2019 Holiday Exchange!
A New and Exciting Beginning
The End of an Era
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    I think that's only looking at best case scenarios. Spirits is by far the aggressor in the matchup so our role is to just survive the early onslaught and drag the game out as long as possible where our card advantage and 2 for 1s will pull us ahead. Tapping out for a 2/2 that can't block their creatures in an effort to try to colour screw them or keep them off coco seems extremely risky and the payoff isn't that great either. They can just as easily ignore it completely. Cards like brutality are much more in line with what we're looking to interact with in the matchup; their creatures and their Coco's
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    Quote from TheoryCraft »
    Hey all, still lurking here after my 6-3 Open finish last month with the deck. After taking a short break, I want to start grinding the deck a bit more again. I've noticed a few changes recently with some of the higher placing decks, namely:
    -Changing land configuration from 12 fetches and 6 fetchable lands to 11 fetches and 7 fetchable lands (minus a Scalding Tarn and plus a second Blood Crypt - is this to help cast Anger more easily?)
    -Running 2 Anger of the Gods sideboard (before was zero or only occasionally)
    -Running 2 Liliana, the Last Hope sideboard (before was a 1-of)
    -Dropping Collective Brutality from the sideboard (was an auto 2-of inclusion)
    -Dropping Surgical Extraction in sideboard (was a fairly regular 1-of)

    There's some other changes I've noticed recently (a lot more 4-of Angler; 3 Bolt and 2 Stubborn Denial, 2 Fatal Push) but those topics and trends have been discussed at length in the forum. Just curious what you guys think about the above.

    Yes the mana base has changed to accomodate a more red heavy list in general (main deck bolts but also sideboard anger, young pyro, grim lavamancer, etc)

    Anger is currently being run over kozilek's return because the 3 damage is far more relevant vs humans. The exile clause is also very helpful against hollow one

    Last hope has been proving herself as one of the premier grindy options we have and she's been incredibly useful and many players (myself included) have gone up to 2 copies.

    Collective brutality was previously needed for burn but there's been a bit less burn in the meta (replaced by creature based aggro) and brutality has been very underwhelming in other matchups. Having a 2 mana duress that doesn't take walkers, artifacts or enchantments isn't very good and the -2/-2 ability isn't as good as having a repeated effect from grim lavamancer for removal.

    I don't think surgical was ever a regular card in shadow because it's usually best against combo where we're largely favoured anyway. Leylines or spellbombs have been the graveyard hate of choice for a long time and that's for those that run any yard hate at all. Most lists don't bother
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Hey guys,

    Just took down the modern invitational event at my lgs last night and figured I'd share my list/report. The event was invite only and you had to have top 8'd a 1k to qualify so I faced solid opponents which made for tight games. Great crowd and great gameplay overall.

    Not sure where this post belongs to be honest, I'm currently on my own version of grixis pyro and while it's not a delver deck it doesn't belong in the shadow or control threads either. Figured this was the closest so let me know if it should be moved.

    I've played nearly every variation of grixis in modern you can think of but the most experience I have is with shadow and control. Got tired of the inconsistent nature that shadow can have (most of my losses were to my own deck refusing to cooperate rather than what my opponent did) but also wanted something more proactive than control so this is my attempt to make grixis pyro work. I can go over the decklist in more detail if need be.


    Anyway here's the match report:

    Round 1
    Dredge 1-2

    Game 1 was very one sided as most fair decks are versus dredge.

    In: 2 surgical, 2 brutality, 1 Lili, 1 staticaster
    Out: 2 push, 1 dreadbore, 2 Jace, 1 terminate

    Sided out all the non-bolt removal and the Jaces. Didn't have very much to bring in; brutality isn't amazing but it can disrupt them decently on the play and worst case scenario its a very bad burn spell/token for pyro.

    Game 2 I surgicaled his amalgams and then snap surgicaled the darkblast, allowing young pyro to run away with the game in short order.

