Painful Quandary


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


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

WhichKing on Discarding Dragon Specters

1 month ago

I think you're going to have to take a direction with the deck. It seems that your deck is being pulled in too many different directions. Big finishers (with your commander being one), discard enablers, discard payoffs... the balance depends on how you want to take your deck.

If you want to stick with Crosis, I'd recommend building a control-ish deck with him at the top end (or close to it) of your mana curve. Take out your specters and dragons. Run more low-to-the-ground utility drops like Baleful Strix, Serendib Sorcerer, Liliana's Specter, Nin, the Pain Artist, Nivix Guildmage, Notion Thief etc. Run cards that force discarding like Necrogen Mists, Creeping Dread, Painful Quandary etc. Go heavy on removal and draw spells. Alongside your commander, you can have some big spells as a way to end the game when they go long, like Torment of Hailfire, Exsanguinate, deathcloud. Unless the vast majority of your cards are CMC 4 or below, the deck will be very clunky imo.

Pervrat on Blackmail

1 month ago

kamarupa So now we have gathered together a deck it seems and we have more cards than is needed for it totally. I know that some decks have more than 60 cards, however I think we should aim for making this deck 60 cards to make it as competitive as possible. Because I am going to want to make it a competitive deck and that is what we are looking for right now. I am kind of fresh in playing competitive modern, so it would feel good to start of fresh with a deck that can wreck face.

The question now is which cards to keep in the deck, what to add more, and which cards to remove to keep the better ones. What cards do you think are the best to keep while aiming for creating a death and taxes-flashback deck that reanimates creatures? Personally, I think some of the key cards in the deck include liliana, death's majesty, Traumatize, Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, Unburial Rites and Painful Quandary. The elements of white in the deck i think is good, since death and taxes can usually be white. Do you think I should remove the instants that are removals and aim for more discard instead, since I already have Divine Reckoning? I saw a deck once that utilized almost only discard instead of removals.

So what cards do you think are essential to make this deck 100% competitive?

Pervrat on Blackmail

1 month ago

kamarupa I have slept on my decision, and decided to add your suggestion Painful Quandary to the deck. Because I think you are right about it being a strong card for "taxing" your opponent. As for taxing, it's all about punishing your opponent for doing certain moves and making it harder for him to play cards as well as absorb his life. So that's why this card feels strong for me right now. It would also be nice with some combo in the deck that triggers effects that makes painful quandry go off. That's why I want to build this deck around gitaxias. Got any suggestions for other taxing cards? Two cards that I can think of that tax the opponent by an ultimatumare Dash Hopes and Temporal Extortion. They give the opponent a choice and then he gets to chose between losing life or something else.

The reason that i think Traumatize still may be a good choice is that, I need to get stuff from the grave, true, however, step one is getting them to the grave. I need something that mills my deck so i can get stuff from it. The ultimate would be playing a deck which both lets me play stuff from the grave and tax the opponent.

One simple example of a card that "taxes" the opponent could be Gnat Miser and is a classic one drop for decks that use discard and cards similar to that. I don't know whether you think that card is good and the reason it's excluded from the deck is that there are other solutions for making the opponent discard. Another thing that I'm considering for the deck is having some creatures with extort that lets you gain life and extort the opponent when he plays cards is Tithe Drinker. I know it's a black-white card, however there are some who play black-white extort aswell.

itachi45 on Choices

1 month ago

You need to be playing Painful Quandary. Purely for flavor reasons, you understand.

Darkshadow327 on All Bow Before the True Queen

1 month ago

I'm flattered that you thought of me to help you. Golgari may not be my strong suit, but I'll try to help.

It seems to me that if you want to kill with Vraska than a token sub-theme might be a good idea. Off the top of my head I can think of Izoni, Thousand-Eyed and Ishkanah, Grafwidow for this. If you can get poison counters Phyrexian Swarmlord is good, same with Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons if you can get some counters dropping. Craterhoof Behemoth and Beastmaster Ascension along with Swarm Guildmage and Undercity Uprising are some good support for this.

I mean seriously, if you are gonna go Vraska go all the way and include Vraska, Relic Seeker. This Vraska pairs well with Vraska, Golgari Queen and helps with the token sub-theme with her pirates. Also, Vraska's Stoneglare is just great since it kills something and goes and finds Vraska.

Ritual of Soot, Status / Statue, Deadbridge Chant, In Garruk's Wake, and Painful Quandary are just some cards that I like.

Lastly Triumph of the Hordes is just an amazing alt win-con (if you want to go that rout).

I hope that I can be of some help, and that I didn't come off too strong/overwhelming.

Darkshadow327 on Erebos, God of the Undying

2 months 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

3 months 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

3 months 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.

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