Painful Quandary

Legality

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

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Scars of Mirrodin (SOM) Rare

Combos Browse all

Painful Quandary

Enchantment

Whenever an opponent casts a spell, that player loses 5 life unless he or she discards a card.

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Painful Quandary Discussion

Darkshadow327 on Erebos, God of the Undying

2 weeks ago

Mono-black isn't really my thing, but I'll give it a shot. I don't know how you feel about Nightmare, but I suppose it could be a decent beater in the air.

Painful Quandary is a decent card, it can really control the actions that your opponents take.

This archetype isn't really my thing, I hope that at least Painful Quandary was of some help.

SynergyBuild on Omnipotence Comes With An Iron Grip

1 month ago

Darkshadow327 while I agree many decks that don't run Painful Quandary should, it is generally worse than a card like Oppression or Bottomless Pit, yes, those are symmetrical, and affect you, but you know you run those types of effects, so you can run more cards like Dark Confidant, Phyrexian Arena, Dark Tutelage, and other ways of drawing extra cards to compensate. Also, with Oppression no player that is trying to win the game that turn and will just take 15 from the three cards that they need to drop to win the game can do that, you have to discard cards if you have them in hand, and random discard is so great against combo lists, so Bottomless Pit is an incredible stax card too. I'd say Painful Quandary is simply cute, not nearly as powerful.

Darkshadow327 on Omnipotence Comes With An Iron Grip

1 month ago

I agree with most of that Suns_Champion however, I feel Painful Quandary is better than you're giving it credit for. I've found that I can whittle a lot of people down with it. At the beginning people just take the 5 life until they get to ~20 or so, then they realize they can't afford to do that anymore. I just love it at that point because usually by then people have huge bombs/game winning cards that they've been holding onto so they either have the choice of giving those cards up, or dipping down to a level where someone can easily kill them.

Suns_Champion on Omnipotence Comes With An Iron Grip

1 month ago

Hey! Thanks for the mention. I'll do my best.

An interesting mix of casual, competitive, and vorthos. Not sure how it's gonna work for ya but seem fun!

I'll start with 15 cuts for you:

  • Dack Fayden - Yeah he's got some draw and some steal, but your deck isn't really equipped to take advantage of his ultimate, meaning he'll always be sub-optimal.
  • Liliana Vess - Not a huge fan of single target discard. It'd probably be better just to run a tutor(as that's what I'd end up using her for)
  • Disrupt Decorum - as much as I love this card, it seems like this deck wants to discard/counter/kill/steal your opponents creatures, so this won't do much I'd imagine
  • Entreat the Dead - I think you have enough recursion so cut the weakest IMO
  • Last One Standing - Vorthos decision. The randomness doesn't sound like Bolas ;)
  • Thoughtseize - Again, not a fan. Who do you know who to target? What if one of the other 4 players has a god-hand and you choose wrong?
  • Oppression - Doesn't this kinda hurt you a lot? Meta call. Who casts the most spells every game? Who are yuo trying to hurt the most with this card?
  • Mind's Dilation - At 7 mana, this card is a 'value engine' when i like my 7 mana stuff to be 'game winners'
  • Painful Quandary - Your opponent will choose what is best for them and thus this card will have little effect for the 5 cmc cost.
  • Stranglehold - Meta call. How big are tutors in your meta? Extra turns? How much will this really hurt your opponents?
  • The Eldest Reborn - Also not a huge fan of the sagas. Inflexible. Uncontrollable. Some one could easily hate out the graveyards in response to chapter III.
  • Worldgorger Dragon - Maybe there is a combo I'm missing here...
  • Gem of Becoming - Very vorthos but not very good.
  • Library of Leng getting rid of the discard that hurts you also leaves this obsolete.
  • Arcane Denial - I really dislike this card personally.

Those are my thoughts on cuts, sorry if I've stepped on some toes-been out of the game for too long!

I'll be back with more help if you need it! In the mean time, if you want to return the favor and check out my newest brew, I Will Survive | Varchild EDH, I'd appreciate it!

