ROTDOG MtG Card of the Week: Vengeful Pharaoh
Now that Magic 2013 is firm on the shelves, let’s jump back a year and take a look at a card that didn’t survive the rotation. The ROTDOG Magic: the Gathering Card of the Week is Vengeful Pharaoh.
This guy is scary. This rare zombie (that may matter, may not… oh, wait, it does!) has Deathtouch and can destroy creatures while lying dead in your graveyard. That’s right, he’s a free Rebuke while sitting in the yard.
This card is what is called a “rattlesnake” effect. He hits the ground and hisses at everyone else, telling them to look out, you mean business. He can intimidate attacks and attention away from you.
He’s also one of the first creatures to protect Planeswalkers you control, so remember to take full advantage of his efforts! Also note there isn’t a “MAY” clause on the card, his revenge is going to happen.
Traditionally, Vengeful Pharaoh is going to take a long time to pay off. He costs 3 black & 2 colorless mana and has a big, 5/4 body with Deathtouch to discourage attacks, so it could be turn 5, 6, or 7 before he hits the graveyard and becomes a vengeful deterrent.
You don’t have to wait for all those turns, however, to get him in the graveyard. Mad Prophet, Merfolk Looter, Zombie Infestation, and Forbidden Alchemy can all throw him there ahead of schedule, ready to swat your opponent’s creatures. If he’s not in your hand, then Corpse Connoisseur or Buried Alive can sneak him out of your library and into the graveyard, too.
Since he’s a zombie, feel free to add some tribal support like Diregraf Captain, Lord of the Undead, and Undead Warchief. Lich Lord of Unx is an underrated card I’d like to bring to your attention. Rooftop Storm works well too, I hear.
Cemetery Reaper is a very good card to consider. Not only does he do the zombie lord thing, you have the choice of exiling the Vengeful Pharaoh from your graveyard to create a zombie token. Why would you do this? You may find that the Vengeful Pharaoh’s ability is limiting your card draws every time he goes back on top of your library and you’re looking for a different answer. Send him away in those circumstances and get the zombies marching.
Combine Vengeful Pharaoh with other deterrent creatures to keep everyone else away. Dread, Nirkana Cutthroat, and Gorgon Recluse all tell you opponent to go somewhere else with their attackers. While they’re away, save up some mana to cast mega-bombs like Curse of the Cabal, Army of the Damned, or Phthisis.
Pyromancy is a great enchantment to get Vengeful Pharaoh in the graveyard and also burn your opponent with his heavy converted mana cost. If you use Pyromancy, throw in some more heavy CMC creatures that can come back out of the graveyard like Skarrgan Firebird, Magma Phoenix, and Evershrike.
Sac him to the new Disciple of Bolas: gain 5 life, draw 5 cards, and get revenge on the next creature that hits you. All win.
If you’re in a late-game situation with the Vengeful Pharaoh in the graveyard, don’t be afraid to use him as a resource for spells like Sutured Ghoul, Mirror Golem, and Suffer the Past. Every card is a resource for your victory, just make sure you are using them correctly.
Since you’re going to be destroying your opponent’s attacking creatures, a powerful effect like Debtors' Knell will grab your opponent’s dead creatures for you to control. Necromancer’s Covenant can work to erase a graveyard and get you an undead army with Lifelink. You can use either enchantment to remove Vengeful Pharaoh from the graveyard, if you wish.
It’s sad to see him go, but casual decks all over need another rattlesnake effect like the Vengeful Pharaoh.
Thanks for reading the ROTDOG Card of the Week!!
-Andrew B @ ROTDOG
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