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Grixis Flashback Control (best deck AER Standard?)

Standard Competitive Control Cruel Control Energy Goodstuff U/B/R (Grixis)



Alright folks, I'm at it again. After playtesting a BUNCH of decks (RB Artifacts, GW Tokens, UW Panharmonicon, GB Delirium, Temur Marvel, RG Energy, and Monogreen midrange) I have decided that this brew is by far the most versatile and has a VERY high win percentage rate. The manabase is surprisingly accurate and I RARELY run into mana issues.

CURRENT MATCH STANDINGS: (I'm not going to update this after 02-03-2017 FNM)

8-3 vs Jeskai combo/control

4-0 vs Izzet control

2-0 vs Esper aggro

11-3 vs Golgari counters/aggro

3-0 vs Monoblue mechanized production/blues clues

4-0 vs Artifact aggro

1-0 vs Simic eldrazi midrange

9-1 vs Selesnya tokens

5-2 vs Orzhov control

1-0 vs Temur emerge

2-1 vs Temur marvel

I also have a favorable match rating against a bunch of homebrew decks.

Help me make this the number 1 standard list by upvoting, saving to favorites, and commenting on the deck!!!


Spot Removal (9 cards) Show

1x Essence Extraction: Incremental lifegain for the win. Can be flashed back from either enabler.

2x Fatal Push: Such an amazing removal spell for . Gets even better with an Evolving Wilds.

3x Harnessed Lightning: Burn a thing with all the energy we've gotten from itself, ather hub, and Glimmer of Genius!

1x Unlicensed Disintegration: Kill something, and maybe get value off Torrential Gearhulk.

2x Grasp of Darkness: Arguably one of the best removal spells in the standard format... kills just about anything but a gearhulk.

Flashback Effects (8 cards) Show

4x Torrential Gearhulk: When you're the friend in need, call on this friend indeed.

4x Goblin Dark-Dwellers: A 4/4 menace for isn't bad, but add on the ability to flashback almost anything else in the deck and you're talking about wielding some serious power.

Board-wide Interaction (2 cards) Show

2x Radiant Flames : Easy 3cmc soft boardwipe. Can also use post-combat for the extra kill.

Card Advantage (7 cards) Show

4x Anticipate: Fixing draws at a rate of 3 deep.

3x Glimmer of Genius: One of the best flashback targets for Torrential Gearhulk.

Hand Removal (2 cards) Show

2x Transgress the Mind : Great against walkers, marvel, other big things... oh... and their counterspells.

Countermagic (7 cards) Show

1x Negate: A great 1-of, counters what you need it to for only 2 mana.

1x Unsubstantiate: I can get rid of the scary thing that's already out or the scary thing that is trying to get there

2x Void Shatter: Counter the scary thing for good.... tonight it's sleepin' with the fishies.

2x Disallow: Counter ANY of the things, including Ulamog triggers!

1x Spell Shrivel : A counterspell that really only gets worse as the game gets longer, but is still of great use early on with its easy-to-cast cost.


Sideboard Tech (15 cards) Show

2x Dispel: Guarantee yourself to always win the counter war.

1x Flaying Tendrils: Exile the weenies and bears, and any tokens.

3x Ceremonious Rejection: No more eldrazi, marvel, or artifacts in general... so basically half of standard.

2x To the Slaughter: Get rid of that lonely walker.

1x Transgress the Mind : One more for the control mirrors and against some midrange decks.

1x Sphinx of the Final Word : The finisher in a control mirror.

1x Radiant Flames : More love for the aggro decks <3

2x Succumb to Temptation : Bring in against control.

2x Release the Gremlins: Great artifact removal, and you also get dudes! Bring in against Mechanized Production decks for sure.

1x Ruinous Path : Bring in against that lonely walker deck.



Alright I've made a couple changes to the deck after playtesting and getting 2nd at 02/03/17 FNM.


Round 1: (1-1-1) vs monoblue mill/control. Went to time in game 3 with the win on board for my next turn (frustrating!)

Round 2: (2-0) vs Golgari aggro. I got game one with judicious use of removal, so I boarded in more and BOOM got the second win.

Round 3: (2-0) vs Selesnya tokens. All I have to say is.....#REKT

Round 4: (2-0) vs Bant midrange. Game one I drew all the right cards, thanks to my draw spells. Game two I drew all the right cards, thanks to my draw spells.

Top 8: (2-0) vs Orzhov control. Game one I countered everything, game two I got super value out of 3(2 cast, +1 flashback) To the Slaughter with delirium triggers.

