Yawgmoth, Father of Machines: Suicide Mono-Black Control

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago




Yawgmoth, Father of Machines: Suicide Mono-Black Control






Introduction
For centuries after the collapse of the Thran Empire, tales of a plane filled with bio-mechanical monsters, terrifying demons, and evil incarnate have haunted Dominaria. Appearing through planar breaches on Dominaria, these incursions and glimpses of horror increased at the end of the Ice Age block and intensified all the way through to the Invasion block of Magic: The Gathering's storyline. The Lord of the Wastes, a name given by Benalians, was rumored to be the overlord and perpetrator of these attacks, a mysterious entity filled with malice and cruelty unfathomable.

Who was The Lord of the Wastes? Why wage an eternal war against Dominaria and send minions to spread terror and destruction on its inhabitants? Could this dark villain ever be defeated?

Behold The Lord of the Wastes and the Primer dedicated to The Grand Evolution.

As a dedicated Vorthos fan for literally decades, ever since I was introduced to MTG during the Judgment and Onslaught blocks, I have wanted to have a card for Yawgmoth. My friend's older brother had a ton of cards from the Urza's Saga block that I would constantly look through, and I was intrigued by the flavor text of cards like Phyrexian Gargantua|APC, Eastern Paladin|USG, Western Paladin|USG, and Unworthy Dead. Who was this Great Yawgmoth and where did he get such cool looking monsters to serve him? Combined with seeing this older brother's Avatar of Woe destroy my friend's casual GW goodstuff deck in the same day, this is the first instance I can remember of wanting to play B preferentially.

More specifically, I have wanted to play with a cardboard version of Yawgmoth ever since that day so I could play those super-awesome cards with flavor text that first captured my imagination.

All good things to those who wait.

18 years later, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, his pre-God form, was willed into existence and I immediately pre-ordered a copy of him, alongside Urza, Lord High Artificer. I took apart the decks I had with any good B cards and built Yawgmoth. My list feels like it has finally achieved a balance between power and Vorthos that has made Yawgmoth, Thran Physician my favorite Commander deck to play, even over my well-established Memnarch deck. This Primer is meant to explore a Vorthos-inspired, synergy driven, Combo-centric list that qualifies it as solidly High-Power. If it faces any deck that is dependent on keeping creatures alive, it does an impressive job of eliminating creatures from the battlefield and the majority of my wins have actually come from combat damage.

So join me as I explore the dark power of The Ineffable's transcendent journey, discovering the power that comes from eugenics and medicine… gone wrong.


Yawgmoth's History & Evolution

I understand that not everyone is as much of a lore/Vorthos person as I am, but I wanted to at least have the option for you to read the extensive history of Yawgmoth and why he's so feared as a villain. It's quite a bit of reading, and I encourage you to take some time and learn about Yawgmoth's rise to power and how he came to be called The Lord of the Wastes. For the purposes of readable Primer, however, I will be spoilering the history below.
Yawgmoth's History & Evolution
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Yawgmoth was born during the last century of the Thran Empire, a culture and empire that predates all recorded history for the plane of Dominaria. Spread across the continent of Terisiare, the Thran were incredible inventors and one of the most technologically advanced societies ever recorded. The paralells between the Thran civilization and Kaladesh are striking, so use Kaladesh as a reference point when envisioning what the Thran Empire was like. The Thran had two primary factions that existed within the ruling class, the Artificers and the Eugenicists.

Artificers, backed by the Thran elite, advocated for powerstone-fueled machines and a magic-centric view of the world, where wounds and diseases were cured and explored only through magical means. Examples of these powerstones are most easily visualized by cards like Worn Powerstone and Powerstone Shard. Eugenicists supported a more scientific based view of the world, looking for rational causes for disease and phenomena, proposing ground-breaking innovations such as germ theory and medical surgery techniques. Because of these "degrading" views of the world and its heresy against the traditional view of the world, the Artificers discredited many prominent Eugenicists and forced them into exile. Yawgmoth was one of the leading Eugenicists exiled because of this schism, and he harbored a deep resentment of the Thran elite because of his imposed exile.

At the time of Yawgmoth's birth, there was an internal struggle also occurring between the ruling elite and the ruled in regards to the ruling system that existed. The Imperialists, comprising the ruling elite, were in favor of the skewed voting system that existed and the power they had. The Republican rebels struggled to to implement a democratic ruling system, where their voices and votes actually mattered. Because of the dual unrest between Artificers and Eugenicists and the Imperialists and Republican "Rabble", unrest and violence was escalating. By the time Yawgmoth had become the leading Eugenicist of the Thran, riots were common during this time period. These riots were also fueled by a strange disease that affected many of the Republican Rabble that was both uncurable and untreatable by traditional Thran healing techniques.

Glacian, the leading Artificer and a powerful member of the Thran Elite, was caught in one of these riots and was stabbed with a tainted weapon, contracting this mysterious disease. At the behest of his wife, Rebbec, Glacian recalled Yawgmoth from exile in order to research his disease and why it was ravaging him. Yawgmoth was welcomed back to his home after years in exile and immediately began to research the symptoms of this disease. In time, Yawgmoth discovered that the powerstones that powered the Thran Empire emitted a specific radiation that, when exposed to in concentrated doses, created a cancerous disease. Naming this disease phthisis, Yawgmoth released his findings publicly and announced a medical emergency. This sharpened the tensions between the Imperialists and the Republicans, as this disease was widespread amongst the general population but NOT among the Imperial Elite. For a particularly destitute group of people who lived underneath the factories that produced the Thran Powerstones, called The Untouchables, their outrage escalated quickly to widespread, very dangerous riots. Gix, the leader of The Untouchables, received this news particularly poorly and sought revenge on behalf of his people, planning the most violent riot yet. Yawgmoth, after releasing his findings publicly, petitioned for additional funding and power as he researched a cure for phthisis, and with the inspiration of another Thran healer decided to incorporate metal with a special serum he invents.

Gix leads The Untouchables and the Republican Rabble to try and destroy the Thran Temple located in the capital city of Halcyon, the most devastating and damaging riot yet. Their violence is unstoppable and they almost succeed in destroying the temple until Yawgmoth offers his special serum for free to any person. With their outrage dissipated at the hope of healing and relief, the mob disperses and Yawgmoth is granted Imperial power as one of the members of the Council of Halycon, the inner circle of the Thran elite. Yawgmoth continues to consolidate power in the Thran Empire and "treat" afflicted patients in the Caves of Koilos, while trying keeping Glacian as healthy as possible. Glacian has gone insane and his health is precarious for... reasons, and Yawgmoth begins to flirt with Glacian's wife Rebbec as a way to gain even more power in the Council of Halycon.

I take the rest of this material from Yawgmoth's MTG Gamepedia page, of which the above is an adaptation and consolidation between the Gamepedia entries for the Thran, The Thran novel, and Yawgmoth. Please read the official Gamepedia entry here even as I copy and paste it below. Do note that I do not own any of the below material, and that this statement hopefully constitutes any other disclosures necessary to avoid copywright infrigement and other legal issues. It is not my intent to rob other contributors of their work but to widely share the lore of one of my favorite characters in all of MTG.

"One day, the planeswalker Dyfed visited Glacian, wanting to meet the genius in real life, and also to learn about his own spark, though she said nothing of it. Dyfed sought an audience with Glacian, who possessed a latent spark, and who had recognized a theory by which an entire plane could be mapped to the interior of a powerstone. However, Glacian rejected her presence as a charade staged by Yawgmoth. Yawgmoth walked in on the meeting and managed to talk Dyfed into aiding him, enlisting her help in locating an unpopulated plane for his own designs. Yawgmoth then has Glacian brought to the Caves of the Damned, which, the artificer discovers, are now sterile laboratories where the sick are experimented on, instead of damp caves where they are left to rot. Glacian doesn't know whether this is an improvement, but willingly follows Yawgmoth. He is welcomed by Gix, who is now the commander of the Caves.

Dyfed eventually discovered a wholly artificial plane, covered in mechanical life and composed of nine nested spheres. The creator of the plane had recently died of unknown causes in the innermost sphere, leaving it without a controlling will, and Dyfed proposed that Yawgmoth attempt to assume psychic control of the plane, before it succumbed to slow decay. Yawgmoth [successfully] bound himself to the plane within its core, becoming a god while staying there and named it the opposite of phthisis: phyresis, which was eventually changed to Phyrexia. He started to bring phthisis patients to Phyrexia, where they were implanted with empty powerstones that drained away their sickness. The patients slowly began to evolve as well, growing longer, thinner, stronger, and faster.

When Gix led another large riot on the city, Yawgmoth was prepared. He made an artifact, based on Glacian's designs, to control all powerstone technology in the city, called the Null Sphere. With it and the Halcyte Guard, he managed to stop the invasion and force Gix into complete obedience.

After the city had been rebuilt, Halcyon held a great festival to honor Yawgmoth, but a strange group of delegates appeared shortly before it could commence. They were representatives of the nations Yawgmoth "experimented on" during his exile and they came to declare war on all who stood by Yawgmoth.

You see, during his exile, Yawgmoth had journeyed the globe, visiting many different civilizations, and showing them all just how ruthless and cold-hearted he was. During this time, he committed many atrocities, of which the following are known:
  • He set the Black-Cough upon the dwarves of Oryn Deeps, inciting a workers' rebellion that nearly killed the dwarven king and ended 1,000 years of dwarven rule.
  • He turned the Creeping Mold of Argoth into a virulent plague that ate away the elves there. He also kidnapped their priest Elyssendril Lademmdrith and her healers, ordering the elves to pay ransom for their leader and the cure she had developed for the plague. When the elves paid, he delivered to them only sweetened water and 12 dead healers.
  • He set the White Death upon the minotaurs of Talruum, just to study its effects.
  • He infected the leaders of the cat people nations with rabies, after which they tore each other to pieces.
  • He poisoned the human tribes of Gulatto Meisha.
  • He pithed and vivisected the Bey of the Shivan Viashino.
Faced with the threat of a full-scale war with the united nations, the Thran council voted on whether Yawgmoth could stay, but the votes went 50/50. It came down to the last two members of the council; Yawgmoth and Rebbec themselves. Voting together to ensure Yawgmoth's safety in the city and the hope of permanently healing Glacian, they voted to have Yawgmoth stay. He immediately overthrew the council and imprisoned its elders, as well as the delegates, asking Dyfed to transport them and their goblin retinue to the plane of Mercadia.

Sometime later, Dyfed opened a portal from Dominaria to Phyrexia, the plane which Yawgmoth wanted to make his paradise. With Dyfed's further assistance, and insights into powerstone physics from an increasingly delusional Glacian, he opened a permanent interplanar portal between Phyrexia and the caves below Halcyon, and offered it to the Thran as a refuge from powerstone radiation sweeping the city. Shortly afterwards, he slaughtered the Halcite population for raw parts from which to construct Phyrexian horrors. Yawgmoth hid the two halves of the powerstone Dyfed cracked to power the portal inside Glacian's wounds, creating what we know to be the Weakstone and Mightstone.

Yawgmoth fared quite well while warring with the alliance of nations against him. Using the Halcyte Guard, soldiers mutated in Phyrexia, and stonechargers (the equivalent of nuclear bombs), he could overcome any army that stood against him. Dyfed appeared, telling Yawgmoth she is not pleased with the war, and that she is going to stop him. But when she is horror-struck and stunned at the absolute evil of the realm he has made in Phyrexia, Yawgmoth stabbed her in the brain with a powerstone dagger, scrambling her mind so that she couldn't form a coherent thought. With her mind pithed this way, Dyfed couldn't think properly and thus couldn't planeswalk. Planning to keep her alive, Yawgmoth decides to eventually dissect her to discover what specific organ gives Dyfed her godlike power.

During the last night of the Thran-Phyrexian War, both sides are preparing for the final battle, the Battle of Halcyon, which will begin at dawn. Yawgmoth uses his favorite war caravel to rise high above the Thran Alliance and drop bombs at them. But as the bombs descend, they are shot down, as is Yawgmoth's war caravel.

Yawgmoth survived, thanks to an armor designed by Glacian, and is brought back to the city by a Phyrexian warrior with vicious claws and a gigantic mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth. Yawgmoth realizes it is Xod, the healer who gave him the inspiration for the serum so many years before. Yawgmoth remarked that the healer has become beautiful (in his eyes) thanks to his mutations.

Glacian eventually died. Cradling the dead body, Rebbec discovered Yawgmoth has placed the two halves of the portal's powerstone inside her husband's body. Yawgmoth took her to Phyrexia and used his godlike powers to take possession of her entire being, finally learning how much she had grown to hate him over the years. Yawgmoth left Rebbec on Phyrexia to lead his troops and quell the petty war distracting him. After Yawgmoth left, Rebbec liberates Glacian's body from the Phyrexians and kills the vat priests that were working on him and Dyfed, giving Dyfed the peace of death as well.

On Dominaria, Yawgmoth ordered stonechargers dropped on all opposing armies in the capital city of Halycon. His enemies are obliterated, and the war is ended.

Inside the Null Sphere, however, the artificers have convinced their guards that the Sphere must rise higher to be able to absorb the energy from the death clouds the stonechargers left behind before they reach Halcyon. In truth, the artificers planned to die of asphyxiation in the high altitude air, causing the sphere's controls to short-circuit, so the cloud would certainly destroy Halcyon.

In the meantime Rebbec had tried to install a propulsion device in the floating Thran Temple, to save civilians. But the temple falls as one of the first victims to the death cloud. Seeing this happening, Yawgmoth convinces all remaining inhabitants of Halcyon to journey to Phyrexia to be saved. Yawgmoth leads them to Phyrexia, but as theThran citizens arrive on the plane and discover what monstrosities they will become there, they try to flee again, but are killed and used to create new Phyrexian Newts.

Only Rebbec is left in Halcyon, holding the two halves of the powerstone Yawgmoth had placed inside Glacian. As she united the pieces, she suddenly heard her husband's voice: his essence has been absorbed into the stones. Glacian convinces her to place the reunited stone back on the pedestal on which Dyfed broke it, to close the portal and lock Yawgmoth outside of Dominaria forever. She goes to the pedestal-room and does that, even though Yawgmoth begs her not to from the other side of the portal.

After that, Rebbec ascends the stairs out of the Caves of the Damned and walks into the white cloud covering Halcyon, hoping that Yawgmoth would be permanently locked away forever.

She was wrong.

For ages, Yawgmoth altered the Thran that had come to Phyrexia while fleeing the fallout of the stonechargers, transforming them into the first true Phyrexians. Using planar portals, the Phyrexians journeyed to many planes which they conquered, while they used its inhabitants as raw material for the Newts, as Phyrexians who had not been augumented were known. But Yawgmoth was not happy, for somehow Rebbec had completely locked him out of Dominaria.

Then came the day the archaeologist brothers Urza and Mishra disturbed the powerstone sealing the portal while exploring the Caves of the Damned, now known as the Caves of Koilos. Yawgmoth sent Gix, now a fully compleated Phyrexian and a member of his Inner Circle, through the portal as a scout. Gix planned to manipulate the Brothers, who had started a war. Having his minions, the Brotherhood of Gix, infiltrate both sides and eventually replacing Mishra with a Phyrexian, Gix hoped to magnify the war until it had destroyed all civilization on the continent, allowing for a simple infiltration by the Phyrexian Forces built up by Yawgmoth over the centuries. During the war's end, Urza activated the Golgothian Sylex, an artifact so powerful it completely devastated the world of Dominaria. Gix fled back to Phyrexia, telling Yawgmoth of what had happened. Gix's plans to infiltrate Dominarian society via the Sleeper Agents was approved by the dark god, but the first few attempts failed since all the Agents looked alike. The sudden appearance of many people looking exactly similar had caused panic among the Dominarians, who proceeded to kill any they came across. Gix planned to try again, but by then the Shard of the Twelve Worlds was completed. The Shard had been a side effect of the Sylex Blast: it locked twelve worlds from the other planes of the multiverse, trapping many planeswalkers inside, but also keeping the Phyrexians outside. A furious Yawgmoth had Gix thrown into the 7th Sphere of Phyrexia, where he would be tortured for all eternity.

