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By: Flippers_Giraffe, Simon Smith
Apr 21 2010 2:50am
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This week I'm going to be looking at the many faces of Pestilence.

The card has been running round since the very inception of Magic back in Alpha and was in every core set up to 6th Edition and then disappeared for a while to return in Urza's Saga and then again in the Battle Royale Box Set.  This is the first time we've had the card online unless you count the red version Pyrohemia but it's not as good due to the colour its in. There is also a new Demon in Rise of the Eldrazi in fact it is the master of all things Pestilence Pestilence_Demon. It won't be long until he's online but I think the best way to use him would be in a reanimate deck as he has a casting cost of 8 mana.

I haven't actually said what the card does yet but I'm sure you all know here is the gatherer text.

"At the beginning of the end step, if no creatures are on the battlefield, sacrifice Pestilence.Black: Pestilence deals 1 damage to each creature and each player."

The idea is to make sure you always have a creature on the table at all times. For the first deck today I'm going to go down the old school route of using creatures with protection from Black. Back in the day it used to be White Knight, Circle of Protection: Black and Pestilence although I can't find any deck lists going back that far. Before I show you the first deck I'm going to show you a few cards that I didn't include that you may want to Ponder over which can also be powerful with Pestilence, Runed Halo, Sphere of Grace and of course the mighty Stuffy Doll.

Creeping Death 

As mentioned the first deck today which will be in the Classic/Legacy format will hark back to the gold old days of the White Knight Crusading through the Pestilenced lands.

For the creature base I'll be starting with the White Knight as it would be rude not to include him. The next creature that is very strong in the face of Pestilence and in fact most creatures is the good old Headless Horseman, no I didn't mean that one I meant Stillmoon Cavalier. The card has dropped considerably in price since it was in STD and is now currently going for $2.75 each. He has protection from Black and White and can be pumped as well. As we are going down the protection route I included the infamous Pauper card Guardian of the Guildpact there's not much he can't get through. Back onto the knight theme and there is another card that has protection from black and also red this time Paladin en-Vec. I'm also going to try and run three Devout Lightcaster's as well although I'm not sure how they are going to play out casting . Another card that seems to keep popping up in my budget articles is Dimir House Guard four mana must be the average casting cost of cards I use in my theme decks, so in they go as well.

I didn't include many no creatures this time round and went for four copies of Nameless Inversion as my creature removal alongside Pestilence and instead of trying to stop the damage being done to me by Enchantments I went the route of running four Sun Droplet's in the idea that I would in fact be gaining life from them in the long run.

Nameless Inversion Sun Droplet

I'm aware running  is a bit risky so included two copies of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to help solve my black mana issues if any should arrive, I also dropped in a lone Magus of the Coffers as a finishing card if needed, he's also a good beater as well.

Here's the finished deck current cost from MTGOTraders as of 20/04/10 $25.91 Something a bit strange happened between me making the deck list and finishing the article which was the price of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth shooting up in price, hence the decks high price. It was originally going to be about $20 dollars just shows how quick the market can change in a week. 



Game 1 vs scifer101

I start out with 1 swamp, 1 plains, 2 Terramorphic Expanse, Sun Droplet, Dimir House Guard and White Knight.

I play Terramorphic Expanse into a plains and then follow the next turn with another plains and the White Knight rides into battle along by my side with his armour glinting in the sunlight. scifer101 plays a Vivid Grove followed by an Ancient Amphitheater.

The White Knight charges in for two damage on my turn. I then play the Sun Droplet and another Terramorphic Expanse. scifer101 plays Vivid Meadow and passes, at the end of his turn I sacrifice the Terramorphic Expanse for a Swamp.

I send the White Knight in again this turn leaving scifer101 on sixteen life. After the White Knights unflawed attack I transmute the Dimir House Guard for Pestilence. scifer101 plays a Vivid Crag this turn he has lots of different coloured mana available but nothing to stop my lone White Knight.

I must have spoken too soon this turn my White Knight attacks into a Lightning Helix which puts out Pestilence this turn so instead I cast Paladin en-Vec, now you can’t Lightning Helix this guy. In scifer101’s turn he plays Privileged Position.

In my turn I cast Pestilence and then send in the Paladin to continue the White Knight’s work taking scifer101 down to seventeen. scifer101 plays a Woolly Thoctar and passes this turn.

In my turn I attack with the Paladin taking scifer101 down to fourteen life. I then cast a second Paladin en-Vec to keep the Woolly Thoctar at bay. scifer101 plays Qasali Ambusher and at the end of his turn I trigger Pestilence for a point.

