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Thread: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

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    [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    I'm attempting to put together a modern deck to have ready if I somehow, miraculously, get a chance to play magic in person some time this year. I have a homebrewed Zoo deck, which is solidly tier 3 or lower, but I want at least a tier 1-1.5 deck ready to go. It seems that most versions of Shadow are going the 2-color route with BR, but I think the historically Grixis version adds a lot of tools, not the least of which his Snapcaster Mage. Because I have Snaps, I would really like to somehow work in a full set of Lightning Bolt, even though it really isn't 'standard' to do so. I have a starting list from September of last year to go by, which I will use as a template to get started. Without knowing the current metagame of Modern (do people still play modern?) this is just a rough draft for now.

    List from 9/19/2020:

    https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=27600&d=419288&f=MO

    Current list 2/15/2021:


    4x Death’s Shadow
    4x Street Wraith
    2x Snapcaster Mage
    2x Brazen Borrower
    3x Gurmag Angler

    4x Thought Scour
    2x Opt
    4x Mishra’s Bauble
    4x Thoughtseize
    1x Temur Battle Rage
    2x Stubborn Denial
    3x Remand
    3x Lightning Bolt
    2x Fatal Push
    2x Dismember
    1x Unearth

    4x Polluted Delta
    3x Scalding Tarn
    3x Misty Rainforest
    3x Watery Grave
    1x Steam Vents
    1x Blood Crypt
    1x Island
    1x Swamp

    Sideboard
    1x The Royal Scions
    2x Force of Negation
    2x Nihil Spellbomb
    2x Surgical Extraction
    1x Liliana, the Last Hope
    2x Collective Brutality
    1x Abrade
    2x Plague Engineer
    2x Ceremonious Rejection
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 02-16-2021 at 08:29 AM.
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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    I'm not sure how Lurrus fits into the equation. I would have to cut the Street Wraiths and Gurmag Anglers to make it my companion, and those are pretty important cards to the Grixis approach with Thought Scour/Snapcaster Mage. Alternatively I don't have to declare Lurrus as a companion and just use him as a high-value sideboard card. I could also sideboard out the 2+ permanents (which would be at least 7, 4x SW + 3x Gurmag) and then declare Lurrus my companion in games 2-3. I'm not sure it's worth it, but I'm also not sure it's worth trying a Shadow deck *without* the value of Lurrus. It might be correct to just re-tool the deck to take maximum advantage of the companion rule.

    I don't like the 6 mana investment on Lurrus, but it could be pretty good if games go long. I don't know which matchups that would do that, but I'm sure those will become known as I dig back into the metagame.
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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I'm not sure how Lurrus fits into the equation. ...
    Lurrus has been widely adopted for Shadow builds, though not universally. It seems they're mostly a Rakdos deck now, though I've seen Mardu, Grixis, and Jund builds as well. I guess it really depends on the style you want. Grixis is definitely more of the tempo/control version. Rakdos is basically a burn deck. Mardu has additional disruption and Jund was a bit of toolbox deck with Traverse the Ulvenwald, but the printing of Scourge of the Skyclaves made Tarmogoyf less of a draw, so I see less Jund these days.

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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    Cool, thanks for the feedback! I think I'm dedicated to Grixis, if for Snap + Bolt alone. I think for now Lurrus will be just a high value card in the sideboard, something I sideboard in on occasion. If that isn't worth the slot I'll probably drop it. I want Gurmags/Street Wraiths, maybe even maindeck Brazen Borrowers x1-2. I also nabbed a copy of The Royal Scions, which seems like an all-star against grindier decks.

    I have a substantial list of pet cards I want to try in this deck, main and sideboard: Search for Azcanta, Bitterblossom, Rancor, Abrupt Decay, Tribal Flames, Tidehollow Sculler, Gut Shot...I want Modern to be a place I can brew, lol. I realize that isn't really the case, but I love trying.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    I agree that Lurrus is better in the BR builds that use Scourge of the Skyclaves.

    I get Lightning Bolt as a pet card, but Dismember is usually a pretty important removal card in Shadow.

    The Royal Scions is a good sideboard card. Could probably swap out Lurrus for it!

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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    I'll swap the Lurrus for Royal Scions, good idea. Dismember maindeck or sideboard? I'm also not sold on a full set of Serum Visions, I think 2-3 is fine. That might be the place to squeeze in the Dismember. I also want Remand in there, in some number (probably 2 copies.) I feel like many games of Shadow are decided by going hard into a fast aggro plan. Turning Anglers and Shadows sideways with Remand backup, which could feed you bolts, seems like a sound strategy.

