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Grenzo ft. DJ Doomsday | Competitive Primer

Commander / EDH

Clay_Puppington


Description

Grenzo Doomsday Primer

Welcome to the Grenzo Doomsday Primer! This deck and primer will hopefully prove to be an efficient use of your time as you explore the world of Grenzo Doomsday in EDH.

At a glance, this deck will be for you if you agree with the following image;

Grenzos Just Wanna Have Fun

image made by IustitiaRex from the cEDH Discord

Grenzo was chosen due to his immense synergy with Doomsday piles.

  • He acts as your catalyst to crack into your pile.

  • He places creatures directly onto the board, preventing interaction from counterspells.

  • His ability is stacked at instant speed.

  • His ability allows us to bypass cards with Rest in Peace and Leyline of the Void replacement effects. Due to the nature of the replacement effect, the card will be placed into exile, and drawn back out due to Grenzo's ability being indifferent to the final zone the card ends up in, caring only about the initial move from the library to a public zone.

The desire to play Grenzo Doomsday will depend a lot on what youre looking for in an EDH deck. If youre looking for a deck with endless backup plans, this might not be for you. If youre looking for a deck to impress your friends with your endless ability to chain spells, this might not be for you. If you want a deck that slows the game down to a crawl, or reanimates everything, wins with commander damage, or has gameplans so long and complicated youre positive your friends will never catch on, this deck might not be for you.

This deck is for people who;

  • Want a fast, efficient deck that consistently threatens a win between Turns 2-4
  • Want a deck with a straightforward wincon, but multiple angles to complete it
  • Want a deck with a straightforward backup wincon
  • Want a deck that utilizes your commander
  • Want a deck that can often get around instant speed interaction and most graveyard hate
  • Want a deck that plays out reliably and consistently
  • Want a deck that can play competitively at a price point cheaper than most semi-budget decks

If these needs sound like your needs, then you may just have found the deck youre looking for.

The goal is to race your opponents to 5 mana, cast Grenzo, and use the wide tutor suite to find and cast Doomsday as quickly as possible. This occurs as early as turn 1, but is commonly played out on turn 3, (or turn 4 through hate.)

If, for some reason you fail to succeed in casting Doomsday, your backup is to tutor or wheel into a Recoup effect (covered in a later section), or hardcast the Redcap Combo if Doomsday becomes exiled or grasped.

Because we are racing to acquire 5 mana, our ideal hand would include the following pieces:

An example T1 God-Hand would look something like;

Kiki-Jiki Pile #1 - Zealous Conscripts:

The goal is to rush to cast Grenzo, cast Doomsday, and win. We do these by casting Doomsday when Grenzo is in play, and you have BBB+2 mana available.

  1. With Grenzo in play, cast Doomsday for BBB, leaving you with 2 mana

  2. Pile the following, from Top to Bottom: Dark Ritual, Zealous Conscripts, Goblin Sledder, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Priest of Gix

  3. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Priest of Gix, and acquiring BBB

  4. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, who will then activate making a copy of Priest of Gix, pooling BBBB

  5. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Goblin Sledder, who will sacrifice himself to add +1/+1 to Grenzo, leaving you with BB pooled

  6. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Zealous Conscripts, who will take control of Kiki-Jiki and untap him

  7. Kiki-Jiki will then go infinite with Zealous, creating infinite tokens with haste, who attack and win.

  8. Dark Ritual is left on the pile as a way to recast Grenzo if he somehow dies during the Doomsday Turn. It will be naturally draw on the next upkeep (if there is one), and the mana can help pay the tax and ability cost.

Kiki-Jiki Pile #2 - No Zealous Conscripts:

The goal is to rush to cast Grenzo, cast Doomsday, and win. We do these by casting Doomsday when Grenzo is in play, and you have BBB+2 mana available.

