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Grenzo ft. DJ Doomsday | Competitive Primer

Commander / EDH



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 ends the game between Turns 3-5
  • 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
  • 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 4.

If, for some reason you fail to succeed in casting Doomsday, your backup is to tutor or wheel into the Redcap Combo.

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 Murderous Redcap, leaving you with BB

  6. Spend 2 mana, activating Grenzo, to bring in Skirk Prospector

  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 9 basic Swamp and 1 Mountain to play around non-basic land destruction.

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.
  • Dark Petition - This is your lowest end tutor, as our graveyard is often empty, however it serves its purpose when drawn off wheel spells.
  • Demonic Tutor - Puts the desired card directly in hand.
  • 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.

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.

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.


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


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.

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.

Undying Evil is a nice fringe case of reactive disruption, and second chance plays. With Undying Evil in hand, you can attempt to rush Grenzo out early, and are able to bring him back to life if he is subject to removal. Not only that, but he comes back even stronger than before allowing you to bypass the need for a Goblin Sledder or a Mogg Raider in most Zealous Conscripts dependent Doomsday piles.

Evil also allows protection to instant speed removal during our Doomsday turn. If an important creature is about to be removed at instant speed, we can use this to save our combo, by saving that creature.

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!

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

  • These can certainly be replaced 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.

Phyrexian Arena, 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.

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

+1 Swamp, -Blackcleave Cliffs

  • Testing for Muck and Rain of filth synergy

+Overeager Apprentice, -Dark Confidant

  • Dark Confidant is fantastic playing under stax, but if we're there, it means we didn't go fast enough and we're probably not getting out of the lock. Overeager allows us to hit our mana faster for DD potentially saving us from ever needing to play under the lock in the first place.

+Diabolic Intent, -Night's Whisper

  • Whisper is good black card draw, but we've found that it's rarely if ever needed, and when it is being cast it's because there was no gas in the tank to race the other decks anyway. With our low interaction, this card isn't saving us when we need to cast it. Intent adds to our tutor base.

+Tormod's Crypt, -Undying Evil

  • While I am a huge fan of Undying Evil for pile protection off of doomsday, it's sadly the weakest card to replace right now for Graveyard hate. Normally we've been able to play and race around it, but with the unbanning of Protean Hulk, we've finally been pushed to the edge where enough Tier 1-2 decks have use needing answers.

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.



PrecintSix6Six says... #1

Winds of Change seems like an odd choice for a wheel effect. If you need to refill your hand after a disrupted combo it doesn't give you any extra cards to work with.

Also, how do you feel about Simian Spirit Guide? Or are you set on the current number of ritual effects?

February 10, 2017 1:39 a.m.

Hi PrecintSix6Six, thanks for coming and taking a look at the deck!

Winds of Change is sort of in an odd spot in this deck, and is likely to see a change in the future. You are correct, in that it is a poor wheel the majority of the time.

It currently holds it's spot for the following reasons;

  1. It works as an early game filter, if you happen to start with some great early ramp or land cards, but not much of anything else, you can use it to filter your remaining cards into something else, similar to a looting effect.

  2. It's a great card to run off Ad-Nauseum, in those occasions you happen to draw 25 cards, but none of which are the ones you wanted.

  3. It's a great, cheap disruption card that can play around a good deal of stax thanks to it's cheap cost. When a player across from you has painstakingly tutored into a wincon that you don't have a real way to interact with (the cost of BR decks!), you can attempt to force them to drop the cards they spent so many resources on.

Simian Spirit Guide is absent due to our already heavy use of rituals, his cmc hit off ad-naus, and that he cannot be recast with things like Yawgmoths Will or Past in Flames after being used.

February 10, 2017 2:02 a.m.

Doug4130 says... #3

is burnout better than imp's mischief?

February 10, 2017 8:56 a.m.

Enral says... #4

Love it and fantastic write up! +1

February 10, 2017 1:41 p.m.

Doug4130Burnout vs Imp's is still in debate form. Currently, Burnout is holding that spot because it not only works as hard protection, but it allows card draw to replace itself. It also can be cast with R, leaving our all important B mana untouched.

The obvious downside is that it only works against Blue Spells, but that's to our rush game plan, those are often the ones interacting with us to stop Doomsday or tutoring

Imps is more limited in it's use, in that it's nice to redirect counterspells to itself, but is more limited if being used for removal redirection (with the possibility that Grenzo, for example, is the only legal target).

More importantly, however, is that Imp's on a Doomsday turn requires an additional black mana with are often in short supply being required for so many other spells, which still need to operate.

