Video Daily Digest: Let’s Picks Us Some Grixis

Nice! Jeskai Control and U/W Control have both cleared the way! Can we finally break out the Cruel Ultimatums? Well, not quite yet. But we’re close! Which control deck are you on for SCG Dallas?

After years of lamenting the lack of a true control deck in Modern, the metagame now has two distinct control decks that are consistently competing at the top tables. Jeskai and U/W Control are both very good decks despite playing reactively in a diverse field, as it appears that the degenerate decks of the format are being held in check enough that reactive strategies can reasonably prepare themselves for the expected field.

Infect and Dredge have been nerfed, Storm is vulnerable to both counterspells and creature removal, and fair decks like Humans and Grixis Death’s Shadow help keep many other unfair decks at bay while being much easier targets for control decks that simply want to play a pile of one-for-one answers and some card advantage.

Of course, it’s not just metagame considerations that have led to a resurgence in control decks. The printing of Search for Azcanta is an incredible addition to them as a cheap source of card advantage that they can deploy early without worrying about falling behind to do so, confident that over time it will snowball away with the game.

But as these control decks ascend to the top tier of the metagame, I have to wonder how good white is in them. Black gives you access to Fatal Push and other flexible removal spells. And if you’re worried about losing Supreme Verdict, you have Damnation. And you can play some discard spells to give you more universal disruption to combat the fringes of the format and give you the early information necessary to sequence your spells appropriately.

There isn’t anything fancy going on in this list besides maybe the singleton planeswalkers, but Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver has long been a powerful card in Modern, especially in a deck with the cheap removal to protect it, and Liliana, the Last Hope is great for rebuying Snapcaster Mage and handling the otherwise problematic Lingering Souls.

Of course, there is one downside to the influx of control in Modern, and that is the loss of valuable complaint equity. Now that Modern duly represents every archetype, we can’t freely whine about the format anymore. I mean, we’re Magic players so we’ll always find something to whine about, but it was nice having Modern in the back pocket if things ever got too good, you know?

Stupid Modern.