Anti Grief Ephemerate

by DedWards on 02 June 2021

Main Deck (60 cards)

Sideboard (0 cards)

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Deck Description

With the release of Modern Horizons 2, a new crazy combo will be played: Grief + Ephemerate. This deck is designed to maximize the options of hating discard, and by extention the Grief combo.


For those that don't know, here's how the Grief + Ephemerate combo works:
Turn 1:
Play a land that can produce {W}
Evoke Grief by exiling another black card from hand.
Stack Grief's ETB and Sacrifice triggers so that the ETB resolves 1st. Let the ETB resolve and choose a card in the opponent's hand to discard.
With the Sacrifice trigger still on the stack, target Grief with Ephemerate.
Ephemerate will Exile Grief, then return it to the battlefield, but because it left and came back, the game sees it as a 'new' creature so you don't need to sacrifice it, and you get a 2nd ETB to discard another card from the opponent's hand.

Turn 2:
Ephemerate comes off Rebound and you can flicker Grief again to get a 3rd card out of their hand.

How to Play

Other than hating on Grief and other discard cards, the main plan is to ramp into the bigger threats early, then hopefully have bigger creatures than the opponent and attack for the win.

Grief hate:
Loxodon Smiter; Dodecapod; Nullhide Ferox; Obstinate Baloth; Wilt-Leaf Liege; and Ajani's Last Stand all give a creature when discarded.
If Leyline of Sanctity is in your opening hand, they can't make you discard anything at all.

Because most of the Grief hate costs 4 mana, I had to include a way to Accelerate into them. Arbor Elf + Utopia Sprawl is one of, if not the fastest way to get 4 mana in turn 2.

46.66666% of the deck is anti discard / anti Grief.
40% of the deck is lands.
13.33333% of the deck are the 1 cmc ramp cards.
So, a good percentage of the time Grief has to give you a free creature (or can't target at all in the case of Leyline).

I guess I could include more utility lands. More than just Gavony Township at least.

Deck Tags

  • Modern
  • Selesnya
  • Midrange

Deck at a Glance

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Mana Curve

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Deck Format


NOTE: Set by owner when deck was made.

Card Legality

  • Not Legal in Standard
  • Legal in Modern
  • Legal in Vintage
  • Legal in Legacy

Deck discussion for Anti Grief Ephemerate

I really like this deck. I just don't think grief/ ephemerate will make it Tier 1. the jund and rakdos decks that are up in Tier one maybe play Grief as well, but I don't think it will be a huge impact on the meta yet. I am excited to see where Soulherder decks go.

Posted 02 June 2021 at 15:25


I don't think the Grief Ephemerate combo will be top tier, but it's nice to see how one could combat it should it see a lot of play.

Leyline of Sanctity will likely see more sideboard play because of Grief. But just like graveyard hate VS Dredge, how much these hate cards seen play depends on how many of the relevant decks see play.

Posted 02 June 2021 at 16:02


wickeddarkman has deleted this comment.

Posted 03 June 2021 at 16:20


This deck sort of shouldn't play leyline of sanctity.
You WANT to be discarded with this.

I can also suggest adding some of the many discarding creatures that seems to be flourishing these days
Noose Constrictor

Posted 03 June 2021 at 16:22


To be honest, this wasn't meant to be a serious attempt at beating Grief Ephemerate, just a fun idea with that combo in mind. All I did was search Gatherer for every Modern card with "spell ability opponent controls discard" (Gatherer's search bar has a character limit) and pile them into a playable deck. In reading each card, I remembered [[Ajani's Last Stand]] worked in a similar manner and I know Leyline of Sanctity is one of the best sideboard options vs discard (and burn), so it was thrown into the mix too.

Noose Constrictor is cool and all, but doesn't help against a turn 1 Grief. I believe that if you are aware of the match up, you should aggressively mulligan to only have lands and the discard into play cards. Leyline of Sanctity could come out, but what non-Noose Constrictor do I put into the deck that does not get discarded to Grief and friends?

I could include Quagnoth in place of the Leyline?

Also, we could add some number of Nephalia Academy into the mana base. Especially if we add Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth

FYI, we do have 2 cards in other colours that also have the If an opponent discards this effect:
Guerrilla Tactics lets you kill the [[Greif]] or just hit the opponent for 4.
Orvar, the All-Form allows you to copy Grief, or even their land, which ramps you into the other cards you can play.

Posted 03 June 2021 at 19:14


The important thing to remember is that there is only a little less than 41% chance that they will perform at turn one, unless they build around playing it as the only gimmick.

To evaluate how much of a threat it actually is, try to think about how each color would fight this if it ever becomes a big thing.

Posted 03 June 2021 at 20:32


Anyways I consider it to be a setup.
Take a look at my goblin bombardment deck, the two strategies may turn out to have a common overlap.
BRW versions of goblin bombardment wasn't unusual in legacy, and the decktype has proven itself plenty of times.
I did consider adding grief to my design but had no real incentive for doing it.

Grief ephemerate seems like it's designed to be fitted into goblin bombardment.

So it's pretty much planned.

Posted the deck.

It's probably the exact form you will have to defeat.
My long past in magic finally pays of :)

Posted 03 June 2021 at 21:04


Quinningham has deleted this comment.

Posted 02 June 2021 at 15:27