pie chart

Ding Dong Your Creature is Gone: High Power Yawg

Commander / EDH Combo Mono-Black Sacrifice

AngryTortoise


Maybeboard


Remember who started it all...

I have been editing this commander deck for the past ten years, and Yawgmoth, Thran Physician became my new commander in 2019 because of his combo and card advantage potential. While I have largely stuck to a traditional Yawgmoth, Thran Physician EDH shell, I wanted to somehow spice things up, which is why I have included a small but growing stax package. Stax is not only something that I enjoy playing but also something that makes mono-black, which has limited protection and non-creature removal, a little more resilient. That being said, I think my deck currently lacks the means to protect individual combo pieces, so I am looking for any advice on how to make my deck stronger in that aspect (and in any other way). Hope you enjoy, and thank you for reading!
Your two options in this deck are comboing off or staxing the table and generating card advantage until you can combo off. This deck will almost never win through combat damage.

In order to combo off, you will benefit from resolving either Ad Nauseam, Peer into the Abyss, or Necropotence and then ramping into a winning board state with mana-positive spells or Skirge Familiar.

There aren't a lot of stax pieces in the deck, but they are quite potent. Managing to keep one on the battlefield for even a few turns will slow people down enough for you to catch up or find the cards that you need to win.

A large part of piloting this deck effectively is timing. It is important to pay attention to what resources your opponents have and what their individual goals are for each turn. Some cards like Force of Will, Force of Negation, and Fierce Guardianship are hard to predict, but if we can avoid or prepare for other threats to our gameplan, we will increase our odds of winning.

Note 1: This description will highlight the main combos of the deck, and while these are the ideal situations to get into, there are many more ways to generate value that do not necessarily go infinite. You will notice the patterns as you play the deck; get creative!

Note 2: These combos all revolve around creatures entering and exiting the graveyard. Add Blood Artist, Zulaport Cutthroat to the combo to ping the table and remain life-neutral so you don't have to bargain your life away (in the case of Yawgmoth, Thran Physician combos). Deathgreeter also keeps you life-neutral but doesn't make your opponents lose life.

Combo 1

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician + Nest of Scarabs + 1 initial creature to sacrifice to Yawgmoth = Yawgmoth's Bargain, as long as there are creatures that you can place -1/-1 counters on. If your Butcher Ghoul or Geralf's Messenger is on the battlefield, you have a self-contained Bargain.

Combo 2

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician + Butcher Ghoul + Geralf's Messenger = Yawgmoth's Bargain.

Combo 3

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician + Butcher Ghoul or Geralf's Messenger + Bridge from Below (in the graveyard, ofc) or Genesis Chamber = Yawgmoth's Bargain.

Combo 4

The classic Bloodchief Ascension and Mindcrank combo is in this deck as well, mainly because it does not use creatures and thus can operate when a card like Containment Priest is preventing Combos 2 and 3 from going off. Getting three counters on Bloodchief Ascension is also made easier by Yawgmoth, Thran Physician's last ability.

As I add more stax elements into the deck, I'll update this section with my reasons for the specific inclusions.

Because we (ideally) have many tokens and creature recursion options, sacrificing or tapping permanents should not hinder us as much it will hinder our opponents. Yawgmoth, Thran Physician interacts well with Smokestack because we can proliferate the soot counters. Contamination makes casting spells difficult for anyone not in mono black.

This card is a relatively new addition that still needs to be playtested, but so far it seems like a strong way to level the playing field when one opponent is drawing too many cards. It is worth mentioning that Mindslicer is a creature and can thus be easily resurrected in this deck, and if you sacrifice Mindslicer to Yawgmoth, Mindslicer's death trigger will resolve before you draw card, which means that you will draw a card after everyone discards. You can also sacrifice Mindslicer in response to casting tutor spells or other spells that put cards into your hand to put you even further ahead after everyone discards.

One aspect of this deck that I really enjoy is its flexibility. While this deck strives to piece together a combo as soon as possible, it can also use effective synergies to act like a tempo deck. Bitterblossom, Dreadhorde Invasion, and Ophiomancer provide us with sacrifice fodder on each of our turns (and in the case of Ophiomancer, every turn). Bloodghast also provides a free sacrifice outlet on each of our turns, assuming we hit our land drops. These cards pair well with Contamination and Smokestack to keep our engines running for as long as possible.