I attack with both Paladins in my turn dropping scifer101 down to ten life and cast another White Knight before passing. scifer101 plays an Oversoul of Dusk in his turn which could be a problem. At the end of the turn I hit the old Pestilence for two points of damage.

I play a second Sun Droplet in my turn and pass without attacking. scifer101 concedes as he can smell death lurking round the corner.

Win 1

Lost 0

Games 2 vs DarkTenka

My starting hand this game is 1 swamp, 2 Terramorphic Expanse’s, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Stillmoon Cavalier, Dimir House Guard and Nameless Inversion.

DarkTenka starts off first with Grixis Panorama and forest into Mistvein Borderpost. I play Terramorphic Expanse into a plains and then a swamp before passing, this give me the possibility of casting Nameless Inversion if needed.

DarkTenka replays his forest on turn three and plays Farhaven Elf for a mountain and passes. I play a swamp and Stillmoon Cavalier and pass.

DarkTenka plays Elvish Visionary and then cycles Sanctum Plowbeast for a plains and plays it to cast Fieldmist Borderpost returning the plains to his hand. DarkTenka attacks with the Farhaven Elf for a point of damage. In my turn I attack with the Cavalier and then transmute Dimir House Guard for Pestilence.

DarkTenka plays his plains again this turn and casts Knotvine Mystic and attacks with his two elves taking me down to seventeen life. DarkTenka has the possibility to reach eight mana next turn which is a bit worrying. I send in my Cavalier for two more damage in my turn taking DarkTenka down to sixteen life and then play Pestilence and pass leaving a swamp untapped. 

DarkTenka casts Messenger Falcons in his turn and attacks with his two elves and I activate Pestilence for one killing them. In my turn I draw and play Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth turning all my lands to swamps. I attack with the Cavalier which is unblocked for two damage and then follow up with a two point Pestilence killing both of DarkTenka’s creatures.

In DarkTenka’s turn he plays Aven Fisher and Woolly Thoctar and passes, at the end of his turn I activate Pestilence four times killing his army. In my turn I attack with the Cavalier and finish the job with Pestilence.

Win 2

Lost 0

Game 3 vs El_Grapadura

I take a mulligan to six cards 3 plains, 1 swamp, Duskrider Peregrine and Devout Lightcaster.

I start off with two plains and then suspend Duskrider Peregrine. El_Grapadura plays Creeping Tar Pit and Darkwater Catacombs and then casts Merfolk Looter.

On turn three I play a third plains and my White Knight and pass. El_Grapadura plays an island and Tortured Existence.

I play a swamp this turn and attack with the White Knight and pass. El_Grapadura uses his Looter and discards an Underground Sea and then plays a second Creeping Tar Pit.

In my turn the Duskrider Peregrine swoops down from suspension to join in the battle with the White Knight taking El_Grapadura down to sixteen life. I then play Guardian of the Guildpact and pass. El_Grapadura plays an island and passes.

Next turn I send in the Knight and Falcon, El_Grapadura activates his Looter discarding Gorgon Recluse with madness but she can’t block any of my creatures and they just wonder on pass for five damage taking El_Grapadura down to eight life. I then play Pestilence to finish off the turn.

Next turn I attack for seven and do a one point Pestilence for the win. 

Win 3

Lost 0

Game 4 vs LUBO77

I start off with 2 swamps, Terramorphic Expanse, Devout Lightcaster, Dimir House Guard, Paladin en-Vec and Nameless Inversion.

My first play is Terramorphic Expanse. LUBO77 plays a forest into Llanowar Elves, at the end of his turn I sacrifice the Expanse for a plains.

On turn two I play a swamp and pass. LUBO77 plays Exploration and then an Island and Terramorphic Expanse.

I bring down another swamp on my turn and play Stillmoon Cavalier, at the end of my turn LUBO77 sacrifices his Expanse for an island. In LUBO77’s turn he bounces my Cavalier back to my hand with a kicked Into the Roil giving him a card in the process. LUBO77 then plays an island and passes.

In my turn I replay the Stillmoon Cavalier and pass. LUBO77 passes.

