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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
5 days ago
This came up a in another question a while ago but sort of petered out.
If I control a Chains of Mephistopheles , do I control the replacement effect that would cause an opponent to discard a card?
So, if an opponent controls a Nephalia Academy and would draw a card, they must first discard and then draw to the Chains, but are they given the opportunity to put that card on top of their library first?
Similarly, though I can't think of an instance where it'd be relevant right now, do I control the static ability of a Darkest Hour that I control?
1 week ago
Chains of Mephistopheles ? A bit pricey, though....
3 weeks ago
Yeah, I agree with CyborgAeon here. Chains > The Abyss > Nether Void for me.
In other news, I am extremely pleased with Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and highly advise anyone give him a shot.
1 month ago
ToshiroU The Paradox Scepter lines cannot function in this deck. Damping Sphere , Rule of Law , and Arcane Laboratory straight up stop the combo, and Oppression makes using an in-hand wincon with it impossible. Our multitude of taxation effects also make it difficult to work with. The Goblin Cannon is a necessary evil for this reason, while I would like the efficiency of using Sensei's Divining Top in its stead, with Rings copying the draw effect, drawing the top card, then placing SDT on top, then drawing it, replaying it with infinite mana, rinse+repeat to draw your deck, etc. to draw into any wincon would be preferable, but just doesn't work with the current deck.
This deck is Stax incarnate, and while it may appear that Thrasios or Zur or Najeela are better at top decking into gas, with many tutors and value engines, we often shut those out. Humility alone can stop 80% of the value engines, and Chains of Mephistopheles can shut down most of the rest, with an Aven Mindcensor (perhaps will be replaced or added too with an Ashiok) probably cutting 99% of all topdecks, while many tax effects into an Armageddon can end most topdecks all together. This is how the deck is built to work, stopping opponents from havings outs to anything. We can shut off creatures, tutors, card draw, ramp, casting multiple spells, sometimes enough tax to stop them from casting any spells, we stop entire decks by hating on everything, but that means our wincons need to be resilient to all of our stax. The Tezzeret line was made by me to do just that.
Otherwise, Necropotence, Teferi, Narset, Ashiok, and Terminus are on the 'to-test' list. Force of Negation , Talisman of Hierarchy , Silent Clearing , and maybe Prismatic Vista will be added, so could multiple other War of the Spark cards, so this deck needs updating. I have currently been playing so many decks I haven't had much time to update this one, and I have been ill since last Saturday, so I haven't had much work on this doen at all.
1 month ago
If that won't work, I'd recommend trying to use a very specific loop:
You need to start by making sure no one can reasonably do anything. Chains of Mephistopheles , Sensei's Divining Top and you being hellbent ( Oppression / Bottomless Pit and Chains help this) are all that is required. On each of your upkeeps, activate top, milling one card, placing top on the top of your deck. After that, you draw the top, replay it, and each turn you always can be assured you won't mill out. It lets you actually deck each opponent. Making it so no opponent can win isn't super easy, use effects like Humility , Winter Orb , Tangle Wire = Aminatou, Rest in Peace /Leyline/etc.
Now, many variants use Helm of Obedience with Rest in Peace / Leyline of the Void , or they run some Walker like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria or any number of other easy walkers that win, but I haven't found it necessary.
BTW, this list is old, not updated fully with me currently testing War of the Spark and Modern Horizons cards.
1 month ago
I don't know why, but I had a sudden thought about this interaction again and I realized there was a defect in my earlier thinking.
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales would only stop you from discarding (forcing you to mill instead of draw) if the effect trying to make you draw extra cards is controlled by an opponent. Chains of Mephistopheles doesn't do anything directly, but rather changes the result of other effects. For example: if you target yourself with Inspiration in this situation then you discard-draw, discard-draw. Tamiyo doesn't interfere because it's your own spell that's causing you to discard cards. If someone else cast Inspiration targeting you then Tamiyo would stop you from discarding and you'd be forced to mill 2 cards.
1 month ago
Ok. So you said you want degenerate, so... here goes.
First off, Braids, Cabal Minion is banned. So you might want to remove it.
