Phenax, God of Deception

  • #1
    Phenax, God of Deception
    3UB
    Legendary Enchantment Creature - God Mythic Rare

    Indestructible
    As long as your devotion to blue and black is less than seven, Phenax isn't a creature.
    Creatures you control have "{T}: Target player puts the top X cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is this creature's toughness."
    4/7



    So I guess everyone called it. It is a janky mill card! However, this actually seems viable this time. Hover Barrier milling for 6 at the end of your opponents turns seems pretty decent. Aetherling could potentially mill for... 5+ however much mana you have! Seems like mill COULD become a deck. Probably not, but Phenax might open some new doors.
  • #2
    There WILL be a UB mill deck when/if Supreme Verdict rotates. Mark.my.words. There's just too much support. Wouldn't be surprised if there's a fringe/tier 1.5 deck right now.
    Quote from findogul
    It's an instant speed 5/5 trampler for 4. Wtf do you people want seriously? It has applications in populate/ above the curve beats decks, or in Bant control/ flash. I seriously think anyone mad at this card for any reason other than losing an attacker to instant speed wurm, should go home and make their own awesome card game and leave the rest of us alone.
  • #3
    This is actually extremely strong. I dont know why people are giving it so much flak. Yes mill is typically not viable, but this card makes it so!
    Would Dark Confidant still be good if he punched you in the face for 5 damage a turn?
  • #4
    I smell a delicious EDH with this guy, hehehe.
  • #5
    First thought:

    God dammit, not mill. That is depressing. I called it hard, and I find it annoying that UB doesn't get "deep" abilities. I like mill, but come on.

    Second thought: It could be an amazing win con in a Defenders based control deck.

    I would be somewhat tempted to splash blue for it in Mono-Black. It's one hell of a clock, and lets you tap down Desecration Demon in response to it's trigger.

    Hrm. If it's turned on, and you have a Demon out, that's 13 cards per turn. You could reliably use it turn 6, meaning they have drawn 13 cards. Giving them 47 cards left, and you a four turn clock, regardless of board state.

    I kind of like that. I do wish the ability were a bit "more", but at least it's a damn powerful mill effect.
  • #6
    Holy crap. it's ability doesn't even say 'Other creatures'.

    Please give us a playable U/B enchantment at 2-3cc to go with this and ashiok and I'll have found my new deck. Another deck that Ubiquitous Specter wants to be in.
  • #7
    So, Phenax may replace Lazav as my B/U EDH commander. This has so ,much potential, I may even try to build a Standard B/U/G standard deck that ramps into a whole bunch of +1/+1 counters then mills to finish.
  • #8
    sad that UB is defined by mill yet again, but this is actually very strong milling engine.. drop a bunch of blockers early on with high toughness and then this comes into play, is indestructible, and your opponent's back is against the wall
  • #9
    Gosh darn it, I wish Phenax were playable in Legacy Dredge. Sadly, I can't tap summoning sick creatures with his ability (i.e. he won't really help me get explosive, Rest in Peace-dodging starts), and I'd rather swing with Ichorids than mill myself with them.
  • #10
    I didn't want mill, but I am okay with this mill card. We have some pretty boss big butts in Standard, and when Verdict rotates we'll still have Triton Tactics. Which makes for some pretty impressive mill plays.

    Even if your defenders cap out at 4 Tough each, that's 22 cards. Which is nothing to scoff at.

    I still don't see it as needing to be 5 CMC, 4 would have been fine.
  • #11
    I did a search of UB creatures in standard with big butts and I'm not disappointed.
    Hover Barrier
    Aetherling
    Consuming Abberation (Will talk about this later)
    Erebos
    Desecration Demon
    Abhorrent Overlord
    Murmuring Phantasm
    Pack Rat
    Mindeye Drake
    Wall of Frost

    All of these seemed to have potential.
    Consuming Abberation seemed the most amazing personally. If you can actually get him going, he can more than double his size every turn.
    Wall of Frost, Hover Barrier, and Murmuring Phantasms are all good because they are cheap, delay the game, and mill for A LOT.
    Pack Rat can potentially get pretty big obviously but I don't really see it working that well... idk
    Aetherling turns into a real mana sink, because every mana you have is another card of the top plus the initial 5.
    Erebos... Maybe. He kind of does better things elsewhere especially considering your opponents won't be too concerned about life total.
    Desecration Demon would be good because he can finish the game without Phenax.
    Mindeye Drake is expensive but is a nice blocker and gets 5 cards even without Phenax.
  • #12
    Frostburn Weird definitely feels like it would be playable with this card. Ditto Omenspeaker. Both are cheap, provide a decent amount of toughness for their cost, and let you live into the late game so you can get this guy going (at which point they begin to directly help you win). It also combines reasonably with Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. Ashiok adds devotion, permanently mills, and might even snag a creature or two for you to use with the ability.

