Ill-Gotten Gains


Format Legality
Vintage Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Legacy Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Conspiracy Rare
Urza's Saga Rare

Combos Browse all

Ill-Gotten Gains


Each player discards his or her hand, then returns up to three cards from his or her graveyard to his or her hand.

Remove Ill-Gotten Gains from the game.

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Cardhoarder (MTGO)

0.34 TIX $2.75 Foil


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Ill-Gotten Gains Discussion

mortilus on Perverter of Truth? Demon? No, not Trump... close.

3 days ago

You might want to add Bojuka Bog. Playing that before playing Ill-Gotten Gains could really help prevent that spell from backfiring on you.

Additionally, Maralen of the Mornsong would turn your commander into "each player loses 5 life and tutors 1 card". She wouldn't live long before someone fetched up a kill spell for her, so it shouldn't end up hurting you too badly (since she has to survive a round before even affecting you). She also removes the downside from things like Master of the Feast.

BlinkTwice on The Kresh Crew

1 month ago

Cards like Delirium Skeins, Liliana, Defiant Necromancer  Flip, Smallpox, and Ill-Gotten Gains would make for devistatingly effective sideboard pieces for when you need to switch from aggro to control to shutdown combo. Especially if your using those or similar cards with cards such as Waste Not, Necromancer's Stockpile, and Cryptbreaker.

Winterblast on Jesus, take the wheel!

2 months ago

Thanks for the comment Shakespeare314!

I already play FoW, I have thought about Pact as well but it's in another deck and I had no 2nd copy...I should probably get one.

The Helm Combo is (at least from my experience) one of the most reliable kills I have pulled off so far. I have it in the deck Atraxa's super(un)friendly Stax as well (currently not playable because it shares a lot of cards with this deck) and I guess half of the games have been won with the Helm. Firstly, it's a two card Combo, of which one part might happen to be IN PLAY as the game starts and the other part is an artifact, which means it's easy to cast and it can be untapped with Voltaic Key possibly killing more than one opponent at once AND it completely ignores how many life the opponent has (which can be a problem with storm, Aetherflux Reservoir and the Nekusar damage). Secondly, I already play the Leyline because of the wheels and Ill-Gotten Gains to prevent any downside from filling the opponents' graveyards.

What I would like to include is Shadow of the Grave from Amonkhet as soon as I have one. I don't want to remove Foundry Inspector because I would say it plays even better than Etherium Sculptor because it's colourless - coloured mana is always short while colorless mana can be easily generated with all the artifacts and Hurkyl's Recall/Rebuild. It's the same reason why I have removed Goblin Electromancer again, it consumes too much coloured mana.

On my cut list are different things at the moment:

  • Ponder (because I play cards that draw a lot of cards anyway and draw 1s should be free like the Eggs or Gitaxian Probe)
  • Lim-Dul's Vault (because it's two coloured mana without actually DRAWING anything)
  • Day's Undoing (Exchange with Timetwister)
  • Mystic Remora (maybe too slow, just like Rhystic Study and cummulative upkeep could be keeping me from playing more important spells if I keep this card for more than one or two turns)

I have to say though that I only played this deck twice on wednesday, so I haven't even seen all cards in play yet. The second game was a turn 3 win with Ad Nauseam (storm count over 20, killed the Arcum Dagsson combo player with Tendrils, then had enough time to deal with Eldrazi aggro - killed with Nekusar and several wheels in the next two or three turns then) and in the first game I got stuck in the combo turn and quickly lost against my own Gitrog Monster combo deck I lent the other guy for a 1 on 1 match.

frusciante7 on Another thread asking for help ...

3 months ago

Well for the deckbuilding process I basically go like this :

  • Find a commander that inspires me or that I own to save money (got quite a lot of expensive cards being a Modern player), not paying much attention to the colors tbh.
  • Find cards I'd like to play for their effects, whether they follow a common strategy or not.
  • Go check what other people built, add the cards I like from there.
  • Get lost in the amount of possibilities and switch to another deck.
  • Restart the process.

