Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

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Legality

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
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pioneer Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

Legendary Planeswalker — Bolas

Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God has all loyalty abilities of all other planeswalkers on the battlefield.

+1: You draw a card. Each opponent exiles a card from their hand or a permanent they control.

-3: Destroy target creature or planeswalker.

-8: Each opponent who doesn't control a legendary creature or planeswalker loses the game.

DreadKhan on The Dirty Dozen II

4 months ago

I'm not sure if it's really amenable to what you're already doing, but I remember a Sisay deck (I think I found it via ComedIan, it was actually a cEDH list), it used 5C Sisay to dig out a combo to win, and the combo was Planeswalker based. It used Aminatou, the Fateshifter, Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, and Oath of Teferi to more or less win on the spot, the way it works is you use Oath to get 2 activations each time a Planeswalker ETBs, Aminatou and a copy can juggle one another, and with the other activation you get to do something to impact the board, Bolas can force opponents to exile permanents for example, but iirc this does eventually deck you. IIRC you can also untap stuff, so you can also make mana and do other stuff if you can't win via Bolas and Aminatou. Anyways, you aren't on Red, so you can't use that Bolas, but any method of copying Aminatou will let you juggle as long as you have an extra activation. AFAIK you only would need to add Aminatou to the list to have the option of doing this, since you have ways to copy her already. Without Bolas you'd still need some other piece out to generate advantage from the juggling, but I think that's not a big ask with this many other PWs.

I also noticed that you're on mana rocks over options like Nature's Lore and Three Visits, yes they require Green but you are on Triomes and Duals, which these can find. Land ramp is much more stable than mana rocks in my experience, so I try to use it over artifact sources in Green decks. In your colours I feel like you should look at Wargate, it's both a land ramp spell that can fetch a non-Basic land for only 3 mana, but if you have extra mana it can fetch something out.

It's a bit obnoxious, but Meekstone might be a pretty good fit in here unless I'm missing something, it even ignores your Commander fwiw. If you really want to protect Planeswalkers I would also consider Static Orb, but that's actively terrifying to most playgroups, but I think it would work well enough that I feel I should at least mention it. With your Proliferate theme and general lack of creatures, you might also try Tangle Wire, it does nothing to your Planeswalkers, and if the number is high enough it's very stultifying to the board. In a deck like this I wonder if Mythos of Brokkos would be handy to recur stuff? It's really, really wacky, but have you ever thought about trying out Brago, King Eternal? He can flicker your PWs whenever he connections, meaning you can downtick them, hit someone and then activate them again that turn. If you don't end up cutting back on artifact ramp Brago looks even better.

Good luck with your deck, hopefully something here will help your rework!

TypicalTimmy on League of Supervillans

7 months ago

If you are making an eternal league of BBEGs, I feel like saturating the deck in variations of Bolas will only serve to detract from the overall theme of the deck.

I would suggest you set a hard limit to 1 iteration per baddie, and choose the one that makes the most sense for the deck. It doesn't need to be the "best" or "most powerful", but the one that makes the most sense. For example, Tezzeret has eight Planeswalker cards. As you build your deck, maybe you see card draw is lacking. Therefore, Tezzeret, Artifice Master and his 0 ability would be a prime choice. But, maybe you actually have plenty of draw and very limited ramp. That would mean Tezzeret the Schemer and his +1 are infinitely more useful.

So my suggestion, as someone who has build decks like this before, is this: Decide upfront how many representations you want. 10 is a nice starting choice, but this is also only 10% of the deck. That means the majority of the time, during the majority of your games, you'll only land 1 or 2 each. 12 gets up there, and 15 usually means you'll land 2 or 3 per game. But you don't want to overly saturate your deck and end up with a fist full of nothing, either.

So set a limit, maybe 15 cards. Then start by building the rest of the deck first. Get your removal, interactions, draw and protection out of the way.

