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Chains of Mephistopheles
If a player would draw a card except the first one he or she draws in his or her draw step each turn, that player discards a card instead. If the player discards a card this way, he or she draws a card. If the player doesn't discard a card this way, he or she puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
Chains of Mephistopheles Discussion
1 month ago
So I'm not sure, but I don't think Tendrils of Agony is very good in EDH. In general, you need a storm count of around 40+ to kill everyone with it (assuming they've taken significant damage beforehand), so I think your Aetherflux Reservoir is probably just a better storm win condition. Also, if you cut Tendrils of Agony for a cheaper card, it won't ding you so hard off Ad Nauseam . I have a similar problem with Grapeshot .
I've never been a fan of Helm of Awakening . Your experience with it may (obviously) differ from mine, but I tend to find it a dead-ish card in my hand. Running it out and passing is obviously problematic (since the effect is symmetrical), so generally you only want to run it if you can slam it and win on the same turn. With that in mind, you may just be better off running a mana rock (something like Arcane Signet ), since you can land that early-game and benefit until the end, rather than just at the end.
If you're planning to win off of Doomsday , I think you should keep Gush in the list. Yes, it is 5 damage of Ad Nauseam , but being able to dig two-deep and potentially snag a land-drop for free after a Doomsday is REALLY powerful.
In my Kess list, I run Dack Fayden . I really like him, and you should at least consider running him. The loot effect is significant, but being able to steal a Sol Ring or Mana Crypt from an opponent is even better.
You have a good number of mana-positive rocks... have you considered running Paradoxical Outcome ? It seems like kinda a funky choice, but I run it in my Kess storm list and I've had pretty good results with it. Obviously it'll be better once you get a Mox Diamond , but even with just the Chrome Mox , Mana Vault and friends it'll be pretty good.
My last suggestion is that you consider running Spell Snare . A lot of the hate that turns off decks like this is two mana (see Collector Ouphe , Gaddock Teeg , Rest in Peace , Stony Silence , Null Rod , Sphere of Resistance , Thorn of Amethyst , Thalia, Guardian of Thraben , Chains of Mephistopheles ), as are mana counterspells and even a few always-plays like Cyclonic Rift . I think Spell Snare is a highly underrated card, provided you're playing at a competitive table, so... yeah. I think you should consider it.
1 month ago
How do you feel about Chains of Mephistopheles , shuts down the card advantage of draw, but still lets the search through their library. Mass draw like Enter the Infinite wield yield very little result. It's also a way for me to discard a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker or Worldgorger Dragon (or any combo guys) if they are in my hand for CMC2?
Crucible of Worlds always feels too slow, CMC3, and no MLD seems advantageous, but with a fetch land, it ramps pretty good? Still too slow though.
1 month ago
Hey man! I got some suggestions. Feel free to ignore any/all of them:
There's a reason Ponder and Preordain are banned in Modern, and it's because they're good. I highly suggest running both in any blue deck -- they may not look like much, but being able to dig to what you need and past what you don't for one mana is a deal I'll take any day. You're running a good number of fetch lands, so Brainstorm is one you may want to add in there as well.
I don't know what your meta is like, but in general people need to draw a bunch of cards to win the game. Narset, Parter of Veils brings back thoughts of when Leovold, Emissary of Trest was legal... I think almost any blue deck should run her, especially since if you run Windfall (I think you should), she can win you the game. Or your Wheel of Fortune .
I don't know how this deck plays, but I suspect you'll have at least one or two creatures out at a time. If you do, Azra Oddsmaker can be a good source of card-advantage; Edric, Spymaster of Trest is similar, though better if you have dorks (see (5)). Painful Truths is another favorite of mine, as are Treasure Cruise , Dark Confidant , Dig Through Time and Thirst for Knowledge . Faithless Looting can also be pretty good.
