Last week, I closed by going into detail about Grixis Control, breaking down the archetype from the top down. Some of the comments suggested that the deck is bad, or that it’s just a bad version of Jeskai Black. Well, GP Paris just concluded, and the unthinkable has happened! Grixis Control was the champion, defeating none other than ChannelFireball’s own Hall-of-Famer Ben Stark, piloting Jeskai Black, in the finals.
Grixis Control may be on the way out the door with the rotation, as are many decks that rely on the power of Dig Through Time and fetchlands, but we still have some time to embrace the control life. Petr Sochurek brought an excellent list into GP Paris that eventually left him holding the trophy. I like the list I proposed in my article and thought it was a solid starting point, but his is just an improved model.
By decreasing the number of counters in the main deck, you limit the number of dead draws. It also allows the Grixis deck to take the proactive approach in many situations instead of relying solely on reaction.
Duress and Transgress the Mind fill the same role that many of the counters do, but both can be played without leaving up mana for the entire game. Disdainful Stroke is still so good against decks like Ramp, every Gideon deck, and Company, that it has earned main-deck status until Shadows over Innistrad is legal.
The other big change Petr made was main-deck Ob Nixilis Reignited. This is an excellent card against Abzan and also a way to press the advantage for only 5 mana. A repeated source of card advantage, especially after the path is clear from hand disruption, can go a long way.
The sideboard Petr used was pretty streamlined, but I wanted to highlight the one exception: Dragonmaster Outcast has fallen out of favor in Jeskai Black decks, especially as Ojutai’s Command has seen less play. Despite the fact that this Grixis deck has no graveyard synergies (it doesn’t even have access to Kolaghan’s Command), Dragonmaster Outcast still does a ton of work as a finisher that can come down late in the game and leave you with access to almost all of your mana. This means you can cast a couple removal spells, a sweeper, or possibly even Chandra on the same turn you deploy your Dragonmaster. Good luck dealing with both of those in the same turn after having your board wiped, because they are both surely going to win the game if left unchecked.
Grixis Control is making a strong case for being the top deck in Standard, giving Rally and Jeskai Black some serious competition!