Embracing the Dichotomy, A Guide, and Love Letter, to Grixis Tempo Doomsday - Part 2
📅 October 10, 2022•
⏱️14 min read
This article is split into two different parts, a deck analysis and a matchup guide, this is the second part.
Pre-Board: The preboard matchup can be tricky. Typically casting Doomsday at any point of the game is very difficult. They have counterspells and a lot of threats that will kill you if you drop your life total too far. Some heuristics I have is to cast Doomsday only if the board is really stable, or if this is in the early game and I can protect with counter magic, or if it is the only way I can steal a win. The other mental note I have in my head is that Doomsday at anything less than 14 life is incredibly dangerous, as 6 or less life puts you dead to 2 hits from a threat or a Lightning Bolt. I will however, cast a Doomsday unprotected sometimes if they are tapped out with no threat and I have an extra mana to play around Daze. Their blue cards are high impact, and if I can trade Dark Ritual and a Doomsday for a force + any blue card, I think that is a favored trade. Typically you win the game if you get your mana underneath you and can cast enough 2 for 1's. Baleful Strix is your pseudo mirror breaker as the game typically comes down to creature beats and they can rarely attack favorably into them. I will put Cavern of Souls on Bird to make sure they resolve if I need to. Sometimes this will be a lightning rod for Wasteland and I'd much rather them waste a cavern than any other land. You need to put a murktide on the battlefield and protect it to victory. Game 1 is a very difficult matchup and is typically decided by the dice roll. Remove their threats so they can't take your life total down quickly and try and win a long game with 2 for 1's.
Sideboarding:-4 Dark Ritual, -1 Thassa's Oracle, -4 Doomsday, -2 Force of Will. +2 Unlicensed Hearse, +2 Pyroblast, +1 Red Elemental Blast, +2 Hydroblast, +1 Brazen Borrower, +2 Fatal Push, +2 Hidetsugu Consumes All
Post Board: The postboard games are much more interesting. I will recommend everyone playing against competent opponents in paper to shuffle your whole 15 cards in your sideboard into your main deck and then remove the 15 out. You are transforming into a different deck in a sideboard game, and any information you can conceal is important. You gain massive advantage by your opponent being forced to respect that you can cast a Doomsday in a postboard game. They will have a worse deck against you if you force them to leave in stack based interaction because you will basically be playing Grixis Delver. The sideboard leans into being a 2 for 1 value deck. I leave the Cavern of Souls in the deck to almost exclusively name Bird. If you name dragon it is not super helpful as Pyroblast will remove it once it hits the battlefield, and if they waste blasts on Baleful Strix instead you are feeling very favored. Try to be cognizant of Daze, as getting Dazed when you didn't need to is the fastest way to lose the mirror. If you cast enough Expressive Iteration's and Baleful Strix you will likely be favored.
Pre-Board: This matchup is very favored. Try to cast Doomsday as soon as possible. You typically lose to a fast marit lage with protection or by being Wastelanded out of the game. They will be favored against the tempo gameplan, but it does cause them to waste resources on stopping you if you cast a big murktide.
Sideboarding: -1 Pyroblast, -1 Young Pyromancer, -1 Baleful Strix, -2 Expressive Iteration, -1 Murktide Regent. +2 Opposition Agent, + 1 Brazen Borrower, +1 Hydroblast, +2 Fatal Push
Post Board: You will lose the sideboard games in the same way as the preboard ones. Try and cast a fast Doomsday or you can use your Dark Ritual on a fast Opposition Agent which will greatly slow their gameplan down. They will likely bring in some combo hate against you, so be aware so you don't allow them to use it effectively against you.
Pre-Board: This matchup is interesting. This section assumes it is the HelloNewton Fiend Artisan version of the deck, as that is what I played against all weekend. I believe you are very favored against this deck. However, they can win this game. If they have Allosaurus Shepherd and a fast natural order, that can kill you if you don't have enough interaction. They can also win if you let them go too wide, so put pressure on them so they cannot try and grind you out. A fast combo will win, and they struggle to answer a resolved murktide since typically their only out is a single Grist. The other Consideration is that they have a main deck Opposition Agent, so it is possible to get blown out if you are not careful.
