Last weekend I attended the 4Seasons Tournament, an Eternal Weekend event in Bologna that happens every three months where I compete in Legacy and Vintage. I love playing paper Magic, both to show off my foil deck that I’m very proud of, and because I love playing Legacy in paper!
After Narset was printed, I was excited and started trying Grixis Control in all its different versions. I started with 2 Narset, went up to 4, then finally felt back to 2. I had some very good results in our local paper Legacy event, and I couldn’t wait to show all my testing off at 4Seasons (you can also see me play the deck on Magic Online here). Narset is great at shutting down games and it’s amazing against Miracles, but it’s bad in too many copies as she doesn’t protect you if you are under pressure, unlike Jace or Liliana.
This is the wonderful deck that I played last Sunday in our 186-person event to an underwhelming 4-4 finish.
I ended up starting with a rough 0-2 after losing to True-Name Nemesis and Liliana, the Last Hope multiple times. I decided to not drop and play the whole event, as I love to play casual Magic and getting to play my foil deck more.
In order to fight Liliana and True-name, the deck could use Angrath’s Rampage. That card is closer to Liliana’s Triumph than it is to Kolaghan’s Command. I would cut the Edict since the two are similar.
Liliana’s Triumph can get rid of Marit Liege, whereas the Rampage could snag a planeswalker or artifact. The fact that it costs a red and is a sorcery is obviously annoying, but I think overall I prefer the Rampage.
I like having 4 Red Elemental Blasts in my deck because I think that blue is still king, and that’s what you’re most likely to face. REB dealing with Snapcaster, Narset, Counterbalance, True-Name Nemesis, Back to Basics, Show and Tell and Jace is so important that I would never play less than 4.
On the other side, I regret playing 2 Blue Elemental Blasts, as I was expecting more Izzet Delver than what there was, and even against that a second Liliana’s Triumph could just be better, so I would make that change.
Those two are the only things I’d change if I’d play the deck again.
Andrea Mengucci – Grixis Control
2 Badlands 1 Swamp (339) 2 Bloodstained Mire 3 Scalding Tarn 2 Island (335) 4 Polluted Delta 3 Underground Sea 3 Volcanic Island 3 Snapcaster Mage 4 Baleful Strix 4 Ponder 3 Kolaghan's Command 1 Angrath's Rampage 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 2 Inquisition of Kozilek 1 Toxic Deluge 3 Hymn to Tourach 1 Lightning Bolt 1 Liliana, the Last Hope 2 Narset, Parter of Veils 4 Force of Will 3 Fatal Push 4 Brainstorm 2 Thoughtseize Sideboard 1 Blue Elemental Blast 2 Surgical Extraction 1 Spell Pierce 2 Red Elemental Blast 2 Pyroblast 1 Toxic Deluge 1 Vendilion Clique 2 Blood Moon 1 Nihil Spellbomb 2 Liliana's Triumph
I see some people advocating for a Gurmag Angler, as this deck can often just run out of gas and end up losing to burn spells despite being way ahead in card advantage. But with Narset, you don’t need any extra win conditions. You’ll find your Jace, the Mind Sculptor and it will eventually take the game over. Just make sure to not spend your Force of Will on the wrong threats as you’ll need all your answers in the long games.
This deck is very weak to Wasteland, so you need to plan accordingly and make sure to fetch for basics in the early game so you can start casting your 3-drops freely and play around Daze and Spell Pierce. You have very few answers to True-Name Nemesis in Game 1, so make sure to not use them too quickly.
I found any Delver deck to be a bad matchup in Game 1, but then once you have Blood Moons and more answers to True-Name, you’ll be in a much better shape (with the exception of Izzet Delver, which is still pretty rough because it’s a Delver deck that doesn’t mind Blood Moon).
Sideboarding with this deck is rather easy. I love to cut my Force of Wills against midrange decks, in general against any deck that has access to Red Elemental Blast or Hymn to Tourach. I often bring in Red Elemental Blasts in those matchups so I still have answers to some potential bombs like True-Name Nemesis or Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Blood Moon wins you the most games, and I would say it’s the only reason why the deck can function against any deck that isn’t Miracles. If it weren’t for Miracles, I would play the Blood Moon maindeck–it’s lights-out against a huge percentage of the format when backed up by discard.
These concerns worried me about playing the deck, and I still have some doubts if Grixis Control is the deck to play in Legacy. All I know is that this is one of the very few decks that’s good against Miracles, as well as not being a pile of unplayable cards otherwise. I have a huge respect for Miracles whenever I play any Legacy event, so here I am.
Legacy is about to be shaken up by two big news: the first one is Modern Horizons, which already has many interesting cards like Wrenn and Six and Force of Negation. I think that Force is a great card that will help fair decks beat unfair decks more often, even though in Legacy we already have cheap and efficient answers.
The other big news is the London Mulligan.
I don’t think Legacy will be shaken up too much by the change, while it will damage Modern and Vintage. Legacy will be okay because the answers are better than the threats in this format, so with Force of Will and Wasteland we’ll manage to deal with the degenerate combo decks, as well as the Chalice decks.
Next week I’ll cover the Vintage event that I took part in, as well as what I think about the Vintage format with War of the Spark and the London Mulligan!