Cruel Hollow

As the third in my series of decks featuring specific Shards (here are deck one and deck two), I’m taking a look at Grixis.
At first, I didn’t have any really exciting ideas, as red-black-blue is not a color wedge I normally use. Once I hit on the idea of centering my effort on Cruel Ultimatum, the idea of using a Hideaway land followed immediately after. And with that, we had…
DemigodofRevenge.jpgHowltoothHollow.jpgCruelUltimatum.jpg
Cruel Hollow
Click through to the extended for decklist and commentary.

16 Creatures:
Oona’s Prowler
Cunning Lethemancer
Sedraxis Specter
Demigod of Revenge
20 Spells:
Raven’s Crime
Thoughtseize
Blightning
Grixis Charm
Cruel Ultimatum
24 Land:
Howltooth Hollow
Sulfurous Springs
Sunken Ruins
Graven Cairns
Reflecting Pool
Shivan Reef
Underground River
15 Sideboard:
Negate
Bitterblossom
Faerie Macabre
Infest

In looking at all the Ultimatums (Ultimata?), it seems clear that a deck centered on them does not want to play them honestly. You want to find some other way. Maybe like flipping them up from under a Hideaway land. Seems like a good plan. At first, I was thinking of the Spinerock Knoll, but it’s actually pretty hard to stack seven damage into an early turn in the upcoming Standard environment. The Heights and Bridge are heavily off-color, pretty much denying you the possibility of honestly playing the Ultimatum should you need to. Finally, Shelldock Isle is just goofy.
What about the Hollow?
Grixis is the Shard of discard. It gives us Blightning and a Specter. It’s also the Shard of graveyard shenanigans. With that in mind, I decided to go for an aggressive discard route, throwing away cards in hand en route to a Hollow flipup that reveals either a Cruel Ultimatum (popping something back into play) or a Demigod of Revenge. And should you happen to honestly play one of your Demigods, then you get to also kick up the other ones you’ve tossed en route to emptying your hand.
Neat, at least in concept.
Of the designs I’ve come up with so far, this one leans the most on the new set, with Lethemancers, Specters, Blightning, Grixis Charm for removal, and Cruel Ultimatum as the finisher.
The sideboard is mostly self explanatory, with the possible exception of the Negates, which come in against QnT-style control decks.
On the face of it, I’m still not confident that the Hollow can actually work out, as it depends so much on being able to affect your opponent in a way that the other Hideaway lands don’t. But if you can aggressively drive down both player’s hands, you should come out ahead.
At any rate, this seems to cleave the closest to the Shard from which it derives.