The Limited Archetypes of Guilds of Ravnica
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  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from TheAlexGnan »
    one cool thing i am noticing about the grixis archetype is that sideboards are starting to converge more than they used. to. Its like people have finally started to agree what its best sideboard options are (brutality, anger, damnation, extraction, dispel, countersquall, staticaster, fulminator)

    I'd say that this is most likely a product of the format as a whole coalescing into a few very narrow archetypes and heavily pushing out every other deck. Two graveyard aggro decks, two control (not including grixis), two disruptive aggro, two spell combo, and then there's always tron. And it just so happens that two of them we crush, one is slightly good for us, and the other two just curb stomp us. Everything else in the format just instantly rolls over dead against at least half of those decks. This means that our SB can be very focused and we can mostly ignore everything else that can show up in an open field.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from Chief Wraith »
    Hi! New modern player, but long time standard player for MTG. I have always loved the Grixis Control archetype, and when I decided I wanted to play modern I spent a lot of time researching the different 'meta' decks, and decided I didn't like most of the top meta decks, and found I really liked Grixis Control a lot and wanted to try it. I first started by watching a few Cory Burkhartt videos, and a few other MTG streamers including Gods_Shadow. I liked it, I wanted to try it. So I built a deck (You can look at the current decklist here: ) and went to my LGS.

    Boy did I have a rough night! You can see the details in the link I shared above, but basically I went 0-2 against Tron (first match up had to be tron, obviously) 1-2 against UWR Ad Nauseam (I should have won this match up, chose my counters poorly), and went 1-1-1 against Orzhov Value Town? (all I saw initially was Lilly of the Veils and tons of Thoguhtseize/Inquisition, second game I steamed ahead and even managed to flip Bolas, last game I got flooded with tokens that I wasn't expecting and hadn't sideboarded in my Izzet Staticasters or Anger of the Gods).

    Anyways, I had a bad night - I think mostly because as a control player you have to know your match ups, and being new to modern I do not. I thought I'd get a better feel from all the videos I watched but really the only thing I recognized was Tron, which I think in general is just a bad match up. If y'all don't mind I would appreciate feedback on my deck list or even tips on what I should look out for and how I can become a better modern player.


    Welcome to the Grixis Cabal! Best advice I can give you to get better in modern in general is to lose. A lot. And you're already starting on that so good job, hehe! Seriously, it just takes time to get the experience required to know what is important and when. It's the same as control in standard except you have a lot more decks, threats, and answers to consider. Even though Corey's videos are very dated at this point, they're still a good resource for somebody new to the deck to learn some of the unique play patterns we have available to us.

    Your deck list is mostly fine, albeit a touch heavy on the discard. The biggest suggestion that I'll insist on is to cut the electrolyzes for almost anything else. You get really choked at three mana between them Kommand and snaps which makes it too difficult to deploy your spells effectively. I'd recommend some tasigur's and scours and perhaps an extra land. I've never liked 3x Field with only 24 total lands personally. I don't know if you have any budget or card availability concerns, but I'd like to see something like this to start with:

    -1 Bolas
    -4 Electrolyze
    -1 IoK
    -1 Seize

    +2 tasigur
    +3 thought scour
    +1 fatal push
    +1 darkslick shores

    And tron is indeed The Enemy.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    The only time I've had trouble with spirits is turn two geist and CoCo into double captain in response to a kill spell. Outside of that the games have been very manageable so long as you don't wait on your removal and let them untap in the early turns. IoK is good here, but it doesn't hit coco which can be more dangerous than GoST depending on your build. You just have to really, really make sure you don't play into their stuff which isn't especially difficult when you know what they can have. The wanderer has only ever been an annoyance rather than a serious problem that delays me by several turns, you just can't wait on casting your spells. Just dump your spot removal the moment you have a target and don't let them assemble a board and the only thing you have to worry about is a "gotcha" from GoST. That's been my experience with the match before GRN and I've only played against it twice with my Bolas build and both matches were the same as previous builds, but with the ability to block.