    Game 3 I kept a reasonable opening hand although it had no hate cards in it. Ended up drawing a ton of lands and not much else and very quickly lost to his swarm of creatures. On the bright side, this would prove to be my only match loss for the rest of the tournament. As for dredge itself; I don't have much hate for this matchup but then again I can count on one hand the amount of times I've played against dredge in paper over the last 2 years so I'm not overly concerned.

    Round 2
    Grixis control 2-1

    Game 1 was an extremely close game. On my last turn, my opponent was empty handed with an active search and I had a tasigur, pyro and 2 tokens on the field. My opponent was at 4 and I was at 5. My opponent searches on my end step and finds bolt to bring me to 2, then on his turn rips a bolt off the top for the win. Could have gone either way and was a tight race to the finish.

    In: 3 ancestral, 1 dispel, 2 brutality
    Out: 1 terminate, 1 dreadbore, 2 push, 2 bolt

    Idea here was to trim on removal (obvious) and bring in more disruption as well as card advantage. Other considerations were disdainful stroke (too narrow), Lili (too low impact) and fulminators (only good vs search). I didn't have the space so those cards didn't make the cut but I could see an argument for any of them.

    Game 2 wasn't particularly close, I ripped apart my opponent's hand and resolved multiple ancestrals so he couldn't actually keep up with my card advantage.

    Game 3 was also very close but I eventually resolved a Jace. I started fate sealing him and letting him have damnations and removal as he already had some in hand so that was not the fight I was going to pick. I had to play extremely carefully this game and there were several points that, had I played even slightly more greedy/aggressive, my opponent could have clawed back in. Jace eventually ulted for the win.

    Round 3
    Affinity 2-1

    Game 1 was very one sided in my favour. I had all the removal in the world and k command is devastating against them.

    In: 1 rejection, 2 brutality, 1 Lili, 1 staticaster
    Out: 2 Jace, 2 thoughtseize, 1 countersquall

    Removing the Jaces as they're horrendous here, a squall and 2 discard spells on the play. I really didn't like discard against affinity but I wasn't sure if it would be worse than deprive as I needed an answer to etched champion or ravager before they hit the field. I decided on keeping the counters on the draw and brining the discard back in if it went to game 3.

    Game 2 I removed literally everything my opponent played (including spell snare for his turn 2 bitter blossom) but he eventually resolved both champion and cranial plating and I never found a k command. Lost in very short order after that.

    In: 2 thoughtseize
    Out: 2 deprive

    Game 3 was very close as I had my opponent on the ropes but he resolved champion to stabilize/start to race back. I flashed back a brutality to drain my opponent for 2 and that was just enough to change the math to my favour and I won the race.

    Round 4
    Amulet 2-1

    Game 1 I took early control and even killed the first titan my opponent played. I had my opponent at 4 life with multiple attackers (2 tokens and a pyro) and no cards in hand but they ripped a pact for titan and not only stabilized but won the game.

    In: 2 surgical, 2 brutality, 2 fulminator
    Out: 2 push, 2 jace, 1 dreadbore, 1 bolt

    Wasn't entirely sure how to board for the matchup as I not only play against the deck very infrequently but also haven't ever played against it with this deck. The thought process behind surgical was extracting a titan as that should cut them off most if not all of their win conditions. Didn't bring in stroke as I knew from game 1 that my opponent has cavern and a million ways to find it so I would rather not bring in a potentially dead card that specifically only counters titan.

    Game 2 I had a very good and aggressive start with a turn 2 pyro. Ended up using fulminator to blow up cavern, k command back the fulminator the next turn and then play it the next to blow up one of his bounce lands which set him back long enough for me to win.

    In: 2 disdainful stroke
    Out: 2 surgical

    Ended up deciding against the surgical plan as I did find it game 2 but it sat dead in my hand the entire game. Wanted more live cards even with the potential for cavern.

    Game 3 was much closer but my opponent still couldn't quite get there. Got double pyro out early and my opponent was unable to deal with it. In both games 2 and 3 deprive was an absolute all star, countering pacts and titans alike.

