My Grixis Death’s Shadow (Lurrus) Decklist For This Weekend’s Modern Events

Corey Baumeister is back to share his updated Grixis Death’s Shadow (Lurrus) decklist ahead of the weekend’s many Modern events.

Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger, illustrated by Vincent Proce

Grixis Death’s Shadow (Lurrus) has gone from a fringe deck in Modern that you can largely ignore to the deck with the biggest target on its back within two months. It started with my SCG Invitational win and has since been adopted by players who have made some rather large changes. Today we’re going to talk about my updated list as I prepare for NRG Series: Milwaukee this weekend as well as answer plenty of questions that relates to lists being played at the moment.

Let’s start things off with the very popular list from SoulStrong on Magic Online. In the month of November, SoulStrong has racked up two Modern Challenge wins, two Modern Challenge Top 4s, and a Set Championship qualification. Below is the list that’s being played the most and it makes the most sense to compare and contrast my list to.

Obviously It’s hard to argue with those types of results but I’m still going to!

First, let’s talk about the maindeck, as SoulStrong’s is list is pretty close to the list that I won the SCG Invitational with over Halloween weekend:


Inquisition of Kozilek Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger Dress Down


Lightning Bolt Fatal Push Kolaghan’s Command

I really like these changes that SoulStrong made with the exception of one card — Lightning Bolt. The only thing I have really liked Lightning Bolt for is the interaction of dealing yourself damage to boost your Death’s Shadow, but I don’t think that holds enough value to me to include it over some other high-impact options. Dress Down is also a card that’s getting a bit worse in the Modern metagame and this is largely because of the rise in popularity of Grixis Death’s Shadow. Not only is it not good in the mirror but it’s starting to push out the decks that it’s good against like Elementals, Four-Color Control (Yorion) and Urza’s Saga decks (with the exception of Orzhov/Mono-White Hammer (Lurrus)).

Fatal Push, however, is a card I’m fully on board with. Not only is it great in the mirror, but it’s really strong against Orzhov/Mono-White Hammer (Lurrus) which I believe are going to be the top two decks in the metagame as far as win percentage and popularity are concerned this weekend. I’m even going up to three copies in the sideboard games against those decks.

So let’s take a look at my list for this weekend:

The only major change in my maindeck for this weekend is the third copy of Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger I have in the maindeck. Outside of the initial onslaught of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, Kroxa is what the mirror is all about in the mid-game. It’s a walking two-for-one every time it hits the battlefield and if you ever get to escape it a second time, it has now reached four-for-one status if they choose to kill it. Outside of the mirror, it’s just a great card that you always want to see one copy of. Whenever you draw the second copy, it does get way worse, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take with such a high-impact card.

Now let’s talk about the sideboard because that’s really where the huge differences occur. First let’s start with the biggest one that you’re all thinking about — the lack of Tourach, Dread Cantor. I’m not saying this isn’t a good card, because it really is incredible, but there are a few factors that make it unnecessary at this time.

Tourach is best against decks like Azorius Control, Four-Color Control (Yorion), and any other Solitude-based deck. The problem with that, however, is that Grixis Death’s Shadow is already great against those decks. If those decks were still at the top of the metagame, I would include one or two copies of Tourach. But, with a large amount of buzz around Grixis Death’s Shadow and around the card itself, people are really scared to play decks that it’s good against.

This is not the first time I’ve read something like what Kyle said to Ally . The word is spreading pretty quickly that Solitude-based decks aren’t as good as they were a few weeks ago. Therefore, this is a gamble I’m willing to make for this event because even if I’m wrong I still have a good matchup against these decks; it’s just not as good as it could be with Tourach.

Moving right along, Engineered Explosives is a card that I think is crazy to cut altogether from the sideboard. It’s by far your best card against Temur Crashcade and Orzhov/Mono-White Hammer (Lurrus) and has a ton of applications against other matchups. I agree with SoulStrong that it isn’t as good now as it was a few months ago, but not enough to cut all of the copies.

