Disciple of Bolas

Disciple of Bolas

Creature — Human Wizard

When Disciple of Bolas enters the battlefield, sacrifice another creature. You gain X life and draw X cards, where X is that creature's power.

Latest Decks as Commander

Disciple of Bolas Discussion

trippy_mcfly on Mono Black Death Plague

1 month ago

Cool deck. I'm here to offer some suggestions after you pointed me here from your other deck.

Tergrid, God of Fright  Flip is a powerful commander and generates insane advantage in 4-player games. Let's take a look at this deck and see what it is doing, and then streamline it. I see three main objectives of this deck:

1 - RAMPING.

This is pretty much a primary objective of any commander deck, since if your only source of mana is playing one land per turn, you're going to fall way behind. Your main ramping plan for this deck is to double lands, using Cabal Coffers, Cabal Stronghold, Caged Sun, Crypt Ghast, Extraplanar Lens, Gauntlet of Power, and Nirkana Revenant. This is super cool and probably a pretty strong plan. We want to try to maximize this plan. How can we do that?

All of these cards want you to load up on basic swamps, which you did. We want to make sure we are playing a basic swamp every turn. Solemn Simulacrum is definitely a worthwhile add. Liliana of the Dark Realms is very helpful and I'm happy to see her in this deck. Often times Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is a worthwhile add for decks with Cabal Coffers. I think it is worth it here. Although you yourself don't have many non-swamps that will benefit from Urborg, you are likely going to be stealing people's lands with Tergrid, and counting those as swamps will be helpful for you.

How else can we keep getting swamps onto the battlefield to power up this strategy? Card draw. The more cards in your hand the higher the chance you will have a swamp to play every turn. Night's Whisper and Sign in Blood are great for this. Disciple of Bolas is solid too. Dread Presence loves swamps and is a must-add. I would add Phyrexian Arena, which is great card draw for you. Necropotence, one of the craziest cards in the game, is also a worthwhile addition. Not as good but worth consideration are Yawgmoth's Bargain and Null Profusion. Two other well-known card draw machines in black are Dark Confidant and Bolas's Citadel. You have some costly spells in your deck, so they might be a bit of a liability. If you want to include them, Sensei's Divining Top pairs very well with them.

Just because you are mainly ramping with land doubling doesn't mean there isn't room for other ramping as well. You have Black Market, which I have never personally tested, but is probably decent. Black has some explosive, single-turn ramp with Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, and Culling the Weak. These cards would do well in letting you get out expensive plays ahead of schedule, mainly Tergrid. Artifact ramp is also great in any deck. I would add Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Jeweled Lotus, and Jet Medallion. I would consider adding even more artifact ramp as well. Getting down Tergrid as early as turn 1 or 2 is just so good.

2 - SACRIFICE AND DISCARD.

Once you have Tergrid out, sacrifice and discard become powerful effects that let you take control of your opponent's permanents. This is insane advantage and if left unchecked for very long will win you the game. Syphon Mind while Tergrid is in play not only puts you up 4 cards in comparison to each opponent (since they each went down 1 and you went up 3), but also could net you 3 more cards if they discard permanents that then go onto your field. That's insane. Let's take a look at all the cards you have that enable Tergrid:

SACRIFICE:

Archfiend of Depravity - A one-sided, almost board wipe that repeats every turn? Pretty solid. Getting the creatures onto your field with Tergrid? That is nuts. The one issue is that some commander decks won't have that many more than 2 creatures on the field when this comes down, and if they do, then this card and/or Tergrid become a big target, but if you survive the turn, this and your commander will put you ahead so far.

Butcher of Malakir - Similar to Archfiend. If this guy sticks around for a bit, you're going to be at such an advantage. It costs 7 which is a bit high and very vulnerable to something like Mana Drain, so I wouldn't be super upset if you cut it, but it is great with Tergrid.

Gatekeeper of Malakir - This guy only costs three and steals a creature if Tergrid is on the field. Love it.

Phyrexian Obliterator - If someone is dumb enough to deal damage to this guy, then you're getting a lot of their permanents! I don't love this card for you. People will just leave it alone and then you just hit someone for 5 each turn or leave up a blocker, which is a bit slow.

Sheoldred, Whispering One - Similar to Archfiend. If this guy sticks around for a bit, you're going to be at such an advantage. It costs 7 which is a bit high and very vulnerable to something like Mana Drain, so I wouldn't be super upset if you cut it, but it is great with Tergrid.

Torment of Hailfire - Expensive and liable to be countered but if it resolves then you will get a ton of value!

