Since the banning of Oko, Thief of Crowns and Mox Opal, decks revolving around Urza, Lord High Artificer were on the decline. Mox Opal was a big hit to Urza strategies as it essentially slowed the entire deck down by an entire turn. Mox Opal allowed Urza to hit the board as early as turn 2. After the ban, there were plenty of decks still trying to utilize Urza, but none of them seemed to be up to par with the new version of Amulet Titan dominating the meta. Now that the meta has settled, Urza crept its way back into the Tier 1 Meta. Eli Kassis at Star City Games Richmond Team Constructed Open took first place with UB Urza:

UB Urza

Creatures (4)
Urza, Lord High Artificer

Artifacts (15)
Arcum’s Astrolabe
Mishra’s Bauble
Nihil Spellbomb
Pithing Needle
Sword of the Meek
Talisman of Dominance
Thopter Foundry

Instant and Sorceries (17)
Archmage’s Charm
Cryptic Command
Deprive
Drown in the Loch
Fatal Push
Whir of Invention
Inquisition of Kozilek
Thoughtseize

Lands (24)
Snow-Covered Island
Snow-Covered Swamp
Field of Ruin
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Mystic Sanctuary
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Sunken Hollow
Watery Grave
Sideboard (15)
Engineered Explosives
Grafdigger’s Cage
Torrential Gearhulk
Aether Gust
Ceremonious Rejection
Hero’s Downfall
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Ashiok, Dream Render
Battle at the Bridge
Dead of Winter

This UB list is ready for games to go long and provides a lot of answers to other Tier 1 decks in the format. Archmage’s Charm and Cryptic Command pair nicely with Mystic Sanctuary to help stall the board state until the combo is assembled. This strategy runs parallel to the Inverter decks that are currently dominating the Pioneer meta. The advantage that the UB Urza has, unlike Inverter, is its ability to produce threats without the combo enabled, as an alternative way to win the game.

Putting the Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek combo together provides a clock that is hard to answer and will eventually overtake the game if not answered quickly. Another alternative route is to play a surplus of artifacts and an Urza for a large Construct token. Hold up counter spells and removal after that and play “protect the queen”.

Kassis included sideboard cards, Battle at the Bridge and Torrential Gearhulk, that have seen fringe play recently in the Urza archetypes. Both cards provide strong answers to the current meta. Considering their lack of play outside of the UB Urza sideboards, they could catch unsuspecting opponents off guard. Kassis’ list was able to expose the current meta and propelled him to first place finish. However, Kassis is not the only one to have done well with Urza as of late.

The most recent iteration of Urza has taken a different turn from Kassis’ control-eque take. At Star City Games Indianapolis Modern Classic Ryan Bennett placed third with Grixis Urza Breach:

Grixis Urza Breach

Creatures (13)
Sly Requisitioner
Thassa’s Oracle
Emry, Lurker of the Loch
Urza, Lord High Artificer

Artifacts (22)
Engineered Explosives
Everflowing Chalice
Grinding Station
Mishra’s Bauble
Pentad Prism
Sword of the Meek
Thopter Foundry
Mox Amber
Arcum’s Astrolabe

Enchantments (4)
Underworld Breach

Lands (21)
Snow-Covered Island
Snow-Covered Mountain
Snow-Covered Swamp
Breeding Pool
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Mystic Sanctuary
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Steam Vents
Watery Grave
Sideboard (15)
Tormod’s Crypt
Aether Gust
Echoing Truth
Fatal Push
Galvanic Blast
Nature’s Claim
Veil of Summer
Ashiok, Dream Render

Theros Beyond Death introduced Magic to a new card named Underworld Breach. This card functions similar to Yawgmoth’s Will, continually casting the same spell from your graveyard to fuel some sort of combo. This style of Urza is exactly that, a combo deck. In it are two seperate combos that win the game. The first, Underworld Breach, Mox Amber, Grinding Station and Emry are in play. Tap Mox Amber for a blue mana, activate Grinding Station targeting you sacrificing Mox Amber, use the three cards put into the graveyard off Grinding Station to cast Mox Amber from your graveyard using Underworld Breach’s ability, generate a lot of mana until you find Thassa’s Oracle, cast Thassa’s Oracle from your graveyard with zero cards in your library and win the game.

The deck doesn’t need Emry in play to start the combo as it can fill the graveyard until Emry is put into the graveyard to start making a surplus of mana. The second combo is the more familiar Urza, Lord High Artificer, Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek infinite life and colorless thopters combo. The best part of both of these combos running side by side is they synergize with each other as well. Urza, Grinding Station and Underworld Breach is another mana surplus combo as every artifact generates mana. Once Underworld Breach and Grinding Station are in play together, it is difficult for the deck to miss on a kill that turn.

Sly Requisitioner is a new addition for Urza strategies. Sly Requisitioner takes advantage of the abilities of Mishra’s Bauble, Engineered Explosives and Grinding Station by generating more artifacts on the board that later can be taken advantage of. Grixis Urza Breach has a linear and consistent strategy that will have the advantage over the majority of decks in the format during Game 1.

In post board matchups battling against the disruption seems to be the name of the game. Grixis Urza suffers from both Hand disruption and Graveyard hate. Veil of Summer, Nature’s Claim and Echoing Truth all deal with many different forms of disruption. Finding the right spot to piece together its combo is going to be difficult in Post Board games. However, the deck still has the Urza value engine that can win itself without any combo needed. The rest of the sideboard consists of cheap removal and temporary answers to provide openings for board state advantage or tight windows to combo off. As Leyline of the Void and Surgical Extraction are seeing limited sideboard play, Grixis Urza Breach seems to be in a very solid position for the upcoming Regionals.

I am strongly considering taking this deck to Regionals as I believe it will be a deck that can outrace a Meta that is unprepared for a strategy such as Urza Grixis Breach.