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Yawgmoth, Thran Physician - Gate to Phyrexia v1.2

Commander / EDH Aristocrats Mono-Black Phyrexian Sacrifice Tokens

KBK7101

Maybeboard


Updated - 5/9/22

“When Glacian looks at these stones, he see machines. When Rebbec looks at them, she sees temples in the sky. When I look at them, I see a world made mine.”

Hello and welcome to my deck featuring (arguably) the greatest villain Magic: The Gathering has ever seen, the Lord of the Wastes, Father of Machines, the Ineffable Yawgmoth, Thran Physician!! Despite originally being mentioned in the flavor text of cards dating all the way back to the Antiquities set, it wasn't until the 2019 set Modern Horizons that the Father of Phyrexia finally got his own card and oh man, is it a good one! With abilites that support Aristocrats, Infect and proliferate shenanigans, there are no shortage of ways to build around Yawgmoth. Most of these playstyles are well covered by many other decks on here by people with much more experience than me, however, and nothing in this deck is going to be anything new or groundbreaking for Yawgmoth, but it's mine and I love it! The idea for this deck came around from me doing research into filling out a cycle of mono-colored commander decks featuring the most iconic characters from Dominaria, as started by my decks featuring Multani, Maro-Sorcerer and Feldon of the Third Path. Like the Urza deck in this cycle, there was never a question of who the mono-black deck was going to have at the helm. It's freaking Yawgmoth, man!

Before we get into the deck itself, a little bit about me (feel free to skip this part if you want, I really don't mind!). I've been playing Magic since early 2019 and have been playing mostly Commander/EDH since around the release of Throne of Eldraine. My usual playgroup consists of my two brothers with the rare fourth player being my brother-in-law. My meta consists of all the decks I have listed on here along with some others that I have made and currently have listed as private. When I first started playing Magic, the idea of going to a FNM/some sort of LGS event seemed crazy to me and I was content to just play at home. Once I started playing EDH, though, the urge to play and meet new people started to grow. I was about to dive into my LGS scene right around the time the covid-19 pandemic started. Because of that, I still haven't played with anyone outside of my own house, so please keep that in mind when commenting. I'm an avid deck-builder and I build decks around themes, lore and/or characters rather than broken/infinite combos. I have a LOT of decks but I've only posted a few of them on here publicly but am in the middle of restructuring my deck folders and making more of them public. Most of the decks I build are based around commanders that aren't as common or popular as, say The First Sliver or Muldrotha, the Gravetide (this is obviously not one of them lol). While the term "budget" has a wide meaning, my decks do have one, so please do not recommend insanely overpriced cards such as Lake of the Dead or Yawgmoth's Will as they're much too expensive for me to justify putting in this deck, no matter how good they'd be. I'm also not really looking to add any "fast mana" sources such as Mana Vault or Mana Crypt or anything like that, so please do not recommend those either. With all that said, let's get into the deck!!

I won't dwell too long on the lore for Yawgmoth as most everyone knows who he was and what he was best known for. His card from Modern Horzions, though, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, represents Yawgmoth not as the iconic, dark god of Phyrexia he is best known as, but as the Thran doctor that helped bring about the end of the Thran empire in a bid for power and knowledge. The novel The Thran details the rise of Yawgmoth from his lowest point as an exile living outside the cities of the empire, to trying to cure Glacian of what would later become known as phthisis, to basically usurping control of the Thran capital Halcyon, to killing the planeswalker Dyfed and permanently bonding to the plane of Phyrexia, becoming a god in the process and creating the first Phyrexians. Yawgmoth's rise is actually quite terrifying with how well written and believable it is. It's definitely worth tracking down and reading and is easily one of the best MtG novels you can read. I highly recommend it! Reading the highlights from a wiki page does not do the story justice!
As I mentioned above, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician could be built in multiple different ways. Aristocrats, full on Phyrexian flavor, -1/-1 and proliferate strategies and the ever "popular" Infect ability, Yawgmoth is extremely an extremely versatile commander. This deck attempts to do a little of everything. As his card reflects his time as a Thran doctor using any and every means to advance his own agenda, this deck features a pretty heavy dose of aristocrat style effects as it's main theme... with a small infect/Phyrexian sub-theme to represent the dark horrors of his experiments he conducted in secret. The result should hopefully be a deck that runs really well, but has it's main focus on the "flavor > function" style of deckbuilding.

