Death's Shadow


Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Modern Masters 2017 Edition (MM3) Rare
Worldwake (WWK) Rare

Combos Browse all

Death's Shadow

Creature — Avatar

Death's Shadow gets -X/-X, where X is your life total.

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Death's Shadow Discussion

QuestionMarc on Modern Safari

12 hours ago

Ok, edited the deck to cut a Boros Charm and a Wistful Selkie to include Path to Exile because I can expect trouble when facing large creatures like Death's Shadow and Tarmogoyf when approaching full strength. Still I want to keep noncreatures to a minimum because of the manabase and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. I was also concerned about Path to Exile becoming the only possible miss in the deck off of Bloodbraid Elf and so briefly considered Selesnya Charm instead, but no.

Also modified the sideboard a lot. Cut the Stonecloakers and Void Grafters for Scavenging Ooze and a couple extras to adjust for certain matchups.

TheDuggernaught on Sultai Souls

3 days ago

I would want to include at least 1 white source so you can hard cast Lingering Souls in games 2 and or 3. Lots of UB Tezzerator decks to something similar. They have no good way to deal with Stony Silence, and so they pack a Breeding Pool or two and run Abrupt Decay in the side.

I would also ask what Lingering Souls adds to your game plan? In what way does it throw a wrench in to your opponent's plan to attack your deck? Most decks will side in graveyard hate against a deck that runs Snapcaster Mage, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip, and Tarmogoyf. That hate also hits Lingering Souls. It definitely helps against Death's Shadow as you can chump block for days. But those decks can also pack Nihil Spellbomb or other way to kill the flashback on souls (all the more reason you should have a maindeck white source to cast it from your hand).

Serriten on Sassy Suicidal Saskia

3 days ago


Obzedat's Aid to bring part of a win con back if it gets removed

Dire Fleet Ravager for another Hidetsugu effect

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight slows your opponents from taking advantage of your life loss while pumping your side of the battlefield

Vraska the Unseen is a powerful win cons if you can ult her, and her other abilities are good too

Crawlspace for another Norn's Annex effect


Samut, the Tested good aggro card but doesn't support your win cons

Ob Nixilis Reignited you get the most value out of for card draw and there are cheaper draw spells that get you more cards

Death's Shadow by the time you can cast safely one of your other win conditions should be online

sylvannos on Budget Tron Help Me Please

3 days ago

My go-to budget Tron list I recommend to help grind FNMs is:

2x Forest
3+ Fungal Reaches OR Pinecrest Ridge
1x Ghost Quarter1x Inventors' Fair
1x Urza's Factory OR Sanctum of Ugin
4x Urza's Mine
4x Urza's Power Plant
4x Urza's Tower

This gives several utility lands, while also having a good balance of colored mana. The important thing to remember: you absolutely cannot have lands come into play tapped and you will lose games to decks like Burn and Death's Shadow if you have to pay life. The obvious choice is Grove of the Burnwillows for this very reason. However, that obviously will eat your entire budget.

Pinecrest Ridge is probably the best replacement. Not only does it have the option to just tap for colorless and come into play untapped, you can get the or you need to search for Tron pieces or cast Pyroclasm.

4x Sylvan Scrying
4x Ancient Stirrings
4x Expedition Map
2x Talisman of Impulse
4x Chromatic Sphere
4x Chromatic Star

This is pretty standard for a Tron list, the exception being Talisman of Impulse. While you don't want to be paying the life against faster decks, having the ability to tap for colored mana and still get Tron on turn 3 is more helpful when you're on a budget. It means you can play multiple World Breakers, add Inferno Titans, or use whatever budget options you have lying around when some of the more expensive fat cards (like Karn Liberated or Kozilek, Butcher of Truth) aren't available. That way, you're not relying a whole lot on cards like Myr Battlesphere or Steel Hellkite.

4x Ratchet Bomb / Oblivion Stone
4x Pyroclasm
1x All Is Dust

You need boardwipes. Pyroclasm is especially important because you will lose to a turn one Slippery Bogle is you do not kill it immediately. They will untap on their turn two and toss an umbra on it. By the time you can use another piece of removal, you'll be so low on life that they can simply play another one or get you with Dryad Arbor. The same is true against turn one Glistener Elf. They will use something like Apostle's Blessing to deal with whatever you have once they untap.

