I’ve been obsessing over the card Ghoulcaller’s Bell in my preparation for Grand Prix Manchester.
There are few things more irritating than starting the game by scrying a card on top, only to have it nicked off by the Bell.
How many scrys are worth a card? How many deprived scrys are worth a card? Is it worth a card to shut off scrys completely? Could a scry stabilizer be good?
And how about Ghoulcaller’s Bell with and against Courser of Kruphix? With Courser of Kruphix everybody always knows what’s coming… and if we know what’s coming we can use the Bell to make the opponent draw land after land, while we draw gas after gas.
So, Ghoulcaller’s Bell… would it be playable in Theros Block Constructed? Maybe situationally. A lot of the control decks have very little hard card advantage. They plan to win by scrying and plowing into higher card quality over a series of draw steps.
So yeah, I think Ghoulcaller’s Bell is playable, maybe as a sideboard card for control decks.
But Ghoulcaller’s Bell is not in Theros Block Constructed. Pyxis of Pandemonium is:
Pyxis of Pandemonium does more than dilute and control the opponent’s draws—it’s also the only and biggest Genesis Wave effect in the block. And it’s colorless!
Now, Pyxis of Pandemonium is a far cry from Genesis Wave. It kind of sucks in comparison. You need to have it early, can’t surprise them with it out of nowhere, and your opponent gets stuff back to.
Red Pyxis of Pandemonium Combo
Here’s my take on mono-red Pyxis of Pandemonium Combo:
When we do pull the trigger on Pyxis, Hammer of Purphoros can give all our guys immediate haste, a fresh Nykthos can give us the mana to monstrous everything, and hopefully the opponent is dead before we even have to attack.
We have a lot of big time Timmy options for this deck as well.
Imagine using Dragon Mantle on a Prophetic Flamespeaker with a Nykthos to power it. Wee!
Imagine flipping these bad guys into play.
White Black Pyxis of Pandemonium Control
I’ve been playing a lot of white control variants with black in them. White offers the best finisher in Elspeth and black offers the best spot removal in Hero’s Downfall, Gild, and Silence the Believers.
After grinding out game after game and trying to win on superior topdecks, I thought, what if I just rig my deck full of bombs?
Pyxis of Pandemonium is not a kill in this deck, but has some crazy flips: Banishing Light, Elspeth, Quarry Colossus, and Ashen Rider. Flipping up some combination of these should be enough to break the parity of the card by clearing off whatever they get back.
Green Pyxis of Pandemonium Combo
What about Pyxis with fat green cards?
Now let’s look at a build that plays SIXTY permanents:
This build plays no tapped scry lands, so it can jump out the gate with a Pyxis into a ramper. If the opponent is able to take care of our board—bam, flip the Pyxis.
Courser of Kruphix gains life off all the lands, Eidolon of Blossoms draws all the cards. Nykthos makes all the mana. Hydra Broodmaster makes all the fat. Polukranos kills all their stuff. Voyaging Satyr and Market Festival make a Cyclops of Eternal Fury.
Turn dudes sideways.
Seems awesome to me—there are no frills here. Not many mana problems, lots and lots of fat. I think this might be the way to go.
Infinite Eidolon Pyxis Combo
The most exciting use of Pyxis of Pandemonium by far is in the infinite kill shell.
Deck out both players with Pyxis and pass the turn. Boom!!
I love this strategy. It uses Pyxis of Pandemonium in so many ways.
It starts as a lowly Ghoulcaller’s Bell to dilute the opponent’s draws. We play Courser ourself, so it can sculpt our own draws. Meanwhile, Pyxis is our Genesis Wave, and our big finish as well.
Brewing with Pyxis of Pandemonium
The sky is the limit when brewing with Pyxis of Pandemonium. The card just hasn’t been used much.
Keep in mind though- Ghoulcaller’s Bell. While the effect is decent in block, it doesn’t do too much in Standard. This doesn’t mean the card shouldn’t be built around, but it is a lot of value lost.
There are builds out there though. Just imagine…
We have options.
Pyxis of Pandemonium in Manchester
Well hell. Grand Prix Manchester is almost here. I don’t know what I’m going to play.
I’m not sure what I’m gonna play. It might even be white-based control. But whatever it is, expect to see some different cards in my list than everyone else. I’m willing to handicap myself if need be.
For me, Magic tournaments are all about fun. Winning is fun for sure, but I have to figure with more than a thousand players, I can never bet on being too successful. When I do I set myself up for tilting out later.
So the game plan is to sport a brew, and do it my way win or lose. Next week I will be back with tales of flaming glory or flaming disaster. Peace!