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Dimir Decks for Standard, Historic, and Brawl


The Color Challenge is my attempt to make good Standard, Historic, and Brawl decks for best-of-one MTG Arena in every combination of colors. This week's Color Challenge is Dimir (Blue/Black).

Dimir is my second favorite guild, with Azorius beating it out for old-school sentimental reasons like Moat.


The Azorius are supposed to be about truth and justice, but there is little justice in taking the ability to attack away from most of the creatures in the game. Moat is an evil card! I think the truth of the matter is that I enjoy taking options from my opponent, and making them play the game by my rules. That sounds a lot more like the manipulative and mischievous Dimir to me. Perhaps I have always been a sleeper agent for the Blue & Black.

Deck #1

My first list is a draw-go control list that leans on Chemister's Insight to get ahead on cards and Lochmere Serpent to close the game. Lochmere Serpent was a better finisher than expected, and her ability to go unblockable and attack planeswalkers was huge. Brazen Borrower and Murderous Rider are two strong Adventure cards that can answer a variety of threats. You can use Tyrant's Scorn to return either of the two Adventure creatures to your hand and cast them again if your opponent doesn't have 3 CMC critters to target. Enter the God-Eternals is a necessity that will come up again. The ability to kill a threat, gain life, and make a threat is necessary to stabilize the board without sweepers, which I find too narrow and ineffective in the planeswalker-focused meta we face today. You mostly mill yourself with Enter the God-Eternals in this deck in hopes of milling a Lochmere Serpent or Chemister's Insight.


This deck tries to gain a huge early advantage by putting Agent of Treachery into your graveyard and bringing it back as early as turn four with Blood for Bones. Against midrange or control decks, this play stealing lands is usually enough to get the job done. Against aggro decks you may need to focus on stealing creatures and filling your side of the battlefield. Rankle, Master of Pranks is good for sniping planeswalkers but he can also help you discard an Agent of Treachery and/or draw into a reanimation spell. Sometimes you will want to reanimate a Cavalier of Night or Massacre Girl instead of Agent of Treachery against aggro decks. It is more important to stay alive than to steal something shiny.


It's another Dimir Control list, but this time we max out on Disinformation Campaign. Using cards with the Surveil mechanic, we can get a lot of value out of the Dimir enchantment. Sinister Sabotage and Thought Erasure seem like no brainers, and Discovery // Dispersal is solid here as a way to fix an awkward draw or remove almost any permanent once the opponent is empty handed. Before Throne of Eldraine was released, I would always play Doom Whisperer in this deck. Unfortunately, Oko, Thief of Crowns has made sure that the mighty 6/6 flample creature is merely another Mythic Elk. Perhaps with the recent bans in Standard we could see the return of Doom Whisperer as the deck's finisher.

Drown in the Loch

With all the discarding we can force our opponent to do with Disinformation Campaign, Drown in the Loch becomes a solid removal spell or counterspell. I shied away from the card in previous builds, but here is makes sense. Disfigure is a low-key all star in Dimir decks because they are very slow. Disfigure is one of the few tempo positive plays you can make to keep Knight of the Ebon Legion and Gilded Goose at bay. When casting Enter the God-Eternals with this deck you usually mill your opponent to power up your Drown in the Loch. Bonus points if you can mill them when they scry to the top.

In wrapping up the Standard Dimir lists, I would say they are all at a very similar power level. They are severely overmatched in Standard by Simic and Golgari decks because those decks have better card advantage in the forms of Edgewall Innkeeper and Hydroid Krasis. Dimir is also lacking a significant planeswalkers, even after War of the Spark! Narset, Parter of Veils is the closest there is, and she provides a jolt of card advantage rather than a lasting threat. Like everything else, Dimir decks will need to be re evaluated following the bans in Standard. I would start my testing with the Lochmere Serpent list as I found that card better than expected.

Shifting over to Brawl!

Deck #4

I sincerely love this deck. Lazav, the Multifarious doesn't transform too often. I have made him into a Thief of Sanity and a Lochmere Serpent a few times, but most of the time his cheap 1/3 body and Surveil 1 help me smooth my draws and slow down my opponent. This lets all of my favorite Dimir cards shine. The deck really looks like a mashup of my Standard decks with some artifact mana rocks and some expensive planeswalkers throne in, but I like it like that. Have had good Brawl results by focusing on mana and power.

CGB's Rules of Brawl:

  1. Don't miss a land drop. Run 26 lands plus mana rocks in most decks.
  2. Don't rely too heavily on your commander.
  3. Play great answers to your opponent's legendary creatures and planeswalkers (cards that could be their commander).

Shifting gears to Historic!


Stitcher's Supplier and Witch's Oven gets seven cards into your graveyard on turn two! Combining that with self-mill payoff like Narcomebia and Creeping Chill is automatic. If we are playing Witch's Oven, we may as well play Cauldron Familiar as well. Emry, Lurker of the Loch adds another dimension by getting back your Witch's Oven as well as Cauldron of Eternity and Desecrated Tomb. Desecrated Tomb is a combo with Cauldron Familiar and Witch's Oven that we didn't experience in Standard, and it is a juicy one. You can make a lot of bats! Once you have milled a lot and poked the opponent a few times, Cauldron of Eternity can be cast out of the graveyard with Emry, Lurker of the Loch's ability to set up your kill shot; Lotleth Giant.

Wizards of the Coast has promised more support of the Historic format in the coming weeks, and I am curious to see if it is adopted by the community as a real format.

Thanks for reading about the Dimir Color Challenge. Next week we will be taking on the Azorius based on the votes from my viewers. Prepare for justice!

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