You can skip on red and go straight mono-green, but then you just have to accept that you lose to Infect, Bogles, and Burn. If these aren't in your meta, replace Talisman of Impulse with Mind Stone or Relic of Progenitus and the lands with basic Forests and a 2nd. Ghost Quarter.

The All Is Dust is probably the only non-budget card I'd recommend you have because of how much 3+ color decks get BTFO'd on turn three when you slam it. If it's still out of your budget, replace it with a Platinum Angel.

That's 50 cards total. Your last 10 cards should be:

  • Huge
  • OR win conditions
  • OR removal

Basically, choose a combination of the following that fits into your budget (I put them in order of importance):

Based on what you've posted, I'd recommend something like:

2x Wurmcoil Engine
2x Sundering Titan (you can power this out on turn 3 via Talisman of Impulse and laugh at some Jund player's $2,000 mana base as they concede)
1x Worldbreaker
4x Relic of Progenitus
1x Spatial Contortion

All that's left is your sideboard. Based on the above, I'd go with:

2x Ancient Grudge
1x Defense Grid
1x Ghost Quarter
1x Grafdigger's Cage
3x Nature's Claim
1x Orbs of Warding
1x Spatial Contortion
3x Thragtusk
1x Torpor Orb
1x Warping Wail

Harashiohorn on RG Tron

4 days ago


The leading reason why Chalice of the Void was cut is that there was a big drop-off in the decks you needed it against most (and that it was the biggest blowout against) like Infect, Living-End, and Suicide Zoo. The modern Death's Shadow decks like Grixis or Traverse shadow can be beaten without Chalice, but if there is ever a large upsurge in Traverse-Shadow type decks maybe Chalice would be worth bringing back into the sideboard. Additionally though, Chalice of the Void has a high cost of play in G/x Tron since it shuts down your own Chromatic Stars, Chromatic Spheres, Expedition Maps, and if you are running any, Relic of Progenituss. So if the card is not a blowout against your opponent, it's not the easiest thing to board in. Finally in regards to chalice it is worth noting that Eldrazi-Tron is one of the best Chalice decks in modern, so if that deck is doing well, Chalice is generally in a good place, but if the deck is trending out of the meta (like it is now) then Chalice is not as strong.

As for Blightsteel Colossus, that actually might be worth bringing back in, especially if your meta has a lot decks that you need to close out on quickly, or a lot of countermagic (Which with the coming of Jace, the Mind Sculptor to modern will likely see an uptick). The thing is Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger can also mill out the opponent and therefore also provides an out things like combo-lifegain. Additionally Blightsteel Colossus doesn't generate any immediate advantage an requires at a minimum 5 lands to cast. That means it doesn't help you protect your lifetotal against aggro as effectively as Wurmcoil Engine or recover boardstate like Ulamog or gain you card advantage like Kozilek. Furthermore without Eye of Ugin you can't just repeatedly tutor out and try to cast Blightsteel Colossus until it resolves. So of the 10+ mana threats, it was the easiest to cut. As mentioned at the start though, it might be worth bringing back at least to sideboards if a lot more counter-magic control decks are running around, since it shuffles back into your library allowing you to try to play it repeatedly, and only gives the opponent one turn to respond to before they die (assuming insufficient blockers on board).

sylvannos on Pattern Recognition #56 - Fetches

5 days ago

The problem with the article (and this has been pointed out all over the place over the years every time it gets posted) is that it assumes everything in a vacuum. It ignores that life is a resource.

For example, suppose I lose next turn to my opponent's infinite combo and the only way I can win is if I do so on my current turn. In that case, paying all but 1 of my life total to gain a even a 1% chance of drawing the card I need to execute my own combo is worth it. If I'm playing Storm and sitting at 4 life, paying 3 of that life to go grab a Steam Vents before I try to draw a card is worth it.

This is done at multiple instances throughout the game because I can only play one land a turn. So with the example of Storm in Modern, if I'm going up against another fast deck like Death's Shadow, Burn, or another combo deck, I can map out the number of cards my opponent can play.

