Gray Merchant of Asphodel


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

Gray Merchant of Asphodel Discussion

diamond_diesel on Kaalia of the Vast

4 days ago

Replace: Gray Merchant of Asphodel for Kaalia, Zenith Seeker

Herald of War for Liliana's Contract (Card Draw!)

Shivan Dragon For Sephara, Sky's Blade (Cooler creature)

More card draw and mana ramp would do this deck really well. Make the tough choice to get rid of some of the expensive creatures. You can favor creatures and cards that change the board state the turn they come in rather than later.

Boros Battleshaper for Angel of Serenity (Targeted Removal)

Disciple of Bolas for Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice (Duh)

Assemble the Legion for True Conviction

I would also try to decrease the average converted mana cost. This deck feels slow and bulky. Add in the appropriate mana ramp. Some artifacts that cost 2 or less that give you mana. Like the Talisman of Hierarchy , Wayfarer's Bauble or Talisman of Conviction .

If you rebuild it: 10 Ramp Spells 5+ Removal (This includes creatures that remove, i.e. Angel of Serenity . 10+ Draw Spells 30ish leftover for the cool stuff.

Valengeta on Valengeta

2 weeks ago

Hi there, thanks for taking an interest in my decks. About zombies: It's still hard to have a Tier 1 deck, but you can make something really competitive nonetheless. The thing is, as you know, dropping low-cost and efficient creatures is mandatory for Modern. I'll give you some zombie cards to consider, 3 CMC max:

These are my favorite zombie creatures. There are a few more around but for Modern I think the ones I mentioned are the ones that really shine. But please do search and see if you find any other you prefer

Then you need to worry about interaction. Bet on discard cards like Thoughtseize , Inquisition of Kozilek and even Duress , as they are good control and your only way of getting rid of artifacts and enchantments. Creature killers are a must as well: Fatal Push , Spark Harvest , Go for the Throat , Tragic Slip , Dismember or Defile (when you have many basic lands only). The last three kill indestructible creatures

It's a good idea to have some other spells. Reanimation like Ghoulcaller's Chant and Unearth sits well with what we're trying to do. One or two copies of Sign in Blood might be something to consider as well. Also you can try enchantments that benefit on death like Grave Pact or Open the Graves . Endless Ranks of the Dead and Whip of Erebos are amazing too. If you have planeswalkers, do not be tempted by their abilities while forgetting the mana cost and the turns you need to activate ultimates. Liliana, Dreadhorde General is nice but too expensive and slow. Try Liliana, the Last Hope or Liliana, Untouched By Death instead if you insist on planeswalking. If you're lucky enough to have Liliana of the Veil , then use it

Lastly, Aether Vial does wonders for saving your mana casting creatures, and Surgical Extraction punishes non-basic lands and combos the enemy might throw at you

Hope I helped somehow. If you have questions please ask! Also, if you like Rakdos I invite you to check my deck Hell Awaits. Have fun and good games

Lokotor on Marchesa, The Black Rose - Primer

3 weeks ago


you make a good point about blood artist, being able to hit yourself is a nice bonus. i went with basilisk collar so that I could equip it to whatever i needed on the fly, possibly using it to dissuade attacks or to gain life in whatever amount i needed. it's also just a little harder to remove than creatures are which is good.

if you're looking for something just to gain you some life i really do recommend Gray Merchant of Asphodel as he'll more likely than not come in and net you at least 15 life without much effort.

blood artist, basilisk collar, gary, kokusho, etc... they all fill the same role, just at different mana costs. personally i would go for the lower end more often than not.

for me Wurmcoil Engine works well. if i have an Arcbound Worker around it gets silly, and even if you can't attack, as long as you're not in Lightning Bolt range or up against a flying creature you can still gain plenty of life on defense and it's off to the races once you can attack with it.

Drana, Liberator of Malakir is a nice safety net. if you're on the throne but not very far ahead in board state it gives you a way to keep the engine's turning. she's cheap and aggressive and does what we need. you could make due without her, but for me it's been a good time.

if you're having trouble keeping open you may need to work on your mana base or try adding a few more rocks. the good thing about this deck is that it usually doesn't have too much trouble only playing a card or two per turn while still maintaining advantage. our creatures rarely stay dead, so in a battle of attrition we're usually far ahead. clearing the board once and not losing anything means we can afford to play cards a bit slower and keep mana open.

like i said, Voidmage Prodigy isn't just protection, but also a sac outlet, so keep that in mind.

i touch on Puppeteer Clique in my primer's writeup, so if you have any questions about it that I don't answer there let me know.

