Staff of Nin


Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Custom Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander Anthology 2018 (CM2) Rare
Commander 2017 (C17) Rare
Commander 2015 (C15) Rare
Magic 2013 (M13) Rare
Promo Set (000) Rare

Combos Browse all

Staff of Nin


At the beginning of your upkeep, draw a card.

: Staff of Nin deals one damage to target creature, player or planeswalker.

Staff of Nin Discussion

DemonDragonJ on Core 2020 spoiler thread

3 hours ago

Today’s previews had some exciting cards, but not as many as the previous two days.

How can a 7/6 for 3 mana be justified? I know that rotting regisaur has a drawback, but that drawback is not sufficient to balance it, in my mind.

With repeated reverberation, has WotC decided that copying spells and abilities is now more of a red ability than a blue one?

The flavor text on Yarok indicates that it is from Zendikar, so I shall be certain to indicate that in my list.

It seems that there may be a cycle, or at least a mirrored pair, of cavaliers in this set, so I shall be looking forward to that.

I have no problem with there being colored artifacts in this set, as long as they do not displace colorless artifacts.

Sun herald would have been great if her ability was not limited to creatures with flying or could target herself, but, as she is, she is useful only in certain decks.

Scholar of the ages is simply too expensive for its effect, so I doubt that it shall be used very often (at least in any format other than EDH).

Season of growth is very nice, but I feel that it should have cost 1 mana more, because it is too powerful as it currently is.

The new Sorin is nice, but all of his abilities are vampire-centirc, which is not consistent with previous portrayals of him (he has no particular fondness for other vampires, so that is a flavor fail, in my mind).

I have mixed feelings about the new Yanling; her second and third abilities are both nice, but her first ability is nothing spectacular, and she is one of the few planeswalkers who cannot use their second ability immediately after entering the battlefield; she may use only her first ability, which shall certainly limit her versatility.

I personally believe that dragon mage should have remained a rare, since I feel that its ability is too powerful for an uncommon.

Are all ten scrylands being reprinted, or only the enemy-colored ones? I really hope that all ten are reprinted, but at least their new artwork is very nice.

Leyline of abundance is nice, but its ability is too expensive to make is practical in any format outside of EDH, so I shall use Shalai, Voice of Plenty over it.

Retributive wand is better than Rod of Ruin , but not by much; why can WotC not simply reprint Staff of Nin ?

lucasenra on Ral Zarek

3 days ago

(saw your post on tumblr and had to come and suggest stuff, but feel free to ignore, I'm just trying to throw some ideas out to help out!)

I think counterspells aren't very good as signature spells (but I don't have much experience with Oathbreaker). If you're going for flavor I think Expansion / Explosion , Izzet Charm or Turn//Burn could work. (It could also be fun to build a Harnessed Lightning energy-themed deck for Ral, Storm Conduit :x)

I think that instead of running a lot of creatures with tap (or untap) abilities it would be easier to focus on artifacts for the ramp/card draw/etc with cards like Clock of Omens , Key to the City , Staff of Nin (), Unwinding Clock , Chaos Wand , Oracle's Vault () and a bunch of mana rocks ( Mind Stone , Pyramid of the Pantheon (), Coalition Relic (), Talisman of Creativity , Star Compass , Hedron Archive , Basalt Monolith and Khalni Gem ). Animation Module can add counters to planeswalkers, so that could be fun too.

Invert / Invent and Firemind's Foresight are pretty good budget tutors. Fabricate and the Trophy Mage / Tribute Mage s could be good too.

Ensnare can be a lifesaver in certain situations. Blustersquall is something I thought I would already see in your list.

Temporal Distortion makes things take 1 extra turn to untap. Frozen AEther , Winter Orb and Mist of Stagnation are other relevant Stax pieces if you want to go that way.

Reality Shift is probably the best creature single target removal in blue.