So let's continue by taking a look at Burn. It can do 4 damage with Boros Charm. 2 damage a turn with Goblin Guide is one of its more efficient means of damage. Monastery Swiftspear does a lot of damage but is limited by the mana available. Atarka's Command likely does the most damage. A resolved Eidolon of the Great Revel is enough to kill me on its own. What's the fastest way that a burn deck can kill me, as a Storm player?

Hitting a land drop each turn is ideal for the Burn player. If they hit 4 lands and nothing but spells, they should be able to do 20 damage by turn 4.

So with 7 starting cards and then 4 turns being on the draw, they have 11 cards total. 4 of those are lands, meaning they get 7 of their burn spells. The absolute nuts is if they get multiple Goblin Guides and Atarka's Command. So:

Turn one: Goblin Guide, attack for 2 (18 life remaining).
Turn two: Cast another Goblin Guide, attack for 4 (14 life remaining). Cast Lightning Bolt (11 life remaining).
Turn three: Monastery Swiftspear -> Atarka's Command for 3 to the face (8 life remaining), pump the team, attack for 9 (0 life remaining).

That's 21 damage by turn 3, with the Burn player getting a strong draw. So if I'm on the play, and I know I take 21 damage by the Burn player's turn 3, that means the most life I can pay of my own is 10. That's because it's what keeps me alive at the end of turn 2. If I pay even 1 life, I'm dead on turn 3 regardless of what else I play. Because of this, any life I pay by turn 3 is irrelevant.

So if my opening hand has only 2 Misty Rainforest, but I need , then I'm going to pay at least 2 life to fetch a pair of Steam Vents. If I have to fetch and shock twice, I go to 14. I'm dead when my opponent gets their turn three, so I decide to combo off. Part way through my combo, I draw Scalding Tarn and Island. I can still play a land and I only need to get , so I can play the Island. However, since I know I'm dead the following turn, I may as well pay the life to use Scalding Tarn, even if it only improves my draw by 0.000000000000001%.

This is a long, convoluted example, but I hope it illustrates my point. Life is a resource. Games more often that not depend on certain life total breakpoints (in our Burn example, it goes 18 -> 13 -> 1). Using a fetch to thin out your deck in those cases makes the smallest percent worth it.

The times where the article is correct is when looking at a meta that does random amounts of damage each turn and you're playing Mono-Red Burn. It's better off to play nothing but basic Mountains, even if the option of fetches is there. That's because you'll never be in a situation where paying life to improve your chances will be relevant.

Even then, sometimes the shuffling itself becomes a relevant resource. Or you want to fill your graveyard (Grim Lavamancer being the go to example). But most of the time, it comes down to mana fixing. Because fetchlands can grab dual lands, they open up all 5 colors without any issues. If you rely just on dual lands, you may draw all of your spells, but only your lands. If those lands were Verdant Catacombs? It's no longer an issue because you can go get your Taiga or Badlands.

This becomes even more obvious against decks with few actual win conditions. Sneak and Show is going to attack me with either Griselbrand, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Ashen Rider, or all of the above. Scapeshift is going to kill me with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Once you know the threshold for when these decks can kill you, crossing that threshold means any life you pay from fetchlands makes the deck thinning worth it.

Edit: I should mention, my point is that "Fetches are good for thinning your deck" is a correct statement. This is only clear if you take the time to think about why. But once you do, it's obvious and becomes second nature to most players.

HobbyMan5000 on lukas96

1 week ago

I dont Believe in hurting myself too much for Death's Shadow I let my opponent do that for me, If they wont Plunge into Darkness is good for that and searching for a Death's Shadow My lands also provide a bit of life loss, Like I said I dont Believe in hurting myself too much for Death's Shadow, I let my opponent do that for me.

HobbyMan5000 on lukas96

1 week ago

I dont Believe in hurting myself too much for Death's Shadow I let my opponent do that for me, If they wont Plunge into Darkness is good for that and searching for a Death's Shadow My lands also provide a bit of life loss, Like I said I dont Believe in hurting myself too much for , I let my opponent do that for me.

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