  1. With Grenzo in play, cast Doomsday for BBB, leaving you with 2 mana

  2. Pile the following, from Top to Bottom: Metallic Mimic, Murderous Redcap, Skirk Prospector, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Priest of Gix

  3. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Priest of Gix, leaving you with BBB

  4. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, who will then activate making a copy of Priest of Gix, pooling BBBB

  5. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Skirk Prospector, leaving you with BB

  6. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Murderous Redcap

  7. Sacrifice Kiki-Jiki and Redcap to Skirk Prostpector, giving you RR

  8. With Redcaps Persist trigger on the stack, activate Grenzo again with your remaining mana to bring in Metallic Mimic naming Goblin

  9. This returns Murderous Redcap without any counters, allowing you to go infinite with Redcap being sacrificed to Skirk, while returning with no counters on due to Mimic. This creates an infinite loop of 2 damage dealt to a player, killing the table.

No Kiki-Jiki in Pile:

If Kiki-Jiki has been removed from the game, our pile changes. This pile will rush to cast Grenzo, cast Doomsday, and win. We do these by casting Doomsday when Grenzo is in play, and you have BBB+3 mana available.

  1. With Grenzo in play, cast Doomsday for BBB, leaving you with 3 mana

  2. Pile the following, from Top to Bottom: Metallic Mimic, Murderous Redcap, Skirk Prospector, Priest of Urabrask, Priest of Gix

  3. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Priest of Gix, leaving you with BBB+1

  4. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Priest of Urabrask leaving you with BBRRR

  5. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Skirk Prospector leaving you with BBR

  6. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Murderous Redcap leaving you with B

  7. Sacrifice Redcap to Skirk Prospector, adding R, leaving you with BR

  8. With Redcaps Persist trigger on the stack, activate Grenzo again with your remaining mana to bring in Metallic Mimic naming Goblin

  9. This returns Murderous Redcap without any counters, allowing you to go infinite with Redcap being sacrificed to Skirk, while returning with no counters on due to Mimic. This creates an infinite loop of 2 damage dealt to a player, killing the table.

No Doomsday:

If Doomday is countered, your goal is to assemble the Murderous Redcap, Metallic Mimic, and one of our sacrifice outlets (Skirk Prospector, Goblin Sledder, Mogg Raider ).

  1. With those pieces in play, and Mimic naming goblin, Redcap goes infinite damage with a sacrifice outlet.
Rakdos colours make our land selections very obvious, we need as much black and red as possible, as fast as possible. For this, we run 30 lands, 1 more than the classic 29 land base thats become popular, simply because we often want to start with 3 lands in hand, or have enough to ensure we get more on wheels.

Fetch Lands:

We run all 7 dual colour suitable fetch lands. It is important for this deck to open with as much colour variety as possible, allowing us access to both black and red to cast Grenzo, and enough black mana for Doomsday.

Fetch Targets:

These are the lands youll want to target with your fetches. Doing so ensures we have adequate coverage of our colour need to both cast Grenzo, as well as Doomsday the following turn.

Going Fast Lands

These lands are used due to their synergy with our Turn 3 win plan. While many decks may find them suboptimal, Grenzo requires a direct effort to maximize the speed of our available mana in the first three turns, because for Grenzo, there is not much a late game.

Utility Lands:

  • Cavern of Souls - Naming Goblin on Caverns allows us to jam Grenzo and most of the parts of our alternate wincons without having to worry about immediate counterspell interaction.
  • Lake of the Dead - The ability of this land allows us to play out Doomsday and the subsequent piles if we dont happen to draw suitable artifact ramp. Tapping a Swamp for B, then playing Lake and sacrificing that Swamp allows us to aquire BBBBB with simply two lands. Remembering 5 mana is all we need to Doomsday and win, Lake allows us to do that while fighting through land destruction and artifact hate.
  • Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - Urborg allows us to ensure we hit our mandatory 3 swamps for Doomsday, and works to colour fix against possible land hate. It remains weak to Blood Moon effects, but can and will save you if someone happens to remove your black producing lands.

The Rest of the Lands

The remainder of our lands are included to provide fast access to colours, untapped, on the turn we play the land. We run 10 basic Swamp and 1 Mountain to play around non-basic land destruction. 10 swamps gives us our best swamp-to-muck/filth ratio without cutting into our red production. Ideally 11 swamps would be included, but we've found that ideal muck lines were affecting our red consistency too greatly.

