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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Gray Merchant of Asphodel
Image from Wizards.com

Gray Merchant of Asphodel
- Theros

Reviewed October 21, 2013

Constructed: 3.00
Casual: 3.63
Limited: 3.63
Multiplayer: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

"Devotion" was a good name for this mechanic, because you have to be devoted to it to make it much of any good. The God cards are at least all strong enough that they're worth playing even when you can't build up enough devotion, but this I have doubts about. It's a 2/4 Zombie and a bit of life drain for five mana. Not a terrible card to have, but five mana? For a 2/4 with no on-board abilities? Plus a one-time life drain of unreliable strength? I'm not sold. This is, after all, sharing a Standard format with Ravnica, and mono-black decks just aren't done. People play black, of course, but mostly for kill spells. The best black permanents I can think of are Obzedat,, Erebos and her Whip, and Reaper of the Wilds. The only deck with any devotion to black would be a dedicated Erebos deck, which would have some fun bringing back the Gray Merchant with a Whip of Erebos, but rolls over to Blood Baron of Vizkopa (another solid black creature). Sure, the Gray Merchant provides two black mana symbols of its own, so you're always draining for at least two, but it's still not worth five mana. Even Orzhov extort, the one deck I can think of that would want this, has better options available to it.

Constructed- 1.5
Casual- 2
Limited- 2.5
Multiplayer- 3


Paul

Welcome back readers todays card of the day is quite powerful and looks to almost single handedly bring back standard mono black decks. This guy is one of the prime incentives to build mono black devotion providing substantial chunk of life and allows you to stabilize and combined with the plethora of other powerful black cards I foresee this guy becoming a player although possibly fringe. In modern and eternal formats this card is pretty slow and doesent pack enough oomph and requires too much dedication to mono color to I think realistically see play. In casual and multiplayer this hits each opponent and can accumulate you a lot of life and take multiple people out of the game. In limited its an amazing common and is quite powerful. Overall a card with some applications in standard and elsewhere and a power mono black card.

Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 4.0

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Gray Merchant of Asphodel which is a five mana 2/4 Black zombie that life drains each opponent equal to your devotion when it enters play. This is a surprisingly effective card, particularly in Multiplayer, as even by itself it is a four life point swing attached to moderately high toughness creature with a well supported type. While the mana cost is a little high, and oddly would be one of the few situations where additional colored mana symbols instead of colorless would be beneficial, this is easily supported in mono-Black and a viable centerpiece to build a deck around. With cards like Rescue from the Underworld and Black permanents with two or more mana symbols this can either outright win games or cause a very large swing in life points. Overall this has the potential to be a serious force in Casual and Multiplayer formats, but the higher mana cost and heavy benefit from other creatures in play may keep it from the higher tiers of competitive settings.

In Limited this is an extremely powerful common that is easily overlooked and can dominate a tournament when supported in a mono-Black design. Multiple copies are possible as it is likely to be passed by anyone not playing Black and alongside Rescue from the Underworld or March of the Returned can shift nearly any game heavily into your favor. This can be a first pick in Booster, though a Black rare or removal will often take priority, in a smaller pod it can be taken second or even third in a pack. In Sealed running mono-Black is more difficult, which weakens this, though focusing on Black permanents with support from another color retains the strength and even in a divided deck this can often trigger for a solid life drain.

Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.5


Skid Rambo

Gray Merchant of Asphodel is a card that I have been looking at for a few weeks now. I’ve been debating on putting this zombie in one of my Standard decks. Gray Merchant of Asphodel has a lot of potential in every format. Think of this creature as a zombie Master of Waves for life loss & gain. Not to mention that it hits each opponent in Multiplayer. This creature is a great finisher for Casual zombie players. In Limited play Gray Merchant of Asphodel can be a serious bomb if you have multiple copies. Five mana might be a bit steep, but if it was any cheaper it wouldn’t be a common. Overall this card has the power to swing the game in your favor no matter what format you are playing! It is too bad that this creature’s name is so forgettable.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 4.5


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