Then Urza, who had died in the blast, but was reborn a planeswalker, attacked Phyrexia. Moments before he activated the Sylex, Urza discovered his brother had been turned into a machine and had gone completely insane, blaming those responsible for turning his brother into a machine for all the wrongs of the Brothers' War. To add more fire to his hate, Urza's eyes had been replaced with the Mightstone and the Weakstone, the two halves of the powerstone that contained Glacian's spirit. Having met the Newt Xantcha, who had been intended as a Sleeper Agent but had been turned into an expendable servant now that the Agents couldn't be deployed, Urza had discovered Phyrexia was responsible and had created a monstrous machine-dragon to attack the plane. He managed to blast a gigantic hole in the plane, all the way down to the 4th Sphere, but then Yawgmoth himself invaded his mind and made him go even more insane. Urza fled and for years he traveled from plane to plane, the Phyrexians always on his heels, for Yawgmoth couldn't let someone who planned to destroy Phyrexia go unpunished. Urza was eventually healed by Serra, but after he left the Phyrexians even invaded her realm and corrupted it.

Then Freyalise, desperate to be free from the Shard, cast the World Spell, opening Dominaria to Yawgmoth once again. He released Gix from his torment, since he knew more about fighting Urza and infiltrating Dominaria than anyone else, but while Gix was initially successful Urza returned to his homeplane as well. He first destroyed all Sleeper Agents and then killed Gix.

In the wake of his latest setback, Yawgmoth set about concocting a different plan: instead of infiltrating Dominaria, he would prepare for a full-blown invasion. He started to amass an army and created the artificial plane of Rath, which he planned to fill with troops and then merge it with Dominaria, placing all his forces there in a single moment.

Even as he set his new plan into motion, Yawgmoth continued to send troops after Urza, recognizing him as one of the greatest threats to his plans. One of the more successful ones was K'rrik, a Sleeper Agent who tracked down Urza's academy on Tolaria, where mages were trained and artifacts were built to fight Phyrexia. K'rrik succeeded in destroying the place, but Urza sent the silver golem Karn back in time to prevent this. He succeeded, but the time machine overheated and destroyed the academy nonetheless. When Urza returned ten years later he found that the time streams of the island had been twisted. In some places, ten thousand years happened in a single second, in others it was the other way around. Trapped inside a fast-time bubble, K'rrik had ages to prepare for an attack on Urza, but the planeswalker eventually managed to defeat him with the help of the nature-spirit Multani.

While the evincars of Rath started to overlay small parts of the plane with Dominaria in preparation for the coming invasion, the artificial plane filled up with beings from Dominaria and other planes on which the Phyrexians could experiment. Among them were the Kor, humans with strange elongated skulls. When the Inner Circle member Croag, who oversaw the progress of the plane, discovered humans with Phyrexian traits in them in Benalia, the truth about the Kor was revealed: Urza had started the Bloodline project, a grand plan to manipulate the breeding patterns of several groups of Dominarians to create perfect warriors to fight Phyrexia. The project resulted in ordinary humans with an affinity for tracking down and fighting Phyrexians, and in the Metathran, genetically engineered warriors with no will of their own, eerily similar to the Phyrexians they were designed to fight. After discovering this, Yawgmoth increased the raids on Dominaria, tracking down the Bloodline results and killing them. Croag devastated the nation of Keld, where the renegade Bloodline researcher Gatha had created humans like Kreig, who were able to severely wound an Inner Circle member. Despite Yawgmoth's efforts, some Bloodline children slipped through the attacks, such as Gerrard, the true heir to Urza's Legacy, a collection of artifacts made for the single purpose of destroying Yawgmoth. The attacks became so frequent at times that they started to play a role in local myths. Stories about the Lord of the Wastes, a machine-lord who waged eternal war on Dominaria, started to spread from Benalia to Jamuraa.

During the Phyrexian invasion of Dominaria, Yawgmoth mostly stayed behind in Phyrexia, guiding his troops from afar. It wasn't until the last moments of the war that he returned to Dominaria after 9,000 years. He did so in the form of a hemisphere-spanning death cloud that killed Dominaria's defenders and resurrected them to fight for Phyrexia.

But there was still hope for the plane: Urza and Gerrard hovered high overhead on the Weatherlight, the main part of the Legacy. They punctured the Null Moon itself and used the white mana it had been gathering ever since those Thran artificers launched it into the sky and caused Yawgmoth's first defeat. Yawgmoth tried to flee back to Phyrexia, but the Stone Druids had activated the volcano under the Stronghold, covering the only remaining portal to Phyrexia in deep magma. Yawgmoth was hurt by the white mana, but survived and took the form of giant tentacles that attacked the Weatherlight. Undeterred, Gerrard took out Urza's gemstone eyes - the two halves of the powerstone that had locked out Yawgmoth and contained the spirit of Glacian - and placed them in the cavities in Karn's chest, completing the Legacy. The exact working of the Legacy device is unknown, but it created a sentient light that dissolved Yawgmoth's death-cloud form, killing him at last."
He craves only one commodity. - here





Commander Analysis


Yawgmoth is very, very powerful card when built around correctly. He is a free, instant-speed sacrifice outlet that both shrinks creatures via -1/-1 counters and, most importantly, draws cards. It's the drawing of cards for free that makes Yawgmoth so powerful, and this list utilizes his ability heavily to supplement the card draw already present in the deck. Let's break down his pros and cons more specifically to see if he's a good fit for you, dear reader.


Pros
Pros
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  • Quite frankly, this is one of the best Board Control decks I've ever played in Commander, hands down. Because Yawgmoth's ability kills creatures pretty regularly, you will be able to have a serious impact on how the board develops. Mana dorks are usually X/1's, so they become easy ways to draw cards while killing mana resources; any deck relying on dorks to create a mana advantage is weak to this deck's core strategy. It's also important to note that Yawgmoth hands out -1/-1 counters to creatures, so they stay permanently affected for as long as they're in play. This means that your smaller creatures are very likely to be able to trade up in combat or for your creatures to always have favorable blocks so that you kill creatures on a frequent basis. This is an incredibly powerful ability that rewards your deck for playing lots of token generators and cheap creatures, of which there are many in this deck.
  • The raw Card Advantage that Yawgmoth brings with his activated ability in drawing cards is incredible. I very often have to discard down to hand size after a turn cycle because of how many cards I've drawn! It's an incredible feeling when playing a game of Commander when you feel like you constantly have things to do that impact the game, and I love this element of this deck more than anything else. I'm able to convert my cards into 2+-for-1 advantages because I can trade my Weaponcraft Enthusiast for 3 new cards while ALSO killing an opponent's creature. This kind of power is no laughing matter and helps circumvent one of the primary restrictions on MTG, the one-card-per-turn restriction. There's a reason that Yawgmoth's Bargain is banned/restricted in all formats, and Yawgmoth as a card does an incredible job of replicating that banned enchantment in a game of Commander. Do note that placing the -1/-1 counter is a MAY ability. It does NOT have to resolve before you can draw a card, which can be relevant if you're looking at opposing instant speed sac outlets or removal.
  • Yawgmoth's Casting Cost is really quite reasonable for you to consistently play him in the early game and always have access to him. His first Commander death tax jumps him up to 6 total CMC, which is what some Commanders start at. This means that you can usually depend on Yawgmoth to be a part of your gameplan since he can be cast consistently and often over the course of a game, making him a reasonable gear in the Grand Evolution of your gameplan.
  • Yawgmoth has VERY decent stats for his CMC. In conjunction with his creature-shrinking power, Yawgmoth has 4 toughness, which allows him to block a vast majority of the creatures you'd see in a Commander game. While he doesn't contribute too much in his Power stat, he's still a decent blocker that can trade with many of the utility creatures that exist in the game, deterring attacks from opponents on a frequent basis. I guess the Protection from Humans comes into play every once in a while, but it's more of a flavor thing instead of being relevant (at least, with my playgroup).
  • Yawgmoth's first ability feeds into his second one. Remember what I said about this deck being a monster of Board Control? Yawgmoth's Proliferate ability is an important element of this because he can add -1/-1 counters to every creature afflicted with his first activated ability. This eliminates the need for you to spend all of your sacrifice fodder on killing every creature; rather, you can instead place one -1/-1 counter on each creature you want to die and then activate his second ability to proliferate those counters until the selected creatures are dead. With enough cards, creatures, and mana, this can become a one-sided board wipe on a consistent basis! The Proliferate mechanic also has additional applications in increasing loyalty counters, any poison counters, charge counters, etc. that really open up deck-building possibilities. Yawgmoth is a blank canvas of awesomeness and you can easily add a host of counters-based cards that Yawgmoth can literally charge up.
  • Lastly, his abilities are totally on par with the lore of his character. He used the power of phthisis to gain power and funding over the Thran Empire, and his ability to draw cards while shrinking creatures perfectly captures this.



Cons
Cons
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  • This deck is EXTREMELY liberal with its life total, hence the title name of "Suicide Mono-Black". If you're not comfortable playing a game of Commander with less than 10 life, this deck will make you very uncomfortable. It's a risk that you take when activating Yawgmoth's ability to draw cards and kill creatures and, in my opinion, is worth every drop of blood we spend to fuel Yawgmoth's ability. There is a higher than normal removal count for this deck, especially when considered against Yawgmoth's natural removal ability, to help compensate the life loss so that the board is empty and you aren't taking huge chunks of combat damage. If you don't have the life total to kill something via Yawgmoth's ability, then the rest of the cards in the deck should help you overcome this restriction.
  • The above restriction also means that certain cards are more important to the deck than usual, and those cards are the ones that gain life. Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Kokusho, the Evening Star, Dross Harvester, Crypt Ghast, Noxious Gearhulk, and Aetherflux Reservoir are all workhorses in this deck at helping you replenish your life total, so protecting these cards is key to the overall strategy of the deck. Watch out for Swords to Plowshares and similar exiling effects and you should be just fine.
  • While this is just a general weakness of Mono-Black, this deck is quite vulnerable to Enchantments. The only cards in the deck that directly help remove problem enchantments are Ugin, the Ineffable and Blast Zone. This means that you have to use Ugin wisely so that you can remove the Rest in Peace that's totally thwarting your plans while also keeping him around for his super valuable token-creation ability.
  • While not a dedicated Reanimator list, this deck nonetheless depends very heavily on its graveyard. Creatures and cards are cycling in and out of the graveyard very frequently and any exiling effects will diminish your power to impact the game. While it's not a huge weakness of the deck, it's still important to be aware of since we use it quite heavily.
  • This deck, when played well, will quickly garner a reputation worthy of Yawgmoth's name. This often means, however, that you and your deck will probably bear the brunt of removal and disruption. There's no other way to say it, but just man/woman up and deal with it. This deck has a lot of raw power behind it and can easily manage 2-3 other opponents on a consistent basis. Still, you might hear people groaning about your deck and how you "kill everything all the time". Welcome to Phyrexia, fleshling, and prepare to receive Phyrexia's gift!


"Before the glory of Yawgmoth, yes, even this makes sense." - here





Alternative Commanders

Why anyone would play any other Commander besides Yawgmoth is a mystery to me, but the following Commanders are Legends that somewhat replicate Yawgmoth's primary strategy of Board Control and Card Advantage. Clearly, you are uncompleated and will need to have your unbelief... removed from your body.

  • Chainer, Dementia Master - probably the next closest analog for a Suicide Mono-Black control list. Being able to Reanimate any creature from any graveyard for BBB and 3 life is a platry cost to get a plethora of ETB value from creatures. Chainer used to be my go-to Mono-Black Commander until Yawgmoth was printed, and the core strategy between them is the same. Use creatures and their ETB effects to create value, sacrifice them to create even more value, and then recycle those creatures to overwhelm your opponents in card advantage. The primary difference between Chainer and Yawgmoth is what kind of creatures they're recycling. Yawgmoth abuses a select niche of cards to recycle, notably Nether Traitor and Reassembling Skeleton, in order to generate value. Chainer himself provides the mechanism for creatures to be recycled but does not have a sac outlet ability on his card, which means that much of his decklist needs to be catered to sac outlets. I prefer Yawgmoth because his abilities directly create Card Advantage and Board Control whereas Chainer is constrained by creatures available in the 'yards. Chainer is also MUCH more susceptible to 'yard hate, a weakness that isn't as crippling for Yawgmoth.
  • Erebos, God of the Dead - another excellent candidate for Mono-Black Control, Erebos is a very powerful Commander in his own right because he provides a nearly guaranteed source of Card Advantage. Cast him once and it's likely that he will remain present for the whole game because of his indestructibility and strong stats. But, Erebos builds I've seen usually lean towards a more creature-less version of Mono-Black Control that often eschews creatures for powerful Non-Creature spells with heavy Board Control elements and Wraths galore. I think that Erebos is an excellent card but Yawgmoth is simply better because his activated ability offers Board Control in addition to Card Advantage.
  • Sheoldred, Whispering One - the Black Phyrexian Praetor herself, Sheoldred is a very powerful card as well. Having a one-sided Edict occurring every turn can make advancing any type of Board State for your opponents a difficult proposition. She also has really beefy stats and can totally get in for Commander damage on a consistent basis. However, her CMC and the fact that it takes a full turn cycle for you to get any benefit out of her are the reasons I would prefer to play Yawgmoth over Sheoldred. For a Phyrexian themed deck, Sheoldred is a definite include but not good enough to Command the helm of the 99.
  • Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim/Teysa, Orzhov Scion - I lump these two Commanders in the same group because I think their core strategies are similar to each other and to what Yawgmoth is doing. Branching out into White adds in some excellent removal options that Mono-Black is weak to and a powerful suite of creatures that work together very well. I prefer Yawgmoth because there is a Big-Mana ability element present in the deck and because his abilities are more powerful in my opinion. Requiring only one creature and no mana is a big plus over these two excellent Orzhov Commanders, and if you do decide to go the Orzhov route I highly recommend that you put Yawgmoth in your 99 somewhere.
"Your life was meaningless, but your death will glorify Yawgmoth." - here





Current Decklist & Alternative Decklists

The current configuration of my decklist is found below. It has a higher curve than I generally like, but it's proven very effective in the games that I've played. It can have explosive starts with some fast mana but almost always gets a T3 Yawgmoth for normal hands. If you're on a budget, you can easily cut the expensive mana rocks and fetch-lands for a few Swamps to have a more traditional Commander deck configuration. I'll go into more detail for a Budget list later on in the Primer, so don't worry.

I personally find it easier to see each card sorted according to function, so I've listed the decklist accordingly. Each section is sorted by the Converted Mana Cost (CMC) of the card.

Yawgmoth, Father of Machines: Suicide Mono-Black Control
Approximate Total Cost:

Alternative Decklists

The above decklist has some pretty expensive cards and is built for a High-Power meta. But, being the compulsive cEDH player that I am, I wanted to attempt to offer several other decklists for your consideration as well. One will be Budget, another will be a cEDH style Storm build, and the last will be a super Vorthos build of Yawgmoth, where nearly every card will be Phyrexian in some form or fashion.

