Grixis Death’s Shadow Sideboarding Guide

If you were wondering when I was going to post my Izzet Murktide sideboarding guide, this is it. 

4 Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer

4 Dragon’s Rage Channeler

3 Death’s Shadow

4 Ledger Shredder

2 Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger

1 Seasoned Pyromancer

4 Thoughtseize

4 Unholy Heat

2 Fatal Push

1 Dreadbore

3 Drown in the Loch

4 Mishra’s Bauble

4 Expressive Iteration

4 Bloodstained Mire

4 Polluted Delta

4 Scalding Tarn

2 Watery Grave

2 Blood Crypt

1 Steam Vents

1 Mountain

1 Swamp

1 Fiery Islet

Sideboard

2 Flusterstorm

2 Unlicensed Hearse

1 Kolaghan’s Command

2 Engineered Explosives

2 Tourach, Dread Cantor

2 Chalice of the Void

1 Dress Down

1 Seasoned Pyromancer

1 Fury

1 Terminate

When thinking about how to approach the Four-Color Omnath matchup from the Izzet Murktide side, I couldn’t help but think about how the games I won from the Murktide side often involved flooding the battlefield with threats. Attempting to play a longer game would almost never work out. Playing two copies of Memory Deluge in the sideboard works better than the Jace, the MInd Sculptor, but that’s neither here nor there.

Additionally, if folks picked up on my Cavern of Souls laden list, it would get even worse. Drown in the Loch has its pros and cons, namely that it usually does something when Counterspell isn’t effective. The downside is that it has inherent weaknesses to graveyard hate and big mana decks. We can’t have it all.

Having a lower curve and versatile cards like Drown in the Loch means Thoughtseize pairs well with the rest of the deck. Even though Izzet Murktide performed well enough against the various cascade decks in the format, the combination of discard and countermagic is always your best bet against those decks.

The weirdest thing about my version is the removal of Jegantha, the Wellspring as a companion. It isn’t exactly free, nor does it come up very often, but obviously playing a companion is powerful. You can keep it if you want, but I’ve been pleased by the options its removal has provided. 

Seasoned Pyromancer is the biggest gain. Your cheap threats die to everything and Thoughtseize facilitates games lasting longer. Ideally, you have some sort of card advantage or engine that allows you to continue playing the game well after Turn 6 and Seasoned Pyromancer is one of the strongest options. Granted, you have Expressive Iteration and Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger, but it’s not always enough. Other Grixis Death’s Shadow players will often sideboard something like Kaito Shizuki, but Seasoned Pyromancer is the superior option if you determine Jegantha isn’t necessary. 

Jegantha’s removal opens the door for things like Liliana of the Veil, Street Wraith, Brazen Borrower, or even Murktide Regent.  I’m sure there are more, but I didn’t have a ton of time to fully explore all the options. It was mostly a case of knowing that Jegantha wasn’t a lock and I could cut it if I found something I truly wanted, which ended up being the case with Pyromancer. Now that we’re here, I could see a Street Wraith to help with delirium.

The other weird thing about my decklist is that it’s actually playing permanent-based disruption for cascade decks. You’d think that having Thoughtseize, Drown in the Loch, and some sideboard Flusterstorms might be enough, but it’s truly not. Between their Griefs, Force of Negations, and multiple copies of Living End, it’s not difficult for them to power through your disruption. 

Although this is my current decklist and sideboarding guide, my confidence level is lower than with my Omnath deck. I’m reasonably certain that Grixis Death’s Shadow is a better choice than Izzet Murktide if you expect Four-Color Omnath in reasonable numbers. However, if I could play anything I wanted, I’d personally still play Omnath itself.

Four-Color Omnath

OUT

2 Fatal Push

1 Drown in the Loch

IN

2 Tourach, Dread Cantor

1 Seasoned Pyromancer

You can bring in 1 Unlicensed Hearse if they have 3-4 Traverse the Ulvenwald, Emrakul, the Promised End, and/or Eternal Witness.

Living End

OUT

2 Fatal Push

2 Unholy Heat

1 Dreadbore

2 Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger

IN

2 Flusterstorm 

2 Unlicensed Hearse

2 Chalice of the Void

1 Seasoned Pyromancer

Izzet Murktide

OUT

2 Dragon’s Rage Channeler

1 Drown in the Loch

2 Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger

IN

2 Unlicensed Hearse

1 Terminate

1 Kolaghan’s Command

1 Seasoned Pyromancer

Flusterstorm is okay here, but you’re not trying to resolve anything specific. Plus, I like having most of my topdecks be live.

Hammer

OUT

2 Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger

1 Thoughtseize

1 Death’s Shadow

1 Dreadbore

IN

2 Engineered Explosives

1 Kolaghan’s Command

1 Dress Down

1 Fury

Amulet

OUT

2 Fatal Push

1 Seasoned Pyromancer

IN

1 Dress Down

1 Fury

1 Terminate

Azorius Control

OUT

2 Fatal Push

3 Unholy Heat

1 Death’s Shadow

IN

2 Flusterstorm

2 Tourach, Dread Cantor

1 Seasoned Pyromancer

1 Kolaghan’s Command

Burn

OUT

3 Thoughtseize

1 Dreadbore

IN

2 Flusterstorm

1 Fury

1 Seasoned Pyromancer

Cascade Glimpse

OUT

2 Fatal Push

2 Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger

1 Dreadbore

1 Death’s Shadow

IN

2 Flusterstorm

2 Chalice of the Void

1 Fury

1 Seasoned Pyromancer

One Reply to “Grixis Death’s Shadow Sideboarding Guide”

  1. I don’t even play, but thanks for providing this content. Reading it makes me want to grind again.

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