Damping Matrix


Format Legality
Noble Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Casual Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Modern Masters 2017 Edition (MM3) Rare
Mirrodin (MRD) Rare

Combos Browse all

Damping Matrix


Activated abilities of artifacts and creatures can't be played unless they're mana abilities.

Price & Acquistion Set Price Alerts




Recent Decks

Damping Matrix Discussion

FireStorm4056 on [PRIMER] Death & Staxes: Competitive Meren EDH

1 month ago


Not to worry! There are a lot of ways to speed things up. Looking at your list, here are a few things that I recommend:

  1. 1-drop mana dorks. Enough to be consistent with them in the early game. This is the surest way to speed up your clock and put you ahead of the table. Note that cards like Farhaven Elf are repeatable... but how often do you find yourself actually doing so? In my experience the tempo off a T1 Llanowar Elves is so much better than potentially getting a second land off Farhaven Elf. Most of the 1-drop dorks are quite cheap ($$), with Birds of Paradise topping things out at $4-ish. These will not only provide you with acceleration, but also can potentially replace higher-costed slots currently in your decklist (such as Into the Wilds, which has good long-term potential, but often you've already lost by that time). Even better, on later turns, dorks are cheap enough that you can still play them AND do something else useful - whereas if you play a Farhaven Elf, chances are that's all you're doing for the turn.
  2. Carefully evaluate engines that don't give you immediate return on investment. Black Market has big payoff potential but it doesn't do anything the turn it hits... there might be some other ways to build the deck that give you similar ramp but play out much quicker. Be creative, as it doesn't need to be a direct replacement. For example, Earthcraft and Cryptolith Rite are alternatives you might consider. They each cost 3 cmc less (so can be played earlier and don't take up a full mid-game turn) and make all your creatures IMMEDIATELY tap for mana (so no buildup required). With Meren + one non-dork on the board an Earthcraft is effectively free since they can immediately tap to generate two more mana. Again, the payout potential might not be as high as Black Market, but they hit a lot faster and (initially) harder.
  3. Don't rely on creatures for all of your removal. In my experience, Acidic Slime was almost always just a Nature's Claim for 5x the price... and it's a dead card for quite a long time due to its high cost. You should definitely still pack creatures with removal on them, but it's worth considering the best noncreature removal too (Abrupt Decay, etc). This is especially important when you are facing combo decks - often a single well-placed removal spell throws a wrench in all of their plans.
  4. How do the combo decks in your group win? Most of the mill combos I'm aware of rely heavily on artifacts, not only for the combo, but for ramping and card advantage. These types of combo decks are really, really weak to silver bullets like Null Rod, Damping Matrix, Pithing Needle, and Phyrexian Revoker. Paired with a few tutors you can land them reliably and often save the game without even having to think about much else. You already run some of the best tutors too so no real issues there! If decks are consistently winning on T3-4, then in most cases their plan is fragile to targeted removal or silver bullets. If you are running both then you will have a lot more ways to deal with these issues!
  5. Answering tron is tough if you restrict yourself to engine-based creature removal. My list has actually shifted away from most of the popular "kill" engines - note that I don't have The Abyss, Magus of the Abyss, Dictate of Erebos, etc. For the most part I pack a lot of targeted removal and Fleshbag Marauder effects to solve these problems... For example, I find the efficiency of a one-time Dismember is usually far better than hassling around with getting an Attrition engine setup - you might try a similar approach! My best reasoning is the following - you'll already have enough to do with creatures and Meren (it's not like you're lacking targets), so playing spell-based removal means you can do more per turn rather than have to decide on a single choice for your Meren trigger.
  6. Since we're playing stax/control, you have to take a long, hard look at every card that doesn't provide a strong boardstate advantage (card advantage, tempo, resource generation, etc) or hinder our opponents somehow. Verdurous Gearhulk stands out to me as something that doesn't really fit a "niche" - it is "good" but doesn't really play towards any plan of ours. So I question whether it is worth including. Compare him to something like Creakwood Liege, who can offer a similar boost to P/T on the board, but costs less and can generate a strong 3/3 critter each turn (to be used for combat, finisher, or sacrifice fodder).
  7. I'm not a huge fan of Death Cloud personally, it's just so expensive a price to pay for a symmetric effect. Pox and Smallpox are already in your list and very cost-effective - Death Cloud has always seemed to me like it cost just too much for what it offers.
  8. Clearly you are running Bitter Ordeal for a reason, and I would guess it's to answer the combos you've been facing :) I tend to prefer silver bullets like Null Rod (since they are widely useful regardless of opponent)... but if exiling combo pieces is the goal, might I suggest Sadistic Sacrament instead (sorry, card tags aren't working on this one for some reason)? It may not be the most efficient spell... but it is wicked fun to land against a combo player at the right time and a little more consistent than Bitter Ordeal :)


This is something I plan to address, but haven't had the time to write up quite yet. Some of the answers you're looking for are in the replies I've made in the comments - I will add a section like this soon enough.

JakeHarlow on Hold the Garlic, Please

1 month ago

Very much liked your comments on wider hate cards. Added three Ratchet Bomb because of its wider applications. I still think Damping Matrix is a solid include though because it pretty much just wins the game on its own vs Affinity.

JakeHarlow on Vampire's stay midrange

1 month ago

Your deck certainly has some good cards. It looks pretty midrange (lots of removal and hand disruption), though, which isn't necessarily where I think Vampires should be in Modern. The Eldrazi deck is on the same curve and will simply run you over. The same will likely occur if you go up against a tuned Jund list. I like the mainboard hand disruption, but I'd still like to see Damping Matrix in your sideboard for Affinity. You need it.