The cEDH Decklist
cEDH Yawgmoth
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The aim of this deck is to leverage cheap mana and cheap creatures to turn Yawgmoth into a true and effective Yawgmoth's Bargain. The curve will be super low and it will feature some infinite combos, an Ad Nauseam package, and a host of cheap creatures to sacrifice. It will depend on Yawgmoth heavily but offer quite a bit of board control as a side note.

The primary goal of the deck is the same as the OP but with a heavier focus on Yawgmoth's abilities. The Mikaeus + Ballista combo is present along with a few other free sac outlets in the deck besides Yawgmoth so you can win via the Ballista's activated ability. There's also the Citadel + Divining Top combo with the Reservoir as another way to finish off your opponents from a combo route. The primary focus of the deck is to get Yawgmoth into play ASAP and start chaining creatures together into a giant Storm turn. The raw Card Draw offered by Yawgmoth should allow you to chew through massive portions of your deck until you can assemble a winning combo line and win the game immediately. Exsanguinate is in there to allow you to cast it for large life totals while not being a terrible flip via the Nauseam so you can continue your combo turn with Yawgmoth. As a very backup combo, you can create infinite mana via Phyrexian Altar + Pawn of Ulamog/Sifter of Skulls/Genesis Chamber + Nether Traitor/Gravecrawler (with another Zombie in play). The deck is light on removal effects since Mono-Black doesn't have all-purpose utility removal and Yawgmoth is the primary focus of the deck. A damn shame that Paradox Engine is banned, because it would be awesome in here.

cEDH Yawgmoth
Approximate Total Cost:

The Budget Decklist
Budget Build
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For those of you who don't have huge budgets and want to build this deck for around $100-ish dollars, this list is meant for you. It won't focus so much on going infinite with some sort of combo and will instead focus on Value and Board Control. It will have a strong Phyrexian flavor as well, so it's an extra awesome win.

The main combo piece that you'll need to acquire in some form or fashion is Mikaeus, the Unhallowed. It's an awesome card and it puts this deck into overdrive so that you can draw a stupid amount of cards. It also serves as a primary way of going infinite in conjunction with Skinrender and Noxious Gearhulk with an active Yawgmoth.
  • By saccing the Skinrender to Yawgmoth, you can put 3 -1/-1 counters on the Gearhulk.
  • Sacrifice the Gearhulk to Yawgmoth's ability.
  • The Gearhulk will die, and thanks to Mikaeus' Persist-granting ability, will return with a +1/+1 counter.
  • Target the Skinrender to gain 4 life off the Gearhulk's trigger. The Skinrender will die, but return to the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter from Mikaeus.
  • The newly reanimated Skinrender will now target itself with its own trigger, making it a 1/1 dude but with no +1/+1 counter on it.
  • Sacrifice the Skinrender to Yawgmoth's ability to put a -1/-1 counter on your Gearhulk, eliminating the +1/+1 counter there.
  • Then sacrifice the Gearhulk to Yawgmoth's ability again. The Gearhulk will come back via Persist, to kill the Skinrender again, recouping the life you've spent to activate Yawgmoth's ability.
You can then repeat these steps to draw your deck and incidentally kill all of your opponents' creatures. The steps above get MUCH easier with a creature with a natural Undying ability, so keep that in mind as well.

Budget Yawgmoth
Approximate Total Cost:

The Super Vorthos Decklist
Super Phyrexian Decklist
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This decklist is for pure Vorthos players. I've tried to select every card along its flavor potential. Does the card evoke the feeling of a bio-mechanical horror? Could it be a plague vector? Does it reference Phyrexia or Yawgmoth in some way? If so, then it's in the decklist for sure. The curve is terrible but it will make an awesome story to tell as you play the deck.

There aren't any infinite combos and the list is designed to kill all the things and maintain a healthy life total. Once the board is clear, you should have plenty of time to kill people with combat damage.

Super-Vorthos Yawgmoth
Approximate Total Cost:

The Superfriends Proliferate Decklist
Yawgmoth Proliferate
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Naturally, there are some awesome synergies between Yawgmoth and the various counters-matter cards in MTG. My good friend [mention]darrenhabib[/mention] has an excellent Proliferate list that focuses on Mono-B Superfriends to achieve Board Control, Card Advantage, and Win-Conditions.

For a list that looks like a ton of fun, please check out his thread here.


From Void evolved Phyrexia. Great Yawgmoth, Father of Machines, saw its perfection. Thus the Grand Evolution began. - here





Playing the Decklist

Ah yes, the primary purpose of this Primer. The most important thing to remember about this deck is that every creature is expendable for Yawgmoth's ability. We're willing to sacrifice any and all creatures that we control in order to maintain control of the board and dictate the pace of the game. This deck is very effective at this purpose and consistently maintains a full grip of cards at nearly every point of the game from my experience.

But, first, let's break down the types of opening hands you should be looking for in order to get the best type of game experience possible. After all, you cannot glorify Yawgmoth and further the Grand Evolution with a mediocre starting hand!


Opening Hands & Mulligans
The deck is designed to be able to cast Yawgmoth on Turn 2 or Turn 3 on a consistent basis with the selection of mana sources available to it. The general guidelines, therefore, are that every hand should be evaluated from the standpoint of how quickly we can cast Yawgmoth and what kind of creature support we can give him on the subsequent turns. Yawgmoth's ability requires bodies to sacrifice, so ensuring that we find a Token Generator within the first few turns is very important for this decklist.

The general things I like to look for are 2-3 lands, 1-2 mana sources, 1-2 Token Generators, 0-1 Tutors, and 0-1 Removal effects. Some sample hands will be shown here so that you can get an idea of what I personally look for in a starting hand.
Sample Hand #1
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This is actually a really solid opening hand. While it's SUPER risky because we're keeping a one-land hand, and it's an Ancient Tomb at that, there is actually quite a bit of Mana and Board development present within this hand. I would plan to sequence this hand in the following way:
  • Turn 1: Ancient Tomb into a Leaden Myr
  • Turn 2: Tap the Tomb and the Myr to cast Priest of Gix and use the mana trigger from the Priest to cast either Butcher Ghoul or Demonic Tutor depending on what my draws have been for T1 and T2. I would personally lean towards the Ghoul, since that will set up a better T3 Yawgmoth.
  • Turn 3: Cast Yawgmoth, and sac the 3 creatures on your board to eliminate mana dorks, if they're there, or otherwise save them up for future sacrifice to draw fresh cards. Those 3 bodies essentially represent 3 new cards with a healthy dose of Board Control, which is the beauty of Yawgmoth's ability.
I would then look to cast the Scriptures, unless the Board state demands a different type of response and then see what happens from there!
Sample Hand #2
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Again, this is another great opening hand albeit a slow one. We'll cast the Coldsteel Heart on T2 and, depending on board state, look to cast Yawgmoth on T3 with a T4 of Priest of Gix into Ugin to start drawing cards and establishing Board Control via Yawgmoth's ability. I would keep this one for sure, particularly since we opened with the mana combo of Urborg + Coffers, which means any additional lands we draw are going to exponentially increase our mana availability from 4 Swamps onwards.
Sample Hand #3
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Yet another great hand! Thanks, opening hand simulator on TappedOut! Our T1 is definitely going to be a Vampiric Tutor into either Mana Crypt or Sol Ring so that we can power out a T2 or T3 Yawgmoth. We have two creatures that we have no problem sacrificing to Yawgmoth's ability that we can cast on T3 and having a Karn in our hand means we can start sniping mana rocks should we feel so inclined while hindering our opponents' mana development.
Hopefully, seeing these sample Hands (provided courtesy of TappedOut) will help you evaluate future opening hands that you may start the game with. Yawgmoth, and this particular decklist, has a myriad of keepable opening hands, which reduces the need for mulliganing at the beginning of the game.


Now that you have an understanding of what kinds of opening hands we're generally looking for, it's time to understand the nuances of this deck and how its Primary strategy is executed. The rest of the following section will be about the general overview of I how develop my Board state and Card Advantage engines as well as some tips on tutoring, sequencing, and subtle nuances that I've learned through playing this deck in a few dozen games. It will be separated into General stages, based solely on my vast experience playing Commander.

Early Game Stages: Turns 1-4
The way that your Early Game Stage development unfolds is a direct reflection of what type of starting hand you decided to keep. There are 2 Primary directions that you can start your Early Game: 1) powering out a Fast Yawgmoth or 2) building a favorable Yawgmoth Board state. For the vast majority of games I play with this deck, I typically try to go for a Fast Yawgmoth because your opponents are often spending those early turns setting up their own Board state and aren't quite ready to point Removal to problem creatures on the Board. This particular sequencing will most likely be something like this:
  • Turn 1: Land, say go
  • Turn 2: Play another Land, play a Mana Source, say go
  • Turn 3: Play another Land, cast Yawgmoth, say go
Because Yawgmoth is such an important piece of the deck, it's VERY important that you get him onto the Board as quickly as possible. Remember that an opening hand should usually include a few creatures in it or Token Generators so that you can immediately start generating value off of Yawgmoth's ability.

Which leads me to the other Primary strategy that you can use in the Early Game Stages: creating a favorable Yawgmoth Board state. This means that you will cast Token Generators or Sacrificial Fodder creatures in the early turns of the game so that you can immediately use Yawgmoth's ability upon his resolution. This often means that you won't cast Yawgmoth until T4 or T5 so that you can affect the Board state immediately.

Some circumstances where this might be different is if an opponent has a faster start than you do. This may mean that you need to spend a tutor in the early game finding a Toxic Deluge or something similar so that you can start establishing Board control as soon as possible. Or if someone is spending a lot of time tutoring and you know they're a dedicated Combo deck, it might be more beneficial for you to tutor or hold up mana for removal. Generally speaking, however, Yawgmoth's ability is where we will be doing most of our interaction. We want to affect creatures at instant speed as our preferred way of interacting with our opponent's plans, so there isn't a great need for instant speed spells themselves.


Mid-Game Stages: Turns 4-8

Ideally, you have Yawgmoth in play at this point and are ready to start dominating the board with -1/-1 counters and additional removal effects. There is a bit of sequencing and prioritization that I mentally go through once I look to establish Board Control. Either way, I'm looking to my Mid-Game once Yawgmoth hits play and I have different decision points available to me.

The first thing I want to mention are tutors. It is likely at this point that you have at least 1 tutor effect in hand and a myriad of choices in front of you. Remember, all creatures can and WILL be candidates to Yawgmoth's abilities. This means that you shouldn't get too attached to a specific creature at any given point and should in fact tutor for a Token Generator at pretty much your first opportunity. Or, if you're in a playgroup where they like to combo off quickly and have a lot of counterspells, I would look to start tutor for Bolas's Citadel or Mikaeus, the Unhallowed. Both of these cards generate a ton of Card Advantage in the deck, so those are usually my first tutor targets. Otherwise, my preferred Token Generator card is Nest of Scarabs.

Nest of Scarabs represents a possible disease vector that Yawgmoth might have studied/researched when he was investigating Glacian's mysterious disease, hence its inclusion in the deck from a Vorthos standpoint. But, this card is absolutely broken with Yawgmoth's ability. By sacrificing a creature, you can put a -1/-1 counter on another (read: opponent's) creature. When you do, you create a fresh Scarab token, ready to die to Yawgmoth's ability. With this particular combo, you can kill any and all creatures for as much life as there is toughness on the board. Sometimes, it's not necessary to kill the Board but leave all creatures permanently small so that you don't make too many enemies. Either way, this is one of the first cards I tutor for with an active Yawgmoth.

The goal of the Mid-Game stage is to gain Board Control via Creature removal. Yawgmoth's ability is absolutely incredible at doing this, so any creature that you can safely sacrifice to Yawgmoth's ability should be sacrificed, since Yawgmoth will allow you to replace those sacrificed creatures with more creatures. Getting an active Grave Pact while this is happening will make this Board Control nearly impossible to break out of. I also highly recommend that you look for Nether Traitor in this deck. Entomb, as a card, is included in this deck simply to find it and put it into your 'yard. Because of how frequently Yawgmoth's trigger will be occurring, the Traitor probably ETB and dies, on average, about 6+ times per game. This means a lot of cards for you and a lot of potential -1/-1 triggers. Cavalier of Night is a great card in this deck because every ability is useful for Yawgmoth. Liliana, Dreadhorde General puts your Card Advantage into overdrive. Overseer of the Damned is VERY useful because he spawns new Token fodder for Yawgmoth once Yawgmoth kills something; it's a glorious engine of death that fuels itself!

As you establish Board Control REMEMBER TO ATTACK! I've seen way too many players cast their sweet ETB creatures and never turn them sideways for... reasons? I dunno. Either way, they are wasting a valuable opportunity to deplete an opponent's most important resource: their life total. This deck often kills players via Combat Damage because Yawgmoth, and this decklist, does such a good job at keeping opposing battlefields empty. It truly is remarkable how effective Yawgmoth is in this capacity, and I hope you get to experience it.

However, if you're receiving an inordinate amount of hate, do note that you don't have to be super aggressive with Yawgmoth either. If you want to lay low because your opponents are being aggressive towards each other or are wary of you, try to subtly build up your Board State. That's another benefit to this particular decklist. You can easily build up a "non-threatening" Board of creatures and tokens that may not necessarily catch the attention of the table but can suddenly become a massive threat once you can cast and resolve Yawgmoth. There are a ton of ways to create value in this deck, and I feel like I'm barely scratching the surface of it in this Primer. I encourage you to evaluate each card in this decklist and see how its power level is acceptable by itself but gets massively better with Yawgmoth in play. This is one of the reasons that I DON'T skimp on Card Advantage sources and Removal effects in the deck even though Yawgmoth does such a good job of both of these things. It is anticipated that Yawgmoth will die, more than once, and so you need additional effects within the deck itself to continue to play the game uninterrupted. However, even though you can plan on him dying, it is likely that he will generate at least a few cards to replace himself before he dies.

As you establish Board Control and begin to get in for damage, you'll want to look to establish a safe environment for a Combo or continue to dominate the Board and spread Combat Damage around. Phyrexian compleation requires willing hosts, and unconscious/dead Planeswalkers will make perfect hosts to spread the Great Evolution to all corners of the Multi-Verse.


Late Game Stages: Turns 8+
Alright, you should have a solid Board state at this point and a firm control over what creatures survive and which will die. Mono-Black thrives in a Multi-Player game when it gets to the Late Game stage, and the different opportunities for you to oppressively control the Board are myriad. I like to resolve a Grave Pact in the late stages of the game because I will usually have a Board state that will make Grave Pact absolutely demolishing for my opponents, particularly with Yawgmoth in play. But I also prefer to look for large, one-shot Token Generators as well so that Yawgmoth has fuel for his ability. Abhorrent Overlord is probably the most powerful burst Token-Generator in B and finds a massive boost in power level with Yawgmoth. Ugin, the Ineffable does double-duty in the Card Advantage department with an active Yawgmoth while being able to get rid of enchantments that might be hindering our game plan. Karn, the Great Creator is a nice way to constrain your opponents while also getting rid of any Artifacts that may be slowing you down. Cursed Totem is one of the most dangerous cards you can see on the opposite side of the Board, so keep Karn in reserve until a problem Artifact presents itself.