I'm definitely an indecisive person even though I most of the time can help the people around tune their decks to fit the mana curve/mechanics/synergies. The problem is more sticking to a strategy and making it work rather than building the deck.

Example : for my The Mimeoplasm deck, I started off with cool fun interactive cards like Jace's Archivist, Dark Deal or even Ill-Gotten Gains. I find them fun.

Then I go check EDHREC and I see really strong interactions. From there I don't know if casting Fascination for 5 mana with X=3 would be better than casting a Lord of Extinction.

So I stand between two/three builds and can't choose any one of them because everything seems strong to me.

Entrei on Nekusar Spin to Win

3 months ago

Huh. Storm. So while I may not have any suggestions for storm, I do have a couple for nekusar. Seeing as you are running Mind Over Matter, Temple Bell or Otherworld Atlas can go infinite pretty easily. Guttersnipe is a little bit fragile, and from my experience doesn't really work out too well in edh. And as lovely as Ill-Gotten Gains is, it's not particularly effective as a wheel. Hive Mind is an amazing card for nekusar, and ends up winning you the game the turn after. I did somewhat lie, I have two cards that greatly help with storm in nekusar, Curiosity and Helm of the Ghastlord when enchanted on nekusar. Note that they do not trigger off of combat damage.

Happy deckbuilding!

Aethos on Nekusar, Take the Wheel

6 months ago

Nekusar isn't a super competitive commander, but if you want to push him more in that direction I would remove some fun stuff for more speed and consistency. Nekusar would be categorised as a "fast combo" deck, meaning you try to assemble your combo pieces as fast as possible. Atm your deck isn't streamlined enough to do this. A super competitive fast combo deck can go off as early as turn 3 if unhindered, your goal should be to go off at least on turn 5.

Remove Grafted Exoskeleton, Corrupted Conscience, Helm of the Ghastlord, Sigil of Sleep and Swiftfoot Boots. You should add a few more tutors to find what you need - if they have a lot of life tutoring for infect is nice, but else it's way to vulnerable, you aren't doing voltron. Load up on more counter spells like Pact of Negation, Force of Will and Arcane Denial, those help you protect your combo. (-5 + 2-3 counters + 2-3 tutors)

Yawgmoth's Will, Past in Flames and maybe even Ill-Gotten Gains could be very good (Yawgmoth's Will definitly). Be aware that Dream Halls can give your opponents free answers to your combo, it's often cut for that reason - depends on the meta. (+3)

Propaganda is more for slow combo decks. Hive Mind / Forced Fruition seem a bit expensive. Forced Fruition could be an alternative way to beat life gain, but then maybe cut infect. I'm not a big fan of Kederekt Parasite, you aren't running a lot of red permanents and your punishment cards should be an alternative to your commander and not need him. (-3)

Unholy Grotto works with Nekusar.

I'd change even more stuff, but in your place I'd just look into some Grixis fast combo decks to see what they run to get their combos going and protect them. Also you didn't mention in what direction you want to push this deck. If you wanna play it casually, you might have already over-done it - a lot of ppl hate playing against Nekusar.

Winterblast on Chainer EDH, suicidal master of recursion

7 months ago

I tried the playtest a few times - I can't see much that actively brings creatures into the graveyard here. I would suggest a lot of mass discard such as Mindslicer, Delirium Skeins, Dark Deal, Ill-Gotten Gains, Bottomless Pit, Oppression...for opponents Mind Twist and Hymn to Tourach. You don't want to have the big stuff on your hand for long and there's not much in your current list that makes them leave the hand.

Bhaal666 on Chinese Suicide

7 months ago

for some reason it didnt occur to me the box and her could be done that way, i was thinking you had to give them at least one card. would Memory Jar be useful? the tabernacle is like the epitome of what you want to do to your enemies, maze is nice though. could you drop a swamp for tabernacle? if not then id drop maze or find something else that hasnt done what it should be doing. hmmm Delirium Skeins? especially right after Ill-Gotten Gains. duress does seem kinda silly next to your other discard and with so few targets for unearth it could be a dead card. though you do have a lot of search but then you would be searching to make unearth useful and not searching to win.

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