    EDIT: I'm going to just assume that you and I have simply had wildly different experience with the variance of the game. Perhaps your opponents ran exceptionally well or mine especially bad. When spirits has the right disruption at the right time with a CoCo to top it off the deck looks unebatable, but that does need a lot to go right. All I can say for certain is that I've never had a problem when I focus on not running face first into their disruption in the opening turns.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from TheAlexGnan »
    lets talk about another matter: does anybody have ideas how to beat Bant Spirits? that matchup seems abysmal the few times i have played it.

    Mausoleum Wanderer and poast-board Thalia, Guardian of Thraben as well as Spell Queller and Selfless Spirit make sweepers a huge question-mark postboard, and spotremoval doesnt cut it for obvious reasons.

    So far, i feel like Dispel is the only counterspell efficient enough to stop Collected Company. Izzet Staticaster has a fair amount of targets (wanderer, thalia, hierarch, selfless spirit, rattlechains, phantasmal image), but unless we start running heavy targeted discard mainboard ( I know you are running 4 or so, Gods_Shadow, which probably helps you quite a bit), this matchup seems horrendous for us.

    Does anybody have secret tech i'm not thinking about? am at my witt's end tbh.

    Against any cavern/vial deck I cut all of my permission or at the very least I cut my cryptics. They're the type of aggro deck that wants you to have a glut of spot removal rather than sweepers with the main problem being that Kommand isn't a reliable doom blade. You want to approach the spirits match the same way you would traditional affinity and burn. That is to say don't get fancy and don't try to eek out that extra value, just cast your spells. You want to dump you hand as fast as they dump theirs and respect CoCo as long as you can. If you're able to stop the first CoCo your natural card advantage will get you ahead. If you're on discard prioritize casting it over removal to pull coco from their hand because that and GoST are the only good cards in their deck. Thought Erasure is going to be a big help against them when it comes out to let you take their two good cards with value added and not hurting you.

    I agree that you do want dispel in your deck post board specifically for company and I'd bring in all the copies I have. Knot is fine on the play, but still less than ideal because of cavern/vial making it hard to find a live target. This is also another match up where Bolas is sweet because he is going to be bigger than everything they have, gets another card out of their hand and being able to cast him with a bolt for a potential queller is very easy to engineer.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from Arkmer »
    Is there a place we can find your mammoth sized post?

    I'm sure it'll be easy to find a spot in the deck if you're having regular matches against Valakut, Tron, or KCI. It's all a matter of where that hate balances out. Are we going to dedicate 4 SB slots right away to send a message to the meta? Are we going to test the waters with 1 then up the numbers? I'm sure many will be mixed on how to approach that part and it will have to do with their current meta.

    I have zero (seriously) of the three mentioned decks in my meta, so even though I'm picking up Ego, I won't be listing them right away.

    No I don't have it posted somewhere else online. As much as I'd like to, I don't write for any major sites. If you're interested I can PM it to you, pretty sure there's isn't a practical size limit on PM's.

    Quote from colbini »

    1) Seems silly to test a card by playing 1 in the Sideboard. If you want to test it you should run multiple so you actually draw it (and draw it early!)

    A better way to test one card specifically is to put it right on top of your deck after you shuffle up for a game. You'll always have it right when you want it and that will tell you right quick whether or not it's as good as you think it is. You learn if it's effective right away or if you find yourself having to craft a game plan around it. Then you can play a normal game and on turn seven or so you put it into your hand rather than drawing a random card to see how well it plays in the mid to late game.

    Granted this isn't "natural" testing, but that's not the point. If you are only interested in testing exactly one card in exactly one match up then this is the best way to find out a cards worth in game without having to play out hundreds of matches.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Sultai Control (GRN)
    Sultai Control

    (The name Sultai really BUGs me)

    It's been a long, long time since black blue and green were in the same deck and even longer still since they were in a competitive deck. With the rotation and printing of Assassin's Trophy that seems to have changed. This will be my opening salvo at attempting to find the best control deck for the format. With trophy making things difficult for the traditional UW builds, sultai is my pick for best control deck moving forward and beginning with the best removal spells available seems like a great starting point to build.