Sideboarding: -4 Daze, -1 Pyroblast, -1 Cavern of Souls. +1 Rough // Tumble, +2 Opposition Agent, +2 Fatal Push, +1 Hidetsugu Consumes All
Post Board: Post board is fairly similar but is even better for you because you have a lot of good interaction to stop them from reaching critical mass. This MU is why I have Fatal Push over bolt, as you need push to kill their Fiend Artisans. You can win quickly but remember to be thinking about Endurance and boseiju after you resolve Doomsday because they will try and trip you up if you let them.
Pre-Board: This MU is favorable for you typically. They don't actually have a lot of interaction as the AnziD builds have more scary threats than scary answers. If you can resolve Doomsday early, they will never have a chance to cast their threats. They have answers to your threats, but you can steal games with a big Murktide Regent with protection. Watch out for main deck Dress Down.
Sideboarding:-2 Fatal Push, -3 Baleful Strix, -4 Force of Will. +2 Opposition Agent, +2 Unlicensed Hearse, +2 Pyroblast, +1 Red Elemental Blast, +2 Hydroblast
Post Board: They will be much more focused in a sideboard game, but they still will likely lack a reasonable amount of interaction to stop you from casting a quick Doomsday. Make sure you keep a Pyroblast in hand to protect your Thassa's Oracle against a Dress Down. Opposition Agent is good at tripping them up due to their sketchy manabase and high number of fetch lands. It is also a reasonable clock and pressure against their planeswalkers. Expressive Iteration is an amazing card in the matchup for obvious reasons, but is also very good at not being slowed down by a resolved Narset, Parter of Veils in a Doomsday pile. Unlicensed Hearse stops them from winning with a Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath or bringing back Wasteland repeatedly with Life from the Loam if they keep the package in.
Pre-Board: This matchup may be the hardest one you can face. They have a lot of interaction to stop you from casting Doomsday, they have Chalice of the Void against all your 1 mana value spells, they put out a wide board presence very quickly to pressure your life total and can have incredibly explosive value games. Typically I win by stealing games by resolving a Doomsday and winning before they can kill me, or with a big Murktide Regent with protection while forcing or killing their few threats and slowing them down early. You will likely have to get lucky to win.
Sideboarding: -4 Dark Ritual, -1 Young Pyromancer, -1 Thassa's Oracle, -4 Doomsday. +1 Meltdown, +1 Opposition Agent, +2 Unlicensed Hearse, +2 Pyroblast, +1 Red Elemental Blast, +2 Fatal Push, +1 Hidetsugu Consumes All
Post Board: My postboard used to be more focused on having a chance in this matchup with 2 Meltdowns but I find it's not worth it as the deck is on a decline (particularly online) due to the rise of Moon Stompy as a similar but more consistent deck. You can almost never resolve a Doomsday in postboard games as if they know what is up they will have even more force effects out of their sideboard. So I typically try and juke and play a more fair game plan to try and win solely on the back of a protected Murktide Regent while Pyroblasting their few early threats. Hearse is good at slowing down their Emry draws while also giving Murktide pseudo haste in the late game. Meltdown is a key card, and it is back breaking to clear their board and then put it back on top with Mystic Sanctuary.
Death and Taxes
Pre-Board: This matchup is highly favored. Good pilots will know how to beat you and they will typically do it by either using their mana denial to lock you out of the game with Rishadan Port and Wasteland or with a fast Stoneforge Mystic into Kaldra Compleat with hatebears. You can also lose your poor hands into their hatebears as Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Guardian of Thraben and Spirit of the Labyrinth will cause your hand to be incredibly clunky. You need to put a Doomsday onto the stack early, and typically fill your pile with mana sources. Fetchlands are your friend to stop them from Wastelanding you every turn. You must force an Aether Vial or Stoneforge Mystic to make sure they don't put Kaldra Compleat into play since you cannot beat that card.
