Chains of Mephistopheles

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy 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
Oathbreaker Legal
Oldschool 93/94 Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper Duel Commander Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Chains of Mephistopheles


If a player would draw a card except the first one he or she draws in his or her draw step each turn, that player discards a card instead. If the player discards a card this way, he or she draws a card. If the player doesn't discard a card this way, he or she puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

000CBomb000 on Draw a Few Format?

1 month ago

I play Old School and in casual games we have a house rule that we draw two each turn, with no discarding required in the first turn only. It has several advantages:

  • dramatically reduces the likelihood of mana flood/screw.
  • it speeds up games, since you generally play a land and cast at least one spell per turn. Otherwise, with typical draw one, players tend to empty their hands quickly and the game slows down dramatically.
  • it decreases the effectiveness of control decks like The Deck, which aren't fun to play against anyway. It increases the effectiveness of Aggro styles, which are more fun. Creatures are really janky in Old School and they need as much help as they can get.
  • it reduces the advantage of Library of Alexandria, Braingeyser, and Jayemdae Tome, and reduces the disadvantage of Mind Twist, any of which can be nearly fatal in Old School matches.

There is even an Old School variant called "Gentleman's Rules" that bans Library and Mind Twist because they are so powerful in single-draw. In double draw, they are not a problem.

The only downsides:

  • cards that punish card draw get much stronger. Chains of Mephistopheles and Underworld Dreams become very strong, almost problematic. If enacted in a tournament, it would definitely change the meta (maybe that's good!). We would likely have to restrict these.
  • Sylvan Library becomes very strong, and may need to be restricted.

Some of those factors may be relevant to Commander. Definitely try it out!

Profet93 on Oh you are just the worst kind of person

8 months ago

darksuffrage21 +1

Pretty good list. I'm surprised you don't run more draw. Necropotence is powerful and has amazing synergy with possessed portal because you don't actually draw cards, is that why it isn't in the "Draw" section? Phyrexian Arena > Dark tutelage. Assuming possessed portal isn't in play, this is an upgrade.

I like the use of fetchlands with crucible. It appears there are budget considerations of the deck not mentioned in the description? Assuming I'm wrong, then perhaps consider fetchlands and Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth package. Can't forget Chains of Mephistopheles given you're not drawing a bunch and it fits into the discard theme.

Why is Altar of Dementia in the tutor section, am I missing something?

Vampiric Tutor, Grim Tutor and Imperial Seal are all helpful tutors.

Perhaps a Bitterblossom or a Reassembling Skeleton for contamination and to break parity on your control/stax effects.

What is the purpose of Voltaic Key? I am unsure if you run enough artifacts for inspiring statuary, how has that been playing for you?

Looking forward to your response.

Azoth2099 on Tergrid Sac Discard Draw help please

10 months ago


Ok, so here's a few top picks (imho) for Tergrid, God of Fright  Flip.

Oppression, Liliana, Waker of the Dead, Rankle, Master of Pranks, Living Death, Delirium Skeins, Innocent Blood, Cunning Lethemancer, Bottomless Pit, Necrogen Mists, Words of Waste, Smokestack, Sword of Feast and Famine & Chains of Mephistopheles (just proxy it lol)

There's also a lot of cheaper options that are just as synergistic like Plaguecrafter, Demon's Disciple, Raven's Crime, Hymn to Tourach, Mind Twist, Mind Shatter, Mind Slash & Sadistic Hypnotist.

