Phyrexian Arena

Phyrexian Arena

Enchantment

At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.

Latest Decks as Commander

Phyrexian Arena Discussion

trippy_mcfly on Mono Black Death Plague

3 days 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.

MTGBurgeoning on Edgar & Eminence: A Love Story

2 weeks ago

Thank you for reviewing my build and thank you for your comment! I enjoyed perusing your list and admire the strengths and overt power of your deck. There are some cards in your build that I have wanted to include here (Mana Crypt, Vampiric Tutor, Demonic Tutor, Sensei's Divining Top). I am waiting for some copies to become available. Regarding your suggestions:

1) In a vacuum, I absolutely agree with your preference for building Edgar Markov with a vision of tempo and super-aggressiveness. If I were playing an Edgar Markov deck at an LGS, then this is the path I would select as well. However, the 99 of this deck has been shaped to fit the play-conditions of my meta-game. Too often, an early-game overly-aggressive combat directive ended, predictably, with a board wipe, Cyclonic Rift or mass-exiling effect. Even with a high number of protection spells in the deck (Teferi's Protection, Unbreakable Formation, Akroma's Will, Boros Charm), sometimes it's difficult to be resilient. This tendency of my meta helps to explain the deck's somewhat dichotomous structure: I usually had very few options for interacting with my opponents after board wipes. They were able to re-establish their board states with bigger threats than I could produce. I'm creating Vampire creature tokens while they're casting Dragons or Eldrazis. I needed to lean a little bit more into interaction in order to prevail in the mid-to-late game. Leading to...

2) My meta is not prone to use tax or Propaganda effects, so mass-enchantment removal has never been a concern. The majority of removal spells in this build are spot-removal spells, generally with the ability to target various permanent types. These spells have been very beneficial in subduing my opponents' potential threats or barriers to combat. This has allowed me to persevere through the mid-to-late game.

3) As for cantrips spells, I prefer to include spells that have a more controlled effect secondary to life-loss. Cards like Necropotence and Phyrexian Arena allow for less randomized returns and investments. For me, historically, with spells like Pact of the Serpent and Minions' Murmurs on the stack, an opponent will respond to them with instant-speed mass-removal. Unfortunately, this leaves me with a fizzled investment and dreams of what could have been. Also, the potential to lose a high amount of life can be too detrimental. I have died NUMEROUS times to an opponent's Living Death or other mass-recursion spell while Champion of Dusk and a slew of other Vampire creature cards are in my graveyard. It feels bad. It feels really bad. So I decided to cap the potential loss of life by specifically including spells like Read the Bones, Painful Truths and Plumb the Forbidden. Plumb the Forbidden also has been a great way to benefit from imminent board wipes, especially mass-exiling effects. Perhaps if the deck slanted a bit more toward a life-drain theme, then I definitely could reconsider your suggestions of Pact of the Serpent and Minions' Murmurs. However, I just don't think I can ever include Champion of Dusk. It hurts. It hurts a lot.

I really appreciate your feedback and suggestions! Edgar Marvok is uber-powerful and I look forward to continuing our discussions about him! Which brings me to this question:

Are there any cards from Crimson Vow that you are considering for inclusion in the 99?

NV_1980 on GG Scrub

2 weeks ago

Hi there,

I like your deck but there's a few flaws in there that will really bite you in the ass unless you have ways to deal with them. This deck can be halted way too easily by someone playing enchantments. In its current configuration, the deck will not be able to cope with anything like Ghostly Prison, Sphere of Safety, Propaganda, Pyrohemia, Rest in Peace or Leyline of the Void. The same goes for some inhibiting artifacts. You need some counter- or removal options in order to deal with these.

Aside from adding say 4-5 Counterspell-like cards, maybe consider Cyclonic Rift, Feed the Swarm, Mire in Misery and Nevinyrral's Disk.

Also, the deck could do with some more draw. Options that come to mind are Cryptbreaker, Graveborn Muse, Fact or Fiction, Ponder/Preordain, Phyrexian Arena/Underworld Connections.

Have fun brewing.

NV_1980

VampRamped on Hyper Markov

3 weeks ago

Very good list if you can check out my list A Vampire Storm *Primer*, and let me know what you think.

