Grixis Improvise by Charlesjacenorman on MtGO

Creatures (10)
4 Bastion Inventor
4 Herald of Anguish
2 Maverick Thopterist

Non-Creature Spells (27)
4 Metallic Rebuke
1 Reverse Engineer
3 Unlicensed Disintegration
3 Cogworker’s Puzzleknot
2 Implement of Combustion
2 Key to the City
1 Prophetic Prism
3 Renegade Map
4 Servo Schematic
4 Tezzeret’s Touch

Lands (23)
4 Aether Hub
2 Island
2 Mountain
1 Smoldering Marsh
4 Spire of Industry
4 Spirebluff Canal
2 Sunken Hollow
4 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
2 Aethersphere Harvester
1 Contraband Kingpin
4 Fatal Push
3 Negate
2 Release the Gremlins
2 Tezzeret the Schemer
1 Unlicensed Disintegration


There was a certain interesting buzz of excitement at the Pro Tour. And I’m not talking about the general sense of possibility that the Pro Tour provides. I’m talking about the hush-hush hype over a Grixis Improvise deck that had openings where it rushed into play powerful creatures backed up by Mana Leak that only costs 1 mana. In round 4, the first round of Standard, we got our first glimpse of the deck, and it was exciting. Despite not putting up impressive results, many still believe that Grixis Improvise could have a place in this Standard format.

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Charlesjacenorman is certainly one of these people, and they piloted this deck to a good result on MtGO on February 5. The deck revolves around getting cheap artifacts into play, the best of them being Servo Schematic and Cogworker’s Puzzleknot, as they immediately provide 2 artifacts for your Improvise spells, and then using those cheap artifacts to cast improvise creatures such as Herald of Anguish. Additionally, the deck has Tezzeret’s Touch as a very powerful backup plan that can put the opponent on a fast, 4-turn clock that they must answer.

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A big draw to this deck is its speed. Unlike the Metalwork Colossus decks that have been floating around here and there, this deck is excellent at getting ahead quickly. However, it isn’t the most resilient, so finishing the game off quickly is this deck’s recipe for success. Cards like Unlicensed Disintegration and Key to the City help to this end.

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In the Mardu Vehicles world that we live in, I would be a little scared of playing this deck if you expect your metagame to be filled with Heart of Kiran and company. However, against decks that want to control the game or play a fair, midrange game of Magic, your playset of Bastion Inventor feels pretty good. As the format develops further, Mardu Vehicles’ choke-hold on the format will certainly loosen, and it will open up the possibility of many more decks making their mark, including Grixis Improvise. Make sure you have your playset of Metallic Rebuke on hand. Who knows when you might need to whip them out.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Implement of Combustion

-1 Prophetic Prism

+1 Unlicensed Disintegration

+1 Maverick Thopterist


-1 Unlicensed Disintegration

-1 Fatal Push

-1 Negate

+3 Contraband Kingpin

This is day 40 of’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 39 here, where we covered a successful deck from the Pro Tour that has its crosshair firmly set on Mardu Vehicles.

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