Sideboarding:-1 Pyroblast, -1 Cavern of Souls, -2 Expressive Iteration, -1 Murktide Regent. +1 Rough // Tumble, +2 Opposition Agent, +2 Fatal Push
Post Board: I will shout out David Lance running Red splash Taxes, and in that case you need to leave in a Cavern for Pyroblast. Also be aware that the red splash runs Magus of the Moon which is incredibly back breaking against you. They will win postboard games the same way they win preboard games, but they will also likely bring in a lot of bad combo hate pieces against you. I never feel better than when my opponent keeps 7 and plays a turn 1 Deafening Silence against me. Their deck will be full of bad combo hate cards that don't have a lot of text in this matchup. The secret in this matchup is that playing turn 1 Doomsday is low-key not a good place to be. You can answer all their threats, especially in a postboard game, and typically they will beat you the most by letting you lose to yourself and having mana issues. I find I win a significant amount of my games by either having a great hand with t1 Doomsday and hit all my land drops and cast spells for the rest of the game or casting it on t3/4 and then hitting all my land drops and casting all my spells for the rest of the game. The name of the game is to not die to Wasteland. I promise you you will likely lose a game once or twice to mana denial before you learn your lesson that this matchup is not a bye. There is no shame in having a pile be Fetch Fetch Thassa's Oracle Land Land.
Pre-Board: This matchup is actually fairly favored if played properly. My win rate against the deck was fairly low until I switched to Expressive Iteration to beat Narset, and I realized they struggled to ever beat Doomsday casted early before they could get their feet under them to find interaction. The best way to win the game is to cast Doomsday with backup. I will also typically cast a turn 1 or 2 Doomsday even without protection for similar reasons to Delver. Mystic Sanctuary means you can always find that Doomsday again later in the game. They will have answers to Murktide so it's not a great place to be, but it will end the game quickly if you can protect it. Be aware that Day's Undoing is actually very good against you if you have a Doomsday resolved and less than 8 cards to draw.
Sideboarding: -2 Fatal Push, -2 Baleful Strix, -4 Force of Will. +2 Opposition Agent, +2 Pyroblast, +1 Red Elemental Blast, +2 Hydroblast, +1 Brazen Borrower
Post Board: This is similar to preboard but they will likely have more stack interaction. Blast is your friend, and Hydroblast is in for their blast effects and any potential red splash they may have, in particular land hate. Opposition Agent is in to mess with their mana as they have a high number of fetch lands and it flashing in is very good against them.
Pre-Board: This matchup is very difficult. If you've ever thought about how Grindstone interacts with pass the turn piles in Doomsday, you can realize why. They can find Grindstone really easily to disrupt your slow piles, and the red versions (the most common) are full of Pyroblasts which is incredibly good against your Murktide Regent plan. I find that my win rate is very low in g1 and I typically only win by disrupting their welder effects early and hoping they stumble and fall victim to their deck being full of bad cards. You can win with a Doomsday if they don't have an Urza's Saga in play and you can stop their Grindstone or tutor. Try to combo in as few turns as you can. Consider and Unearth would be good here, but I find it's not able to fix this matchup so I am staying clear of it.
Sideboarding: -4 Dark Ritual, -1 Thassa's Oracle, -4 Doomsday, -2 Daze, -1 Pyroblast. +1 Meltdown, +1 Rough // Tumble, +2 Opposition Agent, +2 Unlicensed Hearse, +2 Hydroblast, +1 Brazen Borrower, +2 Fatal Push, +1 Hidetsugu Consumes All
Post Board: Because Grindstone is such a beating to Doomsday, you cut the whole package and play a fair game plan where you try and disrupt their key pieces and then win with a Murktide Regent. Unlicensed Hearse is great into their welder effects and is a good way to slow them down. Opposition Agent is great as well as they do a lot of library searching. Otherwise you need to clear their board with Meltdown, Hidetsugu or Rough and slow them down.
Pre-Board: This matchup is bad in a lot of ways. Like with most decks, if they have their nuts hands against you, you will likely struggle. You should try and disrupt their early game with stack interaction and ride a threat to victory. Doomsday is a threat in this situation. If you can win the next turn with a pile without casting the cards in your hand, you can typically win even if they bring back a threat, because they will only strip your hand from a blank boardstate, not kill you. If you resolve a Doomsday, it is more than reasonable to stack force effects and try and force their threats the rest of the game.
