Sphinx's Tutelage


Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Frontier Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Magic Origins (ORI) Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Sphinx's Tutelage


Whenever you draw a card, target opponent puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. If they are both nonland cards that share a color, repeat this process.

: Draw a card, then discard a card.

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Sphinx's Tutelage Discussion

kamelyan on Bestow with blood

1 week ago

Altar of the Brood and Sphinx's Tutelage could also work for your deck, but that's just what I did in my first Dimir-Mill deck:

Twin Trauma

Commander / EDH kamelyan


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

1 week ago

I've seen a pretty nice strong-casual deck that used mill as a means to an end, loading the opponent up for a Consuming Aberration and taking stuff with Geth, Lord of the Vault, rather than straight decking.

In addition to lukas96's Lantern Control mill, Turbofog also can rely on attrition-based mill, with cards like Sphinx's Tutelage showing up frequently. It's not a tier 1 deck right now, but there are quite a few competitive lists around.

Nordlys on U/b discard

1 week ago

Hi there, i'll share all the knowledge i've gathered after playing discard decks for more than 5 years (i've built monoblack creatureless discard, monoblack creature discard, UB discard, RB discard, Grixis discard, specter discard, etc.).

The first i see here is that you don't have anything to deal with the board, so you'll more than probably die to anything that hits the board, even a simple 3/1 two-drop. Your deck relies too much on damaging your opponent through giving him many cards and forcing him to discard not that many; the only card in your deck that punishes him this way is Liliana's Caress and that's it, it's not reliable. You also run two copies of Painful Quandary which it's ideal mechanics are to punish your opponent for having no hand, but since you are forcing him to draw so many cards, he'll always have the option to discard while playing a spell (only taking 2 damage from Liliana's Caress and only if you have the enchant on the battlefield).

You have many cards that allow you or your opponent to draw and discard cards, but you only have Alms of the Vein to exploit this mechanic, so get rid of those or stick in more madness cards.

The description says "the goal of this deck is to get your opponent as low as possible", but you can't do that quickly by relying only on 4 copies of Liliana's Caress while you'll be recieving lot's of threats and hits. Master of the Feast will for sure get destroyed by any of the thousands removal spells you'll force your opponent to draw, so it won't be dealing too much damage if any.


Let's work on the solution. First of all, you need your deck to have more consistant way to deal damage and you also need to get rid of your opponent's threats until you've reached mid-late game and you can develop your winning mechanics.

  1. Since you have almost no creature, let's take advantage of that so that you can trade one card of yours for many cards of your opponent. Good cards to do this, depending on the money you want to spend are, for example, Drown in Sorrow , Yahenni's Expertise , Languish and Damnation.

  2. You also need to be faster or at least to be able to delay your opponent's strategy. A way of doing this is by disrupting his early moves to wreck his plan. Cards like Inquisition of Kozilek , Thoughtseize , Duress and Despise excell at doing so.

  3. To strenghten the draw and discard engine you have many cards at your disposal. I don't know if you want to keep the deck in the modern format or to build a casual free of legal restriction deck, so I'll recommend a variety of cards like Chains of Mephistopheles , Probe , Wheel and Deal , Ill-Gotten Gains , Urza's Guilt , Anvil of Bogardan , Whispering Madness , Dark Deal , Font of Mythos , Forced Fruition , Geier Reach Sanitarium , Memory Jar and Temple Bell.

  4. You need more cards than Liliana's Caress to punish your opponent for discarding or drawing cards. All of these are good for the task, suit yourself: Underworld Dreams , Psychosis Crawler , Fate Unraveler , Waste Not , Megrim and Words of Waste.

  5. Since you and your opponent will be drawing lots of cards, you will be able to discard cards too or abuse your card-drawing. This does not only work well for madness, but also with delve, retrace and other cards. Consider some of these: Chain of Smog , Last Rites , Big Game Hunter , Raven's Crime , Syphon Life , Cunning Lethemancer , Necrogen Mists , Psychotic Haze , Call to the Netherworld , Dark Withering , Gibbering Descent and also Sphinx's Tutelage.

  6. You'll be forcing your opponent to draw many many cards, so you'll need cards that make him discard more than one to win the trade. Consistant massive discard cards are for example this ones: Brink of Madness , Mindstab , Mind Twist , Mind Shatter or Delirium Skeins.

Which ones and how many

  • Pick the ones you like the most according to their mana costs and their price. Also consider the ammount of black mana symbols in their cost, because you'll be playing a two colors deck.

  • Try to keep it as balanced as you can in terms of cards functions. Maybe 30% draw/discard engine - 30% draw/discard punishment - 20% massive discard - 10% 1drops quality discard - 10% board whipe. You'll have to test and adjust the numbers.

  • I know most of those cards are black, but you can keep it UB if you want to. Best version I've made of this strategy was using Grixis (Blue Black and Red) because there's a lot of red cards that force both players to discard and draw like Burning Inquiry and Reforge the Soul for example. Grixis also enables the use of Nekusar, the Mindrazer , Blightning , Sedraxis Specter , Blazing Specter and Dack Fayden.

I hope it's helpful! Best wishes!

