Nicol Bolas

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Oldschool 93/94 Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Masters 25 (A25) None
Masters Edition III (ME3) Rare
From the Vault: Dragons (DRB) Rare
Time Spiral "Timeshifted" (TSB) Rare
Chronicles (CHR) Rare
Legends (LEG) Rare

Combos Browse all

Nicol Bolas

Legendary Creature — Elder Dragon

Flying

At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Nicol Bolas unless you pay .

Whenever Nicol Bolas deals damage to an opponent, that player discards his or her hand.

Nicol Bolas Discussion

ScionsStillLive on So you want to feel like Bolas do you?

1 month ago

Yes! YES! Someone else (besides me) has finally used the actual Nicol Bolas as their commander, not Nicol Bolas, the Ravager  Flip!

ScionsStillLive on Nicol Bolas, the discarderer

1 month ago

Why not just Nicol Bolas as the commander?

ScionsStillLive on Commander Suggestions!

1 month ago

Nicol Bolas is great and he pretty much shuts down any opponent.

My decklist:

Nicol Bolas, the Original

exalted_k1d on Emrakul Vengeance

2 months ago

You should use:

Street Wraith and Mishra's Bauble to cycle through your deck, since your play an All in combo so 52 cards is better than 60. Also Bauble allows u to peek at your opponents top card.

Run hand disruption spells like Inquisition of Kozilek , Thoughtseize or Duress to protect the combo from counterspells or surgicals

Insolent Neonate is a good discard outlet. Droppable turn 1, readying a turn 2 goryos

Perhaps Wishclaw Talisman , as it allows you to tutor for a combo piece

Other good targets with goryo are Nicol Bolas getting him out turn 2, your opponent is fked

SideBae on Nicole Broke Ass needs help

3 months ago

Hey man! Grixis is fun. I've got some thoughts... feel free to ignore any/all of them.

  1. Your mana base is better than most, but it can still use some work. Consider City of Brass and Mana Confluence . Paying one life for an ETB untapped, chromatic land to generate mana is a great rate, and these two are functionally a second and third command tower. Generally, the one life cost-to-activate is irrelevant.

  2. Similar to your land-base, mana rocks are a great way to hit your colors and ramp yourself faster than your opponents. Since you don't have access to dorks, you need to consider more two-mana mana-rocks; these are, in my experience, vastly superior to three-mana rocks. Consider running a few of the following: Talisman of Indulgence , Talisman of Dominance , Talisman of Creativity , Fellwar Stone , Arcane Signet , Mind Stone , Prismatic Lens and/or Coldsteel Heart . The diamonds ( Sky Diamond , Charcoal Diamond and Fire Diamond ) are really just worse Coldsteel Heart s. If you wanna go and bust the bank, Grixis decks often have the critical mass of artifacts necessary to make Mox Opal good; Mox Diamond and Chrome Mox are also great. Also Mana Crypt .

  3. In general, one-for-ones like Hero's Downfall and Dreadbore are not going to be powerful enough in a format like EDH. You have three times as many opponents, meaning you're facing approximately three times the number of cards you yourself have available. So you're probably going to want to be able to remove multiple threats with one card -- this is part of the reason Wrath effects are so good. I like that you're running Damnation ; consider Toxic Deluge as another, similar effect that dodges Gaddock Teeg 's restrictions. I've always been a big fan of By Force as mass artifact removal, and Cyclonic Rift is always worth including. Finally, Fire Covenant is a great piece of mass spot removal.

  4. One card especially good with Cyclonic Rift is Windfall . Pairing Windfall with a Narset, Parter of Veils (which I think you should definitely run) leads to instant fun. More generally, mass, repeatable card-draw and/or selection is a great thing in EDH and decides most games. Phyrexian Arena is probably the most common way to generate card-advantage in black, but also consider Graveborn Muse , Treasure Cruise or Dig Through Time (I don't recommend both, as delve can get in its own way), Fact or Fiction , Painful Truths (which is quickly becoming one of my favorite cards), Faithless Looting , Dack Fayden and the like.

