Grixis Drain Control



  • Hello all, I thought I would post a deck I have been playing a lot lately and tinkering with a lot. I would like to thank @ChubbyRain and @NBA84 for starting what I think is a good trend and what I hope continues. I think the recent postings have been great to start a good dialogue about trying new things, sharing new ideas, and an overall discussion about deck ideas.

    I play online and in paper. This deck was inspired based on my shops heavy paper meta which is what I am mainly concerned with and I am tired of losing to shops. I do also run the deck online (same 75).

    The list went 3-2 Monday evening (Win: Shops, landstill (RUG), 4c Sylvan Walkers. Loss: Shops, Storm).

    The list:

    Land (16):
    3 Polluted Delta
    1 Scalding Tarn
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    2 volcanic island
    1 badlands
    2 underground sea
    2 Island
    1 mountain
    1 library of Alexandria
    1 Swamp

    Artifact (6):
    1 black lotus
    1 mox sapphire
    1 mox ruby
    1 mox jet
    1 Sol ring
    1 Sensei's Divining Top

    Instants (22):
    4 Mana Drain
    4 Force of Will
    4 Mental Misstep
    1 Vampiric Tutor
    1 Mystical Tutor
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Brainstorm
    3 lightning Bolt
    2 Kolaghan's Command
    1 Skeletal Scrying

    Creatures (5):
    4 Dark Confidant
    1 Snapcaster Mage

    Sorcery (7):
    1 Time Walk
    1 Ponder
    1 Yawgmoth's Will
    1 Subterranean Tremors
    1 Meltdown
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Gitaxian Probe

    Planeswalkers (4):
    1 Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast
    1 Dack Fayden
    2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

    Sideboard (15):
    2 By force
    1 Meltdown
    1 Hurkyl's Recall
    3 Grafdigger's Cage
    4 Leyline of the Void
    1 Pyroblast
    1 Flusterstorm
    1 Slaughter Games
    1 Toxic Deluge

    Card Choice:

    Dark Confidant: I am a huge fan of Bob. There is a lot of STP running around right now but the deck runs a lot of protection for him to stick around. He avoids pyroblast which is very common right now and he is good against shops. A turn one Bob forces a shops opponent to deal with him via ballista or give you immediate card advantage. He feeds you cards every turn and allows you to keep your mana open. With this list running 4 drains I always want my mana available to me.

    Mana Drain x4: I understand that 4 mana drain is a lot but it serves a dual purpose: it is a counter spell and a quasi cantrip. I get to use the mana drain as a draw spell by countering what my opponent plays, move to my turn, draw, and then use the mana available to me. It also helps me 1) cast spells through a sphere and 2) ramp up one of the many x cost spells in the deck

    Meltdown: I think Meltdown is wildly underplayed. By Force is a great card and appears in my board, but Meltdown is a superior board wipe. Especially in a deck with 4 mana drains and only 6 artifacts I can use drain mana to wipe a shops board and still have other mana available to me. With the low mana curve shops has favored lately a meltdown on 3 usually blows up the opponents entire board. Also, against a paradoxical opponent for one red I can blow up a large portion of their mana base by getting rid of moxen and crypt.

    Skeletal Scrying: I love this card. When running bob obviously Dig and Cruise are out because they hurt a lot. This card is flips well for Bob and though it does take some life from you on the back end it allows me to scale my draw, use drain mana, and avoids pyroblast.

    Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast: Daretti is gasoline. Even in a deck with a low artifact count he proves very scary. Having a walking terminate on the board is really scary for the opponent if they cannot deal with him. He blows up oath targets, everything on a shops board, and his 1/1 minions present huge issues for cards like pyromancer and buy me time.

    Yawgmoth's Will: Yawg Will appears solely for its pure value. I have ended more than one game solely from resolving a will and burying my opponent under value and card advantage. I think the value will is sometimes overlooked and underplayed.

    Slaughter Games (sideboard): Double and Triple Griselbrand Oath lists are popping up more and more. Casting an uncounterable spell that sucks out the only oath target or even 2/3 of the oath targets is great, even for 4 mana. It has ended more than one game for me after it resolves.

    4 basic land in a 3 color list: wasteland is ever present and a card I have a seen a lot of now. In a deck with only 16 land I want to play around wasteland whenever possible. It does cut down on some of the synergy but keeps me from getting cut out of the game.

    Cards that aren't there

    Pyroblast: I loath this card. I think pyroblast is a card everyone is running but it is worse than useless against shops, the best deck in the format. At least misstep can pitch to force and hits sol ring, pyroblast does literally nothing. I understand that I give up points in the blue mirror by not running this card but it is hard to run blank cards against shops. I make up for some of the loss with the extra drains. I do run one in the board to bring in.

    Tinker/Blightsteel: I understand it is a corner case but getting a blightsteel stolen by Dack is something I do not want to happen. Also, most shops lists are running multiple main deck metamorphs at this point. It just was not a risk I wanted to take. Also, minus 12 with Bob makes blightsteel a terrible option.

    Please let me know what you think I am open to any suggestions, comments, questions, criticisms.
    Happy Brewing



  • Have you had any issues with running 4 basics?