As a side note, I know of Yawgmoth's synergies with the Undying mechanic featured on cards such as Butcher Ghoul. This deck is not looking for infinite combos, so cards with Undying are wholly excluded from the deck and will not be added.

Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools is one of my favorite planeswalkers released in the last few years. Tokens, card draw and (potentially) a game-ending finisher. What more could you want?

The Dungeons and Dragons crossover set, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, was not something I was terribly interested in as a whole, as I'm not too keen on MTG crossovers as a whole... but there are a few cards that rise above the novelty of being crossover cards and Lolth, Spider Queen is one of them. Like Tevesh Szat, she offers both token generation and card draw but her static ability is where she shines in this deck. "Whenever a creature you control dies, put a loyalty counter on Lolth, Spider Queen". We could potentially use her ultimate the turn after casting her and she might even be able to stick around afterwards! Incredibly powerful stuff for any aristocrat style deck!

Phyrexian Ghoul, Plague Stinger, Fume Spitter, Flesh-Eater Imp, Plague Engineer, Massacre Wurm, Phyrexian Obliterator and Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon are all the Phyrexian creatures for this deck. Ghoul is a free sac outlet, which is always nice. Spitter is cheap, is Phyrexian and puts a -1/-1 counter on something. Obliterator is a card from The List that I opened in a pack. Been looking for a home for it ever since. What better place than here? Wurm is a near board wipe and synergizes with Yawgmoth really well. Skithiryx, Stinger and the Imp are this deck's source of Infect, which can serve as a tertiary win-con after if the aristocrats plan falls through and you don't have access to Torment of Hailfire for some reason. Infect can be a very touchy subject and some playgroups outright ban it but this being a Yawgmoth deck, I feel like there needs to at least be some amount of Infect. I think five cards would be my absolute maximum for this.

Tainted Adversary, Ophiomancer, Weaponcraft Enthusiast, Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder and Nightmare Shepherd are all creatures that help us build up a board of tokens for us to sacrifice to either Yawgmoth or some other means. Some are better at it than others, with Endrek and Adversary being the best of the bunch, I think.

Magus of the Will and Magus of the Coffers are both creatures that call back to powerful cards from Magic's past. Magus of the Will calls back to Yawgmoth's Will, which is the closest thing I'll ever get to owning an actual copy of that card. It has fantastic art, too! Magus of the Coffers offers up the same effect as Cabal Coffers, which is great for pumping out a bunch of tokens with Tainted Adversary or ending the game with an astronomically large Torment of Hailfire.

Woe Strider, Viscera Seer and Priest of the forgotten gods are all sac outlets. Seer lets us sac for free and gives us a Scry in return. Strider is also a free sac outlet to let us Scry but it also gives us a token and could come back from the graveyard once after it eventually dies. Priest has a ability that requires two creatures to sacrifice, which can be a bit slow, but offers us ramp, card draw, removal and some slight damage. She has a lot of upside that balances out it's lack of speed.

Morbid Opportunist, Deathgreeter, Falkenrath Noble, Blood Artist, Vindictive Vampire, Zulaport Cutthroat and Prowling Geistcatcher are all of our aristocrats-style creatures. Some let us draw cards when our stuff dies (like the Opportunist, which is a fantastic card for just being an uncommon), some gain us life (Deathgreeter, Cutthroat, Noble, Artist, Vampire) and some do damage (Artist, Nobel, Vampire, Cutthroat) but all of them care about our creatures dying. A new addition is Prowling Geistcatcher from the Innistrad Midnight Hunt commander decks. Whenever you sacrifice a creature, if it's a token, she gets a +1/+1 counter. If the sacrificed creature is a regular, nontoken creature, she exiles it and whenever she dies, anything that she has exiled comes back to the battlefield. A great card that synergizes really well with our other aristocrats cards and also offers some form of protection/recursion for our most important creatures if we have a sac outlet.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel is a mono-black staple. Pretty obvious.