    Round 5
    ID into top 8

    Hard fought game but neither of us got there (everyone was locked in for top 8 so we all drew in)

    Top 8
    Grixis Pyro (me)
    Amulet (my opponent from round 4 but we didn't get paired up)
    Death and Taxes
    Coco Counters

    Amulet 2-0

    I went into top 8 as the absolute lowest seed so of course I was playing against the guy in first (this also meant I was on the draw for every match in the top 8 including this one). My opponent was on the play but had to mull to 5 and led with the scout which I pushed. On my next turn I cast thoughtseize to forcibly mull them to 4 and then jammed a pyro. My opponent soon found explosives which he cast for 2 but by that point I already had 2 tokens out and slammed a tasigur next turn and his explosives could no longer save him.

    In: 2 stroke, 2 brutality, 2 fulminator
    Out: 2 push, 2 jace, 1 dreadbore, 1 bolt

    Learned from my previous game and didn't bother with the surgicals this time.

    Game 2 I snared his explore on turn 2, then got double pyro going and it was too much for my opponent to deal with. In total I think this entire match must have taken about 10 minutes and I was confident going into the next round. In hindsight I should have absolutely cut a spell snare as I didn't realize explore is literally the only target for it (aside from EE for 2 I guess) but live and learn.

    Semi finals
    Death and taxes 2-1

    Game 1 my opponent has an aggressive start and I nearly stabilize with tasigur but my opponent rips a path off the top and that was the end of it.

    In: 2 brutality, 1 Lili, 1 staticaster
    Out: 1 squall, 2 Jace, 1 thoughtseize

    I know my opponent has aether vial but I thought deprive is good if he doesn't or I can also use to protect my threats. In hindsight I should have kept in the thoughtseize over 1 deprive but the deprives did come in handy so it wasn't a complete punt.

    Game 2 was very quick as I resolved an early pyro and then proceeded to kill all of my opponent's stuff every time it hit the field. He didn't have a creature stick around longer than a single turn this game and we quickly moved on to game 3

    Game 3 was really stupid on my part and this is part of mental fatigue setting in and just general carelessness. On turn 3 I didn't have much going on so I flashed in the staticaster to use my mana and we kept playing from there. He never played anything the staticaster could kill (he played several scullers, displacers and a strangler or 2) so for about 7 turns it sat there unused and I just kept pushing it further and further to the side of the board to make room for double pyro, tasigur, snapcaster and a bunch of tokens. At one point my opponent flashed in thalia to block a pyro and I COMPLETELY forgot my staticaster was even on the board anymore at this point and my pyro died needlessly. Then later I was one point off of lethal as my opponent had one too many blockers. I was sitting there trying to figure out the correct line when I finally glanced at my staticaster, glanced at thalia, back to my staticaster and I immediately felt like an idiot. I killed the thalia and won the game there and my opponent and I had a good laugh about it after (it's not a misplay if you win, it's just elaborate bm)

    Coco counters 2-0

    Game 1 my opponent makes infinite life on turn 5 and goes to scoop up his cards expecting me to concede but I just say "that's fine" and he immediately gets suspicious. My next turn I play a Jace (I have 2 pyros and a lot of tokens) and my opponent now has to change gears. He flies over with birds combined with township to start swinging at Jace through my army of tokens but I eventually bounce the birds when Jace gets low and then bolt it when he replayed it. After that I just fatesealed my opponent until it was time to ult and that was the end of it.

    In: 2 brutality, 1 Lili, 1 staticaster
    Out: 2 deprive, 1 squall, 1 inquisition

    I've never been a fan of boarding in dispel in this matchup for company as I just want to maximize the number of ways I can impact the board or strip cards from my opponent's hand before he gets value out of them via finks or witness. That may or may not be correct but it's the way I've approached it with both shadow and control and I have a very good winrate against the deck with either so I was confident in winning this match.

    Game 2 my opponent never got to stick any more than one creature at a time and never assembled the combo through my removal. I had an early board of pyro, 2 tokens and snap but my opponent cast a pontiff to wipe the board. By that point he was already at a very low life total though so I just untapped, cast a tasigur and he was forced to start chump blocking each turn. To be fair, my opponent had 2 unfortunate companies (only one hit each) which was definitely good for me even though I had more than enough removal. His third company finally paid off big but by that point it was too little too late.