This is the point where you should be able to have total Board Control and can freely swing into your opponents and kill them via Combat Damage. No joke, I think 50% of my wins come from Combat Damage because executing an infinite combo is extraneous to the Board state I have. Either way, you want Yawgmoth to stay in play and you want to keep feeding creatures to his ability to draw cards and kill other creatures. Supplementing Yawgmoth with additional Card Advantage sources is ideal so that if Yawgmoth dies you can continue to hum along with an active Liliana or Necropotence. Ironically, Skullclamp is actually a Card Advantage engine that I look to get in the Late Game stage because I'm able to use it more effectively in the Late Game stage rather than the Mid-Game stage. The Late Game stage for this deck is all about eliminating the last few creatures that may have survived your Mid-Game and to firmly establish Board Control, so evaluate your decisions accordingly. Massacre Wurm is an excellent way to increase the power of this deck's core strategy by shocking your opponents for each creature that they lose. This ability has a way of quickly killing opponents in conjunction with the sheer amount of removal this deck effects. Don't neglect the power of Westvale Abbey as well. This decklist can reliably transform the Abbey into Ormendahl, Profane Prince and that's a great way to regain life that you've previously spent!

If however, you don't have a solid grasp on the Board past T8, then you can actively tutor or look to assemble an infinite combo. I outline the primary ones below, but do note that there are many, many ways to combine the various cards in this Decklist to gain Board Control in one, giant turn. One thing that's nice about this deck is that while it does have the potential to infinitely combo and kill the table that way, it doesn't need to. This gives you great flexibility in how you play the game and allows you to scale your deck to your playgroup!


Combos
Alright, these are the three (3) Primary Combos in this decklist. Note that I only look to assemble these about 50% of the time because I'm often killing my opponents via Combat Damage and don't need to expose my combo pieces to the Board!
  • Combo #1: Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Walking Ballista + Yawgmoth, Thran Physician/Phyrexian Altar AKA The Unhallowed Ballista Combo
    Combo #1
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    This combo will allow you to deal infinite Damage to the table with the Altar in play and will allow you to draw an obscene number of cards with Yawgmoth if that's your sac outlet. Do note that you CANNOT go infinite with just Yawgmoth for this combo state, but I've never found that to be an issue simply because I draw into a card that lets me find Phyrexian Altar or the Altar itself. The mechanics of this combo are as follows:
    • Get Mikaeus into play.
    • With Mikaeus in play, you can then cast the Ballista for 0. It will NOT die because it's a non-Human creature and gets +1/+1 via Mikaeus's static ability.
    • Sacrifice the Ballista to your sac outlet.
    • Because the Ballista has undying, courtesy of Mikaeus's static ability, it will come back with a +1/+1 counter on it. Yay!
    • Remove the +1/+1 counter with the Ballista's ability to deal 1 damage to any target, colloquially known as "pinging" any target.
    • Sacrifice the Ballista to your sac outlet. Because the Ballista now has NO +1/+1 counter, because you removed it in the step above, its undying ability will trigger again and it will come back with a +1/+1 counter.
    • Repeat the 2 steps above to infinitely ping your opponents and their creatures until they're dead.
    This is usually my go-to Combo of choice because I often tutor for Mikaeus regularly because of the value that he provides with his undying ability to my Board. His undying ability in concert with Yawgmoth and any creature makes Mikaeus an incredible source of Card Advantage for the deck and solidly helps me to establish Board Control early and quickly.
  • Combo #2: Bolas's Citadel + Sensei's Divining Top + Aetherflux Reservoir
    AKA The Sensei's Citadel Combo
    Combo #2
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    This one is fairly easy and intuitive to understand, methinks, but I'll go through the mechanics of it below. The end result is that you will gain an enormous amount of life and be able to shoot each of your opponents with an Death Star Laser beam of Doom.
    • Get Bolas's Citadel into play alongside Sensei's Divining Top and Aetherflux Reservoir.
    • Activate the Top's ability to draw the top card of your deck and put the Top on top of your deck.
    • With the Citadel's ability to cast the top card of your library by paying life equal to its CMC, you then pay 1 life to cast the Top.
    • Aetherflux Reservoir will trigger, and you will gain 1 life for each spell you've cast this turn. This will probably equal 1 life.
    • Repeat steps 2-3, only this time the Reservoir will gain you 2 life. The Reservoir will exponentially gain you life as you continue to cast the Top, which combo is gated by the number of cards you have left in your library. Just remember to subtract 1 from the life total you gain from the Reservoir to account for you casting Top!
    The steps above have a high likelihood of gaining you 200+ life in one turn, allowing you to activate the Reservoir's ability and kill each opponent in any order you choose. Additionally, this combo is completely independent of your graveyard, which allows you to combo off in a totally unrelated way relative to the other combos in this deck, which can be relevant if there is active 'yard hate in play.
  • Combo #3: Nether Traitor + Phyrexian Altar + Pawn of Ulamog AKA The Ulamog's Altar Combo
    Combo #3
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    The above combo will allow you to generate infinite mana which you can then use to cast Yawgmoth and draw your deck. The exact mechanics of this combo are as follows:
    • Get Phyrexian Altar and Pawn of Ulamog into play with Nether Traitor in your 'yard or in play.
    • If the Traitor is in play, sacrifice it to the Altar's ability to generate one B. If the Traitor is in your 'yard, sacrifice any other creature to the Altar and then use that one B mana to feed the Traitor's triggered ability.
    • Because Pawn of Ulamog sees the Traitor/other creature dying, its triggered ability will trigger, creating a 0/1 scion token.
    • Sacrifice this token to the Altar's mana ability to create one B. Use this mana to resurrect the Traitor via its triggered ability.
    • Sacrifice the Traitor to the Altar, adding another B to your mana pool. Then sacrifice the freshly spawned Scion token to the Altar, leaving you with two (2) b in your mana pool.
    • Since the Traitor only requires one b to hop out of the 'yard, you will net one B each time you repeat the above steps, functionally creating infinite B.
    • Cast Yawgmoth with the infinite Black mana and sacrifice the Scion tokens in the above loop to draw a large number of cards. It is almost guaranteed that you'l find some way to find Dross Harvester to draw out the rest of your deck with Yawgmoth's ability.

    With the above loop, you can now gain infinite life via the Harvester and dump your life total into Aetherflux Reservoir to kill your opponents. Or you can use the infinite mana created via the loop to mill out your opponents via Geth's ability (as I'm VERY sure that they'll have an Artifact or Creature for you to steal via Geth's ability). Use your imagination!
These are the 3 primary, linear combos that you can look to assemble within the deck, but do note that there are a lot of ways to use Mikaeus and Yawgmoth together to create a pseudo-infinite combo and draw enough cards from your deck to establish a true infinite combo. As a brief description of how those work, I'll outline The Undying Yawgmoth Combos.
The Undying Yawgmoth Combos
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One of the reasons that Undying creatures are so powerful in this deck is because they come back with +1/+1 counters on them. Yawgmoth can give -1/-1 counters to those creatures and cancel them out so that you can trigger the Undying ability of that creature again via a sacrifice to Yawgmoth's ability. To explain the mechanics specifically, I'll outline an example below.
  • By saccing the Skinrender to Yawgmoth, you can put 3 -1/-1 counters on the Gearhulk.
  • Sacrifice the Gearhulk to Yawgmoth's ability.
  • The Gearhulk will die, and thanks to Mikaeus' Persist-granting ability, will return with a +1/+1 counter.
  • Target the Skinrender to gain 4 life off the Gearhulk's trigger. The Skinrender will die, but return to the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter from Mikaeus.
  • The newly reanimated Skinrender will now target itself with its own trigger, making it a 1/1 dude but with no +1/+1 counter on it.
  • Sacrifice the Skinrender to Yawgmoth's ability to put a -1/-1 counter on your Gearhulk, eliminating the +1/+1 counter there.
  • Then sacrifice the Gearhulk to Yawgmoth's ability again. The Gearhulk will come back via Persist, to kill the Skinrender again, recouping the life you've spent to activate Yawgmoth's ability.
The main thing to take away is that using Yawgmoth and two creatures with Undying allows you to sacrifice one of the Undying creatures to Yawgmoth's ability to put a -1/-1 counter on the other creature with Undying. Repeating this process will cancel any +1/+1 counters that would be created via the Undying triggers and will allow you to draw a significant number of cards. Once you find Dross Harvester, you can then draw your deck.

Mikaeus allows you to use any 2 non-Human creatures for the above loop in conjunction with Yawgmoth OR you can assemble Butcher Ghoul and Geralf's Messenger and loop those two creatures with Yawgmoth to draw your deck. If you get Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Noxious Gearhulk, or Kokusho, the Evening Star, you'll gain infinite life and infinite draw.
Again, I want to stress the fact that I personally find that I don't need to assemble these combos often because I'm killing players via Combat Damage so often!


The warping of bodies and souls has become the heart of Yawgmoth's existence. - here





Card Choices
The first thing to note about this deck is that the Card Choices were HEAVILY skewed by how much flavor they evoke in context of Yawgmoth and Phyrexia.
  • Is it a Horror creature type?
  • Does it have a Phyrexian Watermark?
  • Does the Flavor Text or Card Title reference Yawgmoth, Phyrexia, or an aspect of either of these?
  • Does it generally evoke the feeling of a biomechanical monstrosity?
  • Does it relate to plagues, diseases, or possible vectors for diseases?
  • Was it printed in any set that was about Yawgmoth or Phyrexia i.e. Urza's Saga, the Invasion Saga, etc.?
These are the criteria, in addition to overall power and CMC considerations, that I used when selecting the cards I did for the deck.

I understand if you don't want to limit yourself to this kind of restriction, and I'll try my best to include every possible card that could be played in a Yawgmoth deck that's synergistic and powerful, but this decklist is meant to heavily evoke the idea of Yawgmoth's journey in becoming the Lord of the Wastes and the monstrosities, horrors, and atrocities that he enacted during this transformation into his Phyrexian God-form (yes, he's the giant, arena-looking monstrosity in the background!).

Cards that are currently in the deck are noted by being Bolded in the below lists.

