the sheer power. The charm can kill it... but we might need more.

So I wanna put Flame Javelin in the sideboard for Colossus and Demigods...


EDIT: and Lash Out is amazing in this deck. Replaced my Incinerates.
Here is my deck list, w/Bitterblossom

// Lands
4 [SHM] Graven Cairns
6 [10E] Swamp (3)
3 [SHM] Mountain (2)
4 [SHM] Reflecting Pool
3 [SHM] Sunken Ruins
4 [ALA] Crumbling Necropolis

// Creatures
4 [SHM] Demigod of Revenge
3 [ALA] Sedraxis Specter
4 [LRW] Oona's Prowler

// Spells
3 [ALA] Grixis Charm
4 [ALA] Blightning
4 [MOR] Bitterblossom
3 [SHM] Flame Javelin
4 [LRW] Thoughtseize
3 [ALA] Agony Warp
2 [LRW] Profane Command
2 [10E] Loxodon Warhammer

// Sideboard
SB: 4 [SHM] Fulminator Mage
SB: 4 [ALA] Infest
SB: 3 [MOR] Earwig Squad
SB: 4 [10E] Deathmark

My build can win without the Blossoms, but having them makes the deck smoother, I think.

The Squads work okay, but the only thing I like to take for them is QnT finishers, the Oona and Archon. With most of everything else they have enought redundancy of for it not to really matter.

I'm thinking about testing Lash Out in the place of Flame Javalin, just because I mostly use the Javalin for removal, and if you win the clash, it is 6 total damage instead of 4.
Javelin would be better suited to the sideboard for killing stuff like CC and Demigod and Gouger.
Take a look at my second post. It is a thread summary that I will post on every page of my archtype-style threads from now on.


On another note, I'd like to put the point across that this thread's purpose is to develope this into an archtype. Don't be afraid to post your decks, test results if any, and opinions on the deck. All I ask is that you keep control decks out of here. That aside, please help this archtype develope.


EDIT:
another note - a certain little merfolk has come to my attention: Sygg, River Cutthroat. Good with instant 3-damage burn, Blightning, and loads of our threats. It demands testing.
Well since you asked so nicely in your post above I'll get my list on here. Haven't had the chance to test it a lot, just random games with friends so far (but very, very fun). Reminds me of the good ol' days of Invasion Machine Head.

creatures
4 Demigod of Revenge
4 Viscera Dragger delicious CA, I have high hopes for this little guy
3 Sedraxis Specter

Other
4 Blightning
4 Thoughtseize
4 Bitterblossom
4 Lash Out trying this out instead of Incinerate
4 Grixis Charm
3 Agony Warp
2 Loxodon Warhammer
2 Profane Command

Land
4 Graven Cairns
4 Sunken Ruins
4 Crumbling Necropolis
4 Reflecting Pool
3 Underground River
3 Sulfurous Springs

I've adding Warhammer in my list in place of some burn, it's been great at times clunky at others. I also added in Thoughtseize's in with the Hammer (I don't even remember what I replaced). I'm also considering changing out the painlands for some basics to lessen some pain.
Well since you asked so nicely in your post above I'll get my list on here. Haven't had the chance to test it a lot, just random games with friends so far (but very, very fun). Reminds me of the good ol' days of Invasion Machine Head.

creatures
4 Demigod of Revenge
4 Viscera Dragger delicious CA
3 Sedraxis Specter

Other
4 Blightning
4 Thoughtseize
4 Bitterblossom
4 Lash Out trying this out instead of Incinerate
4 Grixis Charm
3 Agony Warp
2 Loxodon Warhammer
2 Profane Command

Land
4 Graven Cairns
4 Sunken Ruins
4 Crumbling Necropolis
3 Underground River
3 Sulfurous Springs

I've adding Warhammer in my list in place of some burn, it's been great at times clunky at others. I also added in Thoughtseize's in with the Hammer (I don't even remember what I replaced). I'm also considering changing out the painlands for some basics to lessen some pain.

List looks real solid. One thing though, I don't see Profane doing all that much in this list. Just face melt and kill, really. I'd bump the specter count to 4, though. I think that is the optimal number.

What kinda sideboard have you put together?
Truethfully Profane's are usually used for a quick win, I do agree with replacing one Profane (moving to SB) with a Specter.

