Yawgmoth, Thran Physician
– Modern Horizons
June 11, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I thought I had seen it all, but I never thought I would see the day that Yawgmoth appeared on an actual Magic card, one that you could put in a deck and cast for actual mana. As the god of Phyrexia, Yawgmoth’s power rivalled that of high-tier planeswalkers, but his earlier human form here is really just as dangerous (after all, he did cause the downfall of Dominaria’s first known empire). Note, for example, that his first activated ability doesn’t cost mana. That’s a great little upside even if you’re “only” using it to turn unneeded or about-to-die creatures into an extra card, and even better if you have some way to use it to destroy herds of smaller creatures – Sengir Autocrat springs to mind. It’s well known how powerful repeatable proliferate abilities are, and Yawgmoth’s is particularly good because of its synergy with his other ability and because it can turn any unneeded card into an activation so you’ll never be mana flooded again. It also kind of underlines how New Phyrexia was in fact an offshoot of Yawgmoth’s ideas; the fact is, though, he works in all sorts of decks, and is just as good in non-Phyrexian black decks as he is in anything involving infect or some such.
Well, this was a long time coming. Since his first reference in Antiquities, Yawgmoth (the main antagonist of the overarching Weatherlight saga) has never actually received a proper card…until now. Phyrexia’s appointed god was once a human, and this is his pre-ascended form.
And it’s actually pretty potent, truth be told! In the worst-case scenario, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician offers you a sacrifice outlet for creatures that draws you cards…not unlike a certain bargain he was known for having made at one point. It also doubles as quasi-removal, since it lets you stick -1/-1 counters on creatures. This pairs potentially well with undying creatures…if you have two of them, you might be able to create a quasi-loop that allows you to draw all of the cards. If you have life to spare, that is. The other ability is on-demand proliferate, which pairs well with all of those -1/-1 counters and also with mechanics like infect (a Phyrexian mechanic, of course).
Yawgmoth definitely seems more of a flavor hit and Commander plant than a Modern staple, but he could well see some fringe Modern play. Being able to turn creatures into removal and cards is nice, and he also has protection from Humans, which is a subtly neat bit of text that positions him well against one of Modern’s more-dominant tribal decks. For that reason, I could see him playing well in mirror matches against Humans or as a bit of tech against the formidable deck.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Visit the Magic Card of the Day Archive! Click here to read over 4,000 more MTG Cards of the Day! Daily Since 2001.