Outside of the synergy pieces, I'd recommend replacing some of those low-power pieces like Bad Deal & Inevitable End with value pieces like Dark Ritual & Vampiric Tutor for greater consistency.

hejtmane on Should I Put Cutthroat Negotiator …

1 year ago

I use Stormfist Crusader over the pirate cheap on mana yes they get a card but I always fine it better when it is on my turn as much as possible it is cheaper cmc wise don't have to attack and turns on Kederekt Parasite

Look at Faerie Mastermind to give yourself extra cards for low cmc and it dropped in price

I find Anvil of Bogardan works better since they still have to discard and I get them coming and going on damage

of course the Orcish Bowmasters is good

also if you want some fun Sigil of Sleep

I am debating on how evil I want to be I just acquired a Chains of Mephistopheles who need friends when you can set up chains + Teferi's Puzzle Box nightmare and laugh to no friends

DreadKhan on $outh $ide $uicide

1 year ago

Not sure it's a realistic add, but Chains of Mephistopheles is pretty hilarious with Oppression out, but if I was only going to run one I think I'd run Chains, it's very good at shrinking people's hands, and it's easier to recover from Oppression than Chains. Black effects that put a card directly into hand dodge this conveniently.

With Platinum Emperion out it'd be sweet to resolve an Ad Nauseam, it's not a 'pay life' effect so it works without life being lost, unlike Peer Into the Abyss this would let you 'draw' as many cards as you want and stop at any time. Obviously terrible if you don't have something like Emperion out, but it's an idea if you want some really crazy games.

It's a total pile of jank usually, but since you only run 1 non-Swamp, have you thought about throwing in Cabal Stronghold, as a 2nd Coffers?

I was hoping there was some reasonable way I could suggest Contamination, but other than as a one turn cycle mana denial effect it didn't seem to work, but I remembered Infernal Darkness also exists! Hopefully you can wait until you have a big mana effect out before casting it, but your deck seems very able to generate large volumes of mana needed to support Cumulative Upkeep for awhile, and most non-Black decks won't be doing very much with only B mana from lands.

Not sure how many I missed Profet93, but the Exquisite Blood combos seem to be a big thing in here. Obviously there is also creature damage, but there might not be enough support to pull that off. This seems like a deck that would get great mileage out of Exsanguinate and Torment of Hailfire, but with this many tutors and that much mana as is he should be able to assemble his combo quickly enough to be a valid deck. The Commander seems to be one of the oldest legal Mono-Black options, with the others in it's set being notoriously bad cards, Baron Sengir is probably the most playable of the Black Legends other than Ihsan. I always liked his Lord Soth vibe, especially since there was a couple books featuring Lord Soth in Ravenloft, where he got tangled up in his own demi-plane by crossing the Big Bad Vampire, Strahd.

BotaNickill on Chains of Shadow, Chains of Love

1 year ago

Sick looking black build! Love the description! I feel like the only thing you are missing is a Chains of Mephistopheles. But Alas, I am also missing mine. Sold it a long long time ago, and have always wished I had it back.

zAzen7977 on zAzen7977

1 year ago

Hey Profet93! Good questions.

IMHO, I would not run either Anvil of Bogardan or Chains of Mephistopheles in a NDBMBD unless the deck has some reanimator combo lines and the self-discard is beneficial to the objective. Unless the discarding synergies with some other abilities, you are helping your opponents more than you are helping yourself, as you are allowing them to draw deeper into their deck to find their own combo pieces.

In my Tinybones deck, I discard cards so rapidly that opponents cannot play their hands fast enough, limiting their ability to plan for future turns, then I exile their graveyards to prevent utilization of their graveyard as a resource. In this way, my Tinybones, Trinket Thief deck breaks parity by handicapping opponents while I draw additional cards via Tinybones. My deck is designed to work around the exiling of my own graveyard, and as long as I can generate enough mana to activate Tinybones’ ability, I can win without cards in hand.

Other Monoblack decks are combo-based and break parity through life-loss and sacrifice effects. I run K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth and it breaks parity by having K’rrik on the board as fast as possible to require minimal mana and maximize combo speed. K’rrik is probably the most OP commanders around, period. Another popular commander is Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, who can also be utilized to assemble rapid sacrifice-based combos.

Monoblack decks have to either focus on combos and outrace other decks (especially multicolor blue/green decks with access to the best draw and ramp spells in the game), or hold faster decks back via stax while also benefiting from the stax effects somehow and gaining an advantage.

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