Gray Merchant of Asphodel


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

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander 2014 (C14) Common
Theros (THS) Common

Combos Browse all

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Creature — Zombie

When Gray Merchant of Asphodel enters the battlefield, each opponent loses X life, where X is your devotion to black. You gain life equal to the life lost this way. (Each in the mana costs of permanents you control counts towards your devotion to black.)

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Gray Merchant of Asphodel Discussion

5finga on My Life

1 hour ago

ye, probably to much value cards in the graveyard for gurmag angler. but does Gray Merchant of Asphodel really fit in? maybe Gavony Unhallowed would do a better job, since this deck sacrifices a few creatures.

CharlesChinigan on Where'd your deck go? Mono-Blue Mill (Under $50)

3 days ago

jtf256, I'll try to sideboard Nimble Obstructionist . The mainboard is starting to look really cluttered and I don't think I can improve this much farther without actually playing the deck at FNM. Thanks for saying that though. Being able to stop something from flipping can save a game.

Where are the simple days of Gray Merchant of Asphodel? (I didn't play then but still.)

FancyTuesday on Suggestion for an EDH deck ...

4 days ago

If your meta is "casual to still not really competitive" and you're playing heavily combo-oriented decks that can instantly go infinite (Mikaeus, Food Chain) or reliably tutor up combo pieces then go infinite (Overlord, Dagsson) then yeah, you're gonna attract a lot of groans. You'll either need to find a more competitive group to play with or downshift your style in a pretty major way.

I don't know how to pull punches in a combo build. Combo isn't so much a power gradient as it is a true/false, once it's true you've won and with that being the goal the rest of the deck and the decisions you make during the game only ever point toward achieving the combo. I guess you could deliberately limit yourself to non-game winning combos that allow your opponents to answer, or combos that require more pieces and run fewer tutors, but then you're building a deck that's bad at what it's designed to do.

"Synergy" is often placed opposite "combo" as a deck building philosophy, but in practice it's more like "limited combo." A solid synergistic deck will have a lot of pieces that play off of and enhance each other, giving you ever increasing value for the cards you play, they just don't do so infinitely.

Take Mikaeus for example. You could Mike n Trike people out, two cards everyone dies the end. Alternatively you could have Mikaeus and Phyrexian Plaguelord then drop Gray Merchant of Asphodel, hit everyone for 14 and gain 42 life. That's a huge blow that only gets worse with other pieces; throw in a Grave Pact and you could sweep the board and deal an even 20 each. It's functionally a "combo" in how devastating it can be, but since it has a defined ceiling and requires a bit more setup to get that kind of impact casual players generally respond more favorably to the latter. I also play in a rather casual meta and find the synergy approach to be a lot of fun.

The pothole of synergy is making sure your strategy can actually win. This is the problem in many mass land-D and "chaos" oriented decks; they can set up board states that don't really "close out" the game, they just lock players out and make the game go on forever.

tl;dr: Play bad, Rube Goldberg-style combos or heavy synergy.

elgosu1337 on CLEGANEBOWL: Haakon & Korlash

1 week ago

Very creative ways to make use of Korlash's grandeur. Helm of the Host, Mirror of the Forebears, and Mirrorpool are other ways of copying Korlash.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel is great with your recursion, and is also a wincon for the Deathrender + Decaying Soil combo.

Not sure if you'd be in the market for a Morality Shift to give you access to all the creatures in your library.

Overall I think Korlash would be a better commander, since it's easier to tutor/draw Haakon then discard him, rather than having to draw Command Beacon then use it then discard him, and Korlash can help ramp and thin the deck earlier.

Homelessguy on From the Graves of the Nel Toth

1 week ago

Hey man Rock the hell out of that Crux of Fate we all know at least one person who plays the dragon tribal ever since the commander tribal sets came out!

But maybe run some cards like Fleshbag Marauder or Merciless Executioner and Slum Reaper!

you can wreck a lot of boards that way,add it with something like Dictate of Erebos and you're gross.... but in a good good way!

Gray Merchant of Asphodel can also be used to do massive damage depending on your board

Sargeras on Mono Black (Semi) Mid-Range/Control

1 week ago

Gotta spread some mono-black love, so +1 from me. Here are my thoughts.

This deck seems to be all over the place at the moment, and since I built my first mono-black deck on a budget like this one, I'll give you some tips.

  1. If you want to build a midrange/control deck, that is fine. But you need to find better early game cards than stuff like Thornbow Archer. Some of the best budget early game you can get is Gifted Aetherborn, Gatekeeper of Malakir, Kitesail Freebooter, Wrench Mind, etc. These cards are all great and will help make your deck feel more coinsistent if they are in 3-4 ofs.

  2. Removal seems to be all over the place, so I'll give you my personal opinion. If it is 3 mana or above and does not kill planeswalkers or has delve, don't play it period. Vraska's Contempt might be great for standard, but is really just too slow for modern. Hero's Downfall is really the only black removal spell that fits all these, and if played, it's really just sideboard material. The rest of your removal should just be Fatal Push and Victim of Night. You really should only have 8 spells solely for removing creatures (ie., not gatekeeper) in the deck.

  3. Your creatures need some improvement. Paragon of Open Graves and Sidisi, Undead Vizier should both be either Gray Merchant of Asphodel or some other game ending threat. I recommend retooling the deck so your deck has more threatening cards in it.

  4. Macabre Waltz and Read the Bones just aren't really strong enough for modern, they just don't do enough by themselves. Duress is sideboard discard for your control matchups.

  5. I'd up your lands a smidge, you will likely end up playing 24 as you progress the deck.

  6. If you want more ideas, suggestions, playable cards, glance at other potential builds, etc. You can check out my primer for this deck at:

How The Devil Plays MTG: The Mono-Black Primer

Modern Sargeras


APPLE01DOJ on Sister's of the Dark Nile

2 weeks ago

Consider forming more of a game plan then just filling the board with zombies.

I suggest working on a better curve and using Gray Merchant of Asphodel to cash in on all your zombies. Gravecrawler and Geralf's Messenger are great in this type of deck.

It's not zombies per say but it wins using the same strategy, check it out. MONO BL?CK DEVOTION

APPLE01DOJ on Sister's of the Dark Nile

2 weeks ago

Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek, Fatal Push, Liliana of the Veil.

Phyrexian Arena, Gray Merchant of Asphodel.

If you insist on keeping this blue black then Mana Leak or Remand are better options, you don't want cards that are only good when you have a favorable board state.

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