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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Feb 15 2022 11:54am
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 Pape satan, pape satan aleppe! Welcome to the counterpart to the holy Angelpedia, the other half of the sky – the half that's buried deep underground, that is. Demons are the iconic creatures for black, the way Angels are for white, Sphinges for blue, Dragons for red, and Hydras for green. Enjoy! Or be damned.

  • Current number of Demon creature cards: 132 in black border, plus 3 Funny Demons (Un-sets and Mystery Booster) and 5 Backface Demons (non-Demon double-faced cards with a Demon on the back).
  • Criteria: Body is the sum of Power and Toughness; the Rating is calculated on a scale from 0 to 10; the entries are ordered by casting cost groups (called Legions and given names based on places from Dante's Inferno – just for flavor, no need for any theological or literary debate), then alphabetically.
  • The Funny Demons
  • The Backface Demons
  • Demon Statistics
  • The Demonic Commanders
  • Latest Demons
  • Summary

THE FIVE DEMONIC LEGIONS

>> complete list << 



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1.  

  • Name: Blade of the Oni   >> summary
  • Set: Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty (also with alternate "Soft Glow" showcase art)
  • Additional Types: Artifact, Equipment
  • Mana Value: 2
  • Body: 4
  • General Evaluation: The long-awaited return to Kamigawa after 17 years gave us the first artifact Demon ever made, as well as one of the cheapest. It's also one of only two Demons in the set, despite the original Kamigawa block had featured a much larger Oni population (there were eleven of them in total, though the majority was fairly forgettable). Blade of the Oni uses the new reconfigure mechanic that makes the card double as an Equipment, and not just adding its body as modifier, but turning the baseline of the equipped creature into a 5/5. Which is great for smaller creatures, not ideal for those that already had a sizeable body. Otherwise, it's a serviceable 3/1 menacer that's likely to connect a couple times in the early game.
  • Tribal Evaluation: As noted, equipping a bigger Demon with the Blade is not something we'd want to do (it's basically four mana only to give menace), but this living Blade is more or less must-run in a Demon list that manages to be more low to the ground by exploiting the more recent low-cost members. Equipping it on something like Taborax or Varragoth sounds pretty neat.
  • Rating: 7

2. 

  • Name: Dream Devourer   >> summary
  • Set: Kaldheim
  • Additional Type: Cleric
  • Mana Value: 2
  • Body: 3
  • General Evaluation: With one of its ten realms (Immersturm) entirely populated by Demons, Kaldheim has been the set featuring more members of the tribe since Avacyn Restored. Specifically, Kaldheim's Demons are low on the curve, with five of the six new Demons from the plane costing four mana or less, three of them among the cheapest ever at two. Dream Devourer is one of those three, a specialized "foretell matters" card. Or more of a cost discount, really, since making it able to deal damage when we foretell is not especially relevant, though it's a nice bonus. Dropping at two, the Devourer can stop some attacker with its toughness, while allowing to pay for some expensive card in two installments, by taking away the two mana to foretell them from their final cost. It's not exactly ground-breaking, and it's not even a card one woul particularly want in a foretell deck (assuming such a thing ever existed), since in that case its most impactful ability would be kind of moot, and we woul be left with a 0/3 that in some turns can attack as a 2/3.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Old-school Demons can certainly use the foretell discount, as well as the early board presence. Although, things have changed for their curve in recent years, in that it doesn't virtually start at four anymore.
  • Rating: 6

3. 

  • Name: Frenzied Raider   >> summary
  • Set: Kaldheim
  • Additional Type: Berserker
  • Mana Value: 2
  • Body: 4
  • General Evaluation: Where Dream Devourer was the foretell Demon, Frenzied Raider is the boast Demon. It had some minor relevance in Limited, but a "boast matters" deck of any kind was far from being viable even in Standard, so it's basically just a red Grizzly Bears.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Demons have exactly one member with boast, Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire. A bit too little for Frenzied Raider to make any sense in a tribal build.
  • Rating: 5

4. 

  • Name: Immersturm Raider   >> summary
  • Set: Kaldheim
  • Additional Type: Berserker
  • Mana Value: 2
  • Body: 3
  • General Evaluation: Yet another Demon from Immesturm that likes raiding. This one is just generic Limited filler, mildly useful to sculpt our hand on turn two, while also putting a body on the battlefield. It was playable in Kaldheim draft, but not a very high pick.
  • Tribal Evaluation: On the other hand, discarding a big Demon to reanimate later is very relevant in certain tribal builds. In older formats there are more efficient enablers, but Immersturm Raider nicely fits the tribal curve. It also enables the madness Demons, although they're not a very appealing bunch.
  • Rating: 6

5. 

  • Name: Rakshasa Deathdealer   >> summary
  • Set: Khans of Tarkir
  • Additional Type: Cat
  • Mana Value: 2
  • Body: 4
  • General Evaluation: For a few years, in between the releases of Khans of Tarkir and Zendikar Rising, this green Cat was effectively the fastest Demon in the game (Treacherous Pit-Dweller predates it, but it's not reliably a two-drop). Tarkir introduced the sub-tribe Rakshasa (whose feline nature is out of Dungeons & Dragons, not proper Hindu mythology), and this card in particular gave the Demon tribe its own Putrid Leech. On the one hand, it lacks the free pumping aspect of the Leech; on the other hand, it can be pumped more than once per turn, and it regenerates. So it's solid enough, and saw some amount of play in Standard at the time. Its activations might be a bit too mana intensive for current Magic, though.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Even with Strixhaven reprising the color pair, green Demons are still pretty rare. Rakshasa Deathdealer was the first, and might still be the only one worth splashing, which is like saying green isn't worth splashing at all in a Demon list, especially considering this card would like to have more than a single green available. And one can say the same thing for black in Cat decks, which are liable to have more efficient two-drops anyway.
  • Rating: 6

6. 

  • Name: Scourge of the Skyclaves   >> summary
  • Set: Zendikar Rising
  • Mana Value: 2
  • Body: variable
  • General Evaluation: This Death's Shadow retread is close enough to real deal (though slightly harder to pull off, since you have to damage the opponent as well as yourself) to earn itself a place alongside its predecessor in the extremely successful, namesake archetype in Modern. The kicker cost is irrelevant, as we won't be casting a seven-drop in that kind of "suicide" deck anyway. What's more crucial is that Scourge of the Skyclaves also falls within the purview of Lurrus of the Dream-Den. It's a one-trick pony for sure, but that one trick can be lethal if exploited properly.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Unfortunately, Death's Shadow was an Avatar, not a Demon. The tribe is known to have quite a few members who like to harm their controller, but just not enough to reach a critical, at least not with a comparably low cost.
  • Rating: 7

7. 

  • Name: Treacherous Pit-Dweller   >> summary
  • Set: Avacyn Restored
  • Mana Value: 2
  • Body: 7
  • General Evaluation: "Say hello to my little friend!" Treacherous Pit-Dweller isn't a very trustworthy friend, as it's more than ready to switch allegiance to your opponent as soon as his undying ability triggers. This will teach you to let it die! At the time of its printing, this fickle guy was the cheapest Demon ever conceived, and that fact alone was deemed deserving of such a punishing downside. In a very aggressive build, it could work as as a sort of follow-up to Vexing Devil, but it means accepting the risk to add to any of the opponent's removal the text "put a 5/4 black Demon creature onto the battlefield". Which is a very messy, not at all unlikely prospective. To avoid that outcome, it could be paired with Torpor Orb effects, but the idea alone is very janky.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Even in a more low-to-the-ground Demon build, the Pit-Dweller has been obsoleted by the more recent additions of two-drop Demons that perhaps can't quite match its power, but at least stay loyal to us in all circumstances.
  • Rating: 3

8. 

  • Name: Ammit Eternal   >> summary
  • Set: Hour of Devastation
  • Additional Types: Crocodile, Zombie
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: This demonic Crocodile from Amonkhet (inspired to the crocodile-headed malevolent deity of the same name) is a very robust three-drop. Its body is way above the curve, but of course doesn't last long, unless the opponent is unable to cast any spell before our next combat phase (it's also worth noting any four-damage spell, like Lava Coil, is able to kill it). And after a while, the Ammit won't be able to connect and get rid of its -1/-1 counters. But even when it eventually trades, it still guarantees the loss of three life for the opponent, which also makes chump-blocking it a very bad idea. Plus, it interacts with cards that care about -1/-1 counters, although, admittedly, there's not a lot of those.
  • Tribal Evaluation: A good option for a Demon deck at this point in the curve.
  • Rating: 7

9. 

  • Name: Baleful Ammit   >> summary
  • Sets: Amonkhet, Mystery Booster
  • Additional Type: Crocodile
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 7
  • General Evaluation: Similar to its rare pal Ammit Eternal, this uncommon variety of Crocodile Demon provides a solid presence on turn three, even as just a 3/2 lifelinker. Best case scenario, though, is we have a mana dork with two toughness to place the -1/-1 counters on, or even better, something that we don't mind sending to the graveyard.
  • Tribal Evaluation: The described best case scenarios don't apply to Demon builds too often, but Baleful Ammit is still a valid choice for a three-drop.
  • Rating: 7

10. 

  • Name: Demonic Taskmaster   >> summary
  • Set: Avacyn Restored
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 7
  • General Evaluation: As far as black's typical brand of powerful early drops with a catch goes, the Taskmaster is a reliable guy. It's not very resilient, but it flies, and can be out in the field on turn one off a Dark Ritual, or very soon in any case. And yes, it asks for sacrifices, but unlike some of its bigger colleagues, if we can't supply any victim, nothing happens. That's a very important clause, since it means we would be really able to drop it in the first few turns without worries. More so, it's perfect as a lone beater in control decks, or in combo decks where we aim to kill our other creatures for whatever reason, while still being able to keep some pressure on the opponent and their planeswalkers.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Here's a problem, though. When almost all our other creatures are Demons, chances are we won't want to sacrifice them before they could even a single attack in, or else have them stuck in our hand until the Taskmaster gets dealt with. So this is probably not the most social Demon in its own circle.
  • Rating: 7

11. 

  • Name: Embodiment of Agonies   >> summary
  • Set: Core Set 2020
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: variable
  • General Evaluation: Flying and deathtouch are both impressive keywords to get for three mana, but the requirement to give Embodiment of Agonies a sizable body is too steep. The fact that it can't even be cast until at least one card is in our graveyard, and especially that lands don't get counted, is what killed any chance of this core set rare to see any amount of play. It wasn't even much liked in Limited. To understand how lacking it is, we just have to compare it to similar cards like Vampire Nighthawk and Nighthawk Scavenger.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Not ever, and especially not when better Demons of this cost exist, and are actually reliably castable on turn three.
  • Rating: 4

12. 

  • Name: Gutmorn, Pactbound Servant   >> summary
  • Set: Alchemy: Innistrad
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 4
  • General Evaluation: This one is hard to evaluate because it's only available to play in Arena formats, namely Alchemy, Historic and Historic Brawl. It's a decent blocker-killer with flying and deathtouch for its cost, but its main peculiarity it's the ability to exchange a spell in hand with one of your opponents (with the digital-only setup used here to break the taboo of having another player's cards in your hand), which is something that reads as a multiplayer mechanic, except Arena doesn't have a multiplayer mode (one could add "yet", but it doesn't really look like it'll ever do). I guess it could be fun to build a deck where you discard stuff for value, and then Gutmorn might catch something crucial as one of the last cards in the opponent's hand, giving them a less valuable spell in exchange.
  • Tribal Evaluation: I don't think Demon tribal can be sensibly pursued in Alchemy, and Historic has better three-drops that don't require a build-around of dubious value.
  • Commander Evaluation: That fun brew we mentioned above probably involves Gutmorn as a commander of a Historic Brawl list.
  • Rating: 6

13. 

  • Name: Herald of Torment   >> summary
  • Set: Born of the Gods
  • Additional Type: Enchantment
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 6
  • General Evaluation: Ignoring the overcosted bestow ability (which might still come in handy, if rarely), this is basically a three-drop 3/3 flyer. It has the Juzám Djinn upkeep cost while being weaker body-wise, but it pays us back with evasion. So we lose one life per turn, but odds are, we'll deal three. Not a bad deal.
  • Tribal Evaluation: A simple, efficient three-drop. Not as unusual in Demon form as it was back in 2014, but not something too common, either.
  • Rating: 8

14. 

  • Name: Illusory Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Alara Reborn
  • Additional Type: Illusion 
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 7
  • General Evaluation: At first sight, Illusory Demon might feel similar to Demonic Taskmaster, a three-drop 4/3 flyer that could be employed as a one-creature offensive. What makes it worse is the fact that we can't drop it and then defend it or just control the board while it deals damage in the air, since everything we do to accomplish that goal will inevitably kill our own Demon as a result, nullifying the entire strategy. Might be worth to ensure an early presence in decks with a battle plan that kicks in only later in the game, but even in those cases, we won't be allowed to ramp or affect the board in any way if not by dropping lands, so Illusory Demon can't be useful for more than a couple of turns. It's true, though, that its mana value is compatible with certain kinds of recursive shenanigans, like Sun Titan, so we could try and bring it back repeatedly. But the same can also be said of other three-drops that don't die as a consequence of any spell we cast. Also, Demonic Taskmater does exist as a less problematic alternative that doesn't even require a blue splash.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Another case where the other Demons in our deck will grow unruly waiting for this guy to get out of the way; but with an important difference: unlike Demonic Taskmaster, the other Demons are actually able to kill our Illusory specimen by just being cast. Which might or might not be a good thing. Regardless, it's probably a very bad choice in Illusion builds, since it would hinder the next step in the curve, populated by four-drops like Phantasmal Dragon, and the generally more tumultuous attitude of the tribe.
  • Rating: 4

15. 

  • Name: Manor Guardian   >> summary
  • Set: Jumpstart: Historic Horizons
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 7
  • General Evaluation: The second, Arena-only Jumpstart product included a group of Arena-only cards that couldn't work in paper (technically, they're digital-only, but I don't see these being ported into MTGO anytime soon). In this case, "seek" means we tutor up a random card from the library into our hand, without revealing it to the opponent. Manor Guardian only seeks one- or two-mana cards, but also lets the opponent do the same, and the symmetrical aspect of it might give us pause. Overall, it seems like a decent card, but it's kind of hard to evaluate something that's only playable within one specific format (and its Brawl counterpart), which is only available on one specific platform.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Historic's Demons have a wide enough lineup that the help of Manor Guardian might not be needed in that spot of their curve, necessarily. It doesn't hurt, though.
  • Rating: 6

16. 

  • Name: Master of the Feast   >> summary
  • Set: Journey into Nyx
  • Additional Type: Enchantment
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: Gluttonous Demon! This chubby pleasure seeker was the reigning sovereign of the fast Demons in its time. Even if the symmetrical card advantage that also benefits the opponent is very, very sinful. One needs to have the guts for it.
  • Tribal Evaluation: If you can stomach that upkeep trigger, the Master will make a quick banquet out of your opponent. And now we can stop with the food jokes.
  • Rating: 8

17. 

  • Name: Soulcage Fiend   >> summary
  • Set: Avacyn Restored
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 5
  • General Evaluation: The first common Demon to ever appear in the game (Lady Orca has always been reprinted at common, but she was originally uncommon in Legends). Soulcage Fiend is another mischievous demonic three-drop, equipped with a deat trigger that cuts both ways. Lowering the life total of both players might actually be useful in Suicide Black lists, although the Fiend's body is not very beefy, so it might not be able to successfully connect, nor trade with anything relevant.
  • Tribal Evaluation: If we deploy it on turn three, while we're waiting to curve into bigger things, the Fiend will hardly be able to discourage an attack to preserve our life total. It'll actually help the faster, linear decks to bring us to zero life before the scarier Demons even had a chance to show up. On the other hand, it can be a decent inclusion in Demon builds that aim to keep a low curve.
  • Rating: 5

18. 

  • Name: Taborax, Hope's Demise   >> summary
  • Set: Zendikar Rising
  • Additional Types: Legendary, Cleric
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 4
  • General Evaluation: A solid, if not critical addition to sacrifice decks. Taborax is a Cleric because those were the times when the most improbabile creature types were called in support of the party mechanic. But he also wants to have Clerics around, specifically to watch them die. That ability was going to come to full fruition the following year, once Kaldheim printed Pyre of Heroes, thus encouraging a tribal build that involves sacrifices.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Demon decks don't care for Taborax, but Cleric decks are happy to use him as a secondary payoff, since he ultimately may also provide some always so precious lifegain triggers. On top of the card draw, of course. He's not there just to be a small early flyer.
  • Commander Evaluation: A whole Commander or Brawl deck built around Taborax's sacrifice trigger might prove a bit one-note, but the guy's versatile enough, so why not.
  • Rating: 7

19.  

  • Name: Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire   >> summary
  • Set: Kaldheim (also with alternate "Viking" showcase art)
  • Additional Types: Legendary, Rogue
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 5
  • General Evaluation: Varragoth is the belligerent leader of the Demons from the Immersturm realm on Kaldheim. His basic stats are just okay for a three-drop, but his real strength resides in the boast ability, which appropriately lets us cast Demonic Tutor, but less appropriately using the "on top" clause of Vampiric Tutor. Regardless, it's a valuable ability to have for builds that tries to assemble a combo, but also features creatures. And the deathtouch may come in handy, both to stall the opponent in defense while we wait to commence our endgame, or even just to claim a victim when Varragoth is attacking to enable boast.
  • Tribal Evaluation: A build containing both a combo and creatures? That's very possibly something you can come upon in Tribal Wars. All the other three-drop Demons lean on the aggressive side, so Varragoth should be able to find room in a list that's more about building towards some impressive feat rather than just samshing faces.
  • Commander Evaluation: Commander loves tutors, more so when they're part of the command zone.
  • Rating: 7

20. 

