Exsanguinate: So Good It's Degenerate?

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So, most of us know how good Exsanguinate is in multiplayer by now.
My playgroup is just discovering it as a whole - I was the first to run it, and everyone else is cottoning on. One of my buddies has built an amazing Genesis Wave deck that powers out excellent mana producers and Exsanguinates for the win.
But that's the thing - it's becoming my playgroup's kill card du jour. It's the card you throw in to a multiplayer deck to finish off the whole board at once with, and it's the one you have to design against to an extent already.
So, does that make it degenerate in a multiplayer environment?
Is it as bad as Congregate?
Is it worthy of being banned in your playgroup yet?
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It was so insanely powerful that it has been pro-actively banned in a playgroup of mine once it got spoiled.

Consume Spirit is already low skill no fun win, Exsanguinate is even worse so banning it to maintain fun in the games was a no-brainer.
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
It was so insanely powerful that it has been pro-actively banned in a playgroup of mine once it got spoiled.

Consume Spirit is already low skill no fun win, Exsanguinate is even worse so banning it to maintain fun in the games was a no-brainer.


If tapping mana and playing spells is low-skill... d'uh.

What about letting your opponnent do that?

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Exsanguinate is stronger than Congregate for multiple reasons. Congregate
depends on the most fragile permanents in the game being out and will never win a game without
another card. You cannot cast 10 Congregate and win because you cast 10 Congregate.

There are few real answers to it because it cannot be misdirected. Prevention effects and counters are really the only way.

It was so insanely powerful that it has been pro-actively banned in a playgroup of mine once it got spoiled.

Consume Spirit is already low skill no fun win, Exsanguinate is even worse so banning it to maintain fun in the games was a no-brainer.


If tapping mana and playing spells is low-skill... d'uh.

What about letting your opponnent do that?



For clarification (because there is no voice intonation on a txt based forum): I know this is just my opinion and a lot of people disagree. I respect your comment and opinoin. I enjoy a good discussion and will give my arguments for my opinion. This post is intended in a peaceful and constructive tone of speaking and it isn't a personal attack or a pissing contest.

My opinion is that Consume Spirit/Life Drain is low skill because everybody can build a deck that uses Cabal Coffers, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, some tutors that black has plenty of and Expedition Map works too. Add in any or all of blacks mass removal and you have a deck. A deck that can win without too much trouble in all my meta's. A lot of people have that same deck in their possesion because it is so simple. So building the deck is low skill, it aint original and a trained monkey could do it. Exsanguinate even works in 12 post.dec taking away the restriction of the single target drains.

Then comes the playing of those cards. Any and all decks playing the drains and mass drains play out the same way: survive the early game for a bit and mid to late game you cast drain after drain killing players left and right. Few decks can protect themselves from mass drains like that. You need a True Believer, Seht's Tiger, Platinum Emperion or a counterspell. So blue and white decks should be able to handle it but that is because of Dawn Charm and Counterspell, not because of the creatures because we are talking about a black deck and black decks can kill creatures without breaking a sweat. Exsanguinate even dodges some counterspells because it doesn't target. Redirecting it also doesn't work so countering and copying it are pretty much your only outs.

Yes, every deck can play Strip Mine, Ghost Quarter, Wasteland, Tectonic Edge, Dust Bowl or any other form of land destruction but then you deny all other fun lands in your meta too. No Wirewood Lodge, no man-lands, no tri lands for color fixxing, etc, etc because every deck will simply play 2 more lands and a playset at least of land destroying lands.

So my opinoin of drain decks is: low skill, boring and degerate because it nullifies originality and forces cards to be played in pretty much every deck because every person who can play magic can build an effective drain deck and play it correctly.

So no, tapping mana and playing spells isn't low skill. Playing a drain deck is. I have beaten them many times over (thx to Dawn Charm, Hindering Light and Wild Ricochet mostly) and I will always play seriously against a drain deck. I will not shout "oh no! A drain deck" and go mental and attack it all out because I fear it will drain me come turn 6 or so but I will not play a deck like that myself because it is too easy. I am a smart person and I love playing complicated decks that are neigh impossible to play perfectly and to do that I have to tap mana and play spells.

Sidenote: yes, we also barely play any true combo decks because of pretty much the same logic.

Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
I'd like to point out that Exsanguinate does not target and does not deal damage, so it is even harder to deal with than say, a massive Consume Spirit.