Top 4: (2-0) Grixis control (a different list than mine). Game one I managed to exile all 4 of his Torrential Gearhulk, kill all 4 Wandering Fumarole, and his one-of Noxious Gearhulk, and just let him draw himself out. Game two he missed a land drop on turn 4 and I ended up winning the counter war and Transgress the Mind 3 times to clear his hand.

Top 2: (0-2) vs Golgari aggro/delirium variant. Game 1 I took a 4 land hand and proceeded to draw only land, even with my draw spells, until he killed me. Game two I had to mul to 5 with a 2 land hand while he stuck a Mindwrack Demon... I got stuck on 2 land so game over.



-2 Yahenni's Expertise. This card was a thorn in my side every time I drew it.

-1 Fatal Push: This card is great at the beginning of the game, and that's about it.

-1 Evolving Wilds: I needed one more Wandering Fumarole.

+1 Wandering Fumarole. I needed one more to guarantee kills.

+1 Unlicensed Disintegration: I'll try this out in here... I'm not committed.

+1 Unsubstantiate: This would have been very useful quite often.

+1 Essence Extraction: The incremental lifegain could prove to be important, especially since I can flash it back with both my enablers.

Sideboard:-1 Flaying Tendrils: It just wasn't relevant to my meta enough to warrant 2.

-1 Ceremonious Rejection: I thought I'd see more of this being necessary.

-1 Release the Gremlins: Not as relevant as I'd hoped.

+1 Ruinous Path: I could have used another of these against some planeswalkers

+2 Dispel: for the counterwars


PiedPiperDruid says... #1

I really love how this deck is set up, and also your description formatting; Easy to read and informative. Certainly gonna try and get the pieces for this one before game day. Thanks for your contribution! And excellent work!

January 28, 2017 12:06 a.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #2

Thanks! It's been SUPER successful in playtesting on xmage. The sideboard handles everything you need it to as well. Good luck at game day!

January 28, 2017 6:26 p.m.

bulx0001 says... #3

No unlicensed disintegration in the 75? How do you deal with resolved huge creatures? Sweet list btw.

January 31, 2017 1:11 a.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #4

Harnessed lightning can kill most of the big creatures since I get a lot of energy, but also the Gearhulk can kill a lot as well.

February 1, 2017 3:38 p.m.

bulx0001 says... #5

That makes sense. Gonna take your list for a spin Friday, I'll report back with how it goes! Honestly, I think it's equipped to handle every deck in the meta right now, except for maybe the U/R emerge deck with EDF and the zombies engine. But that deck is not so common.

February 1, 2017 4:12 p.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #6

Even then, the sideboard helps a lot against it. Bring in the 3x Ceremonious Rejection, the kill spells, and the sphinx. If it's a slow enough emerge, then also bring in the 2x Succumb to Temptation.

Are you playing my exact 75 @bulx0001?

February 1, 2017 9:46 p.m.

lords2001 says... #7

Do you think there is a place for Liliana in this sort of a deck? Especially coming off the other side of a Yahenni's Expertise?

February 2, 2017 9:04 a.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #8

She doesn't really fit the build, unfortunately. This deck is basically a toolbox deck that makes use of the spells in it more than once for value. Since there would be no way to get her back from the yard, it isn't worth running her. Thanks for the comment though!

February 2, 2017 11:46 a.m.

Xanimus says... #9

I would highly recommend replacing the Succumb to Temptation's with Painful Truths, even with the limitation of Sorcery Speed, it simply has larger versatility in that it doesn't require double black and can draw 3 cards rather than the 2 that Temptation offers, making it far more viable. Aside from that, I would suggest you consider Lost Legacy for decks like Saheeli Combo to get rid of either of the combo pieces, G/B Aggro to remove the Winding Constrictor's, and for G/W Tokens in order to get rid of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Unlicensed Disintegration or more Ruinous Paths also for the sideboard, just to cover any threats which make it to the battlefield, especially with decks like Control which heavily rely on Torrential Gearhulk, G/B Aggro which brings its creatures out of burn range, Saheeli Decks in order to remove their Felidar Guardian/Saheeli Rai, and Superfriends (Depending on your meta) in order to remove their value walkers. That's all I've got for the deck, and aside from that it looks really nice, I hope it works well for you :)

February 2, 2017 12:17 p.m.

Zaueski says... #10

Drfrozenfire you said this build is on Xmage? I'd be very interested in seeing how it stacks up against my Saheeli Control deck (link so we can play on even terms: Saheeli Twin). Is there a time today when you'd be free to set up a game on there?

February 2, 2017 12:24 p.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #11

Xanimus Painful Truths is strictly worse in this deck than Succumb to Temptation. It cannot be recast with the Gearhulk, and would be cast for 0 cards off the goblin. I'd recommend playing my 75 and you will see it is very fine tuned.