  • Name: Abyssal Persecutor   >> summary
  • Sets: Worldwake, Commander 2014, Iconic Masters
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: The powerful, dangerous Persecutor became an instant classic upon first printing. We were given the chance of dropping a 6/6 frampling finisher very early on. Only problem: as long as it'll be there, we won't be able to win the game. Being able to get rid of our own Persecutor becomes the battle plan, and we need a contingency for that – though, to be fair, chances are we'll be running some instance of spot removal for creatures. Plus, the opponent might find a solution for us before getting too low on life, for fear that WE will be the ones to conjure the solution after they crossed the zero-life mark. All in all, great design.
  • Tribal Evaluation: The strongest of the fast Demons, but the more problematic. It matches swimmingly with the Avacyn Restored "careful what you wish for" Demons, like Demonic Taskmaster and Demonlord of Ashmouth.
  • Rating: 8

21. 

  • Name: Archdemon of Paliano   >> summary
  • Set: Conspiracy: Take the Crown
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: This is a proper Demon card, and even one with a strong body/cost ratio at that, but it only exists as an inside gimmick for Conspiracy drafts, so it's pretty hard to evaluate outside of those. In a Conspiracy draft, it forces you to take three random picks just for the chance of fielding a four-drop 5/4 flyer later. Which is an appealing prospect for sure, but probably not worth the strategic loss it causes.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Outside of Conspiracy games, Archdemon of Paliano (which, by the way, is the name of the largest city on Fiora, the Italian Renaissance plane where Conspiracy products are set) is legal in Vintage, Legacy and Commander. Among the monoblack four-drop Demons with power five or more, it's the only one that doesn't entail any additional headache, since the entirety of its rule text except for "flying" only applies to Conspiracy. This said, it's also the only one of that group that's just French vanilla. Also, it's not on MTGO.
  • Rating: 4

22. 

  • Name: Butcher of the Horde   >> summary
  • Set: Khans of Tarkir
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: The first and still only white Demon ever printed, courtesy of the Mardu clan. Triple color requirement aside, it's a very efficient combo of a free sacrifice outlet and a first-rate finisher – it really only lacks protection. In the right build, it can swing for five damage in the air by turn four, and maybe even gain five life and/or be able to play defense. Is that asking too much from your sacrifice engine?
  • Tribal Evaluation: A Demon deck doesn't naturally come with too many expendable creatures (unless we count an Abyssal Persecutor to get rid of), nor will have many other reasons to splash two most unusual colors, although they're the same as Kaalia. But the moment we run something like Bitterblossom alongside it, Butcher makes for a pretty darn good turn four.
  • Rating: 8

23. 

  • Name: Daemogoth Titan   >> summary
  • Set: Strixhaven: School of Mages
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 21
  • General Evaluation: The Daemogoths are the variety of Demons that dwells on Arcavios (the plane where Strixhaven University is located). They're aligned with black and green (aka Witherbloom in those parts), and kind of big and dumb. The Titan has the honor of having the largest demonic body in the game, but that's about it.
  • Tribal Evaluation: I can't see this guy taking a four-mana slot in any Demon list, even one that has sacrificial creatures to spare.
  • Rating: 3

24. 

  • Name: Daemogoth Woe-Eater   >> summary
  • Set: Strixhaven: School of Mages
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 13
  • General Evaluation: Based on the two specimens we met so far, the Daemogoths of Arcavios seem to share several traits, aside from the peculiar color combination, previously seen, Demon-wise, only on the Rakshasas of Tarkir. One of these traits is their large body; another is the lack of any keyword, which makes them play on the battlefield as essentially vanilla; the third is their strict demand for sacrifices. At least the Woe-Eater gives something as a reward, once we eventually fail to find a designated victim. Which is something we might also choose to do right away, but in that case, we're paying four mana to draw one card, make the opponents discard one card, and gain 2 life. Not terrible, but not the best deal.
  • Tribal Evaluation: The chances of Daemogoth Woe-Eater to show up in a Demon tribal decks are better than those of Daemogoth Titan (which is impressive, considering its rarity is lower), but still not great.
  • Rating: 4

25.  

  • Name: Demon of Catastrophes   >> summary
  • Sets: Core Set 2019, Store Championship Dominaria Promo
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: This is a very straightforward design, not without its perks. At first glance, it's Abyssal Persecutor with the same stats and cost, but without the clause where you can't win the game. The problem comes with the replacement clause of having to sacrifice a creature in order to cast it (which is different from what Demonlord of Ashmouth requires; for one thing, it's not susceptible of death by flickering). It's not a crazy demand, but it still requires a fair amount of setup, and it makes for a terrible topdeck on an empty board.
  • Tribal Evaluation: This and the mentioned Demonlord of Ashmouth have many aspects in common, the most prominent of which is the fact that you'll have a hard time finding another Demon willing to work as sacrifice fodder, so you'd better equip your deck with the trusty Bitterblossom, or Dreadhorde Invasion, or what other source of renewable fodder you prefer. That's why Abyssal Persecutor still beats these two dorks; with it, you'll have to worry about sacrificing after you've enjoyed the presence of a big flyer on your side of the board, not before.
  • Rating: 6

26. 

  • Name: Demonlord of Ashmouth   >> summary
  • Set: Avacyn Restored
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: This is the original "pay the toll before use" Demon, printed long before its pal Demon of Catastrophes. Its body is slightly smaller, but undying makes it more resilient, and ends up matching the former's power. It causes even more fodder issues, though, because it demands yet another sacrifice on re-entry, which makes it as adverse to sweepers as any regular non-undying creature.
  • Tribal Evaluation: See what said for Demon of Catastrophes. These sacrifice-eager Demons, all they really want is to chomp on some tiny, sweet, endless Faeries.
  • Rating: 6

27. 

  • Name: Desecration Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Return to Ravnica, Duel Decks: Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis, Modern Masters 2017
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: "Scary fattie on turn four" is a summoning ritual that Magic's demonologists have been trying to get right since the age of Grinning Demon, following on the steps of a very ancient, very notorious black Djinn. And when the stars aligned properly, they got it absolutely right: Desecration Demon is something the opponent has no choice but to deal with fast, because either they have a reliable source of free sacrifice turn after turn (which Desecration Demon is going to hijack, so it's still damaging), or just trying to stall this ever-growing monster with their own creatures won't last long, and will cause a ridiculous card advantage count for the Desecration player. Maybe our increasingly bigger Demon will never get a chance to actually attack, but the sheer quantity of mischief it's able to cause is really worth it.
  • Tribal Evaluation: At the time of its printing, it was hard not to consider Desecration Demon as part of any Demon list, fast or slow (to be fair, at the time those lists were mostly slow). And it still aptly defends its four-mana slot to this day.
  • Rating: 8

28. 

  • Name: Grinning Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Onslaught
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Here's a timeless classic. Taking a page from old Juzám Djinn's book of tricks, Grinning Demon upped the ante a little bit, although one might feel like a mere point increase on power and toughness wasn't worth the double life-bleeding. But it remains an imposing early beater, and the morph option makes it even more versatile when it comes to hitting the battlefield running on turn four.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Back in the time, it was the go-to four-drop Demon, and it still makes for a worthy presence on the board, even if that punishing upkeep cost may be a cause for worry in an aggressive meta. Plus, Abyssal Persecutor and Desecration Demon are both excellent alternatives, albeit bringing different issues of their own to the table.
  • Rating: 6

29.  

  • Name: Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos   >> summary
  • Set: Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty (also with alternate "Soft Glow" showcase art)
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: Chaos-worshipper Hidetsugu used to be an Ogre Shaman (especially known for his Second Rite, which his own card embodied), but he later managed to fuse himself with the entity called the All-Consuming, thus ascending to demonic form. In modern Kamigawa, he's a terrific four-drop with two very relevant abilities. The second one, which requires red mana, is able to turn the top card of our library into both unconditional damage and impulsive drawing. The sacrifice outlet is not entirely free, but scry 2 is precisely what we need to manipulate the library so that we'll find exactly what we're planning to cast or what will deal the most damage. It's definitely a win condition in its own right.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Both Demons and Ogres are more than happy to include Hidetsugu in their proceedings. He's not a fast operator, requiring us to tap him and to spend further mana in order to achieve his full potential, but especially in a Demon shell, he can wreak some serious havoc by hitting high-cost cards with his Fling-like activation.
  • Commander Evaluation: Very solid all-purpose commander in Rakdos colors.
  • Rating: 8

30.  

  • Name: Kardur, Doomscourge   >> summary
  • Set: Kaldheim (also with alternate "Viking" showcase art)
  • Additional Types: Legendary, Berserker
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 7
  • General Evaluation: The mass goad ETB effect is mostly effective in multiplayer, even if it can set up some advantageous block, thus working as very unreliable, surrogate removal. The rest of the stats are just extremely subpar for a four-mana Demon, betraying Kardur's uncommon status.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Kardur is no reason to splash red. And if we're already splashing red, we'll have no room for him anyway. Sorry, Kardur.
  • Commander Evaluation: Even with the added value of exploiting the goad a bit more in a multiplayer table (though, ironically, it loses the chance to force-ambush an attacker), Kardur is far from being a top tier commander. His card really doesn't do justice to the impending doom of his back story.
  • Rating: 4

31.  

  • Name: Mindwrack Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Shadows over Innistrad, Duel Decks: Blessed vs. Cursed
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: This one looks kind of good once we've achieved delirium, but not really at any point before that, because in that case we're only decreasing everybody's life total by four points per turn, and it's not even a guarantee on the opponent's side. Luckily, our Mindwrack Demon gives us a hand with our delirium goal by milling four cards out of our library right away, which is however kind of wasteful when not supported by a precise deck's strategy elsewhere. And casting a Mindwrack might very well just mean you're exchanging one card for one card (i.e. creature meets instant removal), but you lose four life in the process.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It's possible to build a Demon deck that capitalizes on dumping cards into the graveyard. Not sure it'd be a great Demon deck, but it might work.
  • Rating: 4

32. 

  • Name: Nightmare Shepherd   >> summary
  • Set: Theros Beyond Death
  • Additional Type: Enchantment
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: The universal recursion of this denizen of the Theros Underworld might not be as awe-inducing as the ascension provided by the Mothra-like Luminous Broodmoth, but it's still nothing short of amazing. The mini-me versions of all our dead creatures are always relevant, but become an entire game-plan when they brandish powerful ETB effects, as they should. Paired with a free sacrifice outlet, like its Underworld pal Woe Strider, it gives birth to a combo-enabling shell of the highest degree.
  • Tribal Evaluation: And besides, if the major competitor at four mana are still Abyssal Persecutor and Desecration Demon, then Demon builders must start their process by looking at this guy first.
  • Rating: 9

33. 

  • Name: Orcus, Prince of Undeath   >> summary
  • Set: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: The Demon lord Orcus is quite the nasty figure in the universe of the Forgotten Realms. His dream is killing every other living being in the world to remain the last one standing, reigning over endless ranks of undead. The card depicting him is essentially designed top-down, as the arrival of Orcus is accompanied either by a mass removal effect a la Toxic Deluge or by a mass reanimation. Both require a variable amount of mana and both are situational, but as two modes of the same ETB trigger, they guaranteed Orcus will rarely have nothing to contribute to the board. And in fact, even by sinking no mana at all into the X quota, he'd already be a 5/3 frampler for just four mana, which is close to Demonlord of Ashmouth and not even that far from the stats of Abyssal Persecutor. Granted, Orcus involves a secondary color, but that's hardly a big issue.
  • Tribal Evaluation: If we're willing to splash some red in our Demon list, Orcus has to be a serious consideration. Getting access to Toxic Deluge on legs within the tribal base is no small feat.
  • Commander Evaluation: Orcus also makes for an appealing late-game commander with two different flavors of utility, which could also joins the fight early on if we think we should be the aggressor or we need to pressure some planeswalker.
  • Rating: 9

34. 

  • Name: Rafter Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Ravnica Allegiance
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 6
  • General Evaluation: With its status of iconic tribe, Demon doesn't support many instances at common. At the time of Rafter Demon's printing, there were still less than five Demons at the lowest rarity. And Rafter Demon was a step back into Limited-oriented mediocrity compared to its common predecessor, Soulstinger – alas, a 4/2 that forces a discard isn't worth five mana of two different colors.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Not really an argument for splashing red in a Demon list.
  • Rating: 2

35.  

  • Name: Rakdos, Lord of Riots   >> summary
  • Sets: Return to Ravnica, Guild Kit: Rakdos, Commander Legends
  • Additional Type: Legendary 
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: The second incarnation of the mighty Rakdos is, first of all, an Abyssal Persecutor for the same casting cost and with no downside – at least if we don't count his steep, all-colored mana requirement. On top of the favorable body/cost ratio, he could bring some massive mana discount to the table. This noted, deploying the Lord of Riots by turn four isn't going to be effortless, due to his proto-spectacle casting clause (which was indeed initially conceived as the mechanic for the Rakdos color pair in Return to Ravnica, but ended up affecting only its namesake leader). In order to be allowed to summon Rakdos, a source of free damage has to already be online, most likely in the form of a creature able to attack and easily connect, or else we'll have to factor in the mana needed to fuel some sort of direct damage spell. It's feasible, but still something we'll have to actively work towards, as well as an angle that runs the risk of leaving use with Rakdos stuck in our hand at any point, especially when we're in topdeck mode. More so, all that free colorless mana needs an outlet, or it'll go wasted. It's not quite a build-around element, since casting spells with a generic mana component is an ordinary deal, but it must be exploited properly to take advantage of it. Even so, this Rakdos remains a strong, efficient finisher in decks that have easy access to both colors.
  • Tribal Evaluation: The main issue with Rakdos in Demon decks is that he forces us to include a heavy red base to ensure access to double red early on. Secondarily, we'd need a fair amount of three-drops, if we want Rakdos to show up on curve.
  • Commander Evaluation: In a format that loves big, splashy plays, Rakdos's mana-producing ability is certainly welcome. The chance to achieve this much acceleration (untapping with Rakdos might very well signify a six-mana boost that turn) makes up for his lack of protection and the red flag he inevitably raises on a multiplayer table.
  • Rating: 7

36. 

  • Name: Razorjaw Oni   >> summary
  • Sets: Saviors of Kamigawa, Commander 
  • Additional Type: Spirit
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: A semi-decent vanilla beater with an exorbitant, ridiculous drawback. Since the effect is symmetrical, there's an argument to include this Oni in a splashed capacity to mess with a potential mono-black opponent's defenses; but even as a sideboard card, it's kind of laughable.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Both Demon and Spirit have so many and so better options that this Kamigawa leftover isn't even worth a second look.
  • Rating: 3

37. 

  • Name: Scourge of Numai   >> summary
  • Set: Betrayers of Kamigawa
  • Additional Type: Spirit
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: A Grinning Demon with built-in Dead Weight. No further comment needed.
  • Tribal Evaluation: But wait, if we ran it within an Ogre deck, we could have some chances to fulfill the dream of a four-drop 4/4 with no upkeep cost! Provided at least one Ogre sticks around. Yeah, that's kind of pathetic, even for an uncommon, and even if the idea, at the time, was to riff on old-school Derelor.
  • Rating: 1


38. 

  • Name: Shimatsu the Bloodcloaked   >> summary
  • Set: Champions of Kamigawa
  • Additional Types: Legendary Spirit
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 0 (variable)
  • General Evaluation: One has to wonder what the "Legend of Shimatsu" is based on. Is he the Loser of the Games? The Scourge of the Winning Ratio? Maybe that's what "Bloodcloaked" refers to: he bathes in the blood of his masters! Of course, it's possible to concoct a strategy in which Shimatsu's positively asinine way of clearing our side of the board might turn into a weapon, thanks to some Balance effect. But then why not to play the infinitely superior and outright more effective Greater Gargadon instead? Which is in fact what everyone in their right mind would play in those kinds of decks over this moron.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Bad red Demons are bad. Of course, Spirits don't even bother to turn their collective head to contemptuously look in Shimatsu's general direction.
  • Commander Evaluation: Weirdly enough, Shimatsu might theoretically work as the headliner of a combo deck where we aim to play a number of the mentioned Balance effects. Too bad they are almost exclusively in white while this guy's monored.
  • Rating: 0

39. 

  • Name: Soulstinger   >> summary
  • Set: Amonkhet
  • Additional Type: Scorpion
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: This Scorpion Demon from the Egyptian world of Amonkhet is perhaps the first common Demon to be fairly playable. Its second ability only works if we use the first on itself, losing on a more impressive board presence (usually fueled by the virtual sacrifice of a critter that we don't mind dying, or at least getting shrinked) in exchange for some removal later, probably in the form of a trade that also kills something else. It's not a perfect deal, and can't really compare with the rare and mythic four-drops the tribe has to offer, but it was a solid pick in Limited. A Constructed deck trafficking in -1/-1 counters could also appreciate it to some extent, particularly in Pauper.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Not really a priority choice for a Demon of this mana value.
  • Rating: 4

40. 

  • Name: Spawn of Mayhem   >> summary
  • Set: Ravnica Allegiance
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: This poster boy for spectacle is the most powerful Demon we could drop on turn three – something we can accomplish by just relying on its rule text. Back in Throne of Eldraine Standard, Spawn of Mayhem would frequently associate with two-drops that were capable of enabling spectacle for free, like Stormfist Crusader. And then the Spawn itself will keep doing it, for what it's worth. Then again, it's still pretty good as a four-drop, if not the largest possible flyer the tribe can field for that cost.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Demon lists don't have an easy time consistently enabling spectacle by turn three. But their more aggressive versions certainly welcome an evasive beater that deals extra automatic damage every turn, and eventually grows bigger.
  • Rating: 8

41. 

