Phenax, God of Deception


Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Hero Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Heirloom Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
MTGO Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Born of the Gods (BNG) Mythic Rare

Combos Browse all

Phenax, God of Deception

Legendary Enchantment Creature — God


As long as your devotion to blue or black is less than 7, Phenax isn't a creature

Creatures you control have " (Tap) target player puts top X cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is that creature's toughness"

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Phenax, God of Deception Discussion

cdkime on How come Mill isn't a ...

2 weeks ago

I agree with what the others have said. A well-tuned mill deck is a lot like burn--you dedicate the entire deck to the single plan of killing your opponent, and cannot deviate in the slightest. Ultimately, this makes mill decks predictable and fragile. As others have pointed out, milling a full 60-card deck takes a lot longer than burning for 20, even if some mill spells do 13+ damage.

Respectfully, you are also incorrect about mill having protection. Not one of the cards you listed is viable in a truly competitive mill deck. Every single turn with Mill has to be focused on killing your opponent--your 20 life will never win a war of attrition against a 60-card deck. Each creature you play sets you back a turn, while having little effect on an opponent--after all, no self-respecting deck is not prepared to deal with a blocker or two.

Phenax, God of Deception is neigh unplayable in Modern mill. The format is too fast, and you'd be lucky to survive to turn 5 to begin with. Even then, to make use of Phenax, you'd have to have some creatures in play on turn 5--that means you've spent turns not milling. In turn, this means your creatures, even if they have high toughness, are unlikely to win you the game the turn Phenax is dropped.

You made a point about "potentially" getting rid of useful cards. Herein lies the problem. Potential is not how you consistently win games. Even if you did get lucky and remove their primary win condition, you have no real room for removal, counters, blockers, or hand disruption. Your opponent could lose their best cards, and still is likely to draw something that will prove lethal.

Catalog9000 on How come Mill isn't a ...

2 weeks ago

I was watching one of The Professor's videos going over card advantage, and in it he expresses that (I forget which card exactly so I'll have a stand-in) cards like Mind Sculpt essentially pay to discard a card from your hand.

His point is that there are generally better ways to use that . You don't affect the boardstate in a meaningful way, you don't disrupt their hand or counter their spells, and you don't advance your boardstate or your hand.

You tap two of your lands to discard a card. Period.

But I don't see it that way. You just removed seven cards from their library. You potentially got rid of very useful cards. In the case of things like Destroy the Evidence, they mill until four lands are in their graveyard. Whether they topdeck all four lands in a row, or they are running just an 18-land deck and they throw just as many cards away simply depends. Regardless, four lands is a huge blow to anybody's game.

So my question is very straightforward: Why don't we see more mill?

Sure, it's a tad bit slow to start. But with card's like Glimpse the Unthinkable and Hedron Crab, that's 13 cards on T2. That's effectively a quarter of their library.

With combos like Duskmantle Guildmage + Mindcrank, or Fraying Sanity + Glimpse the Unthinkable, or playsets of Destroy the Evidence + Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker (Both milling until four lands), I don't understand why we don't see more of Mill out there?

And before you state the "obvious" that there's no good protection, there's plenty. Nemesis of Reason, Gifted Aetherborn, Vampire Nighthawk, Wall of Frost, Monastery Flock, and they all do really well with Phenax, God of Deception.

Combo this with things like Surgical Extraction and Extirpate and you're hitting them even harder.

So what are your guy's thoughts? Why isn't Mill more commonly played, or at the very least used as a sub-strategy when decks can allow for it?

JoosetheMuice on Muldrotha, the Gravetide EDH

2 weeks ago

Animal Magnetism could be kinda fun. Draw spells like Fact or Fiction Frantic Search and Epiphany at the Drownyard that also cause you to discard synergize well.

Top RecsDeadbridge Chant (gets stuff in G-yard, becomes a must destroy)Grisly Salvage (hits early lands, sets up for later)Hermit Druid cuz BSSphinx of Uthuun another fact or fictionJarad's OrdersSearch for Azcanta  FlipTaigam, Sidisi's HandTasigur, the Golden Fang

Other RecsExtract from DarknessPhenax, God of DeceptionSultai Ascendancy

cdkime on Dimir Doppling

4 weeks ago

I am not overly fond of Circu, Dimir Lobotomist--his ability just is not powerful enough to justify use in a singleton environment. Yes, you might sometimes hit a Sol Ring and royally inconvenience your opponents, but that's going to be few and far between.

Given your current commander and consideration of Oona, Queen of the Fae, it looks like you might be interested in attacking your opponents' libraries. Perhaps consider Phenax, God of Deception. Phenax allows you to play many of the large, low-costed wall creatures Blue has access to. These cards can defend you, and, on your final opponent's end step, "swing" for massive amounts of mill. Dimir Mill also has some horrifically nasty tools such as consuming abberation, Fraying Sanity, Bloodchief Ascension + Mindcrank infinite combo, Mind Funeral, Hedron Crab, and Glimpse the Unthinkable.

You can also use graveyard recursion spells like Animate Dead and The Scarab God to take control of any creatures your opponents have milled.

As DrukenReaps mentioned, mill is not the strongest in commander--too many players, and 100 cards in a deck is a bit problematic. Still, it can be quite a fun style to play.

