Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Legality

Format Legality
Modern Legal
Legacy Legal
Vintage Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Pauper Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander 2014 Common
Theros 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

brewtzar on First 11 days in M.T.G.! Help me defeat my gf!

2 days ago

Hello there whisenhuntn, I'd great to see that you're enjoying Magic so far! It's really good to see that the community is supporting you so well, thanks everyone for contributing!

I personally prefer Modern for its relatively huge pool of cards, but Standard is a great way for newer players to learn the game and for those who like to keep things fresh! Once you feel that you have a good grasp of the game, be sure to also check out the Commander format - It's much more drawn out, but makes for some really fun diplomacy games and impressive plays.

In terms of your deck here, here's some advice:

  • You might considering cutting out some of the slower cards like Cruel Reality. If your gf is bearing down on you with several creatures in play, then it would probably be better to play a more immediate answer such as Languish.

  • Deck synergy is really important, as having a lot of cards that work well together will often beat out decks composed of good cards that don't help each other out. For example, many zombie cards like Relentless Dead or Diregraf Colossus can make an unusually persistent aggro deck when working together. You might consider trying to build you deck around a common theme or two such as -1/-1 counters, zombies, or life stealing.

  • Be careful when using cards like Knight of Infamy or Trespasser's Curse. While they're effective against specific threats, if you opponent doesn't use those threats then they won't be nearly as useful.

  • These aren't all legal cards in Standard, but for Modern and Casual play you could consider cards like Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Abyssal Persecutor, Desecration Demon, Dismember, and Grasp of Darkness, to name a few. There's a lot more out there, but these could be some good budget cards to give you some ideas.

  • As stated above, try to keep your deck at 60 cards max and with as few one-ofs as possible in order to improve the odds of getting something useful to whatever situation you're in.

  • Your mana cost curve is very important. For an aggro deck such as this, you'll probably want to have it peak at two and three, if you can.

I hope that this helps you improve your deck! You're showing great potential and it's good to see you stick with it!

Oh, also, if you want to write out a card and have it display the card when moused over (Thoughtseize, for example), add two brackets around the card name like this: [0[thoughtseize]0] (without the 0s).

SolomonsEfreet on You can't Touch That! Under 50$ format

3 days ago

added Hell's Caretaker. With snakes available to sacrifice this will allow me to pull from graveyard and get creatures for added ETB eccects (the minus counters in particular) Added Gray Merchant of Asphodel. This can owrk nice for late game garnering some nice life in a multiplayer format as well as pose a threat from graveyard with Hell's Caretaker pulling him back in for a snake. Thornbite Staff on the caretaker can lead to a loop. Added Rendclaw Trow more snakes. Added Incremental Blight ,Cinderbones and Viridian Corrupter again the more wither I get out there the better and less reluctant an enemy to attack as I can get snakes and insects out of it.

puxing on The moment you realize: You shoulda played control

3 days ago

Gray Merchant of Asphodel might be a good inclusion. you already have a lot of devotion

TwoIdiots on Baby's First Multiplayer Cube (cards to include?)

4 days ago

Suggested Cuts:

COLORLESS

  • Hymn of the Wilds (this card sucks in multiplayer. Every deck needs its instants and sorceries)

GOLD

WHITE

  • Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile discourages attacks, even against other players, which is bad. If we had included Azorius hard control, stax or tax this card would be fine though
  • Gustcloak Savior I dont think it does enough
  • Herald of the Host Serra Angel isnt good enough for this format
  • Kytheon, Hero of Akros  Flip pikers arent good enough in this format, and he sucks as a planeswalker I think
  • Crescendo of War too slow
  • Dusk / Dawn I think that ultimately there wont be a deck that really benefits from this
  • Just a general note about white: we have too many pump effects. Lets cut a couple.

BLUE

BLACK

Suggested ADDITIONS

WHITE:

BLUE:

BLACK:

RED:

GREEN:

GOLD:


I think our next task will be deciding which are the best 50 or so cards in each color from our pool. that should lay the groundwork for deciding which narrow cards (i.e., archetype-specific) cards we should include. Curious to hear your thoughts on cuts/additions!

/N

Rikente on Alesha, Who Luls at Death

6 days ago

Thanks for the response UnleashedHavok!