    There's some very minor changes I might make to the list but overall I'm very happy with the core list and it's been performing very well for me.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from RMelanson »
    Re: "Isn't it contradictory to say that you can't find the mana to suspend Ancestral when Search costs two?"

    The answer is yes and no. It's more a question of using the mana efficiently and optimally. Breaking down the curve of the deck as it currently stands, there are a lot of 1 drops, few two drops (Terminate, Logic Knot, and Azcanta), and then lots of three and four drops (including Snap-one drop; Snap-two drop). (There is also the consideration of dropping T2 Tasigur, which suspend AV makes more difficult, but not impossible.) The tl;dr is that the deck has a lot of options for Turn 1 play, that gets pushed to Turn 2 if you suspend Visions.

    For example, lets say you're on the play, drop land, AV. Then on turn 2, you usually are using only 1 of your two mana, maybe casting Terminate, or just holding up mana for a 2 mana Counterspell. In this scenario, there is a substantial risk of efficiency loss. In contrast, if you react on turn 1 with either a thoughtscour or removal spell, and then hit azcanta on turn 2, then you are using all your mana efficiently. Over the next three turns, you have Azcanta action 3 times, increasing your chance of drawing relevant action. You also have the ability to ramp up mana once you hit 7 in the GY, which can help you use more spells to protect Jace. With AV, you draw additional 3 cards on turn 5, that can vary from very good to lands/fluff. On the draw, both AV and Azcanta can be clunky, but Azcanta at least offers value sooner when you eventually cast it. If you are facing off against an aggro deck for example on the draw, you can T1 hold up Spell Snare or use removal and then drop Azcanta when you have time rather than feeling pot-committed to dropping AV.

    This analysis obviously changes based on the meta and how your construct your deck. Imagine a world where BBE is king and the field is just Jund. In that world, at least you can drop AV on the play under your opponents discard. With Azcanta, you just need to pray that your opponent finds Snapcaster or Jace more appealing to take. Or imagine we are in a world of blue decks, AV is nice because on turn 5, you get to ask your opponent, "hey, are you going to counter my Draw 3, or this Jace I will likely play otherwise?" You can also avoid a lot of the choices I mention above by just building different. You could take out Spell Snare to avoid the conflict with AV. You can put in more sweepers to compensate for a slower response and the likely uptick in Lingering Souls. If there is a clear answer (which there probably isn't), its not between choosing bad or good, but more like great or marginally greater (black v. slightly darker black).

    The mana efficiency issue you pointed out isn't nearly so simple. In your specific examples sure it works better along the curve but for every one of those there are tons of others supporting ancestral over search. One mana will always cost less than 2, it allows you to start casting multiple spells in a turn earlier and especially late game with a flipped search. This comes up a lot in control mirrors where you or your opponent tap 4 to search and the opponent responds by trying to resolve a high impact spell (I've run into several from secure the wastes/rev to breach in ur combo/control or against jeskai they try to burn you out in that window). Having to bottom snapcasters with search also feels really bad.

    Don't get me wrong search is a great card I'm a big fan of it but it's certainly better in matchups where you value the immediate impact of the "scry" over long term games against other midrange/control decks that have more discard, counters or land and enchantment hate. I think it's a meta dependent call and if the meta does slow down I see ancestral being better.

    Also Tiemuuu crazy how quickly things change. A very short while ago I would have been very strongly against cutting any number of scours cause it just synergizes so well with the deck. With less delve creatures and a high impact card like Jace you don't wanna mill over I think it does lose value though. Still a good card but not sure if it's necessary if we're building in that direction.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from Tiemuuu »
    My first impression of Jace is that you would need to rework the strategy entirely to make Jace work. I'm pretty sure you would need 4-8 discards spells and Cliques on top of it to be able to land Jace on t4 safely even half of the time.

    I imagine there's going to be two ways to get Jace to work. There's this method you mentioned where landing him asap is crucial to just running away with the game on the spot. In that kind of list I could definitely see 4 Jace working actually as it's the payoff spell for all your hand disruption.