Reassembling Skeleton is a fantastic card in any deck that cares about sacrificing stuff. Debating adding more of these types of creatures such as Persistent Specimen, Bloodghast etc. The new Tenacious Underdog from Streets of New Capenna is another one of these types of cards. A bit more expensive to cast from graveyard but draws you a card when it dies. Wave of Rats can also recur itself, provided it dealt combat damage. It has trample, though, so it's probably fine.

Junji, the Midnight Sky is one of the new legendary dragons from Kamigawa Neon Dynasty. The entire cycle of these mono-colored dragon legends have death triggers, a callback to the original cycle of dragons from the first Kamigawa block. Junji's death offers us a choice of either forcing our opponents to discard some cards and lose some life or reanimating a non-dragon from a graveyard. Great way to recur Yawgmoth late in the game or something else that his bit the dust at some point.

Phyrexian Scriptures is here mainly for flavor. The board wipe and graveyard hate effects, though delayed, are both nice, though.

Dreadhorde Invasion, Ghoulish Procession andNest of Scarabs are more token generators. Invasion and Procession are fast and cheap but Nest is easily the best token generator Yawgmoth can ask for. An "auto-include" if there ever was one. Sac creature, put counter on creature, make bug, draw card, sac bug, repeat process until nothing is left. Arguably the best card in the deck.

Phyrexian Reclamation is great for recovery.

Bastion of Remembrance is another aristocrat style card and it being an enchantment makes it a bit harder to remove.

Dark Prophecy is a pretty straightforward card draw engine.

Rise of the Dark Realms and Command the Dreadhorde can help end the game in two ways. One, overwhelming the board with all the best creatures that have died over the course of the game, or two, flooding the board with fodder to sac. Either way, try and save these until you're fully ready to end the game. Torment of Hailfire is another well known game ender. Combined with Cabal Coffers, Magus of the Coffers and/or Cabal Stronghold, as long as the blue player has no counters, you're pretty much good to go.

Yawgmoth's Vile Offering was the second card added to the deck after Nest of Scarabs. Removal and recursion for five mana is great... provided you have Yawgmoth or another legendary creature on the field. I think that the legendary sorcery cycle of spells from Dominaria was really cool and I hope that they do more in the future.

Infernal Grasp, Feed the Swarm and Defile are all for removal. Since Yawgmoth has built-in removal with his -1/-1 counters, I think this section needs some work. Could probably cut this down to three or so. Feed the Swarm is great for hitting enchantments, though!

Morbid Curiosity, Blood Pact, Plumb the Forbidden, Body Count and Village Rites are all card draw. Since Yawgmoth has built-in card draw, this section could probably use some trimming.

Dark Ritual is classic mono-black ramp. Demonic Tutor is THE classic tutor card. I got this nice 3ED copy for fairly cheap and am really happy to add it in!

Unearth helps us recur a small creature and has Phyrexian art.

Sudden Spoiling really versatile. It can effectively stop any damage you may take from an attack, it can stop triggered and activated abilities if used in advance and even helps Yawgmoth to easily wipe the board. It can't even be responded to!

Toxic Deluge is a classic mono-black board wipe. The new reprint from Commander Collection: Black actually features Phyrexian god Yawgmoth in the card art and flavor text!

Xander's Pact from the Streets of New Capenna commander decks has some potential due to the fact that it can be copied by the new Casualty keyword. The fact that you can pay life instead of mana has me thinking that this one might be a good addition here for a bit. I wanted to add in Illicit Shipment as well but I didn't have enough 3+ power creatures to warrant adding it.

Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, Moonsilver Key, Mind Stone and Prismatic Lens all help with ramp.

Skullclamp is insane card draw value in any deck with tokens as most everyone knows.

Bontu's Monument reduces the cost of our black creature spells and helps drain life when we cast them.

Genesis Chamber is great for making tokens for us to sacrifice and for giving our opponents tokens for us to kill. It's a win-win. For us!

Choosing the basic land art is one of my favorite parts of deckbuilding. I know a lot of people will automatically go for the Secret Lair Phyrexian swamp as their art of choice, but since Yawgmoth, Thran Physician represents Yawgmoth during the Thran novel, I felt it was best to split the basic land art between Phyrexian (Swamp) and Thran (or on this case, Ravnican because we don't have any Thran basics Swamp).