I'd cut down on the number of X damage spells you're running and rely more on having some graveyard recursion/tutoring to make it more consistent. Mystic Retrieval would be my choice to run along with Archeomancer. Mizzix's Mastery is also pretty good, but probably better if you're focusing on spellslinging.

Vandalblast and Shenanigans (or maybe Release the Gremlins for the cuteness) are good artifact removal. Geistblast is a interesting Flashback spell that actually should be like Amonkhet's Aftermath. Insidious Will 's versatility shouldn't be underestimated.

(aaand I already suggested too much. Like I said, feel free to ignore. Can't wait to see the finished deck. I hope something from this mess helps!)

MissDemeanor on Primer: Kozilek Great Distortion of the Boardstate

5 days ago

Love the deck <3 Picked up old Kozilek and built my own, then converted my list to something very similar to yours!

However, as I so often do, I found yet another colorless combo, and all you would need to add is Myr Battlesphere .

So here goes; you have in play: Myr Battlesphere with its 4 myrs, Clock of Omens , Trading Post , Krark-Clan Ironworks , and literally any mana rock.

  • Tap 4 myrs to put an untap trigger on Trading Post & the rock
  • Sac Myr Battlesphere for {2}.
  • Pay {1} and sac a myr to return Myr Battlesphere to hand with trading post.
  • Sac the other myrs to bring your total up to {7} in mana pool.
  • Then Trading Post & rock untap, giving you {8} in mana pool.
  • Cast Myr Battlesphere for {7}. You now have the exact same board state, but +1 colorless
  • You now have inf. mana. You can then instead opt to put two untap triggers on Trading Post each cycle. You can use the additional untap trigger to sac a myr to: draw a card or return an artifact from grave.
  • Draw your deck
  • Continually cast Spine of Ish Sah to blow up everything you don't control, or ping people to death with Staff of Nin . You can even get cards from exile with Karn, the Great Creator

It's pretty silly and you need like 5 pieces of a combo, but it might be a nice way to actually close out a game. And every piece of the puzzle has other uses. Even Myr Battlesphere is a great blocker, can be very aggressive, and can be fetched with Myr Turbine .

SideBae on 5 Color Dragons

3 weeks ago

The easiest way to speed up a deck is by removing ETB tapped lands. I highly suggest running Command Tower , as well as City of Brass and Mana Confluence . If you have access to it, Cavern of Souls is a good option for any tribal deck, but Unclaimed Territory is another good option. Forbidden Orchard , Exotic Orchard and Reflecting Pool are more interesting lands to consider.

Green dorks and two-mana rocks are also very good. I see you're running Birds of Paradise , but Elves of Deep Shadow , Llanowar Elves , Rampant Growth , Fyndhorn Elves , Orcish Lumberjack and (if you can) Noble Hierarch are also great additions. If you want to invest relatively heavily into your dork-base, Bloom Tender is REALLY good in chromatic decks. If you find yourself facing a lot of blue decks, Carpet of Flowers is a good idea, too; Joiner Adept acts as a second Chromatic Lantern .

Fellwar Stone is good. The talisman cycles ( Talisman of Dominance , Talisman of Indulgence , Talisman of Impulse , Talisman of Unity , Talisman of Progress and the new five from Modern Horizons) are all good; I suggest that most, if not all, of your mana rocks should be two or less mana. Using a land like Ancient Tomb also helps cast these turn one. Signets like Dimir Signet or Boros Signet are good too, although I think most of the time the talismans will be better. Gilded Lotus is a good exception to my CMC rule in a deck with as many fat creatures as yours.

I don't think Nissa's Renewal is very good; generally, ramp is good in the early game, but not so good by the time you reach six mana. Nature's Lore , Rampant Growth , Farseek , Cultivate and/or Kodama's Reach are all powerful ramp spells you can fire off early. I think the first three are better, if only because they can fetch non-basics like Breeding Pool or Godless Shrine . I'm not as much a fan of the other two, but experience will show if they're worth including. Finally, I think Skyshroud Claim is better than Explosive Vegetation .

