Grixis Control

Posted in Daily Deck on May 27, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

If you follow Modern, you know that Grixis Delver is one of the more dominant decks in Standard. Grixis Delver is what is known in R&D as "disruptive aggro," a deck that tries to apply pressure early and then follow it up with disruption, such as counters and discard spells. The plan usually falls apart when the opponent has good ways to remove your early pressure and can keep up with your disruption.

Dan Jessup's Grixis Control deck is definitely not disruptive aggro, but it plays many of the same cards that you might see in Grixis Delver. Snapcaster Mage; Tasigur, the Golden Fang; Thoughtseize; and Lightning Bolt are all present, as well as the suite of counterspells that the Delver deck typically plays. What is actually missing is Delver itself.

The Modern format is defined by efficient removal spells. Dismember, Path to Exile, Lightning Bolt, and Lightning Helix are all great ways to remove Delvers from the battlefield. And with those cards being everywhere, it makes a lot of sense to cut them from the deck and go in a more controlling direction.

One card I really like from this list is Kolaghan's Command. It has made a small appearance in Standard but I think that Modern is where the card really shines. Usually Raise Dead effects are sub-par, but when you are returning Snapcaster Mage to your hand the value of this type of card goes way up. Kolaghan's Command is also a decent removal spell and can even destroy an artifact, something that a blue control deck usually struggles with.

Playing a more controlling version of Grixis also allows you to play more high impact cards like Cryptic Command and Vedalken Shackles. Modern doesn't have efficient card draw (most of the low-mana card-draw spells are banned), and these, along with Snapcaster Mage and Kolaghan's Command, are your main ways to gain card advantage.

Dan Jessup’s Grixis Control

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