For your discussion of the new Cards from what came out in the Midnight Hunt, I think that Vampire Socialite is basically just a two mana vampire lord which is very good and especially ideal for an aggro deck. Voldaren Ambusher is great and maybe even the all-star of the set as normally you don't want to play removal in Edgar Markov because it hurts the deck's momentum but this lets you have creature removal, and tempo. Falkenrath Pit Fighter has rather good stats and a good-enough ability for a 1 drop.

As for the new cards, I will just discuss the ones that seem worth that time. Voldaren Estate looks like a no-brainer include as it gives all colors of mana in addition to card cycling which is nice. Dominating Vampire looks pretty sweet for aggressive tempo and is also removal if you have a sac outlet which is not too difficult for vampires. Voldaren Bloodcaster looks like a pretty decent card overall, and am interesting to see how it actually plays. The new Olivia could be pretty good value, overall a decent option for inclusion. Bloodtithe Harvester seems not quite as good as Voldaren Ambusher, but still nice to see more removal vampires but the 3/2 statline is pretty nice for 2 mana. Lastly, the new Edgar, Charmed Groom is a bit underwhelming but overall a pretty decent card

As for your deck, it looks good just would make a few minor tweaks in card choices for the aggro deck, but overall the deck looks to have very good synergy for the most part and cohesion towards its goal as an aggro deck. Phyrexian Arena is a slow card advantage engine that is more suited towards midrange Edgar Markov decks. Nighthawk Scavenger is pretty much a strict upgrade over Vampire Nighthawk as just having an opponent crack a fetch land means that Nighthawk Scavenger is just as good with even more potential upside. Bloodhusk Ritualist has an ok multikicker effect but the main issue is the atrocious statline of a 2/2 for three mana. Universal Automaton is just a 1/1 for 1 so pretty much any 1 drop vampire is an improvement, ie Viscera Seer Insolent Neonate, Stromkirk Noble. Also your deck noticeably has no removal which I agree for the most part with the sentiment but would strongly recommend at least 1 card for mass enchantment removal, as one of the biggest weaknesses of an aggro Edgar Markov deck is enchantress decks with propaganda type effects so it is very valuable to have those effects if you need them. Lastly just want to throw in Stromkirk Condemned as a vampire lord that is decent.

RedGriffin42 on Black, White, Red All Over

3 weeks ago

Hello NV_1980!

I've been considering Urza's Incubator and it was in the maybeboard until recently. I go back and forth on it simply because it's not the most exciting card for me to play despite it's powerful effect. It is out of my price range but I happen to already have a copy, so it may very well end up in the deck

You are absolutely right that I need more card draw. I don't love Underworld Connections because it can only be used once a turn (at least in this deck).

I've been a little paranoid about Phyrexian Arena ever since I saw someone die to it. I know it's a little silly, but I like having full control over if/when I spend life which is why, even if they cost more life, Arguel's Blood Fast  Flip and Greed are my preferred card draw sources that I need to make room for. I'm just agonizing over what to take out to fit them in.

I already have some idea what I should remove, but first I want to playtest more and I haven't been able to play MtG in some time.

Twilight Prophet is an amazing card and should be in this deck yesterday, but it is rather expensive so I am waiting for a day it will hopefully cost less.

Thank you for commenting!

NV_1980 on Black, White, Red All Over

3 weeks ago

Hi,

Urza's Incubator saves you a ton of mana when casting your army; not exactly a budget card but then again, it's a staple in most tribal decks. Also, you might want to get some more card draw options in here . Options that come to mind are Underworld Connections, Phyrexian Arena and Twilight Prophet (already in your maybeboard).

Good luck.

NV_1980

NV_1980 on Sen Triplets Your Hand Is Mine

4 weeks ago

Apologies; just noticed you had already added Phyrexian Arena.

NV_1980 on Sen Triplets Your Hand Is Mine

4 weeks ago

Hi,

I'm curious; does Sen Triplets's ability to cast spells from an opponent's hand sufficiently cover the deck's own lack of draw abilities? I personally have my doubts, but I've never played it so ... :)

In that sense, I feel like adding cards that would enable a bit more draw (like Esper Sentinel, Mystic Remora, Rhystic Study, Phyrexian Arena, etc.) would really benefit your speed and add some redundancy; especially useful when someone succeeds at stealing/disabling Triplets.

Kind regards,

NV_1980

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