If you're going in the Quicksilver Amulet direction, Elvish Piper and Thran Temporal Gateway are good ideas as well.

If at all possible, tutors are good. Demonic Tutor is the gold standard here, but Diabolic Tutor is a good, more affordable alternative. Vampiric Tutor , Worldly Tutor , Sylvan Tutor , Dark Petition and Gamble are all good cards as well, though their affordability varies tremendously.

Red comes with good counter counter magic options. Price of Glory is a good card if you want to discourage opponents playing on your turn, and Pyroblast is a good way to stop Counterspell and friends. Cards like Pyrostatic Pillar can punish decks with lower curves.

Card draw is at a premium in EDH. Staff of Nin is easy on the colored mana and gives you an extra draw each turn, and Phyrexian Arena is another good option. Harmonize , Concentrate and Painful Truths are good draw-threes.

Because your deck is running a LOT of fatties (and the best fatties, at that, 'cause they're dragons), you may find cards like Lurking Predators is be pretty good; Descendants' Path is a similar card. Depending on how fatty-heavy your meta is, Eureka effects like Show and Tell may be good. Sneak Attack is good if you want to use one-time face-smacks like Nicol Bolas or your already included Oros, the Avenger .

If you DON'T want to run dorks, and opt for artifact ramp instead, depending on your meta you may have a good time with cards like Porphyry Nodes or Night of Souls' Betrayal . Effects like Pyroclasm and Volcanic Fallout can also wipe out opponent's boards if they choose to go wide.

I think EDH decks tend to need a lot of mass removal. By Force is a favorite of mine, and Toxic Deluge , Wrath of God , Ritual of Soot and Supreme Verdict are all great if you have access to them. Back to Nature is good if you choose to cut down on the number of enchantments you're running, but Nature's Claim or Krosan Grip are also pretty good options.

If your curve is really high, things like Timesifter can be pretty brutal.

I'm not super sure Niv-Mizzet Reborn is very good. I don't know if you'll be getting very much card advantage, because you have a lot of cards that are more or less than exactly two colors. I think a card-draw spell like the ones I mentioned above would be better, like Treasure Cruise or Dig Through Time .

Good luck with deck building my man!

SideBae on Scarab God EDH

3 weeks ago

I'm not sure Cryptbreaker or Skirk Ridge Exhumer are the right way to go; I think tutors tend to be significantly better. Final Parting is good for getting both the reanimation spell and the reanimation target. Ancient Excavation and Frantic Search are good cards I see in your maybeboard; they pitch drawn targets from your hand, while also replacing them with good cards. Mystical Tutor helps to find whatever spell you need to reanimate. Vampiric Tutor is the best, though that card is pushing $70-$80 now.

I feel like the cards you're trying to reanimate are not as powerful as they could be. Grave Titan is great, if only because it gets 10 power on the board immediately, but I don't see all too many other great reanimation targets. Massacre Wurm is a good card, though it can be expensive; Harvester of Souls is also a good target. If you want to reanimate cards like Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre , Shallow Grave and Makeshift Mannequin could be useful.

If I may offer some non-reanimation advice:

Gravecrawler is a GREAT card in your maybeboard. It works well with Ashnod's Altar , adding for . If you run something like Skullclamp , it becomes a recurring : Draw two cards. It is worth noting, though, that this does not work if you have a lord on the table pumping your dudes. Furthermore, if you loop it with Phyrexian Altar and Altar of the Brood , you can mill everyone out. Pass the turn and you win.

Graveborn Muse is another good card-draw engine, as are Phyrexian Arena and Staff of Nin . I don't know exactly how wide your deck goes, but if it has a significant number of creatures on the board at any given time, Slate of Ancestry may merit an include.

I also suggest running a few more mana-rocks. Cards like Talisman of Dominance , Mind Stone , Thought Vessel and Coldsteel Heart are good two-mana rocks.

