Grixis Control Deck with 9 Planeswalkers

October 19, 2013 | Posted by Dee

When I first saw Anger of the Gods during Theros spoiler season, I immediately thought that Grixis Control had a decent chance of being a strong deck. Board sweepers are very important for control decks.

Overall, Supreme Verdict is better but in certain metagames, Anger of the Gods is going to be superior. For example, the red mass removal spell exiles Voice of Resurgence and Chandra’s Phoenix. Also, it’s cheaper, which is an advantage over Supreme Verdict when you’re facing fast aggro decks.

So, I started brewing… and failing a lot. I scrapped the deck and went back to work on other decks including Blue/Black Thassa Devotion and Red/Green Midrange.

Then, I saw a Grixis list on Starcitygames that played 4 Frostburn Weird. Somehow I had missed that card in my Grixis builds. It seemed perfect for a two-drop. It’s a great blocker against aggro and it attacks the planeswalkers of control. Plus, it survives Anger of the Gods.

I rebuilt my Grixis deck with the 1/4 Izzet creature and this time the deck performed well. It’s funny how all it takes is one card to make a deck much better.

Check out the decklist below.

Grixis Control
Creatures (8)
Spells (25)
Lands (27)
Sideboard (15)

Click the links below to buy cards from this deck on eBay.

Deck Analysis

[Buy Jace, Architect of Thought on eBay]

With 9 planeswalkers, 8 eight creatures, and only 2 counterspells, this is a tapout Superfriends type of control deck. For the most part, we’re dropping huge threats and forcing our opponent to have an answer.

The full playset of Jace, Architect of Thought is basically given these days for blue control. He’s super versatile, slowing down aggro and giving you card advantage versus midrange and other control decks.

Ral Zarek kills many creatures with his burn ability and he’s deadly against control because of his ultimate. He untaps lands, which is helpful for ramping into Sire of Insanity and casting big Rakdos’s Returns.

I originally had Chandra, Pyromaster in Ashiok’s spot but Will pointed out that Chandra is not really that effective. Her +1 ability is better in decks that have a lot of attackers and her -0 ability is often a dud. For example, exiling a removal spell with Chandra when you don’t need it is pretty bad. If Dissolve is the top card, that’s just awful.

Ashiok has definitely been an upgrade over Chandra. It’s cheaper so it fits the mana curve much better. It gives you an extra angle of attack especially against decks with Desecration Demon. Hitting the 6/6 with Ashiok’s +2 and then putting the huge flyer on the board next turn is pretty awesome.

Frostburn Weird is pretty good at protecting our walkers against ground creatures.

Nightveil Specter is excellent against midrange and control if left unchecked. Also, it’s a decent blocker against aggro. I would play more copies but it dies to Anger of the Gods.

[Buy Nightveil Specter on eBay]

At the top end of the mana curve, we’ve got Rakdos’s Return and Sire of Insanity. I chose the Rakdos X-spell because it can kill planeswalkers while wrecking your opponent’s hand. Sire of Insanity is our secret weapon for destroying Sphinx’s Revelation decks.

I maxed out on Dreadbores and Far // Aways because they are flexible removal spells. The Standard metagame is pretty diverse so you want removal spells that are good in many different situations.

Dissolve was a late addition to the deck but it definitely earned its spot. Because Cavern of Souls left the format, counterspells are much better these days. If this deck didn’t tapout so much, I would definitely play more Dissolves.

The last removal spell is Devour Flesh. This card gives you an extra cheap removal spell against aggro. It combos well with Anger of the Gods. You’ll often come across board states where it can kill a huge threat like Desecration Demon, Blood Baron of Vizkopa, or Obzedat, Ghost Council.

The mana base has 17 blue and red sources and 13 black sources. I was happy to be able to play the maximum number of scry lands in the Grixis colors. Sadly, there is only Temple of Deceit. This deck gets a boost with the next set because then we can play more scry lands.

In the sideboard, we’ve got 4 Dark Betrayal. The card is pretty awesome. It crushes the black devotion decks and it’s solid against Black/White Midrange because it kills Desecration Demon and Obzedat, Ghost Council.

One mana at instant speed to kill four-drops and five-drops? Sign me up! A sweet play is playing Ral Zarek on turn four, untapping a land, and zapping a Desecration Demon.

5 Responses to “Grixis Control Deck with 9 Planeswalkers”

  1. Giroux Whetstone on October 20th, 2013 5:29 pm

    Dont forget ashiok is much better because when aggro hits you hard, and then ashiok hits the feild often time will take their win con. Away, just 1plus gives u 5 loyalty counters which is enough to play ur enemies own stormbreath dragon.

  2. Wes on November 27th, 2013 9:18 pm

    Exactly how good has Nightveil Specter been for you? I played it in a mono-black list pre-theros and it wasn’t that impressive to me. Maybe I just needed more games with it or to play a deck that can protect it if the card is in a position to be relevant.

    One more question if I may… Why no Hero’s Demise instead of Dreadbore? Seems like that would be a lot better against mono blue devotion (specifically, Master of Waves). If budget is the main consideration, I totally understand (in hindsight, the mana base would have a hard time supporting it in the early turns, but there are workarounds I guess).

  3. Dee on November 28th, 2013 3:43 am

    Nightveil Specter has been solid against control but I could see playing something else that’s also good against control but better against midrange since Nightveil is not that good against midrange.

    With only 13 black sources, Hero’s Downfall is hard to cast on turn three. You want at least 15. With the current metagame, I would cut some Far // Away (maybe even all the copies) for Ultimate Price to kill Master of Waves.

  4. John on December 16th, 2013 8:58 pm

    Instead of nightveil spectre maybe play some spellheart chimeras? You already play a good number of sorcery and instants plus you have sire of insanity that causes discard, so it would be a pretty impressive drop late game.

  5. Jacob on February 9th, 2014 7:24 pm

    My only issue with chimera is if your opponent drops dryad militant turn 1 with gw aggro coming into the meta, that would make it a dead draw late game. I personally like aetherling.