Bxbx on Omnipotence Comes With An Iron Grip

1 month ago

Hey DrkNinja,

it's a bit ironic to assemble the Avengers (aka The Gatewatch) to help to construct a Bolas-deck, but nevertheless here are my ideas:

First of all, I would discard :) the whole Nekusar-wheel-theme. Nekusar, the Mindrazer decks just do it better anyways and playing Wheel of Fortune, Reforge the Soul, Jace's Archivist or Windfall in your deck has some drawbacks. While they're great to enable your plan of using the opponents' graveyards, your decks' cmc is not low enough to exploit those cards. Additionally, your opponents would get a significant amount of cards out of it, too, which also undermines the whole handcontrol theme of your deck: What's the matter of making them discard through Nicol Bolas, the Ravager  Flip, when you're helping them to refill their hands the next turn? Cards like Megrim, Liliana's Caress or Fell Specter would have to go as well because they're only effective with the aforementioned cards.

So my proposal is to focus on discard and control. Cards like Painful Quandary, The Eldest Reborn, Waste Not, Oppression and Chains of Mephistopheles fit well and should stay. You could add Skull Rend or Liliana's Specter. You could also add cards that let your commander re-enter the battlefield like Ghostly Flicker. Some ninjas like Silent-Blade Oni or Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni do not only fit your theme but let you cast your commander again.

To get more information about your opponents' hands you could play Telepathy or Glasses of Urza. I usually go with Glasses of Urza alongside Trinket Mage.

You have to strengthen your control over the graveyards when you're making people discard. The Scarab God is already good here. But you need some more graveyard-hate like Relic of Progenitus or Phyrexian Furnace which give you a bit of a choice what to exile. Don't play Leyline of the Void in here.

I'd also add Solemn Simulacrum like multimedia proposed.

So far I mentioned 8 cards which should be cut, so here are 22 more: Kess, Dissident Mage, Nightveil Specter, Mind's Dilation, Omniscience, Torment of Hailfire, Disrupt Decorum, Entreat the Dead, Anvil of Bogardan, Go for the Throat, Blasphemous Act, Stunning Reversal, Thrilling Encore, Leyline of Anticipation (most of the permanents don't have to be played at instant speed. Casting leyline is just doing nothing for the turn), Bloodchief Ascension, Countersquall, Desertion, Preordain, Thoughtseize, Library of Leng, Disciple of Bolas, Hour of Devastation, Tormenting Voice.

That's all for now. Good luck with your deck!

SynergyBuild on Omnipotence Comes With An Iron Grip

1 month ago

You have 137 cards, you need to drop 37?

Okay:

Landbase drops/adds:

Drop all three temples, bounce lands, Sunken Hollow and Smoldering Marsh, Forge of Heroes, Command Beacon, the three lands like Sulfur Falls, Dragonskull Summit, Desolate Lighthouse, and Drowned Catacomb, total of 13 lands, but add City of Brass, Gemstone Caverns, Ancient Tomb, Mana Confluence, Tarnished Citadel, Gemstone Mine, Shivan Reef, Underground River, and Command Tower

Total loss of cards = 5, rest needed = 32

Mainboard additions I'd suggest?

Talisman of Dominance, Fellwar Stone, Talisman of Indulgence, Bottomless Pit, Dark Confidant, Snapcaster Mage, Timetwister, Ponder, Brainstorm, Laboratory Maniac, Demonic Consultation, Tainted Pact, Imperial Seal, Dismember, Chain of Vapor, Pact of Negation, Mystic Remora, Swan Song, Delay, Dispel, Liliana of the Veil, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Chrome Mox, Mana Vault, Mox Diamond, Lotus Petal, and Rolling Earthquake.

Addition of 27 cards = 59 total to drop

Drops:

Xantcha, Sleeper Agent, Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, Vedalken Humiliator, The Scarab God, Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh, Liliana Vess, The Eldest Reborn, Painful Quandary, Pendrell Mists, Mind's Dilation, Omniscience, Leyline of Anticipation, Hero's Downfall, Stunning Reversal, Rakdos Charm, Thrilling Encore, Countersquall, Desertion, Go for the Throat, Fraying Omnipotence, Hour of Devastation, Tormenting Voice, Torment of Hailfire, Syphon Mind, Disrupt Decorum, Dark Intimations, Cruel Ultimatum, Blatant Thievery, Beacon of Unrest, Blasphemous Act, Damnation, Bloodchief Ascension, Disciple of Bolas, Etali, Primal Storm, Nightveil Specter, Fell Specter, Blazing Specter, Augur of Bolas, Clever Impersonator, Jace's Archivist, Kess, Dissident Mage, Mystic Confluence, Disallow, Cryptic Command, Reforge the Soul, Megrim, Liliana's Caress, Entreat the Dead, Phyrexian Arena, Rhystic Study, Search for Azcanta  Flip, Dream Salvage, Chromatic Lantern, Expedition Map, Lightning Greaves, Worldgorger Dragon, Animate Dead, Gonti, Lord of Luxury and Glacial Chasm

That should do it! 100 card deck!