I attack with the Stillmoon Cavalier in my turn and then transmute the Dimir House Guard for Pestilence. In LUBO77’s turn he plays Mindslaver.
In my turn I play Pestilence and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth before sending in the cavalier for another two damage. At the end of my turn I do a one point Pestilence killing the Llanowar Elves. LUBO77 activates his Mindslaver to steal my next turn. The only bad thing for me is if I drew a plains next turn as LUBO77 could cast Devout Lightcaster destroying Pestilence over than that my Nameless Inversion which I have in hand are useless as the Cavalier has protection from black.

In my turn I draw Paladin en-Vec which means I’m safe from myself for a turn and LUBO77 has wasted Mindslaver, he doesn’t even bother tapping my lands to stop me from using Pestilence. In LUBO77’s turn he plays an island and passes, at the end of the turn I do three points of Pestilence damage.

It’s nice to be in control of myself this turn I send in the Cavalier for two damage and cast Magus of the Coffers which meets a concession from LUBO77. 

Win 4

Lost 0

Game 5 vs phil40

My starting hand is 1 swamp, 1 plains, 1 Terramorphic Expanse, Devout Lightcaster, 2 Paladin en-Vec and Doom Blade.

I start first with Terramorphic Expanse into a plains followed over the next few turn s by  another plains, a swamp and then a Paladin en-Vec. Phil40 plays two swamps and then on turn three Lake of the Dead sacrificing a swamp to cast Abyssal Persecutor, now that’s an angry demon.

Turn four and I hope to draw a plains so I can’t play Devout Lightcaster on the demon but instead draw a swamp. I swing in with the Paladin for two and then cast Pestilence. phil40 plays a swamp and sacrifices it to the Lake of the Dead and casts Ob Nixilis, the Fallen. The Abyssal Persecutor hits me hard and fast for six damage taking me down to fourteen life.

I draw a White Knight in my turn which isn’t great and attack with my Paladin and the play the White Knight to block Nixilis. A swamp from phil40 again but he keeps it this time and attacks with the Abyssal Persecutor swinging his deadly sword taking me down to five life.

This is my last chance for that plains before I go into negative life, I’m sure phil40has a way to kill the Persecutor. I draw Stillmoon Cavalier and play him before attacking for four damage. phil40 hits me again with the Persecutor and then plays Vampire Aristocrat his sacrifice outlet and I lose the game.

Win 4

Lost 1 


I think it would be best to remove the Devout Lightcaster’s I thought they would come in handy but the three white mana cost is too much. I would replace them with something like Voice of All or if you have the tickets Auriok Champion, she was outside the range for this deck currently sitting at $4 each, but she is worth every penny.

The Carriers of Disease

Now onto the Pauper build of the article. I decided to stay in the same colours for the pauper deck and a few of the cards have remained the same as well Dimir House Guard, the two Duskrider Falcon's and the four Guardian of the Guildpact's.

Other than that we had to do a complete creature change to fill in teh non commons so in the pauper version our knights are now represented by another old classic the Order of Leitbur. I added Disciple of Grace as this card can also act as a cycling card for those situations when you wish you drew something with a bit more of a hit. The next two creatures are a mini combo of sorts Crypt Rats and Obsidian Acolyte the Rats act as a second form of Pestilence and you can trigger the Acolyte to give the rats protection from black so they don't kill themselves, I do like this idea. I also dropped in two Kor Sanctifiers as enchantment/artifact removal.

As the creatures are a bit weak in this version of the deck I also added four Bonesplitter's to make them a bit meaner. I changed my removal as well and replaced the Nameless Inversion's with Diabolic Edict's.

Bonesplitter Diabolic Edict

Here's the final deck, the current cost from MTGOTraders as of the 20/04/10 is $28.65. Yes I really blew the budget with this deck as well, I knew Crypt Rats were going to be expensive which I accounted for but there were two other cards which I bought a long time ago for nothing much which have risen in value since Obsidian Acolyte which is now sitting at $1.70 each and the other offender in the deck Diabolic Edict which is a staggering $2.75 each for a common, watch out Crypt Rats you have a contender for the pauper crown. 

The Carriers of Disease
by Flippers_Giraffe
4 Crypt Rats
3 Dimir House Guard
3 Disciple of Grace
2 Duskrider Falcon
4 Guardian of the Guildpact
2 Kor Sanctifiers
4 Obsidian Acolyte
4 Order of Leitbur
26 cards

Other Spells
4 Bonesplitter
3 Diabolic Edict
4 Pestilence
11 cards
8 Plains
11 Swamp
4 Terramorphic Expanse
23 cards

Crypt Rats



Game 1 vs walks_thru_walls

My starting hand is quite light on creatures this game 3 swamps, 2 plains, Order of Leitbur and Disciple of Grace.

