Posted in Feature on June 14, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

It's unusual to see a blue control deck in Standard without Sphinx's Revelation, but Purpler managed to 4–0 a Standard Daily Event with an honest Grixis deck.

Jace, Architect of Thought

Instead of the powerful instant, Purpler relies primarily on Jace, Architect of Thought and Snapcaster Mage to get ahead but often only needs to buy enough time to play a game-winning Demon, Dragon, or Vampire.

With fourteen cheap creature-removal spells, including Far & Away, which can both make the opponent sacrifice a creature and bounce Snapcaster Mage to do it again, Purpler isn't planning to fall behind. This deck has no mass removal or big card-draw spells, it's just trying to kill everything as it comes down and then use a four-mana spell to pull ahead over the next few turns.

The removal mix is excellent, with Pillar of Flame and Searing Spear for small creatures; Far & Away for hexproof; and Victim of Night for troublesome big creatures like Obzedat, Ghost Council. Vampire Nighthawk preserves a healthy life total while blocking for Planeswalkers. The counterspell suite is fairly sparse, but the Snapcaster Mages can help it last a little longer, and the sideboard offers discard as a supplement against opponents who are playing things you can't just kill once they're in play.

The notable exclusions to me are Liliana of the Veil and Ætherling. Without Sphinx's Revelation, the deck doesn't need a ton of mana, so it wouldn't be that bad to occasionally discard a land to Liliana, and I think it's high-impact enough to play once the deck is already built to defend Planeswalkers. Ætherling is just such a thorough threat that it's hard for me to see passing up on it, but I do like the other threats Purpler's using. I'd probably play Ætherling over Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius, though.

Purpler's Grixis Control

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