Vow of Malice

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander Anthology Vol. II (CM2) Uncommon
Commander Anthology (CM1) Uncommon
Commander 2015 (C15) Uncommon
MTG: Commander (CMD) Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Vow of Malice

Enchantment — Aura

Enchant creature

Enchanted creature gets +2/+2, has intimidate, and can't attack you or a planeswalker you control. (A creature with intimidate can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)

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Vow of Malice Discussion

Guviwex on Xantcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me

1 week ago

Great list so far. Here are you my suggestions:

I'd swap out the infect cards for an evasion suite. Infect is great on paper, but you don't get to direct where it's going. Thus, it comes with #1 negative (painting a large target on yourself that says: 'kill me now') without the #1 benefit (eliminating your greatest threat in a turn or two). I think you'll do better flying lower on the radar. Stick the five commander damage and be happy. Some combination of Corrupting Licid, Sleeper's Guile, Dauthi Embrace, Shizo, Death's Storehouse, and Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep should do the trick. Add in a Nim Deathmantle to keep Xantcha on the field indefinitely.

Total War seems particularly punishing. As does Errantry. I wouldn't run many Creature Auras, but Errantry locks down a board state and shortens the commander damage clock to 3 hits.

War's Toll should incentivize others to use Xantcha as a mana sink on their own turn. Which is exactly what you want.

Unnerve is both a 10/10 flavor win, and another incentive for others to activate Xantcha's draw ability. Also Arterial Flow and Words of Waste come to mind.

Glacial Chasm is good protection. Sit back and watch the world burn.

Alhammarret's Archive seems great w/Xantcha's ability, although it is quite slow. Maybe get a feel for how your opponents are dealing with Xantcha first. If you get to sit around a lot, slot this in.

I'd switch out some of your Xantcha-killing board wipes for Languish and Wildfire. Xantcha on turn three, ramp into Wildfire on turn 4-5? Yikes.

If you find that Xantcha is eating removal often, Fury Storm seems like a good add. Playing Xantcha three times, and quintupling an x=6 Exsanguinate to drain the table for 30 sounds like a positively delightful way to spend 10 mana. Works with that Profane Command in your Maybeboard as well.

Speaking of mana, you probably want Cabal Stronghold and Neheb, the Eternal in here.

Maybe Mana Geyser for a game ending drain from Xantcha or Exsanguinate-- although that might be too cute. Works great with War's Toll.

Howl from Beyond and Torment of Hailfire are also good ways to finish people off.

--

As far as what to swap out:

Spiteful Visions isn't asymmetrical enough. You're probably going to be using Xantcha's ability often enough to make this hurt.

Exquisite Blood isn't really working within your game plan. You're using it as a defensive option here. I think there are better options (Chasm, for example).

Blood Sun works against you too much.

Polluted Bonds could probably be swapped out for something. I get that your opponents will be drawing more, but if feels like 5 mana good stuff.

I think War Cadence could be swappped out for any of the evasion enchantments suggested above. Dauthi Embrace probably.

Vow of Lightning and Vow of Malice should probably also be swapped out for more solid evasion.

Rite of the Raging Storm might also be too cute, but it's hard to judge.

--

Overall, this is a really good list. Xantcha is a cool card and it's fun to see how many niche interactions she enables. Good luck with it!

pokepower116 on 8x8 Xantcha

1 week ago

Hey! Thanks for the mention :)

Love the idea! In terms of pure win percentage, my deck definitely isn't the right way to go about things and I feel that a more defensive pillowfort strategy like you mentioned would net you much more wins.

While red/black aren't the best pillowfort colors in the traditional sense, they have a few cards that slow or disincentivize attackers; not to mention there are a few land and artifact cards that help too. No Mercy, Dread, Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs, Maze of Ith, Mystifying Maze, Spires of Orazca (flipped from Thaumatic Compass  Flip), Uphill Battle, Glacial Crevasses, Vow of Malice, Vow of Lightning, and Crawlspace just to name a few. Since most of the pillowfort cards are in white, another route could be playing a card like Queen Marchesa and running Xantcha in the 99.

I think the 8x8 theory is solid for most of these categories! I feel that the player controlling Xantcha dying is a rare enough occurrence (she'll probably get destroyed or another player could get taken out before them) that you might not need a full 8 slots dedicated to sacrificing her. If this does happen, you could always use your single-target removal on her and run a bit more of it. It's not ideal, but might save you from situations where you have a Viscera Seer or Ashnod's Altar and nothing to sacrifice with it.