  • Name: Yukora, the Prisoner   >> summary
  • Set: Betrayers of Kamigawa
  • Additional Types: Legendary Spirit
  • Mana Value: 4
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: Yukora is the leader of the not-so-merry band of underwhelming Kamigawa Demons (featuring cards like Razorjaw Oni, Scourge of Numai, Gutwrencher Oni, and Painwracker Oni). And at least with him we get a proper Juzám Djinn. Apparently, that was deemed strong enough in 2005 to warrant legendary status, which is fine. Too bad he's also still trying to push us into playing Ogres as the only other creatures in our deck, which is not a light building restriction. Still, he is a proper Juzám Djinn, and that still counts for something. He could even be the only creature in the deck, though an aggressively costed 5/5 with no abilities is not the kind of finisher that control builds look for.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Since we don't really want to add random Ogres to any Demon or Spirit tribal deck, and still lose the main tribe's members every time Yukora dies, we should treat him uniquely as an off-tribe addition to Ogre lists. But even there, we won't get all this mileage out of a midrange vanilla beater, even if Yukora is larger than any Ogre at that point in the curve. If our build is Kamigawa-oriented, for some reason, then a singleton copy of Yukora might be warranted for Blood Speaker to fetch, and for the other minions (Bloodthirsty Ogre, Raving Oni-Slave, Takenuma Bleeder, and Villainous Ogre) to rely upon to satisfy their requirements.
  • Commander Evaluation: It's hard to imagine why someone would want Yukora as their commander. To challenge themselves?
  • Rating: 4

> top <

42.  

  • Name: Archfiend of Depravity   >> summary
  • Sets: Fate Reforged (also with alternate "Sultai" prerelease promo art), Archenemy: Nicol Bolas
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: This depraved fella comes for the exact same cost and board presence of Bloodgift Demon, but replaces the card draw with an end-step trigger that forces our opponents to play with no more than two creatures. It's not as advantageous as drawing cards, and it's even possible that it won't do much of anything against decks that don't aim to go wide with creatures, or even play creatures at all. But it's a powerful ability in certain board states, although it gives the opponents plenty of time to react before the triggered ability pays off for us.
  • Tribal Evaluation: In a tribal environment, the board limit is quite effective, particularly when piloting Demon builds that considerably suffer fast aggro's offensive stance. It's also worth noting that it's a forced sacrifice, so it beautifully circumvents both hexproof and indestructible. At five mana, Archfiend of Depravity cannot be very popular, but it's not without its merits.
  • Rating: 6

43.  

  • Name: Archfiend of Ifnir   >> summary
  • Set: Amonkhet (also with alternate Buy-a-Box Promo art)
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: Archfiend of Ifnir is a specialized five-drop that requires a self-discard or cycling-heavy shell around it in order to do its thing. The moment it gets that, the ability it gives us access to is quite good, though it's not actually guaranteed to kill anything right away. Using discard as an enabler synergizes with the typical setup of a reanimator deck, and all of it comes, once again, with Bloodgift Demon stats. The Archfiend will never win that comparison, though: free, natural card draw vs. triggered, incremental board control. Absolute advantage vs. situational advantage. It's the plight of efficiency right there.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Functional, especially in Demon Reanimator, but probably not the first choice at that point in the curve.
  • Rating: 6

44. 

  • Name: Bloodgift Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Innistrad, Commander 2014
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: It flies, it swings for five, and it incorporates a free Phyrexian Arena. Bloodgift Demon is living the midrange dream.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Still the paradigm that defines a five-mana Demon. Killable, but unsurpassed.
  • Rating: 10

45. 

  • Name: Demon of Wailing Agonies   >> summary
  • Set: Commander 2014
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: Take lieutenant away, this guy merely becomes a black Air Elemental, therefore pretty useless. When sharing a battlefield with our commander, though, it's a nice 6/6 flyer that casts a free Diabolic Edict every time it connects. Not exactly a card that's going to change a Commander deck, but playable in most good stuff builds.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Demon Tribal Commander was suggested by the Commander 14 deck that had Demon of Wailing Agonies in it. But other than that, it's not the most common archetype out there.
  • Rating: 5

46. 

  • Name: Doom Whisperer   >> summary
  • Set: Guilds of Ravnica
  • Additional Type: Nightmare
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: One step in the curve later, and there you have it, Abyssal Persecutor doesn't need a downside anymore. In fact, it even gets to surveil at will. This big guy saw play in Standard for a time. The possibility of setting up our next draw, if at the expense of some life, mitigates the occurrence of our Doom Whisperer getting killed on sight, since it would at least leave some value behind and not just trade for a spot removal.
  • Tribal Evaluation: The question going to be the same for all the five-mana Demons. "Is it better than Bloodgift Demon"? And if we're talking of Doom Whisper, when both stick around, Bloodgift's clearly the superior Demon. Doom Whisperer's access to emergency surveil in the face of removal is only a small benefit. But overall it's a good alternative, nonetheless.
  • Rating: 8

47. 

  • Name: Gutwrencher Oni   >> summary
  • Set: Champions of Kamigawa
  • Additional Type: Spirit 
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: In hindsight, the original Kamigawa block's attempt to make us build a double tribal deck with Ogres and Demons, in which the weaker creature type would enable the stronger, was cute enough. The problem is in the execution: the five Demon-worshiping Ogres (Blood Speaker, Bloodthirsty Ogre, Raving Oni-Slave, Takenuma Bleeder, and Villainous Ogre) all amount to common and uncommon filler dudes which, with the possible exception of Blood Speaker, are outright terrible until we get a Demon on the board, and mediocre afterwards. On their part, the four Ogre-carer Demons (Gutwrencher Oni, Painwracker Oni, Scourge of Numai, and Yukora, the Prisoner) are midrange vanilla beaters with an unnecessary off-tribal clause. None of them is worth the effort of building an Ogre deck around them, even in a casual environment (and let's not even mention the bonus rare legendary land Tomb of Urami – that's just utterly ridiculous). Case in point, this Oni: its stats aren't horrible, but at the end of the day, it's just five-drop 5/4 trampler (something green routinely gets at common) with a punishing drawback. Even Sengir Vampire is essentially better, and that's just looking at Limited Edition Alpha alone.
  • Tribal Evaluation: As noted before, the inclusion of this kind of card only makes sense if we intend to build a specific Kamigawa-flavored Ogre deck. And it's debatable even there, as we could just use better Demons as payoff. The only way Gutwrencher Oni might acquire some semblance of a purpose is as a discard outlet in a reanimator build. It wouldn't be very fast or very reliable, but at least it would free up a non-tribal slot.
  • Rating: 3

48. 

  • Name: Halo Hunter   >> summary
  • Set: Zendikar
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: The main function behind Halo Hunter's design was to be removal on a stick against the Angels from the original Zendikar block. In a larger meta, the odds of meeting its favored prey by mere chance are fairly low. Even in metas where it's a possibility worth entertaining, it's not even worth a sideboard slot. The competition is just too strong, its colored requirement too demanding, its toughness too frail, and the ability to swing for six intimidating damage isn't reliable enough to warrant an inclusion. The flavor was nice, though.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Facing an Angel deck would be this guy's lifelong dream, but considering Tribal Wars doesn't get a sideboard, it looks like there really is no place for this serial killer of Angels (the Feather Collector?) in the Magic world.
  • Rating: 4

49.  

  • Name: Indulgent Tormentor   >> summary
  • Sets: Magic 2015 (also with alternate prerelease promo art), Duel Decks: Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis, Iconic Masters
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: Indulgent Tormentor is Bloodgift Demon's gentler brother. Or more cunning, maybe, because we don't even have to lose life to its upkeep cost, but our opponents probably will. Unless they have creatures to spare, which is a case similar to Desecration Demon's. Its butt is also soft to three-damage burn spells, which ultimately is the crucial detail that sets it apart from its more accomplished relative.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Sadly, there's no way Indulgent Tormentor will ever get picked over Bloodgift Demon.
  • Rating: 6

50. 

  • Name: Kagemaro, First to Suffer   >> summary
  • Set: Saviors of Kamigawa
  • Additional Types: Legendary Spirit
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: variable
  • General Evaluation: As far as Kamigawa Demons go (and they don't usually go very far), Kagemaro is definitely a star. You have to look at him less as a creature and more as a Mutilate on a stick. It's a situational effect linked to the cards in our hand, and it requires one additional mana to activate, but it's still a good option for midrange black decks that don't unload their entire hand in the first few turns, and maybe also have a few ways to replenish it down the line.
  • Tribal Evaluation: There are more powerful Demons capable of providing mass creature destruction of a sort (Carnifex Demon, Pestilence Demon, Reiver Demon), but Kagemaro is the faster. The situational nature of the killing tends to be mitigated in Demon decks, most of which are midrange or slower. Even a late activation with two or three cards in hand is very likely to left our army untouched while still potentially crippling the other side of the table. The chance to spare a non-tribal slot thanks to a tribal creature able to perform a similar task (in this case: the role of a sweeper) is always welcome, and it's something even Spirit decks might be interested in.
  • Commander Evaluation: What Kagemaro does is something we might well want to recur from the command zone again and again over the course of a long, control-based game.
  • Rating: 7

51.  

  • Name: Krav, the Unredeemed   >> summary
  • Set: Battlebond
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 6
  • General Evaluation: The Angel Regna and the Demon Krav are star-crossed lovers who fight against prejudices – but also literally against competitors, as a team in the arena of Valor's Reach on Kylem. Their abilities are synergistic, in that Regna creates pairs of 1/1 Warriors for Krav to sacrifice and turn into cards, while also getting bigger (not sure what the rationale is for Regna to let her followers be eaten by her demonic boyfriend. She's not redeeming him much, is she? I bet she keeps saying, "I can change him!") Krav's lifegain fuels Regna's end-step trigger, so to start the virtuous cycle one just needs an initial instance of lifegain or, even more easily, a first sacrificial lamb. Krav's starting body is a bit underwhelming and he'll never be more than a vanilla beater on the board, but the sacrifice is aggressively costed, since it only asks for one mana regardless of the number of affected creatures. Plus, deploying Krav already gives us card advantage by tutoring up Regna, and vice versa.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Hard to accommodate everything our power couple needs to shine in a Demon tribal build. If we're playing Angels, there are better chances we will already have lifegaining and/or tokens as a theme – but also that we won't need a six-drop 4/4.
  • Commander Evaluation: Krav and Regna form  an Orzhov partnership in the command zone. They're not extremely poweful commanders, but fun casual ones encompassing several different angles.
  • Rating: 6

52. 

  • Name: Master of Cruelties   >> summary
  • Sets: Dragon's Maze, Guild Kit: Rakdos
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 5
  • General Evaluation: Master of Cruelties is capable of some amazing feats, but it's a bit tricky to evaluate. It can win us the game... almost. In fact, it can't win the game at all on its own, since it can never deal that final point of damage. And to have it attack without meeting a blocker is probably not that easy. But that's where its other abilities come into play. Whatever the opponent uses to block the Master, if it's not somehow protected or indestructible, it'll die. Chump blockers are needed to avoid losing precious creatures or be faced with the very dangerous scenario of being at one life against a deck that's probably including some way to close the gap left open by the Master's ability. Which is also especially neat against lifegaining decks, by the way. Plus, in a pinch, it's a great blocker.
  • Tribal Evaluation: In an already Rakdos-colored build, a few Masters of Cruelties are never out of place. Elsewhere, they might not be necessary unless we're explicitly chasing a grindy endgame and we want something to control the battlefield and survive into a later stage.
  • Rating: 8

53. 

  • Name: Ob Nixilis, the Fallen   >> summary
  • Sets: Zendikar, Iconic Masters
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 6
  • General Evaluation: The chronologically first card to ever represent the notorious Ob Nixilis in the game (after he was turned into a Demon, but before he regained his planeswalking spark and could leave Zendikar) never found a proper home in any format. And it's unfortunate, because he has one of the most aggressive landfall effects in existence. Creature Ob really needs to be deployed with a land drop still available, and preferably with a fetchland in hand, so that he'll be able to end his initial turn as 9/9, after causing six points of life loss. In the right deck, an unattended Ob doesn't take long to win the game, and rarely has to attack.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Demon decks can include Ob without twisting themselves too much. We just have to make sure to include a fair amount of fetchlands, and possibly some other kind of land tutoring (maybe even Liliana of the Dark Realms). Which is not a bad approach in general, especially when we may have other mana-intensive Demons in the deck.
  • Commander Evaluation: The loss of life targets one player at a time, which is a bit awkward. Commander lists have insane ways to drop large quantities of lands at once, and the resources to pull that off, but access to green is typically needed for that. This makes an attempt to build around the original Ob Nixilis as a commander kind of a rare oddity.
  • Rating: 7

54. 

  • Name: Painwracker Oni   >> summary
  • Set: Champions of Kamigawa
  • Additional Type: Spirit
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: The twin brother of Gutwrencher Oni trades trample for fear as its keyword, and discard for creature sacrifice as the upkeep cost. It's not the brightest bulb in an already not-to-bright box, even an Ogre could see that.
  • Tribal Evaluation: The reason all the Kamigawa Demons are also Spirits is because the Japanese word "oni" doesn't perfectly translate to the Western concept of "demon". Spirit decks haven't cared about that distinction so far.
  • Rating: 2

55.  

  • Name: Rakshasa Gravecaller   >> summary
  • Set: Dragons of Tarkir
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: This uncommon Cat Demon is not an especially imposing demonic specimen. It's essentially a vanilla beater with very low power for its cost, which comes with the bonus chance of turning, say, a 2/2 Zombie token into two 2/2 Zombie tokens. It's an okay deal, slightly better if we have a recursive creature to use as fodder. The exploit sacrifice isn't mandatory, although there's no reason at all for playing a 3/6 vanilla five-drop in Constructed.
  • Tribal Evaluation: I'm confident to say it's not even worthy of a consideration.
  • Rating: 4

56.  

  • Name: Rakshasa Vizier   >> summary
  • Set: Khans of Tarkir (also with alternate "Sultai" prerelease promo art)
  • Additional Type: Cat
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: Khans of Tarkir included delve as one of the set's mechanic, so here's a guy who grows bigger every time we delve. Considering it starts as a dismal Fire Elemental with a triple-colored requirement, and remains vanilla until the bitter end, I don't think it will be remembered as anything more than a mechanical byproduct.
  • Tribal Evaluation: To play off of Tombstalker and Necropolis Fiend? Doubtful.
  • Rating: 3

57. 

  • Name: Ravenous Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Dark Ascension (also with alternate prerelease promo art)
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 8 (after transformation: 18)
  • General Evaluation: We might actually have a Human around that we really want to sacrifice (say, Academy Rector), and we certainly wouldn't mind getting a big monster out in the process. Too bad the big monster keeps asking for more sacrifices, Lord of the Pit-style, and he's not really looking for a change of diet: either we have other Humans for him to snack upon, or we're gonna get screwed by our own finisher. Once we add that we don't even get to activate the first sacrifice in the opponent's turn, and we consider how many other finishers we could run that are less obsessed with particular creature types, we'll come to understand why pretty much nobody ever played this particular transformer, as flavorful as he is.
  • Tribal Evaluation: What about looking for another, safer sacrifice outlet for our Human deck? Like, maybe one that doesn't plan to kill us eventually?
  • Rating: 2

58. 

  • Name: Renegade Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Avacyn Restored, Duel Decks: Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis, Mystery Booster
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: The second Demon ever printed at common after Soulcage Fiend. Being entirely vanilla and wildly sub-par are both conspicuous hints of its rarity. This sad guy wasn't even playable in Limited.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Literally nothing to see here.
  • Rating: 0

59. 

  • Name: Seizan, Perverter of Truth   >> summary
  • Set: Champions of Kamigawa
  • Additional Types: Legendary Spirit
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 11
  • General Evaluation: It's conventional flavor, one that Kamigawa block particularly insisted upon, that in order to convince a Demon to fight on our side, we have to stipulate some sort of pact, which usually involves both an upside and a downside. In this case, it's the same, classic combination of drawing cards in exchange for life that's at the core of so many card-drawing effects in black. Only, for some reason, Seizan forces all the other players to partake of it, at the rate of two cards per package. It's not a bad deal, and there are good ways to set up our deck in a way that takes greater advantage from drawing into more fuel while seeing the opponent's life total go down. And that big body, however non-evasive, might even help sealing the deal. Big disadvantage, though: everyone gets to draw the cards before we do, so Seizan might just be out of the picture before our turn to collect ever came around.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Flawed timing aside, Seizan might still be a decent curve-topper in a fast Demon build, where we aim to refill our emptied hand while also accelerating the process that brings the opponent's life total down to zero.
  • Commander Evaluation: A Commander table featuring Seizan is not a common sight, but it could generate some fast and furious fun. As noted, it's quite easy to build a monoblack deck in a way that makes it the most likely to exploit everyone's decreasing life and self-replenishing hand. Games where Seizan is around may get weird, due the reluctance to kill such a generous source of extra cards. Just two more! Just another turn! Ah, these Demons and their irresistible temptations.
  • Rating: 6

60.  

