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Cumulative upkeep (Black) (At the beginning of your upkeep, put an age counter on this permanent, then sacrifice it unless you pay its upkeep cost for each age counter on it.)
At the end of your turn, draw a card for each age counter on Phyrexian Etchings.
When Phyrexian Etchings is put into a graveyard from play, you lose 2 life for each age counter on it.
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Phyrexian Etchings Discussion
1 month ago
If you want consistency, you will need card filtering, which means either going for blue cantrips like Serum Visions, Sleight of Hand ...etc. or for red looting effects like Faithless Looting.
If you want to abuse black "you lose the game" enchantments, i think it would be better to play white flicker effects. If you run Ad Nauseam, then (despite neither of us liking it), Lightning Storm is miles ahead of Zombie Infestation. What i am trying to say is that these two plans are not necessarily best suited to be played in the same deck. (there are more very painful, black enchantments to be abused, beside Demonic Pact, like Bitterblossom, Phyrexian Etchings ...etc. - or even Null Profusion for the completely mental players)
Like the previous poster mentioned Death's Shadow is a card that has great potential for builds like this, and i would add, that cards like Fling & Rite of Consumption are madly strong with it.
They often mean game if the opponent tries to race you, as they can act as walls, or just go to face if painful manabases, or bob put them in range of the 13 dmg bolt.
For some reason - probably thanks to lorwyn block art - i have a very visceral disgust of merfolk (which got reduced a lot in ixalan)...
If you are thinking about playing red, then pairing up Spreading Seas with Blood Moon seems like a strategy that in itself is often enough to win, not to mention, that you would get access to one of if not the best merfolk of all time Jori En, Ruin Diver, which can be pretty crazy, but you would likely have to give up the vial plan, in favour of cantrips, and cheap stuff in general. (+ Lightning Bolt aka. shit removal spell, that has a great failure mode, going to the face)
Imho, i don't think green merfolk is anything special, it trades if vulnerability to Choke, for being hit by Blood Moon, and the green creatures it gains are often not helping the "play all the lords & islandwalk for the win" strategy that the deck want to play, not to tmenion that playing Phantasmal Image as the X-th lord offers the option to copy value cards that are run by goodstuff decks (Dark Confidant for example).
Beside the general black packages, like targeted discard, draw for life, and destroy effect, there is not much reason to go black - Sygg, River Cutthroat exists, but he is more of a rogue tribal card, a merfolk.
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I am looking for criticism of my deck (that goes beyond, stating the obvious difference from the standard RB hollow one lists), i would be even more happy if i could be hit by constructive ciritcism, and suggestions, but i will be happy with what i can get
3 months ago
4 months ago
(I would add a proper community card but that feature seems to be malfunctioning right now.)
Farly straightforward, this card would mostly be Zedruu the Greathearted (although a different character, not simply her gone evil or something) with a casting cost of and an activation cost of . In EDH, this could lead to some fun usage of cards like the following:
(I realize you can basically already do this with any Grixis commander + e.g. Bazaar Trader, but that's a bit less straightforward.)
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I'm unsure what would be suitable for its upkeep ability. Just copying Zedruu's straight off isn't too inappropriate, as drawing is certainly associated with black and life gain isn't too far out either, but that's kinda boring. Replacing the life gain with something negative towards opponents like milling, discard or plain life loss proportional to the amount of gifted permanent could be one option that's more in line with the color change (thought the negative effects would probably targeted in order to preserve some political potential). Putting a +1/+1 counter per gift on Zedruu the Grixishearted to take advantage of commander damage could also work (especially when combined with auras like Herald of Torment), in which case you could also change power/toughness from the original's 2/4 to 4/2 to signal greater aggression.
For the sake of flavor its subtype would be Horse Djinn, with the artwork depicting a djinn with a mare's head, wearing a mouth-covering veil.
Feedback would be welcome, especially on ways to make Grixis!Zedruu more distinct from the original while still fulfilling the basic function of giving out torturous black cards, in addition to the blue and red ones they both share.
(A version containing green could also be made for the sake of giving that color a chance to show off its painful cards, in which case the creature in question should probably have monkey paws.)
6 months ago
Life's Finale, Phyrexian Rebirth, and Black Sun's Zenith are all good board wipes, the first one especially if you intend to run reanimation effects (like Reanimate or Phyrexian Delver, two other flavor cards). Engineered Plague is good if tribal is big in your meta, and Reprocess isn't bad either. Less played options that can be okay are Phyrexian Infiltrator and Phyrexian Etchings. Phyrexian Metamorph is an all-around good card. Phyrexian Totem is, frankly, a bad mana rock, but hey, it's Phyrexian. Torpor Orb is also Phyrexian, but I would not add it if it hoses you. Soul of New Phyrexia is pretty good in EDH.
8 months ago
Stuff like Phyrexian Etchings & Demonic Pact doesn't move, means business, and the deck has nothing against em....
Jokes aside its a nice list.
