Illness in the Ranks


Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Casual Legal
Legacy Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Gatecrash (GTC) Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Illness in the Ranks


Creature tokens get -1/-1.

Price & Acquistion Set Price Alerts



Have (2) Supremespeed , TThors
Want (1) Bulldawg1310

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Illness in the Ranks Discussion

NV_1980 on Hosing with Kambal

2 days ago


Kambal is a great commander. I like how you are aiming for drawn out games in which players will cast themselves to death :) There are however, some changes I would like to propose:

  • change three or four of your lands for additional mana rocks or land tutoring; that will increase the speed of your deck somewhat. Good mana rocks would be Fellwar Stone, Worn Powerstone and Thran Dynamo. Pearl Medallion and Jet Medallion could also prove useful. In terms of land tutoring, I find Oreskos Explorer and Weathered Wayfarer to be exceptionally good, although the latter is not a cheap card.

  • you have several cards that force your opponents' creatures to enter the battlefield tapped. Royal Assassin would combine very well with that.

  • If you have Illness in the Ranks on the battlefield, Storm Herd becomes useless to you. I always try to prevent these kind of things in my own decks. I would recommend replacing one of these with something else.

  • I presume the main reason for adding Angel of Jubilation, is her secondary power. Her primary one seems a bit weird in this deck, considering almost 50% of your creatures are black.

  • I think your deck could become even more of a nuisance for your opponents if you would add some more extort effects. Ideas on this front: Treasury Thrull, Tithe Drinker, Syndic of Tithes and Pontiff of Blight.

APPLE01DOJ on 8-Rack

1 week ago

Mana looks good, SB could use some work.


Illness in the Ranks or Virulent Plague for tokens

Memoricide or Torpor Orb for combo?

Grafdigger's Cage for COCO decks

Sudden Spoiling for Bogles & Zoo

Contaminated Ground for Eldrazi, Merfolk, & Tron.

Pithing Needle for planeswalkers and fetches

Demon's Horn for Burn & Mirrors

Ensnaring Bridge for all creature decks

Funkydiscogod on Hunted Harmonicon

1 week ago

What about Blood Seeker and/or Genesis Chamber?

It could be interesting to add white for Authority of the Consuls and Cloudshift and Suture Priest.

Rakdos Charm and Illness in the Ranks might also be worth considering.

I don't know, but I like where this is going.

Craftwerk on Here! Just.. take this.

3 weeks ago

This is indeed also a deck with a nice theme.

Certainly the Blood Artist with Hunted Phantasm and either Illness in the Ranks/Ratchet Bomb is a nice combo.

Did you also consider Bile Blight, since it will also destroy the green centaur tokens from Hunted Horror?

wonderboyrox on Here! Just.. take this.

4 weeks ago

Drakorya, I actually did consider Echoing Truth when making the deck, but I decided to go with Repeal because it really helps keep the mana curve down, as well as gives me the useful cantrip. With a playset of Ratchet Bombs and Illness in the Ranks, I don't really see the need for more large removal at the cost of a cantrip and slightly higher mana curve.

TheVectornaut on Need suggestions for abusing Revel ...

1 month ago

I saw an mtgGoldfish brewing video that talked about using Illness in the Ranks and Virulent Plague to kill off tokens from Hunted Phantasm and Hunted Dragon or even Hunted Horror under the right circumstances. You get overstatted creatures to apply pressure or control the board while your opponent's compensation is transmogrified into bonus treasure.

zephyr_chang on Grisly Splinterfright

1 month ago

Before you start buying cards, maybe you can answer the question: Do you see this deck as being competitive one day? As it is, there are ways to make a Golgari graveyard-based synergy deck competitive but it will probably become a Delirium deck eventually. There are also objectively better graveyard decks out there such as Dredge and Living End etc. The main reason why they are better is not because they avoid graveyard hate (anything from Rest in Peace, Nihil Spellbomb, Relic of Progenitus or even just Scavenging Ooze - all commonly played in the format), but because they are consistently faster than your deck. Therefore, I'm not sure how much money you are willing to spend and how much you want to win. That being said, cards like Abrupt Decay and the 3 lands I mentioned are always going to hold value because they are played in quite a lot of other decks.

But if you are looking for a semi-budget way to upgrade this deck and use it to win a few matches at FNM, I think it can still be done. 4 Satyr Wayfinder and 4 Splinterfright is correct, and I think you can go up to 3 Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord. 2 more Elves of Deep Shadow to complete the playset is probably helpful for ramp. Not so sure how useful the Deadeye Tracker is going to be in this deck. 3 Nighthowler is ok, I think, it could even go up to 4 if you want. I'd take out Necrotic Ooze because you don't have that many useful abilities to copy. Den Protector is a much slower Eternal Witness so if you have any of the latter you can do a straight swap. You can also consider Boneyard Wurm or 1-2 Ghoultree. You'll need to up the creature count - maybe around 23 creatures.

As for spells, I think 4 discard (2 Raven's Crime and 2 Inquisition of Kozilek) and 4 removal (2 Abrupt Decay and 2 Fatal Push) can work. 1 Life from the Loam is always useful, and maybe just 3 each of Commune with the Gods and Grisly Salvage. That will put you at 15 spells.

Lastly, 22 lands - it's as fine as a budget manabase could be. Maybe you can swap the last Jungle Hollow for a Llanowar Wastes because that's not so pricey.