SB
4 Fulminator Mage anti-control
4 Deathmark against midrange aggro and creauters other removal couldn't kill
3 Rain of Tears my friends are control freaks
3 Sweepers Firespout Pyroclasm Infest
1 Profane Command goes in with Mage

So mainly an anti-control SB. With a little anti-aggro thrown in. IMO those are the two main decks type are going to be played, could be wrong though.
Truethfully Profane's are usually used for a quick win, I do agree with replacing one Profane (moving to SB) with a Specter.

SB
4 Fulminator Mage anti-control
4 Deathmark against midrange aggro and creauters other removal couldn't kill
3 Rain of Tears my friends are control freaks
3 Sweepers Firespout Pyroclasm Infest
1 Profane Command goes in with Mage

So mainly an anti-control SB. With a little anti-aggro thrown in. IMO those are the two main decks type are going to be played, could be wrong though.

Looks pretty solid. One card you might want to consider, though, is [c]Pithing Needle in the SB. Good for manlands and planeswalkers.
In my play group Walkers and Manlands aren't a huge issue, but I agree with adding the Needle (I would definitly do this if I were going to a tournament). Most likely replacing the Rain of Tears for sheer versitility.
In my play group Walkers and Manlands aren't a huge issue, but I agree with adding the Needle (I would definitly do this if I were going to a tournament). Most likely replacing the Rain of Tears for sheer versitility.

That would have been my suggestion. for reading my mind.
This actually look pretty good! Me like!
This actually look pretty good! Me like!

What does?
This looks like it will be my states deck. Though I am going to try and squeeze in a 2 of Sygg, river cutthroat

It turns blightning from a nice card into 2 ca 3 damage for 3. makes a specter landing on them even worse and feeds it self. Not ungodly powerful but worth the slots in my opinion. So far he has been a must answer threat for opponents though unfortunately he is not a very good top deck on his own. Though unearths at that point in the game can usually be enough to start you drawing again.
This looks like it will be my states deck. Though I am going to try and squeeze in a 2 of Sygg, river cutthroat

It turns blightning from a nice card into 2 ca 3 damage for 3. makes a specter landing on them even worse and feeds it self. Not ungodly powerful but worth the slots in my opinion. So far he has been a must answer threat for opponents though unfortunately he is not a very good top deck on his own. Though unearths at that point in the game can usually be enough to start you drawing again.

Has he done well in testing? Or does he slow the deck down too much?
Has he done well in testing? Or does he slow the deck down too much?

i wouldnt imagine he slows it down very much, since hes only 2cc and hybrid of 2 of the main colors...
i sorted out all the stuff i have for this, and started narrowing down things by "how many and if i have" of everything... will deff be workin out a starting list tonight...
i wouldnt imagine he slows it down very much, since hes only 2cc and hybrid of 2 of the main colors...
i sorted out all the stuff i have for this, and started narrowing down things by "how many and if i have" of everything... will deff be workin out a starting list tonight...

Good to hear.


As my build stands, one thing I gotta note is how unbelievable Oona's Prowler is in this list.

Turn 1 Thoughtseize
Turn 2 Prowler
Turn 3 swing for 3, then cast blightning

that's a very powerful start, and puts the opponent on the ropes right off the bat. They have to focus everything they have on staying alive, and due to the nature of the deck, it just doesn't let up.


So if I stick Sygg in, it will not be a prowler replacement. I think it would be -1 agony warp, -1 viscera dragger (since it's another 2-drop, and early blocker, and draws many cards

And he can attack with a grixis charm for a card in a pinch... yea..

I want to figure out how to stick a 3rd sygg in there. Maybe -1 prowler... though I don't really want to remova prowlers.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Grixis Machine Head - Progress Report

Under Discussion
Deck Stregnths
[indent]~Quick aggro decks and burn decks have a problem with this deck as we are able to apply pressure, kill early threats, and ruin their hand to the extent where they are topdecking, and thus underwhelming us.
~Control decks that don't draw loads of cards or topdeck cheap, huge, impossible-to-deal-with threats. So 5-c control and QnT gets wrecked, but Big Mana, should it come back, may cause problems if they can keep up with our speed*
*note - This deck isn't fast... It's very very proactive and aggressive. Almost everything is played aggressively; including removal. So rather than fast, it is quick on the draw to be highly disruptive.[/indent]

Deck Weaknesses
[indent]~HUGE creatures. Our removal doesn't say "kill". It is toughness-based removal, and so fat butts can cause us problems. The sideboard needs to contain responses to these creatures (like Deathmark (Doran, bant junk, naya junk), Flame Javelin (Colossus, Demigod)), as well as protection from any of our colors.
~Massive card draw - A deck that isn't topdecking isn't being affected by our major strength, and so it is harder to overwhelm these decks. This is why fast, strong attackers like Oona's Prowler, unearth, and Demigod, as well as good reach are necessary, because these decks will be keeping up with us if they have lots of options. A good sideboard solution to this may be Mind Shatter.[/indent]

Strategies and Synergies
[indent]~Depending on your match-up, it will either be a good idea to race the opponent with early Oona's Prowlers, or it may be better to hold off, cycle Draggers, and sit on your removal for a bit. Usually, the former is more successful, but at times, you might need to try for a slower game.

