Bond of Agony

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Bond of Agony


As an additional cost to play Bond of Agony, pay X life.

Each other player loses X life.

SithDragon33 on The Price of Power | Rowan EDH

2 months ago

Azoth2099 thanks for the feedback! Swapped Bond of Agony for Dark Tutelage. The various tutors are certainly better for the deck, and I'd definitely include them in a fully streamlined list.

Azoth2099 on The Price of Power | Rowan EDH

2 months ago


Hey man, just a heads up - Bond of Agony doesn't quite work here. For example let's say you pay 20 life with Blood Celebrant, activate Rowan, Scion of War's ability and cast Bond of Agony where X = 20. You'll still have to pay another 20 life as an additional cost. Not very good at all.

Also, have you considered Plunge into Darkness or Spoils of the Vault here? With cards like Torment of Hailfire & Crackle with Power in the mix, they're 1-card wincons here. Vampiric Tutor, Grim Tutor & Cruel Tutor also have some serious added benefit with this one.

multimedia on Liesa, Liesa, they so flying...

1 year ago

Hey, if you want to stop No Mercy then consider Cathar Commando? It's a budget creature so it can be reanimated or recurred with Liesa, Forgotten Archangel as well as other ways which I will mention in my next comment :)

If your getting Jumpstart packs there's several cards to look for other than Exquisite Blood:

I believe in using my money getting singles to build my decks not on $5 packs, but if you enjoy cracking Jumpstart packs look for these cards. Selfless Savior and Blood Artist are uncommons, you might have these cards.

If you're interested in Exquisite Blood then maybe you want to make your deck more combo? I don't think Exquisite is worth $18 since with $18 you can make several upgrades not just one card. For $18 you can make close to 20 card upgrades. Even if you're playing casual having a combo to win the game is helpful. Just don't combo off right away, let the game build up, have fun and then boom.

There's no budget alternative card for Exquisite Blood, but you can mimic the outcome of what the Blood combo does with budget cards. By making yourself lose a lot of life and then gaining the life you lost right back.

Vizkopa Guildmage's ability is like Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose/Sanguine Bond except it's more powerful because it affects each opponent all at once not just one opponent. It however costs three mana to have the effect until end of turn. The combo is to cast a spell or activate an effect to lose a lot of life such as Bond of Agony where you can control how much life you lose which then makes each opponent lose that same amount of life. When you lose the life then sac either Children of Korlis or Tainted Sigil to gain all that life back. This then triggers Guildmage to make each opponent lose that same amount of life again, most likely killing each of your opponents for having 0 life and you win the game.

Children of Korlis is a good card for gaining life because it looks at all life you lose for the entire turn. You can gain a lot at one time after a big attack from opponent doing combat damage to you or a small amount, you choose. It's a one drop creature who can be reanimated or recurred to repeat this effect, great with Liesa, Forgotten Archangel. Outside the combo if you're paying a lot of life for draw such as with Greed then Children can help to gain that life back.

In my last comment I mentioned you can get quality from filler creature cards you play with Infantry Veteran as example of not quality. Children of Korlis and Selfless Savior are examples of quality budget one drops. Mischievous Poltergeist/Wall of Blood's ability can be paid as much as you want, each time losing 1 life, but it's not a good card outside the combo. I suggested it because it's a creature who can be easily reanimated or recurred which can be helpful to more easily combo or repeat the combo. If I was playing this combo I would play it for that reason.

I'll continue with more advice in another comment later.

Apollo_Paladin on 101% Mono Black Burn

1 year ago

@ Bulldawg1310

Bond of Agony has an X-cost, but the life payment is an ADDITIONAL cost, not a supplement to using mana (like Phryexian mana costs on stuff like Dismember). You still have to pay X colorless to fire the spell, and then you lose life equal to X; so no this is not a Turn 2 crusher.

That would be ridiculous haha ;)

Bulldawg1310 on 101% Mono Black Burn

1 year ago

so do i understand this correctly? turn one you play Bond of Agony for 17 or more life, turn two you play Bump in the Night and its GG's? you must be super fun at parties, hahahaha.

wallisface on

1 year ago

Some thoughts:

  • Solemnity is probably a bit harder to remove than Melira, Sylvok Outcast.

  • your mana curve is pretty high, with a massive weighting towards 3cmc. I’m worried this might make your deck quite slow. Added to this, you have a MASSIVE quantity of tutor spells, which effectively mean you’ll be spending a lot if turns doing nothing other than finding a card. In a world where Prismatic Ending can quickly unravel your plans, it feels like you’re giving your opponent a lot of time to answer you.

  • I don’t see how you’re ever getting to 7 mana to cast Repay in Kind… without a lot more ramp, its just not happening.

  • There is very little payoff, if any, for Bond of Agony. I think oftentimes your opponent will be removing your life total faster than you’d want them to be (exception being control, but this card doesn’t do enough in that instance). This card only appears to help your Shadows, which feels a little too niche.

I’m trying to work out this decks good/bad matchups, and it feels like you’ve put yourself in an awkward situation:

  • Aggro probably just kills you before you can get online. Your only saving grace might be a well-timed board wipe, but i think you’re heavily disadvantaged.

  • Control I imagine can just auto-win, due to not helping to reduce your life total, and having access to Counterspell and Prismatic Ending.

  • Combo decks probably also have an easy time, as you’re packing almost no interaction, and they’ll very-likely be able to combo off before you can (i’m thinking Storm, Dredge, Yawgmoth, OopsAllSpells, AdNaus)

  • Midrange i’d imagine is your best bet for a “closer” matchup. But even here there are a lot of scary things to mess you up - namely hand-disruption and Prismatic Ending.

its_wampa on Rakdos, Lord's Downward Spiral

1 year ago

Whats your opinion on Bond of Agony? I really like it as its variable cost can be useful in different scenarios. Its arguably much better after Rakdos is already out, but I think it has tremendous potential for upside afterwards.

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