Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign
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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
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pioneer Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Rules Q&A

Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign

Legendary Creature — Sphinx

Flying Sphinx spells cost 2 less to cast. Whenever Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign or another Sphinx enters the battlefield under your control, reveall the top four cards of your library. An oponent seperates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard

Recommendations View more recommendations

ASalesman on Unesh, Ultimate Guide (Tribal)

2 months ago

Another relevant almost infinite combo

I posted about this before and removed it because I wasn't sure if it actually works, but it does! So I will repost.

This combo involves Cloudstone Curio, Phantasmal Image, and Dockside Extortionist. Wait.. dockside is a red card, what gives?! Well dockside popular in cEDH and with phantasmal image, you can make a copy of it. This can be a win condition for Unesh given the right initial conditions.

Initial Conditions:


  1. Cast a sphinx (or Unesh)
  2. The ETB triggers Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign. Use the BFOF to get another sphinx. If you already have enough sphinxes in hand, prioritize Thassa's Oracle and counter magic to protect your wincon.
  3. The ETB also triggers Cloudstone Curio. Return Phantasmal Image to your hand. (!!THIS DOES NOT CAUSE PH. IMAGE TO SACRIFICE TO ITSELF!!)
  4. Cast Phantasmal Image as a copy of Dockside Extortionist (assuming it is still a valid target), to gain treasures greater than or equal to the amount spent on the Sphinx and Phantasmal Image.
  5. Return to step 1, unless Thassa's Oracle win condition is online in which case go to step 6.
  6. Cast Thassa's Oracle.

I think this combo sounds crazy to people who aren't used to playing Unesh, because there are a lot of things that can prevent you from finishing this combo. Is it likely you will keep finding sphnxes? Short answer, yes due to the 20% rule. In my experience this revision of the deck will get you to the bottom your deck almost every time. What if they remove Dockside from the field? If someone has to use a removal piece on the opponent's Dockside, you can counter it. And if you can't counter it, it feels really good that the removal piece isn't pointing at Unesh. What if they remove Unesh? Now you have another Sphinx to play and continue the combo if you have the mana.

ASalesman on Unesh, Ultimate Guide (Tribal)

2 months ago

1 card sub + found another relevant combo

Replaced Spark Double with Orvar, the All-Form. Spark double and Sakashima are great cards with awesome text, in this deck they effectively do the same thing. I don't think the deck needs redundancy here. Seeing both of these cards in your hand is undesirable because they are relatively expensive mana-wise. A faster card needs to go in one of these slots. I chose to take out Spark Double rather than Sakashima because the text on Sakashima is better. Incoming Orvar. Orvar benefits from Unesh's cost reduction making it only 2 mana to cast. He is a cheap sphinx which is good enough and the rest of the text is an outstanding bonus. The first ability on Orvar synergizes extremely well with Unsummon, Snap, Ghostly Flicker, and especially Chain of Vapor. The second ability isn't as important, but it is not an unhappy thing to see.

Found another almost infinite combo that includes Dockside Extortionist. But wait this is a mono-blue deck, what gives?? Dockside is huge in the format right now, and with Phantasmal Image you can make one if your opponent has one. In Unesh this can be a win condition. Here is the order of events:

Initial conditions:


  1. Cast a sphinx. This triggers Cloudstone Curio returning Phantasmal Image to your hand. This also triggers Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign, you pull sphinxes, changelings, bounce spells, Thassa's Oracle, and counter magic if possible from the BFOF.
  2. Play Phantasmal Image as a copy of Dockside Extortionist to regain mana equal to or greater than the combined cost of the sphinx and Phantasmal Image.
  3. Continue to play sphinxes until you can win the game with Thassa's Oracle.
  4. Repeat until Thassa's Oracle win is online.
  5. Cast Thassa's Oracle

Reynan on Mastering the Archives

1 year ago

Dude... I love a lot. This was my first commander deck, but Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign is my favorite now.