Engineered Explosives Collective Brutality

Collective Brutality is another card that has been largely taken out of the sideboard and for good reason. It’s really only good against one deck (Boros Burn) but it’s the single best card against them. I replaced one with a Fatal Push, as it’s still a decent card against Boros Burn, but I still wanted to have at least one Collective Brutality in my 75. Admittedly, Boros Burn is still a bad matchup and if I was a playing that deck and I saw all these Grixis Death’s Shadow (Lurrus) lists shying away from Collective Brutality I would be ecstatic to play that matchup. That said, I’m still respecting Goblin Guide at least a little bit this weekend.

The last two sideboard slots where we differ is Gut Shot and Alpine Moon. Gut Shot is pretty interesting to me, as it can really be a blowout in a few different ways in the mirror. You can kill a Ragavan and play Ragavan in the same turn which is a huge swing in the mirror but only having only one copy means that this play pattern isn’t reliable. Gut Shot can also be great at growing Death’s Shadow out of range to dodge the six damage from Unholy Heat but that’s also pretty unlikely to come up with regularity. I’m playing Fatal Push in that slot because it’s a great answer against Ragavan, but it can also kill a 7/7 Death’s Shadow and a key Kroxa (which holds much more value to me).

Gut Shot Alpine Moon

Alpine Moon is a bit of a different story. This is just a product of the expected metagame at NRG Series: Milwaukee this weekend, as I’m thinking (and hoping) that big mana decks like Mono-Green Tron won’t catch on quite yet. I believe big mana decks are the next direction that we’ll see in Modern to answer all of these Grixis Death’s Shadow decks but we’re not there yet and that’s the reason I’m cutting one of the copies of Alpine Moon. Urzatron-based decks, Amulet Titan, and Scapeshift decks are the only matchups that I want Alpine Moon for and not including a second one is just a case of “something had to go in the sideboard.” Some people bring in multiple Alpine Moons against Urza’s Saga decks, but I really only like one at the most and frequently when I’m on the play I don’t bring in a single copy.

SoulStrong has a tough month of November to argue with as far as results go, but I do believe that with that insane streak, it’s time to look forward to what’s going to happen next in Modern. I think my decklist reflects what we’re going to see this weekend from NRG Series: Milwaukee and what the rest of the world is going to play.


I’ll close things out today with the sideboard guide that I’ll be using this weekend. Matchups are listed in the order of what I expect to be the most popular to the least represented archetypes. Good luck to anyone looking to case Death’s Shadow this weekend!

VS Orzhov/Mono-White Hammer (Lurrus)


Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize


Engineered Explosives Engineered Explosives Kolaghan’s Command Dress Down Fatal Push Fatal Push Terminate Terminate Alpine Moon

VS Grixis Death’s Shadow (Lurrus)


Dress Down Dress Down Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize


Fatal Push Fatal Push Nihil Spellbomb Terminate Terminate

VS Four-Color Control (Yorion)


Inquisition of Kozilek Drown in the Loch Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger Fatal Push


Spell Pierce Spell Pierce Dress Down Kolaghan’s Command

VS Temur Crashcade


Dress Down Dress Down Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger Dragon’s Rage Channeler Unholy Heat Unholy Heat Kolaghan’s Command


Engineered Explosives Engineered Explosives Spell Pierce Spell Pierce Fatal Push Fatal Push Terminate

VS Azorius Control


Dress Down Dress Down Dragon’s Rage Channeler Drown in the Loch


Spell Pierce Spell Pierce Kolaghan’s Command Engineered Explosives

VS Boros Burn


Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger Kolaghan’s Command


Fatal Push Fatal Push Collective Brutality Terminate Spell Pierce Spell Pierce

VS Jund Midrange (Lurrus)


Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Dragon’s Rage Channeler Dragon’s Rage Channeler Dragon’s Rage Channeler Dragon’s Rage Channeler


Fatal Push Fatal Push Kolaghan’s Command Terminate Terminate Dress Down Nihil Spellbomb Alpine Moon

VS Izzet Midrange


Dress Down Dress Down Thoughtseize Inquisition of Kozilek Inquisition of Kozilek


Fatal Push Fatal Push Nihil Spellbomb Terminate Terminate