Same goes with the politics and memes. Depending on your definition of memes, they could have a lot of overlap there too so you might not need to dedicate 16 slots in your deck to both of those (like Curse of Opulence, Sower of Discord, or Disrupt Decorum).

Overall I think you're on the right track and I can't wait to see what you end up with!

cdkime on 5 color happy stuff

2 months ago

Quick question--are you looking for suggestions, or is it your intent to just play with your favourite cards?

One minor change I'd highly recommend--cutting Vow of Duty and Vow of Malice. Both provide little benefit when attached to Karona, and there are plenty of more fun cards to take their place. One I'd highly recommend is Armadillo Cloak--you get to gain life whenever Karona attacks, and can even place it on an enemy threat to encourage attacks elsewhere.

cdkime on Karona Pillowfort-Enchantress

2 months ago

I'm a huge fan of Karona, and also use a pillowfort/Voltron build on her. Here are some suggestions based on my own experiences:

  • Cut Vow of Malice and Vow of Duty - besides increasing Karona's power and protecting her, the other abilities they provide are completely useless. You'll be fine with three.

  • Karona is a huge investment, so it's helpful to have some ways to protect her. Canopy Cover is probably my favourite. Most enchantments give either Hexproof or Shroud. These are both problematic--opponents can target a Hexproof Karona when they control her, and a Shrouded Karona can't be further enchanted. Canopy Cover ensures you are the only player who can target her, regardless of her controller, and adds some evasion to boot.

  • Ethereal Armor ends games, easily giving a +5/+5 bonus by the time you are ready to cast it.

  • Eldrazi Conscription combos wonderfully with Sovereigns of Lost Alara, instantly giving Karona +10/+10 and trample, with the broken Annihilator 2 starting the next combat.

  • Consider running more enchantresses--Argothian Enchantress, Eidolon of Blossoms, Mesa Enchantress, and Verduran Enchantress are all great cards to improve your early-game card draw.

  • Karona is very difficult to cast, and even more difficult to field. I've found it's very useful to have other cards that can close out the game. Chromanticore gives you a lot of value, and can even double as an aura if needed. Sigil of the Empty Throne can quickly grow out of control, producing a bunch of strong flying blockers, or an army of tribal angels to be boosted by Karona--whatever the situation requires.

  • Starfield of Nyx recurs your enchantments and can turn them into a powerful win condition.

  • Armadillo Cloak is an interesting little toy, as it gives the aura's controller the health, as opposed to giving Karona Lifelink (thus benefiting Karona's controller). It's a pretty solid way to rack up some health during your opponents' turns.

  • I'd recommend running enchantment-based ramp over artifact ramp. It has better synergy with the rest of your deck, particularly if you add enchantresses.

For some cards I would cut:

  • Gisela, Blade of Goldnight - great card, but I don't think it is necessary. While she can help speed up a game, your opponents will control Karona a large portion of the time. Your commander taking double damage most of the game is problematic.

  • Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer is a bit too slow for my taste. He comes out at turn 3 at the earliest without doing anything notable, takes another turn and more mana to activate, and dies to most every removal spell in-game, rending the investment worthless.

  • Tatyova, Benthic Druid - another wonderful card that doesn't work well in this deck. While it gives utility to the lands you draw in the later stages, you'll probably want to cast other cards on turn five.

  • Totem-Guide Hartebeest - this is a card I tested out in early iterations of my deck, and I found it awful. By the time I could cast it, I always had something better to do, and had likely already drawn and played a better tutor. Ultimately it came out to a 2/5 vanilla creature that languished in my hand.

Hopefully some of that helps. If you're curious, here is my decklist: Pinball Wizard - Karona, False God EDH.

Bloodytrailz on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

3 months ago

Hey Precocious,

Been fine tuning my Queen Marchesa, Politics & Pillow Forts list recently, really having a hard time nailing the final 3-5 or so cards. I'd love to get your opinion on a couple things / tunings. For knowledge sake, some cards won't work as well in my meta but i'll explain as such in the individual card discussions.

I recently moved into adding some more defense/draw with solitary confinement and necropotence. As far as I'm concerned my 5 most "removable" cards right now are Rakdos Charm, Mortify, Return to Dust, Orzhov Advokist and Underworld Connections. Although the 2 tutors aren't necessarily "the good ones" I'm not gonna be able to spring 30-40$ per single card at this time so i'm sticking with my high mana cost, low monetary cost tutors for now.