Grenzo runs as many usable tutors as possible in order to find Doomsday as quickly and efficiently as it can be in the early turns

  • Vampiric Tutor- This is what youre hoping for in your ideal hand, as for the low cost of a B and 2 life, Doomsday goes neatly to the top of your library.
  • Imperial Seal - The same as Vampiric Tutor.
  • Demonic Tutor - Puts the desired card directly in hand.
  • Diabolic Intent - Doomsday allows us to recur most of our creatures, so we can use them as pitch to Intent.
  • Dimir Machinations - This card is cast for its transmute cost, and allows the deck to find the majority of its main cards like Doomsday, Yawgmoth's Will, Toxic Deluge, etc
  • Gamble - This is your hailmary tutor! If you really want to go fast, this one will do it for you, but beware the chance to discard your own wincon. Use it on turn 1 or 2, or freely after wheeling or ad-naus.
  • Grim Tutor - A little costly, but added for the redundancy. This costs 3 to get your necessary card, and improves our ability to find a tutor on our draw or opening hand.
  • Plunge into Darkness - Not really a tutor, but we're going to use it as close to one as we can when all we need is Doomsday or a piece of ramp. Because this is risky in that it can exile combo pieces while hunting for an enabler, I have found that I often will stop my plunge at 8-10 cards, rarely going more than that, or you risk losing a piece from every combo.

The primary benefit of playing Grenzo Doomsday is the speed it brings to the table. Artifact ramp assures we get to cast our required spells as fast and efficiently as possible.

Colour Fixers

Colour fixing mana rocks ensure we have the proper colours to cast the spells regardless of our drawn land, while at the same time, being played for low costs so that we can play them early and cast more spells faster.

The following mana rocks are used to create and expand our colour availability for minimal initial cost.

Colourless Ramp

Many of our spells and abilities come with a colourless cost, this is especially noticable with Grenzos activated ability. The follow mana artifacts produce maximum colourless mana for minimal cost. Remembering that a win only requires BBB+2, drawing into one of the follow mana rocks can promote the chance to combo out a full turn earlier than without them.

Doomsday Ramp

A single mana artifact, but a great one, LED allows us to play Doomsday directly on BBB, rather than acquiring the following 2 mana. While it forces a hand discard, the cards in your hand are not as important as the speed to with you can play through a Doomsday pile, and LED can able that as early as T1 or T2 depending on your board state.

Spell Ramp provides quick access to coloured mana, and can quickly speed our rate of tutoring and ramp, increasing the speed in which our deck can find and cast Grenzo and Doomsday.

Ritual Effects

Lands Matter Ramp

Creature Ramp

  • Blood Pet - A great first turn ramp drop if there are no other 1 drops playable in hand.
  • Simian Spirit Guide - Often useful as a way to go back to back swamps in your opening hand, so that Grenzo can be cast on curve.
  • Overeager Apprentice - BBB is life, and Apprentice provides.

There is always a chance that you just dont mulligan into a working opening hand, or your primary plan falls apart due to hate or stax. In these circumstances, we need to behave like other decks, and increase our draw to find the pieces we need manually.

Wheels

Quickly refill or replace the cards in your hand using beloved wheels!

Filtering

Replace the cards you dont need at that time with better ones!

Natural Drawing

Just get more cards!

Sometimes, you just dont want other players cards on the board, so we run enough removal to take care of the pivotal stax, ramp, and other hate pieces that are preventing us from winning as efficiently as possible.

Proactive and Reactive disruption are limited in Rakdos colours, but are important to have inside of Grenzo, as being impacted by removal or hate after Doomsday has been cast becomes particularly important

Proactive Disruption

Being able to look at and remove pesky interaction cards from our opponents hands prove a cheap way to get around counterspells and disruption in Rakdos colours.

And while removing cards might not be enough, we slot the following to ensure our opponents struggle to interact with us as we Doomsday off;

Reactive Disruption

Sometimes, the best way to prevent losing, is just a good old counterspell, we dont get access to many of them in Rakdos colours, but we do put a premium on what we can get.

