I've only ever seriously played grixis control in the 5-6 years I've played competitive modern, and as much as I want Grixis to be a seriously viable deck, it's also fun to not be in the spot light, and I have to disagree on some of the points you mention that Grixis "needs". I've also always been an advocate of colors staying more or less within their identities, because that is a huge part of the identity of MTG it self and would take away from that. As such, for example, it is, from my perspective, ok that Grixis can't destroy resolved enchantments. It's not in our color identities to do that. We can discard them, we can counter them, we can bounce them, why do we need to be able to destroy them too? So I'm fine with that. As a tradeoff, we are far better positioned vs Artifacts and smaller creatures than any other color pie.cfusionpm wrote: ↑1 year agoGrixis will never be a top deck until one of three things happens:
1) Grixis gets access to 1 mana, unconditional, exile removal for creatures.
2) The meta shifts in such a way where standard "destroy" creature effects are good enough AND the majority of meaningful threats can be reliably hit by Fatal Push.
3) Grixis gets printed multiple powerful value cards and threats (ala a FlashSnake or Uro in their colors. No Kroxa isn't good enough, because putting things in the GY often isn't good enough. Needs to be pilot-positive value*, not opponent-negative value).
Never mind the colors' total inability to deal with resolved enchantments, but that's always going to be the case.
Grixis is BY FAR my absolute favorite color combination and would be playing it in a heartbeat if it wasn't just so painfully inadequate in so many situations. I have foil playsets of Tarns, Deltas, and Mires, as well as 2x each Expeditions of Vents, Grave, and Crypt, and Noah Bradley-signed BFZ full art foil basics (he also signed one of my Steam Vents). In addition to foil staples all around in those colors. I want to play Grixis more than anything else. But alas. My options are play a trash deck, or do well with Bant. So here we are. Flashing in Snakes and dumping Uros in my yard while Pathing my opponents things under T3feri protection with Force backup, all facilitated by a cantrips which instead of being able to be Snapped back, can profitably attack/block and fixes my greedy/clunky mana. Cool?
*Good Lord, imagine a UR Titan that was 1UR, 6/6 with Flash, and on ETB it countered a spell and drew a card. Escape for UURR.
The same goes for a 1cmc exile spell, or exile effects in general. Our card pool prophits off full gys, (delve, Drown in the Loch, Into the Story, flashback, etc). Exiling stuff is powerful as hell, but also doesn't mesh well with our overarching strategy. Our removal spells are more conditional than white's or bg's, but also lack all the pesky, massive drawbacks Path or Trophy have (which I absolutely detest and would never play, thats just me). Drown in the Loch is a superbly powerful interaction spell in our colors. It needs some build-around and tight play and is vulnerable to gy hate (though not all), but it does exactly what we need it to do.
The last point I agree on, especially because I've always struggled to settle on the right threats for my grixis control decks. Printing more powerful threats is something those colors really really need. A competent Titan would have been great, and as you say, it's important to have positive value (as Uro has) rather than negative (Kroxa). Who knows, maybe they complete the Titan-cycle and the UR Titan is really good... That Titan you described would be asurd^^ it'd be a 3cmc Cryptic that becomes a recursive 4cmc Cryptic with a 6/6 body attatched to it. My first instinct is that would be completely absurd, but Uro isnt much off that actually. Also Uro's 3-life-gain is such a game-changer because it takes time to cast and escape these titans, if Uro didnt gain 6 life in that process, it would probably be way to slow in many matchups. With the life gain, its a veritable game-breaker against aggressive strategies. Whereas not a soul on this world gives a flying fart about Kroxa's !!conditional!! 3-life loss.
By now everybody hopefully knows my general perspective, so I'll keep going: Veil of Summer right now is the single biggest obstacle to Grixis Control going anywhere. You can still steal games against it and outplay braindead Bant Snow net deckers, but in actual competitive play, a competent Bant Snow pilot can always leverage Veil to a game-winning effect if they draw it. So Veil is problem number 1.
To the post above: I have said before that I think Astrolabe makes absurdly greedy mana bases possible and dissolves MTG's fundamental color identity. I had a 5c-Niv opponent just today, when he lost against me, complain that he lost because he didnt have access to black for Niv, and my immediate response was "you run 5 colors, a 5-color win condition (and BTL which only works on Niv with 5 colors), only multi-color spells, and can still run a large amount of basic lands. you should absolutely in a sane world get color-screwed every second game. No pity".
That's a thing I think many people are forgetting when they say that Astrolabe is a welcome alternative to expensive fetches and makes modern accessible to more people. While that is true, competitive players obviously aren't gonna say "oh hey, there's Astrolabe, I can leave my fetches at home". Astrolabe is an ADDITION to fetches. They'll run 4 Astrolabe and 8-10 fetches in the same deck and if they really want, they'll get away with 4-5cmc decks running enough basics + Astrolabe to not only survive Blood Moon, but being able to run it themselves.
So yea, I still think Veil as well as Astrolabe should go. Surprisingly, I'm not completely drowning (edit: hahahahahaha, pun 100% NOT intended there) on Grixis control, I'm doing pretty ok. I'm above 50% win rate in competitive environments, and I guess in a meta like this, it's all I can ask for.
Is the format fun? Yes, I actually think it is. I don't particularly mind facing Astrolabe decks per se, what annoys me is the complete absence of them struggling to get colors or having to damage themselve to escape their Uro, eg. Playing straight Grixis, fetching correctly, keeping your life total high enough, tapping and sequencing correctly corresponding to your mana requirements is something to think about. Snow decks can do whatever basically. I really mean that. I've said this before, piloting Snow decks still has a lot of lines, but from a mana-color perspective, its a child's game.
And the format stops being fun when Veil of Summer gets cast against me and there was definitly no way to play around it/avoid it. When Veil beats me and I can say with certainty that there was no play I could have made and no deckbuilding choice (within my colors) I could have made to avoid losing to that card, I get really really frustrated, disillusioned and sometimes angry with the modern format.
The good news is that Veil is the only card I think is completely 100% too good, regardless of wether people maindeck it, it's just too good.
Astrolabe I'm annoyed with, but whatever. They could print effective snow-hate at which point it might be fine again. I hate what it's doing to the format, but I'm not as directly offended by it.
Edit: @Zoulis, I know I half-insulted you a few posts back, but here you go again. "Just play Grixis Urza". I mean what is that? Keep thoughts like that to yourself, thank you very much.