  • Name: Shadowborn Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Magic 2014
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 11
  • General Evaluation: Back in Magic 2014, this guy was promoted as part of a casual deck entirely made up of Shadowborn Apostles, but that was just for kitchen tables – and kind of dumb even there. Apparently, there's a cult devoted to the Shadowborn Demons, whose members are willing to commit mass suicide in order to summon up one of their masters, which in turn will be perfectly satisfied as long as it sees at least six bodies lying around. But silly Timmy/Tammy flavor apart, Shadowborn Demon remains a big flyer with a very abusable ETB kill. We pay for that with what amounts to a sort of upkeep cost, although it's something that naturally goes away in late game, at leat in creature-heavy decks.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Admittedly, the six-creatures-in-the-graveyard clause is hard to fulfill in your typical Demon build, except perhaps in reanimator lists with massive self-mill. In those, Shadowborn Demon might take the role of a secondary finisher with tactical value.
  • Rating: 8

61. 

  • Name: Sol'kanar the Swamp King   >> summary
  • Sets: Legends, Time Spiral "Timeshifted"
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: Just by looking at the card, it appears evident that the once popular Sol'kanar is a relic of a time when designing a good creature was a damn hard accomplishment. Legends is especially notorious for containing the most terrible creatures ever printed, so our Swamp King doesn't even look that bad when compared to stuff like Jedit Ojanen or Gabriel Angelfire. Still, we're asked to spend five mana in a proto-Grixis combination in order to get a 5/5 with swampwalk. With the meager bonus of a built-in Demon's Horn (and we're lucky isn't a Throne of Bone, at least). Granted, he would later find himself enabled by Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, which makes his evasion somewhat solid; and being included in the Time Spiral "Timeshifted" reprints means he's Modern-legal. The problem is that we're not in 1994 anymore, and a three-color midrange beater needs to do something more. The fact that he's still kind of playable, though, is more of what we can say for a lot of the "grandpa's garage sale" creatures from before Mirage.
  • Tribal Evaluation: There's actually one case in which Sol'kanar is relevant in a Demon deck: when we go for a Defiler of Souls, multicolored build.
  • Commander Evaluation: Nostalgia builds aside, one really needs to love the guy a lot to pick him as the headliner of a Grixis list.
  • Rating: 5

62. 

  • Name: Soulhunter Rakshasa   >> summary
  • Set: Arena New Player Experience
  • Additional Type: Cat
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: This was made as an Arena exclusive included for free in new player accounts. They're cards whose power level is meant to be on par with other beginners products, though sometimes it slightly exceeds that. This one (styled as one of the Rakshasas from Tarkir) has a body that's squarely on curve, but can't be used as a blocker. The direct damage based on the number of Swamps can do some work, though, almost acting as an alternate win-con.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It's only available on Arena, so not really a factor.
  • Rating: 5

63. 

  • Name: The Wretched   >> summary
  • Sets: Legends, Fifth Edition
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 7
  • General Evaluation: The Wretched's design evokes a kind of flawed, old-school attempt at translating into the game a top-down concept – in this case, the demonic entity taking control of the poor souls that had the misfortune of looking directly at its face. It's interesting that The Wretched isn't actually asked to kill the creatures in combat, but the control is reversible and easy to avoid, resulting in a simple two-powered beater that will get ignored until the opponent is able to block it profitably. Modern versions of this type of effect, like Tergrid, God of Fright or Gisa, Glorious Resurrector, don't care to actually meet their victims face to face. Regardless, The Wretched didn't entirely lost its charm and could still find a home in some kitchen table with a taste for cards that bring us back to the game's origins. One could even come up with a number of casual combos that exploit that ability by forcing blocks while making the old guy indestructible.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Alas, a Demon deck can do better than this ancient junk for five mana.
  • Rating: 3

64. 

  • Name: Woebringer Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Ravnica: City of Guilds
  • Mana Value: 5
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: Woebringer Demon is a solid representative of the brand of sacrifice-causing permanents that have their own departure built in the ability, an effect grandfathered by Arabian Nights' Drop of Honey. It's a much less valuable deal than what The Abyss or Sheoldred offer, but at least Woebringer Demon is more versatile than the former, thanks to a decent 4/4 flyer body, and more hardcastable than the latter. It immediately dies if dropped onto an empty board, which is cause for some situational concern, but it might do well in a deck that's able to either recur it or sustain its upkeep indefinitely.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It's a bit of a twist in the crowded field of demonic sacrifice: everybody has to equally feed the unholy bloodcraze of our bat-looking fiend. It can be argued it's more likely for the Demon side of the board to have fewer expendable creatures than the opponent's; but if deployed cleverly, the Woebringer might still bring an asymetrical amount of woe to the table. Worst case scenario, it's a delayed Fleshbag Marauder that gets to attack once, and especially good in combination with some harmful Demon we want to get rid of before it spirals out of control.
  • Rating: 7

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65. 

  • Name: Apocalypse Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Hour of Devastation
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: variable
  • General Evaluation: Apocalypse Demon serves as a demonstration that the incredibly old demonic blueprint where our Demon has to be appeased with sacrifices or will turn against us has survived well into the new century. Why, that's hard to tell. In spite of its ominous name, failure to placate Apocalypse Demon just means we won't be able to do much with it. But that just makes good ole Lord of the Pit look better in comparison, since taking seven damage to deal seven damage might still win us the game. And Apocalypse Demon's body can be quite small anyway, so it doesn't work as a reanimation target. Or in any other capacity, to be honest. Hell, it even outright dies to graveyard hate.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Nope.
  • Rating: 1

66. 

  • Name: Burning-Rune Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Kaldheim
  • Additional Type: Berserker
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: A revisionist take on Rune-Scarred Demon from Magic 2012. For one fewer mana, instead of outright casting Demonic Tutor, now the opponent is called to perform a mini-game where they give us one between two different cards. The other one goes to the graveyard, so it's possible to "game the system" by picking two creatures that are able to reanimate each other, or two cards with flashback. An obvious choice is also going for two spells with similar effects, though at that point it becomes a deckbuilding restraint in non-singleton formats. Overall, it's a decent Commander card, as it gives us partial redundancy for Rune-Scarred Demon, while opening certain avenues in reanimator via Unburial Rites.
  • Tribal Evaluation: If we're ramping into this or reanimating it, we might as well do the same with Rune-Scarred Demon instead, sparing us some headache in the process.
  • Rating: 6

67. 

  • Name: Carnifex Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Scars of Mirrodin
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation:  Six mana is a crucial threshold in Magic. Once we arrive to commit so much mana to a single spell, even if we've accelerated it ahead of schedule, the spell needs to deliver right away, without running the risk to be completely nullified by an opponent's much cheaper interaction. Carnifex Demon supplies a powerful form of mass removal effect, of the kind that ignores pretty much everything, from regeneration to indestructibility and protection. And afterwards, it turns into an evasive threat that needs to be answered, with the potential to provide further counter-related shenanigans in the future. The main problem is that, while the whole business is indeed available from the get-go, it requires a whopping eight mana to be fully exploited. Meanwhile, our Carnifex will be vulnerable to four-damage burns spells, too.
  • Tribal Evaluation: The only reason to run multiple Carnifex Demons in a tribal deck is to have two of them bouncing -1/-1 counters off one another, annihilating everything else in the process. It's not a cheap endeavour, though.
  • Rating: 7

68. 

  • Name: Defiler of Souls   >> summary
  • Set: Alara Reborn
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: Compared to Woebringer Demon's, Defiler of Souls' triggered ability feels more like a challenge: we keep causing symmetrical sacrifices while hopefully taking advantage of the one loophole that exonerate from it. And while the case of an old-school card like The Abyss, the condition to satisfy is being an artifact, with the Defiler, it's being multicolored. Which is perhaps narrower, but still workable. Plus, the deal comes complete with a 5/5 flying body that already meets the basic requisite for surviving the effect, all for a minimal red splash.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Arguably the main guy to build a multicolored Demon deck around.
  • Rating: 7

69. 

  • Name: Demon of Dark Schemes   >> summary
  • Set: Kaladesh
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: After we deploy Demon of Dark Schemes, it'll provide the following service for us. 1) It'll cast a free Infest, but only on others, so it won't risk to be bolted in response. 2) As a result, it'll probably put a number of energy counters into our reserve, at least if we dropped it at the correct time. 3) It'll threaten the opponent with a five-powered evasive body. 4) It'll put a repeatable, non-conditional resurrection effect at our disposal (it's worth noting that it can target any graveyard). These are some quality dark schemes!
  • Tribal Evaluation: Of course, it would be best to provide our dark schemer with external sources of energy. Unfortunately, they'll have to be found off-tribe, since there aren't other Demons using energy.
  • Rating: 8

70. 

  • Name: Demonic Hordes   >> summary
  • Sets: Limited Edition Alpha, Limited Edition Beta, Unlimited Edition, Revised Edition
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: One of the two original Demons from Limited Edition Alpha. Unlike Lord of the Pit, which is still an iconic figure to this day, despite the fact that its playability throughout the years has always been pretty low, Demonic Hordes has been mostly forgotten. Just tapping a permanent to destroy any one land sounds like a broken effect by modern standards. We can count all the ways to untap the Hordes multiple times per turn, and just demolish the opponent's mana base, repeatedly. Granted, tapping a 5/5 for utility is clumsy; the silver linining is that it doubles as a finisher when it's done sinkholing lands. On the other side of the coin, there's that terrible upkeep cost with suicidal clause, which fortunately is a design space Magic steered away from in later years, but was typical of early Demons and black creatures in general. All things considered, though, Demonic Hordes still looks better than most of the same-costed creatures from the Nineties.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Probably not the best choice for a six-drop, unless our deck cares for land destruction for some overall strategic reason. Still cute, though, and eminently nostalgic without being outright bad. It feels like it should have been retconned as a Devil, since Demons would be later identified with large, scary individuals, rather than groups of mischievous little dudes.
  • Rating: 6

71.  

  • Name: Demonlord Belzenlok   >> summary
  • Sets: Dominaria, Secret Lair
  • Additional Types: Legendary, Elder
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: One of the four Demons that Liliana sold her soul to, Belzenlok has good stats and an ETB ability that provides card advantage, possibly setting us more than one card ahead. It's a good deal, in its straighforward nature: you get a 6/6 flyers and at least one nonland card. All in all, it's probably on par with Burning-Rune Demon; the form of the arrangement diverges slightly, but in both cases we know we'll get a piece of gas, but we don't know what exactly.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Being legendary, it doesn't encourage to be run in multiples. But it could share the curve-topping slot with other threatening card-advantage Demons of the same kind.
  • Commander Evaluation: A commander for all seasons. It's not like we're gonna build a deck where most cards are four-drops, just so that Belzenlok can draw more of them. But in a Commander deck with a six-mana creature in charge, chances are there will be plenty of four-drops already.
  • Rating: 6

72. 

  • Name: Dreadhound   >> summary
  • Set: Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
  • Additional Type: Dog
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Typical uncommon curve-topper for contemporary Limited. The body is large, but unevasive. The additional effects, in this case linked to a self-milling strategy, have some value, but not a lot. The incidental loss of life proved somewhat effective in Midnight Hunt Limited, but it would be overcosted in Constructed.
  • Tribal Evaluation: This is the second Demon Dog in the game, after Hollowborn Barghest. Nothing else of note about it, from either tribe's point of view.
  • Rating: 3

73. 

  • Name: Enemy of Enlightenment   >> summary
  • Set: Theros Beyond Death
  • Additional Type: Enchantment
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: A 5/5 flyer with an additional ability is the expected kind of stats for a six-mana Demon. Enemy of Enlightenment doesn't reach that size very often, since it requires an opponent with no cards in hand. In fact, it even dies if an opponent replenish their hand too much, and it's pretty much entirely unplayable in multiplayer. The extra ability is a symmetrical discard in our upkeep, which is meant to counterbalance the body loss, but we should also be prepared to suffer ourselves, adding more issues to the design. It's no wonder this guy wasn't even a good uncommon pick in Limited.
  • Tribal Evaluation: We have to be ruthless with Demons of this cost. So we're gonna say a big no to Enemy of Enlightenment. The name kinda says it all already.
  • Rating: 2

74. 

  • Name: Extractor Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Conflux, Archenemy, Commander, Commander 2015, Modern Masters 2017
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: Extractor Demon deserves a modicum of respect for the combos that its second ability enables, like the infinite milling achieved through a pair of Sharuums infinitely killing and reviving each other. If that's not our plan, then it's just a 5/5 flyer, more consistently than Enemy of Enlightenment, but still unexciting. The temporary recursion provided by unearth is a nice little bonus, but it's there mostly to allow it to combo off from the graveyard. It's a discount and a safeguard that still make it competitive over alternatives like Selhoff Occultist.
  • Tribal Evaluation: If we dedicate our Demon deck to an infinite mill combo, Extractor will be a piece of the machine. Otherwise, we'd better look elsewhere.
  • Rating: 5

75. 

  • Name: Feaster of Fools   >> summary
  • Set: Modern Horizons
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 6
  • General Evaluation: This guy can be cheap and big if we let it devour the "fools" that helped convoke it. It's great flavor, but going wide only to ultimately put all our eggs in one demonic basket doesn't seem particularly wise.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Not too many fools in your typical Demon list.
  • Rating: 4

76. 

  • Name: Goremand   >> summary
  • Set: Core Set 2021
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: Goremand (which is a pretty terrible pun on "gourmand") is a slightly smaller yet more expensive Demon of Catastrophes, with just an edict effect to make up for it. By the time we cast a six-mana creature, odds are forcing a sacrifice won't be especially game-winning. And we had to sacrifice something ourselves to begin with, so it's not even real card advantage.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Once again, not good enough to make the cut in the six-mana slot of a Demon build.
  • Rating: 4

77.  

  • Name: Gyruda, Doom of Depths   >> summary
  • Set: Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths (also with alternate "Godzilla" reskin)
  • Additional Type: Legendary, Kraken
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: The demonic Kraken Gyruda is one of the controversial companions from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. Its deckbuilding clause works towards fulfilling its obsession for even mana values (that's something hard to translate into flavor; what sets an even-costed creature apart from an odd-costed one?). The ETB trigger is very powerful even when not abused, giving us a 6/6 and another creature for the six mana of the casting cost. But of course things start getting crazy when we keep flickering or copying Gyruda. Even during its time in Standard, milling our entire library (to engineer an eventual win via Thassa's Oracle) wasn't an inconceivable prospect, thanks to enablers like Charming Prince, Thassa, Deep-Dwelling, and Spark Double. Plus, of course, we can still hit more Gyrudas.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It's not too easy to build a Demon deck that satisfies Gyruda's clause, but it's not too hard, either. The four-drop and six-drop Demons have a few heavy-hitters among their ranks, and Giselbrand himself is even-costed. No in-tribe flickerers, unfortunately.
  • Commander Evaluation: A Gyruda Commander deck is kind of a gimmick build, but it's a fun, Timmy/Tammy one.
  • Rating: 7

78. 

  • Name: Harvester of Souls   >> summary
  • Sets: Avacyn Restored, Duel Decks: Blessed vs. Cursed, Conspiracy: Take the Crown, Archenemy: Nicol Bolas, Jumpstart
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: In most situations, large bodies with deathtouch essentially play as vanilla. This particular essentially-vanilla 5/5 deathtouch comes with a secondary ability that draw cards, so there's that. It's less effective that its mirrored counterpart Soul of the Harvest, twice as expensive as Midnight Reaper and infinitely less versatile than Liliana, Dreadhorde General. Unlike these, it reacts to the death of the opponent's creatures as well, but it ignores tokens entirely. Most importantly, it's a six-drop that doesn't do a very good job at impacting the board right away. And that's not a six-drop we want to play.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Still, card draw is what any deck wants to have access to in one form or another, and a Demon deck makes no exception in this regard, with a couple of built-in mass removal effects to capitalize on. Although Bloodgift Demon probably remains the better option, being cheaper and equipped with a keyword that's much more useful at pressuring the opponent's life total.
  • Rating: 6

79. 

  • Name: Hellcarver Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Rise of the Eldrazi
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Hellcarver Demon was clearly conceived as a "challenge" card, in a Johnny/Jenny way. But somewhere through the design process something must have been lost, because ultimately what this guy does, more often than not, is making us lose the game. If we count the resources we need to put a six-mana creature on the board, and then we try to average what one can find off six random draws (potential library manipulation notwithstanding), it doesn't really add up. We'll probably end up with at least two lands, which we can't even drop, and maybe even a removal spell without a proper target. So we're looking at two or three free spells and that's just not enough to compensate for the loss of everything else, including our hand. Of course, Timmy/Tammy will beg Johnny/Jenny to find a way to make it work (this excellent post does a pretty exhaustive job at it, considering a Modern environment, which is probably the most fitting). After all, we might occasionally be able to drop an Eldrazi titan or two off a Hellcarver, provided the deck was built with that goal in mind. Statistically, though, our Hellcarver deck is bound to just spectacularly explode in our face.
  • Tribal Evaluation: A Demon deck is filled with the right kind of pay offs for the Hellcarver to find. Resolving the ability might even result in two or three large Demons suddenly showing up at once. One still has to really love this particular brand of craziness before attempting it.
  • Rating: 3

80.   

  • Name: Kothophed, Soul Hoarder   >> summary
  • Sets: Magic Origins (also with alternate "Liliana" prerelease promo art), Secret Lair
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: The printing of Kothophed marked the second time we met one of the four Demons Liliana made a deal with, three years after Avacyn Restored introduced us to Griselbrand. All four of them draw cards, but Kotophed is the least effective at that job, having to wait for the opponents' stuff to hit the graveyard, which means it won't even work with exile. Granted, any fetchland triggers it, and a board sweep may result in a massive amount of cards being drawn (mandatorily, which may sometimes be a concern). But it's actually worse than Harvester of Souls in that regard, and the body is only marginally better, and still the least impactful among the four Lili customers.
  • Tribal Evaluation: He's functional, but doesn't seem like the first six-mana Demon one would think to include in a Demon build.
  • Commander Evaluation: The drawing effect will be more frequently triggered and potentially crazier in Commander, an environment where we're also better equipped to endure the associated loss of life. So including Kothophed within the 99 cards of a Commander deck doesn't seem too absurd. For a place at the helm, chances are slimmer.
  • Rating: 6

81. 

