Painful Quandary


Format Legality
Noble Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Casual Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper 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

nissani on Quantity and Quality: Shadowborn Apostle

5 days ago

Hey, so scratch that previous comment. I found card draw in Griselbrand, and then I took out 4x Blood Artist and added in 4x Crypt Ghast. Instead of relying on creatures dying, I extort all my spells so that I gain life off those which, with so many one drop cards in this deck, is relatively easily to do. I also added in a Painful Quandary or two to do my best to stop removal and hurt my opponents. In short, it's a bitch. Best of luck to anyone else who builds this deck!

MRDOOM3 on Arandomlife

2 weeks ago

I would suggest that you add in more pillowfort enchantments, because, well, you're bound to get pummeled in the face sooner or later. Ghostly Prison, Windborn Muse, Koskun Falls, Propaganda, Sphere of Safety, Collective Restraint, Dissipation Field, No Mercy, Aurification, and Peacekeeper all work. One nice combo you can run is Energy Field + Rest in Peace (You can no longer take damage as long as those enchantments remain on the field).

If you're aiming for a more oppressive control deck, you also can throw in Fatespinner, Frozen AEther, Blind Obedience, Torpor Orb, Hushwing Gryff, Iona, Shield of Emeria (especially funny when you're playing against a monocolor deck), Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Meishin, the Mind Cage, Indulgent Tormentor, Painful Quandary, Angelic Arbiter... I could go on and on and on.

I'm not sure about the status of your playgroup, but I also would suggest sweepers like Cataclysm, Tragic Arrogance, Mutilate, Cyclonic Rift, basically any sweeper that says "Sacrifice", "Bounce" or "-X/-X" to account for cards like Avacyn, Angel of Hope.

DawnsRayofLight on Sidisi's Rage Quit Stax. v 3.1

3 weeks ago

I really like this list, it looks like a mono black hate bears list (which is sort of what I am running-Monoblack Hatebears, I need to update it at some point because I have refined it a lot, but I appreciate suggestions). If you are going the Death and taxes route, I would recommend:

Painful Quandary

Polluted Bonds

I would recommend Disciple of Bolas as well, many of my friends argue that it is the most powerful card in my list, at least in my deck it makes for good re-occurring card draw and life gain.

Your list has definitely given me some ideas for my list! Thanks! +1

Izu_Korasu on Goods ways to combat excessive ...

1 month ago

Tunnel Ignus is a fun gem, Ankh of Mishra is an artifact zo-zu.

then there are cards like Damping Engine, Mana Maze, Ward of Bones type effects

but probably the best way (besides Door to Nothingness effects) is to tax their hand, with cards like Oppression, Pain Magnification, Painful Quandary etc ... limit the usefulness of ramp ... and while MLD like Wake of Destruction can be crippling, mass or targeted removal of rocks and dorks can have a similar effect, while being more useful overall.

fabiomarley on The Rakdos Tax Collector

1 month ago

add this card to have more control vs your opponents:Stranglehold,Painful Quandary,Polluted Bonds,No Mercy,Sheoldred, Whispering One.

Phyrexian Arena is a mandatory card in a black deck.

Insurrection is a closure.

Perpetual on Daxos the Returned Pillow Fight

1 month ago

I would recommend removing Skull of Orm because of it's CMC and redundancy. Sun Titan does the job for like 60% of your enchantments. Treasury Thrull and Silent Sentinel can get the rest.

I would also recommend removing Necromancer's Covenant. Save it (and it's 6CMC!) for a Zombie deck. While I am not totally sold on it, perhaps Righteous War would be good in that slot. Or if you aren't afraid of the 6CMC, go for True Conviction or Cathars' Crusade.

You have a 2 color deck, you really shouldn't need to settle for taplands unless they are bringing something aside from color fixing to the table. A Temple of Silence beats Vivid Marsh in your deck, for example. It's possible that even just having a basic land in some of your tapland spots would be a win for you. Also, Myriad Landscape beats your Terramorphic Expanse.

Personally, I would get rid of Painful Quandary. First off, it's not going to kill anyone fast, but it will make them mad. And 4-5 people mad at you is not good. Second, reanimator decks might just pick discard every time and be quite happy about it. Find something that makes you less of a target, or that discourages attacks against you. Parhaps something like Windborn Muse or an Extort card, or something seemingly harmless like Drana's Emissary.

Also, while you have plenty of board wipes you have no instant speed removal, and only two targeted sorcery speed removal spells. There are going to be times when you need a given card off the board, but otherwise like your board state and don't want to wipe.

Finally, I might look into something like Shackles. Not only can it move around to the largest threat, but also triggers Constellation, Mesa Enchantress, and Celestial Ancient on recast.

VexenX on Edgar's Dega Vampires

1 month ago

I would strongly consider more sources of card advantage (draw/discard effects). The main omission that jumps out to me is Mentor of the Meek. I would even consider Sensei's Divining Top. If you want to embrasure the discard side, I would include Sadistic Hypnotist, Necrogen Mists and Painful Quandary.

I have build a somewhat similar deck off my own design, and I have noticed that it is one of the the MOST aggressive decks out there. However, like any aggro deck, If you get hit with a few boardwipes it can be a struggle to come back sometimes. The best thing to combat that is by keeping your opponents handsize to a minimum, which gain you card advantage while also dealing with some of their hate cards. I think any good aggro deck in commander need a STRONG element of card advantage to survive.

Talonisnthavingit on Fear not Waste not

2 months ago

Shrine of Limitless Power May be nice, but it'd take a while to get up. However, it can be useful in a scenario where you haven't drawn waste not, so you can let it gather a few counters.

Barbed Shocker Seems pretty fun. If you can get it's damage through, you could get quite a bit of waste not triggers on turn 4 if you had the hand.

Guul Draz Specter Benefits from your opponent having no cards in hand as well.

Liliana's Caress Also punishes opponents for discarding, without life gain and combat damage being dealt to them, they'd lose within 10 discards. Megrim can be a sideboard card maybe? It costs more than liliana's caress, so it's not as good.

Painful Quandary seems pretty good IMO. They most likely will pick discarding a card, so your basically set.

Quest for the Nihil Stone Also seems fun, punishing opponents for having no cards in hand heavily.

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