Chains of Mephistopheles


Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Custom Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Casual Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Masters Edition (MED) Common
Legends (LEG) Rare

Combos Browse all

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

Rhadamanthus on Do you have to Mill ...

8 hours 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.

SideBae on The Tax Man Redux

2 days 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.

If you want to go full-blown, degenerate and expensive as a ****, I advise The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and Chains of Mephistopheles .

Good luck! Stax em out.

dingusdingo on Flex

5 days 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.

Card draw hate Spirit of the Labyrinth Alms Collector Notion Thief shut down this deck really fast. Tutor hate also allows for blowouts that this deck can do literally nothing about Aven Mindcensor

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.

zentahryn on Muldrotha, the Stax Queen

5 days ago

Hi schnernv, sorry for the delay.

I really like this deck.

Winter Orb and some artifact destruction ( Seal of Primordium or Caustic Caterpillar ) work wonders!

Smokestack usually go to 4 counters, cheap permanents are great.

My favorite play is Contamination , locks most of the people out of the game.

Now I need some efficient way to deal with planeswalkers, Pithing Needle is not enough... Thinking about The Immortal Sun or going big with Karn, the Great Creator plus Mycosynth Lattice .

I'm testing some improvements:

Karn, the Great Creator replacing Null Rod .

Rhystic Study replacing Mystic Remora , based on my local meta.

Bloodchief Ascension replacing Magus of the Abyss , Magus never help to much, interaction between Zur's Weirding and Ascension are much better.

Narset, Parter of Veils replacing Chains of Mephistopheles , instant and sorcery spells are too valuable to just throw them in to the grave.

Ashiok, Dream Render replacing Nihil Spellbomb , two for one here.

multimedia on Most chaotic deck

1 week ago

Norin the Wary , Confusion in the Ranks , Genesis Chamber can make a chaotic board state where you and your opponents are exchanging control of permanents.

Teferi's Puzzle Box is a frustrating card to play against. Combos with Chains of Mephistopheles , another chaotic card, to hand lock all players with zero cards in hand. Necropotence gets you around this lock because you skip your draw step and don't actually draw cards with Necro. Paying life to exile and then put cards into your hand is not drawing them.

ShikiTen on Razin' minds, takin' names (competitive nekusar)

1 week ago

To quote your description: "combine Notion Thief , Anvil of Bogardan or nekusar himself with Chains of Mephistopheles to create a soft lock where opponents cannot draw cards, with chains in play, a Wheel of Fortune would cause everyone to dump their hands and draw nothing"

I'm slightly confused by this strategy. If you cast Wheel of Fortune with Notion Thief & Chains of Mephistopheles in play, everything gets discarded, then instead of everyone drawing 7, you get 28 draws that will be modified by Chains of Mephistopheles . With no hand, aren't you just milling 28 cards....while also locking yourself out of future draw with the rest of them?

Considering over 1/4th of your deck would be gone with that alone, doesn't that put you ahead on being milled?

Is there some rule I'm missing to where it works differently than I'm thinking?

Rhadamanthus on Do you have to Mill ...

1 week ago

I saw this question last night and felt like I had to think it over a lot more before offering an answer. After reading through the various sections of the CR that I thought would be relevant ("Objects", "Abilities", "Handling Static Abilities", miscellaneous cross-references and Glossary entries), it looks to me like static abilities don't actually have a controller. If that's the case then Tamiyo, Collector of Tales doesn't interact with Chains of Mephistopheles . Notice that the examples in the Gatherer rules note quoted earlier are triggered abilities. Those are definitely objects with a controller, so we know Tamiyo should interact with them properly. However, Chains doesn't work that way. It's all based around a static ability that generates a replacement effect. The ability isn't an object, doesn't go onto the stack, and as far as I can tell doesn't have a controller or owner. Anyone, let me know if I'm missing something.

My best advice to you is to tweet or email Cranial Insertion with your question and let us know what they say.

GreatSword on Do you have to Mill ...

1 week ago

Yeah they have to mill instead of drawing a card.

Chains of Mephistopheles says they have instead of drawing a card, they discard a card first and then draw a card; if they don't, they instead put the top card from their library into the graveyard. Since their Tamiyo, Collector of Tales prevents them from discarding cards from your effects, they don't have a choice and the "if they don't" clause kicks in.

From Tamiyo, Collector of Tales 's Gatherer:

"If a spell or ability an opponent controls states that something happens unless you sacrifice a permanent (as Mogis, God of Slaughter does) or discard a card (as Painful Quandary does), you can’t choose to sacrifice or discard."

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Chains of Mephistopheles occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.01%