I'd opt for a quicker and more aggressive curve to place opponents on the back foot and end the game rapidly. You aren't likely to beat the midrange decks of the format with the way you're configured (Eldrazi and Jund are not constructed by tribe and thus have better creatures, on a one-for-one basis). Merfolk and Elves need to be outraced, though I think your hand disruption cards will give you a good chance against them if you draw them early.

For your mana base, I like Ghost Quarter (run more!) for Tron and Eldrazi. You should consider playing (if you're not on a budget) three to four Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth alongside Mutavault and Cavern of Souls. If you want to keep it mostly basics because you've got a lot of Blood Moon in your meta, that's your call. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx might be a decent one-of as well since your permanents are all black.

Overall I think it looks okay here, but you can definitely do better if you're not on a budget. You're definitely going to lose more than win against certain top-tier Modern lists.

Have a look at my budget aggro list again; I've updated the (budget) sideboard to represent what I think constitutes a good one in Modern right now. I still think aggro is where Vampires belong, because other deck archetypes simply do better at midrange than Vampires can do, in my experience and opinion.

I guess the question you should be asking yourself is: "If I want to play midrange in Modern, without budgetary restriction, why play Vampires?" From a midrange perspective, what does Vampire tribal bring to the table that other archetypes like Abzan or Jund lack?

The above is why I think if you're building competitive Vampires in Modern, you kind of have to go aggro. If midrange is more your style, you'd be much better served playing the established archetypes of Jund or Abzan (Liliana of the Veil is just so powerful). In my view, Vampires is simply worse at midrange than both of these archetypes.

FireStorm4056 on [PRIMER] Death & Staxes: Competitive Meren EDH

1 month ago


Welcome back! Glad to hear you've been having some success with it!! :)

Re: Sorcerous Spyglass vs. Pithing Needle - Full disclosure, I have no experience yet with the Spyglass yet, so I can only offer some theorycrafting on how to choose between the two... hopefully it is helpful!

In my mind, it all comes down to how much information you have vs. how much information you need. If you have the information you need, Needle is better; if you don't, Spyglass is better.

  • For threats on-the-board, Pithing Needle is obviously better choice since all the information you need is already available (on the battlefield)
  • Threats in hand are either (a) those you know about, or (b) those you don't. Pithing Needle is the better choice if you already know what you need to answer before it is played or even seen. For example, if you know your opponent's deck ahead of time and are aware of a "crux" on all their combo paths (i.e. Isochron Scepter), you can simply play it proactively to shut them down ahead of time (you can often make inferences about their plans by paying attention to their plays/drops, tutors, etc). In these cases, you might not actually need to see your opponent's hand to answer their biggest threats, so Needle seems the better choice. However...
  • Sorcerous Spyglass is the better choice if you don't feel you have enough information to answer threats-in-hand proactively. This might happen if you are playing against unknown decks (i.e. if you play new opponents at your LGS a lot), OR if your opponents have a variety of combos that don't share pieces between them. In these cases, you need the extra information to make the right play
  • Consider, however, that if you're already paying for Spyglass and you don't know ahead of time what you want to name, it might be worth considering a more general/versatile answer such as Cursed Totem or Damping Matrix. A Pithing Needle effect is a killer precision strike against a key activated ability; but if you don't need that absolute precision, it might be better adopting a more general answer at slightly greater cost.

KingMathoro on Countering Breya, Etherium Shaper?

2 months ago

So you're running the The Locust God for your R/U deck. Whose in charge of the G/W deck?

Because currently your main ways of dealing with her with the R/U are probably going to be things like Swiftfoot Boots, Lightning Greaves, Null Rod, Damping Matrix, Cursed Totem, Pithing Needle, Encrust and also save all the counterspells in the world for Breya. Just keep her off the field. Yes I know the Totem and Matrix mess with you too but you really just want his trigger. Not his ability per se. Once I know what you're wanting to do with the G/W deck then I give you some more options. Because I don't want to recommend a card recklessly without seeing what the deck is supposed to be doing.

chosenone124 on Can vehicles tap a creature ...

3 months ago

Another way to disable crewing is to stop activated ablities of the artifact with stuff like like Damping Matrix, Ayesha Tanaka, or Lavinia of the Tenth

greatgoofini on Google It! (Zero Win Cons!) *Budget*

3 months ago

I actually already replaced Naked Singularity with Teferi's Realm because that is ho estly one of the craziest game changing cards I've played with and it was perfect at the time. Honestly, cards like Dryad Militant and Damping Matrix are on the chopping block

Oloro_Magic on Sac It

3 months ago

So as far as sideboard goes I think you immediately want both Fulminator Mage (expensive I know the alternative would be something like Ghost Quarter) and then Surgical Extraction (budget option is Lost Legacy). I would play 2 Gatekeeper of Malakir in the side for some extra removal which also gives you a creature and devotion.

Other cards to consider are Collective Brutality, Relic of Progenitus, Damping Matrix (solely for affinity as you cant use Stony Silence), Pithing Needle, Tormod's Crypt, and a board wipe preferably Damnation but again it is expensive.

Another interesting option is to play a couple Blood Crypt and Bloodstained Mire in the main, and then play Blood Moon in the side. This would hate on non-basic heavy decks like Shadow, Affinity, and Tron. If you did this you would also get access to red artifact removal in the side but the red sources would mainly be for Blood Moon.

Death & Taxes could be tricky as if they are experienced they will know to bring an agro package of Mirran Crusader; this is where the board wipe comes in handy as there are no great colorless removal spells.

If any of the decks you listed particularly worry you let me know and I can help you hate on that matchup in the side a bit more.


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