September 24, 2015

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Daily Dose of Battle for Zendikar: Standard Deck Tech – Colorless Grixis Control

Welcome to another edition of the Daily Dose of Battle for Zendikar. Today we will be going over an archetype which hasn’t seen Standard play in quite a while, and that is Grixis Control. With the rotation of Theros Block and Magic 2015, and with the addition of Battle for Zendikar, I believe that Grixis control is primed for a comeback.

Here is a look at Colorless 3-Color Control

Colorless 3-Color Control

Creatures: (11)
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
Abbot of Keral Keep
Dragonlord Silumgar
Fathom Feeder
Sire of Stagnation

Spells: (22)
Scatter to the Winds
Wild Slash
Radiant Flames
Kolaghan’s Command
Painful Truths
Ruinous Path
Transgress the Mind
Exquisite Firecraft
Silumgar’s Command
Dig Through Time

Planeswalkers: (2)
Ob Nixilis Reignited
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Lands: (25)
Bloodstained Mire
Polluted Delta
Sunken Hollow
Smoldering Marsh
Mountain
Swamp
Island
Shivan Reef

Sideboard: (15)
Dragonmaster Outcast
Horribly Awry
Disdainful Stroke
Radiant Flames
Duress
Negate
Roast

Welcome to Grixis Control! Let’s talk a little about the different parts of the deck and how they interact.

Removal
Wild Slash – This allows you to deal with any early threats on the board as you start to build your mana base.
Fathom Feeder – This is a key early creature that will be able to remove any creature on the ground. It’s cheap but can take out much larger creatures. If you get it mid-to-late game as well, you can use it gain bonus card advantage.
Scatter to the Winds – Cards like Dissipate have seen Standard play, so with the same casting cost and the ability in late game to add a creature on the board, look for Scatter to the Winds to give you some board advantage as well.
Radiant Flames – In most cases you will able to sweep a lot of creatures out of the way with this board sweeper. It will help you clear out smaller early threats that are clogging up the board. Getting Converge to 3 damage shouldn’t be a problem with the mana you have available.
Ruinous Path – A lot of your other removal spells will allow you clear out multiple threats (Radiant Flames), or small to medium creatures (Exquisite Firecraft). Ruinous Path will clear out anything you want including some of those pesky planeswalkers going around. If you get this late game you can also have the added bonus of getting a creature on the board as well.
Silumgar’s Command – A versatile spell that is most often a double removal spell in whatever iteration of the 4 options your choose for it. Being a 2-for-1 is why this card gets a spot in this deck.

Card Advantage
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy – This will provide a lot of card advantage whether is comes from its creature ability to cycle through your deck, or its Snapcaster Mage like planeswalker ability. Key to get this out early and get the cards you need to help take control of the game.
Abbot of Keral Keep – Even playing this on turn 3 could gain you advantage if you draw a land. Being able to get it back often with Kolaghan’s Command as well will add extra value. Bonus damage beats thanks to the many possible Prowess triggers.
Kolaghan’s Command – This is both a removal spell, but mostly a card advantage spell. It’s able to make your opponent discard a card as well as getting a creature back from your graveyard. Combining this with cards like Fathom Feeder leads to even more value.
Painful Truths – Drawing 3 cards for 3 mana and 3 life will help you get ahead and hit all of your land drops. If you are low in life late in the game, you can even only draw 1 or 2 cards if you need to, but trust me, you’ll want to draw 3 most of the time.
Transgress the Mind – With the removal of Thoughtseize from Standard, Transgress the Mind will see play in its slot and be a good removal card to get out some large threats your opponent may have in their hand.
Dig Through Time – There will be lots of opportunities to get cards in your graveyard to make you able to cast it with sufficient Delve to give this added value. This will allow you to choose what cards are best needed to keep control of the battlefield and the game.
Ob Nixilis Reignited – Getting repetitive card advantage while holding up the option to destroy any creature they put into play, makes Ob Nixilis a powerful card to get onto the battlefield. Using this to slowly take over the game will be something you will be doing often.

Creature Beats/Finishers
Tasigur, the Golden Fang – This will provide some big damage once you have control of the board, and can also gain you some needed bonus card advantage later in the game as well. You will be able to get lots of cards in your graveyard to cast this early as well thanks to 8 fetchlands and multiple spells filling your graveyard.
Dragonlord Silumgar – If all of the removal available is not able to stop a large creature, you can take control of it with Dragonlord Silumgar and attack with both for some extra beats.
Sire of Stagnation – This can be used as a large creature to finish off your opponent, but it will also stifle your opponent’s mana by giving them a penalty of drawing you cards for each land they play.
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon – Thanks to the amount of removal and card advantage you will have, it shouldn’t be a problem to get into the late game where Ugin will see play. Once in play it can take over games.
As you can see there are lots of ways to remove your opponent’s threats, gain card advantage and finish off the game with Grixis Control. The great part about a lot of these cards is that they provide dual functions. This will help you get added value with every card in the deck.

Thanks for reading another edition of the Daily Dose of Battle for Zendikar and I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow for some more preview action of what’s to come starting October 2nd!