    The other option is slotting him into "regular" control lists that aren't looking to play him on turn 4 (unless the opportunity is there) but rather as a win con that you play turn 7, 8 or later. In that kind of list running less Jaces and more removal/counters makes more sense. Time will tell which list is correct but both have merit. I think if you're already including discard that having threats to capitalize on that as well such as young pyro also makes sense.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    After looking at Corey's list and my discussions here and elsewhere I've made some changes to my list. Really excited to test it next week.

    Also I agree with others that 4 Jace seems very excessive and I highly doubt that will be the final number Corey settles on. The other thing I disagree with is serum visions but that may just be an attachment to the card on my part as I've had it pull it's weight in avoiding mana flood or screw. Going down to basically no library manipulation at all is a bit too high variance for me. Not to mention I'm also on ancestral whereas he is on search still so that may contribute to his decision
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Fair points all around, agree to disagree for now until I get some further testing in to confirm one way or another.

    On a related note, Corey put out his article post pro tour and included a rough draft of his version of grixis with Jace:


    Notably, his list is also dropping tasigur's and moving up the curve but he's going all out with the full playset of Jace as well as the playset of cryptics. Having all 4 jace's feels like overkill to me but he's an infinitely better player than I am so maybe it's correct.

    Edit: important to mention he's also playing 3 copies now of search and down to 2 scours.

    Also of note he mentions at the very end how he wants to fit shoal into the deck but hasn't found a way just yet. It'll be interesting to see how his list develops.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from Tiemuuu »
    I agree with your points on Ancestral, but not on cutting Thought Scours and Tasigurs. How is cutting those two cards making the deck any grindier than it was before? Tasigur certainly lets you grind, and Scour gives you more card selection. You're only making the deck more focused on beating fair creature decks and giving up %-points against combo, ramp/big mana, control and burn.

    with 3 Cryptics, 2 Jaces and 2 Damnations your curve is looking atrocious. Some of those cards need to be moved to the SB or cut entirely. Of course we're all looking to experiment with Jace, but basic deck building rules suggest this one isn't going to fly.

    Tasigur has been very underwhelming as of late due to being consistently outsized by other creatures or getting easily answered by opposing control or midrange decks. Maybe it's just my experience but he only helps out against big mana and combo decks where I need to get a clock going. I suppose he's non negligible against burn but that matchup is horrendous either way. The clique is a pseudo replacement for him with the advantage of being evasive, having flash and either disrupting their hand or improving my own but the downside of being one power less.

    Scour has always seemed like a necessary evil for me and I'd love to be able to play the deck without it. It's certainly not card selection as the mill is completely random, you may or may not mill anything useful (lands, Jace, ancestral). It does provide extra fuel for snaps, kommands and delve which is why it's good but on the other hand it does absolutely nothing to prevent yourself from mana flood or screw for example. With this decklist the choice for me was between scour and serum and I think serum is better for the direction of the deck towards being grindier as serum sets up your draws but scour allows you to accelerate on mana. That's what I meant by grinding, less focus on trying to cheat out a delve creature or flip a search early and more on setting up future draw steps.

    I can see how cutting that package does make me slightly worse against big mana and combo (hence the sideboard skewed towards those) but I fail to see how it makes me worse against control. Tasigur was always the worst card in my deck against control, I usually win those games with either bolt snap bolt or out attritioning them with snap and kommand.

    As for the curve, I agree that the 2 damnation may be overkill you're right. The idea was being able to sweep the board entirely and then next turn drop a Jace but perhaps that's unnecessary. The overall curve is slightly higher but there's an increased land count to accomodate that. UW and jeskai control often run a very similar if not identical split along their curve (if not going even heavier on sweepers) and that's what I was going off of. The curve being lower makes sense when the gameplan is casting multiple spells early to get ahead but less so when the gameplan is to strap in for the long game and out value your opponents.