  • Name: Kyoki, Sanity's Eclipse   >> summary
  • Set: Betrayers of Kamigawa
  • Additional Types: Legendary Spirit
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: It's a black Craw Wurm. Played in the right kind of tribal deck (that is, not a Demon deck), it'll become slightly more useful than a Craw Wurm.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Of course Kyoki only makes sense as part of a Spirit build. In there, it might cause some mayhem if dropped early and followed up with a lot of cheap Spirits – we might be able to keep the opponent's hand empty from that point on, though it clearly has diminishing returns in the late game. And it's still a damn Craw Wurm.
  • Commander Evaluation: It might have a modicum of potential as a disruptive commander. Its ability exiles, which prevents the recursion effects most Commander decks are chock-full of. And the shelf life for it to be relevant is longer at a multiplayer table. It involves building a monoblack Spirit deck, though. It might not be everyone's jam.
  • Rating: 3

82. 

  • Name: Lord of the Forsaken   >> summary
  • Set: Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: The idea with Lord of the Forsaken is that, for one black mana and a creature, we fill our graveyard with resources we can cast from the graveyard by spending life instead of mana – including, ideally, the creature we've just sacrificed, if the deck was built correctly. The second ability is obviously more efficient than the first, and both have issues, starting from the fact that the mana generated is exclusively colorless. Still, it's not a terrible skillset, and it establishes once more than for six mana, being a 6/6 frampler is the standard we should expect from our Demons.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Technically, Lord of the Forsaken works in a reanimator build, by giving us both more targets and maybe a discout for Unburial Rites. Problem is, it's still an expensive creature we should have to reanimate in the first place. And at that point, we would just go for Griselbrand.
  • Rating: 6

83.  

  • Name: Malfegor   >> summary
  • Sets: Conflux, Commander, Iconic Masters
  • Additional Types: Legendary Dragon 
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Let's face it, the fabled demonic Dragon Malfegor is a kind of a dumb card. He occasionally delivers, and may find some worthy application, but as far as mass removals go, if we're already asked to invest six mana into the endeavor, we shouldn't also be forced to discard our entire hand. Even if we look at it as a discard outlet with extra value, we might find there are less demanding ones, and especially cheaper.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It's an early member of the Multicolored Demons League. Not exactly the most brilliant member, but we might put up with his quirk and enjoy his occasional success in clearing the opponent side of the board without costing us too many key cards. On the other hand, Dragons openly mock him to his face.
  • Commander Evaluation: A Malfegor Commander deck is not sight unseen, and might be effective under the right conditions. His "each opponent" wording is crucial in achieving the goal of not being utterly terrible. As is the fact that we can recur it again and again from the command zone, sweeping more critters once the board, and our hand, got refilled.
  • Rating: 5

84. 

  • Name: Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis   >> summary
  • Set: Magic 2013
  • Additional Type: Legendary  
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: Nefarox's sacrifice trigger is reminiscent of fellow Grixis heavy-hitter Thraximundar's but the two don't really compare. Most crucially, the successor of Malfegor at the head of the Grixis shard doesn't have haste, which completely removes the element of surprise and gives the opponent plenty of time to prepare for his attack. He also doesn't grow bigger after each instance of sacrifice. On the bright side, he's evasive, can exalt his comrades in arms, his mana value is smaller and requires only one color (despite its title would suggest otherwise). It takes one turn for Nefarox to start repaying his cost, which is never a good thing in competitive Magic, but he may pay off eventually.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Nefarox's priority level when picking a six-mana Demon deck is not the highest, but not the lowest. The Legendary status discourage duplicates, but that's not really an issue, since we wouldn't want to run a full set anyway.
  • Commander Evaluation: Good stuff monoblack decks call for a good stuff monoblack commander, and Nefarox is, on average, just that. Though he requires a good amount of ramp, where cheaper commanders would dispense from devoting too many slots to it.
  • Rating: 7

85. 

  • Name: Ob Nixilis, Unshackled   >> summary
  • Set: Magic 2015
  • Additional Type: Legendary  
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: The Ob Nixilis planeswalker from Commander 2014 depicts our antihero at the beginning of his dark tale, back when he was still a human warlord. Then his planeswalker spark ignited, and he started to deal with demons. Eventually, he himself turned into one (via the Chain Veil), then was stripped of his spark and wings and imprisoned by Nahiri. That's the "Fallen" version of him we originally saw on his Zendikar card. Before the events of Battle from Zendikar block would ultimately reignite his planeswalker spark and set him free, Jace had already unwillingly caused Ob Nixilis to regain his demonic powers and regrow his wings, which resulted in this Unshackled creature version. Due to such complicated back story, the first three Ob Nixilis cards are vastly different from one another. This one is the most underwhelming of the three (maybe because it came up in a core set), despite being the one where he regained his full powers. Stats-wise, it's little more than a trampling Sengir Vampire that costs one extra mana. On the other hand, the search-hosing ability can be powerful, but it won't always be relevant. Granted, it makes fetchlands virtually unusable, but only in the late game, when it's less punishing. That's why this Ob Nixilis was never actually taken into consideration as a weapon against traditional Modern lists like Creatures Toolbox and Tron. On top of being too slow to really matter, he's not very resilient, nor very effective as a finisher.
  • Tribal Evaluation: He can be a brief consideration in a Demon deck, but he'll probably lose the slot to something more hard-hitting.
  • Commander Evaluation: Commander is a format where tutoring is often key to the proceedings at every stage of the game, so Ob Nixilis, Unshackled warrants at least one full grade higher when played in the format. Tough probably not as a commander, still.
  • Rating: 5

86. 

  • Name: Oni of Wild Places   >> summary
  • Sets: Saviors of Kamigawa, Commander, Duel Decks: Speed vs. Cunning
  • Additional Type: Spirit
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 11
  • General Evaluation: There's a whole set of interactions to exploit off a recursion of this kind, and red creatures with good ETB effects abound in any format. Yet, spending six mana to access such an effect (which is in itself a mana sink) might be a bit much, even while getting a nice six-powered hasty beater in the process.
  • Tribal Evaluation: When this Oni was printed, it was one of only two non-black Demons in existence (now there's a couple more). It sure doesn't give much credit to the category (especially considering who the other one was at the time). But at least it's easily splashable, and take good advantage of the "paincast" mechanic from Rakdos, Lord of Riots. As a Spirit, its recursion (which could happily include itself, thanks to haste) might be used to enable Kamigawa's "casting Spirits matter".
  • Rating: 5

87. 

  • Name: Rakdos the Defiler   >> summary
  • Sets: Dissension, Guild Kit: Rakdos
  • Additional Type: Legendary  
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 13
  • General Evaluation: The original Rakdos incarnation from our very first visit to Ravnica was meant to convey an idea of sheer power. Here's a huge frampler whose penchant for slaughter comes as easy as breathing. Too bad he slaughters our troops first. And only level the field with the opponent when he actually connects, which might not even happen. And if that's the case, then we end up having committed six mana and half our permanents (rounded up!) just to trade for one of our opponent's removals. Congratulations, Rakdos. Wonder why your guild was defeated at the time.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Of course, a Demon deck is the one place where the Defiler might thrive, since the non-Demon clause allows us to keep something un-defiled on our side of the battlefield. The double red requirement makes it an unlikely choice all the same.
  • Commander Evaluation: Demon tribal in Commander is kind of hard to pull off, but not impossible. If we try, we still probably wouldn't put this Rakdos at the helm, even if he's capable of provoking insane board statuses.
  • Rating: 4

88. 

  • Name: Rakdos, the Showstopper   >> summary
  • Set: Ravnica Allegiance
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: This incarnation of Rakdos, leading to his key role in the upcoming War of the Spark, more clearly linked the big guy to the "circus of horrors" flair of his cult (apparently he's the kind of flamboyant Demon who really likes killer clowns). It's also a reminder that Rakdos will slaughter left and right without caring too much who exactly he's slaughtering – unless it's one of his demonic minions, which somehow now also include Imps, even if only two of them were ever printed with a Rakdos watermark (Demon's Jester and Chaos Imps. Ravnica Allegiance only featured one, Carrion Imp, which has no watermark but is clearly Golgari-affiliated). The result is a large six-drop Demon with the canonical "6/6 frampler" stats and an ETB that might work in our favor or against us – and might even do nothing at all.
  • Tribal Evaluation: In a Demon deck, the Showstopper's destructive trigger is at its situational best. He still doesn't guarantee killing anything, though. Rakdos is one moody rascal.
  • Commander Evaluation: Wanna cause random mayhem on a multiplayer table, where "random" might also mean "no mayhem at all"? Then Rakdos is your crazy ringmaster of choice.
  • Rating: 5

89.  

  • Name: Rakshasa Debaser   >> summary
  • Set: Commander Legends
  • Additional Type: Cat
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: This Rakshasa has an extremely powerful attack trigger that just reanimates one target creature per attack, no questions asked. As a 6/6, it's even comparatively safe to attack more than once without being killed by blockers. One issue is that it needs good targets in the opponent's graveyard, but that's the job of the rest of the deck. The real issue is that some opponent won't just run anything that's worth the effort, so the ability will be a waste of a six-mana finisher. In multiplayer, encore is a pretty nasty supercharged unearth. By the time we have eight mana, every player at the table is bound to have valuable dead to contribute to the Debaser's revival cause.
  • Tribal Evaluation: In a tribal environment, targets will be plentiful. If anything, we might lack the tools to get them in position and then let the Debaser to do its trick. It's also a bit win-more, to be fair.
  • Rating: 6

90. 

  • Name: Reaper from the Abyss   >> summary
  • Sets: Innistrad, Commander 2014
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: The Reaper swings for six in the air and kills one creature each turn, like fellow six-drop Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis. Unlike the latter, the killing must be triggered, but the end result is targeted, thus more effective. It's also an end-step check, so it's possible for the Reaper to impact the board right away. Every turn it survives, we get the chance to essentially duplicate one spot removal for free. It's good tactical value.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Solid option for this point on the curve. Especially since, in a Demon deck, its mandatory morbid trigger will never backfire on us.
  • Rating: 7

91.  

  • Name: Sire of Insanity   >> summary
  • Sets: Dragon's Maze, Secret Lair
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: The Sire has certainly the advertised insanity angle down pat. But it's actually more lucid than we might think. We need to accelerate into it, becausing the symmetrical ability is time-sensitive, it only delivers on its disruptive promise if it manages to hit the opponent before they deployed their hand. If it does, and our deck is prepared to play from the graveyard, then it's a game-changer. From that point on, everything both players will draw has to be played right away or discarded, which is especially great against countermagic and situational cards. On the other hand, if the plan is to reanimate the Sire, we might get the same effect, and more, by going with Jin-Gitaxias instead.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Reanimator Demon builds can learn to love the insanity. But even those might love Griselbrand even more, including the fact that he puts a little more than a Craw Wurm vanilla body on the battlefield. It looks like there's always someone that has Sire of Insanity beaten. It must be maddening.
  • Rating: 6

92. 

  • Name: Soulflayer   >> summary
  • Sets: Fate Reforged, Commander 2020
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: We may try and engineer a Soulflayer with a bunch of powerful keywords, making it cost only double back in the process, but it'll still be a 4/4 in the end. Plus, what exactly would be the plan here, to throw away good stuff in order to make this one guy happier? Even just as a 4/4 vanilla that delves for two (but hardly on turn two), iit doesn't look like something we'd be too eager to play.
  • Tribal Evaluation: In a Demon deck we're more likely to scavenge a few juicy abilities from Soulflayer's fallen comrades. But it's still a no.
  • Rating: 4

93. 

  • Name: Sower of Discord   >> summary
  • Set: Commander 2018
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Unless we care for lowering our life total alongside the opponent's to enable something like Scourge of the Skyclaves, this is strictly a multiplayer card. It does a good job at making you an ally of the fourth player at a four-person table, though it's probably never long for the world, as it gets an immediate target on its back from two different sources.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Not a very likely candidate for a spot in one-on-one Tribal Wars. It doesn't even have trample, missing on the baseline for the 6/6 six-drop flying Demons.
  • Rating: 5

94. 

  • Name: Stronghold Overseer   >> summary
  • Set: Time Spiral
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: If all we ask of our six-drop is to guarantee connection turn after turn, well, Stronghold Overseer can be pumped and has both shadow and flying – which is completely overkill: the only case both keywords could be relevant at once, aside from facing another Overseer, is by stumbling into the incredibly obscure Phyrexian Splicer. There's also a little bit of damage prevention, since the pumping makes all the non-shadow creatures weaker, but it's very beside the point. If the Overseer sticks around, it makes for a pretty fast clock, but not in a particularly more efficient way than Shivan Dragon.
  • Tribal Evaluation: You really don't want a six-mana Demon deprived of any real tactical value. And it's way too expensive to be played in a shadow deck, like Dauthi (triple black doesn't even make it a considerarion with Soltari).
  • Rating: 4

95. 

  • Name: Xathrid Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Magic 2010, Commander 2014
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 14
  • General Evaluation: Slightly improved Lord of the Pit. We still have to sacrifice "or else" (facing an even worse clause, since Xathrid Demon taps itself when we fail to satisfy its hunger), and we still lack a clean way out when things start getting dire. But at least we get something extra out of the deal; sort of a secondary, Fling-like win condition.
  • Tribal Evaluation: We could curve-top a Demon deck with this guy, and then quickly close the game by flinging (or whatever it is that Xathrid Demon does with its sacrificial offers to turn them into damage) a couple of other high-powered Demons. We could, but we probably won't.
  • Rating: 4

96.  

  • Name: Yawgmoth Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Antiquities, Ninth Edition
  • Mana Value: 6
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: It took only six months to get the very first variant of the original Lord of the Pit. There were going to be a bunch of other Demons designed along those same lines, until they finally learned that this blueprint, as evocative as it is, is almost entirely unplayable. Yawgmoth Demon is cheaper than its predecessor but has worse stats and a more annoying yet less punishing failing clause. In keeping with the flavor of Antiquities, its diet consists exclusively of artifacts. In modern Magic, it doesn't take much to put together a bunch of artifacts that make for good sacrificial fodder, a la Ichor Wellspring. But it's also easy to find better ways to pay them off.
  • Tribal Evaluation: There are no artifact Demons, to date. If they were, they would be probably expensive creatures we wouldn't want to sacrifice to this outdated pet of Yawgmoth.
  • Rating:  3


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97.    

  • Name: Abhorrent Overlord   >> summary
  • Set: Theros (also with alternate prerelease promo)
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Devotion to black feels particularly flavorful for a large Demon. Using it to enable the creation of a Harpy entourage for this proud Overlord is seriously cute (the two tribes ha never been associated before, and maybe Devil or Imp would make more sense in general, but Harpy is still okay for Theros). This said, we're paying seven mana for a 6/6 that soon begins killing its own tokens, so we can guess something went missing in the leap from flavorful to mechanically sound.
  • Tribal Evaluation: At the end of the day, it's still a darned Lord of the Pit.
  • Rating: 4

98.   

  • Name: Archdemon of Unx   >> summary
  • Set: Shards of Alara
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Yet another attempt at finding a meaningful way to tackle the Lord of the Pit concept. The flavor here is pretty neat: the Archdemon turns its sacrifices into undead servants (one would expect, say, a zombified Wurm to be a bit bigger than a 2/2, but fine). If we fail to have an offering of non-Zombie fodder at hand, nothing bad really happens – except, in an absurdist turn of events, the Archdemon takes its own life, leaving one last Zombie behind as memento. Is all of this worth seven mana? Not really, even with a body that's on par with expectations from a big demonic fiend.
  • Tribal Evaluation: No, we don't want to kill our other Demons to turn them into 2/2 vanilla dudes. But thank you for the offer.
  • Rating: 3

99. 

  • Name: Archfiend of Sorrows   >> summary
  • Set: Modern Horizons 2
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: Of all ETB effects a big Demon could cause, one-sided Infest is far from the least useful. But even with unearth allowing a second round of small-creature sweeping, the comparison with Massacre Wurm is too harsh for Archfiend of Sorrows not to feel embarrassed.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Seven mana for a four-powered flyer. Not the demonic deal we want to make.
  • Rating: 4

100. 

  • Name: Archfiend of Spite   >> summary
  • Set: Commander 2019
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: This went so close to be a Demon's take on Phyrexian Obliterator. But the choice of just paying life mostly means the opponent will have to surrender six life when they trade for our Archfiend in combat or target it with damage-based removal, as extremely unlikely as the second scenario will be. Madness option makes it a bit better, since casting a 6/6 flyer for five mana is slightly above the curve, if not particularly game-winning.
  • Tribal Evaluation: There's only one other Demon with madness, Shadowgrange Archfiend. Also not exactly a winner. What is with the arch- prefix being used for Demons that are far from being the best at what they do? Did they give that title to themselves?
  • Rating: 5

101. 

  • Name: Demon of Loathing   >> summary
  • Set: Theros Beyond Death (Theme Booster exclusive)
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 14
  • General Evaluation: This was a Theme Booster exclusive rare, meaning it wasn't part of Theros Beyond Death Limited. These extras are usually Timmy/Tammy designs, for some reason. Demon of Loathing is big and rewards connection with an edict effect, which is possibly win-more when you're dealing seven per swing.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It's not a terrible curve-topper, but it's a terminal case of "dies to removal".
  • Rating: 6

102.  