As for nonbasics, Cabal Coffers and Cabal Stronghold can pump out insane amounts of black mana. Takenuma, Abandoned Mire recurs us a creature or planeswalker from the graveyard if we need it. Polluted Mire and Barren Moor can be cycled if drawn later in the game. Bojuka Bog can delete someone's graveyard (preferably the Sultai player's), Witch's Cottage is straightforward recursion that's also a swamp. Ifnir Deadlands can put some -1/-1 counters on something. Phyrexian Tower and Myriad Landscape are both land based ramp. War Room and Cryptic Caves help with card draw. Command Beacon helps recur Yawgmoth after he dies a few times (which he probably will). High Market is a free sac outlet on a land. Karn's Bastion helps proliferate counters and Vesuva does all of the above!

Key cards that I'd recommend for basically any Yawgmoth deck are :

vs. Urza, Lord High Artificer vs. Feldon of the Third Path

L

My brother piloted this one. He saw some early value with Skullclamp but drew some hate once an infect creature hit the board. Had a decent board presence with Ogre Slumlord, Skullclamp and Falkenrath Noble but ran short on time and just took all the damage so he could head out, which was unfortunate because he had Torment of Hailfire, Command the Dreadhorde and Morbid Curiosity all in hand and was a turn or two away from taking control of the game. Oh well. Maybe next time!

  • All decks in my Legends of Dominaria cycle have two versions of their commander, one normal/modern version and one old-school border version. The modern border ones have alter sleeves. One of the two may be a proxy depending on the deck.

Proxies - Just an old-school border version of Yawgmoth, Thran Physician.

Alter Sleeves - https://www.altersleeves.com/product/lqcwfbgtrglcx2k?printing_id=40361

Sleeves - Dragon Shield Matte (Jet)

Deck Box - Ultimate Guard 100 (Onyx) + Ultra Pro 100 - Black Lotus (for tokens)

Playmat - 3rd party - Black Lotus (Vintage Masters art)


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That covers just about everything, I think! Hopefully I've conveyed the lore of Thran-era Yawgmoth well with this deck's card choices. This deck has been built for a bit but is still very much a first draft. I'd love some advice on the ratio of token generation, draw and removal spells. I also think I need to add more swamps (and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth). Any recommendations are welcome! Just please remember that I've never played with anyone outside of my own house.

Thanks for reading!

Suggestions

Updates Add

OUT - Charcoal Diamond, Grim Haruspex, Greed, Prismatic Lens, Rise of the Dread Marn, Read the Bones

IN - Arcane Signet, Body Count, Wave of Rats, Demonic Tutor, Xander's Pact, Tenacious Underdog

Charcoal Diamond for Arcane Signet is a bit of optimization. Body Count has all kinds of potential. Demonic Tutor is always good. The other New Capenna cards are just ones I thought might be interesting and have added them in for now.

Comments

50% Casual

50% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 10 months
Last updated 2 months
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

11 - 0 Mythic Rares

28 - 0 Rares

28 - 0 Uncommons

14 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.03
Tokens Copy Clone, Emblem Lolth, Spider Queen, Goat 0/1 W, Human Soldier 1/1 W, Insect 1/1 B, Myr 1/1 C, Servo 1/1 C, Snake 1/1 B, Spider 2/1 B, Thrull 0/1 B, Thrull 1/1 B, Zombie 2/2 B w/ Decayed, Zombie Army 0/0 B
Folders All Decks, Legends of Dominaria, interesting decks, Cool Stuff, Decks to look at, Yawgmoth Deck, Cool
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Revision 7 See all

2 months ago)

+1 Arcane Signet main
+1 Body Count main
-1 Charcoal Diamond main
+1 Demonic Tutor main
-1 Greed main
-1 Grim Haruspex main
-1 Prismatic Lens main
-1 Read the Bones main
-1 Rise of the Dread Marn main
+1 Tenacious Underdog main
+1 Wave of Rats main
+1 Xander's Pact main