Grixis Therapy seems to have been picking up some steam in the top deck lists as of late. And while I don't have anything innovative to add to the archetype, I noticed there wasn't a thread for this topic and I mainly wanted to ask a question:

Why only 3 Gush?

It seems like all the Gush decks of late have been 3 Gush, 3 Probe, 2 Preordain, 1 Ponder. 3 Gush makes more sense for accommodating a Mentor variant, but when I attempt to consider a 4 Gush, 4 Probe variant, the obvious go-to is Grixis Therapy. Have the recent Grixis Therepy lists just been using a cookie cutter Gush shell, or is there some actual reasoning behind it?

The logic on the books for 3 gush is just that 3 Gush with the 4-8 cantrips the deck runs means you'll not get 'Gush flooded' and always have lands to pick up when you draw one. Than being said, the card's so good, I don't see why not since extra gush can always pitch to force and the card is downright necessary to resolve in the mirror. Probably just have to work taking out 1-2 in the shops matchup into the sideboard plan.

That being said, I just recently topped our local monthly with Grixis and only played 3 Gush, but I did lose to Mentor, so take from that what you will.

last edited by structuremole

Grixis Therapy has run 3 gush for a long time (and I've run 3 gush in delver for a long time):

It's mostly a question of how bad of a thorn matchup you want. Do you want to scoop to thorn or have a 40-45% matchup? If the latter, you need to trim on gushes, preordains, add a land or two, play more removal, and play at least two null rods in total.

That said, I really wanted a 3rd preordain in the grixis build I've been running the past couple weeks.

last edited by diophan

@diophan I'm curious, what are the reasons you are running Grixis Therapy over a version of Mentor? Is there a particular aspect of the meta that you feel Pyromancer handles better, or is this more a personal preference?

@Hydra said in Grixis Therapy:

@diophan I'm curious, what are the reasons you are running Grixis Therapy over a version of Mentor? Is there a particular aspect of the meta that you feel Pyromancer handles better, or is this more a personal preference?

Grixis Therapy is lower to the ground (meaning a slightly lower mana curve), and the disruption (such as Therapy) comes online earlier than UWR Mentor decks can often cast Mentor itself, which often lends an edge in the pseudo-mirror (if even by a turn or two). If Mentor sticks, however, you can often be in trouble, which is why you will often see Sudden Shock in these decks specifically.

It's also a matter of your expected metagame, and what tools you want access to in fighting that metagame. The tools that Mentor and white offers (such as Swords to Plowshares, Stony Silence, Containment Priest, and Fragmentize) are often preferred over the closest black tools (Dismember, Null Rod, Leyline + Cage, Ingot Chewer).

@Hydra As Jaco said it is (supposed to be) better in the gush mirror and in general is better against all non-Oath blue decks. It's worse in almost every other matchup though. I wasn't exactly expecting the meta to be so full of blue decks that it was better to run. Mostly I wanted to have fun and not play mentor. Somehow I went 2-3 against Mentor in the P9 and the daily I ran it in with no losses to any other deck. Small sample size maybe, but it was disheartening.

When Gush was first unrestricted, the "Duress" effect was what really put it ahead of everything else in my opinion. No deck uses Duress more effectively than a Gush deck. Also, the 2 mana threat in the form of Quirion Dryad was just perfect for the curve. @Smmenen had advocated 20 mana sources and some number of one-mana cantrips for the Gush engine then and I'm not sure that formula translates well to a Mentor deck. So I believe on a fundamental level, Grixis Therapy is far more in tune with Gush strategy ideals. And so if I were to build a deck from the standpoint that Gush is broken, it would have to be Grixis Therapy. It takes advantage of all the best qualities of Gush because of the mana curve, number of mana sources, and proactive sorcery speed spells.

Gush isn't broken, though. It's just much better than the alternatives: Thirst for Knowledge or Gifts Ungiven. It's only "broken" if you think those cards are any good, and one glance at Legacy or Modern will tell you definitively they aren't. So I think if "Gush is broken" is why you're in Grixis, you're starting with a flawed premise.

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, completely neuters discard and Monastery Mentor overwhelms any card advantage the Grixis deck has generated. I've had so many games against Grixis where they strip my hand by turn 4, and it's completely irrelevant because their cards and topdecks are just worse. You somehow manage to have both fewer threats and less removal than me, and my threats are better than your threats and my removal is better than your removal. You have some discard spells but all my other cards are better. The idea of "getting under" Mentor makes sense until you think about all the tempo wasted casting Therapy.

last edited by wappla
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