Creatures
Creatures
Show
  • Walking Ballista - even though it's not directly a Phyrexian card or have a Phyrexian watermark, I think that the idea of an Artifact creature is Phyrexian enough to include in this Vorthos decklist. It is also one of the primary combo cards in the deck, fueling The Unhallowed Ballista combo. Additionally, you can also proliferate the counters on it via Yawgmoth's 2nd ability, which makes it a solid inclusion for the deck.
  • Ornithopter - while it's nice to have some 0 cost creatures to sacrifice since it essentially counts as a free card with an active Yawgmoth, this card is neither flavorful or super impactful on the Board. We'll pass on this card unless you're going for the cEDH build where you simply want to churn through as much of your deck as possible. Shield Sphere, Phyrexian Walker, etc. fall into this category as well.
  • Hangarback Walker - oh, how I want to fit this card into this decklist! The only reason that this card isn't in the deck is because I'm squeezed for space. It's a great card for Yawgmoth because it can be proliferated, creates more Tokens when it dies, and grows larger by itself when needed. A fantastic card, frankly, that I should really find room for.
  • Gravecrawler - I don't run enough Zombies to really justify including this card. Otherwise, it's a solid self-Reanimator that you could easily run in your own deck, as long as you have 12+ Zombie creatures or Zombie creature token generating cards in your decklist. I don't (my count is 8, as of 8/5/2019), hence its exclusion from this list.
  • Tenacious Dead - a fine budget inclusion for a Yawgmoth deck, it does a poor man's job of impersonating Reassembling Skeleton and fueling Yawgmoth's ability. Because our unbudgeted Card Quality is better, we eschew this card for better self-Reanimators.
  • Deathgreeter - it's nice to be able to mitigate Yawgmoth's ability with this card and the other Aristocrats style pingers (see Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat), they just don't do enough for this deck.
  • Bloodsoaked Champion - another excellent budget Self-Reanimator, this one is pretty easy to activate. The sad thing is that you can only activate it on your turn, making it very limited in its application.
  • Nether Traitor - probably the best Self-Reanimator card for this deck, Nether Traitor is gloriously efficient and consistent. Its triggered ability allows you to use at instant speed, its original CMC is very low, it has 1 toughness for Skullclamp shenanigans, and is sinister in its art. One of the most important cards for the list, I am ALWAYS happy to Entomb for it.
  • Reassembling Skeleton - the slower, more consistent Self-Reanimator card for this deck, the Skeleton is a workhorse card. It's not flashy, it's not cool, but it does its job well and fuels Yawgmoth's ability ever so nicely. It also looks really good in foil, which I've managed to acquire.
  • Dusk Legion Zealot - Yawgmoth wants a certain density of cheap, 2 CMC creatures so that he can chain multiple instances of his ability together. The Zealot is a functional card in this instance and is included because it says to draw a card when it ETB. This means that, if Yawgmoth is unavailable for some reason, we're at least able to cantrip and put a body into play.
  • Butcher Ghoul - any creature with Undying is VERY good with Yawgmoth. While I describe why in The Undying Yawgmoth Combos section, Yawgmoth allows you to cancel out the +1/+1 counter that is generated from the Ghoul's undying ability so that you can sacrifice it again to Yawgmoth's ability and draw even more cards. This makes the Undying creatures extremely powerful in this deck and cards you should always look to assemble.
  • Plague Myr - full of Vorthos flavor and enabling a T3 Yawgmoth, the Myr are workhorse cards that are happy to be sacrificed to Yawgmoth's ability when needed.
  • Leaden Myr - see above.
  • Zulaport Cutthroat, Blood Artist - these cards were in the first few iterations of this decklist, but they always underperformed for me. I would often sacrifice them to Yawgmoth's ability and only gain 2-3 life at any one time from their respective triggers. Of the two, Blood Artist is the most likely to come back in since it triggers off of your opponents creatures dying whereas the Cutthroat does not. Additionally, neither of these cards really evoke Phyrexian flavor for me.
  • Bloodghast - I'm not really a fan of this card in Commander, honestly. Unless you can pair it with Green ramp effects, getting the Ghast back only once a turn is not efficient or powerful for this deck. It's cool but doesn't do enough for it to warrant a deck slot.
  • Phyrexian Rager - replaces itself with its ETB trigger and has Phyrexia written all over it, literally.
  • Weaponcraft Enthusiast - this is one of the best token producers for this deck, frankly. Because its CMC is 3 and puts 3 bodies into play with its Fabricate triggered ability, this is an easy inclusion in this deck. From a flavor perspective, I like to think of the Enthusiast as a first version of what Phyrexian soldiers were like while they were being mutated on Phyrexia.
  • Geralf's Messenger - another fantastic creature for Yawgmoth and a win from a flavor perspective. It appears the Messenger is carrying some sort of vial in its chest that is leaking a presumably noxious/poisonous/toxic gas that helps to move the Messenger. I look at this card, besides being an excellent sacrificial creature for Yawgmoth's ability, as a potential vector for Yawgmoth's research. I'd also like to reference you to The Undying Yawgmoth Combos and the entry for Butcher Ghoul for additional clarification on why this card is fantastic for the deck.
  • Priest of Gix - ah, Gix. I hope you make an appearance on a card soon! The Priest is a body that refunds you the mana spent to cast it so that you can hopefully put another body into play. This is essentially a way to draw a free card with an active Yawgmoth. It references Gix, the first Praetor for Yawgmoth, and has an excellent mana ability tied to it as well.
  • Bone Shredder - one of the first Shriekmaw effects ever printed, its CMC is attractive and it is super easy to sacrifice with Yawgmoth since the Echo cost will rarely be paid. I sadly play against a Kaalia deck 90% of the time, so the 'Shredder misses way too often to include.
  • Dross Harvester - this horror gains quite a bit of life from all the creatures dying. I like the threshold of life that it gains and the fact that it triggers off of any creature dying, including your opponent's creatures. Its art is also very reminiscent of what a Phyrexian would look like, so I'm very happy to include it in the deck.
  • Pawn of Ulamog, Sifter of Skulls, Ogre Slumlod - while definitely not a Phyrexian card, this card just does too much for the deck. Spawning creatures whenever a non-token creature of yours dies means that the Pawn often generates 3-4 bodies for Yawgmoth to sacrifice every time it hits the battlefield. It's also part of The Ulamog's Altar Combo, so it's doubly important to the deck as a Token Generator and Combo piece. Sifter and the Slumlord are excellent Token makers as well, but have CMC costs that push them out of the decklist.
  • Necroskitter - like many people who were enamored of Yawgmoth, I looked at the 'Skitter as a way to get back my opponents creatures whenever I killed them via Yawgmoth. It just turned out to be too slow and not impactful enough to really warrant its inclusion. Geth does this card's job better because you can do rez other creatures at instant speed.
  • Ophiomancer - an excellent token generator, this card simply does not have any Phyrexian flavor. I would totally support you running it in your own Yawgmoth deck because it's so powerful to the deck's core strategy. Its triggered ability means that you will be drawing an extra card every turn while also affecting Board state with Yawgmoth's ability. A VERY powerful Token Generator by itself and one I strongly recommend you consider if you're not going for a Vorthos inspired build like me.
  • Ichor Rats - super Phyrexian in every way, this card doesn't make the list because I didn't want to focus on any infect cards. The playgroup that I play with normally is not a fan of Infect deaths, so I oblige them. Otherwise, I highly recommend including the Rats since you can proliferate the Poison counters with Yawgmoth's second ability.
  • Solemn Simulacrum - bio-mechanical life gets a strong look, and the Simulacrum is a tried and tested Commander staple. Its death trigger is easy to trigger with Yawgmoth in play and it advances our land count, which is one of the constraints to this deck's strategy.
  • Crypt Ghast - an excellent mana doubler that also allows us to recoup life with its Extort trigger. In combination with K'rrik, the Ghast can be an excellent source of lifegain to the deck while also increasing your mana power so I highly recommend including the Ghast.
  • Skinrender - quite simply, this is one of the most Phyrexian cards in existence. Has the watermark, evokes horrific imagery with its title, does what Phyrexians do, and is great at killing things with Yawgmoth. Do note that this card has often been used in conjunction with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed to replicate The Unhallowed Ballista Combo fairly frequently, so do keep that in mind. It also looks pretty damn cool in foil!
  • Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet - an excellent Token generator that has the most important keyword for this deck, it also happens to grow. I bounce between Kalitas and Overseer of the Damned, but I ultimately prefer the Overseer because he deepens the Removal suite present within the deck.
  • Sightless Ghoul, Evernight Shade - see the entry for Butcher Ghoul .
  • Western Paladin|USG, Eastern Paladin|USG - not particularly good cards but hot damn are they cool looking cards that ooze Vorthos flavor!
  • Dread Presence - a really excellent card from M20 that helps to regain life, offer Board Control, OR Card Draw. I really want to fit this card in here, but it's lacking Phyrexian flavor... which is a pretty flimsy excuse considering the card's power and versatility.
  • Smothering Abomination - doubling up on Yawgmoth's Card Drawing capabilities is VERY nice. I've actually found this card to be extraneous to Yawgmoth, so it was an easy cut that I haven't really missed.
  • Sengir Autocrat - putting 4 bodies into play for 3B is a good deal. It doesn't have any Phyrexian flavor, so it's not in the deck.
  • Mindslicer - a very Phyrexian looking card with the horror creature type, I didn't include it because I don't have room.
  • Entomber Exarch - more useful for budget lists, this card is a nice way to recur a creature card from your 'yard so you can sacrifice it again!
  • Phyrexian Obliterator - included simply because its what Phyrexian Negator has always wanted to be. It's super Phyrexian in all ways but doesn't have an ability that furthers our Board state. It's just a simple beater, albeit a powerful one.
  • Josu Vess, Lich Knight - an army-in-a-can effect, it's also a decent blocker at its CMC. DOn't be fooled though; this card is meant to be kicked so that you can fuel Yawgmoth's ability with 8 fresh bodies.
  • Gray Merchant of Asphodel - one of the most important cards for the deck because of the sheer amount of lifegain it generates. I'm still not sure what Development was thinking when they printed this card at Common rarity, but alas. Here we are. Pretty much a staple of ALL Mono-Black Commander decks since it was printed, our deck is no exception and depends more havily on this card then normal.
  • Sidisi, Undead Vizier - Phyrexian in terms of mechanics, I like to think of Sidisi as one of Yawgmoth's Praetors that has found the ability to overcome death through artificial means. Otherwise, it's a pretty good card, particularly with any Token Generator or one of the Self-Reanimators.
  • Cavalier of Night - I was a little skeptical of how relevant this card would be when I first put it in, I've been super impressed by it every time it hits play. Being able to sacrifice a token and cleanly trade for an opponent's creature is extremely valuable at times, since you may not have enough bodies to kill the creature with Yawgmoth's ability. And the Cavalier's Death trigger is VERY relevant at times, recurring Weaponcraft Enthusiast or Nether Traitor more often than not. A solid card that also has lifelink as a keyword, it has earned its deckslot.
  • Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder - one of the best Token Generators in this deck, hands down. While it's sad when he dies because you've got 7 Thrull tokens (which shouldn't happen often because you should be sacrificing those Thrulls to Yawgmoth's ability!), the fact that he generates free bodies just for casting creatures is magnificent for this deck. Endrek Sahr also has a lot of Phyrexian flavor because Endrek Sahr was also interested in biology and eugenics, just on lower life forms. In fact, it's rumored that Sahr stole/discovered the formula for creating living life forms out of dead tissue from Phyrexian technology, making him a Disciple of the Grand Evolution if true!
  • Phyrexian Delver - one of the weaker cards in the decklist actually, it's still useful to be able to bring back a dead creature for additional sacrifice. It's a very Phyrexian card and one of the few ways to recur creatures outright within this deck, so use it wisely.
  • Archfiend of Ifnir - this card stayed in the deck up until very recently because of the way it synergizes with Yawgmoth's second ability. Because discarding a card is part of the cost to activate Yawgmoth's Proliferate ability, the Archfied's triggered ability goes on the stack above Yawgmoth's. This causes a -1/-1 counter to be placed on each creature that your opponents control so that you can proliferate those counters until they're all dead. Very powerful card that makes one-sided Board wipes a reality. Ultimately, I decided that Grave Pact was better at the job, so the Archfiend got cut from the list.
  • Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon - at the request of my playgroup, I've been asked to stay away from Infect kills and I respect that. Otherwise, this card is great and has awesome Phyrexian flavor.
  • God-Eternal Bontu - look! It's a creature-fied version of Reprocess|USG!
  • Puppeteer Clique - no Phyrexian flavor and is better represented via Geth.
  • Massacre Wurm - slaughters enemy tokens and adds a healthy life loss trigger to go with the slaughter. This card does a great job of getting incidental damage to each of your opponents so that you don't have to deal as much combat damage to them. It's also a VERY Phyrexian card; there's metal on it, it's a horrific looking wurm, it has the Phyrexian watermark, and its triggered ability helps to cull the weak creatures from the battlefield.
  • Phyrexian Gargantua|APC - one of the first cards I ever remember thinking "Woah. This card looks so cool. Do note that I think the Apocalypse art version is the best artistic rendition of the Gargantua, so I'm running that art in my deck.
  • Wurmcoil Engine - another supremely Phyrexian card, it spawns new life from its corpse and has two very important keywords. Lifelink goes a long way in this deck and the Wurmcoil Engine is an excellent attacker and defender. I have the version with the Phyrexian watermark to boot!
  • Mikaeus, the Unhallowed - massively powerful combo and Card Advantage piece for this deck, this is Yawgmoth's most powerful Praetor. It gives life to dying creatures and makes those dying creatures stronger on their return, an excellent Phyrexian theme.
  • Kokusho, the Evening Star - this deck burns through its life total so quickly. Having ways to regain that life in big spurts is important to the deck's strategy and Koko-Puffs does what it needs to do for this deck. While not exactly Phyrexian in nature, it's just a good card by itself and necessary to the deck's strategy overall.
  • Noxious Gearhulk - I love all of the 6 drop creatures in this deck, frankly. They're all very Phyrexian in flavor and the Gearhulk is one of the best cards in the deck. Gaining life off of the death from an opponent's creature is excellent, and can be used in conjunction with Skinrender and Mikaeus to go infinite. To learn how, check out the budget decklist! An excellent card, the Gearhulk is an excellent card at any time he's cast-able.
  • Geth, Lord of the Vault - I love Geth. He's got a lot of nostalgia for me on top of being super Phyrexian in flavor. I like him as a mana sink in the Late Game stages, so I wouldn't look to waste his potential until you're in a place where you can really take advantage of him.
  • First-Sphere Gargantua - while representative of what Phyrexian life-forms look like, this card is outclassed by the Gargantua.
  • Grave Titan - a super solid card that, for me, is missing Phyrexian flavor. Maybe that's blasphemy to you, but I haven't really missed the Titan in the games that I've played.
  • Nirkana Revenant - another mana doubler that can become a huge monster, this card doesn't have enough Phyrexian flavor to include.
  • Harvester of Souls - it's outclassed by Liliana, Dreadhorde General and doesn't really evoke Phyrexian flavor for me.
  • Dark Hatchling - I think this is the OG Ravenous Chupacabra creature in MTG, but I could very well be wrong about that. The art is important for linking it to Phyrexia because the Hatchling is coming out of a corpse, similar to Alien's chest-burster monsters.
  • Duplicant - this is another very Phyrexian card to me. Killing an opponent's creature and then making a bio-mechanical clone of it is something that Phyrexia definitely did in the storyline, and Duplicant does a good job of capturing that feeling. There's simply not enough room in the decklist for it to be in the main decklist.
  • K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth - oh man, I'm not sure what WOTC was thinking when they released K'rrik for printing. Being able to get all of your spells at a reduced rate of your life is VERY good. This card is VERY dangerous though, because it can VERY quickly put your life total into a dangerous range if not managed properly. But if you do manage it properly, than K'rrik will be a huge resource to you. He also does gain life, which is not irrelevant, and grows simply when you cast spells. A very powerful card and worth the life loss to get him into play quickly.
  • Rune-Scarred Demon - tutor-Demon is good. I consider it a staple in Mono-Black.
  • Abhorrent Overlord - the best Token Generator for this deck since the number of Tokens it creates scales as your Board gets larger. This card directly rewards us for our primary strategy because we like to put creatures and cards into play, thus increasing the Devotion count. I often create 6+ Harpies with the Overlord and I'm always happy to tutor for him or cast him.
  • Overseer of the Damned - a strong removal option that rewards you with fresh bodies whenever an opponent's creature dies. Which happens a lot. This card spawns new creatures for Yawgmoth to sacrifice, so it's one of the best cards in the deck.
  • Sheoldred, Whispering One - the Black Praetor herself! Sadly, Sheoldred is simply to slow for the deck. We like to kill things en masse and all at once. Sheoldred likes to eat away at your opponent's Board states over the course of many turns, which antithetical to this deck's core strategy.
  • Thieving Amalgam - a very interesting card design, this acts as another Ophiomancer effect for the deck while also randomly netting you powerful creatures you can Morph. A solid Budget card!
  • Butcher of Malakir - Grave Pact on a stick is REALLY good for this deck, it's just that the CMC is too much for the card.
  • Chancellor of the Dross - more often than not this is just going to be a 6/6 lifelinker. It doesn't do enough by itself but is worth mentioning because it has a Phyrexian watermark and could be representative of one of the Steel Thanes of New Phyrexia.
  • Meteor Golem - Black is singularly lacking in all-purpose removal. I didn't include this card because my surve is already atrocious as is and I didn't have room for it.
  • Razaketh, the Foulblooded - one of the best Black cards in all of Commander, hands down. And with this particular decklist and its suite of cards, Razaketh is a Demonic Tutor on command.
  • Vilis, Broker of Blood - an excellent Demon that draws cards at an unreal level. However, with an expensive CMC, Vilis requires me to lose tempo in order to get him into play and that loss of tempo is too detrimental to the deck's strategy.
  • Blightsteel Colossus - probably the most supreme Phyrexian card that can kill opponents in one shot, I've been asked to stay away from Infect kills by my playgroup.



Artifacts
Artifacts
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  • Mana Crypt - this card powers out a fast Yawgmoth and accelerates your Board state substantially. Do note that you can kill it with Karn's ability should your life total get low enoug.
  • Chrome Mox, Mox Diamond, etc. - we're going for mostly flavor here, and these card don't directly contribute to the flavor of Yawgmoth very much. Powerful cards, but this deck's curve is around 3.5. I have no illusions about speeding up this deck and I'm very happy with its current power level.
  • Everflowing Chalice, Astral Cornucopia - while it's nice to be able to Proliferate the charge counters on these Artifacts, I often find myself not needing to do so or not wanting to do so. This deck is pretty tempo hungry and taking time off to proliferate this mana source isn't always the best thing. However, the synergy with Yawgmoth cannot be denied
  • Sol Ring - Commander Staple. Duh.
  • Mana Vault - Getting a T2 or T3 Yawgmoth is what this deck is all about. The Vault helps to accomplish this. 'Nuff said.
  • Skullclamp - one of the most powerful Card Advantage spells ever printed, this card works triple time with an active Yawgmoth and magnifies the value of Yawgmoth by about 1000. An extremely good card in this deck.
  • Sensei's Divining Top - a quality Card filtering Artifact that also has Combo potential with Bolas's Citadel. An excellent card that is worth its price tag in this deck since it also usually ensures that we hit the required land drops this deck needs.
  • Voltaic Key - it helps to untap Mana Vault and the Monoliths, but isn't particularly Phyrexian in flavor. I often go back and forth with this card, but it's currently not in the list for now.
  • Coldsteel Heart - an excellent Phyrexian card with great flavor text that adds B too. Auto-include.
  • Charcoal Diamond - kinda Phyrexian in flavor but more importantly helps that T3 Yawgmoth to be a reality.
  • Grim Monolith - very Phyrexian in flavor that helps to accelerate some of the more powerful 5 CMC and 6 CMC spells in the deck or an early Yawgmoth. I really like this card in the deck.
  • Mind Stone - another functional mana rock that helps power out a T3 Yawgmoth.
  • Fractured Powerstone - this card has excellent flavor since the Thran were renowned for their Powerstones. In fact, Yawgmoth's art depicts several powerstones that he's researching!
  • Genesis Chamber - an excellent Token Generation tool that rewards my opponents a little too much for my liking. Creating chump blockers is not ideal with the core strategy of this deck even if it does disproportionately reward this deck's strategy. I could easily see this card getting back in the decklist one day, but is currently sitting out for now.
  • Jet Medallion - an excellent card, I'm out of room at this point to include any more ramp effects.
  • Phyrexian Totem - a super Phyrexian card that I often activate to get additional damage in. I like that you can choose when the Negator comes to play so that you minimize the risk of its damage trigger.
  • Phyrexian Altar - this might possibly be one of the coolest, most Phyrexian flavor cards in the deck that is also incredible as a sac outlet. Generating mana of any color is awesome and forms one of the key pieces in The Ulamog's Altar Combo.
  • Ashnod's Altar - not quite Phyrexian enough for the deck, I can nonetheless understand why you might want this card in your deck. This deck is supremely mana hungry and being able to turn Tokens into C is very good for the deck.
  • Worn Powerstone - an excellent mana rock from a flavor perspective, it's also really good by itself. A tad slow, and the current decklist is running better mana rocks at the moment.
  • Basalth Monolith - the Monoliths are great and I like Basalt Monolith a lot. There isn't enough room in the deck to squeeze it in however.
  • Bontu's Monument - being able to reduce mana costs for creatures is actually super useful, since creatures make up the majority of the decklist. You also gain life from casting them, which is another way to offset Yawgmoth's life drain. An excellent card I wouldn't oppose or question in your own list.
  • Unstable Obelisk - a mana rock that has an all-purpose removal effect on it. It's another solid way to increase the removal count in the list without diluting the core strategy.
  • Aetherflux Reservoir - gaining incremental life over the course of a game really adds up for this deck, particularly when you can cast 2-3 spells in one turn. It also kills players outright when you have The Sense's Citadel Combo going as well, so it's an excellent card in this deck. I also like to think of it as the ultimate Phyrexian laser, one that Yawgmoth would have been proud of.
  • Thran Dynamo - an excellent mana rock with a reference to the Thran, Yawgmoth's origin. Easy include.
  • Whip of Erebos - granting all of our creatures lifelink is awesome. Throw in some recursion and you have a super strong card
  • Phyrexian Processor - this ended up being too slow in the games that I drew it. This decklist has very burst-y turns, where you do a ton of things with your mana
  • Lashwrithe - another awesome Phyrexian card that drastically shortens the clock for your opponents. There are often 5+ Swamps on your side of the battlefield when this card would be tutored for and cast, so being able to give +5/+5 for a very cheap equip cost is well worth it.
  • Gilded Lotus - this deck is VERY mana hungry and the Lotus offers an excellent return in colored mana for its CMC investment. I would run it in basically any non-Green deck and never look back.
  • Batterskull - another awesome Phyrexian card, this card is simply great. I don't have enough room in the deck to squeeze it in though, so it's on the sidelines for now.
  • Bolas's Citadel - one of the coolest Black cards printed recently, this card can generate an obscene amount of Board presence by itself. I often spend a tutor to try and get a lifegain spell before I fire this off so that I can keep chaining spells together. This card is also the primary reason that I run fetch-lands in the deck so that you can shuffle away lands from the top of your deck that may be halting the Citadel's Card Advantage power.
  • Caged Sun - because mana-doublers are great in Mono-Black. But, it's got a Mirrodin watermark instead of a Phyrexian one. Pass.
  • Coveted Jewel - because of the large amount of Board control present in the deck, you should be able to keep control of the Jewel or trigger it to your side of the battlefield often. A cheap mana rock budget-wise, I'm often impressed with how powerful it is.
  • Spine of Ish Sah - an all-purpose removal spell with a Phyrexian watermark in its original printing, this card is just a simple removal spell. I think that Ugin, the Ineffable does just as good of a job in this aspect, so we can trim the CMC of the same type of effect with Ugin while also getting Card Advantage.



