Grixis Ultimatum by mrcafouillette on MtGO

Creatures (3)
3 Snapcaster Mage

Non-Creature Spells (32)
2 Cruel Ultimatum
2 Damnation
4 Cryptic Command
3 Electrolyze
2 Fatal Push
1 Kolaghan’s Command
2 Logic Knot
2 Mana Leak
2 Opt
1 Shadow of Doubt
1 Spell Snare
3 Terminate
3 Think Twice
1 Engineered Explosives
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Search for Azcanta

Lands (25)
1 Blood Crypt
3 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Drowned Catacomb
1 Field of Ruin
3 Island
4 Polluted Delta
3 Scalding Tarn
2 Steam Vents
2 Sulfur Falls
1 Swamp
1 Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Fatal Push
1 Kolaghan’s Command
2 Collective Brutality
1 Countersquall
1 Dispel
2 Fulminator Mage
1 Izzet Staticaster
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Surgical Extraction
2 Thoughtseize
1 Vendilion Clique


Control decks in Modern have mostly been U/W or Jeskai over the last several years, due to this color combination’s good board wipes, counter spells, and draw spells. However, these decks aren’t the only ones on the block, as the deck we’re featuring today, Grixis Ultimatum, aims to prove.

While it does take the traditional Control archetype in a different direction, this deck has many of the same features as other Control decks in this format. Cryptic Command still remains as an incredibly powerful tool for these strategies, as it counter spells, draws cards, bounces permanents, and keeps the opponent’s attackers at bay. Logic Knot, Mana Leak, and Spell Snare are also included in this deck, as they represent the counter spells that best fit this strategy in the format. Logic Knot can be quite punishing in the early game if certain draws are played out, but in the mid to late game it’s nearly always a hard counter spell, counteracting Mana Leak and Spell Snare, which tend to do their best work in the very early game.

As the deck name might suggest, Cruel Ultimatum plays a crucial role in this deck. The powerful 7 mana sorcery has been a favorite of Control players for quite some time, but it needs the right shell around it to succeed. While it doesn’t win the game on its own, in this sort of deck it can absolutely be thought of as a win condition, as it sets the opponent back on board, demolishes their hand, draws 3 cards, recovers life lost, and frequently returns a previously used Snapcaster Mage. Damnation is another iconic card in this strategy. The 4 mana board wipe gives black a lot of the game that traditional U/W Control decks bring to the table, which is an effect that this deck is thrilled to have access to.


As for the rest of the cards, since this deck churns through cards so quickly, it can afford to play a lot of more or less situational 1-ofs and 2-ofs. These include Kolaghan’s Command, which represents a 2-for-1 every time it is cast, Shadow of Doubt, which can catch the opponent’s fetchland or other search effect off guard, Engineered Explosives, which is a nice catch-all against low to the ground strategies, Search for Azcanta, which represents good loot in the early game and a nearly unbeatable source of card advantage in the late game, and Nihil Spellbomb, which at worst draws a card and at best completely shuts off opposition graveyard strategies before sideboards are even touched.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Electrolyze

-1 Nihil Spellbomb

+1 Damnation

+1 Fatal Push


-1 Fatal Push

-1 Vendilion Clique

+2 Thoughtseize

This is day 334 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 333 here, where we featured a unique Modern creature deck that foregoes Collected Company in favor of powerful Eldrazi and Eldritch Evolution!

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