  • Name: Dreadfeast Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Innistrad: Crimson Vow
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Dreadfeast Demon terrorized Crimson Vow Limited. In that kind of format, resolving it results in an unwinnable scenario where a self-replicating army of 6/6 flyers just take over the game in a couple turns. Removal must be ready and there's only a narrow window to use it, something the Dreadfeast player can easily play around. In Constructed, it's much less effective. For one thing, it needs a board with several creatures, so it's not a good topdeck after a sweeper, and it's not the right finisher for control decks.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It's singularly bad at working with other Demons. Either we rely on the usual little Faeries, or we'd better look elsewhere to find our curve-topper.
  • Rating: 6

103.   

  • Name: Eater of Hope   >> summary
  • Sets: Born of the Gods, Commander 2015, Midnight Hunt Commander
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: The Eater sure does justice to its name. But it doesn't only consume hope; it's more interested in gulping down our creatures, for value. One serving and the Eater will survive destruction, which is something it needs due to its subpar toughness. Double serving and it'll kill something. Trading two expendables for one crucial target could even be a reasonable deal, but the mana activation makes it awkward.
  • Tribal Evaluation: The Eater is not outright terrible, its clock in the air is decent, and it comes with a built-in survival skill, but its abilities are too resource-intensive to matter.
  • Rating: 5

104.  

  • Name: Havoc Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Legions, Eternal Masters
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: There's some merit in a creature that sweeps the board on its way out. It's a type of effect that used to appear more frequently in the past, with cards like False Prophet or Child of Alara. Havoc Demon costs a bit too much to be reliably hardcast, and the threat it provides before blowing up is just barely decent. On top of that, the sweeping is conditional, even if powerful enough to effectively clear most board states, and requires a sacrifice outlet to be exploited in the first place – although, after a point, the opponent will be forced to pull the trigger, but they'll be free to play around that as long as possible if we can't force the issue in some way.
  • Tribal Evaluation: In a Demon deck, it's likely for the havoc to leave survivors on your side (unfortunately, Abyssal Persecutor is going to be one of those), while at the same time we'll have some enablers to sacrifice this guy to in order to trigger the effect.
  • Rating: 6

105. 

  • Name: Herald of Anguish   >> summary
  • Set: Aether Revolt
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: Herald of Anguish is, first and foremost, an improvise card. In the right deck, which is a deck filled with artifacts, it can drop for as cheap as two black mana. In average, we can expect it to be a five-drop 5/5 flyer that attacks the opponent's hand right away, and can later turn the small artifacts that helped cast it into Disfigure. It's a build-around of sort, but gives a pretty good payoff.
  • Tribal Evaluation: We probably won't be able to cram enough enablers into a Demon build, though.
  • Rating: 7

106. 

  • Name: Hollowborn Barghest   >> summary
  • Set: Shadowmoor
  • Additional Type: Hound
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 13
  • General Evaluation: A big demonic hound that for some reason looks like a giant rat, and punishes our opponents if we or them or both are out of fuel. It's an improved The Rack on a stick, except the stick costs seven mana, which is in a nutshell the problem with most of the Demons in this category: they might do cool things, but when you have to invest so much mana for it, cool isn't enough. The Barghest's body is also awfully vanilla, to boot.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Demon decks might well take the hand disruption route, if usually only in support of the main battle plan. Dogs, on the other hand, really don't, and they certainly don't care for a seven-drop.
  • Rating: 3

107. 

  • Name: Lady Orca   >> summary
  • Set: Legends
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 11
  • General Evaluation: Revisiting the creatures from Legends is always deeply embarrassing. Case in point, Lady Orca. The designers of the time somehow thought that adding one point of power to an already weak card like Craw Wurm justified a higher casting cost, two different colors, and the legendary rule. They seemed to think that being gold and legendary was an extra value rather than a hindrance, despite the fact that nothing in the set had any mechanical link whatsoever to either multicolored or legendaries. We can just stare at these cards with the same morbid fascination we feel for car crashes.
  • Tribal Evaluation: And she also has a stupid name and bad art, to boot.
  • Commander Evaluation: No comment.
  • Rating: 0

108.   

  • Name: Lord of the Pit   >> summary
  • Sets: Limited Edition Alpha, Limited Edition Beta, Unlimited Edition, Revised Edition, Fourth Edition, Fifth Edition, Tenth Edition, Duel Decks: Divine vs. Demonic
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 14
  • General Evaluation: Here's the main man, good old Lord of the Pit himself. The emphasis is more on "old" than on "good" here. It's not that the first Demon ever printed didn't age well – it was never a thing to begin with. It's an already too expensive creature that keeps asking for more resources or will hurt us badly. On one hand, it's the kind of card that tells a whole story: we made a dark pact to summon a big, bad Demon, but we have to keep providing him with fresh victims or he'll turn against us. On the other hand, this story doesn't translate into a competitive prospect at any level. Regardless, the Lord of Pit is so iconic that they kept reprinting him over the years, while also trying to update his mechanical core, to little success. At least the various pieces of artwork that have appeared on his cards have always been terrific.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Nostalgia factor aside, a Demon deck is possibly the worst place to relive the (never existed) grandeur of the Lord of the Pit, given that sacrificing other big, expensive guys isn't really helping in making the whole experience any better. We could try and devote all the supporting slots to token generation, and build a deck entirely filled with sacrifice-asking Demons: the Pit of the Lords.
  • Rating: 4

109. 

  • Name: Lord of the Void   >> summary
  • Set: Gatecrash
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 14
  • General Evaluation: The First Rule of Fatties says: have your mana-intensive fattie be hard to kill. The Second Rule says: should the First Rule fail, make it at least impact the board immediately and permanently. Lord of the Void doesn't satisfy either of those rules, but its clock is fast, and if it lives long enough to connect, it'll potentially strengthen our board position. We can do worse with expensive Demons. For one thing, Lord of the Void is not threatening to make us lose the game, at least!
  • Tribal Evaluation: Far from being indispensable in a Demon deck, even one that can ramp into it or cheat it into play. It's fun, though. Like an overcharged Thief of Sanity.
  • Rating: 6

110. 

  • Name: Minion of Leshrac   >> summary
  • Set: Ice Age
  • Additional Type: Minion
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: Of all the sets from ancient, pre-Mirage times, Ice Age is arguably the one with a better grasp on creature mechanics. Of course, as far as Demons went, it still had to have its own Lord of the Pit variant. But with Minion of Leshrac (and, to a lesser extent, its fellow Minion of Tevesh Szat), the design seemed to understand that if we have to put up with such a demanding upkeep cost, we better get some serious advantage in exchange, rather than just a chance to damage the opponent in combat. For instance, just tapping to destroy a creature or a land, which is still a powerful effect nowadays. Plus, protection from black is always relevenat and it's not common to see on a black creature – this was, in fact, the very first instance of it. It's still only barely playable, but not by a long shot.
  • Tribal Evaluation: As often reiterated in these entries, everything that asks for upkeep sacrifices is a pain to accommodate in Demon decks, and at the very least forces us to work something like Bitterblossom into the list. At the time of the Grand Creature Type Update, it was decided to give this Demon the additional Minion subtype, strictly in virtue of its name (which establishes it as a lackey of the feasome Nightwalker). Minion decks might be more welcoming to it, since they include little guys with ETB effects that we couldn't mind to sacrifice, like Bone Shredder, and even valuable death triggers, like Body Snatcher's .
  • Rating: 5

111. 

  • Name: Minion of Tevesh Szat   >> summary
  • Set: Ice Age
  • Additional Type: Minion
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: This is, for all intents and purposes, a lesser version of Minion of Leshrac (which doesn't reflect well on Tevesh Szat personally). The body is smaller with no keyworded abilities; the upkeep cost is less demanding and involves a lighter penalty if we fail to pay it; and the killing power is severely reduced, although it could double as a power boost. All reasonable changes, but then one might wonder why he's still a seven-drop printed at the same rarity. The mysteries of ancient design.
  • Tribal Evaluation: If we're after that indefinite Ice Age feel (which in these cases also means hideous art), both for our Demon list or our Minion brew, we should just try and enable the superior Minion of Leshrac.
  • Rating: 3

112. 

  • Name: Mold Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Legends
  • Additional Type: Fungus
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Mold Demon isn't available online. That means the MTGO experience lacks the chance to sacrifice two Swamps in order to get a 6/6 vanilla for seven. Tragedy.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Did you ever hear of a guy named Grinning Demon? Did you ever wonder why he's grinning? It's because of this card. Oh, and let's not forget it's a Fungus too, somehow (some misguided attempt at referencing Fungi from Yuggoth, perhaps). There has to be a whole crowd of grinning Fungi somewhere.
  • Rating: 0

113.  

  • Name: Overseer of the Damned   >> summary
  • Sets: Commander 2014, Archenemy: Nicol Bolas, Commander 2019, Midnight Hunt Commander
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: This is more like what we would expect to get from our high-end Demon: elective unconditional killing plus token generation. The body could have been larger, and the Zombies could have come untapped, but it's still a solid flyer that's able to provide a steady flow of tokens and an abusable ETB trigger.
  • Tribal Evaluation: If our Legacy Demon deck has some way to drop big stuff onto the battlefield, this one has a chance to be included among the curve-toppers. Then again, Shadowborn Demon gives us most of the same impact for two mana less.
  • Rating: 7

114. 

  • Name: Pit Spawn   >> summary
  • Set: Exodus
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: We should call ourselves lucky Magic stopped trying to push the whole upkeep cost business. Pit Spawn is unuquestionably a good fighter, capable of killing anything it faces in combat by first-striking while brandishing a sort of super-deathtouch. But it doesn't do anything else, and it doesn't just die to removal, it's also neutered by chump-blockers. It would be closer to playable if it didn't asks for seven mana upfront, then two extra in infinite installments to be paid every turn. No wonder it never saw much play.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Nothing really bad comes from including this guy in our Demon deck. But nothing really good, either. So, why bother?
  • Rating: 4

115. 

  • Name: Rune-Scarred Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Magic 2012, Iconic Masters, Mystery Booster
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Here's a seven-drop Demon that doesn't try to get cute with a weirdly unbalanced body or alternative combat keywords, and instead sticks to the proven strength of a 6/6 flyer, while giving us a free Demonic Tutor in the process. And that's an actual, honest-to-Satan Demonic Tutor – the real deal, not some make-do like Burning-Rune Demon's derivative ability. And every format Rune-Scarred Demon is playable in has some chance to recur the ETB effect, which is one of those we definitely want to find the way to abuse.
  • Tribal Evaluation: If our Demon deck ramps at all, chances are it'll ramp into this guy. If it reanimates, it'll reanimate this guy. Well, and Griselbrand, of course.
  • Rating: 9

116. 

  • Name: Shadowgrange Archfiend   >> summary
  • Set: Crimson Vow Commander
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: The idea with Shadowgrance Archfiend is to play it for its madness cost of three mana and eight life, and then get some life back from the edict effect. But what if our opponents have no creature to sacrifice? Or no creature with high power at all in their decks? Admittedly, that's a scenario that's harder to envision on a multiplayer table, for which this Demon was designed. But if we're talking one-on-one, is an early vanilla 8/4 always worth that much life? Well, it might, if we're aggressive enough.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It definitely beats fellow madness payoff Archfiend of Spite. Not by an insane amount, but at least in a tribal setting, the sacrifice will always be relevant, and occasionally the greatest power on the opponent's side will be an actually great value.
  • Rating: 6

117. 

  • Name: Silent-Blade Oni   >> summary
  • Sets: Planechase 2012, Commander 2018
  • Additional Type: Ninja
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 11
  • General Evaluation: Being a Demon Ninja (!), this Kamigawa oni is supposed to be played for seven mana only in a pinch. Otherwise, it will work his ninjutsu devilry for six mana, which is still a lot, but we get a 6/5 and a free spell from the opponent's hand (which adds incidental disruption and information gathering to the proceedings). It's potentially very punishing, but a bit of a situational deal, especially since, by the time we will be able to perform the trick, the opponent might well be already out of cards. And once ninjutsu wears off, Silent-Blade Oni's vanilla nature won't help stealing more stuff. Not the smoothest card in the world, but still mostly cool.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It asks for a heavy dose of a secondary color in which Demons are surprisingly under-represented. On the other hand, blue and black are the Ninja colors, though Silent-Blade feels too cumbersome compared to the tribe's average ninjutsu cost.
  • Rating: 6

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118. 

  • Name: Archfiend of Despair   >> summary
  • Set: Battlebond
  • Mana Value: 8
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Clearly we don't need to pay eight mana in order to stop our opponents from gaining life (most of those effects, when in the form of permanents, cost around three). But this Archfiend is just adding that clause to better reinforce its job of being a game-closer. It basically doubles the damage we inflict every turn – it deals 12 in the air on its own – but the fact that it checks for the extra damage in the end step means we can perform an alpha strike that only get us halfway there, and then cast the Archfiend second main to almost immediately seal the deal before the opponent was aware of the danger.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Despite its huge mana investment and lack of tactical flexibility, it's actually a consideration at the top-end. Not very good for reanimation purposes, though, since in that case the opponent will see it coming and can play around it.
  • Rating: 6

119.   

  • Name: Griselbrand   >> summary
  • Sets: Avacyn Restored, Grand Prix 2015 Promo, Modern Masters 2017, Secret Lair
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 8
  • Body: 14
  • General Evaluation: It's very rare for a new card to go and impact each and every eternal format at once, including Vintage and Legacy. Griselbrand did it (we can see why Liliana wanted to deal with him and Avacyn wanted to get rid of him at all costs). The moment Griselbrand first made his appearance, every reanimator deck in the game immediately pointed its tools at him (that's true of black ramp decks too, if less common). Here's how it works. Once we put Gris-Gris on the battlefield, we automatically get seven fresh cards. If we feel very confident, we can even draw fourteen, among which there will be more reanimation spells as well as our next reanimation targets to be discarded at end of turn to hand size. The accumulated advantage at this point is very hard to recover. And Griselbrand is not even a cruel master, as he'll give back the life we offered him – he just needs to survive long enough to attack once. He's just indescribably powerful that way.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Not all Demon decks are properly equipped to handle Griselbrand in the right way. But they probably should.
  • Commander Evaluation: Banned. Another proof of his might.
  • Rating: 10

120. 

  • Name: Infernal Denizen   >> summary
  • Set: Ice Age
  • Mana Value: 8
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: The gothic novel that is that rule text basically explains that this is a repeatable Rubinia Soulsinger. But in order to pay for its services, we have to sacrifice two Swamps per turn, or else Infernal Denizen will do everything in its power to make us lose the game. A complete waste of Drew Tucker art.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Luckily, the Denizen was never released online, so the temptation to run this relic of the Ice Age in an actual deck is reduced to near zero.
  • Rating: 1

121. 

  • Name: Liege of the Pit   >> summary
  • Set: Time Spiral
  • Mana Value: 8
  • Body: 14
  • General Evaluation: Look, a Lord of the Pit variant! From this century! In Liege of the Pit's defense, Time Spiral was all about referencing the past. And the constant reworking of this blueprint never really stopped, anyway. This one is basically a functional reprint of the original with the addition of morph, which means, if we're in monoblack, we can have it on the battlefield as early as turn four. That makes it almost a decent card, if paired with a reliable token generator a la (you guessed it) Bitterblossom. After all, a 7/7 frampler with virtual haste makes for a threatening clock.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Probably the best shot at a playable Lord of the Pit. At least if we're into nostalgia, but not to the point that we're willing to auto-lose the game.
  • Rating: 6

122. 

  • Name: Pestilence Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Rise of the Eldrazi, Commander 2014, Duel Decks: Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis
  • Mana Value: 8
  • Body: 13
  • General Evaluation: These are the highest-costing Demons. They need to be really impressive to justifty their cost. Pestilence Demon gives us a huge evasive body plus the namesake ability, which both affects the board and has the potential to end the game on its own. Pestilence is a neat effect to have on a stick, especially paired with enough toughness to survive most activations, albeit the high casting cost prevents us from fully exploiting it from the get-go. Even if we're reanimating our plague fiend, it remains as good as the amount of black mana we sink into it, which also strongly pushes us towards monoblack. Definitely not Griselbrand, but respectable in its own right. If it sticks around even just one extra turn, the game will end quickly.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It's strictly a reanimation target. It could work as one-of to follow up Griselbrand, maybe tutored up by Rune-Scarred Demon.
  • Rating: 8

123.  

  • Name: Prince of Thralls   >> summary
  • Set: Shards of Alara
  • Mana Value: 8
  • Body: 14
  • General Evaluation: Prince of Thralls has the kind of ability that at first reads as very powerful, but upon closer examination, we actually realize it doesn't play the way a Timmy/Tammy would like. First of all, in order to get the process started, we either have to pay the gigantic three-colored cost of the Prince, or commit resources to reanimate him or cheat him into play (and using his Demon's Herald devotee is an option inherently restricted to kitchen tables). Once online, our Prince will just wait for the opponent to move a permanent they control into the graveyard (it can also be one they stole from us, by the way), and will tax them for three life apiece. This is admittedly strong against fetchlands, and the 7/7 body, as vanilla as it is, still asks to be chumped, even if that could just mean we end up with a collection of mana dorks and other expendables. Furthermore, a deck built around the Prince is just a control deck with lots of spot removals, and that kind of shell would rather run a finisher that's resilient and evasive, than one that for all intents and purposes has afflict 3.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Prince of Thralls is the most expensive multicolored Demon to date. As such, and given his somewhat underwhelming nature, he doesn't feel at home even in a Grixis-colored Demon tribal deck.
  • Rating: 5

124.  