    Why Sultai?
    Assassin's Trophy. That's the reason. Glad we had this conversation.

    Ok. Why not UW, Jeskai, or Grixis?
    Assassin's Trophy. Yes that is the entire reason to avoid other color combinations and dive in head first with the bugs. Both because we can play it and because we aren't soft to it. We aren't reliant on Ixalan's Binding to deal with walkers (trophy gets them right back) or enchantments like Seal Away to answer creatures and our finishers are spells and hexproof threats. Going BUG gives you the best removal spells in trophy and contempt, you get the best finisher and mirror breaker combo with carnage tyrant all wrapped up in a sweet inevitability engine with gaea's blessing and The Mirari Conjecture.

    One less obvious, but especially important reason to go with sultai is the manabase and a clean mana base is facilitated by, you guessed it, the trophy. Having access to "BG - Kill A Thing" means we don't need to run field of ruin to handle utility lands like azcanta or the flip side of Legion's Landing. That combined with two immediately supported guilds gives us all the duals we need. Furthermore we have a reusable draw engine from gaea's blessing which means we don't have to run a copious number of arch of orazca to help keep the cards flowing for when our recursive draw elements get turned into basic lands. We end up not needing a single colorless land and the ability to run a good amount of basics to take advantage of any opposing trophies and to easily cast our own.

    As we learned in the previous format, UW control struggled against decks that started with 4xVraska's Contempt or were aggressive enough to clear Teferi easily. Not relying on a walker that gives us a completely random card off the top before dying gives us a leg up on decks who plan to employ this strategy. With a pile of divination effects, better live top decks, and a draw engine that always gives us a good spell makes for a clear advantage.

    We do give up the purity of Teferi as a win condition and lack a hard sweeper like cleansing nova, but we are well set up to play the point and click removal game. Should tokens become a thing to make the infinite kill spell plan difficult, we do have Ritual of Soot available to cleanly answer that strategy. Simply put, BUG checks all the boxes you want checked with a control deck. Power. Versatility. Clean answers to literally everything and absolute inevitability.

    Let's start with an initial deck list.

    Sample List

    As you can see we have answers to all the major players of the format. Seven ways to eat a troublesome walker, six counterspells, and a play set of trophy lets us eat annoying artifacts or enchantments. Ritual of Soot to answer super go-wide plans, Vona's Hunger for hexproof threats, and thought erasure to answer anything else before it comes down. We are able to stop something in hand, on the stack, or on the battlefield. We are not relying on Azcanta or walkers as hard as previous control decks which makes Assassin's Trophy much less effective against us if Teferi was our primary source of card advantage. With The Mirari Conjecture plus Gaea's Blessing engine, we are also well equipped to use the extra mana that we could get from the trophy as well and never losing access to our long term advantage.

    The lack of Search for Azcanta might put off some players, but it is a way for us to reduce the effectiveness of trophy as much as possible. All of our draw engines happen immediately with our divination effects or give us value before being transformed into a basic island. Relying on something to stick around on the battlefield in a world of trophies and contempts is a rather dubious plan. Focusing on spell based card advantage is the best way to ensure that you're never cut off from maintaining a material advantage.

    Our primary way to actually end the game is simply decking them with their draw step while we sit around reshuffling answers with gaea's blessing indefinitely. The first blessing puts back three counters or kill spells and the second blessing gets back two draw spells and the first blessing and we can repeat this until the end of the game. While not as clean as doing the same thing with a teferi emblem hanging around, it does the trick just as well. The sample list includes the single carnage tyrant as a concession to our opponents not giving us the concession and will kill through anything quite fast. It also allows us to win game one against any deck playing Nexus of Fate as that card's mere existence prevents the use of decking as the sole win condition.

    The overarching game plan of the deck past the traditional control strategy is to eventually recycle our entire deck. Gaea's blessing ensures that the top of our deck is going to be more live than our opponent's and prevents us from not only running out of cards in our library, but also prevents us from running out of the right answers. If we have to spend our edicts early to stay alive we can still find them again and again if hexproof threats start rolling off the top. Because of this infinite recursion aspect the only things that we are truly afraid of are dedicated hate for our blessing engine like Unmoored Ego and banefire.

