Grixis Control by mock_kun on MtGO

Creatures (7)
4 Snapcaster Mage
3 Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Non-Creature Spells (30)
4 Ancestral Vision
4 Cryptic Command
2 Fatal Push
3 Kolaghan’s Command
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Mana Leak
4 Serum Visions
2 Spell Snare
2 Terminate
3 Thought Scour
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Lands (23)
1 Blood Crypt
2 Creeping Tar Pit
2 Darkslick Shores
2 Island
1 Mountain
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Spirebluff Canal
2 Steam Vents
2 Swamp
1 Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)
2 Anger of the Gods
1 Ceremonious Rejection
2 Collective Brutality
1 Countersquall
1 Dispel
1 Engineered Explosives
3 Fulminator Mage
2 Izzet Staticaster
2 Nihil Spellbomb


For as long as Modern has existed, Cryptic Command control decks have always had a place in the format, with varying levels of dominance. These strategies have recently receded slightly, due in large part to how linear and combo-oriented the format is. However, with the bannings of Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll, some combo decks have taken a small hit, and that might be enough to see Cryptic Command and friends make a comeback.

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This version, Grixis, forgoes the rather traditional white cards like Path to Exile and Wrath of God for Tasigur, the Golden Fang and black’s superior removal spells, such as Terminate and Fatal Push. It also has a small sub-theme of graveyard interaction that uses Thought Scour to power-up cards like Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Snapcaster Mage. Ancestral Vision is particularly excellent in this deck, where many of the cards that you’ll be drawing are 1-for-1 spells. The way this deck loses in the long game is running out of cards that have any meaningful effect on the game, but Ancestral Vision solves that problem brilliantly. Also, I’ll be adding a Goblin Dark-Dwellers to the deck, as it’s both an excellent 2-for-1 in many situations, and is also a 5 mana 4/4 menace with a free draw 3 cards tacked onto it if you have an Ancestral Vision in the graveyard. Now that’s what I call value.

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The sideboard has a lot of moving parts to it, and I think that a more streamlined sideboard could benefit this deck. Cards like Engineered Explosives are excellent (and necessary) in certain matchups, so it likely warrants more than 1 copy. Additionally, mock_kun likely forewent Negate in favor of a copy each of Dispel, Countersquall, and Ceremonious Rejection. I think this is a little suspect, as Negate is an excellent catch-all answer against most of the decks that you’ll want to board in additional counters against.

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The decks that this Grixis Control deck struggles against are those that either don’t play creatures (like Ad Nauseam) or play creatures that can’t be killed at a 1-for-1 rate (like Tron). Fulminator Mage + Kolaghan’s Command is a good answer to the latter, and it can be looped over and over again if you have access to Snapcaster Mage, or even Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Going forward, I think the lack of discard spells in the mainboard is a good choice, as it’s more important to hit the aggro decks than the control decks in this format.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Kolaghan’s Command

-1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance

+1 Fatal Push

+1 Goblin Dark-Dwellers


-1 Ceremonious Rejection

-1 Countersquall

-1 Dispel

+2 Negate

+1 Engineered Explosives

This is day 50 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 49 here, where we featured a Marvel-ous Standard deck.

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