Graveyard Disruption

With the rise of Thrasio's/X, Hulk Combo, and a resurgence of Midrange decks, graveyard disruption isn't something that needs to be heavily invested in, but you'll be happy you have it.

Replaying cards a second time can often mean the difference between recovering from an ill fated counterspell that catches your Doomsday, a boardwipe you couldnt stop, or just hate that gets you down.

Use these cards to have a second chance (or a third, or fourth) at winning your game.

Sadly, Grenzo doesn't offer you a ton of flex position with how all-in on the race the deck is! That said, there are certainly spots that allow some leeway specifically depending on what you need out of the deck!

The cards below are often in flux, and many can be found overlapping with our "Testing Section" as these cards are continuously removed and re-added as we hunt down the perfection of Grenzo.

Burnout , Pyroblast, Red Elemental Blast

  • These are the cards that certainly shouldnt remain in the deck if your meta happens to be Blue-Lite! Consider replacing them with hate directed towards your offending colours!

Toxic Deluge, Pyroclasm. fire convenant

  • These can certainly be replaced/brought in based on your meta with alternative forms of removal. If no one in your pods plays more than 1 creature a game, no reason to hang onto boardwipes

Defense Grid, Conqueror's Flail

  • A nice meta choice to play on your Doomsday turn to protect you from counterspells and removal, but certainly not necessary if those things just don't seem to be happening at your tables.

Night's Whisper, Dark Confidant

  • If your meta is all-in race combo's there's no reason to include passive card draw. In these pods, you're going to win big or lose big, so the game won't continue long enough to need these. Consider dropping for more meta dependent cards.

Undying Evil

  • Fantastic if your meta is heavy on instant speed destroy effects, but unhelpful if that removal is instant speed exile.

Currently, the list below are the cards that are in the add/drop testing position for future changes.

Like every deck, there are often cards and combos that do not appear in this list that are often used in others. Sometimes there are cards that exist that seem like a perfect fit, but then dont end up appearing. Here are some of the notable exclusions for Grenzo Doomsday

Worldgorger Dragon + Animate Dead

This combo is often found in many Rakdos shells, especially in Doomsday. It promotes a system of infinite mana, and then infinite activations of Grenzo to draw the entire deck out until a combo or win condition is found.

It has been excluded from this deck with the discovered of the Metallic Mimic combo listed in the combo section above.

The reasons for exclusion are thusly;

  1. The cards needed for assembly of Dragon combo are many and varied, 4-5 card for reanimation and setup, as well as the Dragon itself lead to having between 8-9 cards in the deck dedicated only to creating this combo, but adding no value to any other aspect of our primary gameplan

  2. The Mimic combo only requires 6 cards, those cards can be used individually as a natural cast combo, added to a Doomsday pile, and operate as a backup pile when Kiki-Jiki is removed from the game with little to no additional setup time.

  3. An ill-fated counterspell on Dragon Combo will end the game as quickly as it starts, and with the availability of disruption in EDH, it was more likely to happen than not.

Yahenni's Expertise

This card is often toted as being a suitable replacement for Toxic Deluge. At face value, it essentially reads Pay 1 extra mana, to add a -3/-3 boardwipe to your 3 cost spell. Its exclusion is for the following reasons;

  1. It costs an additional mana over Toxic Deluge, and 2 additional over our other board wipes.

  2. It requires that youre holding a 3 mana spell of value. If you are not, then youre either jamming a spell simply to play it, or youre not casting a spell, and instead playing 4 mana just to add a -3/-3

  3. Yaheenis cannot be altered lower or higher based on need. Deluge can be cast for 1 to sweep stax peices without harming Grenzo, and it can be cast for 4+ to hit other hate such as Loxodon Gatekeeper, or other high toughness threats like a cheated in elesh norn . Yaheeni does not provide that utility.

Seething Song

Seething Song is simply removed due to its high CMC cost and it's massive overproduction of Red mana, which is not heavily needed in this deck.