  • Name: Razaketh, the Foulblooded   >> summary
  • Sets: Hour of Devastation, Secret Lair
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 8
  • Body: 16
  • General Evaluation: Razaketh is arguably the most powerful of the four Demons Liliana had made a deal with, and this status is reflected in his cost and abilities. His body is the largest of the group, and just like Griselbrand (who's still the most playable in Constructed), Razaketh is able to activate a game-changer ability multiple times per turn without using any mana resources. If we have enough sacrificial fodder around, and a few life to spare, this Amonkhet fiend could single-handedly assemble into our hand any combo we want, at instant speed. Then, if he survives, he'll probably just kill the opponent in a couple swings anyway.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Of course sacrificial fodder isn't cheap to come by, and especially in a Demon deck. And let's just leave those poor Faeries alone for once!
  • Commander Evaluation: He's a bit too cumbersome to work well as a commander, but he could be a key to combo lists.
  • Rating: 6

125. 

  • Name: Reiver Demon   >> summary
  • Sets: Mirrodin, Duel Decks: Divine vs. Demonic, Commander
  • Mana Value: 8
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Reiver Demon does to the battlefield what an eight-drop giant monster should always do: wreak it almost entirely. The hardcast-only clause makes its use pretty straightforward. No reanimation, no cheat-into-play shenanigans; we ramp to eight, we sweep the board, sparing only black and artifact creatures – an old-fashioned Terror clause that's easy to build around. Once the dust settles, we'll have a 6/6 flyer in any case, and that might be good enough. It used to be a staple in slower formats like Commander, but it's since fallen out of favor.
  • Tribal Evaluation: One reason more not to play nonblack Demons.
  • Rating: 7

126. 

  • Name: Tombstalker   >> summary
  • Sets: Future Sight, Modern Masters
  • Mana Value: 8
  • Body: 10
  • General Evaluation: It goes without saying that Tombstalker never really costs eight mana. Even in a non-dedicated deck, it should be easy enough to reduce its cost by half in a few turns. A 5/5 flyer that potentially drops for two is nothing to sneeze at, even if you need a dedicated dredge list to make the most of its delve. But in those decks, Tombstalker has been very popular for a while.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Not assuring an early presence, Tombstalker doesn't actually help the flow of a Demon deck too much. It's still a consideration, though, as a late-game play that we don't have to tap out for.
  • Rating: 7

127. 

  • Name: Vilis, Broker of Blood   >> summary
  • Set: Core Set 2020
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 8
  • Body: 16
  • General Evaluation: We know nothing about Vilis's back story, but for being a random core set Demon, he was sure given an outstanding package of abilities. It loses the contest with other heavy-hitters like Griselbrand and Razaketh, because his activation costs mana. But on the plus side, it doubles as removal, while also drawing two cards per each black mana spent, which is just nuts, but it even feels like nothing compared to the supermassive card draw triggered by loss of life, which is completely over the top. One way or the other, the Broker of Blood will draw us an absurd amount of cards. It's very hard to lose a game where an active Vilis sticks around for a few turns. If the card advantage isn't enough, he also provides a very fast clock in the air, same as Razaketh.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Strictly a reanimation target, but one of the good ones.
  • Commander Evaluation: Just like Razaketh, he's way too expensive to recur from the command zone, but has to be dealt with on sight or will probably take over any table.
  • Rating: 6

128. 

  • Name: Demon of Death's Gate   >> summary
  • Set: Magic 2011
  • Mana Value: 9
  • Body: 18
  • General Evaluation: Similarly to Tombstalker, Demon of Death's Gate is not designed to be paid its written cost of nine – exorbitant, despite the stats being impressive enough; its actually the largest Demon body in the game, tied with Kuro, Pitlord, but with way more oomph. A triple sacrifice isn't a light demand, either, and all three creatures need to be black, but there are combo ways to achieve that early one (for instance, Buried Alive for a trio of Bloodghast) before a land drop). The main problem is that Demon of Death's Gate has no tactival value whatsoever, it's just fast clock that needs to be dealt with, but that's not particularly hard to do for the opponent. And we just paid six life for it, so it's like grafting that damage onto the opponent's removal spell.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Usual refrain, Demons don't make for good sacrifice fodder. So getting this big guy out there, like for so many of its brethren, is a strategy we have to commit to, with dubious results.
  • Rating: 5

129. 

  • Name: Kuro, Pitlord   >> summary
  • Sets: Champions of Kamigawa, Duel Decks: Divine vs. Demonic
  • Additional Types: Legendary Spirit
  • Mana Value: 9
  • Body: 18
  • General Evaluation: Kuro is accompanied by a particularly demanding version of one of those outdated upkeep costs, but his body is just vanilla, if big. However, he has an intriguing, unique way of exchanging life for what's potentially a form of mass removal. By distributing highly lethal -1/-1 counters, he provides a killing effect that requires no mana and works at instant speed. Life can be strategically managed, to the point that we might want to temporarily reanimate Kuro to perform a targeted hit, and then let him go back down to the graveyard by refusing to pay the upkeep cost during the next upkeep.
  • Tribal Evaluation: He has a similar role to Pestilence Demon, as both make us lose life in exchange for removal. Kuro's ability is more surgical; Pestilence's, on the other hand, hits the opponent as well, and the Demon itself is a more effective presence on the board that doesn't require an upkeep cost. This makes Kuro more fitting only in a Recurring Nightmare deck (within either a Demon or, even better, a Spirit shell), where we just call on him whenever his specific brand of removal is needed, then exchange him back with something else, without having to invest additional mana to activate his effect.
  • Commander Evaluation: He's monstrously expensive, but he's sure able to exploit the extra life total of a Commander game.
  • Rating: 7

130.  

  • Name: Necropolis Fiend   >> summary
  • Sets: Khans of Tarkir, Fate Reforged Clash Packs
  • Mana Value: 9
  • Body: 9
  • General Evaluation: This is a Tombstalker that traded one point of power for a removal ability. It's not a bad deal, but there's a chance we might still like Tombstalker's faster clock and smaller mana cost better. If we're playing a dedicated dredge deck, we'll be hardly interested in some clunky activated ability that doesn't speed up our win in any way. Otherwise, the ability won't kill anything substantial after delving away so many cards.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Delve Demons with this, Tombstalker and Rakshasa Vizier? Eh, probably not.
  • Rating: 5

131.    

  • Name: Spirit of the Night   >> summary
  • Set: Mirage
  • Additional Types: Legendary Spirit
  • Mana Value: 9
  • Body: 11
  • General Evaluation: There was a time when Spirit of the Night was arguably the best creature in the game. When Brian Selden won the World Championship back in 1998 with his legendary Rec/Sur, he ran Spirit of the Night as his main finisher. Until Akroma, Angel of Wrath was printed six years later, improving on the concept of the "super-attacker" (more of those will follow over the years, including more Akromas), there was nothing as explosive as this fearsome Spirit. Nowadays it feels a bit overcosted, but it can still work as a reanimation or cheat-into-play target. Plus, Cliff Nielsen's artwork four the whole group of "Night" cards, the Breathstealers, which includes the three Nighstalkers that could summon the Spirit, might be one of the greatest artistic accomplishments in Magic history.
  • Tribal Evaluation: It's not a must-play anymore in a Demon reanimator list. But it might be in the rare Nightstalker build, given that summoning Spirit of the Night directly onto the battlefield is all that one quarter of the tribe does (possibly because the subtype was essentially discontinued in 2000).
  • Commander Evaluation: If we pick Spirit of the Night as our monoblack commander, we won't really get any strategic value out of it, but we'll be the coolest guy at the table.
  • Rating: 6

132. 

  • Name: Dread Cacodemon   >> summary
  • Set: Commander
  • Mana Value: 10
  • Body: 16
  • General Evaluation: The most expensive Demon to date. The one-sided wrath effect on ETB is certainly powerful, but it requires hardcasting. Deploy the Cacodemon in any other way, and it'll just be a big vanilla dork. Also, we won't be allowed to alpha-strike right away after clearing the field, since all our other creatures will be tapped. Hard to fathom why we should run Cacodemon over a cheaper spell like Plague Wind, which potentially wins us the game on the spoit. Commander, the format for which it was printed, occasionally wants it for redundancy purposes.
  • Tribal Evaluation: Even if we plan of using high ramp like Cabal Coffers to power a Cacodemon out, Demons have more efficient ways to attack the opponent's board position.
  • Rating: 4

THE FUNNY DEMONS

   

 Demons have been iconic in Magic even before the term was conceptualized to specifically indicate the defining "fattie" of each color. So it's not surprising to find them parodied in the first two Un-sets. This said, Ron Spencer's idea of a humorous, flying Demon Beast is... a giant rat? Or allegedly giant, even, since there's no real frame of reference in the art, the trees are far in the background. Artwork aside, the quirkiness of the first Infernal Spawn of Evil from Unglued seems questionable (showing the opponent we have a nine-drop in hand is supposed to intimidate them?), while its follow-up from Unhinged is almost exactly the same thing, but with a slightly bigger trampling body. Which doesn't even make a ton of sense since it's the juvenile stage of the former creature, but maybe that's the joke. Also, the fake "errata" on the first card appearss to replace Demon with Beast, while the second card goes the opposite way, for some reason.

 Many years later, Mystery Booster used the subtype for one of the "test cards", Witty Demon. It's the prototype for the "starting size of the deck matters" mechanic, which we would later see in regular cards like Yorion, Sky Nomad . The mechanical reference of the ability is to a vastly undercosted Rune-Scarred Demon (and, in turn, the classic concept of Demonic Tutor). The flavor elements related to the name of the card and the art showing a Demon performing what presumably is stand-up comedy are a bit undercooked.

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THE BACKFACE DEMONS

 

  • Name: Withengar Unbound   >> summary
  • Sets: Dark Ascension, From the Vault: Transform
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 7
  • Body: 26
  • General Evaluation: Daemogoth Titan might own the largest body ever printed on a Demon card, but it's not the biggest Demon in the game – the mighty Withengar is. The Innistrad Demon who slayed Saint Traft is huge, has mad skills, and takes particular pleasure in seeing people die in multiplayer. The only problem: Withengar has been trapped inside a sword. A very puny sword that only grants +1/+0 to those who brandish it, and yet it takes seven mana to be summoned. Of course, for that amount, we're buying the chance to awake Withengar, but the process isn't the easiest. Admittedly, it only requires us to ramp into seven colorless mana – which, to be fair, is just worth one Urza triplet – and to have an evasive carrier available. Birds of Paradise will do. Equipping the sword is only one mana, and after it connects, Withengar arrives. It's of course terribly casual, but the main issue might be that all of this business doesn't clearly call for any specific type of deck (certainly not UrzaTron), and it isn't linked to any tribal build. It's just something one might try once for the kicks of seeing the biggest and scariest of Demons in action.
  • Rating: 5

 

  • Name: Ormendahl, Profane Prince   >> summary
  • Set: Shadows over Innistrad
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 0
  • Body: 16
  • General Evaluation: The greatest thing about Ormendahl is that he doesn't require any opportunity cost in deckbuilding. We just have to include one or more copies of a land that has no downsides except for producing colorless mana. In fact, the ability to create 1/1 tokens is useful even if we're not planning to sacrifice them to Griselbrand's cousin anytime soon. But ultimately, maybe we'll get to summon the Big Guy himself, and experience his ridiculous assortment of powers, which is very likely to cause a 18-life swing the very turn he showed up. In other words, it's a self-contained endgame we didn't even have to set up in advance.
  • Rating: 8

 

  • Name: Awoken Demon   >> summary
  • Set: Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
  • Mana Value: 1
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: Ecstatic Awakener was a very solid common in Midnight Hunt Limited. This Ormendahl cultist is an unassuming 1/1 that gives us a turn-three play in which we turn another expendable dork into a fresh card while upgrading the Awakener itself into a 4/4. The numbers are not efficient enough for Constructed, but it was a decent mid-pack pick in draft.
  • Rating: 6

 

  • Name: Inherited Fiend   >> summary
  • Set: Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
  • Mana Value: 2
  • Body: 8
  • General Evaluation: It's amazing how rich the vein of horror tropes is for Innistrad sets to explore. Midnight Hunt was our sixth visit to the plane, and the haunted mirror story still hadn't been covered. See, there's a Demon trapped behind that old mirror, and he wants to get out (the flavor text of the back makes it sound somewhat ominous, but actually the liberated fiend just starts fighting at our command). The ritual to turn the Heirloom into a 4/4 flyer involves spending one mana and one life three times ("Speak my name thrice"), at the rate of once per turn, unless we find a way to untap it in between activations. During this process, we also get to do a grand tour of simple card movements: discard, draw, mill. In the end, we'll have offered a grand total of five mana and three life to the mirror-Demon, which isn't a particularly cheap price for a creature of that size, and the ability to grow its body isn't very aggressively costed either. But it's just an uncommon for Limited, and extremely flavorful design at that.
  • Rating: 5

  

  • Name: Ormendahl, the Corrupter   >> summary
  • Set: Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
  • Additional Type: Legendary
  • Mana Value: 3
  • Body: 12
  • General Evaluation: Jerren was a bishop of Sigarda, but he secretly worshiped Griselbrand. When the latter was killed by Liliana, the cult of Ormendahl became Jerren's new fandom. The unholy Cleric acts as a sort of lord for Humans, replacing them when they die and, most importantly, granting them lifelink on demand. The reason that's important is because Jerren needs us to have exactly 13 life at some point, so he can ascend into a vessel for good ole Ormendahl. Whose body has been shrinked quite a bit since last time we summoned him, and he's not even indestructible anymore. There's also the fact that we're paying six extra mana to make him show up, which is a bummer considering all the extra steps. On the bright side, new Ormendahl is able to turn fodder into cards, for no mana cost. And Jerren is versatile enough while he's still his Human self, and places seven points of body on the battlefield right away, which is something.
  • Rating: 7

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 Demonic History (first appearances only)

  • Core sets: 14 (Alpha: 2, M10: 1, M11: 1, M12: 1, M13: 1, M14: 1, M15: 2, Magic Origins: 1, M19: 1, M20: 2, M21: 1)
  • Starter sets: 1 (Arena New Player Experience: 1)
  • Commander products: 7 (Commander: 1, Commander 2014: 2, Commander 2018: 1, Commander 2019: 1, Commander Legends: 1, Crimson Vow Commander: 1),
  • Special sets: 8 (Planechase 2012: 1, Conspiracy: Take the Crown: 1, Battlebond: 2, Modern Horizons: 1, Modern Horizons 2: 1, Jumpstart: Historic Horizons: 1, Alchemy: 1)
  • Ancient sets: 5 (Antiquities: 1, Legends: 4)
  • Ice Age block: 3 (Ice Age: 3)
  • Mirage block: 1 (Mirage: 1)
  • Tempest block: 1 (Exodus: 1)
  • Urza block: 0
  • Masques block: 0
  • Invasion block: 0
  • Odyssey block: 0
  • Onslaught block: 2 (Onslaught: 1, Legions: 1)
  • Mirrodin block: 1 (Mirrodin: 1)
  • Kamigawa block: 11 (Champions: 5, Betrayers: 3, Saviors: 3)
  • Ravnica block: 2 (Ravnica: 1, Dissension: 1)
  • Time Spiral block: 3 (Time Spiral: 2, Future Sight: 1)
  • Lorwyn/Shadowmoor block: 1 (Shadowmoor: 1)
  • Alara block: 6 (Shards of Alara: 2, Conflux: 2, Alara Reborn: 2)
  • Zendikar block: 5 (Zendikar: 2, Worldwake: 1, Rise of the Eldrazi: 2)
  • Scars of Mirrodin block: 1 (Scars of Mirrodin: 1)
  • Innistrad block: 10 (Innistrad: 2, Dark Ascension: 1, Avacyn Restored: 7)
  • Return to Ravnica block: 5 (Return to Ravnica: 2, Gatecrash: 1, Dragon's Maze: 2)
  • Theros block: 4 (Theros: 1, Born of the Gods: 2, Journey into Nyx: 1)
  • Khans of Tarkir block: 7 (Khans of Tarkir: 4, Fate Reforged: 2, Dragons of Tarkir: 1)
  • Battle for Zendikar block: 0
  • Shadows over Innistrad block: 1 (Shadows over Innistrad: 1)
  • Kaladesh block: 2 (Kaladesh: 1, Aether Revolt: 1)
  • Amonkhet block: 6 (Amonkhet: 3, Hour of Devastation: 3)
  • "Pre-War" pseudo-block: 1 (Dominaria: 1)
  • "Ravnica at War" psedo-block: 4 (Guilds of Ravnica: 1, Ravnica Allegiance: 3)
  • "Post-War" pseudo-block: 4 (Theros Beyond Death: 3, Ikoria: 1)
  • The MDFCs pseudo-block: 10 (Zendikar Rising: 2, Kaldheim: 6, Strixhaven: 2)
  • D&D sets: 1 (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms: 1)
  • The TDFCs pseudo-block: 5 (Innistrad: Midnight Hunt: 2, Innistrad: Crimson Vow: 1, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty: 2)

 Conclusions: Demons were banished for a long time in Magic, allegedly due to the "Satanic panic" of the late Nineties. As a result, four consecutive blocks, from Urza to Odyssey, featured no Demons at all. During the entire pre-Modern era (i.e. before Mirrodin and 8th Edition), only 14 Demon cards existed. The great relaunch of the Demon subtype happened with Kamigawa, thanks to the Oni concept being able to better distance itself from any Western religious idea. After that, Demons, including the more Biblical ones, were able to come back and usually have a major role to play in Innistrad sets. Kamigawa still remains the most demonic block to date, but Avacyn Restored is the set with the single larget concentration of the creature type, followed by Kaldheim.