Instants
Instants
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  • Entomb - this is basically a second copy of Nether Traitor, if we're being honest. Occasionally it will find other things, but expect this card to be Traitor #2.
  • Vampiric Tutor - because it's a one mana tutor effect.
  • Dark Ritual|USG - because duh. Urza's Sage art FTW!
  • Culling the Weak - this card has done a TON of work for me. It powers out a T3 Yawgmoth pretty reliably with a T2 creature while also being an excellent way of accelerating you into a more expensive spell sooner than your opponents think. I love this card and it effectively encapsulates the Phyrexian ideology of Eugenics.
  • Defile - excellent one mana removal spell that scales into the late game perfectly. I have no qualms about anyone running this card in a Mono-Black deck at all. I just don't have room in this one.
  • Go for the Throat - the flavor text is exactly what Phyrexia would say... it simply has a Mirran watermark on it. Why it does, I have no idea...
  • Malicious Affliction - this card epitomizes what Yawgmoth actually did when he was consolidating power during the Thran Empire. It's also super easy to trigger the Morbid effect on the card, making this card an excellent 2 for 1 on a consistent basis.
  • Cabal Ritual - I like my mana rituals as much as the next person, but this one doesn't have any Phyrexian flavor.
  • Dismember - an all-purpose removal spell that kills the majority of relevant creatures in Commander while also being a super Phyrexian flavor card.
  • Sudden Spoiling - Split Second is a great way to to disrupt a Combo deck while also shrinking them to Yawgmoth bite-size pieces. This is a great card that depicts the Mask of Yawgmoth in the right half of the art, so it's definitely Phyrexian in flavor and execution.
  • Tendrils of Corruption - lifegain tacked onto a removal spell is always welcome and the fact that it scales as the game progresses is very important in evaluating its power.
  • Annihilate - flavor win while also replacing itself, this is a decent card.



Sorceries
Sorceries
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  • Imperial Seal - too expensive for me to acquire, it's still an excellent tutor effect that you should play if you own a copy of it.
  • Reanimate - we aren't a dedicated Reanimator deck and we don't often have the life to spare in order to cast this card. Phyrexian Delver also evokes a little more flavor than this card.
  • Scheming Symmetry - a very cool card that can help another opponent. You should be able to draw your card first though with Yawgmoth's ability.
  • Demonic Tutor - Commander staple.
  • Diabolic Intent - this kind of effect is absolutely Phyrexian in mechanics and flavor and is one I'm happy to include. The original art also depicts Crovax, one of Phyrexia's chief henchmen in the storyline.
  • Black Sun's Zenith - a board wipe effect that we can proliferate with Yawgmoth while also evoking excellent Phyrexian flavor.
  • Exsanguinate - it's a fairly cheesy way to gain life for this deck and potentially kill your opponents but VERY effective at doing so. I could easily support any player including this in their own deck. It doesn't have quite enough Phyrexian flavor in my opinion, so it doesn't make the decklist.
  • Torment of Hailfire - another awesome outlet for Big Mana effects, of which this deck is definitely. Definitely not Phyrexian in flavor at all, so it doesn't make the list.
  • Sign in Blood, Night's Whisper - excellent Card Drawing spells that help to supplement the draw power of the deck when Yawgmoth isn't in play.
  • Yawgmoth's Will - perhaps one of the most iconic MTG cards of all time, Yawgmoth's Will is a slam dunk include in this deck for pretty much ALL of the reasons.
  • Toxic Deluge - Yawgmoth mettled in diseases and plagues. Toxic Deluge totally evokes the kind of things that Yawgmoth might have done in his journeys across ancient Dominaria.
  • Buried Alive - we're not a dedicated Reanimator deck and there aren't a lot of cards we want to have in our 'yard without having seen the battlefield first.
  • Victimize - a pretty awesome card for this deck since Yawgmoth cares about the number of bodies that are in play moreso than the specific creatures that are in play. Combine with Cavalier of Night for a nice 3 for 1 effect!
  • Dead of Winter - if you're running the Snow-Covered Swamp mana base, this is a cheaper Mutilate.
  • Read the Bones - another Card Draw spell that helps supplement Yawgmoth when he's not available to you.
  • Diabolic Tutor - a solid tutor effect.
  • Mutilate - a solid Board wipe that encapsulates the Phyrexian ideology. Not included because there are other Wrath effects in the deck that are more Phyrexian in flavor.
  • Tendrils of Agony - a VERY awesome spell to cast after a long Storm turn with Bolas's Citadel, this card barely got cut from the deck because it didn't directly contribute to Board presence.
  • Dread Return - an excellent Reanimation effect, particularly in view of how many Token Generators there are in the deck.
  • Blood for Bones - another card that is definitely Phyrexian in mechanics and effect, this deck doesn't really focus too heavily on Reanimating general creatures.
  • Nightmare Unmaking - an excellent and flexible Wrath effect, it's a solid inclusion in your list if Yawgmoth has been killed too many times. Exiling creatures is also VERY powerful, so it's a solid card all around.
  • Yawgmoth's Vile Offering - Yawgmoth's own Legendary spell, this card is awesome and depicts Yawgmoth's Phyrexian God-form. Included for Phyrexian flavor 100%.
  • Living Death - this card was in the most recent version of this deck and barely got cut. I noticed that my opponents graveyards were usually just as stocked as my own, and I didn't want to see those creatures again. In the end, I cut this card for Grave Pact, which I think is the better choice.
  • Dark Petition - not enough Phyrexian flavor and it's hard to get the Spell Mastery effect to trigger.
  • Final Parting - Entomb married Demonic Tutor on this card. No Phyrexian flavor, but a great card otherwise!
  • From Under the Floorboards - another Army-in-a-can spell, you generally want to use Yawgmoth's Proliferate ability to use the Madness casting cost of this spell instead, since gaining life and putting Yawgmoth fodder into play is what this deck needs. Not enough Phyrexian flavor to make the cut, sadly.
  • Army of the Damned - an excellent Army-in-a-can spell, you can even flash it back to get even more! An excellent card for Yawgmoth that didn't make the cut due to deck size constraints. I want to squeeze it in so badly since it's one of my favorite MTG cards of all time.



Enchantments
Enchantments
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  • Font of Agonies - the synergy with Yawgmoth is undeniable, but it doesn't have Phyrexian flavor since it's a Bolas card mostly.
  • Phyrexian Reclamation - an excellent way to recur cards in the deck while oozing with Phyrexian flavor. One of the cards I most want to find room for in the deck.
  • Bitterblossom, Dreadhorde Invasion - these cards are not fast enough for Yawgmoth and are in fact trap cards. Yawgmoth wants density of Tokens to sacrifice, not consistency in Token generation. I cut these cards early and haven't missed them.
  • Crumbling Ashes - this is another trap card that is NOT good enough for this deck.
  • Gate to Phyrexia - didn't make the cut because I don't have a copy of it.
  • Animate Dead, Dance of the Dead - we aren't a dedicated Reanimator deck and aren't wanting to consistently Reanimate things, although a Reanimator strategy is a solid way to build Yawgmoth.
  • Nest of Scarabs - I have a whole section dedicated to it in the Deck Strategy section, this card can enable Yawgmoth to generate one-sided Board wipes at the cost of life EVERY turn at instant speed. One of the most powerful cards in the deck and a frequent tutor target.
  • Necropotence - pretty much an auto-include for Mono-Black Commander decks.
  • Phyrexian Arena - a solid Card Advantage piece that is 10/10 for Phyrexian flavor.
  • Blowfly Infestation - a nice way to ensure that there is always a -1/-1 counter to proliferate, this card just doesn't do enough. It IS nice to chain kill mana-dorks with it though!
  • Contamination - oozing with Phyrexian flavor while also being a devastating lock piece with Token Generators and the Self-Reanimating creautre suite. I couldn't find room for it in the deck, frankly.
  • Necromancy - we aren't a Reanimator deck and don't want to Reanimate creatures repeatedly.
  • Grave Pact, Dictate of Erebos - these card takes Yawgmoth's ability and 10X's it. It is SO easy to establish Board control with any one of these cards and will often lead to total dominance when they're protected effectively. The Grave Pact is in the deck singularly because the Dictate doesn't have any Phyrexian flavor but is a solid and powerful inclusion for your own deck.
  • Phyrexian Scriptures - auto-include. Do note that you can trigger its chapters with Yawgmoth's Proliferate ability to create a very powerful board wipe if necessary.
  • Open the Graves - an excellent way to turn our creatures into more creatures for Yawgmoth's ability, this card doesn't have enough Phyrexian flavor for me and is relatively expensive CMC wise. It also competes for deck space with Pawn of Ulamog, Sifter of Skulls, and Ogre Slumlord, all of which are preferable to an enchantment by virtue of being creatures.
  • Subversion - a consistent lifegain engine that is relatively unassuming and thus likely to survive and gain you 15+ life over the course of a game. Just not good enough to make the current version of the deck.
  • Palace Siege - this will most often be set to the Dragons mode so that you can regain the life you've spent for Yawgmoth's ability.



Planeswalkers
Planeswalkers
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  • Liliana, the Last Hope - she's not terribly Phyrexian but her abilities are decent. Because this deck isn't focusing on the Proliferate ability, most of these Planeswalkers are not impactful.
  • Liliana of the Veil - just not good enough for multi-Player.
  • Karn, the Great Creator - Karn, after returning to Mirrodin with the demise of Memnarch, actually fell prey to New Phyrexia and was enslaved for years under the New Phyrexia menace. Even though Karn was a part of the Legacy Weapon that killed Yawgmoth in the original Invasion storyline, New Phyrexia was able to come back and subjugate Karn, almost completely corrupting him if it weren't for the sacrifice of Venser, the Sojourner. As such, Karn is a great way to hinder our opponents in their mana development and his Artifact-animating ability is one of the few ways in the deck to kill Artifacts. Do remember that you can animate your own Artifacts in order to feed Yawgmoth's ability if necessary!
  • Liliana of the Dark Realms - a pretty good Planeswalker for Commander, honestly. Being able to guarantee land drops while thinning out your deck is not irrelevant and her minus ability can be very good as well. A decent inclusion in your decklist should you try to run her.
  • Ob Nixilis Reignited - I look at this Ob Nixilis as a modal Phyrexian Arena that can occasionally kill things. It doesn't have a lot of Phyrexian flavor though, so it doesn't make the cut.
  • Liliana Vess - more often than not she's going to Vampiric Tutor twice and then die. However, because this deck does such a good job at killing creatures, getting her Ultimate activated will probably give you a massive, super-powerful Board state. I don't personally prefer playing her, since I don't actively focus on ultimating Planeswalkers, but she's an excellent B Planeswalker. No Phyrexian flavor either pushes her out of the deck as well.
  • Liliana, Death's Majesty - a decent card, the ability to Reanimate things is what makes her relevant while also being able to create Tokens to fuel Yawgmoth's ability. I could see her ending up in a list.
  • Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath - all of his modes can be relevant, he just doesn't evoke Phyrexian flavor for me and thus doesn't make the cut.
  • Ugin, the Ineffable - this is often used as a 6 mana Vindicate that can generate Card Advantage and Tokens when it survives. I really like this Ugin in this deck since it has so many important uses, so I think that this is an auto-include in this deck, even though it doesn't have any Phyrexian flavor.
  • Liliana, Dreadhorde General - wow, this card is honestly one of the cards that I would consider a Mono-Black staple for Commander. All of her modes are relevant and if you ever fire off her ultimate you should be able to win with the greatest of ease. An excellent, excellent card for this deck whose mechanics are VERY Phyrexian in nature!
  • Sorin Markov - his +2 ability is an excellent way to regain life spent on Yawgmoth's ability, his minus ability is notorious in Commander, and ultimating him is Mindslaver which can be extremely powerful in shifting the tempo of the game in your favor.
  • Karn Liberated - nope. We like Karn to be subjugated, so this card is anti-Phyrexian flavor.
  • Ugin, the Spirit Dragon - a useful and powerful card, it just isn't a good fit for this deck.



