Being alone is a power very few can handle

Control decks are hard to pilot in EDH, especially in pods of multiple people, which is the reason why I built it, to challenge myself and improve my gameplay.

I chose Bolas over Kess, Dissident Mage simply because I love the powerspike that comes from flipping our Bolas into its Planeswalker form.

Below, i'll roughly explain my thinking for each category and why I chose the cards I did.

Generally, we hang back and survive until late game where we can dominate the game.

1) Early-game we focus hitting land-drops and countering early-game shenanigans.

2) Mid-game is where we typically bust out our boardwipes and land a Planeswalker.

3) Late-game is our end-game, we typically have compiled a hefty abundance of cards in-hand alongside 1-3 Planeswalkers or an active The Scarab God churning out value.

The toughest part, is figuring out when we can safely deploy Bolas and then flip him. This process normally takes place between our mid and late game. However if we can land his flip and protect him, we gain so much value that its tough for opponents to overcome.

Nicol Bolas, the Ravager  : An even, but specific costed, 4cmc with a flying 4/4 body. Along with a cheeky ETB effect. to flip into...

Nicol Bolas, the Arisen: The +2 ability to Divination, drawing cards being a corner stone to control decks. -3 to just delete the vast majority of creatures and walkers. -4 to snag a high-value walker or stomper to our side. And finally, -12 to say "nuh-uh" to an unlucky players deck.

This deck primarily (and obviously, I hope) focuses on saying "no" to opponents and their gameplans. So we don't have much space for cards that actually win us the game.

1) They Rage-Quit: An actual strategy I employ, and works commonly enough that i'm actually listing it.

2) Planeswalker Ults: Both Bolas ults and Jace's Ult can get me the W, albeit all 3 are ults. On Planeswalkers. Probably the most targeted entity in the game besides ones hopes and dreams. But we can protect them fairly well so getting to that big down-tick is often. We also have extra-turn cards that can give us the window to get our PW's up to ult.

3) Value Scarab God: As mentioned prior, The Scarab God can net us lots of value late-game by utilizing what we blow-up with wipes and counters from earlier in a game.

4) Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Pestermite : A cheeky 2-card combo for infinite attackers, can be done turn 2 if we get a god-hand.

We stop gameplans. Plain and simple. Counter magic does alot of work, stopping alot of threats before they resolve. So we have a large portion of the deck dedicated to that.

I chose the lowest CMC for the most capturing counterspells, with as few restrictions or drawbacks as possible. We included a few high cost spells but they balance out with the effectiveness they bring, IE Cryptic Command.

We have a solid list of optimized counterspells, but if you have any suggestions, do hmu.

We focus our counterspells on stopping opponents sorceries, artifacts, enchantments and instants. So creatures can be a looming threat, so we pack an almost equal amount of removal.

We have several boardwipes to clear an army. And some spot removal to get rid of problem creatures. We also have Field of the Dead to help mitigate attacking creatures. We do struggle against artifacts and enchantments besides Kolaghan's Command and Nevinyrral's Disk.

As with the counterspells, I attempted to chose the most high-impact cards, balanced with lowest CMC so we can play multiple spells per turn cycle so we can always leave up mana for countering stuff.

To ensure we have stocked hand of answers, we need lots of card draw.

I added alot of cantrips, including the majority of popular ones seen in multiple formats such as Gitaxian Probe.

Most of our Planeswalkers have card draw built into their abilities, so if we can land one, it can lessen the stress to keep our hand full. Also we can flip Search for Azcanta   into Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin as another "On-board" card draw.

We do have some top-deck manipulation stemming from The Scarab God. As well as Mystic Sanctuary to re-use something.

As the category name implies, these cards are intended to be flexible for us in a variety of situations and come out on top.

Namely, Snapcaster Mage and Torrential Gearhulk are our most flexible cards. They can re-use powerful counterspells, removal and even card draw effects in a pinch. Also can be blockers if needed.

We also have theft cards/abilities to snag opponents cards to use ourselves.

Ramp within Grixis colors is tough beyond mana rocks and one-time-use instants/sorceries.

I only threw in a few rocks to just help accelerate us. Mana Drain has been clutch for us before, helping us flip Bolas sooner. And Solemn Simulacrum is always nice to see, to go snag us a basic.

Our utility lands aren't super flashy, just QOL stuff.

Namely Reliquary Tower and Field of the Dead are our favorites to see.

If you enjoy this hard control, please shoot me a +1!!!

If you have any questions or recommendations, do comment and i'll get back to you asap.

Also, I invite you to go check out of other favorite EDH deck, OMNATH CRUEL GRUUL, for a more aggressive build from me.


Updates Add


Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 weeks
Exclude colors WG
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

10 - 0 Mythic Rares

53 - 0 Rares

13 - 0 Uncommons

15 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.63
Tokens 2/2 Bird, 2/2 Zombie, Dack, 9/9 Kraken, Copy Clone, Treasure, 2/2 Manifest, 1/1 Spirit, 3/3 Ape
Folders My EDH Decks, Decks to build
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 12 See all

2 weeks ago)

+1 Blast Zone main
-1 Devastation Tide main
-1 Morphic Pool main
+1 Ominous Seas main