Painful Quandary


Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Casual Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander 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

avery.p.gaines1939 on No one likes me anymore

2 days ago

Since you're running white... Kismet, Authority of the Consuls, Blind Obedience

Since you want to discard...Painful Quandary, Waste Not, Sire Of Insanity

This is very much a hate deck. Zurgo Helm Smasher could be a good commander here.

volttrememaster on Nath Discardable Army

1 week ago

These are all not too expansive (I hope), there are some more expansive variants or single time variants but I am not a fan of those.

Painful Quandary (It hurts if it costs 5 life or a discard per spell for your oppponents) Cunning Lethemancer (This will give you a lot of tokens per turn) Myojin of Night's Reach (Single time only though, great when your opponent just drew a full hand) Mindslicer (Play it when you have no more useful cards in your hand) Anvil of Bogardan (Not the cheapest card money wise) Bottomless Pit Necropotence (You want to draw a lot of cards, losing some life is worth drawing your hand back to 7 every turn) Quest for the Nihil Stone (If you make them discard enough this is a heavy clock to death) Creeping Dread (It's a discard that can deal damage) Larceny (Full swing with all your nath elves, get some through and make up for those that died by discards)

Older20 on Marchesa: Queen of Pain

3 weeks ago

Rough New Years Update:

Before I get to the Ins/Outs I wanted to share an image that I created in the hopes of getting a custom playmat done for my favourite EDH deck. It is a very subtly edited artwork version of the Queen herself - just with my spin / interpretation as Marchesa as a battle/pain queen that has fought for her position. Link: Marchesa


Grenzo, Havoc Raiser Didn't impress too much - will still keep on the Maybe list

Aura of Silence I still really like this card - but going to try Mana Web as an alternative Stax option

Painful Quandary Really gets the attention of the entire table in a bad way. I still like it though.

Olivia Voldaren Was actually perfectly happy with the utility Olivia provided so this might be very temporary

Fumiko the Lowblood Love this card - another temporary swap most likely

Debt to the Deathless + Exsanguinate + Gray Merchant of Asphodel Removed the entire package in favor of more control / action

Harsh Mentor Didn't do quite enough - was powerful on occasion but a lot of the time just a bear

Vial Smasher the Fierce Not enough damage - warps how I sequence spells as well which I didn't like

Erebos, God of the Dead This guy is always in and out - could always be brought back into the fold


Mana Web Trialling this card which I have wanted to for ages - interested to see how it performs

Sword of Feast and Famine + Sword of War and Peace Makes regaining Monarch a lot easier. War and Peace is surprisingly good as with the inherent card draw in the deck you often have a large hand size which can net you a lot of life

Talisman of Indulgence + Mind Stone More ramp to enable turn 3 Queen Marchesa

Deflecting Palm Trialling this to avoid losing Monarch (Often opponents only attack with only enough to steal Monarch) and occasionally to reverse blow out the game.

Grave Titan A big threat which works well with Purphoros, God of the Forge

Archfiend of Depravity Trying this fella' out. Have wanted to for a while.

precociousapprentice on Sente: The Politics and Metaphor of Stones

3 weeks ago

I have yet to find a great place for Painful Quandary. That one draws some serious hate. I am not sure I want that much hate. Oppression is great, and I use it in my Meren deck. It is a little evil for this deck, though. I think Arcane Laboratory and Rule of Law may hinder us as much as them. The value of gaining tempo with Unsummons, the value of low CMC cards, the value of counters and spot control, all these depend on being able to do more than one thing in a turn.

Agree on Zedru. I love that list, too. I want to make a Zedru Aikido political deck at some point, but I got distracted with this first.

As for my own Group Hug cards, I was thinking of going with symmetric draw cards that are permanents, preferable that can be activated outside the draw step.

Jace's Archivist

Temple Bell

Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

I am not sure that the typical Group Hug draw would work as well, but the obvious Hug nature may make it easier to clue people in to the Group Hug side of the deck, so that should also be considered. Howling Mine and Horn of Greed are cheap, and could be all I need. The problem is that I can't shut them off if I need to, like those in the list above that allow me to keep total control. Even so, they may be worthwhile testing.

Card draw that other people have access to has a tendency to be less threatening to my opponents than card draw that is only in my hands. With the Triplets, cards in hand for my opponents can be a resource for me as well. On top of that, decking people has become a serious wincon in the deck, so enhancing that make work to my favor. In any case, this was a surprising development for me as I play the deck more.

zjepsen on Sente: The Politics and Metaphor of Stones

3 weeks ago

I understand better what you are aiming to accomplish here. Is there a place for cards like Painful Quandary or Oppression? What about Arcane Laboratory or Rule of Law?

That Zedruu deck I linked to is able to go all in on the Group Hug plan because all its primary group hug cards can be easily donated with Zedruu for additional advantage. We wouldn't have that here, so I would only put a few in, which might unfortunately take the slot of more well-rounded utility pieces.

I plan to proxy this and give it a go. Kudos again.

Mike94 on Cruel Entertainer

1 month ago

How about; Gravestorm, Painful Quandary and Ward of Bones?? Your deck also looks like it could use cards like Defense Grid

Jewishman on Special Lil Vampire Deck

1 month ago

What is your budget for the deck? I think regardless you should make an exception for a Cabal Coffers at least. But theres heaps of good cheap/moderately priced black cards you could run; Contamination Yahenni, Undying Partisan Victimize Torment of Hailfire Patron of the Vein Bloodghast Painful Quandary Necropotence Exsanguinate Kindred Dominance Tragic Slip Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

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