Gray Merchant of Asphodel

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Historic Brawl Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper Duel Commander Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Pioneer Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Creature — Zombie

When this enters the battlefield, each opponent loses X life, where X is your devotion to black. You gain life equal to the life lost this way. (Each in the mana costs of permanents you control counts towards your devotion to black.)

Last_Laugh on Grixis Marchesa, The Black Rose

23 hours ago

Nice deck, I love me some etb/death trigger abuse Marchesa. I do have some suggestions for you though and I'll break it down by card function.


Gray Merchant of Asphodel's lifegain seems counterproductive but with alternate sources of +1+1 counters your life total doesn't matter. In 9 years of running Marchesa, Gary has ended more games than any other card here and it's not remotely close. I personally recommend a clone suite to sac when he enters so they all reenter as Garys (Phantasmal Image, Flesh Duplicate, and Phyrexian Metamorph). Note that Imperial Recruiter abuse will look up Gary, Clones, and Bloodletter of Aclazotz in one go around the table.

Jokulhaups is a bit of a dick move, but it will end games since all your creatures come back to an empty board.

Alternate +1+1 Counters:

Anduril, Narsil Reforged is on attack and even gets counters on your fresh non-attacking stuff.

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed lets you abuse all your non-humans and he enables some infinite combos with Persist creatures.

Vigean Graftmage looks underwhelming but he comes down before and immediately protects Marchesa and he let's you abuse any etb/death trigger on everyone's turn (itself + 1 other).

Thran Vigil is only on your turn but this card still puts in serious work.

Metallic Mimic doesn't need a tribal deck here. When it first comes down you name humans or wizards to immediately protect Marchesa but you sac it to rename the type to your most abuseable etb/death trigger as needed.


Ripples of Potential is a great answer to non-destroy wraths including Farewell.


Canoptek Tomb Sentinel will hit anything non-land but most importantly it's an abuseable effect that hits enchantments.

Feel free to check out my list for ideas. Upvotes on any of my decks are appreciated (especially since it'd be upvote #200). Every Masochist Needs a Marchesa to Love Them

fluffyeel on The apocalypse (Sheoldred)

1 week ago

Yay, darkness. Here are some thoughts that might synergize with your deck:

MadHatter23 on Mono-Black Enchantment

3 weeks ago

The other wincon is slow grind of having Gray Merchant of Asphodel enter the battlefied, sacing him, and then bringing him back.

MagicMizz on [Help] Shadowheart, Shar's Shadowborn Apostle

4 weeks ago

listen. i know shadowheart is dope. but you might as well throw Gray Merchant of Asphodel in here just as a small win-con.

Last_Laugh on Marchesa, The Black Rose - …

2 months ago

Ok, so I'm not going to lie... I've had this deck built for roughly 9 years straight at this point so the list is very optimized and cuts are TOUGH. Every Masochist Needs a Marchesa to Love Them is the list and Mahadi, Emporium Master is the card I'm looking to hopefully add.

The deck is set up for ETB/Death trigger abuse with aggro as a plan B. It usually wins by looping Gray Merchant of Asphodel with alternate sources of +1+1 counters and sac outlets so I can drain multiple times on every player's turn (including any of my clones entering/re-entering as Gary copies).

Last_Laugh on Marchesa, the Black Rose

2 months ago

I have several suggestions for you. I'll keep things budget friendly and if you're picking up what I'm putting down, I can also help suggest some cuts.

First off is enchantment removal. There's hardly any options in th5ese colors but I recommend running all 3 so problematic enchantments like Solemnity or Rest in Peace don't wreck your day. Chaos Warp, Feed the Swarm, and Canoptek Tomb Sentinel are all budget friendly and worth their weight in gold here. Another good boardwipe here is Last One Standing.

I don't really do theft in my Marchesa list, but Gisa, Glorious Resurrector is the exception and holy crap does she put in some dirty work.

Next is card draw. Liliana's Standard Bearer, Lethal Scheme, Plumb the Forbidden, and Sage of Fables are all good budget options here. Sage will also come down before Marchesa and immediately give her or any other wizards you run a +1+1 counter. Plumb in response to boardwipes or right before your turn will refill your grip (instant speed and pseudo dodging counterspells makes this card). Also, Danny Pink's price has been sloooowly climbing but it's a very real possibility you'll find one in your LGS dollar binder and omg is this thing absolutely nuts!

On the subject of alternate sources of +1+1 counters... Thran Vigil only works on your turn but it'll get new counters on anything you stole and sac'ed on your turn. Vigean Graftmage let's you sac 2 creatures on everyone's turn (itself + whatever) to abuse etb/death triggers like Gray Merchant of Asphodel or even Grim Haruspex card draw. Spark Double I guess falls into this category and copies either Marchesa for double Dethrone or whatever your meanest etb/death trigger is at the time.