If you run Watery Grave , Sunken Hollow or Fetid Pools , you can fetch them with your Bad River . Running Rocky Tar Pit and Flood Plain can also fetch these duals, and make your mana more consistent. In conjunction with your Crucible of Worlds , these guarantee your land drops. Morphic Pool is an ETB (mostly) untapped land you may want to consider.

Your Fatestitcher would work well with Basalt Monolith or Mana Vault . Mana Vault can be hard to get ahold of, but Basalt Monolith shouldn't be too difficult.

Winds of Rebuke is a good spot-removal spell that also mills you. As a bonus, if you use it after an opponent resolves a Vampiric Tutor or Enlightened Tutor , you can mill their tutor-target. This feels slightly like sneezing slowly and simultaneously winning two discrete lotteries, while at the same time getting a date with your crush. I've done it a few times, and I suggest you try it.

Damnation is a slightly worse version of Toxic Deluge . You might want to consider running it if you need another boardwipe. Windfall works well after an overloaded Cyclonic Rift . Pairing Notion Thief with Windfall gets... interesting.

I suggest Control Magic over Soul Ransom . It doesn't have the drawback of having built-in removal.

Finally, I think you may find Unstable Obelisk somewhat lacking. I suggest replacing it with one of the aforementioned 2-mana rocks, as they are easier to cast. Ashes to Ashes and the like are good ways to remove creatures as two-for-ones.

Good luck with deck building!

SideBae on Breya, Artifact Shaper Synergies

3 weeks ago

marn3us: I do think you're right; while Combustible Gearhulk was a powerful card in standard, I don't think it's good in the EDH arena. For card draw, Treasure Cruise or Dig Through Time are typically good starting points, though neither is particularly repeatable and you probably don't want to run them together, as delve can become hard to use. I think most card-draw engines don't have much of a second upside, simply because the upside of drawing cards is so good. Phyrexian Arena is a favorite of mine, though it is around $10 now. Jace Beleren is OK, especially if you can pair his +1 with a Notion Thief . You might also consider running Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas or Tezzeret, Artifice Master , though together the two would run you about $25. Staff of Nin is a permanent card for card advantage, as are Howling Mine and Dictate of Kruphix , if you don't mind helping your opponents too. I briefly looked over my first comment, but I don't think I mentioned the cantrips in it; I apologize. Ponder , Preordain and Brainstorm are all great first plays, with brainstorm becoming better with more shuffle effects (like the slow fetches). Twilight Prophet is another favorite card-draw engine of mine.

I see your reason for running the artifact lands better now. You should consider Lotus Bloom for fetching with Tezzeret, as that's an easy +3 mana, and I think Swords to Plowshares is better than Dispatch . However, the other synergies may justify leaving in the lands... practice should help there.

I also want to draw your attention to some new spoilers that just came out today. I can't believe it, but I failed to mention the original 'talisman cycle' to you before now: Talisman of Progress , Talisman of Dominance and Talisman of Indulgence would all fit well in your deck. Today, it was announced that there will be enemy talismans in Modern Horizons. I intend to pick up a Talisman of Creativity, but you should consider running the talismans of Conviction and Hierarchy as well. These will make excellent 2-mana accelerants, and should end up only being $1-$2 a piece.

As always, good luck!

TurtleLordMTG on Rakdos, Lord of Burn

3 weeks ago

Nice deck! +1 If I would suggest something about the playstyle for Rakdos, Lord of Riots it all depends on how you want the deck to work. If you're laying in for a more casual/focused Rakdos-theme deck than this is it, you've got demons, sacrifice, burn etc so nothing to point out there. I would however just generally recommend more card draw since you might quicky run out of your burnspells. Staff of Nin is a good casual draw card but a little bit too slow. You might want to look into cards like Read the Bones , Damnable Pact , Greed , Sign in Blood , Succumb to Temptation , Grim Haruspex , Underworld Connections are just a few cheap (prizewise) draw spells you could use.