Zaueski sure. Whenever I'm online just message me. Same username.

February 2, 2017 3:31 p.m.

Xanimus says... #12

Depending on how this deck shapes out in the future, Glint-Sleeve Siphoner could be really good for it, as long is it has enough energy production, which currently it does not. With menace and ETB/Attack energy triggers, its essentially a standard Dark Confidant. Also, depending on how good the next Bolas planeswalker is, Dark Intimations could be a decent finisher, essentially a Cruel Ultimatum turned down a notch. I'll take the deck for a bit of a spin, and get back to you with any other suggestions :)

February 2, 2017 5:06 p.m.

Xanimus says... #13

Oh and by the way, you have the deck in the Cruel Control hub, Cruel Control is a modern Grixis disruption/burn/discard control deck that uses Cruel Ultimatum as its finisher.

February 2, 2017 5:09 p.m.

Drulak says... #14

Xanimus, I have doubts that Glint-Sleeve Siphoner is going to be competitive. It seems like it and all the other 1-toughness creatures are going to get hated out by Walking Ballista.

February 2, 2017 7:22 p.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #15

Xanimus The siphoner doesn't really fit the deck (for one thing it gets eaten by removal, and a good chunk of the game plan here is to have them board out removal). Dark Intimations could be great next block, depending on the bolas planeswalker(s) we may receive. It fits the theme of the deck very well. I have this in the cruel control because it's basically cruel control in standard minus cruel control.

February 2, 2017 9:22 p.m.

Noctem says... #16

So you haven't playtested at all vs mardu vehicles so far then?

February 6, 2017 6:52 a.m.

Noctem says... #17

And how did you exile 4 torrential, 4 wandering fumerole and a noxious in one game with the list you currently run?

You may also want to rethink your sideboard and some main options after the 6 top 8 mardu vehicles finishes at the pro tour this weekend.

February 6, 2017 6:55 a.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #18

Noctem I Transgress the Mind 2 gearhulks, flashed it back once with a Goblin Dark-Dwellers to get a third, and then used a Void Shatter to get the 4th. For the Wandering Fumarole I didn't exile them; I killed them with all the spot removal I'd been saving in my hand (same goes for the blackhulk).

I planned to playtest against that matchup this week and see what, if any, changes need to be made. Thanks for commenting!

February 6, 2017 12:43 p.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #19

After looking at the lists, they appear to be an aggro-style deck; my deck usually has little-to-no weakness against such types.

February 6, 2017 12:45 p.m.

Noctem says... #20

You gave yourself an 83% win rate over the course of 60 games vs all those different decks. I think you're doing yourself a disservice by being arrogant about your deck. I'm also not convinced that the records you posted are real. No deck has an 83% win rate over that many different decks. It's absurd.

At the pro tour for example out of the 14 Grixis control lists that were in day 1, only 6 made it to day 2. From there, they were run over (literally) by the aggro decks. In fact, not a single Grixis list made it to the top 30 of the event.

Now I'm not saying the archtype is bad or that it can't win. I'm saying that you need to adapt to the meta. R/b aggro, g/w tokens, sultai delirium, g/b aggro, saheeli combo, Bant flash, jeskai control and predominantly Mardu Vehicles were the decks in the top 30.

Hope you take this as constructive criticism.

February 6, 2017 1:59 p.m.

comicbookguy5 says... #21

Noctem I don't see any arrogance what so ever. I just don't see how you can criticize a deck you have not played. This person has clearly put in a lot of time playing the deck. I also wouldn't use the pro tour as the end all be all meta. I think the deck looks good and will be playing this Friday.

February 6, 2017 3:06 p.m.

Noctem says... #22

The deck didn't make a good appearance at SCG Columbus or Richmond either..

February 6, 2017 3:18 p.m.

comicbookguy5 says... #23

Yeah but most of those lists either stuffed a bunch of planeswalkers or got cute with dynavolt tower. This is old school kill you're stuff grixis. Smart with 2 radiant flames in the main.

February 6, 2017 3:53 p.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #24

Noctem If you look at the lists people used at the protour that were grixis control, none of them are like mine. If you are accusing me of making up my record, I implore you to play it yourself. Every match I have played is cataloged in here. I have already adjusted my main and sideboard to account for the upcoming prevalence of such meta as you described. No one is playing my list, and that's what it boils down to.

comicbookguy5 Let me know how you do!

February 6, 2017 5:23 p.m.

Noctem says... #25

Very well then.

February 6, 2017 7:37 p.m.