Thebiggalactus on Nekusar EDH

2 weeks ago

You could add Ponder, Preordain Serum Visions or Anticipate. Then for some burn you could add Lightning Bolt ,Lightning Strike ,Chain Lightning , Lava Spike , Earthquake, etc. Their is a lot of cheap burn spells.Now as for what you could take out.Maybe taking Melek, Izzet Paragon and Sphinx's Tutelage is a good idea. That is unless they are putting in the work for you. To answer your Tainted Strike question, i'm pretty sure you can keep on casting it on 1 creature, but infect is a keyword so it gets infect once and every time you recast Tainted Strike the infect becomes redundant on that 1 creature. That goes for any pump spell with a keyword attached to it. I think the next route you might wanna go to is bettering your already good mana base with more fetch lands.yes, You can use fetch lands that could get you a color that isn't in your deck. For example you could use Marsh Flats even though you can't get any white lands. I would ask your playgroup if that's ok with them first though.

Pabs4444 on Tymna + Kraum (Thopter Sword)

2 weeks ago

Oops! I made a mistake. Meant to say Sphinx's Revelation instead of Sphinx's Tutelage. My apologies, lol! Also, I'm aware how Rhystic Study will not always draw cards (it often won't), but it can hinder opponents with tempo just enough to matter and give you card advantage when they need to advance their board state. Just thought I'd throw the suggestion out there. As to Painful Truths, I just see better cards. This is mainly because of your access to blue. Even if staying in black, Read the Bones just seems strictly better. Anyways, good luck with the list! Hope some of my advice was helpful.

PlattBonnay on Tymna + Kraum (Thopter Sword)

2 weeks ago

Pabs4444 The goal is to grind. It's just a midrange deck. To answer the rest of your questions:

You dont need to ramp into instant speed X spells. Making a couple tokens is fine to stall, and making 5-10 tokens on someone's endstep in the lategame can be enough to close games.

The actual plan to win is flexible. Random stuff my opponents let me borrow with Reanimate and Phantasmal Image, Serra Ascendant, the random 4/4 flying zombie in the command zone, stuff like that. Sometimes people concede to Notion Thief + Time Spiral for life ev. I did get to ultimate Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip once. That was sweet. Haven't gotten to kill anyone with Vance's Blasting Cannons  Flip, but the dream is still alive.

Not a cEDH deck, missing far too many cEDH staples for that. Also no combo finish. 75% deck at best.

Reliquary Tower is playable in decks that can afford colourless lands. I don't think that a 4c control list is a deck that can afford a colourless land. The deck is super colour hungry, wanting multiple double and triple coloured costs all over the curve. I'm also not convinced that it's a staple. For most decks, if you have over 7 cards and you can keep the best 7 and still be just fine. Thought Vessel suffers from similar issues.

Land Tax is not a ramp spell.

Consecrated Sphinx is a good call, not sure how I forgot that one.

Rhystic Study is only a reliable source of card advantage against bad players. The groups that I play with know that Rhystic Study is actually just an asymmetrical Sphere of Resistance.

Not sure how you think Painful Truths is the slower card draw spell. The immediacy of the draw makes it...not slow.

Azor, the Lawbringer is probably fine, but I think that it fights with Dragonlord Ojutai for a spot. It could be better. My gut tells me that the dragon is better because you don't need to invest more into it, but I'm not positive. Something to test for sure.

I wish that the activated cost for Sphinx's Tutelage was cheaper. If it was 3 or 4 instead of 6, I'd be all over it, but 6 is just so much mana. And without going infinite in some way, it's so slow.

Azor's Gateway  Flip seems sweet. I hadn't thought about that one. I'll have to pick one up to test with.

Pabs4444 on Tymna + Kraum (Thopter Sword)

2 weeks ago

Reliquary Tower is a staple in EDH landbases. The ability to have no maximum handsize for any player is crucial, but it is even moreso for control players because it just allows that many more options. Also, Land Tax is possibly the best ramp spell for a deck without green. Consecrated Sphinx is possibly one of the best creatures for control decks printed in Magic's history with how it overwhelms the opponents in card advantage. Also, Rhystic Study such a classic and annoying card. As annoying as it may be, it will almost always cause you to draw cards off of it. In control decks, most games are won just by overwhelming the opponent(s) with excessive card advantage. That is what makes having no maximum hand size such an important thing. Along that note, Thought Vessel is another great card. Mainly used for it's ability of no maximum hand size, it also taps for colorless. It's another form of Reliquary Tower and has the benefit of being an Artifact in decks that care about that. For all of the cards I have mentioned, I would recommend taking out some of the slower card draw spells, especially ones that cost life such as Painful Truths. With all of this card draw, Chasm Skulker is also a card you may want to include. It can become a threat on it's own and has the ability to still be a threat due to the tokens left behind if boardwiped. However, I do believe exile cards cause the tokens to never come into play, so it would not be as good if there are a lot of mile cards in your meta. Azor, the Lawbringer is a large body that allows you to have a repeated use of Sphinx's Tutelage and Azor's Gateway  Flip can almost win the game itself due to the insane amount of ramp it can provide if it can flip over. Even if it doesn't, it still offers good card selection. Hope this was able to help!

Maizena on Nekusar, the Friendship Destroyer

2 weeks ago

Thanks for the comment, luther. I think I'm going to test Sphinx's Tutelage, maybe sacking Kami of the Crescent Moon.

Planar Void will turn my Kess, Dissident Mage useless, but Leyline of the Void is pretty good (I'm thinking about sacking Geier Reach Sanitarium and running 37 lands).

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