Look to see what you have left, and of those 15 or whatever you've decided upon, use the best iteration of each baddie to fill in your gaps. For example, maybe you find that your interaction is slightly limited. Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted gives you removal options. Partnered with Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, this gives you a substantial amount of threat assessment.

Maybe however you have plenty of removal, but what you really struggle with is flyers. Hard to protect yourself and other Planeswalkers if someone can just fly straight over your defenses. Therefore, Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath is a prime choice with his ability to create 5/5 Demon tokens with flying.

As I said, build the deck first and use your baddies to fill in your gaps. ^_^

At least, as a Timmy, that's how I'd construct it. :D

Stardragon on League of Supervillans

7 months ago

I building a Grixis super friends deck with only villains And yes Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God is the commander of course he is. Now IDK if i should add the other bolas's or not on one hand the only being that bolas could see as an equal is himself... on the other he feel like those are poor imitations of him. Or they all just secheming against each other to fain each others power and the league gets no where.

So any great hidden gems of villains are welcome.

And Yay or Nay to extra bolas's.

Apollo_Paladin on Elderspell Exploits (Arena Superfriends)

1 year ago

@ Vicarian Yeah I can give him a shot at some point, though I'm getting low on Mythic Wildcards due to tinkering with a couple decks now.

I've got no arguments on any of his abilities in terms of synergy with the existing build, my only possible issue(s) would be that:

  • 1: I'm not sure I really need any more Card Draw as this deck generates so much already, tying in with the more important below

  • 2: For 5 mana CMC, I don't think anyone could argue with Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God beating Jace, Unraveler of Secrets in terms of overall power so long as mana isn't an issue (and it really hasn't been, only needing 1 Red for the whole deck). Even the Ultimate I'd argue is better, since there's not many other ways to win with this deck quickly. Though, I'd grant you that in many many cases activating Jace's Ultimate there super-early would just result in an opponent Conceding the match, but it's not quite as guaranteed as Bolas there.

I'm all for activating different Ultimates, and if an opponent concedes to any of them before they resolve then that's fine, but I don't like the idea of drawing games out longer than they need to go with just overwhelming control. If an opponent is sporting enough to stick out an Ultimate resolving, I figure the least I can do is not make them sit there while I stall activating 2 or 3 more (if I can help it at least).

Still, I'm not totally against it either, it'd be an easy switch to try, and I'm sure part of it will depend on the Deck's most common threats/weak points as I play it more.

We'll see how my luck goes for Mythic Wildcards the next time I open some packs. Thanks for taking a look either way though bud!

wallisface on Grixis wincons viability

1 year ago

I think you're going about this a bit wrong. Grixis decks typcically don't want to be winning by any kind of big flashy-combos, or high-mana-cards. Their gameplan is typically to grind away any kind of proactive play from the opponent, and then quickly edge-out a win before the opponent can recoup from all that early-game disruption.

To that end, iconic Grixis spells include Lightning Bolt, Fatal Push, Inquisition of Kozilek, Thoughtseize, Counterspell, Spell Pierce, and Stubborn Denial, as well as occasionally some stuff like Drown in the Loch, Expressive Iteration, and Unholy Heat. Their creatures are often cards that can hit hard fast, or come with free value - things like Death's Shadow, Snapcaster Mage, Dragon's Rage Channeler, Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, Gurmag Angler, Ledger Shredder, and occasionally things like Tasigur, the Golden Fang or Murktide Regent.

So, their gameplan is typically a very straightforward one - every one of their cards provides value on its own, everything is fairly low-mana-curve, and the overall goal is to quickly disrupt your opponents ability to play, and then kill them before they recover.

In terms of the cards you've suggested, I would say they don't really fit into any kind of typical Grixis shell, for the following reasons:

  • Cormela, Glamour Thief is a very high-costing card with very low relative value for that mana-investment. Same goes for Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God.