Rakdos Charm - One of our players just starting playing boros soldiers, but for the most part, decks tend to be "go tall" over go wide strategies. Only 1 player uses any kind of graveyard recursion (Dragon player with Outpost Siege and a couple other minor recursions, maybe 3-4 cards out of 99 total). So, the most common case is that this is a 2 mana destroy an artifact. Sometimes might be able to make use of damage mode for 5-10 damage on someone with a damage doubler out. Fringe cases where this might just be a huge bomb of damage to opponenets.

Return to Dust - Really i just had this for enchantments. Hammer of nazahn exists in my meta as well, but I feel like with anguished unmaking, (maybe mortify?), utter end, wear/tear i might be covered? 4 mana, destroy 2 scary enchant/artifacts kinda goes against the gameplan of "let them fight" but I gotta protect myself from things like Dragon Tempest

Mortify - big creatures exist in plenty and there's a good number of enchantments i'd love to not see in play if I needed to make them disappear for my own safety's sake.

Orzhov advokist - I love love LOVE this card, but I accept it's not necessarily amazing. It's like a political handshake of "i'll help you if you don't attack me next turn" by force (even if it leaves play, the condition still applies for the rest of the turn). It buffs creatures up around the board, keeps me "safe" (it either lets me know I won't be attacked or if they don't take the counters, it lets me know that something is up, advanced warning system sort of) and the buffed up creatures make for better aikido targets, splashing back even more damage than they would have without the counters :) Just seems like it touches every aspect of the deck in some way.

Underworld connections - it exists as a draw engine, but it's the weakest one in the list for sure (can't compare with necropotence, erebos, phyrexian arena, land tax etc) ... considered swapping this to immortal sun as i don't have any PW's... but this is also not a creature heavy deck, double the mana cost and there are some but not many PW's in my meta. (On average, maybe 1 per deck). Any other card draw engines that might be more effective in it's place?

A couple things I'm wondering about...

I currently have no damage based bomb finisher, I removed Price of Progress from the list because realistically in any given game, I will have the most or 2nd most non basic lands. (I play 16 basic, 1 other player plays 15 as a 5 color deck most others are 25+ basic). My table plays pretty low budget, 100-200$ so a lot of decks are dual colored or extremely basic land heavy. I'm currently considering Exsanguinate and Acidic soil as damage based finishers (outside the aikido package of course) to go alongside Insurrection... but I don't know what to drop for it or if i should drop anything for it. I have mastermind's acquisition which could pull one from outside the game if need be.

Should I try and slot in phyrexian unlife + solemnity for additional defensive layering? Solemnity will find some uses in my meta, but not that many. There's not a ton of counters going around.. there's the cheap Vivid lands, some minor counter stuff in the dragon's deck, and the recently made soldier deck uses Cathars' Crusade and Assemble the Legion. Individually these cards will not shine, but they still count as enchantments for Sphere of Safety and they still kinda do something at least... but then there's the obvious synergies. (Already playing Delaying Shield regardless of this pairs inclusion or not)

I've looked a lot at Vow of Lightning Vow of Malice Vow of Duty with some amount of admiration for fulfilling the deck goals of "make enemies kill enemies better while staying safe myself". However I'm not sure I want enchantments that get wiped out via enemy board clears. (And in the case of vow of lightning and duty, make enemy creatures better at blocking my advances)

Also open to any other suggestions not made here as well. Thanks for your time and considerations as always!

May the queen reign for eternity!

cdkime on False god of diplomacy

3 months ago

Vow of Duty and Vow of Malice are next to useless on Karona. Yes, they prevent her from attacking you, but vigilence and intimidate provide little added utility. I would consider instead adding some more efficient tutors and Armadillo Cloak (since, unlike lifelink, the cloak allows you to be the recipient of health).

Otherwise, you have a very, very high curve, and little in the way of win conditions. I think you should cut a large number of your larger, more flashy cards, and focus on the early game. I also think you are a bit too kind to your opponents, and grant too many boons (many of which seem to benefit them as much, if not more, than yourself). Unlike wizzard90, I do believe in the power of a good prison deck; but I do agree with the statement that they are not infallible.

Here are some suggestions:

If you are curious, here is my take on an enchantress Karona deck: Pinball Wizard - Karona, False God EDH. Unlike your Group Hug plan, I use her as a Voltron commander, but you still might find some enchantment-based cards that tickle your fancy.

The_Mike on PillowChesa

4 months ago

Cards I would recommend adding if you want to support your pillowfort theme.

  • Koskun Falls Does exactly what you want to do with not exactly a back breaking downside.

  • Delaying Shield Nobody can take away your monarch token and lets you mitigate damage. (Also handy for negating massive fireballs for a turn.)