    It's not amazing in Standard, but as mentioned, that's because it's already insane in Limited, and making it any cheaper would have been hard to justify.
    Deadmau5 on MTGO.

    Quote from Caedere
    I'm going to say it. I gotta say it.

    These are the best duals since the fetchlands.

    Possibly better, but only time will tell with that.
  • #13
    I did a search of UB creatures in standard with big butts and I'm not disappointed.
    Hover Barrier
    Aetherling
    Consuming Abberation (Will talk about this later)
    Erebos
    Desecration Demon
    Abhorrent Overlord
    Murmuring Phantasm
    Pack Rat
    Mindeye Drake
    Wall of Frost

    All of these seemed to have potential.
    Consuming Abberation seemed the most amazing personally. If you can actually get him going, he can more than double his size every turn.
    Wall of Frost, Hover Barrier, and Murmuring Phantasms are all good because they are cheap, delay the game, and mill for A LOT.
    Pack Rat can potentially get pretty big obviously but I don't really see it working that well... idk
    Aetherling turns into a real mana sink, because every mana you have is another card of the top plus the initial 5.
    Erebos... Maybe. He kind of does better things elsewhere especially considering your opponents won't be too concerned about life total.
    Desecration Demon would be good because he can finish the game without Phenax.
    Mindeye Drake is expensive but is a nice blocker and gets 5 cards even without Phenax.


    Wall of Frost and Hover Barrier are both good includes. As is Aetherling. However, two other (very) good cards with this strategy are Omenspeaker, Frostburn Weird, and possibly Thassa herself.

    Omenspeaker and the Weird are fantastic defensive creatures and Phenax turns them into offensive threats. Thassa's scry and 5/5 body fit right into a Phenax strategy.
  • #14
    Barring extreme cases, this is most likely an auto-win the second it hits the board in limited. That disgusts me. Big time. So much for strategy and trying to build a cohesive deck.

    For Standard, I think he's a viable win-con. As others have said, there are plenty of walls that will hold down the fort til you get him online.
  • #15
    Started to laugh hysterically when I saw Phenax was a mill card... but he actually seems like a damn strong one. Wtb wall of denial reprint!
  • #16
    Unless I'm reading it wrong, doesn't the whole devotion requirement actually HURT his ability? If I'm correct, he isn't even a creature that you can mill with until your devotion is 7. If this is the case, I would abandon any leftover hope about this card being good in general.
    *Has Reclinerwalk*

    Modern: Twin URW Lockdown RW
    Legacy: Stax WWW
    Vintage: Storm WBURG

    Cockatrice ID: Voltigasm

    Stille Nacht (In regards to modern) - "Wizards needs to realize that the power of this format will only grow, rigidly adhering to a "4 turn" rule is as bad as trying to keep the reserve list"
  • #17
    Quote from Voltigasm
    Unless I'm reading it wrong, doesn't the whole devotion requirement actually HURT his ability? If I'm correct, he isn't even a creature that you can mill with until your devotion is 7. If this is the case, I would abandon any leftover hope about this card being good in general.


    Correct. He does nothing without a field. And even then, summoning sickness. Slow and ineffective.

    Quote from MaRo »
    Flavor is flexible enough that you can justify just about anything. The color pie has to be held mechanically to a higher standard.

    Vendilion Clique-1v1(Work in Progress), Oona-Combo(retired), Oona-Control, Wrexial
  • #18
    Quote from Voltigasm
    Unless I'm reading it wrong, doesn't the whole devotion requirement actually HURT his ability? If I'm correct, he isn't even a creature that you can mill with until your devotion is 7. If this is the case, I would abandon any leftover hope about this card being good in general.


    Eh? His ability is perpetual as an indestructible enchantment. He turns *all* of your creatures into tap: mill for their toughness.

    Once he gets devotion you gain a 4/7 indestructible creature. Which is great, but you absolutely do not need him to be a creature for his strategy to work, it just boosts it immensely.
  • #19
    Quote from thememan
    First thought:

    God dammit, not mill. That is depressing. I called it hard, and I find it annoying that UB doesn't get "deep" abilities. I like mill, but come on.