Radamenth says... #26

Drfrozenfire Im a bit lost here. How did you exile all the torrentials and wandering fumaroles in the grixis match?

February 7, 2017 2:03 p.m.

Noctem says... #27

Radamenth I asked the same question. The short answer is that he didn't, he killed the fumaroles but said exiled in error.

February 7, 2017 2:11 p.m.

Radamenth says... #28

Noctem Oh i didn't see his response, my bad. Thank you for answering anyway.

February 7, 2017 2:22 p.m.

elcarrete says... #29

Do you have any updates? for Mardu Vehicules and G/B Constrictor.


February 8, 2017 8:12 p.m.

0-2 vs G/B Aggro

February 9, 2017 7:02 p.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #31

How did you go 0-2 vs an aggro deck? This shuts them down quite effectively. Were you aggressively using draw spells?

February 9, 2017 9:31 p.m.

MusicMaster says... #32

What is the WinCon in this deck?

February 10, 2017 10:51 a.m.

MusicMaster says... #33

What is the WinCon in this deck?

February 10, 2017 10:51 a.m.

Noctem says... #34


Combat damage via Wandering Fumarole, Torrential Gearhulk and/or Goblin Dark-Dwellers and other sb creatures.

February 10, 2017 11:09 a.m.

Both times missed turn 4 land drop, can't remember first loss, second stuck with goblin dark-dwellers and torrential gearhulk in hand.

February 11, 2017 12:15 a.m.

Drfrozenfire says... #36

Dang you got some bad luck there!

February 11, 2017 11:17 a.m.

andresfm says... #37

Hi, I like this deck and I will test it.

Did you test Herald of Anguish? I think it could be interesting.

Do you have any experience versus Mardu Vehicles? All people have Mardu now and it is very boring...

February 12, 2017 3:16 a.m.

andresfm says... #38

And Fiery Temper instead of Radiant Flames?

February 12, 2017 4:06 a.m.

Deathtrap0012 says... #39

Thought about Demon of Dark Schemes for the return ability?

February 15, 2017 11:04 a.m.

Deathtrap0012 says... #40

Also Unlicensed Disintegration works great alongside Torrential Gearhulk so why not more?

February 15, 2017 11:08 a.m.

Deathtrap0012 says... #41

Also Unlicensed Disintegration works great alongside Torrential Gearhulk so why not more?

February 15, 2017 11:08 a.m.

andresfm says... #42


I tried this deck this weekend with good feeling but I need to test it more to ensure the power.

My results were:

1-1 GB Constrictor (I could not finish the game because my opponent left the store).

2-0 Eldrazi

1-0 BW Control

3-1 Grixis Emerge

2-0 WU Flash

0-2 4-color Saheeli (those games were very frustating because mana leak in both of them, mullingan 4 in the first one and mana leak in the second one but I was competitive even without lands)

I am really happy with this deck.

February 25, 2017 7:33 p.m.

syggsally says... #43

Hey do you anticipate any changes post Amonkhet?

April 23, 2017 6:23 p.m.

lords2001 says... #44

Fortunately the new set has seen us get an answer to copy cat via Trespasser's Curse and a possible way of stopping tower decks too.

April 24, 2017 7:32 a.m.

Noctem says... #45

And a new board wipe which is arguably better than Radiant Flames.

April 24, 2017 8:08 a.m.

syggsally says... #46

With Sweltering Suns?

April 24, 2017 9:14 a.m.

Noctem says... #47

Yeah, couldn't remember the name. Guaranteed 3 damage to everything + cycling is better than maybe 3 damage to everything imo.

April 24, 2017 11:19 a.m.

lords2001 says... #48

Dispossess is the other I was thinking of - it can stop a lot of decks cold - especially Vial and Tower decks, as well as getting rid of decks pushing Scrapheap Scrounger or Verdurous Gearhulk if we really need to nip it in the bud.

April 24, 2017 12:43 p.m.

syggsally says... #49

Disposses and Sweltering Suns were the additions I was thinking as well. Maybe never/return, rags/riches and or cut/ribbons.

April 24, 2017 2:37 p.m.

Noctem says... #50

I cast a Cut/ribbons for 16 damage in two headed giant over the weekend from the graveyard. that was fun.

April 24, 2017 3:29 p.m.

Mardu_Maniac says... #51

July 10, 2017 12:50 a.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 10 months
Last updated 10 months

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 3.17
Folders Badass Decks, AER, standard, Possible Decks, Standard AF, zzInspiration (not own), Standard, Control FTW!!!, Standard, post-AR decks, See all 34
Top rank #2 on 2017-02-15
Views 6449