    If I remove the damnations I will likely replace them with some combination of additional removal, the 2nd clique from the board, or another land and go up a sweeper in the board (either anger or damnation).
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from Draw_Gone »
    I'm only running 2 Jace as I think you definitely don't want to go overboard on him and auto lose versus aggro or combo decks. 2 should be sufficient and I'll bump it up to 3 if it becomes necessary.

    I think that a Mainboard-Sideboard Jace split will be the norm. Maybe 2-1 or 3-1 (though 2-1 i find more likely). When he is good, he is fantastic, and you'll definitely want 3-4, but when he is bad, he is atrocious. Hedging your bets by giving you the potential of 3-4 Jaces post board, without going all-in on it game 1 might be a plan.

    Yeah I could realistically see this as being the case. Gonna test 2 for now and see how that works out. Can't wait til Monday to start jamming games at my store.

    My buddy is also going jund now (was playing abzan/rock for a while) so we're gonna playtest a bunch. Should be great
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Here's the deck I've been working on with Jace:


    Couple notable things:

    Moved away from the scour and tasigur gameplan in favour of more of a grindy approach.

    Also as others have mentioned above, I'm back on ancestral myself over search. Ancestral seems much better situated in the current format as it's harder to interact with especially against the 2 biggest decks that will be experimented with after the banning, control and midrange (jund):

    Control can always snare it on the way down even on the draw so it's harder to get it to stick. Especially against UW control they play 8+ land destruction effects in the main so flipping search is usually more of a liability than anything else.

    Jund can discard either search or ancestral but at least on the play you can suspend it before they start ripping apart your hand. Jund also has decay and pulse to hit the enchantment and post board are bringing in fulminators for sure to blow up the land half.

    There's also mass grave hate to worry about post board and ancestral is easier on the mana too. Search certainly has its upsides but I think those upsides aren't as good in the coming meta. I think ancestral is going to be the stronger card going forward and with Jace to shuffle away extra copies in the late game it seems even better.

    I'm only running 2 Jace as I think you definitely don't want to go overboard on him and auto lose versus aggro or combo decks. 2 should be sufficient and I'll bump it up to 3 if it becomes necessary.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    I think it's a combination of a poor humans matchup (the queller list) and an abysmal lantern and Tron (both traditional and E Tron) matchups that caused jeskai to perform poorly. Grixis actually does very well against most of the above aside from Tron but even then Corey was on 4 field of ruins for maindeck hate. For those same reasons/matchups straight UW actually performed very well but the draft records held them down from placing better. Overall a solid pro tour and meta even though the vast majority of top 8 is aggro but that's not nearly as degenerate as all big mana or combo/dredge.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Quote from Ym1r »
    You can hear his thoughts in the tournament! Link for the deck tech here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/225319761

    Btw, 3 grixis control decks with 21+ points in the PT!

    I'm aware of the deck fetch during the PT I was more referring to how he thinks it went afterwards. Wanna know if he stands by his changes or if there is some other change he would make going forward.

    That's awesome news though and not surprising considering how humans was the most played deck (a great matchup for control)
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Update: looks like he's out now Frown

    Still a very good showing overall for the deck. Curious to hear his thoughts afterwards
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    Corey Burkhart just did a deck tech for grixis control at the PT. Interesting to note from his main:

    0 copies of serum visions

    4 copies of field of ruin which he says has been amazing for him

    2 inquisitions (said he was expecting lots of combo which makes sense)

    1 pia and Kiran nalaar (said it was to hedge against affinity as well as give him an out under blood moon)

    Other than that it was his standard list. He's looking good to make top 8, let's hope!
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    As a budget option absolutely, I think it's a perfectly fine choice and if anything it would actually be preferred in aggressive shells like delver.

    That being said the 2/2 body is very relevant, both on offense and defense and the flexibility of the card is what makes it so good. Both cards are functionally the same against Tron as you mention but it's the other matchups like against colonnade decks for instance where fulminator really gets a leg up over molten rain. Fulminator is also more flexible mana wise and the instant speed activation can be very relevant as well. I think there's too many situations where the card is far more versatile to run molten rain over it outside of budget or specific deckbuilding choices.
    Posted in: Control
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.