~One thing that is very good for staying alive is using Unearth in conjunction with Loxodon Warhammer; and it works. It almost always forces out removal, and since your critter was a bonus from the grave, it's card advantage, which is very helpful for this deck.

~Demigod of Revenge almost always seals the deal, as when he comes out, he almost always wins the game as the opponent is out of answers as their hand has been ripped apart and exhausted.[/indent]

Individual Cards
Sygg, River Cutthroat - Best in decks running Lash Out/Incinerate for instant 3, damage, but that aside, a lot of out effects cause 3 damage - Sedraxis, Dragger, Prowler, Demigod, and Blightning. This is a great way to keep your hand full. In addtion, it's a 3-toughness 2 drop, so it's a decent blocker. He's making it into decklists, for the sake of testing, mainly, at the moment.

Excecutioner's Capsule and Bone Splinters are on the list of things to test. It turns out, 4-toughness critters are becoming a little too hot to handle. I think Splinters will take the cake here, due to black critters being someone prominent these days.

Determined as a result of discussion and/or testing

Keep in mind there was another thread before this one, so some of this comes from there.

[indent]~Land destruction dilutes the focus of the deck, but is a good sideboard option against decks that can't handle it, like QnT, 5-C Control, and Fae.

~Lash Out as a replacement for Incinerate as 2cc burn.
I find he doesn't slow down the deck as I didn't actually remove any prowlers for him. You can still go Thought seize into prowler into Blightning. But then if you don't have a prowler but have a sygg then you can drop the sygg same thing if you don't have the blightning. He just has a lot of nice synergies and i think that that warrants his inclusion.
I find he doesn't slow down the deck as I didn't actually remove any prowlers for him. You can still go Thought seize into prowler into Blightning. But then if you don't have a prowler but have a sygg then you can drop the sygg same thing if you don't have the blightning. He just has a lot of nice synergies and i think that that warrants his inclusion.

good to hear. post your list if you want. I wouldn't mind seeing what you've come up with.

EDIT: for a really cheap mana base, the U/R and B/U pain lands are all you really need to function, cuz islands screw with the demigod.
Alright, though i kind of copied your mana base.

Lands
4x Sulfurous springs
3x Underground river
2x Shivan reef
3x Graven cairns
2x Sunken ruins
3x Reflecting pool
2x Swamp
4x Crumbling necropolis (i like the additional blue source of mana need to test more for what it should be but with bb in the side board I find that I end up taking to much self inflicted pain

Creatures-
2x Sygg, river cutthroat
4x Sedraxis specter
3x Demigod of revenge
4x Oona's Prowler
3x Viscera dragger

Spells
4x Blightning
4x Lash out
4x Thought seize
3x Grixis charm
2x Agony warp (I don't think it is as good with out bitter blossom tokens enabling 2 for 1ing but I am not sure yet.)
3x Loxodon warhammer (helps sygg as well as all the other tasty targets in this deck.)

Sb
4x Deathmark
3x Mind shatter
3x Flame javelin
2x Profane command
3x Bitter blossom

For the side board I almost want more profane commands but at the same time mind shatter is just beautiful against quick n' toast and anything that holds back cards.

So far in testing against the white weenie deck the amount of rfg removal can cause a problem. Though that deck runs out its hand pretty quickly so it is not impossible to win just makes our unearth sub-theme less effective.

Sorry about the lack of originality in this list I am still fine tuning from the list i started with (that being banshees list in the first post) for my meta/play style.


Color me casual, but after I saw this thread I knew I could find the skeleton I needed to make my Grixix Knollspine Invocation synergy deck.

Basically, I control the board and tempo through discard and removal until I get out Invocation followed by a Connoisseur, which in turns pops the Squee into the yard. Any other extra Connoisseurs can plop extra Demigods into the yard, or Specters, so on, so forth. Unearth creatures work amazingly with Invocation, and everyone knows how Squee works with it.