    With Banefire being in the format it may be correct to run Pelakka Wurm as the dedicated win condition. The wurm gains a huge amount of life when it enters and some extra value on the way out. The only real downside of this swap is that a hard exile effect like contempt sends us to the dedicated mill plan. One potential consideration is going down to only one copy of blessing as you can still recur it indefinitely with the mirari conjecture which gives you an extra main deck spot for another answer or hard win con. Only time will tell which is correct.

    Thoughts on Removal
    Our removal suite is going to be changing from week to week, which is typical in standard control decks. The only spot removal spells that will always be in the deck are the contempts and trophies. After that we will have to decide if we want to lean towards hard removal like Cast Down and Vona's Hunger to fight green stompy and their hexproof threats. After that is the red aggro decks where we'll want to shy away from edicts and focus more on Ritual of Soot and moment of craving.

    Should control variants become equally as popular as the midrange and control decks then we may want to cut our additional removal entirely. Without gear hulks in the format, essence scatter loses all of its value against control so this will be an extremely delicate balance. Because of all of this, there really is no point in suggesting a "this is what you should do" set up for spot removal outside of the two base inclusions with the caveat that we want something in addition to assassin's trophy for early game kill spells.

    Card Advantage Options
    There are no shortage of great options to get ahead on raw card count in standard and choosing the best one depends on several factors. First of all is how much red aggro are you expecting to face? How often will you find yourself in a control mirror? These questions must be answered before you select your draw spells. Here are a few suggestions of which spell might fit best in a particular meta.

    Chemister's Insight - This inspiration variant puts you up one card on the first cast and another on the jump-start cast making it a grand total three for one with some finesse required. The biggest draw to this spell is the instant speed nature and the ability to filter dead removal spells in the mirror. Meanwhile it has the down side of the 4-CMC and the requirement to have a card to pitch when you cast it a second time. A solid card, but it does ask a bit of you for everything to go right.

    Secrets of the golden city - Fine early and great later on makes this a solid middle of the road choice. The double blue cost may be a bit tense at times, but a three mana ancestral in the midgame is still very powerful. This should most likely be your default choice until you have done more testing with your list against the predicted metagame.

    District Guide - While not card draw in the traditional blue sense, this is still a 2-for-1 spell that might have some added value. It does turn on opposing removal, but what it does is help fix your mana and provide you with a nice speed bump that can harass any walkers you can't immediately clear. If you want to go this route you'll want to include some additional basic lands and perhaps a singleton guild gate to make the trigger worthwhile. Another minor point worth mentioning is that if you're running Secrets of the Golden City this is yet another permanent to help you get the city's blessing.

    The guide also fills the role of allowing you to run a lower land count than you typically would to avoid flooding while helping you still hit all of your land drops. What it really comes down to is how useful is the body and is it better than simply running anticipate. I can easily see a situation where this is a 4-of value play that is mediocre game one, but is more useful post board when all of the removal comes out.

    Notion Rain - A sweet call back to the very powerful Read the Bones with the surveil mechanic replacing scry. We know from past experiences that this is a very powerful card, but the life loss is certainly not free. If you expect a lot of opponents to be aggressively attacking your life total this is not a good choice, especially since you plan to cast it 4-8 times a game. However in a slower, midrange centric meta this is one of the best choices. Even though it doesn't get you a third card, the surveil 2 that's tacked on makes up for that and in some cases may end up being superior.

    In the bug colors there isn't a perfectly pure and clean win condition such as Approach from the previous format or looping Teferi with an emblem. Furthermore, relying on walkers to get the job done is a bit risky due to the Trophy + Contempt combo making them exceptionally hard to stick around long enough. Luckily there are a few other options for us that are a bit more likely to go the distance.

