Grixis Tribal Wizard Concept

I tinkered with the idea of an Izzet wizard tribal deck for quite a while, but was never overly excited to complete another commander deck...until the release of Arcane Wizardry. Considering my affection for all things black, the move to Grixis from Izzet gave me so many more options with which to build, it became too good to pass up. As I already have my primary cEDH decks in Brains Desired, Not Required and Dang Son! It's a Rube Goldberg Machine!, as well as several other Tier 1.5 through Tier 3 options, I wanted to build something a little more 1v1 oriented with Kess, so here's my current iteration of what that looks like (for now).

Sorting the Wizard Houses...

Since Jeleva and Nekusar have dominated Grixis EDH for quite some time, I wanted to build something where they might join in the fun, but not dominate the action. Enter Kess and her complimentary ability of playing spells from the graveyard on each of your turns. With her leading the charge, I then built a swiss army knife of control and wheel options to compliment her favorite wizard friends.

Each of the additional wizards serves their purpose individually, but it's when they start to join forces that they become truly overwhelming. I've broken them down by color and intended purpose for a little more flavor:

GRIXIS - Nekusar, the Mindrazer for card draw and kill combos; Marchesa, the Black Rose for wizard recursion and counters.

IZZET - Goblin Electromancer for spell ramp; Nin, the Pain Artist for card draw.

DIMIR - Duskmantle Guildmage for kill combo with Mindcrank to turn all wheel spells and abilities, opponent discards and cards entering graveyards, or opponent damage into unavoidable life loss and/or infinite loops.

RED - Dualcaster Mage for spell cast responses and duplications.

BLUE - Arcanis the Omnipotent and Azami, Lady of Scrolls for card draw; Baral, Chief of Compliance for spell ramp and card draw; Docent of Perfection  Flip for wizard tribal buff and wizard tokens; Glen Elendra Archmage for opponent spell control; Jace's Archivist for card draw and wheel effect; Patron Wizard for opponent spell control; Venser, Shaper Savant for spell and creature removal; Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir for creature flash and instant spell board control; Sage of Fables for wizard tribal counters, card draw and infinite-persist with Glen Elendra Archmage; and Trinket Mage for zero and one-drop artifact tutors.

ARTIFACT - Metallic Mimic for wizard tribal counters and infinite-persist Glen Elendra Archmage value.

Because all but one of the creatures in the deck are wizards, once Patron Wizard hits the board, your ability to control the board and the tempo of the game at that point will make it extremely difficult for your opponents to deal with your board state. With Paradox Engine also in play, you can almost guarantee control of the board until the completion of the game.

With an enormous number of wizards printed in the Grixis color palette, there are a ton of additional contenders for the deck as well. If you like a different play style, an aggro theme could easily be achieved with the addition of more wizards, as well as complimentary spells/artifacts like Shared Animosity, Coat of Arms and Door of Destinies. This specific build is more suited to my play style, without being overly oppressive in its general concept - although once you hit nine available mana, if not earlier, you're ability to play a winning stax strategy is probably going to be very difficult to overcome.

I'm sure I will change it more over time, and Kess may well end up being capable of a similar competitive tier as those of the prior Grixis leaders, but in the meantime I'm looking forward to playing this version to see how it interacts with my LGS player's decks. If you like it, or if you think I missed an obvious option to include, feel free to comment. Thanks.


Updates Add



84% Competitive

Compare to inventory
Date added 4 months
Last updated 1 month
Exclude colors WG
Splash colors R

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.00
Tokens 1/1 Bird, 1/1 Human Wizard
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 22 See all

1 month ago)

-1 Mountain main
+7 Island main
+1 Mana Crypt main
+1 Mountain main
+1 Grapeshot main
-3 Swamp main
-7 Island main
-1 Temporal Mastery main
-1 Whispering Madness main
+3 Swamp main