  • Grapeshot is a combo card and something better having a deck dedicated towards making it work. Instead of trying to do value-plays, you try and combo off asap. This archetype already exists in Modern as Storm, so has no real home/reason-to-exist outside of that. Similarly, as Grixis isn't trying to do any flashy combos, Manamorphose & Dramatic Reversal have super-limited/non-existant use.

  • Lazav, the Multifarious doesn't really do anything or add anything important to be worth building around, imo. Grixis decks especially often have a super-low creature count, which makes its ability pretty niche. Maybe it's a "pet card" that could fit as a 1-of in a death's shadow brew?

  • Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger is a fine card to include in Grixis decks, as many decks already run this (though often as only a 1-of or 2-of at most) - it definately requires some deckbuilding considerations to include it though. I think Ob Nixilis, the Adversary could potentially fit within a Grixis shell, though Grixis decks do often run a very small quantity of creatures, and this may pose a problem.

Now, most of these cards you can still easily build decks around, though I would say you generally don't want to be trying to fit them into typical "Grixis" builds. Some of these cards fit a lot better in UR combo decks (Grapeshot, Manamorphose) for example. I would say that all the cards you've mentioned will have some home within modern, baring only Cormela, Glamour Thief (the card is trash) and Dramatic Reversal (there's just better ways to achieve anything this card is trying to achieve).

MrGuizee666 on Grixis wincons viability

1 year ago

Evening!

I've been thinking about brewing different archetypes in UBR and came up with some ideas. Most if not all grixis control decks will use Snapcaster Mage and manlands to achieve a win whilst running lots of disruption. I thought about using cards like Manamorphose with Cormela, Glamour Thief + Dramatic Reversal in order to cast big spells earlier or storm off with Grapeshot. I also thought about using Lazav, the Multifarious + Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger for the disruption followed by a Ob Nixilis, the Adversary or a turn 5 Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God to punish my opponents. Since I don't have some of these cards it'll be an investment to make. I'd like to use them in Leagues (MTGO)

What do you guys think? Any ideas? What about infinite combos?

TheOfficialCreator on Card Analysis #1 - Dreadhorde …

1 year ago

Hello, everyone!

I thought I would try my hand at creating an article series centering around the beauty of different card designs, as each card truly is unique in its own way, and I wanted to make my appreciation of that into a tangible form so that everyone could experience it.

A general outline of how this article series will go is this: a basic introduction (similar to what you’re reading now), cost versus effect, the flavor of the card, how the card interacts with its limited environment, cards that are similar to it and a short little blurb on what makes them different, a custom card inspired by the analyzed card and a short explanation of the process used to create it, the legacy of the card, and finally, a conclusion to round it all out.

That being said, let’s begin!


The card of today’s analysis is Dreadhorde Invasion, a card I chose to kick off the series with not only because War of the Spark is my favorite set, but also because it will give us a good platform to walk through the steps of this article series.

Dreadhorde Invasion is an oft-overlooked card that provides its user with a Zombie Army (a mechanic introduced and incredibly localized to War of the Spark, excluding a few exceptions such as Lazotep Chancellor) at the cost of a single life each turn. Obviously this adds up quickly, and the Army that is produced is rather clunky, as it is easier to remove (a la Fading Hope), non-evasive, and rather small even in its beginning stages. For it gives you a 1/1 creature on turn 3. That’s not a great payoff, especially for more advanced formats.

This is where the second clause comes in. If your Army can make it to six power, then Dreadhorde Invasion rewards you handsomely with an added lifelink, allowing you to gain back all that lost life and quickly breaking symmetry with your life versus your opponents. It’s not incredibly cost-effective (heck, a Forced Adaptation is more cost-effective in general), but it’s very fun to play with and can provide a lot more when juxtaposed with the rest of the game. But we’ll get into that later.


