Pondering—Grinding It Out With Grixis

I played Standard! Again! Me! Standard! Again!

The last time I did, I played the horribly boring UWR Flash, came with a half-assed sideboard, and dropped at 1-2. This time, I played a brew and finished the day with a respectable 3-1. Here’s the list:

Deck: Grixis Seer

Counts : 60 main / 15 sideboard

Creatures:14
4 Delver of Secrets
3 Augur of Bolas
3 Snapcaster Mage
4 Duskmantle Seer

Spells:24
2 Pillar of Flame
1 Tragic Slip
1 Unsummon
2 Desperate Ravings
1 Devour Flesh
1 Dimir Charm
2 Dreadbore
1 Essence Scatter
1 Izzet Charm
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Rakdos's Return
2 Searing Spear
2 Think Twice
1 Turn // Burn
2 Dissipate
1 Rolling Temblor
1 Tribute to Hunger
1 Sever the Bloodline

Lands:22
2 Blood Crypt
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Desolate Lighthouse
2 Dragonskull Summit
3 Drowned Catacomb
4 Island
4 Steam Vents
3 Sulfur Falls
2 Watery Grave

Sideboard:15
2 Appetite for Brains
1 Duress
1 Pillar of Flame
1 Devour Flesh
2 Turn // Burn
1 Victim of Night
1 Counterflux
3 Izzet Staticaster
2 Clone
1 Psychic Spiral

This list is based off of the Grixis Seer deck that made the tiniest of splashes on MODO a few weeks back. I happened upon it when I was looking on MTGO Stats for Modern decks with Duskmantle Seer, and thought it looked interesting. After a bit of testing, it felt really threat-light, much like the Flash decks. But unlike the Flash decks, you’re not playing Sphinx’s Revelation and therefore can’t go as long. Short of resolving a Seer and keeping it alive, there was no real way to win.

So I decided to tweak the numbers a little, reduce the land count and trim a few of the less useful instants and sorceries to fit in Delvers. No, there’s no way to set up a flip other than the single copy of Dimir Charm (and even then, it’s a bit of a stretch), but I’m not going to turn down free wins. A blind flip in the early turns can really punish Thragtusk decks (the non-nut hands, at any rate) such that, by the time they resolve one, I’m already so far ahead that it doesn’t matter.

In fact, that’s pretty much what happened all day today. All four of my rounds were against Thragtusk decks—two of them Jund, two of them Junk Reanimator. I went 2-0, 4-0 against the Jund decks, overwhelming Matt and Monique with removal spell after removal spell after removal spell. Turn // Burn was amazing against Thragtusk, Pillar of Flame was suddenly not the worst card in all of Magic when I was staring down a Huntmaster, and Clone out of the board made damn sure that Olivia never stayed alive long enough to steal my Seers. Snapcaster is also ridiculous in this shell, since Jund relies on spending whole turns resolving marquee midrange creatures, allowing for huge tempo swings in my favor when I kill off their stuff at the end of their turn and get a 2/1 out of the deal.

Reanimator was a little more tricky; the threat density in those decks is just too damn high. And since very few of my removal spells exile things, Unburial Rites just makes it so hard for me to keep the path clear for my small creatures. And this isn’t even mentioning the dumb things their creatures can do. In the match that I lost, I got hit by Acidic Slime four times thanks to Restoration Angel, locking me out of black and making things super awkward. I ended up three damage short of taking game three when, despite my best efforts to dig through my deck with Augurs, Seers, and draw spells, that crucial Searing Spear never showed up.

As for the other Reanimator match, turns out double blind-flip Delver is pretty good. Sorry, Mike.

I was pretty pleased with the deck overall, and already have some ideas on where to make improvements. For instance, I know the mana could be better—I was just too lazy to pull my other Watery Graves out from my Modern decks. Unsummon was a non-factor all day, and the Desperate Ravings should probably just be Think Twices.

All of that is well and good, but I’m honestly not that excited to play Standard again, for no other reason than that Thragtusk decks are JUST. SO. FUCKING. BORING. Reanimator, in particular, seems like a troublesome matchup since I can’t do anything about Cavern of Souls and Acidic Slime. I had hoped that there would be some innovation to the Standard format with Dragon’s Maze, but so far it’s just been a few select cards here and there added to existing archetypes, as opposed to completely new decks like Grixis. And unfortunately, I don’t foresee there being any innovation until Innistrad block rotates out.

But hey, that’s just me being cranky. I’m like this pretty often. In all likelihood, I’ll find myself playing Standard again next week. This stupid game has a tendency of sucking me back in.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Pondering—Grinding It Out With Grixis”
  1. Zac Clark says:

    “From time to time the tree of Control must be refreshed with the blood of Midrange and Burn decks!” – Thomas Jefferson

  2. Monique Garraud says:

    For the first time this season, I’m considering retiring my Thragtusks for some brain eaters!

    • Li Xu says:

      Zombies are in a good spot I think, lots of decks spend too much time setting up and just get mauled by hasty threats.

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  1. […] done a lot of tuning and testing this list on MODO and have been starting to see a smattering of similar decklists from other people. Over the last month, Josh Fetto and I have had some email […]



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