A lot of decks run a lot of artifact ramp. Dack Fayden is a great way to capitalize on that, and if you run Notion Thief (which also pairs with your Windfall ), targeting your opponent with Dack's +1 can produce a four card swing.
Dorks. You're in green, so you have access to the best ramp in the game, aside from Sol Ring (which I think you should run). I highly suggest including any/all of the following in addition to your Deathrite Shaman : Birds of Paradise , Elves of Deep Shadow , Orcish Lumberjack , Llanowar Elves , Fyndhorn Elves , Elvish Mystic , Bloom Tender , Arbor Elf ... Though they may not be 'dork'-ramp, I've also been impressed with Utopia Sprawl and Wild Growth , not least because these double the mana from Arbor Elf . If you end up running Edric, Spymaster of Trest , the dorks will draw you cards when you're not using them for mana.
If you're looking for the best way to generate infinite mana with your general, I think Isochron Scepter with Dramatic Reversal is the best way. You'd need to run either artifact ramp or dorks (I highly advise the latter), but it's a pretty busted combo and I think you should put some ramp in anyway. This lets you draw your deck with Thrasios, Triton Hero and then win through Torment of Hailfire or the like.
Reflecting Pool is an often-chromatic land you may wish to consider, and Exotic Orchard is frequently at least a tri-land. I may be missing something, but running Strip Mine and Wasteland to pair with your Crucible of Worlds and Ramunap Excavator seems... good.
You're running two artifacts (three, if you run the aforementioned Sol Ring ): You should give strong consideration to things like Collector Ouphe (if you don't like the Isochron Scepter loop) or even a janky Energy Flux . These'll make sure opponents don't do nasty things with their own Isochron Scepter while hardly touching you. Also, things like Ancient Grudge or By Force are powerful magic cards.
Spell Snare is a counterspell you may want to consider, as it counters a wide range of frequently played cards in EDH like Demonic Tutor , Cyclonic Rift (overloaded or not), Winter Orb , all the talismans/signets, Counterspell , Mana Drain , Arcane Denial , Sylvan Library , Chains of Mephistopheles , Abeyance , Baleful Strix , Nature's Lore ... Also, if you're in an Ad Nauseam -heavy meta (I sure as hell am), consider things like Dispel to keep those decks in check.
If your meta is blue-heavy (most are), consider some second-order countermagic. Things like Veil of Summer and Vexing Shusher can both make sure your spells resolve. Similarly, Carpet of Flowers is a good way to get free mana from blue opponents, and Pyroblast tends to be good as well.
Personally, I've found Mystic Remora to be better than Rhystic Study , if only because it is one mana. People are way less likely to pay four mana than one, and in less experienced metas people tend to let you pull off an Ancestral Recall or two in two-ish turn cycles. In more experienced metas, Mystic Remora slows the game down as your opponents wait for it to go away and you just make sure you hit your land-drops.
Multi-for-ones are pretty important in a format with three opponents. Fire Covenant has been a favorite piece of removal in my meta since it'll clear out opponents' creatures while leaving yours untouched. Hull Breach and Decimate are also good, although it is important to bare in mind that Decimate requires a bunch of different targets in order to be castable. Windgrace's Judgment and even Casualties of War are also good.
If you want to go deep into magic history, there's another way to make infinite mana in your colors in addition to (6): Worldgorger Dragon . Entomb , Buried Alive or Faithless Looting to the graveyard this mo-fo, then cast Animate Dead , Necromancy or Dance of the Dead targeting him, and BOOM you win. (In case you aren't familiar with the combo, Animate Dead returns Worldgorger Dragon to the battlefield, and then Worldgorger Dragon triggers to exile Animate Dead . Animate Dead leaving then makes you sacrifice Worldgorger Dragon , bringing back Animate Dead and then Worldgorger Dragon ... rinse and repeat. Tapping your lands for mana in between each exile trigger yields infinite mana. WARNINGS: 1. You need a second creature in a graveyard to end the loop, or the game is a draw; 2. If someone Nature's Claim s your Animate Dead while the Worldgorger Dragon is entering the battlefield, you lose everything and you're boned. So make sure either your opponents are out of mana/counterspells or you've got your own protective backup.)
