JOU Spoiler Spotlight: Pharika, God of Affliction

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Say what you want about the playability of the gods, but the truth is most of them are cool because of their abilities, not necessarily their stats. Sure, Thassa turns into a creature pretty regularly (especially in my Modern Merfolk deck), but most of the gods are cool because of their abilities.

That is, until Pharika.

I predict we'll be seeing this thing turn sideways...
I predict we'll be seeing this thing turn sideways...

I'm not going to say the ability isn't powerful, because it is. Deathtouch snakes are really powerful, as anyone who's seen the mightily impressive Sedge Scorpion can attest. And it is super flavorful, and fits well into Green/Black.

But that ability tacked onto an enchantment isn't exactly going to be tearing up Standard anytime soon.

But one thing Pharika does have going is that it's very efficiently-costed. After all, 5/5s for three are always good, and especially so if they have some extra power added on.

So how realistic is it going to be to actually turn on Pharika in Standard? Getting five devotion on top of the god itself is no mean feat, even if the payoff is super relevant. There are several double-green or double-black cards that see play already like Herald of Torment, but it's hard to see this really fitting into those decks. Maybe the best way to use Pharika is to work a black splash into the mono-green aggro decks, something that can actually be accomplished much more easily thanks to Mana Confluence.

But still, the aggro route seems like a stretch. That means it would be a midrange or control role for Pharika, and I can actually see it possibly existing in a deck that wants Reaper of the Wilds or Vraska. I can see something like that both making good use of the second ability and also occasionally turning on Pharika thanks to random mana dorks and the like.

What do you think? Is Pharika going to make an impact in Standard?

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Corbin Hosler

Corbin Hosler is a journalist living in Norman, Oklahoma (also known as the hotbed of Magic). He started playing in Shadowmoor and chased the Pro Tour dream for a few years, culminating in a Star City Games Legacy Open finals appearance in 2011 before deciding to turn to trading and speculation full-time. He writes weekly at and biweekly for LegitMTG. He also cohosts Brainstorm Brewery, the only financial podcast on the net. He can best be reached @Chosler88 on Twitter.

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5 thoughts on “JOU Spoiler Spotlight: Pharika, God of Affliction

  1. Pharika is pretty clearly meant to have synergy with Constellation. Cast an Eidolon of Blossoms, and you can use your dead creatures as a draw engine. Cast a Doomwake Giant, and you can use them to nuke your opponent’s stuff.

    I admit to being skeptical of how effective this will be, since the engine is limited by your supply of dead stuff. Maybe in Modern? Dredge decks? I don’t know.

  2. I was hoping for something that would fit into dredge. The fact that its owner gets the token… eh, sorry but I would rather play Scavenging Ooze if I need to remove a card from opponents GY. And there are other G/B Cards that utilizes the GY better than this card. And no passive ability, she is the god of Gorgons, I admit that passive Deathtouch to all Creatures might be OP, but sureley they could find something. She is cheap to cast tho’

  3. I think Pharika is being overlooked a bit. sure the ability isnt good on the surface but if you have her out and your getting attacked by any creature deck you can instant speed make a blocker and most likely kill theirs with the most certainly works with a reanimator deck..i mean your not bringing back your elves anyways..might as well use them as trade fodder.

  4. Anyone see this pushing G/B Kibler aggro back into existance? Golgari creatures like Jarad, Lotleth, Varolz all can interact well with this. Jarad gives aggro some reach also. When playing the deck, I cant imagine you’re going to exile your graveyard too quickly.

    Also anyone think this has modern implications? GB rock can use a sturdier self scooze. generating 1/1’s has always been teh death of UWR control decks as dealing with lingering souls has been difficult for them in the past.

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