Another incredible character from Magic lore who received a mythic creature printing within the Modern Horizons set, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician. To say I was surprised at the versatility and power of this deck when he was spoiled and I first built it would be an understatement. Besides being a draw engine, a sacrifice outlet, and removal, the ability to proliferate gave some amazing synergy plays. From -1/-1 counters on creatures to lore counters on sagas, you could even be thematic and proliferate poison counters. Most of my experience has been with charge counters, and loyalty counters, so let’s take a look at this deck.
Cavern of Souls
Field of the Dead
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Snow-Covered Swamp x9
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Disciple of Bolas
Gray Merchant of Asphodel
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
Pawn of Ulamog
Sidisi, Undead Vizier
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth + Cabal Coffers: The classic mono black pairing that’s acceleration could best even green at times. Add in a Deserted Temple which works well with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and you’re overflowing with mana. The advantage of Cabal Coffers not being a legendary permanent means you are able to copy it with Thespian Stage for some serious mana generation.
Dread Presence + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth: One of the mana reasons I run fetchlands in here besides Field of the Dead is Dread Presence. With Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth on board Dread Presence swampfall ability is essentially doubled do draw your cards or shock whatever you feel like.
Ugin, the Ineffable + Phyrexian Tower: It’s really any sacrifice outlet including Yawgmoth himself but the spirits that Ugin are great fodder which turn into cards. On top of that Ugin helps as removal for a number of things that black has issues removing on it’s own.
Nest of Scarabs + Yawgmoth, Thran Physician: A constant stream of card draw, -1/-1 counters, and insect tokens to remove every possible creature on the field. While every time you do this you will need a target and pay life you’ll get to draw a card. To mitigate the life loss and hurt your opponents ever more using a Blood Artist or the like will work wonders. If you run out of opposing targets hopefully you can draw a nice creature with undying like Geralf’s Messenger and you can keep things going, at least until you’re out of cards.
Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Triskelion: Typical combo but versatile in this deck. Mikaeus gives undying to all your non-human creatures so two non-human creatures can alternate being sacrificed by Yawgmoth and having the -1/-1 counter placed on the other to keep triggering undying. Triskelion has proven to be a very interesting piece on it’s own as well synergizing with proliferate and shooting down a number of threats including creatures, planeswalkers and players.
Nim Deathmantle + Ashnod’s Altar: Another recurring combo but again very effective here. Besides going infinite for colourless mana/tokens with Grave Titan and in this deck Myr Battlesphere it can create infinite enter the battlefield and die triggers with undying creatures. In the case of Geralf’s Messenger that just shocks your opponents to death.
Bolas’ Citadel + Sensei’s divining Top: Bolas’ Citadel has been an all star in abusable artifacts since it came out and combining it with Top let’s you keep digging for more resources. Rather than getting stuck on land you can tap top to draw, pay a life, and keep going. It’s also good to get spells you don’t want to play at the time out of the way such as putting Black Sun’s Zenith in hand rather than casting it for 2 life and having it just shuffle back into your deck. While I didn’t put it in you can of course use Aetherflux Reservoir and just blast your opponents to death.
Liliana: I mean all of them of course but a few in particular stand out.
Liliana, of the Dark Realms gives a consistent land drop, searches for something to pitch to proliferate, and seems consistently overlooked as you can play, proliferate, and ultimate her very quickly.
Liliana Vess: The first and classic which most notably here is the use of the top deck tutor ability which is very potent with Bolas’ Citadel. It’s also a great play to pitch creatures to proliferate so you can use the Rise of the Dark Realms ultimate ability and return them and every other creature from your graveyard to play.
Liliana, Dreadhorde General: What to even say about this high powered version. Draw power, token generation, Barter in Blood, and causing a Cataclysm for just your opponents. They really packed the abilities in and Dreadhorde General is probably the easiest of all the War of the Sparks Mythic Planeswalkers to play.
Ichor Rats: Obligatory Infect card which also does great work in Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice decks. If you’re going to slot in any infect card this is the most effective and efficient as you give each player a poison counter ready for proliferation. Though I would advise not to proliferate your own poison counters.
Everflowing Chalice / Astral Cornucopia: These mana rocks have a hard time finding a home in most decks but in a proliferate heavy deck they’re quite effective. With Yawgmoth and Karn’s Bastion they are extra targets that you might as well proliferate while you’re at it. Karn’s Bastion in particular if you have mana up before your turn it aids in ramp quite nicely. Most of the time you won’t be pitching cards to Yawgmoth just to proliferate these mana rocks but it sure doesn’t hurt to add those charge counters.
Again I can’t begin to say how surprised I was at how many lines of play this deck has. The potential of this just keeps going up as more cards are made which brings in all sorts of fun times tuning your strategy and card choices. This is a highly interactive deck with lots of pieces for early, mid, and late game and lots of ways to finish off your opponents.
This variant was a high value pseudo Liliana tribal with reanimation and life gain to keep things going. It has performed admirably and has made me want to keep Yawgmoth as a permanent deck to keep together. While it’s competitive potential in CEDH is not entirely there this would be a high powered multiplayer deck. The heavy resource control this deck has is just great which I have hopefully expressed but it keeps you involved by watching what your opponents decide to give up. I recommend Yawgmoth to anyone looking for a nice mono coloured deck option and is preferable to removal and interactions.
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