Pithing Needle


Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern 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
Masterpiece Series: Kaladesh Inventions (MPS) Mythic Rare
Return to Ravnica (RTR) Rare
2010 Core Set (M10) Rare
Tenth Edition (10E) Rare
Saviors of Kamigawa (SOK) Rare

Combos Browse all

Pithing Needle


As Pithing Needle enters the battlefield, name a card.

Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can't be activated unless they're mana abilities.

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Pithing Needle Discussion

ParadoxicalSlacker on i need a second opinion

21 hours ago

It never hurts to have Duress, Inquisition of Kozilek, or Thoughtseize. Also watch out for people who play Pithing Needle. That would pretty much make any combo player want to cry. So for that Smash to Smithereens, and if you go with discard, Surgical Extraction.

xTCBxNightmare on Esper's Elite

5 days ago

Firstly, I like your deck a lot, and I love what Esper colors have to offer. When looking at your list, I was comparing this deck to GDS lists, as they are very similar in colors and in cards.

using both delve threats and flashback is a very gentle balance. While cards like Liliana of the Veil and Thought Scour help you get there, up-ing your fetchland count to 8 would provide even more consistence.


I would suggest removing a Tasigur, the Golden Fang. While the card is good, its easily made bad with sideboarding, and one slot dedicated to him frees up room for more useful things.5

Elesh Norn is quite the spicy card to play, but I feel Iona is a bit far out of reach. Some decks run graveyard removal mainboard for dredge and Tarmogoyf based matchups, and the game will likely be over before you are able to get there.

Also, while Hedron Crab is one of the useful engines for making the deck work, id like to see more interaction turn 1-3. cutting this would make room for Thoughtseize / Inquisition of Kozilek, helping you to not just flatout lose to combo decks. but as you add more fetchlands, the value of hedron crab increases b/c of double landfall triggers.


while path of exile is amazing, it does ramp your opponent, making it strictly bad on turns 1-3 except against combo and dredge. Fatal Push should be bumped up to 3 of and Path of Exile should be moved down to 2 of. B/c of revolt trigger, Push gets better as you add more fetches, which I already suggested above. Also, I'd borrow the idea from GDS of running 1-3 Stubborn Denial since your running G-Angler and Tasigur.

Ceremonious Rejection for tron is SB helps as well.


I would plan to have some artifact/enchantment removal since things like Rest in Peace and Grafdigger's Cage are not in short supply. Pithing Needle stops Relic of Progenitus and Nihil Spellbomb, and has added value of dealing with pesky walkers. Spellbomb would also be quite playable in your SB as well

Wishful thinking:

your 4 drop slot is completely empty, and in any deck running esper should consider at least 2 Cryptic Command, and [Jace, the Mind Sculptor] since it's unbanned next week.


Adds - (2-3) Thoughtseize, (2-3) Inquisition of Kozilek, (+1) Push, (1-2) Stubborn Denial, (2) Nihil Spellbomb (in SB), (1) Pithing Needle (in SB)

Big Ticket Adds:

Cryptic Command and Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

Drops - (1) Tasigur, the Golden Fang, (1) Iona, Shield of Emeria, (1) Path of Exile, (3) Hedron Crab


Ceremonious rejection

UpperDeckerTaco on Jace & Bloodbraid Unbanned

6 days ago

Pithing Needle becomes a better sideboard option. Was already good, now it's better against control match ups.

APPLE01DOJ on [Community Discussion]: Modern Chat

6 days ago

So playing against Jace Miracles which can go off as early as turn 2. I can already see the insane power behind this card. Not really sure how to handle it beyond landing a Thoughtseize or packing some Pithing Needle.

HashMasta on Metamorphosis [[Primer in the Making]]

6 days ago

if lily is a big threat, could try a Pithing Needle to stop it.

theauthentic on Lantern Control

1 week ago

I'd run a third Pithing Needle over Crucible of Worlds, but it probably makes a difference if your meta is Ponza heavy.

Acquiring another Abrupt Decay and more Thoughtseize seems wise. They're both solid staples.

ChrisKrow on Brain Fart Stax

1 week ago

I see. Would be a shame if someone Pithing Needled your Isochron Scepter, or played a Null Rod.

From what I see here, Winds of Rebuke is the only real way you can deal with stuff that is on the battlefield itself.

sonnet666 on Wort Hermit Storm

1 week ago

As for what to do if Past in Flames gets countered, I'd say just run Krosan Reclamation, put Riftsweeper on top, and try to win next turn.

Krosan Reclamation is a pretty standard for HD moments where you're like, "Oh shit, my library's in my graveyard. How do I not die?"

(Or maybe there's a way to win off of Krosan Reclamation without getting back Past in Flames? I can't think of one at this moment.)

If HD is Pithing Needled or otherwise removed, this chain can win:

  1. Protean Hulk + sac outlet, into Dryad Arbor + Hellraiser Goblin + Feldon of the Third Path.
  2. Copy Protean Hulk (requires ) and sac again, into 3 1CMC mana dorks and Combat Celebrant.
  3. Go to combat and exert Combat Celebrant. (Remember that everything not tapped will need to attack, and Hellraiser Goblin needs to survive combat, so 1 opponent has to be open.)
  4. Use your dorks and Feldon to copy Combat Celebrant, go to next combat and exert.
  5. Repeat until you have a lot of Combat Celebrant's. Note that once you have more than two, activating Feldon is unnecessary for infinite combats, so you can reanimate Protean Hulk again to get creatures that will clear away any blockers your opponents might have.

This line is nice because it only requires 2 cards we're not currently using, Feldon of the Third Path and Combat Celebrant, and there's even room to copy Protean Hulk a third time if all of your opponent's have blockers. (It will also generate a ton of extra mana if Thermopod is the sac outlet you grabbed with Eldritch Evolution.)

(And for the record, I wasn't saying Surrak, the Hunt Caller > Hellraiser Goblin, just that him and HD can still win off a conspired Natural Order, and Natural Order seems too go not to include here. I would run both.)

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