    Second thought: It could be an amazing win con in a Defenders based control deck.

    I would be somewhat tempted to splash blue for it in Mono-Black. It's one hell of a clock, and lets you tap down Desecration Demon in response to it's trigger.

    Hrm. If it's turned on, and you have a Demon out, that's 13 cards per turn. You could reliably use it turn 6, meaning they have drawn 13 cards. Giving them 47 cards left, and you a four turn clock, regardless of board state.

    I kind of like that. I do wish the ability were a bit "more", but at least it's a damn powerful mill effect.


    You have a Desecration Demon, and active god, and multiple other creatures out, and you think milling would be faster than just attacking?

    Why does Wizards have to do this? There are more effects in UB than mill.

    Ehrmagersh, a new deck is doing well. Breakz out de banhammerz!


    New World Order is a limit on the complexity of commons. It has nothing to do with power-level.

    Modern is not less diverse than Legacy. It has more aggro and ramp, the same amount of combo and midrange, and less control and tempo. It has almost has many viable decks. People who claim that Modern isn't diverse without even playing the format are just as bad as the people who say that Legacy is a turn 1 kill format.

    Storm Crow is strictly worse than Seacoast Drake.

    Quote from Valanarch
    Has anyone considered Eyeblight's Ending as a 1 or 2 of in the deck? Just curious because it boosts Goyf another point and it's pretty rare that an Elf is the creature you need to deal with in Modern.


    The problem is that it isn't as good as the other options for 3 mana removal (Maelstrom Pulse, Dismember, Hero's Downfall, and Putrefy). And Putrefy isn't even played.


    I swear you're omnipresent sometimes Valanarch...

  • #20
    For all the negativity, this is a very strong card in a dedicated deck. Your creatures all get to use the mill effect at instant speed and at no additional mana cost. I like the toughness matters aspect, the fact that this is one of the few realistic ways to brew with mill in standard, and that it does mill better than the Dimir guild ever did.

    That said, I'm beginning to think that Wizards is just straight-up afraid of the UB color combo. They've been using mill as a crutch at lower rarities quite a bit lately, and when they've ventured into new territory, it's been largely overcosted (Cipher as a prime example). Perhaps it's that UB is one of the least friendly guilds to new world order... its identity shies away from creature combat, interacts via complex and unfriendly means, and presents two conflicting methods of winning the game. It's not hard to see why they're looking to mill as a means to make UB more approachable, but it's an inherently flawed mechanic that isn't sustainable at all in the long run.
    Last edited by TheTennesseeFireman: 1/21/2014 12:06:08 AM
  • #21
    Quote from Valanarch
    You have a Desecration Demon, and active god, and multiple other creatures out, and you think milling would be faster than just attacking?

    Why does Wizards have to do this? There are more effects in UB than mill.


    Mill thrives solely on the backs of players who don't know how magic works.

    Quote from MaRo »
    Flavor is flexible enough that you can justify just about anything. The color pie has to be held mechanically to a higher standard.

    Vendilion Clique-1v1(Work in Progress), Oona-Combo(retired), Oona-Control, Wrexial
  • #22
    i cannot express my rage towards this mill god in words
  • #23
    Let's check out a set of plays with a mill deck with this guy.
    T1 scry land or something
    T2 Omenspeaker, Murmuring, or Weird
    T3 Wall of Frost, Hover Barrier, mana open for Dissolve or bounce spell
    T4 wall fatty, mana open for dissolve, bounce spell, or draw
    T5 Phenax, pass turn, block your dudes and mill you for 9-19 eot
    T6 Leave mana open to control the board and continue to mill them out

    That isn't god hand or magic christmas land, because turn 1-4 you can play a ton of different spells and this still works. You don't need a specific set of creatures to make this work, it can be any big booty creatures. That is what makes this bonkers.
  • #24
    The problem is you need to untap with large creatures and your five mana threat do anything, and unless you have 10+ toughness on the board it's a pretty slow clock. If you do have multiple creatures and a five mana threat, there's lots of easier ways to win that involve less bad cards.

    Of course it's also a totally unbeatable bomb in limited.
  • #25
    pretty good with DRS and Pain Seer, imo. DRS -> Pain Seer -> Specter -> MoW -> Phenax. supported by black removal.
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