 Demonic Colors

  • White: 1 (of which 1 Mardu)
  • Blue: 6 (of which 3 Dimir, 2 Grixis, 1 Sultai)
  • Black: 128 (of which 107 mono, 11 Rakdos, 3 Dimir, 3 Golgari, 2 Grixis, 1 Sultai, 1 Mardu)
  • Red: 18 (of which 4 mono, 11 Rakdos, 2 Grixis, 1 Mardu)
  • Green: 4 (of which 3 Golgari, 1 Sultai)
  • Colorless: 0

 Conclusions: Similarly to Angels, Demons mostly come in their primary color, with only four of them, the monored ones, not featuring black at all. Khans of Tarkir introduced white and green Demons as part of its enemy-colored wedges. Unlike Angels, Demons have never appeared as colorless creatures.

 Demonic Additional Types

  • Legendary: 29
  • Spirit: 12
  • Berserker: 4
  • Cat: 4
  • Enchantment: 4
  • Cleric: 2
  • Crocodile: 2
  • Dog: 2
  • Minion: 2
  • Dragon: 1
  • Elder: 1
  • Fungus: 1
  • Illusion: 1
  • Kraken: 1
  • Nightmare: 1
  • Ninja: 1
  • Rogue: 1
  • Scorpion: 1
  • Zombie: 1

 Conclusions: Demons don't share a lot of other types, except for Spirit, due to the Kamigawa's Oni being positioned halfway through the two concepts. Khans of Tarkir introduced the Rakshasa as demonic Cats while Kaldheim had the inhabitants of the Immersturm as Berserkers. The tribe is also characterized by a high presence of the legendary supertype, with more than one Demon out of five (21.9%) being legendary.

 Demonic Keywords (or so)

  • Flying: 74
  • Trample: 23
  • Deathtouch: 6
  • First strike: 4
  • Lifelink: 4 (of which 1 activated)
  • Delve: 3
  • Haste: 3 (of which 1 activated)
  • Fear/Intimidate: 2
  • Madness: 2
  • Morph: 2
  • Protection from black: 2
  • Regeneration: 2
  • Spectacle: 2
  • Undying: 2
  • Unearth: 2
  • Afflict: 1
  • Bestow: 1
  • Boast: 1
  • Companion: 1
  • Convoke: 1
  • Cycling: 1
  • Delirium: 1
  • Devour: 1
  • Encore: 1
  • Exalted: 1
  • Exploit: 1
  • Firebreathing: 1
  • Improvise: 1
  • Kicker: 1
  • Menace: 1
  • Ninjutsu: 1
  • Reconfigure: 1
  • Scry: 1
  • Shadow: 1
  • Surveil: 1
  • Swampwalk: 1
  • Vigilance: 1 (activated)

 Conclusions: More than half (56%) of the Demons are capable of flying. They don't have many more recurring keyworded abilities, except for trample on the bigger ones. Noteworthy is the fact that 26 of them require an upkeep cost, the same amount of those that ask for some manner of sacrifice.

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 The Demonic Commanders (click on any of them to go to its review)

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 Latest Additions (click on any of them to go to its review)

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SUMMARY
(click on any of them to go to its review)

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Abhorrent Overlord, Abyssal Persecutor, Ammit Eternal, Apocalypse Demon, Archdemon of Paliano, Archdemon of Unx, Archfiend of Depravity, Archfiend of Despair, Archfiend of Ifnir, Archfiend of Sorrows, Archfiend of Spite, Baleful Ammit, Blade of the Oni, Bloodgift Demon, Burning-Rune Demon, Butcher of the Horde, Carnifex Demon, Daemogoth Titan, Daemogoth Woe-Eater, Defiler of Souls, Demon of Catastrophes, Demon of Dark Schemes, Demon of Death's Gate, Demon of Loathing, Demon of Wailing Agonies, Demonic Hordes, Demonic Taskmaster, Demonlord Belzenlok, Demonlord of Ashmouth, Desecration Demon, Doom Whisperer, Dread Cacodemon, Dreadfeast Demon, Dreadhound, Dream Devourer, Eater of Hope, Embodiment of Agonies, Enemy of Enlightenment, Extractor Demon, Feaster of Fools, Frenzied Raider, Goremand, Grinning Demon, Griselbrand, Gutmorn, Pactbound Servant, Gutwrencher Oni, Gyruda, Doom of Depths, Halo Hunter, Harvester of Souls, Havoc Demon, Hellcarver Demon, Herald of Anguish, Herald of Torment, Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos, Hollowborn Barghest, Illusory Demon, Immersturm Raider, Indulgent Tormentor, Infernal Denizen, Kagemaro, First to Suffer, Kardur, Doomscourge, Kothophed, Soul Hoarder, Krav, the Unredeemed, Kuro, Pitlord, Kyoki, Sanity's Eclipse, Lady Orca, Liege of the Pit, Lord of the Forsaken, Lord of the Pit, Lord of the Void, Malfegor, Manor Guardian, Master of Cruelties, Master of the Feast, Mindwrack Demon, Minion of Leshrac, Minion of Tevesh Szat, Mold Demon, Necropolis Fiend, Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis, Nightmare Shepherd, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Ob Nixilis, Unshackled, Oni of Wild Places, Orcus, Prince of Undeath, Overseer of the Damned, Painwracker Oni, Pestilence Demon, Pit Spawn, Prince of Thralls, Rafter Demon, Rakdos the Defiler, Rakdos, Lord of Riots, Rakdos, the Showstopper, Rakshasa Deathdealer, Rakshasa Debaser, Rakshasa Gravecaller, Rakshasa Vizier, Ravenous Demon, Razaketh, the Foulblooded, Razorjaw Oni, Reaper from the Abyss, Reiver Demon, Renegade Demon, Rune-Scarred Demon, Scourge of the Skyclaves, Scourge of Numai, Seizan, Perverter of Truth, Shadowborn Demon, Shadowgrange Archfiend, Shimatsu the Bloodcloaked, Silent-Blade Oni, Sire of Insanity, Sol'kanar the Swamp King, Soulcage Fiend, Soulflayer, Soulhunter Rakshasa, Soulstinger, Sower of Discord, Spawn of Mayhem, Spirit of the Night, Stronghold Overseer, Taborax, Hope's Demise, The Wretched, Tombstalker, Treacherous Pit-Dweller, Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire, Vilis, Broker of Blood, Woebringer Demon, Xathrid Demon, Yawgmoth Demon, Yukora, the Prisoner

28 Comments

I love the work you put into by AJ_Impy at Tue, 10/16/2012 - 14:36
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I love the work you put into these, bravo! One of my favourite tribes, and whilst I disagree with your assessments in places (All of the cheap but big demons are minigames: Yukora is essentially a drawbackless one if you treat him like Demonic Taskmaster, and enables some fun shenanigans if you can donate him in response to removal.)

Yeah, you're right, I feel by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 10/16/2012 - 17:06
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Yeah, you're right, I feel like I especially gave Yukora the short shrift, all things considered. Demons in average are more consistent than Angels, where you can find a lot of very crappy ones. And they hardly ever printed Demons as filler (possibly just Renegade Demon), even the unplayable ones were conceived to be big threats, in theory.

What should I do next in the series? I need a tribe with a good number of members but not an overwhelming ones, so possibly in the range between 50 and 150. And with some variance, and perhaps a definite pop-culture feel. I was thinking Vampire or Zombie, but they would be mostly black again, so not good for the next installment (beside the fact that I'll do planeswalkers next, but that's a different thing). Dragons, maybe? I'd like to cover the five colors with a strongly representative tribe.

Also, I'm going to update these articles each time new members are printed. So expect soon a reworked Angelpedia with the new big bad, Angel of Serenity.

Elves often see the short end by Paul Leicht at Tue, 10/16/2012 - 21:03
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Elves often see the short end of the stick from me and AJ because they are so "Easy" but it could be nice to see a treatise on how to play them for the advanced player (no combo elves, or aggro elves but stuff like Deranged Hermit and Coiled Oracle for example.)

I also recommend doing one for perhaps Goblins too (combo and aggro aside).

Birds have a huge amount (the largest in the animal kingdom?) And have some very interesting tribal helpers too.

Giants are probably too easy so Id skip them except that there are some interesting sleepers. Dragons are generally well known and accepted as one of the more powerful tribes out there BUT they could be a good one to examine more closely.

Vampires are Blue/Red + Black. But Zombies are in all 5 colors. Both though are probably too easy. Maybe more generally you could cover the undead and go through each class of undead (Wraith, Vampire, Ghoul, Zombie, Skeleton, etal)

Yeah, after I wrote my by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 10/17/2012 - 09:39
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Yeah, after I wrote my previous comment, it stroke me that Goblins (and therefore Elves) might be interesting, to show what else is there besides the 9-10 everyone uses. Still, they're approaching 250 members, that's a big body of work.

Reading the other comments (and thanks to everyone for your kind words!), I think Dragon is going to be next. They kinda do the same thing over and over again, but I think there will be a good share of stinkers to mock, and that might be fun. And Sphinx+Wurm might well close the first round.

Bird is really interesting. The Undead group was something I thought of, but I would have to find the right structure.

Wurm would seem to be a good by Psychobabble at Tue, 10/16/2012 - 17:34
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Wurm would seem to be a good candidate for an archetypical green tribe with about the right population. Blue seems tougher, the archetypal "big blue" creatures - leviathan, sphinx, djinn - don't really have big tribes, though I guess sphinx could work. Drake is probably closer to the right population level but seems a little boring maybe?

Great read! by Wikki at Tue, 10/16/2012 - 19:58
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Great read!

Very fun and interesting by Drbenwayy at Tue, 10/16/2012 - 22:26
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Very fun and interesting article!

If you're looking for by blandestk at Tue, 10/16/2012 - 22:42
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If you're looking for pop-culture feel, dragons would definitely be a good candidate.

I concur on Dragons: Together by AJ_Impy at Wed, 10/17/2012 - 04:35
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I concur on Dragons: Together with Angels and Demons they make the triad of the big iconic creature types. Maybe round out the series with Wurm and Sphinx to hit on all five, perhaps touching on the problems of each slot (Green had wurms as too common for iconic status, blue couldn't decide on a big iconic until the first Ravnica)

Dragons won the poll, then. by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 10/17/2012 - 09:42
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Dragons won the poll, then. And so does the "five fattie for five colors" cycle you suggest and I sort of had already in mind.

Thanks again to all for appreciating my anal-retentiveness at work!

A note on Rakdos by BlippyTheSlug at Wed, 10/17/2012 - 14:35
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The card text on Rakdos, Lord of Riots is tricky. "This turn" refers to *ONLY* the turn on which he's cast. So if your opponent lost 2 life on the turn you cast Rakdos (this turn), future creature spells will cost 2 less.

Surely that's not right. by Psychobabble at Wed, 10/17/2012 - 17:27
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Surely that's not right. There's no link between the two parts of the card (the enter the battlefield and the cost reduction clauses). "this turn" would read like all other "this turns" in the game as applying to the turn when you are referring to that text. It would work on the turn that he comes in to play by looking at the life lost on that turn, but it would work on subsequent turns by looking at the life lost on the new turn. Nothing in mtg requires you to have memory like this, that would be an extraordinarily weird way of playing the card.

You are (or seem to me) by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 10/17/2012 - 17:44
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You are (or seem to me) absolutely right. To work like Blippy said, the card would say something like "Put a number of paincast counters on Rakdos equal to the life an opponent lost the turn you cast it. Creature spells you cast cost 1 less to cast for each paincast counter."

If it currently works on MTGO the way Blippy said (and it might), it's a bug.

I'm only going by what MTGO by BlippyTheSlug at Thu, 10/18/2012 - 01:49
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I'm only going by what MTGO told me after hit opponent's face for 6, then tried to cast a Wurmcoil, and had to pay 4. I was expecting to pay 0. I had the mana anyway, and would have hardcast it had Rakdos been removed.

After that happened, I read the card again, and it made sense only if "this turn" referred to the casting turn. Which, grammatically, it can.

But not by text rules by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 10/18/2012 - 13:43
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But not by text rules wording.
I suspected you were speaking from personal experience. It's a bug, needs to be reported and fixed.

And now (Oct 30 announcement) by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 11/03/2012 - 08:04
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And now (Oct 30 announcement) it has been fixed:

Fixed: Rakdos, Lord of Riots's casting restriction now correctly checks to see if opponents of the caster have taken damage this turn.

Fixed: Rakdos, Lord of Riots's ability to reduce the cost of creature spells you cast now correctly checks for life loss of opponents of his current controller.

Excellent article! I by Leviathan at Thu, 10/18/2012 - 01:17
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Excellent article! I actually tried making a Commander deck around Shimatsu and it was an awful mess. I tried using tokens for him to eat, but no evasion and/or protection meant that he had a huge target on his head whenever he came into play (and wiped out your resources). I moved on to Marton Stromgald, and enjoyed myself a lot more.

I know people have suggested dragons, which are great, but another creature type you can look at is Avatar. There's a decent amount of them, and with no real creature type cohesion you have a ton of variety. Just an idea.

Thank you!I could bet you by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 10/18/2012 - 13:57
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Thank you!

I could bet you were the one to try Shimatsu at some point. But if he fails even the Leviathan Test, he's really the most useless Demon ever (well, Lady Orca aside, but she at least doesn't do anything harmful; she just doesn't do anything). After all, he's essentially the Wood Elemental of Demons: you are asked to put ton of resources into nothing, which never looks like a good strategy.

I'm interested in your experience here: did you ever try Kyoki or Kuro? Or were you ever at a table that included Seizan?

Seizan is a commander staple by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/18/2012 - 14:46
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Seizan is a commander staple imho. It goes in certain kinds of decks and is quite effective. I think AJ, Levi and myself had a game where AJ played him in his monoblack deck. And I remember a game where Levi had him out.

Sure, but I'm talking about by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 10/18/2012 - 15:11
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Sure, but I'm talking about using him as a commander, not as one of the other 99 cards.

(That's probably something I should put with the other initial disclaimers: every Commander Evaluation uses the same premise: the card as a commander of a Commander deck; in the General Evaluations, instead, I talk about using the cards in all the constructed formats where they are legal, including, occasionally, Commander).

I haven't tried Kyoki, Kuro by Leviathan at Thu, 10/18/2012 - 18:47
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I haven't tried Kyoki, Kuro or Seizan as Commanders. However, I have played with Kuro and, as Paul pointed out, put Seizan in several decks. Unfortunately while each of these creatures has positives, there are too many negatives to really make use of them as Commanders: Kyoki needs spirits and arcane spells (not easy in mono-colored) for an effect that does nothing on the table, Kuro costs a ton of mana, and Seizan benefits your opponents before he benefits you, which is always a bummer. However, Kuro was a great supporting player in a life gain deck I did a while back (Lady Evangela, I think) as he was able to machine gun the whole table at times. Seizan is great in those Rakdos "no pain, no gain" type of decks. Plus, a lot of those Kamigawa demons just look cool. So you just gotta find the right spots for them.

I did make a demon themed deck using Sol'Kanar (who I don't think you gave enough credit as swampwalk is pretty underrated):

http://puremtgo.com/articles/conqueror-commander-vol-lxxii-solkanar-swam...

Forgot to add: Avatar will by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 10/18/2012 - 15:11
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Forgot to add: Avatar will probably be the final article of the first cycle, representing the multicolor part of the spectrum (after Angel, Sphinx, Demon, Dragon, and Wurm as the monocolor bannermen).

After all, a certain movie (and Internet forums) made the word "avatar" really popular. Although, within MTG you should aim to use them in place of something more powerful than an annoying, paraplegic marine (or some forum user with too much time on their hands).

I think for the new Rakdos, by Leviathan at Wed, 02/27/2013 - 13:30
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I think for the new Rakdos, your "General Evaluation" would fit in perfectly for the "Commander Evaluation." Rakdos is not nearly as broken as he seems, and he's pretty fragile. He has a decent target on his head so you can't depend on him being out there. I'm pretty sure that there is no way that he is under consideration for any sort of banning, as Animar does the same thing, but with two protection abilities and better colors, and people love him. That being said, there are games where you can get out a turn 5 Ulamog with him, but that's essentially the same as Bribery on the right target. But he's so swingy and you have to prepare your deck as if you might not get him in play. This is all coming from recent experience (you'll see later this week...). Anyways, nice to see the update.

You're probably right (I by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:40
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You're probably right (I still have to read your article about Rakdos), and thinking of banning was a little silly. Still Animar's acceleration is way slower (just counts the turn to get 10 free mana with it), and Bribery is based on what the given table has to offer, so you can't count on it to build a strategy on.

Xathrid Demon is my favorite by KaraZorEl at Wed, 02/27/2013 - 13:49
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Xathrid Demon is my favorite demon. I love having him about to troll around with life totals.

I'm a big fan of Elbus, I by ryanraze at Wed, 02/27/2013 - 14:43
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I'm a big fan of Elbus, I currently run him in a casual equipment deck with stoneforge. Attaching to an Ornithopter on turn 2/3 and attacking presents a huge problem in the early game.

what about shaman-o-pedia by Doomhed at Tue, 02/25/2014 - 13:07
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some of my favorite decks are my shaman deck and my mutant deck. since mutant doesn't have enough members, try shaman. there are shaman in all 5 colors.

There's almost 300 Shamans, by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 02/27/2014 - 05:26
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There's almost 300 Shamans, it would kill me. :)