Currently in the works are the following for this primer:

  • Matchups

Currently these budget versions are experimental. Grenzo's reliance on finding and casting Doomsday as soon as possible does take a larger hit by losing tutors than most decks do. That in mind, for slower or budget metas, I submit to you the following for your consideration;

$1000 Budget Version aka 50% off!

$750 Budget Version - Still in testing, will be posted soon.

This deck and primer would not have been possible without the following people paving the way, and working with me on constant, daily, discussion on each and every card in the deck;

hellnoire - noire's original Grenzo list was the inspiration to take up Grenzo Doomsday as a serious cEDH deck. His knowledge and guidance during development are a testament to his long entrenched work on the deck

xkyle813x - Kyle's ability to analyse cards, and his development of the Mimic Doomsday pile and combo was revolutionary to change the effective and efficient use of our card slots, and alternate win conditions

Neunviertel - Neunviertel's willingness to tolerate my rambling thoughts, and help the group decipher between what is indeed a good idea, and a pipe dream, has steered me away from more mistakes than I care to count!

/u/JustinTBSmash (Reddit) aka Mr.Skittles (cEDH Discord) - Justin has consistently spurred our industrious efforts with his near enyclopedic knowledge of every card that might be viable. Often first to the gate with new ideas and suggestions, his help has shaped this deck more than he'd care to admit!

IustitiaRex - Rex's constant support, encouragement, discussion and collaboration have allowed this deck to advance to this point. While he might disagree on his level of contribution, I can assure you his keen insight has help immensely.

Updates

Comments View Archive

GrizzIebear says... #1

Hey, I love this deck, first off, and Ive been running a budgetish version for a while at my LGS for commander night, and Ive started running against Zur Stax. I feel like I can win through most artifact hate or if I get a fast draw, but Arcane Laboratory has just been killing me. Any advice on other cards I can add to beat enchantment hate?

April 21, 2017 11:20 a.m.

GrizzIebear- Arcane Lab can be a nuisance, but thankfully we don't end up playing that many spells in a turn. However, much like it's other stax contemporaries can certainly cause us issues.

Black and Red don't come with great enchantment removal, and the artifact availability inside of our curve doesn't give us much to be desired.

Likely, outside of a potential T1 Ratchet Bomb (which I wouldn't add in a full list, but might help you out), it's probably just going to come down to you holding up an early answer (using tutor 1 to grab REB or Chaos Warp, etc and then finding DD).

Thankfully, you should be loaded with more tutors than most players, and you have a greater chance of mulliganing into a counter or answer then they are on Arcane Lab.

Sadly, not having great usable enchantment removal is the price of BR.

If something crosses my mind, I'll hit you back with some better suggestions.

April 21, 2017 4:23 p.m.

GrizzIebear says... #3

Thanks for the response. I kinda figured there wasnt much more that would work, but I thought Id ask in case I was missing some hidden gem. Chaos Warp vs Zur the Enchanter has just felt so bad. I guess killing him helps a bit, but it feels like its mostly a matter of just winning faster.

April 25, 2017 8:47 a.m.

Lilbrudder says... #7

This is an awesome deck Clay.

May 2, 2017 8:47 p.m.

Thanks buddy! Appreciate it!

We're in big testing log right now, so hopefully after I get some more games in, we'll be making it even better, really soon!

May 2, 2017 9:23 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #9

Clay_Puppington, you missed -1 Conqueror's Flail and +1 Culling the Weak in your updated write-up.

May 6, 2017 5:08 p.m.

Oh snap! Thank you, thank you! updated!

May 6, 2017 5:27 p.m.

NRipHD says... #11

Great deck! I really enjoyed its look, however I do have some questions:

  • If we want to race our opponents down as fast as possible what is the point of Sensei's Divining Top?

  • I understand that whenever we have some extra mana flooding around we can use it on Jeweled Amulet, but, still, is it really a strong card in this deck?

Keep up the awesome work :)

May 6, 2017 8:21 p.m.

Hey mate! Glad you popped in and took a look.

I had the Grenzo Discord Server have a chat about top for you, and assembled the thoughts. There are a handful of folks both for and against the card, so it comes down to a judgement use.