But most importantly, your sideboard needs to be silver bullets that will help you against other matchups. As of now, your sideboard is just too random. You'll need graveyard hate that doesn't affect yourself (Nihil Spellbomb, Scrabbling Claws, Scarab Feast); you'll need removal for artifacts/enchantments in general (Naturalize, Natural State); you'll need boardwipes against weenies and tokens (Drown in Sorrow, or even Illness in the Ranks - much more narrow though); you'll need lifegain against Burn and aggro (Gnaw to the Bone); and you could keep 2 more Raven's Crime in the sideboard against control. You'll also need land destruction such as Ghost Quarter, Tectonic Edge or the new Field of Ruin against Valakut decks and the like.

Sgt.Pickles on Salt Sisters (Now with 80% more sodium)

1 month ago

Hey man, thank you so much for commenting! :D

Yahenni, Undying Partisan is definitely interesting... I will have to playtest with him, but I think I will only run him as a 1-or-2-of because of the fact that he needs an effect that puts alot of tokens into play to work.

The soul sisters: Yes, I have, and this is the big philosophical dilemma of the deck: Unless you have the nut draw, the deck is relatively slow. The soul sisters are more reliable than the salt sisters, and they gain you overall more life unless you have the combo, which is about 50/50. I feel like the soul sisters definitely help against aggro and burn. HOWEVER, maybe running more salt and less soul will provide a more frequent win-condition, going a little glass-cannon? As it is, this build is almost glass-cannon, except for the soul sisters. In the past, I've built this deck like just your average UW control deck, with no illness in the ranks, just ghostly prison, hunted phantasm, and soul sisters. I've also built the deck with no soul sisters, just the salt sisters, and more hunted guys and no swan song. The thing is, I couldn't figure out where the deck performed better. The essential characteristic of the deck is abusing the negative side-effects of hunted phantasm, mercy killing, swan song, forbidden orchard, etc. And I just can't seem to figure out what type of deck makes the best use of it. I will definitely be open to new ideas for builds, and I will try it again going more glass-cannon. One idea I also have is just making a mid-range good-stuff deck with just a little bit of the combo in it.

Hunted Horror Is certainly a thought that I will have to try out, but I'm more leery of it. The problem is this deck wants to produce lots of tokens that will die as soon as it hits the battlefield because of Illness in the Ranks, and Horror produces neither many nor weak tokens. That being said, the power potential is... arousing... so I'll check it out. Definitely though, if I were to run it, I will also run 3-4x Detention Sphere as a way of dealing with the bigger tokens, cause they can and will just chump block the horror indefinitely. Also, I have a question: Since the tokens have pro black, if they block the horror they will not die, but will I get in for trample damage?

Now, at first glance it looks like this a four-colour deck. It's actually not :P tapped out mistakes mercy killing + forbidden orchard as "oh, he's running green". I actually have no spells or lands in the deck that need/produce exclusively green mana! For this reason, Hunted Troll was in an older version, but not this one. I'm up to letting him come back I guess, if I added green :P

As for commune with the gods, I'll try it if I decide to run green for troll and essence warden. The problem is that the deck is so full of stuff I don't want to cut (I'm such a hoarder lmao), and the deck is slow enough as it is and I just may not have to time to dig for pieces when I need to get some lifegain/ removal on the battlefield in the early turns. I may not like it, but I will try it. I promise.

I will try cutting colours, but this deck is so un-ordinary that I feel like it really needs the specific cards offered only in specific colours that make it good. I'm not afraid to use lots of shocks/fetches because the deck does have some life-gain, and forbidden orchard helps. I have to change the landbase cause I made this deck a long tim before I gained some experience with making complex landbases, but my other 3-colour decks have play-tested surprisingly well. The equation for colours I live by is this: Adding colours= more powerful cards, but less consistency; this is only good when there are specific cards you need to make the deck good, which I feel is a condition this deck is in. However, I guess I'll just have to try cutting a colour :P

(Sorry if I spell colour strangely, I'm Canadian eh?)

Return to the ranks, I guess I'll have to try that too :P It could just up and win the game if i get enough triggers. however, again, the deck is so chock-full I'll only be able to run 1 as a fringe win-con.

Bile blight is good for killing the tokens as it wipes them, and can also just get opposing threats (small ones atleast), Zulaport Cutthroat may not work cause he cares about MY creatures dying, rather than my opponent's creatures dying (which will hopefully be happening more often), collective brutality is also interesting if I decide to go the "goodstuff" route I was talking about, zealous persecution was in the original build and it's definitely still being considered, and Bloodcrazed Paladin is a thought but I think I'd just rather run more Yahennies... at best he's a 6/6 with no special abilities so kinda meh, but I definitely will keep him in the back of my mind, ruin raider is interesting but just doesn't really fit well with the plan.

About Virulent plague: it's interesting cause it is a replacement for ghostly prison, but it's both better and worse. It's worse in the sense that it doesn't protect against non-tokens, but it's better in the sense that it auto-kills the tokens I spit out at my opponent for Blood Artist value. Honestly, blood artist is the only reason we care about killing the tokens instantly, but it pays off. I shall add it to the maybeboard and test it out :)

Thank you so much again for commenting... I love having mtg-related discussions so if you want send me a link to one of your decks and I'll give you my 2 cents :P Peace man!

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