I start out with two plains into my Order of Leitbur. walks_thru_walls plays Tree of Tales in his first turn and Myr Servitor. In his second turn he plays , Seat of the Synod, Shield Sphere, Thoughtcast and then Chromatic Sphere. walks_thru_walls then attacks with his Myr Servitor.

In my turn I play Disciple of Grace and then attack with the Order of Leitbur which is unblocked. I then play Bonesplitter before passing. In walks_thru_walls turn he powers out Ancient Den, Frogmite, Myr Enforcer and the plays Armadillo Cloak on the Myr Servitor and attacks for three damage.

In my turn I draw and play Pestilence and pass. walks_thru_walls plays another Chromatic Sphere and then Armadillo Cloak on the Myr Enforcer. walks_thru_walls’s army attack me , I chump block the Frogmite with my Disciple and take nine damage leaving me at seven life. walks_thru_walls then plays Shield Sphere emptying his hand. It looks like the end is near.

In my turn I equip the Order of Leitbur with the Bonesplitter and pass. walks_thru_walls plays another Myr Enforcer and full out attacks. The table looks like this, what would you do ?

 I do three points of Pestilence killing both the Frogmite and the Myr Servitor with the Armadillo Cloak. This leaves an attacking 6/6 Myr Enforcer with three points of damage. I block with my Order of Leitbur and give them first strike killing the enforcer. The end result is I take no damage or losses and destroy three of his creatures two with Armadillo Cloak’s. walks_thru_walls then plays a Myr Servitor and passes.

In my turn I cast Obsidian Acolyte and pass. walks_thru_walls gains his servitor back from the graveyard and attacks with the other and the Myr Enforcer. The Order of Leitbur blocks the Myr Enforcer and I give him first strike I block the servitor with the Acolyte killing Both, I could Pestilence but I have only four life at this point in the game.

In my next turn I play Dimir House Guard as a blocker. walks_thru_walls Myr Servitor comes back to play but he doesn’t cast his card in hand.
In my turn I play Duskrider Falcon and pass. walks_thru_walls plays Great Furnace and passes. walks_thru_walls is currently on twenty seven life is it possible to make a comeback, I’m not sure but will give it my best shot.

 In my turn I equip the Bonesplitter to the Duskrider Falcon and send the Falcon in for three damage, this is going to take a while and how the Falcon holds the Bonesplitter I have no idea. After my attack phase I re-equip the Bonesplitter to the Order. walks_thru_walls plays frogmite and passes.

I equip the Falcon and go in for three again and the re-equip back to the Order. walks_thru_walls plays an Island and passes. At the end of walks_thru_walls’s turn I do a one point Pestilence killing both the Servitor’s.

In my turn I equip the Bonesplitter back to the Falcon and attack with the Falcon and Order unblocked for six damage taking walks_thru_walls down to fourteen life. After combat I equip the Bonesplitter to the Dimir House Guard who are in fact guarding my house so to speak. walks_thru_walls plays a Tree of Tales and passes.

In my turn I play Kor Sanctifiers destroying the Frogmite and full out attack taking walks_thru_walls down to eleven, the House Guard were blocked by one of the Shield Sphere’s. I then equip the Bonesplitter to the Kor Sanctifiers. walks_thru_walls plays Chromatic Sphere and sacrifices it and draws and plays Armadillo Cloak on one of the Shield Sphere’s.

walks_thru_walls concedes next turn.

Win 1

Lost 0

Game 2 vs gizmo72589

My starting hand this game is 2 swamps, Terramorphic Expanse, 2 Obsidian Acolyte’s, Duskrider Falcon and Guardian of the Guildpact.

I start with Terramorphic Expanse into a plains and then swamp to cast Duskrider Falcon. gizmo72589 plays a forest into Norwood Ranger and then a second forest for Llanowar Augur and Elvish Berserker. The Ranger then attacks for one damage.

In my next turn I play a swamp and cast Obsidian Acolyte and attack with the Falcon. gizmo72589 plays another forest and a second Norwood Ranger and then attacks with a Ranger and the Berserker for two.

Turn four and I play Guardian of the Guildpact and attack with the Falcon. gizmo72589 attacks with the two Rangers and the Berserker I block the berserker with the Guildpact and gizmo72589 Giant Growth’s him so he doesn’t die, gizmo72589 also Giant Growth’s a Ranger. I take five damage going down to twelve life.