    Millstone - The original win condition of durdle do nothing control decks. It fights on a unique axis with the effect that now bears it's name of milling. With a perpetual loop of gaea's blessing this isn't exactly necessary to win the game by decking your opponent, but it can help accelerate the process by a huge amount which can be important. If you are playing online and don't want a creature based threat, one or two of these is highly recommended to prevent yourself from losing to the clock. Decking does have one glaring weakness however: Nexus of fate. If your opponent merely discards to hand size each turn pitching their nexus, you will never be able to kill them this way. This one tiny wrinkle might make a pure mill plan impossible to execute.

    Carnage Tyrant - The implacable death lizard has been giving people fits for as long as it has been around. With the rotation of doomfall there will be much fewer decks that are running an answer outside of blocking. This is a much more reliable finisher than most options and checks all the right boxes. Hexproof, can't be countered and a way to punch through blockers in the form of trample. The seven power means it gets the game over in a hurry and can still trade with other control "mirror breakers" should the need arise.

    Nezahal, Primal Tide - Another finisher that got better with the rotation, but this time it is from the lack of Disallow. Pitching several cards to save it only to have the return trigger stifled made the dino very sketchy, but now it is just one suitable option among many with a bit of card advantage tacked on to boot.

    Sideboard Options
    In our sideboards we do have a large amount of respectable directions to attack any given meta. First and foremost you have to decide which plan of attack you want for the control mirror because that will require the most dedicated slots. After that you must look closely at the aggro and midrange decks of the format and decide how many of what effects you will need. For ease of reading I will split up this section into Control Options and Aggro as there is very little overlap in utility.

    Negate and Unwind - Extra counters are one of the few things you are certainly going to want and which combination depends on your strategy. The default tends to be a play set of negates before adding any extra counters in the side.

    Thief of Sanity - A fantastic new addition to the "dimir specter" variants that threatens to get out of hand super fast. It's the Gonti that keeps on giving and is fantastic against any deck with little to no removal or blockers. Just like control mirrors. I'm a huge fan of this card and would recommend you give them a try first.

    Mystic Archaeologist - The half way mark between the card advantage and aggro plan that beats down early and can draw a pile of cards later on. A slightly different version of Thief of Sanity, but still an option to consider if you're wanting a cheaper threat that might be a touch easier on the mana. The CMC is the main reason to choose this card over another as it is quite easy to slip in under permission even though it takes a long time to get value from it.

    Nezahal, Primal Tide - An additional hard to answer threat with built in card advantage. As mentioned previously, the absence of a stifle effect really makes this card worth considering.

    Duress - Thought Erasure in the main deck makes duress less of a home run, especially since it can't take the creature threats, but it still fulfills a certain role and the information gained is incredibly valuable.

    Arguel's Blood Fast - Yes, this card is still in standard and will continue to give headaches to control players. This time though there is a cheap answer to it which means it is less of an instant win card. It is still going to be worth several cards if it resolves and if the card advantage plan is how you want to approach the mirror this is likely the best option.

    Knight of Malice - If you want to go for the "Gotcha!" plan post-board then this is one of your better choices. The black-ish knight is at its best against the white based control decks of course, not just for the bonus power, but also to brick wall any tokens from History of Benalia that might come in.

    Vine Mare - Another gotcha card for the control mirror. This one has the fun word "Hexproof" written on it which makes it almost impossible to be removed post-board. It being four mana does open it up to permission, but if you're heavy on the discard plan it can be quite easy to force through. Once you get to untap with it the game is going to end in very short order as you are able to counter the very few things they'll have to remove your threat.

    Arch of Orazca - An extra land in a control mirror is always a good thing and one that draws cards is even better. With a number of playable answers to utility lands this might not be a great option if drawing cards is your primary motivation, but the extra land to draw into makes this a worthy consideration.

    The Eldest Reborn - Should you want another option for a grindy late game card with some additional utility this has always been "fine." Never amazing, but always acceptable. It's another edict effect for vine mare or dinosaurs and can potentially steal a walker to win with. All around solid without being amazing.

    Ritual of Soot - Even though The Chainwhirler is keeping token decks from being played, some number are still fine. With goblins being a semi-supported tribe and boros aggro looking to be quite good, having access to an effect that can clear the board is great to have in your list. Depending on the typical sizing of the aggro decks you can easily end up wanting a full set or just one. It is worth pointing out that golden demise is another possible option for a sweeper slot if costing one mana less ends up being important.