  • Smoke Can be good against green rampers and go-wide strategies. Also will make people to think twice before running over your Marchesa with quantity since they'll be open for a longer time and have much more difficulty to come get the monarch token next time.

  • Tainted AEther Keeps the creatures low, keeps the threats low, keeps everyone wanting to kill you high. Great way to lock boardstate in your favour after a boardwipe.

  • Marchesa's Decree and Hissing Miasma You want to nibble your opponents as much as you can while making them hesitate harming you if you plan to win while pillowforting. This does both and so either deters would-be attackers or makes finishing the game with Debt to the Deathless or the like easier.

  • Aurification It's good. Doesn't spare you from lethal but at least saves you from random chunks of damage.

  • Windborn Muse Redundancy, another Ghostly Prison

  • Gideon's Intervention and [Nevermore] Naming opposing commanders is just so backbreaking against some decks and buys you a lot time (and a lot hate from the player). Other than that you can name common threats to your board like Cyclonic Rift and Merciless Eviction. Another card with similar effect on board is Prison Term, which lets you to put opposition into sort of a Nevermore state as they hit the field.

  • Island Sanctuary Basically a budget friendly mash-up of Moat and Solitary Confinement

  • Vow Cycle of Vow of Duty, Vow of Lightning, Vow of Malice Works double duty. Why bother removing opposing creatures if you make them work for you and even be happy about it? Deals with offensive threats while nibbling opposing life totals. Orzhov Advokist also could work the same way in practice, but is less reliable though stronger when it works.

  • Soul Snare "If you attack me, I will kill your creature" is not an empty threat anymore, also counts towards your enchantment mass making cards like --Sphere of Safety and Open the Vaults more valuable. If this doesn't make big threats look at another direction then nothing will.

Well then. Since the commander herself fixes your needs of juice, the next question is: what do you stall for? (Was that a Hamilton reference?) After the long and satisfying grind of EDH, you want to finally claim the prize and call it a game. There's a few ways to go about it, but I'd recommend picking at least 6 - 10 cards which enables you to win the game when played right. In addition to what you have now I'd recommend one or two more.

  • X Equals Win the Game: In addition to Debt to the Deathless, other good X spells to add would be Exsanguinate or Torment of Hailfire, of which the latter is usually better but the first always consistent.

  • Not this turn, but maybe the next: Felidar Sovereign should net you a win when opposing resources to stop you are running thin. Or at least burn a removal spell.

More mass removal. They can't hit you if they have no creatures, and you really don't care about your own all too much. Two more of any "destroy all creatures" spells would work wonders.

As you are running on a budget here, we can't afford expensive allstars that win games basically no matter what deck you are playing. THUS we have to compensate by making our deck consistent, efficient and precise in what it does - in it's theme (Pillows, taxes and enchantments) - so the cards have more power than the total of their sum. Cards I'd cut:

  • Ancient Craving Good if we need explosiveness... which we don't. In EDH value this is basically 4 mana 3 life draw 1.

  • Read the Bones Draw 2 isn't anything to write home about in EDH either, basically draw 2/3th of a card for 3 mana. Marchesa nets you the cards over time, and you aren't in any rush.

  • Starfield of Nyx Would be good if you could protect your enchantments from the "creature" status as they get easier to spot and wipe remove. The recursion is amazing, but it wont matter when everything bows up, along with the starfield.

  • Price of Knowledge It's strong if it gets to hit the field, but not strong enough to compensate for the cost. It doesn't help us in 2 of the 3 themes of the deck but on the contrary draws hate with slow pay-off.

  • Bloodgift Demon Rather than having multiple ways to draw 1, focusing on pillowforting and keeping the monarch token to yourself would add consistency. A body is nice, but also a liability and lack of synergy with the rest of the deck.

  • Kambal, Consul of Allocation It's good at what it does, but we do not necessarily want to do that. It always universaly and equally hates on everyone, drawing hate towards you when our idea is to keep us away from the harm. Draining is nice, as long as it doesn't also drain our goals.

  • Sidisi, Undead Vizier Again, really good at what it does, but we need more space for cards that we need to do exactly what we want to do.

  • Void Winnower Strong, but really expensive for non-ramp deck and draws hate to us. Not the strong we must have.

  • Elixir of Immortality When a deck functions as planned and has multiple ways to win even if some get discarded to graveyard, you should be able to win before decking out.

  • Skullclamp Strong... but not the strong we must have.

  • Staff of Nin We have our economy covered as long as we are able to sustain monarchy.

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