This is a basic list. I'm looking for room for Infests.
Alright, though i kind of copied your mana base.

Lands
4x Sulfurous springs
3x Underground river
2x Shivan reef
3x Graven cairns
2x Sunken ruins
3x Reflecting pool
2x Swamp
4x Crumbling necropolis (i like the additional blue source of mana need to test more for what it should be but with bb in the side board I find that I end up taking to much self inflicted pain

Creatures-
2x Sygg, river cutthroat
4x Sedraxis specter
3x Demigod of revenge
4x Oona's Prowler
3x Viscera dragger

Spells
4x Blightning
4x Lash out
4x Thought seize
3x Grixis charm
2x Agony warp (I don't think it is as good with out bitter blossom tokens enabling 2 for 1ing but I am not sure yet.)
3x Loxodon warhammer (helps sygg as well as all the other tasty targets in this deck.)

Sb
4x Deathmark
3x Mind shatter
3x Flame javelin
2x Profane command
3x Bitter blossom

For the side board I almost want more profane commands but at the same time mind shatter is just beautiful against quick n' toast and anything that holds back cards.

So far in testing against the white weenie deck the amount of rfg removal can cause a problem. Though that deck runs out its hand pretty quickly so it is not impossible to win just makes our unearth sub-theme less effective.

Sorry about the lack of originality in this list I am still fine tuning from the list i started with (that being banshees list in the first post) for my meta/play style.

This looks real solid. I agree on Agony Warp, especially when your deck is littered with pain lands.

And no worries on copying this; I endorse it. I'm pushing for this to be an archtype of its own.

Do you find youself drawing enough Sygg with only 2 in the deck?

My mana base still has issues, but their not color issues, they're pain issues. That and every dual needs to add black. That is; shivan reef really sucks, I've come to realise. I think I just want 4 spring, 4 river, 6 filters, 3 pools, 3-4 necropolis, and go from there...

EDIT: and if Agony Warp falls out of lists because of pains (Like Graven Cairns not being able to cast it...), then blue will end up just being a splash for Specter and Charm, and the Charm has yet to wow me as it competes for the loaded 3-slot.

EDIT2: another note on Sygg: It gives us a reason to run Sedraxis over Hyppie.
not entirely sure knollspine invocation should be here, but on one hand, it gives us a way to use uncounterable burn,(which can most often trigger sygg) and at the same time get unearth guys into the grave/make occasional backbreaking plays...
also its ability might get costly since it has to be the cc of w/e youre discarding, but the "x" is colorless, so that makes it easier to use in a 3 color deck...
not entirely sure knollspine invocation should be here, but on one hand, it gives us a way to use uncounterable burn,(which can most often trigger sygg) and at the same time get unearth guys into the grave/make occasional backbreaking plays...
also its ability might get costly since it has to be the cc of w/e youre discarding, but the "x" is colorless, so that makes it easier to use in a 3 color deck...

So you're with it or against it...? ;)

Regardless, I'm thinking my deck will be taking an entirely different direction from what's happening here. I just wanted to post something that I felt fit without cluttering the boards.

And Knollspine does add some strategy to this deck, especially if the Sygg is in play. You can essentially draw at the end of each turn (yours and theirs) if you time your damage right.
Knollspine doesn't do what this deck is doing, even if it is good with Sygg. That's more of a control-oriented deck, and therefore belongs elsewhere. Not saying it's a bad idea; just saying it's not where this deck is headed.

Anyways... anyone gotten any more test results recently they'd like to share?

I wish I used MWS, but I haven't that kind of patience.
fast creatures that have a toughness over four cause problems for this deck. Wooly thoctar and Rhox war monk both caused me signifigant problems. I nifty trick i have been using is to drop any extra demigods you get into your prowler. Probably really obvious but I just discovered it.

Bant control was a fairly straight forward match up but there is something in that deck that distressed me. Shield of the oversoul onto a war monk destroyed me. Something to be extremely weary of.

Thanks banshee, I love the charm actually if for nothing else that it is the only md removal we have for anything over 4 toughness. If we are going to switch it out though than Executioners capsule would be my suggestion considering how light our one drop slot is. Sygg is there as kind of another solid two drop and I find that almost no matter what I am holding more cards in hand than my opponent and if sygg hits the board and they underestimate him then I can basically play two spells a turn and still gain cards in hand some times from a lucky lash out.

I also added a 2x of Figure of destiny to my deck to help with early board position and put a growing threat on the board. Sorry if this post doesn't make a whole lot of sense my brain is a little fried at the moment.