And there's also the option for card-selection cards like Faithless Looting which is a really good one, not card draw per-say but it's still card advantage in a way.

The best draw card in black (and maybe in the whole format at least according to me) is Necropotence . Altough a little expensive it does grant some ridiculous card advantage but that's totally up to you if you want to invest in such.

And lastly, if you ever want to take this deck to a more semi-competitive level, the way for this is to just load the deck with some cheap burn and huge creatures with generic mana as the majority of their cmc (like the eldrazi).

SideBae on Breya, Artifact Shaper Synergies

4 weeks ago

Breya is always an interesting deck. I personally like the infinite-mana options; repeatedly casting Breya, then sac-ing her and one of the thopters to bolt an opponent results in game over immediately. I see three ways that are easiest to achieve that goal.

First, the bomberman combo: Auriok Salvagers with Lion's Eye Diamond . LED is an infamously expensive card though, so the other two may be easier to get ahold of.

Second, reanimated dragon combo: Worldgorger Dragon with Animate Dead , Necromancy , Dance of the Dead , or any other reanimating enchantment. The Worldgorger (which is reanimated from the yard) trigger exiles the reanimation enchantment, which lets it die, which returns the enchantment, which brings back the dragon... tapping all your lands/mana rocks for mana when they flicker in results in infinite mana. You really need another creature to target to end the loop, but it isn't too difficult to make sure this is the case.

Third, Dramatic Reversal with Isochron Scepter . You'll need 3+ mana from the rocks, but that also shouldn't be too hard.

Note that combos 1 and 2 accommodate Entomb effects as a tutor. So if you want to run those combos, Entomb , Buried Alive and/or Faithless Looting and the like are your friends. Note also that 1 and 2 generate infinite ETB triggers. Pairing them with Altar of the Brood allows you to win even if your commander has been countered or removed to oblivion. Furthermore, running Sculpting Steel or Phyrexian Metamorph to copy Sharuum the Hegemon creates a loop where you sac one to the legend rule and then bring back either the original or copying artifact. That also generates infinite ETB triggers, and is a pet combo of mine.

I strongly advise tutors outside the transmute ones. Demonic Tutor , Vampiric Tutor , Imperial Seal , Enlightened Tutor , Reshape , Whir of Invention , Gamble and Transmute Artifact are all in your colors (though some are more easily obtained than others). These will increase your deck's consistency, regardless of whether you decide to use the combo-build.

Depending on your deck's budget, you might want to consider your mana base as a work-in-progress. Slow Fetches like Rocky Tar Pit and Flood Plain are well under a dollar, and work well enough as a replacement for Bloodstained Mire or Flooded Strand . Mana Confluence and City of Brass are also powerhouses in a 4-color deck. You should at least consider Forbidden Orchard .

I advise Swords to Plowshares over Path to Exile . Ramping your opponent is especially dangerous in EDH, but the life-gain is typically not relevant.

Ramp is important in any EDH deck. Mind Stone is a good addition, along with Ancient Tomb . I typically don't care for 3-mana rocks, but Chromatic Lantern is good in 4- or 5-color decks. Izzet Signet is a good idea in addition to the other two signets you're running. Non-blue ones aren't nearly as good, but if you really need another, I advise Orzhov Signet over Boros Signet or Rakdos Signet . Sculpting Steel and Phyrexian Metamorph are good ways to copy opponents' rocks as well as your own, or even creatures in the case of the metamorph. Copy Artifact is another option.

Because you're in black, you have access to some real good card draw. Phyrexian Arena and Staff of Nin are good as permanent sources of card-advantage. Ambition's Cost , Ancient Craving , Painful Truths and Chart a Course are all good ways to draw cards as well.

If you're running Eldrazi Displacer , I suggest also running Containment Priest . That becomes {2}{C}: Exile target creature.

Good luck with deck building.

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Staff of Nin occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.04%

Red: 0.26%

White: 0.25%