Dictate of Erebos - I like it. Let's say you have 10 mana. Cast Tergrid, then somebody goes to kill him. Flash this card in. Now, you at least get 3 of your opponents creatures on the way out!

Grave Pact - I like this as well. You can't flash it in, but if you put this card on the field, then people will have to kill this before Tergrid comes down or else end up giving you their creatures.

The Eldest Reborn - Immediate impact with Tergrid on the field, pretty good value on its own. Definitely a keep.

DISCARD:

Liliana, Defiant Necromancer - You need to flip her first, but once flipped she is great.

Syphon Mind - Great.

Torment of Hailfire - Expensive and liable to be countered but if it resolves then you will get a ton of value!

The Eldest Reborn - Immediate impact with Tergrid on the field, pretty good value on its own. Definitely a keep.

... and that's it. We need more cards that are busted with Tergrid! The following would be great adds to your deck: Smallpox, Dark Deal, Liliana's Triumph, Plaguecrafter, Soul Shatter, Mire in Misery, Innocent Blood, Vona's Hunger, Death Cloud, Burglar Rat, Demon's Disciple, Fleshbag Marauder, Elderfang Disciple, Liliana, Waker of the Dead, Bottomless Pit, Fraying Omnipotence, Rotting Rats, Cunning Lethemancer, Merciless Executioner, and a personal favorite: Smokestack.

Notice that all of these cards are typically even trades (ex: I play Elderfang Disciple, going down 1 card, everyone else goes down 1 card.) These aren't great on their own since it costs you mana to do so, and, in the case of discard and sacrifice, the opponent gets to choose an asset that they are least upset to get rid of, making them actually below-even trades. However, they become insanely busted with Tergrid. (ex: I play Elderfang Disciple, going down 1 card in hand for a measly 1/1. But, I get a Carpet of Flowers, basic plains, and Birds of Paradise on my field? Now that's an amazing play). Therefore, the ones that are recurring are better, since they give you more chances to make sure they resolve while Tergrid is on the field. (ex: I play Cunning Lethemancer and my opponent kills Tergrid. Later in the turn I play Tergrid again, albeit for 7 mana now due to commander tax. Next turn, with the Lethemancer trigger, I get some great value!)

Here are some other cards that work well with Tergrid, although they only target one opponent: Sudden Edict, Hellish Rebuke, Pharika's Libation, Diabolic Edict, Duress, Thoughtseize, Hymn to Tourach, Chain of Smog, Despise, and Divest.

Notice that in the absence of Tergrid, these cards are negative trades. They set you and an opponent back by putting you both down one card. The other two opponents are left untouched. Seeing them early in the game is not particularly helpful since you'd rather spend the early game ramping. They are great and slowing down whoever is winning, but at the expense of your own board. There is a trade-off here, since these can be leveraged politically. "Each opponent discards a card"" can give you tons of value with Tergrid on the field but makes you 3 enemies. "Target opponent discards a card"" gives you not as much value in general but you can leverage this to make someone else the common enemy or make a deal with a player ("if you don't attack me next turn I won't target you with my Duress"). Things like Duress can also target specific cards, which is an added benefit for you and an added detriment to the opponent.

I would run some from each category, probably with an emphasis on maximizing Tergrid value.

3 - DRAIN AND GAIN.

Blood Artist and other cards gain you one life and drain your opponent one life. This is cool and certainly an interesting archetype of a deck. It doesn't synergize with Tergrid particularly well. I personally would not use this strategy at all in this deck and maximize the Tergrid plan. However, Exquisite Blood + Sanguine Bond is an awesome combo and an unexpected way to finish the game for you while people are busy dealing with Tergrid. If you want to keep this, I would trim some of the other cards, such as Exsanguinate and maybe Underworld Dreams.


So, now that we know what the 3 objectives are, and have maybe cut the third, we have a bit more of a plan. I've suggested adding some card draw and mana rocks for ramp, and tons more Tergrid synergy. What are the cuts? I would say anything that doesn't fit in with the objectives, so basically any card I haven't mentioned already, unless it gives great value on its own. I'll go through some:

Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor are incredible cards and provide great value. Diabolic Tutor, Scheming Symmetry, and Shrouded Lore are worse tutor effects and should probably be moved to the maybe board. Sudden Spoiling is interesting and stops somebody from comboing off on their turn so is probably worth it. Reanimate is good value and should probably stay, same with Animate Dead. Demonic Vigor protects creatures but not Tergrid, unless you want him going to your hand. This is risky but probably fine. I could see him getting countered and then removed from your graveyard which puts you back majorly, but I could also see you avoiding commander tax. Worth looking into. Undying Evil is strictly better since it has instant speed and keeps him on the field. We might also want to protect him with Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots

Coffin Queen is too expensive and vulnerable. Drana, Liberator of Malakir is cool for aggressive strategies and can help you close out the game but is out of place in this deck. Falkenrath Noble is an overcosted Blood Artist. Gonti, Lord of Luxury is a value creature that if you can get his ETB many times, which your deck can't really do. Grave Titan isn't worth it in this deck. Gravedigger is fine but might be a bit slow. Helldozer is probably not worth it unless you want to pick on somebody lol. Korlash, Heir to Blackblade is not worth it. Massacre Wurm might not be worth it. Nighthowler isn't worth it. Opposition Agent is always a good add. Phage the Untouchable is too slow and vulnerable. Sepulchral Primordial might not be worth it. Skirsdag High Priest is probably not worth it. Syr Konrad, the Grim is not worth it. Wight of Precinct Six is not worth it. Tainted Strike is not worth it. Lashwrithe is not worth it. That's about 15 cuts right there.

Props to you for building Tergrid and having an interesting ramp strategy. I think if you go more in on the Tergrid plan by cutting unrelated cards for cards that ramp or are good with Tergrid then your deck will be a lot more reliable. After all, the most fun part of this deck is going off with Tergrid!

Hope this helps.

NorinTheWise on R.O.U.S. (Rodents of Unusual Size)

3 months ago

PolarisFluff: Cabal Coffers was originally a budget concern, but with the reprinting in MH2 it is now within the price range I am looking for. I have swapped it in for Myriad Landscape.

I play tested Bolas's Citadel in this deck for a long time and it never performed to the level I had hoped. It was severely out classed by other cards in that cmc range like Thornbite Staff, Vanquisher's Banner, Thrumming Stone, even Disciple of Bolas.

Cornonjacob07 on Never Break the Chain (Chainer, Nightmare Adept)

6 months ago

FunnyDuck

After further testing and time to parse through the upcoming Forgotten Realms regular and commander cards, I think you're right about the "discard hand, draw 3" model. While it sometimes works, it takes far too much commitment and loss of control to rely heavily on. I will keep Ox of Agonas as I still think its Escape mode is pretty great, but Anje's Ravager and any others are out. I'm also putting Stinkweed Imp back into the deck because being able to process 5 cards without spending mana, just a draw, is powerful.

I think for now, I should tighten my sources of card advantage. Though it adds a bit more consistency to have more smaller looting cards like Thrill of Possibility or the aforementioned Anje's Ravager , I could just be using those slots for more powerful cards that actually impact the board or are otherwise useful while consolidating the draw power to the heavy hitters like Magus of the Wheel , Vilis, Broker of Blood , or Disciple of Bolas for example. Specific tools and answers will be handled by the tutors I was adding anyway and the general system will be greased with odd cards like Squee, Goblin Nabob and Phyrexian Reclamation .

Everything else needs to be playtested rather than theorized about, but I think it's safe to say this is a core part of the deck that I should reconsider and upgrade. I'd also like to put forward the new Warlock Class as a possible replacement or partner to Archfiend of Despair and the possibility of Heartless Hidetsugu .

I'm also interested in the new Hurl Through Hell , Fevered Suspicion , and Orcus, Prince of Undeath . The former two I'm more optimistic about, and am willing to sacrifice a little reliability for their potential and because they look like a lot of fun, but I suspect Orcus will be one of those cards that look a lot better on paper than in practice.

As always, thanks for your suggestions and consultations. I hope Shenanigans and Hellkite Tyrant have been working for you as they have for me.

Last_Laugh on Marchesa, soon-to-be Queen

6 months ago

There's cards you're missing that help enable etb/death trigger abuse on everyone's turn instead of just once per round. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed (feels like a 2nd Commander in this deck), Vigean Graftmage , Metallic Mimic , and Sage of Fables (Sage enables an infinite damage combo with Flayer of the Hatebound and Ashnod's Altar ).

More sac outlets should be a priority as well. Yawgmoth, Thran Physician , Goblin Bombardment , and Sadistic Hypnotist all deserve spots. The discard on Hypnotist pairs really well with Marchesa and a war of attrition approach even with the sorcery speed restriction.

ETB/Death triggers to consider: Baleful Strix , Vindictive Lich , Disciple of Bolas , and Vendilion Clique .