Next turn I play a swamp and attack with my Falcon. I then cast Pestilence leaving a swamp open. gizmo72589 plays Naturalize on Pestilence and in retaliation I activate it once killing the Berserker. gizmo72589 passes without attacking this turn.

In my turn I attack with the Falcon and pass. gizmo72589 plays Luminescent Rain sending his life total back up to twenty one.

I send in the Falcon again on my turn and play Order of Leitbur. gizmo72589 plays Neurok Hoversail and equips it to a Norwood Ranger giving him flying which stops my Falcon from attacking.

I draw and play Kor Sanctifiers in my turn destroying the Hoversail letting the Falcon fly in for the attack, the Falcon is joined by the Guardian of the Guildpact this turn. gizmo72589 full out attacks in his turn I block a Ranger with the Kor Sanctifiers and gizmo72589 plays Strength in Numbers on the Ranger killing the Sanctifier.

I attack for two damage this turn and play my last card from hand Obsidian Acolyte. In gizmo72589’s turn he plays another Luminescent Rain sending him back up to twenty one life.

I attack for three damage this turn and pass. gizmo72589 plays Utopia Vow on my Duskrider Falcon so it can no longer attack.

In my next turn I cycle a Disciple of Grace for a Diabolic Edict and cast it, gizmo72589 sacrifices a Ranger.

I keep up the beats over the next few turns and run gizmo72589 into the ground on turn sixteen with three life remaining again.

Win 2

Lost 0

Game 3 vs Pears


My Starting hand is 1 swamp, 2 plains, Terramorphic Expanse, Dimir House Guard and 2 Pestilence.

I start out slowly with Terramorphic Expanse and then two plains and cast Order of Leitbur. Pears plays Halimar Depths and then a plains. At the end of my third turn he cycles Marshaling Cry. On his third turn he doesn’t play a land and discards Calcite Snapper.

On my turn four I play Pestilence and attack with the Order. On Pears’s turn he plays a forest and Oblivion Ring’s Pestilence.

In my turn the Order charge in for another two damage. I then play Terramorphic Expanse for a swamp and play my second Pestilence. Pears plays a second Halimar Depths and then Divination for two cards.

In my next turn I draw and play Bonesplitter equipping it to the Order who go in on full gallop for four damage this turn. I leave three swamps open and pass. Pears plays another Oblivion Ring and while it’s on the stack I activate Pestilence three times dropping Pears down to nine life. Pears targets Pestilence with the Oblivion Ring.

The Order gallops in for another four damage and I play Crypt Rats and Obsidian Acolyte this turn. Pears plays Blastoderm and passes.
In my turn I give the Crypt Rats protection from black thanks to Obsidian Acolyte and do three points of Pestilence damage taking Pears down to two life. I then play another Bonesplitter and pass. Pears plays Stormcallers Boon cascading into Marshaling Cry and concedes.

Win 3

Lost 0 


Well I had loads of fun playing the pauper deck, I’ve not dabbled in the format for a while. The deck done really well in these games and the others I played in the only issues I had in a few games were due to mana screw but that’s to be expected every once in a while.

I had a third deck in another format to show you as well in this article but it was getting a bit long so I decided to pull it at the last moment, I will bring it to you next time or the time after as I’m working on something very different at the moment and I’m not sure when it will be ready.

That’s me all played out for the week.




great stuff I was just lookin by JustSin at Wed, 04/21/2010 - 08:23
JustSin's picture

great stuff I was just lookin at building a tribal pest deck actually kinda like the classic one an the one Winter Wolf ran with prot blackers instead of red.. pest was always a fav of mine I'm still working on it as BW multi an this gave me some ideas thx

Great rundown, I built a by deluxeicoff at Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:08
deluxeicoff's picture

Great rundown, I built a similar version using the 1cc wall that gains life every time it's damaged, great for goblins meta...

Great rundown, I built a by deluxeicoff at Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:09
deluxeicoff's picture

Great rundown, I built a similar version using the 1cc wall that gains life every time it's damaged, great for goblins meta...

Other cards to consider by Mapache at Wed, 04/21/2010 - 17:06
Mapache's picture

I run Swans of Bryn Argol in my similar Pyrohemia deck. Adding a "draw a card" rider to Pestilence makes sure you're still in great shape even if your opponent manages to take it out. Or, you can always just win with 4 points of evasive, hard-to-kill power.

Calciderm is another champ. He's cheap, is really hard to kill, survives Pestilence with his big butt, and hits really hard when all the chump blockers get wiped every turn.