Pros:

  • It draw's us a top deck tutor target (off imp seal and similar tutors)

  • It give us a turn 1 play if we need it which can smooth out early turns

  • It allows us to scope our top deck draw out

  • It can draw a Ritual off the top of the pile on a Doomsday Kiki Line to allow a BBBB line, rather than a BBB+2 line.

  • It adds to our Rock count for Opal

  • It filters sub 3 card hands better than other filters.

Cons:

  • It doesn't ramp us

  • It doesn't tutor for us

  • It filters 3+ card hands worse than other 1 mana filters

  • It draws worse than other draw

  • It has no real value in the t1-2 race

So, that's about our assembled list for the Pro/Cons of Top in Grenzo. Personally, I like top because it's only of the few cards we can run with the pure utility. The ability to use a 1 mana top of deck tutor, and then get it in our hand right away, converts all those 1 mana, 2 turn tutors, into what is essentially a 2 card tutor.

That it smooths out top deck draw is also very important early. That single mana ability can mean all the difference in drawing a ritual and winning, or drawing 2 more lands and not having a win for another 2-3 turns.

Finally, it serves as a minor ability to play under stax locks as we seek an answer in a deck that doesn't have a lot of ways to dig itself out.


Jeweled Amulet is a whole other beast. It's not the strongest. Not even close, and that it makes 1 mana every 2 turns, will almost constantly keep it on the chopping block.

It maintains it's place due to it's identical nature to cards like Blood Pet - they both essentially cost 1 mana, to make 1 mana a turn later (casting blood pet for B, then sacing it for B same turn, doesn't make a lot of sense).

While blood pet sticks around for it's inevitable mana production (the same as jeweled, as they have the same clock), Blood Pet stays around for it's Culling and Intent synergy (on top of it's single card value), Jeweled maintains the same situation. It's single card value is enough to maintain it's spot in the deck, but it's ability to mesh with Mox Opal and increase our coloured mana production keeps it's home.

However, cards like Blood Pet, Jeweled Amulet, Chromatic Sphere, and Overeager Apprentice, are just 1 card release (or new card discovery) away from losing their place in the deck. While individually they all offer something that we need by themselves (coloured black mana) and have synergy with other cards, they hold that fringe-playable landscape of knowing they'll be the first cards looked at to cut when new and stronger things come along that do what they do, better.

May 6, 2017 8:51 p.m.

NRipHD says... #13

Thank you for your time!

May 6, 2017 9:38 p.m.

Jinjakid says... #14

This is a very very nice build. I build this and it surprise me because I can pull off the combo whatever my opponents do to Grenzo. However in my mete I think I would add Conqueror's Flail due to many removals and counterspell. Thanks for this.

June 5, 2017 8:41 p.m.

Jinjakid Glad you liked it. I have flail on my recommended list of FLEX cards above as well, and I use it myself in one of my particular pods that loves to hold instant speed exile for mid-combo.

June 5, 2017 8:57 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #16

Conqueror's Flail was in here, but was cut for faster cards I believe.

June 5, 2017 8:57 p.m.

Jinjakid says... #17

Yes I saw it in the Flex Spots. How about the Amonkhet block?is there a card that we could add in here?the cycling lands can be fetch but i think its just too slow.

June 8, 2017 9:01 p.m.

We've already ripped through the block and tried pretty much anything that seemed sort of usable.

Amonkhet wasn't great for Grenzo, and youll find the cards in the list are completely up to date.

Grenzo Brewing Squad has also made the slog through magiccards.info, and we've looked into almost every card in Red/Black/Colourless that has a cmc that we're willing to pay.

At this time, until there's a significant meta shift in other cEDH decks, or another block comes out, there's nothing really left to do with the deck other than tweak for individual metas.

June 8, 2017 9:34 p.m.

Roally says... #19

How do you feel about Imp's Mischief? I prefer it over Burnout for its versatility. On our combo turn it works the same against blue counters, but it also helps us against removal and discard, among other things.

July 21, 2017 5:13 p.m.

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