Ashdust on Which tribes do you think …

1 year ago

Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign is a pretty decent sphinx commander TheoryCrafter

Nonary27 on Best Commanders in EDH [Tier List] Part 1

1 year ago

Speak of Lathliss, Dragon Queen, Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign is better right? Two card advantage is better than a 5/5 Red Dragon Token, don't have to be non-token to trigger, reduce 2 mana for Sphinx, lack that 2 mana +1/+0 for every dragon ability but is fine, and last but not least: Mono Blue > Mono Red

VensersJournalist on Eye In The Sky

1 year ago

Thanks for the insight! I’m thinking that going with a more Sphinx-centric build might be good. I do have a spare Jelenn Sphinx in my binder currently, and I was eyeing Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign. I see it as an improved Sphinx of Uthuun (which I had in an earlier version of this).

The double strike cards all look very promising. I’m trying to keep this on a pretty tight budget (under $100 total if possible), so the Fireshrieker and Duelist's Heritage may be useful.

I’m currently running Neurok Stealthsuit but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to have some boots/grieves/cloak in there (the latter makes sure I can land combat damage).

Once again, I really appreciate the suggestions!

JANKYARD_DOG on Eye In The Sky

1 year ago

Isperia triggers each time she deals combat damage, so yes, double strike is your friend. Cards that help with that are True Conviction, Duelist's Heritage, and Fireshrieker. Some others I just found are Paladin Class which doubles as an Anthem and stax effect as well. Also Akroma's Will, while being a one shot effect it has other applications. Another interesting one is Avenging Huntbonder. While it doesn't fly it spreads nicely with each subsequent attack. Sigarda's Vanguard is better if you have ways to blink/flicker it.

If you want to go full on anthems it may be beneficial to consider a 'go wide' strategy as well.Favorable Winds, Empyrean Eagle, Sprite Noble, Serra the Benevolent, Thunderclap Wyvern (personal favorite), Inniaz, the Gale Force, Steel-Plume Marshal, Windstorm Drake, Kangee's Lieutenant, Gravitational Shift (I feel this is meta dependent), Kangee, Sky Warden. Rally of Wings is one time effect, but possibly relevant.

Aside from blue's signature Counterspell's for saving your board, there are a few options. Depending on your budget Teferi's Protection is an option as well as Flawless Maneuver. Sephara, Sky's Blade is specific to flyers. Avacyn, Angel of Hope and Eldrazi Monument are pricey but are an option. Bounce spells are versatile here because they can remove a blocker which also nets you handle knowledge, or save a permanent from destruction. Scapegoat at least let's you read them, minus 1. Single target spells like Blink of an Eye can save you racking up commander tax. For commander protection, you got the usual Boots/Grieves but Neurok Stealthsuit and Whispersilk Cloak offer more, the former can be uses as a counterspell of sorts for single target effects.

Hopefully that isn't too much info for ya. Not saying include them all, but whatever you feel works for you. Oh, almost forgot... looking at the Sphinx options only a few really stuck out. The first of which is Medomai the Ageless works with the double strike as well, however cannot attack during any extra turns. That said, you just switch you equipment or target over on the extra turns. Alhammarret, High Arbiter Can view a hand and lock a card in it. If you bounce a commander prior you can name the commander. Jelenn Sphinx while small in the front still offers an anthem on the attack. Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign, is iffy. I like the cost reduction but am not a fan of cards going to the yard up to you though. Atemsis, All-Seeing was something else I've been considering as an additional wincon. You can use Isperia to fetch cards of costs you're missing.

Ok, now I'm done for now.

TheVectornaut on blue/white Wifeys

2 years ago

Another U/W option that's both budget and beginner-friendly is flyers. By including a critical mass of evasive creatures, you can soar right past blockers for the win. Some cards that synergize with such a plan include Watcher of the Spheres . Empyrean Eagle , Skycat Sovereign , Jubilant Skybonder , and Sephara, Sky's Blade . Then, you can choose to either go wide or go tall. Wide means add more token production like Midnight Haunting and Migratory Route . Tall means add more bombs like sphinx ( Azor, the Lawbringer , Isperia, Supreme Judge , Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign , etc.) or angels ( Angelic Arbiter , Avacyn, Angel of Hope , Lyra Dawnbringer , etc.). Not all of the aforementioned cards are budget but it's easy enough to find cheaper alternatives. If you're playing with a casual (legacy) card pool, EDHREC can be a useful resource for finding cards that fit within an archetype. 60-card decks generally want to be faster than their EDH counterparts, but that really depends on how competitive your meta is. Here's the page for Azorious Flying BTW: Azorious Flying Theme | EDHREC

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