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Counter target spell. Its controller puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
I love Slaughter Games , but it's a dead card against aggro, and can be wasted if you don't know exactly what threats your opponent is playing, which is why it's almost never main board in decks. The only way I would keep it main is if there's a whole lot of control in your meta and you just know you'll be needing to get rid of some AEtherling or Sphinx's Revelation in at least 75% of your games.
Psychic Strike is a great counter for grixis, as 1UB is easier to hit than 1UU or UUR for Dissolve and Counterflux respectively. However, after playing in this meta for a while, counters just don't seem too strong overall. I would suggest side-boarding some number of Negate Essence Scatter or Counterflux for games where there is something you need to stop from ever hitting the board, like Gray Merchant of Asphodel , gods, walkers or AEtherling .
Just some tips and suggestions. I've found that the composition of control decks relies much more on your local meta than most other deck types, so the optimal main board for your deck will likely depend a lot on that.
I have taken a more of a blue approach to this deck. Don't get me wrong the life gain from the green is nice, but it lacks some of the consistency. Not to mention your deck is rather creature heavy, there's no real answers to any of your opponent's threats. Say if I turn 4 an Elite Arcanist and I have a Psychic Strike in hand. I'd be able to exile the Psychic Strike and have at least one counter spell a turn there after. Not to mention whatever could be in my hand. Needless to say you would be squashed pretty easy against a control deck. I could see where you could burn people out with Deathrite, and that's all fine and dandy, but you need a way to protect what you are putting out on the field, and you DEFINITELY don't want to go up against someone with the same color combos, only to find that the person is stomping your face in because he's able to control your board state, and still Mill you out. Cards to keep in mind, I don't know how big of a budget you are working with by the way are:
Maybe some better defenders. Returned Phalanx isn't that great of a card. There are two ways to get around this, and the question is whether you want more mill or more mana. If it's mana you want then Axebane Guardian is your man. If Mill is what you want then I would go with Doorkeeper That way if you don't get that Phenax that you pray for you'd have some way to still mill, and he's a pretty decent defender for a two drop. I could see the synergy for Tower Defense and Phenax, but that's a spot that could be used to fill some way of making sure your spells stick, or making it so your opponents' spells don't stick. Remember you've got blue in this deck, why not use it to it's fullest, by throwing around some counter spells.
If for some reason you didn't quite follow all of this text. Here's my top 5 recommendations.
I actually am running the same colors but a VERY VERY VERY VERY different approach to the whole milling thing
I typically run about four of each counterspell, and I am currently only running one of the Cyclonic Rifts.. but I would like to run about three Cyclonic Rifts..
And finally, I recommend taking Dimir Charm for some versatility. It allows you to hose some early game aggro, counter sorceries, and to control the mid to late game draws. I would take it in place of Negate .
Though your deck may not be mill, the minor things add up when combined with Consuming Aberration
A few suggestions:
Chronic Flooding , Duskmantle Guildmage , and Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker are too ineffective, slow, or conditional for competitive play. I'd subject myself to more specific bombs, being Consuming Aberration and Phenax, God of Deception .
It's hard to beet an aggro deck with speed mill, and difficult to control the board unless you go all out. You may want to include some stall for this, such as Wall of Frost , which also has great synergy with Phenax, God of Deception .
Far / Away is a fantastic control card, and Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver is incredible in mill. You should also consider opting for Psychic Strike over Dissolve since it adds a pinch of mill and is less mana specific.
+1 from me.
There are two problems with Counterflux . First, the mana cost is too specific. Leaving two blue open for Dissolve is hard enough. Leaving a red one and two blue open for Counterflux is just too much to ask for each round. Second, if you are in a counter war, the other player can bipass it by countering an earlier card. Since the new card will be on the stack later, it will resolve first. So, yes, Counterflux is technically the best counter in regard to its effects, but the mana cost makes it difficult to cast and it can be bipassed in certain situations. Going with Dissolve ,Psychic Strike , Gainsay , Negate , Essence Scatter , Syncopate or even Dimir Charm is a better option on the average.
After taking another look at your deck, I think that another commentator is right. You do seem to have too many expensive counters in the main. Try Dissolve or Psychic Strike and then complement that with two cost counters or Syncopate .
Ral Zarek is also a mixed bag. Yes, he can be good, but he is lackluster in a deck without much burn. But keep him if you like him. Another creature that you may want to consider is Nightveil Specter . It's fast and you are likely able to cast a lot of the opponents spells that it exiles with three colors. Plus it can be a source of lands for you.
After looking over the deck itself a bit more, here's some suggestions I have--but remember, I don't know what your meta is currently like, so I'll just base my opinions off general knowledge.
Elixir of Immortality should be main board, as a one of. It helps gain a little life back from a beat down, as well as refresh against control.
Six hard counters(Dissolve , Psychic Strike ) is a bit much, I believe. You should cut one of those out completely--decide if you want to Scry or hurt their Scry/mill more. I like the milling more, but my Grixis specializes in secondary-win con of milling.
I...I don't really like the sideboard that much, but sideboards definitely depend on metas and your type of playstyle. I'll make my Grixis public again so you can look at it for ideas(but not yet, because I need to retoll it to its current state as I haven't been on this site in a couple months).
Psychic Strike is an excellent counter spell if you want to mill people out.
Scry 1 (thus, digging 1) is much more relevant than mill 2.
Cropping the curve of 1 drop and 6 drop into the 3-drop seems viable, especially since the deck desperatly needs a good drawing spell to dig. This also helps the crowded 3-slot a bit, since you draw more so you can play more.
(Note: having a little more 2 drops isn't that of a big deal. 1 drops are, and therefor I cut the Charm and Strike as a whole. You can experimentate the 2 drops a little to fit them in more consistantly, but this suggestion is more to replace some "just to be sure-cards" with "more relevant for the deck-cards" :P)
Good luck on further testing :)
|Avg. draft pick||6.34|
|Avg. cube pick||3.16|
|Commander / EDH||Legal|