Do you plan including a 4th Dark Confidant? (If not, why?)
8 months ago
Phyrexian Etchings + Vampire Hexmage works by playing etching and holding onto hexmage, and only playing it when you want etchings gone. (or you play etching and hope to draw hexmage)
If they want to distrupt this they have to counter the activated ability (since if they attempt to kill it as it enters the batlefield you can sac it in respons) (and since sacrificing is part of the cost of the ability, they have nothing to target with a second removal higher on the stack to prevent you from sacrificing hexmage)
The main drawback is frankly that you need to draw it - but that is the same with all unique power cards, stuff like Dark Confidant
Asylum Visitor + Blood Scrivener have a go big or go home type interaction (like all other madness strategies). You have to dedicate the deck to it with spell that allow you to keep empty handed on way or another.
Due to the absence of instant win combos, and the extreme value drawing 4 cards each turn provides i think this is a workable strategy (and if you need instant removal you can always play Sinister Concoction). Of course this goes in face of the general wisdom that originates from the control mentality - bu looking the situation form tempo side its extremely powerful.
Bear in mind that having over 3 such creatures on the field simultaneously is dangerous due the life loss, and slim chances of having mana to spend all cards in hand. (And getting in that situation is not that hard since these creatures easily snowball by the first one helping you draw into its multiples.)
Ratchet Bomb vs. Engineered Explosives is a question of taste and local meta.
However Engineered Explosives can be activated in response to etb, thus negating countermeasures like Ancient Grudge. Not having to sit on the field for 4 turns to hit cmc=3 is also a benefit imho (since in that time you can easily die)
8 months ago
What the guy said...
You need some way to fight decks that can run you over, Stromkirk Captain is a prime tool for that (First strike chump blockers are a nightmare, not to mention first strike + deathtouch)
Playing more cards every turn with the 8 bobs (in the person of 4x Asylum Visitor + 2-4x Blood Scrivener) also does the trick.
Vampires have Cavern of Souls over other midrange builds. They can have Lord of Lineage Flip over other midrange decks - if that card flips it runs away with the game right there (i have yet to see midrange decks in the format that can deal with a constant stream of 4/4 flyers - hell legacy miracles uses/used such things as win condition via Entreat the Angels.
I would like to add here that Vampire Nocturnus is a finisher for aggro, and Bloodline Keeper Flip is a win con (sadly its only 4 mana, if it would cost 1 more it would be a lot stronger)
Vampire Hexmage + Phyrexian Etchings are pretty nice too - i would like to see which other tribe has such thing!
I see vampire aggro as weak because the tribe lack quality 1 and 2 cmc creatures, so lets make a list:
Shadow Alley Denizen (Best!)
Vampire Cutthroat (its okay, perfect in some matchups, and help to drag out against other aggro decks)
Stromkirk Noble (its either terrible, or ridiclously overpowered)
And then the rest....
Guul Draz Vampire - its a vanilla 1/1 when it would matter. The tribe completely lack ways to shoot face (specially in mono black)
Vampire Lacerator - a Goblin Guide that comes down a turn later, and makes you lose life each turn (abysmal) - Goblin Guide is a waeker Monastery Swiftspear...
Pulse Tracker - how will this thing swing more than once? (Its Geistflame - that is hwy it doesn't see play)
Lets take a look at 2 cmc!
Gifted Aetherborn - great, but its not particularly aggressive
Gatekeeper of Malakir - !that is 3 mana for all intents and purposes!
Ruthless Cullblade - wait what? i am outta here...
How does an aggro deck win that is slower than others, lacks evasion, and its creatures are actively worse (when the opponent is above 10) always, since they can't get in as the enemy just plays bigger ones?
I would suggest to not use narrow hate cards that are really strong against only 1 deck (like damping matrix - which is also very slow). Using stuff that is weaker but that hates on multiple archetypes is way better, because the overlaps you will have more hate for any archetype. And drawing a slightly weaker hate cards is a lot better than not drawing the 1-2 of "game over" hate card.
Add some secondary color, it would allow you to play stuff like Engineered Explosives, Painful Truths - if you go black/red it gives Kolaghan's Command which is good against everything, and Stromkirk Captain - which solves the "they will run ya over with their bigger creatures!" problem.
And splashing a second color can easily be done on budget, you need only 1 red mana on the 3rd turn, instead having all of your mana source being dual colored.
Xica on The Plague
9 months ago
If you plan to go creature heavy, add more Bontu's Monument, and take advantage of the best color to draw cards, which prevent you from being ground out, by removal, the opponent having bigger creatures, or discard engines.
(Sign in Blood; Night's Whisper; Phyrexian Arena or more extreme stuff like Vampire Hexmage + Phyrexian Etchings, or go big/go home Null Profusion - which is suicidal if the opponent has discard, and is also too slow for modern)
Some good hate against the graveyards like Leyline of the Void/Nihil Spellbomb/Ravenous Trap.
Same is true about having ways do attack combo with stuff like Duress.