    Moment of craving - If burn heavy, hyper-aggro decks are prominent then this will be your best card against them. This one requires the most context to be correct so any number from zero to four could end up being right on a given weekend.

    Dead Weight - A sorcery speed disfigure isn't anything to be especially excited over, but this is our only option for turn one removal. The more popular Llanowar Elves are the more that you'll want these. Pay close attention to the general sizing of creatures as this could easily make its way into the main deck.

    Cast down - For the bigger green decks where the ramp from Trophy can be a real liability this is your best spot removal spell and will always be good to have a couple copies around. There will always be a stray legend hanging around like Kari Zev or Tajic that you can't tag with this, so keep that in mind when deciding on your final count.

    Pelakka Wurm - Even though this is quite the odd inclusion, it acts as a slightly better finisher against the aggro decks because of the life gain attached to it. The main reason to want this over a dinosaur is to get yourself out of Banefire range. If the unstoppable fireball is popular you can easily want more threats that gain you life to keep your head above water and not get got. Not to mention the fact that gaining seven life tends to win the game on its own as was shown with the first casting of Approach of the Second Sun. Depending on the metagame you expect, some number of these could even be considered for main deck play if the durability of carnage tyrant isn't necessary.

    As you can see there are answers to everything that we could be facing down. From token swarms to walkers to hexproof threats, everything can be neatly answered with a single card. With a properly constructed 75, we could easily end up being favored against anything we want to be. It all comes down to having the correct configuration of removal and draw spells which won't be too difficult. Let's get the discussion started by posting our initial testing experiences and deck lists.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    I just wrote up a post to explain why all of our potential complaints against Ego (namely the cmc) are either not important or not worth considering when you actually acknowledge the context in which you'll be casting it. But it did end up being the size of a regular article, which I am prone to doing I admit, so I'll just sum it up real quick and post the entirety later if people happen to be interested.

    The card disadvantage is a complete nonissue. When you side the card in you don't care about card advantage, you are preventing your opponent from winning the game and that is worth far more than a single card as evidence by us trying to field+surgical tron. The speed is also a nonissue because either we have no options before turn three or this is just a "medium-fine" option that will buy us several turns at minimum to address the real problem.

    Again this is a super condensed version of my thoughts on the card, but I am very insistent that we all put our focus on working with the card and seeing if there is anything else we can do to build a game plan around it post board against combo decks and strategies that we are unfavored against.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Etrata, the Silencer - Command Zone preview
    Even though this card looks unplayable on the surface lets be fair. This is easily the coolest card spoiled so far. Again, I realize it's likely just bad, but reading it was really exciting and the flavor is off the charts. Yes connecting with her 3 times is likely no different than (insert favorite wincon here) but come on, this is like, triple the style points. Also, don't be surprised if this does show up in standard in a BUG midrange deck. Those colors have a lot of powerful threats that you have to get rid of or avoid and this one can end up as just a fine 2-of that can might win it all sometimes.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from Aeonsz »

    unmoored ego is a premium sibeboard card for us for sure. but i guess I wouldn't play a full set along with an extra copy of surgical, maybe a 1-2 split would do just fine. I would never walk out without at least 2 dedicated spot for graveyard hate.

    and re: the previous post, I think keranos is a little too slow for mardu pyromancer, maybe its a good idea for me to run 2 copies of electrolyze ?

    I like that Ego can still act as grave hate, even if you only get 3/4 bloodghasts or amalgams, the ones that can hang around are VERY manageable. Not to mention that we can always snap Ego if we really want to.