Sideboarding:-1 Dark Ritual, -2 Fatal Push, -1 Pyroblast, -2 Doomsday, -1 Cavern of Souls. +2 Opposition Agent, +2 Unlicensed Hearse, +2 Hydroblast, +1 Brazen Borrower
Post Board: This sideboarding is actually decently flexible. There are some obvious things to cut and bring in, but it's possible that if they are on the blue splash for show and tell you want more blast effects. I find that you are typically still leaning on force or Daze for those situations as your graveyard hate is fairly weak, and you can't put a fast clock on them like you can with turbo Doomsday. It's also possible to leave in all the Dark Rituals and trim even harder on Doomsday but rely on Opposition Agent to shut down Entomb. Hydroblast is solely for Faithless Looting which is also kind of narrow, but you have to do what you have to do. The deck is not designed to win this matchup, and looking at online winrates I think that is okay. You likely won't see it very often at top tables and you have to stretch this version so much to be okay in the matchup that it is not worth it.
Pre-Board: This matchup is very straightforward. If you find a Doomsday, you will win the game as long as you don't get wasted out of the game. To not get wasted out of the game, make sure you get the island and then hold up a lot of fetch lands. They can also win games if they have a turbo marit lage. Try and interact with their crop rotations to stop them from putting the combo together because you will not be able to beat it in game 1.
Sideboarding: -2 Fatal Push, -4 Daze, -1 Pyroblast. +2 Opposition Agent, +2 Unlicensed Hearse, +2 Hydroblast, +1 Brazen Borrower
Post Board: They will be on the same game plan as g1, but now they will have a higher number of Endurances and blasts. You can lose to Endurance if you are not careful with your devotion count and graveyard. Hearse breaks up life from the loam loops Wastelanding you over and over.
Pre-Board: This matchup can be very rough, especially against good pilots who keep good hands. All their stax pieces are good against the deck, as Blood Moon destroys the manabase, chalice on 1 shuts off a large percentage of the deck, and an early Trinisphere will cause you not to cast a spell for a long time. You will need to get lucky, and don't feel bad if you try to cast a Doomsday and then get shut out by a stax piece if it's not avoidable. If you are lucky, you will force an opponent's first threat and ride a Murktide to victory. If your opponent is good, they will cast a must answer threat almost every turn and they will bury you, so look to steal games if you can.
Sideboarding: -4 Dark Ritual, -1 Pyroblast, -2 Doomsday, -1 Expressive Iteration. +1 Meltdown, +1 Rough // Tumble, +2 Hydroblast, +1 Brazen Borrower, +2 Fatal Push, +1 Hidetsugu Consumes All
Post Board: Post board is not particularly great either, but you do have 2 Hydroblasts to bring it which allows you to remove the Blood Moon with the Island in play. You cannot fully remove the combo so if you can cast the Doomsday on turn 3 or 4 you can try and win by stacking the deck to answer their threats for the rest of the game into a protected Thassa's Oracle. Rough is great to clear their board of all goblins. Meltdown and Hidetsugu are in to try and answer their artifact mana and chalice, and Hidetsugu has the upside of also being a threat and kills goblin tokens. Sometimes you can get lucky by stumbling their mana with these effects and slowing them down significantly.
Pre-Board: You are favored in this matchup. If you've ever played the Doomsday mirror, you know that games either typically end by someone comboing and their opponent not having interaction, or each player smashes their hand into each other, and they end up with no cards in hand and you win with a resolved Street Wraith. This deck is similar but you also have the bonus of having good cards in your deck that will be good if you both fight over a Doomsday. And you also have a reasonable clock with Murktide Regent, which is easy to cast if you spend your whole hand in a counter war. Do not allow them to resolve a Doomsday, as they will beat you if you let them.
Sideboarding: -2 Fatal Push, -3 Baleful Strix, +2 Opposition Agent, +2 Pyroblast, +1 Red Elemental Blast
Post Board: Post board is very similar, and you have the added benefit of your Dark Rituals being powered up because Opposition Agent is lights out against them, and they will have very little answers to it being resolved. I will not keep a hand without interaction, as if you let them combo, they will check to see if you have it since they aren't favored the longer the game goes on.