    I've been watching some YouTube videos of recent Grixis Shadow leagues and Snapcaster Mage seems lackluster without something to always flash back, like Lightning Bolt. Battle Rage is risky if there isn't a Stub to protect it, but Bolt to the face will always be a pretty solid finisher. Bolt - Snap - Bolt is still one of the best feelings in Modern, in my opinion.
    Brainstorm Realist

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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    So Serum Visions vs Opt for additional cantrips: is Opt just better because it's an instant I can hold up t1? There are so many cards that are incredible if left open t1 (Bolt, Push, Scour, Stub) that having yet another option to get full value out of t1 mana seems pretty good. I love Serum Visions as a card, but I hate that it's a sorcery.
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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I'll swap the Lurrus for Royal Scions, good idea. Dismember maindeck or sideboard? I'm also not sold on a full set of Serum Visions, I think 2-3 is fine. That might be the place to squeeze in the Dismember. I also want Remand in there, in some number (probably 2 copies.) I feel like many games of Shadow are decided by going hard into a fast aggro plan. Turning Anglers and Shadows sideways with Remand backup, which could feed you bolts, seems like a sound strategy.

    I've been watching some YouTube videos of recent Grixis Shadow leagues and Snapcaster Mage seems lackluster without something to always flash back, like Lightning Bolt. Battle Rage is risky if there isn't a Stub to protect it, but Bolt to the face will always be a pretty solid finisher. Bolt - Snap - Bolt is still one of the best feelings in Modern, in my opinion.
    It's been a while since I played Grixis Shadow, and I'm guessing the Modern section got wiped out (except the Enduring Ideal threat??) because I remember starting threads for both Eight Rack and Grixis Shadow. *

    But Dismember helps with the fast aggro plan.

    Turn 1 => Fetch, Shock, Thoughseize (15 life)
    Turn 2 => Fetch, Shock, Dismember, Shadow (8 life with a 5/5)

    I agree with your thoughts on Opt > Visions.

    * Found the setting limiting the threads I see to the most recent year. Also the Eight Rack thread where I mention switching to Shadow. Guess I never got around to posting a thread!
    Last edited by Ace/Homebrew; 02-12-2021 at 08:22 PM.

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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    Cool, thanks for the response. I'll re-tool the deck to make sure I have Dismember maindeck in some number, probably 2 copies, and replace the SV's with Opts.

    Is Unearth a potential card? Or Claim // Fame? They seem to fit into the flex spots that TBR usually fills, but I could see cutting a Bolt to squeeze one in, too.
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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Cool, thanks for the response. I'll re-tool the deck to make sure I have Dismember maindeck in some number, probably 2 copies, and replace the SV's with Opts.

    Is Unearth a potential card? Or Claim // Fame? They seem to fit into the flex spots that TBR usually fills, but I could see cutting a Bolt to squeeze one in, too.
    I've seen both used! But never consistently for the time I've followed the deck on TCDecks. They are worth experimenting with.

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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    Is Grim Lavamancer a potential card for this deck? There is already a strong pull on the graveyard (Snapcaster, Gurmag) so it may be terrible, but I've always liked Grim Lavamancer as a way to keep small dudes in check (like from Humans, Elves, Infect, etc.)
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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Is Grim Lavamancer a potential card for this deck? There is already a strong pull on the graveyard (Snapcaster, Gurmag) so it may be terrible, but I've always liked Grim Lavamancer as a way to keep small dudes in check (like from Humans, Elves, Infect, etc.)
    There is, except it's a UBr deck. So you might have to decide between playing a red spell or activating Lavamancer. Izzet Staticaster is a good sideboard option too.

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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace/Homebrew View Post
    There is, except it's a UBr deck. So you might have to decide between playing a red spell or activating Lavamancer. Izzet Staticaster is a good sideboard option too.
    I think Plague Engineer is a much better card than Staticaster overall, but the instant-speed answer is appealing. I was looking for a creature that provided reach outside of combat because of Shadow's lack of trample. Maybe playing Bolts is enough, alongside Snapcaster. I'm just trying to get something together for the semi-near future for modern events, and with the format shaken up so much I want to analyze all options.
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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I think Plague Engineer is a much better card than Staticaster overall, but the instant-speed answer is appealing. I was looking for a creature that provided reach outside of combat because of Shadow's lack of trample. Maybe playing Bolts is enough, alongside Snapcaster. I'm just trying to get something together for the semi-near future for modern events, and with the format shaken up so much I want to analyze all options.
    Between TBR and main deck removal/permission, and the Kenrith twins out of the board, you're probably fine. But GL and IS are likely interchangeable.

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    Re: [DECK] Grixis Death's Shadow

    Good points about trample providing reach. I'll just stick to Plague Engineer out of the sideboard with maindeck Bolts.
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