Lands
Lands
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  • Ancient Tomb - the Sol lands are generally useful and this one powers out some strong turns when it's drawn. The new art looks pretty cool and is a possible vector that Yawgmoth might have stuided.
  • Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - turning all of our lands into Swamps is great, particularly for Coffers.
  • Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx - this deck can accumulate quite a bit of Devotion, so this land often taps for 6+ mana when I do activate its 2nd mana ability.
  • Cabal Coffers - because this is a Mono-B deck with 15+ Swamps. Combine with Urborg for extra awesomeness and mana generation.
  • Phyrexian Tower - this card has overperformed for me in so many ways. It's flavorful and sacrificing Tokens for extra mana is a great way to power out more expensive spells. They new Art looks totally awesome, although I'm a sucker for the old art I have.
  • Westvale Abbey - being able to create Tokens on a land is pretty awesome. Being able to then sacrifice Tokens to create a 9/7 Indestructible Flying Lifelinker is even better. This deck can transform the Abbey pretty reliably, so make sure you evaluate any opportunities to transform it so you can regain life.
  • Blast Zone - general removal at any CMC range is very valuable. Use this card sparingly, however, as we don't run any way to recur it outside of Yawgmoth's Will.
  • Arcane Lighthouse, Detection Tower - these cards help to ensure that Yawgmoth can target any creature he wants and make them dead. I don't have a preponderance of Shroud or Hexproof creatures I need to worry about so I don't personally run them.
  • Polluted Delta, Bloodstained Mire, et al - deck thinning and provides another chance for Bolas's Citadel to keep hitting cards.
  • Volrath's Stronghold - I can't find my own copy of the card for some reason, otherwise it would be in the deck.
  • Myriad Landscape - this card consumes WAY too much tempo on a consistent basis. Don't play it unless you don't want to run the Fetch land package.
  • Inkmoth Nexus - this deck is very color hungry and I don't like spending my mana to make an Infect flier. I've also been asked to stay away from Infect cards in my deck, so I oblige my playgroup.
  • Thespian's Stage - often is a 2nd copy of Nykthos or Cabal Coffers, I don't have a copy of this card and don't feel that it's necessary to the deck.
  • Swamp, Snow-Covered Swamp - because duh.


They danced like puppets to a tune only Yawgmoth could hear - here





Credits & Thanks
First, I would like to thank Wizards for finally, finally printing cards that its fans have requested for 10+ years. I appreciate that Wizards has come a long way in their Card Development and Testing teams, and their versions of the pre-God Yawgmoth is excellently done in my opinion. The card itself evokes the flavor of the Thran empire, is an accurate depiction of him as per The Thran novel, and successfully creates an ability that reflects the mentality and everyday actions that Yawgmoth did. Yawgmoth and Urza were slam-dunks, homeruns, etc. of card design and I'm supremely pleased with Yawgmoth's current iteration.

I'd like to thank my wife. We've come through some hard times recently and your willingness to play 1v1 against this deck with your Kaalia deck is something I deeply appreciate. Your support of my nerdiness and willingness to meet me halfway is deeply appreciated and I wouldn't want any other woman to be my companion and partner in life.

Next, I 'd like to credit [mention]darrenhabib[/mention] for initially brewing a list of Yawgmoth when he was first spoiled on MTGSalvation.com. While his decklist went in a Superfriends direction, his thread has provided an excellent resource for me and others in developing their own Yawgmoth lists.

Lastly, I'd like to thank you, dear reader. This Primer was written and refined in the hopes that you would find it enjoyable, informative, and comprehensive. Maybe, just maybe, I've made you a convert to the Grand Evolution and you will allow yourself to welcome the blessing of Phyresis to your life!

"Unskin these impure bodies, Great Yawgmoth, that the flesh may welcome your blessings." - here





Changelog

This section is to have a running list of changes that I've made to the OP and my own personal decklist. Hopefully it will give you a reference point for how the deck has evolved since it was first created and give you an idea of what cards I've already tried and tested in this deck.

For specific explanations about why certain cards were cut and added to the deck, please refer to the actual post on the date specified in this Changelog. The post itself will have the reasoning behind why card were added/cut to the decklist so that this section is concise.
7/30/2019 - 8/6/2019 Changes
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The initial creation of the Primer and the necessary edits to get it approved for Primer status. The changes are myriad, and I won't bother listing all of them out in this first entry.
8/9/2019 Changes
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+ Butcher Ghoul
- Dusk Legion Zealot

There were also some additional tweaks to the OP to correct grammar errors, clarify card entries, and elaborate on sections of the Primer while also tweaking some formatting to make the Primer more digestible.
8/14/2019 Changes
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Minor update to the OP to include a link to [mention]darrenhabib[/mention]'s Yawgmoth Superfriends list as well as some minor spelling/grammar updates.
There's no higher honor in Phyrexia than dying for Yawgmoth's glorious vision. - here




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Post by lyonhaert » 6 months ago

Oooh, I look forward to this. Suicide MBC + Vorthos FTW.
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Post by YawgmothPrime » 6 months ago

Thanks for a Vorthos inspired primer for Yawgmoth! I really enjoyed the character information and breakdowns. I was also waiting for him to receive a card and I agree that it is nigh perfect. I built my deck with flavor in mind and for pet cards as well, as I did include Chainer and -1/-1 matters cards. After seeing this list though, I'm tempted to go more flavorful since you vouch for its staying power. I have been finding the -1/-1 sub theme to be just ok, so I look forward to a more Compleated list!
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Post by xeroxedfool » 6 months ago

I actually read that entire history of Yawgmoth yesterday while the thread was being worked on. This is a nice thread and primer to be.
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Post by nobody » 6 months ago

I Hate to be that guy, but i do not see any grave pact effect. which would be very good with Yawgmoth.

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Post by TearsOfTomorrow » 6 months ago

YES. I couldn't wait for someone to finally start this topic. Having a couple of busy days, but I'll come back to this later.

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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

This is once again a great looking thread, Ben. I love the phyrexian theme you've gone with too, and it's interesting to see a more creature oriented build. I'm gonna have to post my thread, hopefully over the next couple days.

How have you found Geth, Lord of the Vault? I'd been looking for a copy for my build, haven't managed to track one down yet. I'm more interested in steering at least a little away from walkers as a dedicated theme for my build - partly because there are at least one or two of the more iconic ones that I either can't afford (OG Ugin and Karn) or can't find (Dreadhorde Lili and Dark Realms Lili), so currently my build is sitting somewhere between yours and Darren's, with an emphasis on mana doublers too. As you know I don't like to put all of my eggs in one basket anyway, and pieces like Geth are great mana sinks, which is why I'd been looking at things like Geth, Dark Depths, and such.

How well are your life boosters working? Gary is an auto include, Koko probably too, I'm interested to hear how Dross Harvester is working out for you though. This is definitely an area I'd been concerned about - it's a cool theme that Yawgmoth is literally using blood for power, it's SO freaking b, but I'm concerned about how sustainable it is in my build.

Also, dude - no Vilis, Broker of Blood? What gives? He's BORN for this deck.

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Post by lyonhaert » 6 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
6 months ago
How well are your life boosters working? Gary is an auto include, Koko probably too, I'm interested to hear how Dross Harvester is working out for you though. This is definitely an area I'd been concerned about - it's a cool theme that Yawgmoth is literally using blood for power, it's SO freaking b, but I'm concerned about how sustainable it is in my build.
Seems it'd be fairly easy to not roll Dross out until you've got one of the enabler creatures like Nether Traitor, too.

Also, Vilis was made for Chainer. :P



Btw, [mention]benjameenbear[/mention], I approve the description of Chainer. ;)
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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

lyonhaert wrote:
6 months ago
toctheyounger wrote:
6 months ago
How well are your life boosters working? Gary is an auto include, Koko probably too, I'm interested to hear how Dross Harvester is working out for you though. This is definitely an area I'd been concerned about - it's a cool theme that Yawgmoth is literally using blood for power, it's SO freaking b, but I'm concerned about how sustainable it is in my build.
Seems it'd be fairly easy to not roll Dross out until you've got one of the enabler creatures like Nether Traitor, too.

Also, Vilis was made for Chainer. :P



Btw, @benjameenbear, I approve the description of Chainer. ;)
Makes sense. I run a few more of the standard token producers, like my boy Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, so it'd be easy enough to get great value from it.
Honestly, I think Vilis was made for a lot of black commanders to be fair. I didn't think twice about running him here, though. He's a beater with crazy card advantage and removal.

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

lyonhaert wrote:
6 months ago
Oooh, I look forward to this. Suicide MBC + Vorthos FTW.
I'm glad. I've wanted Yawgmoth for so long and I can't wait to complete this Primer. I'm hoping that I will finish today!
YawgmothPrime wrote:
6 months ago
Thanks for a Vorthos inspired primer for Yawgmoth! I really enjoyed the character information and breakdowns. I was also waiting for him to receive a card and I agree that it is nigh perfect. I built my deck with flavor in mind and for pet cards as well, as I did include Chainer and -1/-1 matters cards. After seeing this list though, I'm tempted to go more flavorful since you vouch for its staying power. I have been finding the -1/-1 sub theme to be just ok, so I look forward to a more Compleated list!
You are clearly an enlightened individual with your excellent use of the word compleated. Welcome to the Grand Evolution! And yes, the deck has quite a bit of staying power simply because of Yawgmoth's abilities. I think I might do a more competitive view of the deck as an alternative decklist as well as a super-Vorthos build that sacrifices some power and consistency for sheer Vorthos.
xeroxedfool wrote:
6 months ago
I actually read that entire history of Yawgmoth yesterday while the thread was being worked on. This is a nice thread and primer to be.
I'm glad. I'm a fan of Yawgmoth's storyline a lot. I read the Invasion series and appreciated the immense unfathomable evil that was Yawgmoth as a villain and it helped give context to the power of Urza. While I think the Books left something to be desired from a prose, pacing, and plot standpoint, I have deeply fond memories of those stories.
nobody wrote:
6 months ago
I Hate to be that guy, but i do not see any grave pact effect. which would be very good with Yawgmoth.
Agreed. In fact, I somehow overlooked this element when I initially designed the deck. I think I only want one of these effects, and Grave Pact is obviously the most flavorful one with the highest mana symbol count. Devotion has come up a lot in some games recently with Nykthos and Gray Merchant, so adding to that count is always good.
TearsOfTomorrow wrote:
6 months ago
YES. I couldn't wait for someone to finally start this topic. Having a couple of busy days, but I'll come back to this later.
Look forward to seeing you more.
toctheyounger wrote:
6 months ago
This is once again a great looking thread, Ben. I love the phyrexian theme you've gone with too, and it's interesting to see a more creature oriented build. I'm gonna have to post my thread, hopefully over the next couple days.

How have you found Geth, Lord of the Vault? I'd been looking for a copy for my build, haven't managed to track one down yet. I'm more interested in steering at least a little away from walkers as a dedicated theme for my build - partly because there are at least one or two of the more iconic ones that I either can't afford (OG Ugin and Karn) or can't find (Dreadhorde Lili and Dark Realms Lili), so currently my build is sitting somewhere between yours and Darren's, with an emphasis on mana doublers too. As you know I don't like to put all of my eggs in one basket anyway, and pieces like Geth are great mana sinks, which is why I'd been looking at things like Geth, Dark Depths, and such.

How well are your life boosters working? Gary is an auto include, Koko probably too, I'm interested to hear how Dross Harvester is working out for you though. This is definitely an area I'd been concerned about - it's a cool theme that Yawgmoth is literally using blood for power, it's SO freaking b, but I'm concerned about how sustainable it is in my build.

Also, dude - no Vilis, Broker of Blood? What gives? He's BORN for this deck.
Geth, Lord of the Vault is actually one of the weaker cards in the deck and is in there mostly for Phyrexian flavor. He's a strong card in his own right, however, and works beautifully with Yawgmoth's sacrifice ability. I find that he's a great mana sink in the later turns of the game, being able to rez creatures I've previously killed for ETB value or Mana Generation. I recommend him as a mana sink that creates card advantage in the late game with the not insignificant ability to kill players via combat damage.

The life gain creatures are doing very well right now. A sleeper hit has actually been the Crypt Ghast. Being able to gain 2+ life for each spell being cast does a lot to mitigate the sheer amount of life this deck burns through. I'm often in the low teens by T6 or T7 and every bit counts. Gray Merchant has of course overperformed, as usual, but Dross Harvester has been another sleeper hit. Note that the Harvester triggers off of any creature dying, including your opponents. This has been VERY awesome in recouping the life I've spent in the earlier stages of the game and is most effectively used when you have either a Wrath effect in hand or a seriously ridiculous chain of Yawgmoth value. I once gained 32 life off of the Harvester triggers, between Yawgmoth's abilities and other removal effects in the deck, in one turn. I found the other Pingers to be extremely lackluster in this regard, particularly for the High Power meta that I most often play with. cEDH is a different story, obviously.

Ironically, Vilis, Broker of Blood just isn't as good as Yawgmoth in the drawing cards department. Trust me, I was shocked when I realized that Yawgmoth draws cards more consistently and with less life loss than Vilis. He was in the first build of Yawgmoth because of the obvious synergy he had with Yawgmoth's activated ability cost, but he has proven extraneous to everything else. A big sticking point for this was because of Vilis' CMC. By the time I wanted to cast Vilis, I usually had Yawgmoth in play and I wanted to advance my Board state via cheap creatures or Token Generators so that I could kill things. Vilis does this, but at the cost of a turn essentially.

However, while he doesn't fit here, I want to give my ringing and conclusive endorsement for Vilis. My wife plays him in her Kaalia deck, where it's obviously broken, but the sheer power that card has in a Multi-Player setting is absolutely ridiculous. Unless you're killing the Vilis player via Non-Damage related means, Vilis will almost always draw 10+ cards over the course of a game. My wife hasn't drawn less than that in any game where Vilis has appeared. In fact, in the most recent game I played with her 1v1 against my Yawgmoth deck, he drew 21 cards over the course of a single turn. He's extremely powerful and has become one of the kill-on-sight creatures for me now. He generates an absurd amount of value and is, in all honesty, the way that Griselbrand should have been printed in order for G-Brand to stay legal.
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Post by YawgmothPrime » 6 months ago

From the Commander panel today!
He should effect activation costs too, so we can proliferate for 'free.'
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Post by lyonhaert » 6 months ago

YawgmothPrime wrote:
6 months ago
From the Commander panel today!
He should effect activation costs too, so we can proliferate for 'free.'
"Image"
So he basically makes all b into . That's different.

He's staying the heck away from my Chainer deck, though.
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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

It is the clear the the Grand Evolution is moving forward. Someone within the WOTC Development team has received Phyrexia's blessing and brings forth its glory!

In all seriousness, K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth is a VERY powerful card. Anything that shortcuts mana costs is dangerously powerful, as WOTC has learned from Gitaxian Probe and Dig Through Time in Constructed formats, and K'rrik is no exception. He does come in as a 2/2 creature though, which is sad, but is a very powerful addition as the game progresses. His Lifelink ability is what makes him so good though since he will scale in size as the game progresses so that he can gain you bigger and bigger chunks of life back. I'm a fan of him for sure and I might consider shrinking my curve so that he can get bigger on a more consistent basis. I'll definitely be acquiring a copy of him for sure since the biggest constraint on this deck is its Mana Sources. While he's not a mana source by himself, he creates virtual mana at the cost of life and should be seen in this way.
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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
6 months ago
Geth, Lord of the Vault is actually one of the weaker cards in the deck and is in there mostly for Phyrexian flavor. He's a strong card in his own right, however, and works beautifully with Yawgmoth's sacrifice ability. I find that he's a great mana sink in the later turns of the game, being able to rez creatures I've previously killed for ETB value or Mana Generation. I recommend him as a mana sink that creates card advantage in the late game with the not insignificant ability to kill players via combat damage.
I did wonder if Geth was going to be strong enough to actually close out a game. He's cool and flavourful, and something to do with all that extra mana, although the value of that is contingent on what you can dig up or how far you can mill.
The life gain creatures are doing very well right now. A sleeper hit has actually been the Crypt Ghast. Being able to gain 2+ life for each spell being cast does a lot to mitigate the sheer amount of life this deck burns through. I'm often in the low teens by T6 or T7 and every bit counts. Gray Merchant has of course overperformed, as usual, but Dross Harvester has been another sleeper hit. Note that the Harvester triggers off of any creature dying, including your opponents. This has been VERY awesome in recouping the life I've spent in the earlier stages of the game and is most effectively used when you have either a Wrath effect in hand or a seriously ridiculous chain of Yawgmoth value. I once gained 32 life off of the Harvester triggers, between Yawgmoth's abilities and other removal effects in the deck, in one turn. I found the other Pingers to be extremely lackluster in this regard, particularly for the High Power meta that I most often play with. cEDH is a different story, obviously.
Dross Harvester...I hadn't realised it triggered from every creature. That's nuts. I've got a spare copy, so I'll have to see how that goes. By 'other pingers' I assume you mean things like Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat?
Ironically, Vilis, Broker of Blood just isn't as good as Yawgmoth in the drawing cards department. Trust me, I was shocked when I realized that Yawgmoth draws cards more consistently and with less life loss than Vilis. He was in the first build of Yawgmoth because of the obvious synergy he had with Yawgmoth's activated ability cost, but he has proven extraneous to everything else. A big sticking point for this was because of Vilis' CMC. By the time I wanted to cast Vilis, I usually had Yawgmoth in play and I wanted to advance my Board state via cheap creatures or Token Generators so that I could kill things. Vilis does this, but at the cost of a turn essentially.