The flavor of Dreadhorde Invasion is perhaps my favorite part of the card. The Eternals are probably one of the most unique MTG villains (I mean, come on, they’re blue metal zombies that can cross between worlds and steal planeswalker sparks), and definitely one of my personal favorites. The idea of Dreadhorde Invasion is that Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker is executing his plan to become Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, invading the plane of Ravnica with his army of Eternals empowered by The Elderspell in order to steal the sparks of the planeswalkers, trapped there by The Immortal Sun and invited there by the Interplanar Beacon. The invasion is eventually quelled by a joint effort by Liliana, Dreadhorde General, Gideon Blackblade, Ugin, the Ineffable, God-Eternal Oketra, and God-Eternal Bontu, with the defeat of Bolas wrapped up in the brilliant card Despark. Dreadhorde Invasion more than anything flavor-wise represents the whole of War of the Spark, perhaps better than any other individual card in the set (except maybe Enter the God-Eternals). And that is why I love it so much; it is a testament to my favorite set of all time.


As far as Dreadhorde Invasion’s performance in Limited goes, I must say that it has quite an unitive feel to how it operates in multiple deck strategies, similar to how it unites the flavor of the set. It has the keyword amass on it, which is the new ability introduced in the set, and which synergizes well with proliferate. Zombie Armies themselves receive gracious tribal support in the form of Gleaming Overseer, Eternal Skylord, Widespread Brutality, and the like. Beyond this fairly obvious synergy, however, there are many more options for how Dreadhorde Invasion can function in this set. For example, the creation of a creature every turn lends itself very well to sacrifice strategies revolving around Spark Reaper, Ahn-Crop Invader, and Spark Harvest, or even Liliana, Dreadhorde General and God-Eternal Bontu. In addition, the lifelink that can be attained on later turns goes well with Ajani's Pridemate and fits into a subtheme of life gain that the set has.


Dreadhorde Invasion-style effects are somewhat rare, but there is precedence for their existence. The most obvious example is Bitterblossom, an enchantment well-known for its splashes in Modern and which creates small flying threats every turn at the cost of some life. However, there is also Ophiomancer and Endless Ranks of the Dead, or more recently Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia. The thing that sets Dreadhorde Invasion apart from these other cards is its unique combination of losing life and gaining life alongside its ability to make a token larger versus just creating a new token.


Here is a custom card that I made that was inspired by Dreadhorde Invasion.

enter image description here

The process I went through to design this card went something like this.

1) Look at Dreadhorde Invasion and think about what the card is wanting you to do. What's the general theme of the card?

2) Build a general shell around the idea of losing life to gain life, pulling in inspiration from cards like Bloodghast.

3) Adding a tribal element to make it feel like a Dreadhorde card.

4) Adding a fitting name. "Vowmage" gives a feel of some kind of sacrifice to fufill an obligation, especially to a being like Bolas.

5) Adding flavor text that is both quippy and fits the situation. In this case, I chose to show who the Vowmage's vow is to.

6) Finding some art from DeviantArt that fit the theme. This art is from user Ryushadow, and is the only Eternal art I could find.


Dreadhorde Invasion, like most of its amass kin, is largely forgotten especially in competitive play where it is not a contending strategy. Zombie Armies are incredibly weak to removal and usually aren’t very cost-effective, so their weakness of being a single lone creature that just gets bigger and can be chump-blocked can’t really be ignored. War of the Spark as a whole is a largely forgotten story arc, and despite its misgivings it’s still a shame. Dreadhorde Invasion does not truly have a legacy, though it was reprinted in the Midnight Hunt commander set as a part of Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver’s commander deck. Hopefully, one day, we will see Amass return in a future set with greater support so that Dreadhorde Invasion may one day be viable.


Alright, everyone! That is the end of my article for today. Please let me know what worked for you and what didn’t so that I can sculpt this new article series to your feedback!

Speaking of user feedback, I would like to have every tenth card be voted upon by the community. If you want to submit an idea for what card we will go over, just let me know in your comment. The comment with the highest number of upvotes will have their card in the tenth article of the series.

Thank you all for the wonderful community we’ve made together! See you soon.

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