  • @ghost588 so far it has been pretty consistent. I’ve tinkered with taking the swamp in and out for another Sea, and also had 15 for a while with a basic in the board. Right now the setup has proven pretty consistent but it is certainly something I might change in the future.

    I had also considered removing the swamp for a Cosmic Horror. That card seems super OP right now. Avoids pyroblast, swings three times for game, has extremely impressive art. Maybe remove a Jace and splash green for Eureka, get it out quick. Any thoughts?



  • I don’t hate it. Eureka is a very underrated card so no one will see it coming. If you play lightning greaves you can make cosmic horror pretty decent in a lot of match ups. Also only swords kills it. But not with greaves. It’s worth trying for sure.


  • Administrators

    Am I being trolled? Are we looking at the same Cosmic Horror? A 7/7 with an upkeep cost you can't pay if you get it into play with Eureka? What's going on here? :D



  • @brass-man said in Grixis Drain Control:

    Am I being trolled? Are we looking at the same Cosmic Horror? A 7/7 with an upkeep cost you can't pay if you get it into play with Eureka? What's going on here? :D

    Now imagine a Cosmic Horror with a Basilisk Collar.



  • Nothing to troll about when it comes to a 7/7 first strike you can cast with eureka. Plus the loss of life will make your death shadows in your deck more lethal. Yeah it doesn’t draw 7 cards or have flying and lifelink, but when you die buy one you’ll never forget it and show the respect it deserves.



  • @nedleeds Basilik Collar! Now you’re thinking. It would be almost just like Griselbrand but so unassuming people wouldn’t bother with it. Just sneak up on people and then they’re dead. Boom!

    @Ghost588 add greaves in there too. It’s getting quite dangerous.



  • @ghost588 I found a sweet graded one last month and snagged it up. So pretty! When the buyout comes I will have the last laugh!


  • Administrators

    With every post in this thread I am less and less sure what's going on



  • @brass-man My assumption is that someone is having a laugh with two accounts.



  • Some spicy tech ITT.





  • @stuart a very valid point. Hippo Oath is always something to be weary of. Another underrated archetype that always comes out of nowhere when you least expect it.



  • @pox22 surprisingly it is an actual conversation I only have one account. Lol. I think you are underestimating the allure of the Cosmic Horror Archtype.

    At some point this was meant to be a serious thread but has completely dissolved. A worthwhile sacrifice for the glory of Cosmic Horror.


  • Administrators

    man, I figured that's what happened ... but that's a shame because I'm really curious about Grixis Control decks right now :)



  • @brass-man in all seriousness I do really enjoy the list I posted. I’m still tinkering with a few flex spots but I really like grixis at the moment. The shops matchup seems to be strong for my list, and the list creates a lot of value.

    I think there are a lot of unexplored cards especially in black that id like to try in the list.

    Since posting this the other day i moved out the main deck hurkyls for a thought seize and I removed the basic mountain for a daze. Both of which have proven strong.

    My one fear is getting out tempoed by storm or paradoxical lists which have been a blind spot for my list. Something I think I may reconsider having no flusterstorms in the main for.

    The four drains continue to prove to have great value. Many of my games end on the back of a value based yawg will and having drain mana up and drains in the yard just crushed my opponent even though I technically didn’t “win” the game that turn.

    Did a lot of play testing yesterday evening against a more traditional jeskai mentor list with a green splash and the matchup was fantastic for me the whole evening

    Any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated :)


  • Administrators

    @poxeveryturn Can you tell me a little more about Dark Confidant? When is it good for you, when is it bad? It's a card I usually just really don't like, but I get the feeling that it fills a specific role in this list and I wouldn't want to change it without thinking.



  • I feel like this deck rings back to the bob tezz vault key decks from several years ago, that tried to abuse bob with jace, bury you in CA and win. With no tinker/bot, no storm and no vault key, bob is more of a literal win condition than i'd be confortable with in a meta where 1 toughness makes good cards meodicre to situationally unplayable.

    I do like the idea of scrying as an extra draw spell that doest wreck you when flipped to Bob. I like aspects of this list, and feel like this is maybe 4 or 5 cards away from being conpetitive with the right sideboard strategy.



  • @brass-man so my thoughts on bob are two fold. First, he’s good against shops. A turn one bob makes them either blow there ballista asap to get rid of him or let me get free card advantage off the top until they find another answer. I’m not saying he’s like an overall answer but he’s early pressure and let’s me keep my mana up. He also get some around spheres. He just puts cards in my hand and I don’t have to spend extra on cantrips and lose tempo big time.

    That’s the second point overall as well. He gives me card advantage without spending mana. In a deck with as many reactive spells as I’m running I want to keep as much mana open as possible so I can keep up drain, bolts, etc. as often as possible.

    I will say I have gone back and forth with him being in and out of the list. I had removed him in favor of the delve spells and more snapcasters at one point. I also had the list running 6 walkers at one point with multiple dacks and chandra which have since been removed.

    I’m not sure he is correct but I Love the card. Lol. Whenever he sticks he is good for me. People really hit the panic button to try and remove him but if they can’t he just gives me so much advantage. Having said that. If he hits the board and then just dies it does suck a lot.


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