Burnout edges out Imp's for largely that reason: We can cast Burnout without impacting our available black mana.

If your meta is very light on Blue players, Imp's is definately the obvious swap.

February 10, 2017 3:55 p.m.

Jmax13 says... #6

I just want to say that when I first started looking at the cards in this deck, I couldn't even figure out how the hell it wins. After reading the description, I am just blown away.

February 14, 2017 1:48 p.m.

darkjeti says... #7

Ditto, Jmax13 ... ditto.

This deck is very creative and it seems like a blast to pilot! Decks like this are the reason EDH exists and will always be fun. I love that feeling of sitting down to a table across from Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Zur the Enchanter and Leovold, Emissary of Trest with something unassuming like Grenzo. The mutual chuckle followed by an insane win makes for some memorable MTG. Hats off to you, sir.

February 15, 2017 5:20 a.m.

Pseudo-ception says... #8

Fantastic primer! As someone who just recently started playing a Grenzo deck, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and discovering the Mimic-Redcap combo. What are your thoughts on Goblin Recruiter as backup for doomsday getting exiled to help assemble the combo? Would it be worth a spot? Thanks again for the great read!

February 17, 2017 10:05 p.m.

Jmax13 Thanks for checking the deck out. I appreciate you taking the time to read it!

darkjeti Thanks! I hope you give it a try. It's nice the first couple games when people think they can just ignore you, spam their interaction on each other, and you just drop DD on t3 while they're tapped.

Pseudo-ception Hi! I'm happy to hear you've started Grenzo. He's great fun. Regretfully, recruiter still leaves us in the pickle of not being able to fetch out mimic. He's a strong choice if you're trying to draw into a naturally, but with this particular decks all-in Doomsday strategy, he's a dead card any turn before Doomsday plan fails.

February 18, 2017 3:04 a.m.

Ender666666 says... #10

Hey, I have a budget question.

What would you substitute instead of Grim Tutor? Diabolic Tutor, Diabolic Intent, or something else?

March 3, 2017 11:38 p.m.

Hi Ender666666 . Either of those would be suitable if you're holding onto the rest of the list. If you're using more budget replacements, you may also consider running Dark Tutelage to flow with the pace of a slower game. You can also replace it with something more meta dependent, like Conqueror's Flail or Phyrexian Revoker if it becomes meta necessary until you get the card.

Out of both options, however, I would be more inclined to run Diabolic Tutor, simply due to the low creature count in the deck making it rather unlikely you'll have the fodder you need for it's cost.

March 4, 2017 3:03 a.m.

Ender666666 says... #12

Thanks, that's about what I expected

March 4, 2017 9:37 a.m.

Ender666666 says... #13

I see you changed out Past in Flames for Recoup. Any other changes?

For those of us who are following this list, would you be able to post what you add and remove when you make changes?

March 5, 2017 7:41 p.m.

Ender666666 - Hi Ender

Just last night I added another section that carries both of those.

Previously I just had the card test log, but those changes are becoming permanent so last night I added in the "Card Change Log!" where you can find the permanent changes to the deck!

March 5, 2017 8:39 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #15

Sweet. Yeah I found it after I asked.

March 5, 2017 8:46 p.m.


Also, just in case this comes up and you play on paper. There are 2 versions of Mogg Raider.

The Anthologies one, which tappedout uses (and is still purchasable) has a mana cost of RR.

The Tempest one (identical card) has a mana cost of R.

The Tempest one is the official one according to WoTC! So make sure you're running that one!

March 5, 2017 8:48 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #17

Good to note. I do have it assembled in paper with the exception of about $5 of cards. Still need Rain of Filth, Pyretic Ritual, Desperate Ritual and Rakdos Charm (and Grim Tutor) of course

March 5, 2017 8:56 p.m.

For anyone following this deck, please note this last weekend saw some changes go into the deck and primer.

Please see "Why Grenzo" for a discussion of avoiding Rest in Peace and Leyline effects.

Please see "A Second Chance!" to a discussion of our hot new tech Undying Evil.

Please see the "Testing Log!" to see what's currently on the chopping block

Please see "Card Change Log" to see the big changes that occurred in the deck!

Feel free to ask me any questions here, on reddit, or on the competitiveEDH discord server.

March 7, 2017 1:32 a.m.

Ender666666 says... #19

I played this tonight at my local store and did quite well. Very happy with your work so far.

March 8, 2017 11:21 p.m.

I'm incredibly glad to hear that! Thanks for the support!

March 9, 2017 3:59 a.m.