Feel free to check out my list for ideas and there's also a maybeboard and over 100 comments to sift through for more ideas. Upvotes on any of my decks are appreciated. Got 99 Upvotes And A Bitch Ain't One - Marchesa

SueMe on Hogaak: My Favorite (Infinite) Combo Deck

6 months ago

Hi 3n3rgy2, thanks for the suggestions!

There's no particular reason for why these dredgers aren't in the list. In fact, after thinking on it, I've decided to include Golgari Grave-Troll , as it pairs nicely with our discard package, and helps Hogaak's delve in the early-game. What I also like about it, is it can serve as a proxy for our Big Fella , and be that juicy Disciple of Bolas target when we have no other option.

Stinkweed Imp isn't so bad, but as of now, I'm unconvinced that it's utility is worth its slowness. Maybe you can convince me otherwise...?

Thanks again for taking a look at my list, and for your contribution!

FenIsABasicSwamp on Rainbow in the Dark: Haakon Reanimator Combo

11 months ago

Hey Pheardemons yeah of course I remember you. I've been wondering how your deck ended up being for you. This is by far one of my favorite decks and the deck I've invested the most time into in the last 3 years. I'm glad you came back to the game.

1) Why Wasteland? You may have noticed that all of the cards in this are German foil for the most part. I has been nearly impossible to get either Wasteland or Strip Mine in German, or foil for that matter. I like the art on EMA Wasteland more than any of the stripmines and it felt appropriately thematic for a character like Haakon, who's epithet being "Stromgald Scourge" suggests he would leave a Wasteland behind his army. Also, rarely does an occasion arise in EDH where I want to destroy a basic over a non-basic anyways, and I recently found an opportunity to get a foil borderless German Wasteland from the new Zendikar set.

2) Emergence Zone is amazing and should be played in all monocolor decks that can sustain one more colorless nonbasic. Also, there's a minor subtheme of lands being playable from the graveyard with Crucible of Worlds in this deck to support the overall discard theme. So the Zone is not necessarily a one-off use.

3) Fetches for the same reason as emergence zone: playing lands from the graveyard and if I get it going with Crucible and Ghirapur Orrery, I can really get some deck thinning going on by pulling lots of swamps out of the library. Why the two that I have and not the others? I don't have German foils of Prismatic Vista, Bloodstained Mire, and Marsh Flats is the easy answer; also theres a point where I worry about reducing the number of overall Swamps in the deck, but maybe that's erroneous since each fetch doubles as a swamp. The other real reason is that I have all the German foil snow-covered swamps and wouldn't have any other use for them if I took them out of this deck for the other fetches.

4) I haven't really gotten to use K'rrik since I put him in the deck. Took a while to source a German one and then get it altered and Corona has severely impacted how much I actually play EDH nowadays. We'll see how impactful the life loss is, but as with all such things you have to strike a balance between your greed to play stuff out with him and putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Lifelink is generally not the way I plan to recover from things like K'rrik, rather cards like Disciple of Bolas and Disciple of Griselbrand are usually more useful for gaining relevant amounts of life back. I rarely find myself attacking unless it's to get a sword trigger.

5)Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder has been in earlier iterations of this deck but his sac trigger from making too many thrulls makes him less attractive unless you can play something like Conspiracy so that he doesn't make thrulls anymore. Abhorrent Overlord is a key piece to generating a massive number of dudes to be sac fodder to an altar to make infinite mana. Since the point is to get to a play where I can just keep sacing and replaying cards from my graveyard with Haakon and Ashes of the Fallen, Overlord does that better than any other card in monoblack.

6)Bitterblossom would serve no valuable purpose other than the Contamination lock and I prefer not to play really "mean" magic like that. Contamination is not usually in the deck but I wanted to try it out because its art seems really fitting for Haakon once again as the Scource of a place. Also, it's a good card for helping a black deck catch up that is playing from way behind "better" decks.

7) Being that this deck hovers between $2-3k, I think it's safe to say that money is not a factor. I generally don't like playing tutors and already play way more in this deck than in a normal one of my decks because it's inherently so handicapped. Razaketh has been in it before and I may put him back in, it's just very easy to win outright with him on the battlefield.

8) Ghirapur Orrery has maybe backfired once on me, it's a careful balancing act. It backfired spectacularly on Justin Parnell in SCG's CMDRVS show. His opponent got a Bojuka Bog on the extra land drop and nuked his graveyard. I never play Lifeline until I'm ready to take advantage of it, and preferably when I have Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet out so that it doesn't work for opponents. Haven't really gotten to use Tombstone Stairwell because of the pandemic.

