Syphon Life

Legality

Format Legality
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Casual Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Modern Masters (MMA) Common
Eventide (EVE) Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Syphon Life

Sorcery

Target player loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.

Retrace (You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a land card in addition to paying its other costs.)

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Syphon Life Discussion

Nordlys on U/b discard

2 months 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.


Suggestions

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!

Kragmork on Get Rogged

2 months ago

Worm Harvest, Savage Conception and Syphon Life along with Dakmor Salvage can be pretty fun if you like slow value shenanigans, Barren Moor, Desert of the Indomitable and the rest of cycling lands are decent sources of card advantage with the Frog, Drownyard Temple, Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai and Dunes of the Dead might be worth adding as sacrifice fodder with some added utility.

Grubbernaut on Rakdos Control

3 months ago

Syphon Life might be a touch better than Alms of the Vein for SB, since it's reusable and you need less lands against burn, anyway

Cheers!

Grubbernaut on Grey Control

3 months ago

Gonna be playing at LGS tonight. May meta-in a Syphon Life into the sideboard if the guy playing turbo fog is there, since it's such a good wincon against him.

I'm short one Fatal Blow, so subbing in a third Doom Blade unless I can snag a Geth's Verdict.

kingofcramers on Pauper Lands

7 months ago

Syphon Life can be nice in the late game. I'm also partial to Firebolt as a nice delver killer. Also, I don't think you need quite so many halimar depths or color fiterers

Nordlys on Cries of Despair (Competitive Budget 8-rack)

8 months ago

As a dicarding deck lover and user, I feel free to post here. Hope you don't mind.First, I'll back my comment up by acknowledging you that I've built and played discard for many years way before Shrieking existed, and thus, I've commited the same mystakes as everyone (like trying Liliana's Caress and Quest for the Nihil Stone, for example) ...and no, I won't suggest those.

Good job with the budget deck, seems pretty legit.

I'm aware that you are aware of Inquisition of Kozilek being 3-4 usd is a budget possibility. And I do agree that a card like Blackmail is special because it can discard lands. But that job is for another star on your team; you've already got 4 copies of Raven's Crime (plus all the flood lands that will turn into more copies of it), Raven's got that issue perfectly covered.

Inquisition of Kozilek covers another issue, the one that concerns about disrupting the opponent's starting play. He'll never reveal his important 1-drops or 2-drops, because he needs them for his wicked plan. Inquisition is the hero that gives the villain a hard time or at the very least, buys us some time.

So, sumering up: I know Blackmail is a great card, but we (the users of this deck) need to get a pick at our opponent's entire hand to mock his best start. It's a luxury we cannot miss. Inquisition of Kozilek excells at doing so and can be backed up by one or two copies of Duress, Despise or Harsh Scrutiny, all of those great super budget options.

As far as removal, I pretty much agree with your choices. What I definitely add is a singleton Murderous Cut and maybe cut out a copy of Victim.

About Necrogen Mists which is in your "maybeboard" right now. I wouldn't even bother. 4 copies of Raven's Crime (plus two Delirium Skeins) are more than enough substitute for Liliana of the Veil's constant discard.

By the way, I love Augur of Skulls. I've played it even in non-budget, since Wrench Mind doesn't work around heavy artifact deck playgroups -which was my case for some time-. Delirium Skeins would have been a good substitute too, but I was running too many 3cmc cards at the time.

One last thing, I've just noticed you didn't sideboard any specifics against burn so I suggest considering either:

1- Syphon Life which also beneffits from Dakmor Salvage as well as Raven's Crime;

or

2- Nyxathid which can stand lots of direct damage, block those prowess little scum, and help killing your opponent since it's most likely that he'll tear our The Rack appart with their new toy Abrade.

Hope it helps!

Kiivuhl on Exhuming End

10 months ago

I playtested it. Its pretty nice, but the manabase... huh. Little junky.

In my opinion u need some GB taplands (every ability to activate and double mana cost is G or B). If you want place for Spirit Guide - cut murasa and lands. 20-21 should be enough. Ohh... and what do you think about 1-2 Reaping the Graves after cascade? For lategame. 3+ cards back (6 mana needed)

About side, I recommend:

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