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Deck of the Week : Budget Grixis Control

In Standard season's past, midrange was typically my go to build. I've piloted many a Golgari or Orzhov Midrange deck to a top four FMN victory. However, if the stars aligned and it was in the cards, control was always my deck of choice. Theros/Khans Standard saw what I would consider one of the of the most fun and interactive control environments of the last half decade.

But this is New Standard and it blows. With Type Two currently a wasteland of leftover decks from Khans of Tarkir, taking a break from Khans part two means we can focus on a more exciting control environment... Modern control.

Admittedly, I've never been as strong of a Modern control player as I am in Standard. Perhaps its the difference in pace that that Modern Control tends to require, but as a player, I've never quite gotten a hang of the sense of urgency that every decision point tends to require in that setting. With the Modern season a ways off, there's no better time to get some practice in.

Patrick Chapin's Grixis Control

Creatures

4Snapcaster Mage
2Tasigur, the Golden Fang
3Gurmag Angler

Lands

2Creeping Tar Pit
4Polluted Delta
4Scalding Tarn
2Sulfur Falls
2Steam Vents
2Watery Grave
3Island
1Mountain
1Swamp

Spells

4Thought Scour
2Spell Snare
4Lightning Bolt
1Dispel
2Mana Leak
1Remand
1Shadow of Doubt
4Terminate
2Kolaghan's Command
1Electrolyze
4Cryptic Command
4Serum Visions

Sideboard

2Dispel
1Flashfreeze
1Slay
1Izzet Staticaster
1Shreikmaw
1Keranos, God of Storms
4Fulminator Mage
1Countersquall
1Damnation
1Spellskite
1Batterskull

USA control is in a transitional spot and this list above is the one that dethroned it as the control build of choice. Riding on the back of the amazing removal and control suite that black brings to the deck, white has been slowly cut in favor of Terminate, Creeping Tar Pit and Rookie of the Year, Kolaghan's Command.

An ideal play involves casting Though Scour, targeting yourself, casting a few burn or control spells and slamming down Tasigur or Gurmag Angler ahead of curve, delving to pay for the excess cost. After your giant fish hits with a thud, you are then free to counter away as you crash in for five damage.

Four Cryptic Commands may seem like over kill in this deck, however you will likely have four mana open for most of the game after casting your big fish burning away at their board. In the event that Tasigur or Nemo eat a Path, Creeping Tar Pit remains on the bench to close out the inning. Its more likely though that your burn/counter magic grip will lock them out before they have a chance to mount much of an offense.

Between the Snapcasters and high profile spells in this deck, you're looking at spending $800 plus for the deck after taking lands into account. Considering for some that may not have access to an expansive modern collection, this may put this deck well out of reach. While you may not be able to play a tier one control deck, there are some slots we can cut to make this deck a tad more manageable.

snapcaster.jpeg

Unfortunately, there really isn't a card out there like Snapcaster Mage. Giving a card Flashback for the low low price of 1U simply doesn't exist in MTG. His replacement needs to come in the form of an instant speed closer instead of the flexible combat trick. May I suggest to you the little mythic that could, Pearl Lake Ancient.

Pearl Lake Ancient doesn't recur a spell and he doesn't exactly count as a combat trick, but where he does excel is in that giant 6/7 “can't be countered” body of his. A giant closer that gets stronger when you cast a 'Bolt is nothing to sneeze at. Plus, his ability to protect himself, albeit for a high cost is something worth looking at adding.

If we are truly looking at the being budget conscious, then building a typical control deck may not be our endgame here. The deck I am envisioning is more control in a burn shell, therefor adding white back into the deck. Assuming that you have pulled at least a few of the Khans Fetches, building a deck for a third of the value of the superior build shouldn't be too difficult.

Aeropaws' Pawn Shop Control

Creatures

2Pearl Lake Ancient
4Geist of Saint Traft

Spells

4Lightning Bolt
4Lightning Helix
3Mana Leak
2Dispel
3Azorius Charm
2Steam Augury
2Aurelia’s Fury
1Remand
1Negate
3Sphinx's Revelation
2Electrolyze
1Izzet Charm

Lands

1Celestial Colonnade
3Flooded Strand
3Bloodstained Mire
2Wooded Foothills
4Island
4Mountain
4Plains
2Prairie Stream
1Sacred Foundry
2Ghost Quarter
1Steam Vents
1Hollowed Fountain

This may not take you to day two of a Grand Prix, but in the right hands, a deck like this could certainly give you a 4-0 or two at your LGS events. Obviously, the land situation isn't ideal, however, for someone starting out, or someone with a limited budget that wants to get a taste for one of the more complicated strategies in Modern should have fun with a build like this.

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