ROTDOG MtG Card of the Week: Pain Magnification
We’re getting pretty excited for the Return to Ravnica release this fall, so in the spirit of that block, the ROTDOG Magic: the Gathering Card of the Week is Pain Magnification!!
This uncommon enchantment from Dissension wants to help strip your opponent’s hand away – which is a little different than the normal Hellbent strategies the Rakdos Guild normally use. We’ll ignore Hellbent and see how best to use this nasty card.
The advantage of a card like Pain Magnification is that you can use a discard strategy to take advantage of your opponent without having to rely on cards like Mind Rot or Persecute to achieve. You can be more aggressive with creatures and/or burn spells and let the Pain Magnification do the rest.
If Megrim did 3 damage to an opponent – this would be a two-card win combo. It doesn’t, but a source of doubling damage like Furnace of Rath, Curse of Bloodletting, or Quest for Pure Flame will create a three card combo that will end the game for that opponent. Ok, that’s out of the way.
I would still use a Megrim or Liliana’s Caress to double up the nastiness of burning your opponent with spells and making them discard. Blightning, for example, sets off Pain Magnification and makes your opponent discard 3 altogether. That 3 damage becomes 9 damage (and very painful!) if you have a Megrim available.
A quick Lightning Bolt will set off the Pain Magnification, but Barbed Lightning and Thunderbolt offer some defensive flexibility. Quenchable Fire doubles that up if your opponent has no access to blue mana.
I like teaming up creatures with Haste and Pain Magnification because it feels that much better to hit your opponent when they don’t expect it. Keldon Champion is the perfect creature to team up with as he does 3 damage as soon as he enters the battlefield, and then swings in for 3 more during combat.
Hostility creates a neat trick, preventing any damage that spells would do your opponent and replaces each point of damage with a 3/1 creature token with Haste. So, a Lightning Bolt + Pain Magnification doesn’t result in a card thrown away, but create 3 new tokens. Each of those tokens will hit for 3 damage and a discard, however. That’s 9 damage and 3 cards out of your opponent’s hand for one Lightning Bolt. How economical.
Lavaborn Muse is a must in a deck with Pain Magnification. Her synergy just creates more and more problems for your opponent as they take damage and cannot maintain a hand with which they can cast their spells. Increase her effectiveness with Gnat Miser and Locust Miser.
While you’re already playing red and black, spreading out into green will get you Bloodbraid Elf, who can Cascade into free Blightnings or Pain Magnifications, and Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper, who will replace dead creatures with more 3/1 Haste-y tokens.
Leyline of the Void will erase your opponent’s discard cards, no need to worry about them pulling them out again with some graveyard shenanigans.
Rain of Gore will prevent your opponent from ignoring his wounds, especially if they’re trying to out-gain you in life. Exquisite Blood will put you out of your opponent’s range after a few turns. Exquisite Blood plus Sanguine Bond is another of those two-card combos that end the game, they just don’t interact with Pain Magnification.
Through all of this and looking for more cards to add to your Pain Magnification deck, remember the difference between damage and loss of life; damage causes loss of life, but not vice-versa.
That should get you started!! Thanks for reading this week’s ROTDOG MtG Card! Take a deck on down to see Andy at the store – don’t worry, he hasn’t read this article yet.
-Andrew B @ ROTDOG
© 2012, ROTDOG Games Blog. ROTDOG Industries. All rights reserved.