While this deck can't help you file your taxes, this deck has some ways to deal with problems on the battlefield:
  • As previously mentioned, if we can get poison counters on opponents with Ichor Rats, we can get around abnormally high life totals by proliferating those counters.
  • A well-timed Bojuka Bog deals with graveyard decks, and Dauthi Voidwalker can also stop your opponents' graveyard Shenanigans.
  • The infamous Opposition Agent is here to steal your opponents' searches so they can't blow up or counter your stuff.
  • Grief and Thoughtseize can protect your combo for a pretty cheap cost. When you evoke Grief, you can also sacrifice Grief to Yawgmoth in response to Grief's ETB sacrifice trigger for another quick card.
  • Imp's Mischief is one of black's only ways to interact with instant-speed spells and this deck's only way to stop a counterspell.
  • Gate to Phyrexia is also one of black's only ways to destroy artifacts, in a very slow and telegraphed way.
  • Volrath's Stronghold is valuable because we can save dead creatures that are being sent to Neverland at instant speed, like through Return to Nature.

Proliferate

While this deck uses Yawgmoth's first activated ability more than his second, the cheap proliferate effect is very useful for quickly activating Liliana, Defiant Necromancer  's ultimate, poisoning the table with Ichor Rats, and perhaps adding more counters on cards like Everflowing Chalice, Blast Zone, Peat Bog, and the aforementioned Bloodchief Ascension.

Efficient Card Advantage

I want to highlight the four 0-mana creatures since they might seem one-dimensional at a quick glance. Most of the time, they are just a way to dig one card further into your deck at the low cost of 1 life, but this can come in very handy after a not-so-successful Ad Nauseam or Peer into the Abyss. After you pitch them, they also fuel Mausoleum Secrets and Songs of the Damned. They're also free blockers!

Morbid Opportunist also has a lot of potential because you can activate Yawgmoth first ability on each of your opponent's turn as well (provided that you have enough sac fodder), maximizing the card draw from Morbid Opportunist's triggered ability. This card is a star with Ophiomancer.

Another great card worth mentioning is Scroll Rack. This card can save a bad Ad Nauseam or Peer into the Abyss and can also breathe new life into your hand if you can shuffle away the cards that you put back on top of your library.

Last but definitely not least, we all know and love Skullclamp. No lengthy explanation necessary in this creature-based deck.

For ramp, in no particular order, we have:

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth with Cabal Coffers can give us tons of mana, as can Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Ancient Tomb and Phyrexian Tower give us two mana each, at the cost of life and creatures, respectively. I will also consider Jet Medallion ramp, as it makes our black spells cheaper.

In terms of fast mana, which I interpret as one-time bursts of mana, I have the included the following:

Note: I took Mana Vault out because I figured that every one damage from Mana Vault is one less card to draw off of Yawgmoth, but I also recognize its power. There is a very high chance that Mana Vault makes its way back in the deck.

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician might be long gone, but his legacy remains...

The next time you long for perfection and compleation, give this deck a try!

Thank you for reading! If you like the deck, be sure to hit that upvote button! If you have any suggestions, please comment!

*The Maybeboard list is my wishlist for this deck (in addition to being a maybeboard). Some cards currently in the deck, like Cabal Therapist, will be replaced by these cards when I obtain them.

Suggestions

Updates Add

Comments

Date added 3 years
Last updated 2 weeks
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

10 - 0 Mythic Rares

37 - 0 Rares

21 - 0 Uncommons

12 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.03
Tokens Emblem Liliana, Defiant Necromancer, Faerie Rogue 1/1 B, Insect 1/1 B, Myr 1/1 C, Snake 1/1 B, Zombie 2/2 B, Zombie Army 0/0 B
Folders Mono Black, Uncategorized, Yawgmoth, References, Favorite Decks by Others, Commander, Main, EDH Decks, saved decks, Other People's Decks I Like, See all 11
Votes
Ignored suggestions
Shared with
Views