However, while he doesn't fit here, I want to give my ringing and conclusive endorsement for Vilis. My wife plays him in her Kaalia deck, where it's obviously broken, but the sheer power that card has in a Multi-Player setting is absolutely ridiculous. Unless you're killing the Vilis player via Non-Damage related means, Vilis will almost always draw 10+ cards over the course of a game. My wife hasn't drawn less than that in any game where Vilis has appeared. In fact, in the most recent game I played with her 1v1 against my Yawgmoth deck, he drew 21 cards over the course of a single turn. He's extremely powerful and has become one of the kill-on-sight creatures for me now. He generates an absurd amount of value and is, in all honesty, the way that Griselbrand should have been printed in order for G-Brand to stay legal.
That is surprising in it's way, but I guess I had thought of it ONLY in terms of being lieutenant to Yawgmoth. Without your general in play his value does drop fairly considerably, while his CMC stays the same. Makes sense. Maybe he'd be better in more of a haymaker deck with a way to constantly cheat on his CMC.

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

[mention]toctheyounger[/mention] Yeah, Geth is a decent mana sink in the late game that accrues Card Advantage. Honestly, you could substitute him in for many other things and not really miss him at all. Yawgmoth does a ton of work by himself in generating Card Advantage, so Geth's ability is nice but not as powerful in generating Card Advantage. I've often toyed with having Wurmcoil Engine replacing Geth since it directly adds more Tokens to play while also having Lifelink, a super important ability for this deck. I guess I just have a lot of nostalgia for Geth since he used to be my Mono-Black Commander and I like to think of Geth as one of Yawgmoth's Praetors.

The Aristocrat pingers are just not good enough for this deck, frankly. They're weak bodies by themselves that don't generate a ton of value when they hit play and they don't contribute to combat damage. This deck likes to gain life in large chunks instead of spreading it out over turns I've observed, so that's why en masse Token generators are preferred. Ugin and Liliana make the cut because they provide other effects on top of their token generation. Otherwise, the Harvester is the only one that provides that burst-y sort of lifegain that this deck craves.

It's not that Vilis is a bad card by itself and ceases to be as effective without Yawgmoth in play. What I meant to say is that Vilis consumes Tempo from my core strategy and his Card Advantage power is often extraneous/eclipsed by Yawgmoth's ability. Activating his ability is also VERY painful for this deck, since Yawgmoth's ability is greedy enough as is. Essentially, I always want Yawgmoth to be my primary source of life-burn in the deck and any additional effects that consume life have to be VERY powerful OR Vorthos-y to make the decklist. Vilis just doesn't fit this particular decklist and its strategy.

On a general note, I've continued to update this Primer and add more sections. I'm anticipating that I'll finish it shortly and then submit for Primer Approval!

Also, I removed Smothering Abomination from the deck in favor of adding Wurmcoil Engine. Token generation and lifelink is superior to this deck than additional Card Advantage engines. With the tutor density and the sheer amount of work Yawgmoth does, I can afford to cut down on my Card Advantage engines pretty easily. I increase the curve slightly, but add another Phyrexian card to the deck that fits its core strategy better.
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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
6 months ago
@toctheyounger Yeah, Geth is a decent mana sink in the late game that accrues Card Advantage. Honestly, you could substitute him in for many other things and not really miss him at all. Yawgmoth does a ton of work by himself in generating Card Advantage, so Geth's ability is nice but not as powerful in generating Card Advantage. I've often toyed with having Wurmcoil Engine replacing Geth since it directly adds more Tokens to play while also having Lifelink, a super important ability for this deck. I guess I just have a lot of nostalgia for Geth since he used to be my Mono-Black Commander and I like to think of Geth as one of Yawgmoth's Praetors.

The Aristocrat pingers are just not good enough for this deck, frankly. They're weak bodies by themselves that don't generate a ton of value when they hit play and they don't contribute to combat damage. This deck likes to gain life in large chunks instead of spreading it out over turns I've observed, so that's why en masse Token generators are preferred. Ugin and Liliana make the cut because they provide other effects on top of their token generation. Otherwise, the Harvester is the only one that provides that burst-y sort of lifegain that this deck craves.

It's not that Vilis is a bad card by itself and ceases to be as effective without Yawgmoth in play. What I meant to say is that Vilis consumes Tempo from my core strategy and his Card Advantage power is often extraneous/eclipsed by Yawgmoth's ability. Activating his ability is also VERY painful for this deck, since Yawgmoth's ability is greedy enough as is. Essentially, I always want Yawgmoth to be my primary source of life-burn in the deck and any additional effects that consume life have to be VERY powerful OR Vorthos-y to make the decklist. Vilis just doesn't fit this particular decklist and its strategy.

On a general note, I've continued to update this Primer and add more sections. I'm anticipating that I'll finish it shortly and then submit for Primer Approval!

Also, I removed Smothering Abomination from the deck in favor of adding Wurmcoil Engine. Token generation and lifelink is superior to this deck than additional Card Advantage engines. With the tutor density and the sheer amount of work Yawgmoth does, I can afford to cut down on my Card Advantage engines pretty easily. I increase the curve slightly, but add another Phyrexian card to the deck that fits its core strategy better.
That all makes sense. I'm running the aristocrats in my build, but I've yet to get anywhere near enough testing in, the deck is very new.

It definitely seems like Vilis needs to be in a deck that can cheat him into play or reduce his cost to a manageable level. First game with Yawg I totally got what you mean there - this deck works best with explosive turns on a lower curve - it just wants to move too quickly to spend 8 on a single spell and do nothing else in the turn.

In terms of the changes you're making, it definitely seems you're putting a lot of emphasis on Yawgmoth as your primary card advantage engine. Totally get that from a flavour perspective and in terms of efficiency too. How often are you finding Yawgmoth getting targeted off the board? I've found he's a bit of a lodestone personally. And how well do you recover when he's taken out?

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

I've observed that Yawgmoth usually dies 2-3 times per game. However, that's usually not a hindrance to me because by the time Yawgmoth has died I've drawn 2+ cards, usually including a mana source/land that allows me to build back up to recast Yawgmoth.

The deck does pretty well even without him. I use the tutor effects VERY sparingly, actually, so that I can deploy them when Yawgmoth isn't available to me. Oftentimes I will open with a tutor effect but not actually cast it until T5 or T6, and that's mostly to either find a Card Advantage piece that supplements Yawgmoth or it's a mana source so I can get Yawgmoth back into play.

This deck is, quite frankly, awesome. I love playing it even when I lose and get ganged up on.

EDIT: Finally finished writing up the Primer, whew.
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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
6 months ago
I've observed that Yawgmoth usually dies 2-3 times per game. However, that's usually not a hindrance to me because by the time Yawgmoth has died I've drawn 2+ cards, usually including a mana source/land that allows me to build back up to recast Yawgmoth.

The deck does pretty well even without him. I use the tutor effects VERY sparingly, actually, so that I can deploy them when Yawgmoth isn't available to me. Oftentimes I will open with a tutor effect but not actually cast it until T5 or T6, and that's mostly to either find a Card Advantage piece that supplements Yawgmoth or it's a mana source so I can get Yawgmoth back into play.

This deck is, quite frankly, awesome. I love playing it even when I lose and get ganged up on.
I've really enjoyed playing mine too. It's quick, resilient and strong. I'm still learning the ropes with mine, but that instant-speed sac and counter is just.....crazy good on a commander. Frankly I can't see any other control commander in mono black that's anywhere near as powerful.

After some playtesting I totally get the uselessness of the aristocrats btw - they keep your life from dropping, but that's not enough to justify a spot. When you want life gain you want burst life to actually get above the median, and these just don't do enough to wheedle away at other players either, so they're just not impactful enough.

Primer is looking great by the way, you should definitely apply for the official rubber stamp of approval.

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
6 months ago
I've really enjoyed playing mine too. It's quick, resilient and strong. I'm still learning the ropes with mine, but that instant-speed sac and counter is just.....crazy good on a commander. Frankly I can't see any other control commander in mono black that's anywhere near as powerful.

After some playtesting I totally get the uselessness of the aristocrats btw - they keep your life from dropping, but that's not enough to justify a spot. When you want life gain you want burst life to actually get above the median, and these just don't do enough to wheedle away at other players either, so they're just not impactful enough.

Primer is looking great by the way, you should definitely apply for the official rubber stamp of approval.
Well, the application is in the Primer Committee section, [mention]toctheyounger[/mention]. I'll probably bump it so it's at the top of the queue again.

The Aristocrats package is a very subtle trap, and I'm glad you've seen it. You'd think that they would totally mitigate Yawgmoth's ability but they just don't do enough by themselves to further the plan. If our Commander directly put Tokens into play then they would be better but Yawgmoth doesn't do that. It's a good tradeoff though because having card draw and removal in the Command Zone is beautiful!
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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

Updated the OP to officially cut Dusk Legion Zealot for Butcher Ghoul. This increases the efficacy of The Undying Yawgmoth Combos and provides more Card Draw with an active Yawgmoth.

I've also edited the OP post a bit to clarify a few things, finish some grammar errors, and tweak some formatting to make the Primer more digestible.
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Post by GloriousGoose » 6 months ago

Having effectively solved Erebos, I decided to look into the new hotness, Stupid, Sexy Yawgmoth. I decided to eschew infinite combos and go with a reanimation package to get back powerful token producers and mana doublers as well as specific combo critters.

Like your lists, it wants to reach a critical mass and "go off" on a single turn but without a combo finish I'm afraid I'll peter out. Still, finding pseudo-combo pieces like Living Death or Thrilling Encore to continue burning through the deck while generating ludicrous amounts of mana from Ashnod's Altar and Phyrexian Altar and all the token generation. Besides dumb, obvious win conditions like Exsanguinate/Torment of Hailfire I also think Ichor Rats + Proliferation from Yawgmoth could be viable. It's only 18 mana and 9 cards! With Skirge Familiar I think I can get there.

Here's my preliminary late night list:

Stupid, Sexy Yawgmoth

Planeswalkers: 1


1 Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Approximate Total Cost:


I can sort the list by function in the future but for now I just wanted to get a rough draft down.

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

If you're going to go for a heavy Reanimator theme then I have to highly recommend Vilis, Broker of Blood. The card is absolutely fantastic in a multi-Player setting and really reaches its best level of play in a Reanimator list.

Ad Nauseam is a curveball for sure. I assume you play it just for value draw?

Grave Titan is another solid Token generator card that I'd recommend considering.

A card that I've remembered as being a good Reanimation effect is Command the Dreadhorde. It might be more effective than Living Death since you can be selective about what you rez.
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Post by GloriousGoose » 6 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
6 months ago
If you're going to go for a heavy Reanimator theme then I have to highly recommend Vilis, Broker of Blood. The card is absolutely fantastic in a multi-Player setting and really reaches its best level of play in a Reanimator list.

Ad Nauseam is a curveball for sure. I assume you play it just for value draw?

Grave Titan is another solid Token generator card that I'd recommend considering.

A card that I've remembered as being a good Reanimation effect is Command the Dreadhorde. It might be more effective than Living Death since you can be selective about what you rez.
I had Vilis in originally but was having trouble making cuts, so I naturally went after the highest CMC cards and poor Vilis fell by the wayside. As for Ad Nauseam, the average CMC of the deck including lands is about 2, so using it at the end of the person's turn before you will net at least 10 cards on average which would theoretically give you enough gas to go off with the token storm.

Grave Titan is a little pricy and produces only 2-4 tokens before becoming removal food. Much better for a beatdown plan but with an emphasis on on comboing off I think he's solidly meh. That said, he does do both reasonably well, so it could probably find its way into the deck. Command the Dreadhorde is actually a great suggestion since it acts as a third mass reanimation spell to bring back all of your token produces to dig even deeper. The life loss is pretty intense, but it's a massive bomb. Same with Twilight's Call and possibly even Balthor the Defiled.

The more I think about the deck the more I think it lends itself towards Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder over Yawgie, but it's pretty close. I think Yawgie has more raw power, being a card advantage engine in the command zone, but from my limited goldfishing I found that the bottleneck seemed to be creature production, not card draw. What do you think?

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

I think you might benefit from checking out the cEDH list in the Decklists section of the Primer. It's a very focused all-in deck that churns out token fodder VERY well. I think that Yawgmoth is a better option over Endrek Sahr because Card Advantage and Board Control will always trump Board Advantage, in my opinion. Both Commanders require creatures in order to be effective but need them in totally different ways. Yawgmoth converts those Creatures into fresh cards, digging deeper into the deck to find even more creatures and thus semi-fueling his own ability, whereas Endrek Sahr requires creatures in order to generate Board presence and, most importantly, requires some sort of outlet to convert those Tokens into an advantage. Yawgmoth is the outlet and hot damn is he an effective one. Endrek Sahr may be one of the most powerful cards in the deck but make no mistake, it's Yawgmoth that runs the show.

Yes, your deck definitely will experience the creature bottleneck you've come across in goldfishing, and I'd recommend adding in some additional Token producers to overcome this. Weaponcraft Enthusiast is an all-star in my paper list. You have a conspicuous lack of Undying creatures which can get WAY out of hand with an active Yawgmoth. Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is another excellent Token producer that converts your opponent's creatures dying into more fuel for Yawgmoth at a reasonable CMC while also providing a modicum of 'yard hate. Desecrated Tomb synergizes VERY well with your Reanimator theme while also fueling Yawgmoth's ability further and gets even better when you add Undying creatures to the mix.

Hope these suggestions help!
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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

Formal set review for Commander 2019!
  • K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth - definitely included in the main decklist because it's just an incredibly solid card. Acts as pseudo-ramp, gains life, and grows bigger as the game progresses. And he needs his daddy!
  • Bone Miser - a super cool card, but not one that synergizes with this particular deck list.
  • Nightmare Unmaking - an excellent Wrath effect, it's more reminiscent of Chainer in its flavor. A solid Wrath effect that will make it into the Card Choices section.
  • Mire in Misery - the only Black spell that can target enchantments, albeit indirectly. It's a solid role-player and could easily make it into the deck if I find that problem Enchantments keep popping up in my playgroup. The flavor text also reminds me of The Amity Affliction, one of my favorite metalcore bands of all-time.
  • Curse of Fool's Wisdom - target the Oloro player to ensure that you gain a bunch of life at all times! This card is a decent life-gain effect but not really Phyrexian in flavor. Pass.
  • Thieving Amalgam - oh man, so close to be an include to the deck. It's another Ophiomancer effect that can actually Morph you into powerful creatures. A very, very strong include that will make it into the Budget decklist no problem.
  • Geth, Lord of the Vault - I'm glad they reprinted Geth. He's a fun card that can take over games but requires huge amounts of mana to do so. I still like him though!
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