    Keranos is definitely not too slow against mardu. We have enough business to manage the game until he can come down and if he does get hit with a thoughtseize, he does count as a creature in the yard so we can just Kommand him right back. Don't worry about activating him into a proper creature, it's just an unstoppable value engine that only dies to celestial purge which I doubt they are going to run.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Holy crap, I think we just got a playable Lobotomy effect with Unmoored Ego. I'll name valakut. I'll name Urza's Mine. I'll name Ad Nauseum. Grapeshot. Prime Time. I really believe that this makes our "eat all of your win cons" board plan against combo infinitely easier. Currently we try to blow up an urza piece and surgical it or surgical their grapeshots or other targets for the decks that have only one or two win cons. This card completely removes the need to jump through hoops to make it so they are incapable of winning. Granted it doesn't do anything against turn 3 tron on the play, but not much does and alpine moon barely covers that. Never the less, the fact that it takes lands is a big deal for us.

    Far from a main deck inclusion obviously, but this does make a lot of games a lot easier to win. With a pile of discard and permission this could easily end up patching the leaks we have against the non-creature based combo decks. I've mentioned before that fair decks are very favorable for us and this just might solve our problems with some combo decks. Here's a deck I'm tinkering with considering all of the spoilers and what I think the meta might look like.

    EDIT: BAH! Darkvoidman got there first!
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from Aeonsz »

    I'm struggling against Mardu Pyromancer and Hollow One in my LGS games recently, any suggestions?

    Against mardu the best card you can have against them is Keranos, god of storms. Just pretend that they're jund where you want sweepers more than you want spot removal and things play out roughly the same. I cut the majority of my spot removal and go deep on sweepers to enforce the 1-for-1 trades as much as possible. So long as you play tight and don't fall miles behind or get trapped under a liliana you'll be fine.

    Against hollow one you just have to hope that you don't get triple thoughtseized by inquiry. I wish I could speak to this match up more, but in the last 3 comp REL events I've played against it I've lost to the nuts on turn 1 or 2 each game and match. A few friends of mine play it and the running joke is that I still haven't played against it because turn 1-2 triple hollow one or BI pitch all my lands "randomly" don't count as games for testing purposes. It's kind of like dredge or the various glass cannon decks. Do they have the thing? Are you able to interact at all? If you can you win easily, if not you die in five minutes.

    Against both decks an early tasigur or turn four Bolas is a major problem for them and can often win by themselves with very little support. So if you have hands that can make that happen you should be good.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Well I made top 8 of the ptq and then got clowned by dredge. I ended up beating UW miracles, esper shadow, storm, humans, and esper gifts and lost to storm before seeing the one dude on dredge in the room in the top 8. No new information sadly, just more reps with the deck against tilt. Bolas was stellar all day, the body was supremely relevant and the discard was priceless every time I got the trigger. This is all before the seven mana mode even was a consideration and I still managed to flip him 4 times throughout the day. Each time he flipped I was a bit flooded and wanted something powerful to do with my mana. Great play on turn four. Game winning play on turn fifteen.

    The only change I made to my previous list was putting in two brutality in the main because there is a heavy burn presence in the area (there was at least seven of them in the room today) in place of my two scours. I never missed the scours and was never short of a hefty yard to do all the stuff with the things. Knot, Tas, Search etc always had as much food as they needed to work just by playing the game. Sort of like how you don't need to put in extra work to make tarmogoyf good, just play the game naturally and they'll work as intended.

    I still hold that bolas belongs in the deck and that grixis Hard Control is a solid tier 1 deck that just doesn't have many eyes on it. Each of the matches I won were comically easy . We have answers to literally everything in the format and we have enough overlap that we can at least be 50/50 against the field with a number of match ups where we are run away favorites. It seems to me after all of this time and adding in a great value threat with bolas, if anybody is trying to play fair it's our match to lose and the unfair decks just have to hope we didn't adequately prepare. Deck is great. Bolas is bae.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from Morzika »
    Hello everyone!

    PPTQ coming up tomorrow and I will be bringing Grixis control. I'll be running the Discard+Bolas version that Gods_Shadow and stokpile have played with no thoughtscours, and mine will include 2 Liliana of the Veil and as well as the 2 Rise/Falls. My spell choices are very similar to Gods_Shadow. I'm having trouble on a couple of choices in my deck as my meta-game is slightly unpredictable (we will be getting a lot of out-of-towners that I won't know). I do know that my local players usually play Tron, I'm expecting humans, and there is at least one player with RDW. I haven't seen a graveyard deck yet, but I do have some hate in the board just so I'm not caught off guard.