Ender666666 says... #21

Played it again last night and took 3 of 4 matches with it (although the competition wasn't playing highly tuned decks). Overall I like the feel and how it plays.

I'd be interested in hearing more about the thought process behind the changes you make to the list. I've found it a bit hard to get enough red mana to hard cast Kiji-Jiki if necessary.

March 12, 2017 6:55 p.m.


I'll do a short couple sentence writeup on the card change log tonight to bring more insight into that.

You're right. Hardcasting Kiki is rough, as we often try to avoid that route when possible. it truly is our backup's backup plan, so it can be a struggle for sure.

Often when hardcast to win I turn to Adnaus and massive filtering to draw into the Redcap combo, as it can be done with more black mana for 3 total mana less than hardcasting a KIZC. Yes, it is one extra card, but with our curve, AD-Naus should get you there.

March 12, 2017 7:31 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #23

I just noticed it when an opponent left a juicy ZC sitting on the battlefield and all I had to do was find KJ and cast him for the win

March 12, 2017 7:40 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #24

What about a card like Final Fortune to snag us an extra turn to "go off"?

March 15, 2017 12:24 p.m.

It's neat, and something I've never thought of to include, to be honest.

I'll add it to the test log once I figure out a suitable cut, and do the math to see if I need to retool landbase to support it.


March 15, 2017 9:39 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #26

Cool. I figured that it might be what we need to steal a few more games. As far as what to cut, I was thinking of Burnout. As much as I love it and like seeing it played, its scope is very narrow plus it's also a two CMC Red spell so swapping them should be fairly painless. I do think that the mana base does need a few more mountains though.... Maybe 3 mountain, 7 swamps?

March 16, 2017 9:32 a.m.

Ender666666 says... #27

Have you considered Seething Song?

March 16, 2017 9:09 p.m.

Seething song, and by extension altering the land base to move heavier into mountains both came resulted in the same problem:

We end up with a lot of red mana in a deck that really only needs 1 red mana to win and RR total to support.

Extra mountains diluted our ability to acquire the massive amounts of B we needed to go off, a d weakened our muck lines.

Seething song has an similar issue in that it provides with with a healthy amount of R, but we have nothing to spend it on, while increasing our CMC.

March 16, 2017 10:51 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #29

I see, and agree, it doesn't make sense to blow out on mana we can't use

March 16, 2017 11:09 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #30

I don't have a Blackcleave Cliffs at the moment so was looking for a substitute... Settling in on Gemstone Mine. The way I see it, it ALWAYS comes into play untapped, It gets us any colour, and the limit of 3 uses doesn't REALLY matter when we expect to be comboing off at that point. Thoughts?

As mentioned before, I am testing out Final Fortune instead of Burnout, but have yet to draw it, so therefore have nothing to report.

Friday Night I played 3 matches with this deck and won every round, including a turn-3 win against a very tuned Ydris-Storm deck. Overall I'm loving it and am having excellent results

March 20, 2017 7:18 p.m.

I'm glad to hear you're having success with the deck!

I'm also testing Final Fortune, but have yet to draw it myself, so let me know if you manage to get it going.

Dragonskull Summit is probably the most straight across exchange for Blackcleave, but Gemstone will certainly work in a pinch if the stax meta is low in your pods!

March 20, 2017 7:21 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #32

Have you thought of adding Gemstone Caverns?

March 20, 2017 7:34 p.m.

Gemstone had a couple problems for us:

  1. Our natural draw isn't where we need it to be to be able to sacrifice a card to the effect.

  2. Outside the opening hand, it's lack of colour production slows off our win

  3. We can't benefit off it from Muck or Lake

So, while it's decent for us in the opening hand, the downsides far outweighed the benefits at this time.

It is a card that we're always look at readding, but currently, unless we get some new Black mana tech from the upcoming sets, it's likely going to stay on the sidelines for now

March 21, 2017 2:11 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #34


How is Fire Covenant working out for you?

March 21, 2017 2:58 p.m.

Haven't draw into it enough to make a decision on it. So, still in testing.

March 21, 2017 3:02 p.m.

NekoMachine says... #36

Here are my questions concerning some card choices I would like to understand if I want to pick this deck up. I'm looking to really shape this list towards my meta and some cuts are gonna be inevitable, just want to make sure I'm not missing something.

Lion's Eye Diamond-- It seems to me like it's not pulling the weight such an overpowered card should be. Aside from being a great enabler when comboed with Yawgmoth's Will, the only realistic way to use Lion's Eye Diamond is towards Grenzo, Dungeon Warden, a purpose that leaves you defenseless to interaction, with no cards in hand to fuel back up. Necropotence is always required to go with Lion's Eye Diamond to gain substantial advantage from the card and even then, I feel like it keeps going back to Yawgmoth's Will here. Am I crazy to disregard such a powerful card for more well-rounded options? Let me know your thoughts.

