Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jul 22 2021 11:00am

I know that every time I talk about Grixis, it isn’t the most positive outlook. I am very honest when I write and although I am not always right about what I say, I will never lie about how I feel towards cards and decks I talk about. However, this does not mean that I think the shard should be given up on. I love Grixis as a color combination and when I found the list we are going to look at today, I got excited.


With the dual lands that entered into Pauper from Modern Horizons 2 comes a lot of fun ways to build decks. Today, I want to talk about a sweet looking list that features the card Corrupted Zendikon. It was part of the 5-0 dump from 6/23/2021 and was piloted by the mtgo grinder Mogged. Without further wait, let’s get into the list!


Thorn of the Black Rose – Having access to becoming the Monarch is a very powerful thing to do these days in the Pauper format. You should be able to stay the Monarch because you have a ton of removal and Corrupted Zendikon to hold your opponent back.

Boarding Party – One of the most powerful creatures in the format in my opinion. Although it dies to a simple Lightning Bolt, it hits hard and has Haste, which means it will end the game quickly if left unchecked.

Corrupted Zendikon – I bet a lot of you (myself included) forgot that this card even existed. A 3/3 isn’t the biggest in the world in today’s Pauper meta, that much is true. However, by putting this on one of the artifact dual lands, you now have an Indestructible 3 power creature that can attack through almost anything. Not to mention, you have plenty of removal to take out big threats and clear the way for the Zendikon to get it in the red zone.

Thoughtcast – You have a lot of artifact lands in this deck. Being able to draw 2 cards quickly for a small amount of mana is a great thing to do in a control deck like this.


Cleansing Wildfire and Geomancer’s Gambit – Not only do they mana ramp you, but they also draw a card deeper into the deck. You have a lot of powerful stuff to play, but you need a lot of mana to do so. Having 8 mana ramp spells that also replace themselves is great and helps you cast a good number of spells in 1 turn, which means you can overwhelm your opponent quickly and possibly run away with the game. The mana ramp also opens up the door for a lot of possibilities.


Galvanic Blast – You should have Metalcraft turned on most of the time. Which means that you get access to 4 damage for 1 mana, at instant speed, that can be pointed anywhere. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Fiery Cannonade – One of the best board wipe spells in the format. Doesn’t surprise me to see it here.


Chainer’s Edict – Edict effects can be very useful in the Pauper format. This in my opinion is the best one because it has Flashback. Although it is sorcery speed, the Flashback makes up for that.


Snuff Out – You are a tap out deck with a lot of sorcery speed spells. Having access to a (somewhat) free removal spell can be pretty huge. Do remember though, it costs you 4 life to cast it for free. I am not sure that this should be here instead of Cast Down, but Gurmag Angler and MBC isn’t extremely popular, so Snuff Out should be good. If Gurmag Angler or MBC start picking up more and more, I would suggest playing Cast Down instead.


The Manabase


4 Great Furnace – Since you play 4 Galvanic Blast and 4 Thoughtcast, you need a good amount of artifact lands. Red is the color that helps you get other colors and so you always want access to red, so in my opinion, Great Furnace makes sense here.


4 Drossforge Bridge, Mistvault Bridge and Silverbluff Bridge – Here are your dual lands that make the deck work. You are heavily reliant on them, so I don’t think you should play less than 4 of each in this archetype. However, I could be wrong.

The rest are basic lands. You don’t want too many come into play tapped lands because you don’t want to be too slow. Playing lands such as Bojuka Bog don’t do enough in my opinion to justify the spots and risk being too slow.


The Sideboard

Fiery Cannonade – Just in case you need a third copy for better odds of seeing it or because you will end up needing a third copy.



Duress – A very good card against control decks and combo decks. In a deck like this, against control, getting perfect information so that you know exactly how to sequence your spells is extremely important.


Echoing Decay – Everyone loves Squirrel Storm right?


Hydroblast – For those pesky red mages!


Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast – For those pesky blue mages that try to ruin your day with dirty counter magic.


Verdict and Conclusion


As I said at the start of this, I know how critical I am of Grixis decks. Again, this does not mean I think Grixis is bad in Pauper. What I do think is that most of the time, in the long run, Grixis decks aren’t going to get you very far.


Honestly, my opinion hasn’t really changed all that much with this build of Grixis. However, I do see potential here. I like the Corrupted Zendikon idea when backed up by a lot of removal. I think in an aggro or Squirrel Storm heavy meta, this could be a great choice. However, I think it will struggle against the likes of UB or UR Fae and Tron. I am sure you can build this deck to combat those archetypes, but in theory, it might make the archetype worse. Honestly at this point, even I want to see some major bans from Faeries and Tron, just so that we can see new control decks thrive. This is just my opinion.


One card I am really upset to not see in this deck is Sojouner’s Companion. Not only is it a good win condition because it deals a lot of damage, but it also can come down quickly because of all the artifact lands you have. It also has artifact land cycling, which can help fix your mana if you need it to. Gearseeker Serpent is also a possibility, but at that point, where do you find room for everything? I also want to see some copies of Dispel or Prohibit for some extra counter magic. Counterspell would be a bit too hard to cast with the way the manabase is currently in my opinion.


Do I think you should play this deck? I wasn’t lying when I said I see potential here. I think in certain metas, this deck can be great and is fine for trying to have some fun in the leagues. However, I think the Faerie decks and the Tron decks will give you an extremely hard time and I am fairly certain that both UB/UR Fae and Tron will always show up in the challenges and will be near impossible to dodge. I personally would not risk playing the challenges with a deck like this because there is just too much room for error. I don’t have any hard data to back up my opinion, but I think it might be time we deal with Tron and Faeries. Not completely kill the archetypes, but hurt them enough that they just become a low expected part of the meta.


However, with all this being said, as always, do remember my words are not gospel. I will always encourage you to try a deck that I bring you despite my personal feelings. Remember that results will vary and always remember to practice!


Would you like to compete in a free Pauper tournament with some great prizes? Head on over to on Tuesday nights at 8pm EDT and play in our weekly Pauper Classic Tuesday's event! Join the chat #PCT to chat with us and feel free to find most of the competitors on Discord!


Thank you so much for reading. Best of luck to you in your next tournament and I’ll catch you all next time!