I think that's all I got. Good luck!
2 months ago
I want to give this list a shot but don't have and cannot currently obtain a Nether Void , Chains of Mephistopheles , and The Abyss . Barring proxies, do you have recommendations for budget-friendly alternatives? Are Possessed Portal , Pox , and Painful Quandary decent replacements?
2 months ago
Your list seems very good at controlling, I like that. I think this might be what I needed to finally decide on a good stax commander. I tried Nath of the Gilt-Leaf , but was almost always forced into discard, and don't own either Chains of Mephistopheles or Nether Void . Should I make the switch?
3 months ago
Proxies are so widely accepted that banning on the premise of price is inherently deleterious to the format. Use proxies, or don't. The cards are old as all heck and if you're mad some cards out of 16k are expensive, you should probably look at the price of stuff like Imperial Seal , Nether Void , The Abyss , Chains of Mephistopheles . All of these cards are legal and that's just fine. They are good cards more people should have access to.
And high mana cost combos aren't worth banning smh. Cool they do a lot, leave them legal. None are anywhere as silly as Consultation/Flash Hulk and those arent being discussed for a ban.
There are legitimately problematic things in the format (Tymna), but 3 card 4 or 5+ mana combos are fine even if they literally win you the game. Why? You gotta find those cards and cast them without being interacted with. Good luck.
3 months ago
Hello! So a lot of my suggestions will depend on budget/card access; since I don't know what yours is, I'll just leave all of the suggestions I think of. Feel free to ignore me.
The first thing I think of when I think of a 'demon' deck is Shadowborn Apostle . With a critical mass of these lil' buggers, you can just tutor out whichever demon is good for any given situation. Pair them with Thrumming Stone for instant fun. To take that strategy a little farther, you might consider running Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker as your general. I know he's not a demon, but his synergy with the Shadowborn Apostle s makes him an honorary demon, as far as I am concerned.
Ramp is a premium in EDH. I notice you have a few rocks already in your deck; however, I think there're better ones you can run. In general, two-mana mana-rocks are going to be a lot better than three-mana mana-rocks, if only because once you're at three mana you typically want to be doing more than just ramping. I like your Jet Medallion ; consider Thought Vessel , Mind Stone , Charcoal Diamond , Coldsteel Heart , Prismatic Lens , Mana Vault , Mox Diamond and Mana Crypt . With as many artifacts as you have, Mox Opal is usually going to be online, too.
Land-wise, I must confess confusion as to why you're running Command Tower . If I am not missing something, it's a Swamp that dies to Wasteland , Back to Basics , Blood Moon , Magus of the Moon , Ruination , Dust Bowl and friends. I think you should replace it with a basic Swamp . Temple of the False God is a land I have mixed feelings about, as it isn't exactly the sort of land you want to see in your opening seven; that being said, it can be powerful late-game. Consider Ancient Tomb , as (since it was reprinted recently) it is at a relatively low price, and it can cast two-mana mana-rocks on turn one. Additionally, in mono-black, Cabal Coffers and Cabal Stronghold are very powerful mana sources. Pairing them with Deserted Temple works pretty well, too. Consider Lake of the Dead , Shizo, Death's Storehouse and Phyrexian Tower as good utility-lands. Also, you could probably use two to four more lands in your list. Twenty-eight is pretty much were I tend to bottom out on land-count, at that's when I'm running all the zero-mana mana-rocks.
