Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Casual Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Modern Masters 2017 Edition (MM3) Mythic Rare
Avacyn Restored (AVR) Mythic Rare
Promo Set (000) Mythic Rare

Combos Browse all


Legendary Creature — Demon

Flying, lifelink

Pay 7 life: Draw seven cards.

Price & Acquistion Set Price Alerts




Recent Decks

Griselbrand Discussion

sylvannos on Pattern Recognition #56 - Fetches

3 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.

studajew on The Cheese Stands Alone (Mageta EDH)

1 week ago

Blazfemur just took a look at your deck. That would be one tough match! Not sure sure who would win, would totally depend on the first opening turns. Do you have any suggestions for mine? Also just a heads up Griselbrand is banned in commander. Might want to swap that out.

saturn999 on Don't Block

1 week ago

its a cool start! if possible i would switch the Bone Splinters for Fatal Push. yes they are more expensive on paper but you know have an instant that is a more versatile. if you have one more Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx it might help if you put it in the deck just to help with drawing it. i like sheoldred but her cost is so high much like Griselbrand i don't know that you'll be using them unless you're getting your devotion high and using Nykthos to help get them out on the field. have you considered Sidisi, Undead Vizier for her tutor ability? she has a good body with deathtouch and can tutor for the cost of saccing one of your guys and help you find your flails, obliterators or whatever you may need. one more Gray Merchant of Asphodel! either way, you're on to something. i playtested and this would be scary. just streamline it a bit. i'd hate to play against it when it's done! +1

amarmehta on BW Steal from the Poor and Give to the Rich

2 weeks ago

Other than Griselbrand, this looks like a fun deck to play. what KingRamz said is true; Mke those changes, you will have more fun with this deck

landofMordor on Pattern Recognition #55 - Artifact ...

2 weeks ago

I am glad I'm not the only one with a hatred for New Phyrexia. That being said...

Ironically, Spike, Tournament Grinder seems to have a fairly healthy grasp on Phyrexian mana balance. The 4-Pmana cost in her activated ability is powerful and on-color, but this isn't Griselbrand where you can activate it more than once a game.

Seems to me like P-mana in activated abilities, when paired with tapping as a cost, (or "until EoT" text, or maybe self-sacrifice) could be a way healthier system than P-mana in the casting cost. It also helps you tie the Phyrexians more firmly to the color pie. Imagine, for example, if Vault Skirge were with lifelink and ": Vault Skirge gains flying until end of turn". Now, that's a color pie bend, probably, but with a bit of tweaking it work better mechanically.

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