9) Null Profusion is amazing and underplayed. Play Reliquary Tower or Anvil of Bogardan afterwards and the time stamp of the last card replaces the reduced hand size with infinite hand size and now you just draw cards for every card you play. Works great with Haakon playing cards from your graveyard and Crucible of Worlds doing the same.

10) Yawgmoth is a great extra free sac outlets. Sac outlets are always the most important thing to have in a monoblack deck, especially one's that draw you a card and can potentially be removal too. His proliferate ability lets me immediately ultimate Liliana, Defiant Necromancer often too. He's generally my favorite black creature of all time.

11) Always always dredge Stinkweed Imp. More cards in your graveyard is always the goal for Haakon. The best is dredging him, discarding him to Skirge Familiar, and then drawing again from something else to dredge him again.

12) Creature tutors like Fleshwrither are always more appealing to me in Haakon because I can replay them from the graveyard. Fleshwrither isn't a good card per se, but it is a pet card and also just fantastic and frequently reusable. I can get graveyard hate (Kalitas), ramp (Crypt Ghast), or card draw (Disciple of Bolas) with him so he's very flexible depending on what point in the game I'm at.

13) Conspiracy isn't actually in this deck and Cryptbreaker is here as a discard outlet to help me get Haakon in the graveyard as well as be a infinitely castable creature from the graveyard with Haakon/Ashes out and Phyrexian Altar. That gives me all the draws I could need or infinite Gravestorm for Bitter Ordeal when it's in the deck.

14) I have recast Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger probably 5 times in a turn from the graveyard with this deck before. He's amazing and all I've needed. I prefer not to use stuff like Oblivion Stone or All is Dust that a lot of my deck wouldn't dodge as well, and since my wincon is a black enchantment Decaying Soil, I would have few options to recover from it if I was forced to use those. Scour from Existence isn't here because I don't like using over-costed one-off spells. I can tutor for Ulamog and use him repeatedly.

These were good questions and I appreciate you reading my bio and asking questions respectfully. Your manner of asking demonstrates thoughtful consideration of the deck instead of pushy insistence of a different viewpoint. Ultimately there's no "right" way to build an EDH deck, although there are objectively more optimal ways to design them. I have a passing interest in optimization, but am mostly making choices to balance synergy with flavor and a fun play experience.

DawnsRayofLight on Marquis De Chainer, Sadism 101

1 year ago

Mastermind's Acquisition Is a great card to combo with Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed. You can make a 15 card board and put some cards in to help against certain decks that gives chainer some issues (blue white control--Nevi's Disc, Hero's Downfall and the like, Sword of Sinew and Steel, etc.) it allows you to run 15 extra cards without having them eat up space in your deck.

Attrition and Overseer of the Damned is a fun combo. I have gotten tons of use out of attrition.

The Rings + Basalt combo is nice, but I ended up dropping it out of mine. It is nice if you play Torment of Hailfire and Exsanguinate but I went more control than combo after a while.

Thought-Knot Seer is great for some recurring hand hate

Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools has been an all-star in my deck, you could also add Karn Liberated and Ugin, the Ineffable for more pointed permanent destruction

Flesh-Eater Imp is also a fun sac outlet and an alternative win con.

Volrath's Stronghold is good for saving some of your cards from graveyard removal and I have been debating Phyrexian Reclamation and or Tortured Existence. Fortunately I have not seen too many EDH decks with a lot of dedicated grave hate.

Disciple of Bolas is also an all star card, he keeps chainer going like you wouldn't believe

kpres on Tide Pod Breakfast

1 year ago

Muldrotha Combos

Doom Whisperer and Second Chance --> Unlimited extra turns and a way to get below 5 life while finding what you need.

Time Sieve and Myr Battlesphere --> Unlimited extra turns for every turn.

Magus of the Will is budget Yawgmoth's Will on a body that can be reanimated by Muldrotha. It lets you play instants and sorceries in your graveyard. Usually these will be big reanimation spells. Very effective with Splendid Reclamation and Early Harvest. You need to reanimate all lands in the graveyard and untap most of them in this way, but once you do you have access to a lot of mana and the ability to play the rest of the good stuff in the graveyard such as Rise of the Dark Realms. This leads to the big finisher:

Reanimate all creatures and bring back Prime Speaker Zegana, Sewer Nemesis, and Laboratory Maniac --> Draw cards equal to the number of cards in your graveyard. If that number is bigger than your library, you win. Add Disciple of Bolas to double the card draw.

Fleet Swallower is good for getting your graveyard going, and can be used as an attack against opponents' decks as well. Between this and Traumatize, these are the ways to get started.

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