I'm also guessing Rakdos Locket was supposed to be Rakdos Signet.

Feel free to check out my list for ideas. It's far from budget friendly overall but I run everything I recommended. Upvotes on any of my decks are appreciated. Every Masochist Needs a Marchesa to Love Them

HeavenlyAxe on

3 months ago

Hey Indie,

First off I really like the lands you have assembled and the suggestions from SufferFromEDHD are all good.

You are definitely going to want an artifact ramp package.

Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Arcane Signet, Fellwar Stone, Gilded Lotus, Thran Dynamo

Special Mention to Nyx Lotus, it could be good being in mono black. and Jeweled Lotus, pays for your commander for free on turn 1 even.

Sword of the Animist is not bad ramp at all and buffs yours rats

Commander's Plate might be cute.

Liliana of the Dark Realms, makes sure you always get a land drop and could make your swamps tap for four.

Chittering Witch if your playing with more opponents.

Crypt Ghast is sort of ramp, but doubles your swamps. Very good in mono black.

Dauthi Voidwalker is not on theme at all but is just sooo much value in a two cost card I have to recommend it.

God-Eternal Bontu is excellent draw power in the right situation.

Dont forget you can run any number of Relentless Rats

Gray Merchant of Asphodel will heal you up a lot and hurt your opponents

Krav, the Unredeemed is also great card draw.

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, has card draw, removal, and proliferate all on one card

Deadly Rollick, potentially free removal

Defile, cheap good removal

Thrilling Encore saves you from a board wipe or lets you bring everything back after sacrificing it all to like God-Eternal Bontu

Phyrexian Arena some ok card draw.

Bojuka Bog if you are worried about graveyards

Mutilate, a good board wipe in mono black

Night's Whisper, Read the Bones, Sign in Blood, are a great draw package for mono black

Toxic Deluge a great board wipe for when things need resetting, and you could follow with Thrilling Encore and get it all back

Syphon Mind is great draw if your playing with more players

Victimize - is really really strong, get rid of one weak thing for two of your best things

Yawgmoth's Will - lets you treat your graveyard like your hand for a turn

Lord Skitter, Sewer King makes rats

Marrow-Gnawer - lets you make lots of rats

Infectious Inquiry - good draw and gives poison

Ogre Slumlord - makes rats when your creatures or your opponents creatures die.

Tangled Colony - if your opponent has to block it or it dies to like Blasphemous Act will make you rats

Vraska's Fall removal and poison counter

Drown in Ichor removal and poison

Bontu's Monument all your creatures cost less

Rat Colony can have any number and they buff themselves, and cost less mana than Relentless Rats

Typhoid Rats deathtouch rat opponents wont want to block

Crypt Rats can board wipe but can also win the game if you give it infect, doesnt work with your commander because toxic specifies combat damage but does work if you give it infect and deal damage with it's ability.

Ratcatcher tutors rats, and gives you card advantage

Ashcoat of the Shadow Swarm - buffs your rats and lets you get rats back

Wave of Rats has blitz and reanimates itself

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni rat that steals opponents stuff

Nashi, Moon Sage's Scion rat that steals opponents stuff

Adaptive Automaton is a rat and buffs rats

Okiba-Gang Shinobi rat makes opponents discard and has ninjutsu

Filth gives all your rats swampwalk pairs well with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Dark Ritual lets your get a head start or some extra mana a turn you need it

Tainted Strike instant speed infect, funny in multiplayer because you can use it on anyone's creatures.

Phyresis Outbreak gives poison and might kill opponents creatures

Feed the Swarm enchantment removal in black

Vat Emergence gets a creature back and proliferates

Spread the Sickness destroys a creatures and proliferates

Pact of the Serpent strong tribal card draw

Living Death swap graveyards with battlefields, great after sacrificing your whole board to draw cards

Skullclamp sack small rats for card draw

Thrumming Stone if you go the Relentless Rats or Rat Colony route

Coat of Arms your rats will be huge

Bolas's Citadel this card is dumb lol, lots of casting power and then you hit Gray Merchant of Asphodel and keep going lol

Icon of Ancestry kinda draw buffs ok

Contagion Engine proliferate twice each time you activate

Eldrazi Monument gives creatures flying indestructible and +1/+1

Grafted Exoskeleton gives a creature infect, great with Crypt Rats

Sword of Truth and Justice proliferate sword

Bad Moon buff all black creatures, opponents too

Phyresis gives infect again good with Crypt Rats

Greed card draw

Vraska, Betrayal's Sting proliferate planes walker

I know that's a lot but hopefully gave you some ideas to work with!

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