  5. Adding more cards to your counter package seems like a plausible route for improvement. If budget is no object, Mana Drain and Force of Will are the two best counters available. Also consider Force of Negation , which is excellent against combo decks, Dispel , which is great against Ad Nauseam decks, Pyroblast , which is good usually against at least one or two of your opponents and (on the off chance you run Dack Fayden and ult him) can steal a permanent, Flusterstorm , Spell Snare , Spell Pierce and other such cheap 'n efficient counter spells. If you want to go REALLY deep, I've found Counterbalance to be a high variance EDH card that tends to be good more often than not; you're already running Sensei's Divining Top , which is what really makes Counterbalance busted.

  6. Lore-wise, Nicol Bolas is good at enrapturing and manipulating other, lesser creatures. Consider a Mr. Steal-yo-Gurl package, which is both flavorful and powerful. Sower of Temptation and Control Magic can both make opposing Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre s into your own threats; Bribery is similarly busted, and does not risk getting removed by a Toxic Deluge or (more likely) Nature's Claim . Also consider Treachery and Corrupted Conscience .

  7. Since you're in blue, you have access to the best cantrips in magic. I highly, highly recommend running Ponder and Preordain -- These two don't look like much, but they'll dig you to what you need and past what you don't more efficiently than any other card. Brainstorm is also good, but I'd suggest holding off adding it until you get some more fetch lands in your deck. (Fetch lands' shuffle effect will make sure you don't get stuck with two dead cards on top of your deck.) Prismatic Vista and the off-color fetches like Flooded Strand or Verdant Catacombs are good ways to fill this role.

  8. Your general has built-in discard. Another package to consider, therefore, is a Waste Not package. This is a relatively unique package in that it actually does not need the namesake card in order to be good; Raven's Crime , Words of Waste and Syphon Mind are all good in their own right, and made busted when Waste Not is on the field. Stick a Geth's Grimoire in the mix, and you can really go to town (especially with Words of Waste ).

  9. Finally, as a kinda fun-z last suggestion, there's a 'Words' combo I've always liked that you may find interesting -- remember, though, it's really not the best. If you pair Words of Wind with Baleful Strix and a lot of mana, you can repeatedly return Baleful Strix to your hand with Words of Wind 's ability and make your opponents keep returning permanents. This would likely work best if your Omniscience was on the field, as it would end up effectively reading: ': Each opponent returns X permanents they control to their owners' hands.' However, this is likely a win-more type of thing.

There're some cards I think you should consider cutting in order to make room for my above suggestions. Wasp of the Bitter End strikes me as likely too weak in a format with three opponents; similarly, since Toll of the Invasion only hits one opponent, this should likely be considered on the chopping block. I think a boardwipe like Toxic Deluge is probably a lot better than Tyrant's Scorn . Lazotep Plating is probably worse than a regular hard counter. Finally, if you like the idea of artifact-based ramp in (2), thirty-eight lands is too many. I recommend cutting three to five, depending on how aggressively ramp-heavy you want your deck to play.

Right. That's all I got. Good luck!

ScionsStillLive on Chaos master(s)?

3 months ago

Definitely Okaun/Zndrsplt, but I would always go for Nicol Bolas .

KongMing on ScionsStillLive

3 months ago

Yeah, I know. I read that on your profile. Just sayin'... Being flexible and embracing different formats might help you break into different communities on the site. hinthint

That aside, one nice thing about Commander these days is that there are so many cards that are virtual copies of each other or have very similar effects. That makes it more straightforward to build an EDH deck, because instead of thinking about 64 nonland slots, you're instead thinking about 4-7 synergizing categories of cards in the deck.

Take your Nicol Bolas for example. Stuff that allows him to ping opponents for damage, like Chandra's Ignition , are great for forcing multiple opponents to discard their hands right off. You can also make his upkeep cost cheaper or nullify it with stuff like Eon Hub (this card screws other people hard, too). Since he's so high CMC, you would probably want a good deal of ramp, removal, and protection for him, which would make up a few more categories. Permanents that do double or triple duty in these categories are going to put in the most mileage for you.

You don't have to embrace Commander if it's not your style, but there's certainly other ways to think of the singleton rule.

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Nicol Bolas occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.01%