Card-draw, card-selection and tutoring are all also very important in EDH. Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor are the gold-standard for tutors, though their prices tend to make them rather inaccessible. Scheming Symmetry is a good tutor if your general is out; similarly, Maralen of the Mornsong seems... worth trying. Presumably, someone is going to take thirteen and kill her, but she's probably pretty good anyway. Diabolic Tutor , which I see you run, is a good option; Dark Petition , Mastermind's Acquisition and Beseech the Queen also come to mind. In the vein of card-draw, consider Night's Whisper , Ambition's Cost , Read the Bones , Phyrexian Arena , Twilight Prophet , Staff of Nin , Ancient Craving , Sign in Blood , Necropotence , Harvester of Souls , Null Profusion , Succumb to Temptation and friends. Graveborn Muse is good even as just a second Phyrexian Arena if you only have one zombie out. If you pair Waste Not with Words of Waste , you can also generate card-advantage. Almost as good as card-draw is preventing your opponents from drawing cards -- unfortunately, in mono-black this is pretty much just Chains of Mephistopheles , which costs about as much as a used kidney these days. Usually I'd suggest Narset, Parter of Veils or Spirit of the Labyrinth .
In terms of removal, you typically don't want to settle for one-for-ones. In EDH, you're generally facing three opponents, which means you're facing three times the number of creatures/threats that you would be facing in a one-v-one. So trading a card for just one creature is often times just not enough. I don't think Ob Nixilis's Cruelty or Unholy Hunger are very good, for that reason. You may have more luck with Ashes to Ashes , Toxic Deluge , Damnation and the like... perhaps even Hex , though keep in mind you'd need six targets on the field to even cast it. Decree of Pain , Overwhelming Forces , Mutilate and Rain of Daggers are also worth considering. Black also has access to some fun pox-style cards. Innocent Blood , Barter in Blood , Liliana's Triumph or Smallpox can all be powerful in the early-game, if you're ramping with artifacts and don't have any important creatures out yet. Similarly, I should mention Pox itself -- this is easily one of the most brutal cards to resolve in EDH, right behind Ravages of War , Armageddon and Cataclysm . I haven't had much luck with it, but depending on your meta Pox may be a powerhouse.
In the Stax/Pox vein, you might consider Night of Souls' Betrayal . Doing away with some of your X/1s would make this a powerhouse, and it is an insta-kill against elf- or goblin-decks. In the right meta, Yixlid Jailer is good; though bear in mind it's a straight nonbo with Night of Souls' Betrayal .
I see you're running Leyline of the Void . Consider pairing it with Helm of Obedience . If you activate Helm of Obedience targeting an opponent while Leyline of the Void is out, the mill from the helm will be replaced with exiling the card. Thus, Helm of Obedience just makes the opponent keep trying to put the top card of their deck into their graveyard and keep exiling it instead. This results in exiling your opponent's library, and leaving Helm of Obedience tapped on the field. This combo only takes out one opponent at a time, is sure to draw a lot of hate, and requires several tutors to make it consistent, but I figured you might be interested in it. If you're good at politics (I'm not), it can be a pretty powerful A-Bomb.
In mono-black, you should consider a reanimator package. Buried Alive or Entomb combined with Animate Dead , Reanimate , Necromancy , Victimize , Dance of the Dead or even Exhume can get a fatty on the table real fast. Entomb -ing Lord of the Void turn one and Reanimate -ing him turn two (or even turn one, if you run Dark Ritual or Lotus Petal ) seems pretty good to me. Whip of Erebos is also a form of permanent-based reanimation, which has the added bonus of gaining you life.
If you're having trouble killing opponents, consider Helm of the Host . This'll add a new threat to the board every turn, provided you can keep one on the table. Bloodchief Ascension also puts down one hell of a clock. Doom Whisperer , Herald of Anguish , Carnifex Demon and Desecration Demon are all additional demons to consider.
Finally, in terms of what to cut: Start by looking for inefficient cards or over-redundant/unnecessary/underwhelming effects. Keep an eye on those cards when you play, and if you're often seeing them, wishing you could just discard them and draw another card, that's a card you should cut. It might be a baller effect, but if the cost is too high or the effect to narrow, it isn't worth running.
Good luck, man!
Chains of Mephistopheles occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.01%