Shliken on Haunted echoes

1 month ago

Here are some juicy milling creatures: Phenax, God of Deception is a neat fellow who synergizes well with fat blockers like Wall of Frost and Tree of Perdition. Jace's Phantasm will be a 5/5 flyer for one mana which is insane value, and my all time fave creature for mill decks is Consuming Aberration, as he gets thicc fast. Fraying Sanity is a nice card too. Cheers!

o0glypye on EternalBrewmaster

1 month ago

Hey i was wondering if you could take a look at my Phenax, God of Deception deck and maybe give me some suggestions and things i could maybe improve on as i am still rather new to the game. Really anything helps thanks :)

Phenax Mill v1

Atavistic on Looking for my next Commander

1 month ago

Wow, I'm truly surprised at the sheer diversity of recommendations here. I've taken a decent amount of time to look at each option and think through whether they fit my interests and if I can feasibly make them work on my maximum initial investment of GBP200.

First, those I have completely ruled out, and why:

The Gitrog Monster: Reasons as outlined in my second post in this thread

Nekusar, the Mindrazer: Absolutely despise this card and have no interest in wheels.deck, especially when someone at my LGS already does that, and it's absolutely maddening to play against at the best of times.

Gisa and Geralf: I like the idea of Zombie tribal on paper, but while there is graveyard synergy (what kind of Zombies would they be if there wasn't graveyard synergy?), the tribe as a whole seems far too linear, and a lot of the staple Zombie cards are pretty expensive, so I probably couldn't afford to build any kind of decent deck from it on my current budget.

Sapling of Colfenor: I investigated Treefolk tribal early on into my time in Commander, but I wasn't ever able to get a decent decklist together and it didn't actually interest me much at all, despite the gimmick the tribe offers.

Rafiq of the Many: I despise Voltron as I find it too linear and it makes games way too short (either you win quickly or lose quickly as everyone hates you out), so I have no interest in building a deck of this nature at this stage.

Roon of the Hidden Realm: I've already decided that, when I eventually do a flicker deck, it will be built around Ephara, God of the Polis, who was the first mythic I pulled from a pack when I got back into the game 18 or so months ago (in my first pack no less).

The Scorpion God: Not because I dislike it (as honestly, I do quite like the idea), but because a friend of mine has already built a Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons deck and Scorpion just feels like an inferior version of that deck, as you swap green for red and lose out on a lot in the process.

Phenax, God of Deception: Not at all what I'm interested in right now, as straight mill on its own is highly unpopular and not something I want to delve into.

The Mimeoplasm and Alesha, Who Smiles at Death: Both of these seem to pretty much entirely rely on the graveyard to function properly and, while I like having the graveyard as a resource, I don't want something that can't function without it, as all it takes is one Bojuka Bog to nerf either of these decks, or so it appears to me anyhow).

Queen Marchesa and Selvala, Explorer Returned: Both fantastic generals, but I'm not currently interested in doing a political build, as I want something a little more nasty (but without going into full-blown stax, obviously) for a change of pace from my current decks, which are all slightly too nice more often than not.

Brion Stoutarm: I previously tried creating a list for this guy, but I couldn't get any kind of result I was happy with so I gave up on it. Besides, there seems to be a much, much more interesting option in Boros colours in Dominaria, which I'll have to have a look at eventually.

Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest: He seemed interesting and a decent comparison against Glissa, the Traitor as a Commander option, but the Primer I found for him made it sound like either a Stax build or a token-based build, the former of which I don't want to do and the latter of which I'm already working on with my Hazezon Tamar decklist. However, if I do end up doing Glissa, he will likely be a useful addition to the 99.

Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper: Honestly, as someone mentioned in the thread, he seems like too much of a glass cannon and he just seems to be Jund goodstuff really, which isn't particularly appealing to me. I don't mind a goodstuff build, but I like the Commander of my deck to actually matter rather than just being a choice to get certain colours.

Atraxa, Praetors' Voice: Even ignoring the fact that the card itself is close to 30GBP everywhere I look, I'm pretty certain that on my current budget a four-colour mana base is not really financially viable. Also, while I know she can be built in dozens of ways, it doesn't interest me to use a Commander that is one of, if not the, most commonly-built ever.

Varolz, the Scar-Striped: The only reason that this one doesn't interest me is because I don't really like the Scavenge ability as it doesn't seem all that powerful to me, especially when Varolz doesn't have any kind of in-built evasion to benefit from so many +1/+1 counters going on him.

Another post will follow running through the remaining six choices (Teneb, the Harvester, Saffi Eriksdotter, Skullbriar, the Walking Grave, Oona, Queen of the Fae, Vela the Night-Clad and Tasigur, the Golden Fang), and my thoughts on those (and also one new option from the Dominaria leaks that have now been confirmed official by WotC.

DrukenReaps on Looking for my next Commander

1 month ago

I want to mention that Ramunap Excavator is crucible of worlds and quite affordable. Also arguably better than crucible in a gitrog deck where getting creatures back is easy but getting artifacts back is not.

You have some of the major strategies covered so perhaps a mill deck to do something different. Phenax, God of Deception is pretty popular for dimir but not that popular overall and has a really fun interaction with inspired cards like King Macar, the Gold-Cursed. Another really good one with mill is The Mimeoplasm.

Glissa is really fun but has a tendency towards stax, I built her as equipment here: Glissa's Tech. Something that seemed outside the norm.

And I can't comment on one of these posts without mentioning the almighty Queen Marchesa. She makes a great aikido or pillowfort commander.

Many of the mentioned ones are really cool but I think Vela the Night-Clad is particularly awesome and allows for some really unique builds like this artifact based one Vela the Night Clad: Intimidating Machinery.

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