You should either be running the fetches, including the off-color ones like Flooded Strand , or run Suppression Field ; this also is a somewhat broader and more applicable answer to planeswalkers than The Elderspell , as it has non-planeswalker target. It puts a damper on the planeswalkers, but I feel like they might be better replaced with board wipes like Wrath of God , Day of Judgment , Damnation or Toxic Deluge . When I played this general, I don't think I ran any creatures; they tend to be easily removed, but their effects may be replaced by enchantments/artifacts (ex: Thorn of Amethyst replaces Thalia, Guardian of Thraben ). Additionally, because Athreos, God of Passage is indestructible, it survives most board wipes. I recommend Erebos, God of the Dead as a second useful god; and in an Oloro meta, it seems particularly applicable. Sphere of Safety and Lightmine Field can serve as further deterrents to attackers; Maze of Ith also fits in well. Serra's Sanctum also is a powerhouse, if combined with a high-enough enchantment count. If you take the creature-less rout, I advise Night of Souls' Betrayal to remove the ability of elf- or dork-based decks to function. You might also consider Cursed Totem .
I see you have Vampiric Tutor in the maybe board. It's massively superior to Diabolic Tutor , if only because of its much lower mana cost; Imperial Seal is a strictly worse version I run in my Kess list, but it is also very good. Bitterblossom is a great inclusion, especially if you're running something like Contamination to mess with everyone's mana.
Mana Crypt is invaluable in cEDH decks. Fragmentize is a good white equivalent to Nature's Claim , especially in metas with low curves. Leyline of the Void or Rest in Peace are good techs against graveyard decks like as Gitrog, with the added advantage of allowing a win with a Helm of Obedience activation.
I've never been impressed with 1-for-1s in EDH; by that token, Mortify and Doom Blade may be on the chopping block. Utter End is alright, simply because of its universality. I'd replace these with the above boardwipes, but I also suggest Pox or Smallpox . Pox has the additional advantage of severely lowering your opponents' life totals, so ad nauseum players tend to just cry, and your Painful Quandary becomes more oppressive. Stab Wound , which is another type of 1-for-1, might be better replaced with Palace Siege . Swords to Plowshares is the single 1-for-1 I highly recommend, because of its low cost, exile-based removal, and relatively small downside.
Good luck! Stax em out.
dingusdingo on Flex
2 months ago
Inkmoth I have spent some time on this list and I think the author is a lost cause.
He also still isn't running a snow-covered land base for Mouth of Ronom removal in mono G, despite it costing him literally nothing to slot.
Even from a control standpoint, countering the first draw spell this deck puts down is going to massively impair it. Are you keeping hands with two draw spells? How does your ramp look in those hands? How about your ability to deal with a problematic board? What does your deck due about a Meddling Mage naming Azusa? Concede? Why are you running only a single creature based piece of board removal at 9 CMC despite running a whole suite of creature tutors? That makes no sense.
The high CMC average means tax and tap effects also delay the game plan basically forever. Trinisphere Sphere of Resistance etc. running ramp pieces at 3 CMC or greater is inviting yourself to get staxed out.
Discard effects break your hand due to low recursion and no value in the command zone. Turn 2 Dark Ritual into Entomb into Reanimate on a Mindslicer plus any 1 CMC sac effect is game over, especially if your opponent put down a turn 1 value engine. Chains of Mephistopheles Oppression Bottomless Pit all strip your hand and this deck runs absolutely nothing to combat it.
Any way you try to slice it, it isn't fast enough to compete against reliable monster combo decks like Gitrog or Godo or pretty much any Doomsday list. It doesn't run enough removal to handle stax or discard. It has no control or hate elements to beat out against other midrange decks. Pub stomping the kiddies table doesn't make this a competitive deck. What decks are you actually playing against? Saying you win against cEDH doesn't mean anything to anyone. What decks? How are only turn 1-2 decks beating you when your combo window doesn't happen until turns 4-6 while you literally aren't interacting with the board in the slightest?
Even if you removed all the massive CMC dead draws and fully optimized this list with removal and recursion and toolbox answers, there's still no way it can compete against a real competitive list due to lack of value in the command zone and the color identity. I'm not trying to say this is a bad list at all, certainly the best Azusa list I've seen, but it isn't a competitive EDH deck.
Also, yes you do need to defend your deck when you make that claim. People are pointing out specific cards and strategies that shut down your deck, and these cards and strategies not only see play but are rather common in optimized lists.
Chains of Mephistopheles occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.01%