Energy decks are all the rage in Standard, and thanks to Attune with Aether, you can really play any color combination of colors you want! But what if you don’t want to play green?
The Grixis colors lose out by not having the insane fixing of Attune and card advantage of Refiner, both of which are powerful enough without giving incidental energy, but there are still a ton of options. By playing these allied color pairs, you can build a mana base with a full playset of Dragonskull Summits and Drowned Catacombs. If these lands are consistently entering the battlefield untapped, you get an advantage in the middle stages of the game where Temur would be forced to play more Spirebluff Canals and Botanical Sanctums.
You also get to play turn-2 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner. The Siphoner is one of the most powerful cards in Standard and needs to be dealt with immediately by anything but the fastest of aggro decks. Siphoner acts as a better Dark Confidant by drawing lots of extra cards at just a single life and some energy. Menace on a 2-drop makes it easy to keep attacking, and playing Grixis means that you have the best removal options in the format at your disposal to keep forcing them through.
Gifted Aetherborn functions as a nice little split card between getting aggro for some extra damage and life or by staying back as a pseudo-removal spell deathtouch creature. Both modes are excellent as long as you can afford the BB casting cost.
Whirler Virtuoso doesn’t have the stockpile of energy often left behind by cards like Attune and Refiner, but even the floor on the Whirler is solid. Giving you 3 power across two bodies, not to mention the flying Thopter, is a solid rate, and having extra energy or just using Whirler’s energy to fuel a Siphoner makes this a powerful tool.
Champion of Wits gives you a nice card filtering tool and a late game powerhouse. Champion will help fix your mana early and make it easier to hit your curve. It also allows you to play excess removal spells that may be weak in some matchups as you can cash them in later.
Hostage Taker is a fantastic tempo play that can generate massive card advantage. We’ve seen Fiend Hunters and Fairgrounds Wardens played throughout Standard and Modern for years, and Hostage Taker is a huge upgrade on these cards. You’re getting an additional power, you can target artifacts, and you can even cast the spell for your own side of the board if you have the mana available. Stealing a permanent and casting it the same turn so the opponent can never get it back is often lights-out.
Glorybringer allows you to keep the pressure on, keep the battlefield clear of opposing permanents, and pressure life totals in a hurry. That’s a lot for a 5-mana Dragon.
The Scarab God is still the best finisher in Standard. This deck is filled with awesome enters-the-battlefield triggers, and even Champion of Wits to help fuel the God. With all of your spot removal, The Scarab God can start stealing your opponent’s best creatures early and often.
Harnessed Lightning has taken the top slot for best removal spell in Standard, but Fatal Push isn’t too far behind. Grixis can easily play a playset of both. Vraska’s Contempt gives a bit of life gain and insurance against bigger threats and planeswalkers, while Abrade doubles as a way to deal with bigger Vehicles and God-Pharaoh’s Gift. Chandra, Torch of Defiance is the removal spell that keeps on giving as a planeswalker that can offer card advantage, direct damage, and mana. Doomfall is perfect for either cleaning up the mess after Fatal Pushes and Harnessed Lightnings kill the smaller creatures, simply clearing the way for your Scarab God, or for exiling your opponent’s copy.
Losing out on two of the best energy cards is a big loss, but the gains aren’t small either. Grixis is filled with lots of powerful cards and is more than capable of taking down your next tournament!