Deck of the Day: Grixis Control (Frontier)

Control decks met in the finals of Pro Tour Kaladesh, but they did a great job of preying on the Marvel decks that flooded the tournament, and control decks didn’t perform especially well for the rest of the season. They also happen to be completely non-existent in Modern. So why are they so powerful in Frontier?

To begin with, you’re getting two mythic creatures that combine well with tons of spells in your deck. Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy comes down early, improves your hand quality, and then flips into a planeswalker. From there, you can control the board, flashback your spells, or ultimate into a quick clock to end the game.

Torrential Gearhulk is the real deal. It’s as good a card as you can have in control decks that are looking to turn the corner. Dragonlord Ojutai was a tough creature to deal with that could start to provide card advantage quickly, but Gearhulk does much more. It’s instant speed, so it acts as a removal spell in combat. Gearhulk is one of the best cards you can play alongside insane instants.

Delve spells should have never seen print, but they’re legal in Frontier. With fetchlands to fuel them and Jace/Gearhulk to flash them back, this is the most powerful plan you can exploit. Dig Through Time is a 2-mana spell that gets you 2 of your top 7 cards. Murderous Cut isn’t as powerful as Dig, but it’s still an efficient removal spell that can take care of any problem.


With Gearhulk, you want to load up on instants. Early interaction is key, so you’ll want removal in Fiery Impulse and Grasp of Darkness. Expect Fatal Push to make its way as a Frontier all-star soon, but for now, you still have excellent options.


Unlicensed Disintegration provides unconditional removal and reach that can kill players or planeswalkers, and it’s a great combo with Torrential Gearhulk. Kolaghan’s Command can get a Jace or Gearhulk and a 2-for-1.

Languish is the best sweeper available and won’t touch Gearhulk or a flipped Jace.

Painful Truths is awesome with early interaction. You don’t mind trading 1-for-1 in the early game when you’re going to draw 3.


Adding to your early interaction is the countermagic. The question of Void Shatter over Dissipate has been intensely debated in the comment section. Dissipate is the better choice when people are running Ceremonious Rejection, but Disallow will likely win out shortly anyway. Revolutionary Rebuff won’t scale well in the late game, but getting there in a deck with Gearhulks and Digs is what really matters.

The deck selection is going to really open up with the release of Aether Revolt, but one thing will remain the same: With Jace, Gearhulk, and Dig available, blue is going to have an incredible control strategy. Fatal Push offers blue enough early interaction that you might be able to play just 2 colors, but Grixis, Esper, and Sultai could all shine with the new removal spell!

Grixis Control

Toshinori Shiozaki, Top 32 at God of Frontier


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