    Hrmmmm. I am also playing a ptq tomorrow with grixis... that is also expecting an unusually large amount of people from out of town...

    My first question is: 4-mana card choices?
    I'm running 2 cryptics, 2 bolas, and 2 rise/fall. I would like to include 1 copy of JTMS. I'm having trouble deciding between Pia and Kirin Nalaar or Kalitas as my threat package. I haven't played with Pia and Kirin yet, so could someone elaborate on why that could be a better choice? It seems versatile if all tokens + Pia survive a turn. The biggest appeal of Kalitas to me is the lifegain + 4 toughness.
    I would also like to mention that in my playtesting, with the combination of cryptic, liliana, JTMS, pia/kalitas, I sometimes run into mana-color problems (using a standard manabase with only 1 field of ruin).

    I've found both Kalitas and PnK to be either amazing or worse than a basic forest depending on the match so I strongly believe that they should stay in the board. If you insist on them I'd go with PnK because they have the ability to be more than just a 3/4 with no text. But in all honesty I'd cut them for either the third cryptic or the JTMS that you want. Bolas is good enough of a 4-drop with a snap/Kommand engine that you really don't need much more creature based threats at that CMC.

    My second question: 3-mana slot?
    My nimble obstructionists will not be arriving in time, I would have loved them for the tron matchups =/ Because of that I am including 1 vendillion clique mainboard. Is that an ok choice or am I better taking it out for another 4-mana threat or 4th kolaghan? Clique rarely feels like a bad play but with 2 Liliana Veil and my desire to run 3 or 4 4-cmc threats, I feel like I should just use the slot for something else (would be ideal if i could find obstructionists to borrow of course)

    Clique is bae. That is all.

    Third question: 2-cmc slot! I don't have baby jace and that makes me sad Frown I want more things to do on turn 2 if possible. What do you guys think are my best options? I'm including 1 Search for Azcanta, so I'm looking for 2 cards to fill that 2 cmc slot. I've seen recent discussion on young pyromancer. Even if he doesn't generate blockers immediately, I think he servers as good removal bait. Between all of the discard and recursion with Kolaghan's Command + Rise//Fall it all looks like a nice package. Am I missing any other 2 cmc choices? I'm always the kind of players who wants to put more card draw in a deck, but for this meta I think that being more active and less durdly could prove more beneficial.

    Search likely won't be that great in such a creature heavy version of the deck so I'd suggest against that. Pyro is always fine, but again with such a heavy creature base it's not going to get you much value. There's nothing wrong with running collective brutality MD since it always does something. Another good option is mana leak, you're a lot heavier on colored requirements so it gives you another early game piece of disruption and it doesn't go dead nearly as fast as people tend to think it does.

    My final question is card draw. I'm running 4 serum visions, 1 search, and 1 JTMS. Does that feel right? What are everyone's thoughts on ancestral vision as a one of? Even i cast it on turn 3-4, it feels like a comfortable buffer for it to resolve a few turns later. Being grixis control it is ideal to play active and aggressive, but sometimes we can be put on the defensive too, and sitting on the ancestral visions clock just seems comfortable, allowing us the option to player safer if we have to.

    If you're going light on AV then they belong in the sideboard, it's just too hard to get them early enough to matter or chain them together with just the one copy. If you want to be a bit more aggressive then you can consider dire fleet daredevil as another mid to late game value play or liliana, the last hope.

    Lastly, never be afraid to add in an extra land. Creeps and fields do a ton of work and don't get enough credit for a lot of our wins.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Mission briefing says "combo card" to me more than a value play honestly. We care about the body of snapcaster and if we wanted more of them we could play dire fleet daredevil, but we don't so we aren't. So far I've only seen thought erasure as a potentially playable card for us, meanwhile I've seen several that can go into a handful of different decks. Still hoping we don't get boned on this mechanic like the last time we went to ravnica.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Azcanta trigger [SOLVED]
    Ossom-o! Thanks a lot!
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
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