Okay…here’s the start:

Unboxing

Everyone should be familiar with “Sworn To Darkness”, the Commander 2014 mono-black pre-con.  This one was sitting on my shelf collecting dust, and I wanted to turn it into a Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed deck as part of a “metamorphosis” project. 

And then, I got jazzed on trying to use Rooftop Storm for something, and opened things up to Twitter.  The next thing I knew, Project Xiahou Dun turned into Project GrimGrin:

GrimGrin image

Seems great.  I’ve tried multiple times to work out a zombies tribal deck, and a Dimir deck, and this seems like the best way to go about it.  GrimGrin is interesting; he comes to the table with a drawback that we can certainly work around – and potentially use to our advantage – and he packs built-in removal.  (Not Thraximundar-caliber removal, but we can work with this.)  He grows bigger on the back of two different triggers, and is a very reasonable body for the cost.

Here’s the deck unpacked:

The Deck

Initially, the plan was a mono-black pseudo-reanimator build that would leverage bombs like Kokusho, the Evening Star and Massacre Wurm on the back of Xiahou Dun’s unique recursion to really control the board and make strong mid-to-late-game plays.  The secondary plan would involve the old horsemanship/Lashwrithe combo to drop an unblockable general-damage one-shot if needed as well.

Obviously, that will now change.  Here’s the first shipment of toys:

 

Grimgrin toys

I want to try to blend a zombie toolbox with Rooftop Storm as the value engine into a hybrid reanimator-style deck.  It should play out like a control deck that has a bit of a stronger aggro front-end due to GrimGrin himself – the idea being that he should be played early and often and used as a versatile threat and tool constantly to allow the rest of the deck to do other things and deal with other threats.

There’s an obvious need for sacrifice fodder, so there will be a minor token sub-theme – see Bitterblossom – and this fits well with things like Grave Titan and Skullclamp.  I’m not afraid to pack this with stronger components and options, so long as the line is drawn right before infinite combos.  This is a pretty easy line to cross over with Rooftop Storm and a sacrifice outlet for a general – think of all the easy ways that you can recur a Gray Merchant of Asphodel and then play it for free, growing GrimGrin to enormous proportions in the process.

So this might be a touchy thing to do correctly.  I’m up for any/all suggestions as we go forward here.  In fact, we still have some sweet GenCon 2015 swag to give out – playmats and stuff like that, and I’m happy to toss in some extras from the closet, as well as anything that might come out of this pre-con in the process.

Shall we make this a Community Project? 

—>Cass
@GDCCommander