The biggest upside to my switches and drops is the extreme amount of lowering that is done to the average cmc of the deck, along with the droppage of slower cards that do little without other spells. The new gameplan would be use discard and disruption like countermagic and removal to stop your opponents just long enough to use Laboratory Maniac with Demonic Consultation or Tainted Pact to exile your deck, and usually a draw spell like Brainstorm. More tutors for consistent gameplay is in the switches too.

allanrichardo on The Traitor: Xantcha Political Combo

1 month ago

My built with xantcha is to play mini boardwipe n destroyer to clear her path. And play many discards effect like Arterial Flow, Unnerve, Painful Quandary, etc so all opponent tempted to use xantcha last ability and basically we team up draining one person.

any thoughts? Agent Management

pokepower116 on Xantcha, Woke Agent

1 month ago

Gleeock Oooh I love the deck! Nature's Revolt seems pretty disgusting in this kind of build... I secretly love it. I also didn't know about the "hunted" cycle! Seems really interesting and it looks like it might be exactly what this deck needs. I can make my opponents attack every turn, but when they have no creatures to attack with it doesn't really help anything. Also Varchild, Betrayer of Kjeldor looks even better now that I take another look at her; I'll have to consider her for this deck too.

As far as redirect spells are concerned, I'm not sure what I would use them on! There's nothing really that this deck plays that needs to be protected from targeted removal except from Xantcha herself and maybe a couple huge enchantments like Havoc Festival. I LOVE the redirect spells in my Zada, Hedron Grinder deck because they effectively work as counterspells for my opponents' counterspells, but not sure how they would really help in this deck. Can you explain a little further?

scumbling1 Thanks for showing interest!! It's still a little too early to tell what's good and what's not but I was able to play two games with her using a proxy for the commander (because my cards finally arrived a couple days ago!) and I'll give you my first impressions below before I give a "formal" update after I get to jam a few more games.

First game I played went pretty horribly. Got mana screwed but I think that was moreso bad shuffling and WAY too greedy of a keep (2 lands and a Star Compass). I was only able to get a Spellshock and Xantcha to stick in the early game. Xantcha was great because I was able to use her activated ability to try and draw myself into lands, but I had to go about 4-5 cards deep before I even found another land. By the time I was able to play Painful Quandary my opponent combo'd off and took out the table. The deck ran 9 mana rocks and 35 mana producing lands (excluding Glacial Chasm and Maze of Ith at the time, which I felt was plenty. I added Thaumatic Compass  Flip to help consistently get land drops and change into a functional Maze of Ith for the late game, but might also replace one or two of the weaker mana rocks with a 36th/37th land for more early game consistency. I'd want to play a few more games though since this was a greedy keep and the first game I've played.

Second game was MUCH better. My opening hand was 3 lands, Sol Ring, Last One Standing, War's Toll, and Manabarbs. Thanks to the early ramp I was able to get Xantcha and my damage dealers online much quicker. I drew into Eidolon of the Great Revel (which didn't really do much damage that game), Furnace of Rath, Spellshock, and Exsanguinate. Unfortunately, we made a ruling mistake that allowed me to do much more damage than I was supposed to. We didn't know that War's Toll's trigger doesn't draw the mana from your lands when you tap them. Because of that, Manabarbs ended up dealing about twice the amount of damage it was supposed to. With that all being said, I was able to play Furnace of Rath, have it survive a turn around the table, and then Exsanguinate (where x=7) for 14 damage and gain 52 life. Then for the remaining player, I cast Mob Rule to take the majority of their blockers and knock them out of the game. Even though there was the ruling error that caused me to deal more damage than I was supposed to, the deck was still sitting in a prominent position and probably would have won regardless. The only complaint I had with the second game was that it took until ~turn 4 before I felt like I was really impacting the game. I wish there were more cards like Harsh Mentor, Eidolon of the Great Revel, or Pyrostatic Pillar that I could replace some of the top-end cards with. I really wanted to order Polluted Bonds for the deck for the constant damage and lifegain, but considering the curve of this deck I think I'll hold off on it.

No more major changes slated until I get to play a couple more games with it! Like I said, would love to add more low cost cards.

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