After reading your explanation of Doomed Necromancer I could definitely see it being a powerhouse in your deck. I picture activating it to return Sun Titan which brings your Necromancer back, then activating it again (because Anger is in your graveyard) to return literally anything, then attacking with Sun Titan and bringing him back again. That sounds incredible.

I'll probably evaluate my list to see if I think Feldon is worth it. There are a few changes that are in the works right now, so after that maybe I'll sneak him in.

Good call on Gray Merchant of Asphodel. It's probably a little too cute for my deck outside of combos, but I don't need another infinite damage combo piece. I'd rather have a toolbox of options instead of that redundancy. I've been toying with the idea of a life drain style list with things like Pontiff of Blight, Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, and Karlov of the Ghost Council. Gary would probably find his way in that list, but not my current one.

I've been thinking about Stingscourger for a while now. My roommate has an Ephara, God of the Polis deck that uses Reflector Mage to great effect and it always has me thinking about the tempo you gain by bouncing someone's general or another key creature. Seems like it'd be worth a shot.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben seems like it would be better in a list with a more dedicated tax strategy than either of ours. Throw in things like Vryn Wingmare, Leonin Arbiter, and similar guys and you've got yourself a deck. I think that just throwing one or two in the list makes it a little clunky. My list kind of likes the idea though, because I regularly find myself not playing spells at all, but using all of my mana on various abilities. I'll think about it a bit more.

If I had more ways to recur cards (mostly Crucible of Worlds) I would probably run Grenzo, Dungeon Warden. However, as it is I don't want to risk losing something that I can't get back like Cabal Coffers.

Voltron3030 on Beginner Sheoldred V1

6 days ago

Every mono black needs a Gray Merchant of Asphodel. Cheap and easy to find, and it can win games. Cycle it in out of the graveyard for multiple triggers. If you also run Sanguine Bond it gets more outrageous.

UnleashedHavok on Alesha, Who Luls at Death

1 week ago

You are most welcome Rikente! I really like Alesha, and love talking with other people who play her.

I feel like my list is different from most others I have seen in that I have several big creatures (I also play a ton of control). Enter Doomed Necromancer. I like him because he does not check for power/toughness, so I can cheat in my titans, my Rune-Scarred Demon, or if I really want to be a dick my Sheoldred, Whispering One. And I normally have Anger in the graveyard. So assuming I have the mana for it, I can play him and cheat out a fatty with a big effect same turn.

I actually did not think that Feldon of the Third Path was a good card when I first started playing Alesha. Man has my tune changed! He is an absolute rockstar in this list, especially since I run such an ETB heavy list. I think two of my favorite targets for him are my Rune-Scarred Demon, and Solemn Simulacrum......mmmmhhhhhh value town! With the demon I get a card, swing for 6 flying at their face, and he goes back to the yard just to do it again next turn. And for Solemn, I get a land and a draw in the same turn. Those are just my favorite two examples. Feldon runs amok in this kind of build, he's so powerful.

As for Gray Merchant of Asphodel, he is really just here as a combo piece if I run into someone that is doing those shenanigans. I cannot think of a game I have played where I dropped Gary for a large amount of life loss/gain for the win in one turn. My devotion to black is never that large. You do have a good amount of black creatures, but unless you are wanting to use him as a combo kill, I don't think you would be pleased to see him in your list.

I like Stingscourger. At the beginning of the game, he is a huge nuisance bouncing an opponent's creature back to their hand. He then kindly kills himself so you can keep denying your friends of that creature they want to play, forcing them to use mana they may want for something else. I'm really happy to see him in my opening hand. Then in the late game, you could use him to combo off sending all the opponent creatures back to hands although at that point in the game I would probably be going for the throat.

I actually used to run both Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Grenzo, Dungeon Warden and wound up swapping them out for other cards. I feel like they are both good cards, but too low impact in a format where; the game draws out so your opponent will have enough mana that paying one more will not really affect them, and you are banking on the bottom card of your library being a creature. I was also running into an issue where Grenzo was putting my removal spells into my yard, I did not like that. They are good, fun cards but I feel that Thalia is better in another format and Grenzo would be better in a different type of deck.

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