Victimize-- A tricky card to use. If we have an expendable creature, which we have few of, it provides value IF we also have two good creatures in the bin. Seems to me like Reanimate would cover more ground? Am I crazy or is the possibility of having 2 combo creatures in the yard plus a fodder on the field very slim, even after Doomsday (Since both the Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker combo and the Metallic Mimic combo are stopped by one removal spell, you would get stuck being 1 creature short most of the time)?

That's basically what I was wondering , I'll be testing some weird cards in this shell and report back what I see based on my meta (which can be quite varied). I really like this deck salute everyone who worked on it!

March 22, 2017 10:12 p.m.

Lions' Eye Diamond is a powerhouse, in the same way any rocks are a powerhouse with Grenzo DD.

We don't cast DD with it, but we crack it in response to a successful DD cast. If DD is resolved, we're already all in. What LED does, however, is for 0 to ensure we can count it against our required land to plug DD. With something like Chrome Mox, or Mox Diamond, etc, we need BBB + both of those rocks to hit our threshold.

With LED, we can ensure we hit that threshold for using Grenzo's ability for 0. With LED, we need: BBB+LED. With almost any other rock/mana source (outside of the double taps like Crypt/Sol), we need BBB+Rock/Rock, or BBB+B(for ritual, etc). This means that we end up needing to cast more things.

Sure, the loss of the hand is regrettable, and we'd always prefer to keep that hand, but LED is another 0 drop to keep us firing on what we do best - win the race to go off. Without it, we just end up needing more cards/ramp/ritual that slow us down or affect our opening hand more. LED is probably one of the best rocks inside of a DD deck simply due to that - it ensures you only need to cast 1 rock to go off, not 2.

Victimize acts a a final backup for the KIZC pile, and while ending in a position that you need to wait a full turn to cast it probably means life is over for you, it does give you that sliver after a failed DD. Reanimate is certainly something you could consider in it's place. If you do, please let me know how it handles, especially after double removal.

Cards that are currently likely to be cut, as per my testing log if you're looking for cuts to add in a reanimate package:

Mox Opal - just not enough rocks to trigger threshold to get use out of it. SSG or Blood Pet are likely additions to add the necessary coloured mana pooling.

Viscera Seer - Too many redundant sac outlets. Likely adding Diabolic Intent.

March 25, 2017 9:36 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #38

Played this yesterday and managed to draw Final Fortune. It worked as expected and allowed me to set up and go off a turn faster. Needless to say, I was happy to draw it when I did, and I'm happy with how it performed.

March 25, 2017 10:47 p.m.

Ender666666 says... #39

Clay_Puppington, Has Ricochet Trap been considered as an alternative to Burnout? It has the advantage of better versatility against more colours, and gets a nice discount when responding to Blue disruption.

March 29, 2017 11:16 p.m.

Ender666666 Hi! An early version of the deck did indeed have Richochet Trap in the position of Burnout.

We found over the many early versions, that the extra mana for Burnout was well worth the cost of the card draw, while the colourless and red were almost always available at least as 1R.

Richochet trap saw itself moving further and further to the sideline as the deck got fast, relying more on large ad-nauseum pulls in many games.

With the higher cmc, and the lack of draw, Burnout ended up taking its place.

March 30, 2017 1:54 a.m.

Ender666666 says... #41

I see, that makes sense. I hadn't seen Ricochet Trap until someone suggested it yesterday.

BTW, Fire Covenant is definitely a champ. I used it twice yesterday and both times it really made a splash.

March 30, 2017 9:12 a.m.

To my readers;

3 big changes can be found in the Card Change Log. Blood Pet, Springleaf Drum, and Simian Spirit Guide have made their way to main board.

I'm adding this comment so there can be a quick record on Simian Spirit Guide, which has currently is added to the mainboard with recent changes. However, while this change is currently more valuable then the card it was replacing, it does find itself likely to be cut in the incredibly near future for all of the problems it has (listed in the comments above).

If you don't happen to currently own one, I'd recommend holding off on rushing out to buy one for the next few weeks. Over the next little while I have ample time, and a few tournaments on the docket, so it will be given a strict test sooner rather than later.

March 30, 2017 7:45 p.m.

GrizzIebear says... #43

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... #45

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.

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This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

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Top rank #6 on 2017-02-20
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