Lokotor on Marchesa, The Black Rose - Primer

3 weeks ago


I find wurmcoil is fantastic. Being able to sacrifice him a few times and accumulate a half dozen lifelink tokens usually is more than enough to secure my life total. I don't often tutor specifically for Basilisk Collar but I have for wurmcoil often enough.

If you need more lifegain try things like Blood Artist and Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Drana, Liberator of Malakir has some added utility in that, because of first strike, she puts the counters on before damage and can help either boost an attak or clear a board. It helps both with situations where dethrone is hard / impossible to get and where I just need a bit more oomph. I do like having her. Also as a low CMC evasive creature she does good work. It's really important to be able to reliably get counters out there and drana can get them on the whole team all at once.

Fleshwrither is a recent addition so I can't say for certain yet. I'm still in the testing phases. I think being able to trigger him even 2-3 times in a game has great potential though.

In wizard tribal I would think Voidmage Prodigy would be even better. I have generally found that the threat of being able to counter anything usually deters a lot and often there's not more than one card that really needs to be countered in any given turn cycle. I also look at him as a sac outlet considering I am running a not insignificant number of wizards.

Enral on

3 weeks ago

Cards I think will really help this deck...

Last_Laugh on Marchesa Reanimation

3 weeks ago

Draw: Skullclamp , Baleful Strix , Midnight Reaper , and Consecrated Sphinx

Haste Enablers: Ogre Battledriver and Urabrask the Hidden . Alternate way to get counters asap.

Combo Wins/Emergency Lifegain: Gray Merchant of Asphodel and Kokusho, the Evening Star . Lifegain seems counterproductive but with Metallic Mimic these end games without worrying about the throne.

Random Goodies: Legion Loyalist (Trample and first strike is great and the tokens can't block part is surprisingly relevant most games), Aura Thief (meta dependent), and Spark Double (double dethrone is gross).

Anyways, feel free to check out my list for ideas. Upvotes on any of my decks is appreciated. Every Masochist Needs a Marchesa To Love Them

McToters on The Black Parade

4 weeks ago

Automatic +1 I support all Grimgrin players! I’ll start by saying there are a lot of ways to go about winning with this deck. As you described in your intro this deck can go tall semi-voltron or go wide with zombie tokens. It is very flexible in that sense and also, a helluva deck to make comebacks as well. It is a very very good late-game deck with the right cards.

As you will see (if you check out my list) you will see I use Arcane Adaptation to give me some flexibility with what creatures I can play. Creatures like Grave Titan , River Kelpie , and Wonder . I highly recommend Buried Alive as a cheap affordable tutor so you can always search for Gravecrawler and Wonder if you decide to use it. The great thing about Buried Alive is zombies want to be in the graveyard so it helps a lot.

I know they are pricey but I cannot stress enough how amazing Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx is slightly more affordable but also really really solid.

Also, Ashnod's Altar and Altar of Dementia are very handy sac outlets especially if you use Dictate of Erebos and/or Grave Pact . Saccong creatures to Ashnod’s gives you the ability to make mana and destroy creatures if Erebos or Pact is out. There are some really neat combos with those and Gravecrawler in particular.

I enjoy using Dream Halls for value and because ai love the card but not necessary. Of course take all suggestions with a grain of salt but i think the sac outlets and enchantments that make opponents sac creatures when yours die are must haves in zombies!

Personally I have ended the majority of games with Shepherd of Rot , Gray Merchant of Asphodel and Gempalm Polluter which i noticed you already have! I would research the Gravecrawler combo because that would be another way for you to finish games as well, applied in the right ways.

Here is my Grimgrin deck for inspiration or if you want to give me any suggestions!

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Gray Merchant of Asphodel occurrence in decks from the last year


All decks: 0.05%

Black: 7.19%

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.07%

Black: 1.26%

Golgari: 0.23%

Rakdos: 0.41%