We've banned it in our meta, as well.
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I don't know why people act like it's hard to win when you have 20 mana. That Genesis Wave deck can just throw in a different card or two and win just as fast and easily. The only reason why you see Exsanguinate so much is because it's cheap and available. By banning it, all that's really being accomplished is that you're forcing people to shell out money for more expensive cards that basically do the same thing. If you play decks that sit back and watch people amass 20 mana or whatever, the problem isn't other deck or the cards other people use, but yours.

I also don't see the problem if everyone is playing it. You can only really "abuse" cards if other people can't get them due to distribution or cost issues. If it's a card that everyone has and uses, it can't really break the format. It also promotes playing the metagame and maindecking cards like False Cure for the exact same reason you play it when Congregate is around. People can rarely cast a big enough Exsanguinate to kill everyone, but they can sure as Hell cast it for 5 and promptly die.

I don't think a card can be truly degenerate unless it completely shuts everyone out of the game before they can reasonably react. Limited Resources, Armageddon, Balance, decks that instantly take each opponent to 0-1 lands and essentially keeps them there. Combos that win within the first 3 turns. This is the kind of thing that decks can't reasonably react to, and would break the format.

I mean, Exsanguinte isn't that much better than Earthquake as a mass kill card. Some people will argue otherwise, but the point is that it's not hard to turn mana into damage. I've used Bond of Agony for years and years despite the fact that it's much worse than Exsanguinate, but I've always had amazing success with it. Most of my old posts have me suggesting that it's the best kill card for black, and for a long time I felt it was. Yes, the life gain is a sexy new addition, and beats life loss any day of the week, but you'd honestly be surprised at how effective Bond of Agony would be in the decks that used to play Exsanguinate.
My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
My opinion is that Consume Spirit/Life Drain is low skill because everybody can build a deck that uses Cabal Coffers, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, some tutors that black has plenty of and Expedition Map works too. Add in any or all of blacks mass removal and you have a deck. A deck that can win without too much trouble in all my meta's.

Then why don't the metas adjust to them?  A deck that takes, what, 7 turns to get 1 urborg and 2 cabal coffers?  Plus 4 other lands?  That's 15 mana, and the deck wins?  The rest of you just let him? Where're the Cancels?  Where're the Reiterates? Does no-one play Platinum Emperion?  If I was using Genesis Wave, I'd get over 10 permanents onto the field, and all I'd need to win would be a Concordant Crossroads.
D&D 4E Herald and M:tG Rules Advisor I expect posters to follow the Code of Conduct, use Basic Etiquette, and avoid Poor Logic. If you don't follow these guidelines, I consider you to be disrespectful to everyone on these forums. If you respond to me without following these guidelines, I consider it a personal attack. I grew up in a bilingual household, which means I am familiar with the difficulties in adopting a different vocabulary and grammar. That doesn't bother me. Persistent use of bad capitalization, affirming the consequent, and flaming bother me a great deal.
Rule that I would change: 204.1b
204.1b Some effects change an object’s card type, supertype, or subtype but specify that the object retains a prior card type, supertype, or subtype. In such cases, all the object’s prior card types, supertypes, and subtypes are retained. This rule applies to effects that use the phrase “in addition to its types” or that state that something is “still a [card type].” Some effects state that an object becomes an “artifact creature”; these effects also allow the object to retain all of its prior card types and subtypes.
"Eight Edition Rules Update" We eventually decided not to change this template, because players are used to “becomes an artifact creature,” and like it much better.
Players were used to Combat on the Stack, but you got rid of that because it was unintuitive. The only phrase needed is "in addition to its types"; the others are misleading and unintuitive.
I think the degenerency depends on each metagame.  To use crazysamaritan's examples, metas running Cancels and Reiterates make playing game-breaking cards dangerous, because they might backfire.

Metas light on the countermagic or those with limited card options due to budget (or other) reasons may well find Exsanguinate broken. 

In the end, it will be up to each group to outright ban or to just keep to a minimum through a gentlemen's agreement, much like how Congregate is treated.

Cheers!
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I might be a slight aberration here.  I have yet to play against Exsanguinate nor play a deck with it in it.  In addition, neither of my playgroups have a banned list, so everything's up for use (anything truly problematic is mitigated by a price-tag).

Now, I have no doubt that I will soon build decks that include Exsanguinate (I only haven't already due to focussing my efforts on assembling the cards I need for other my Phyrexian Soul Sisters and Bosh Control decks), but I don't see it as degenerate at all.  Counters of all sorts answer it, which are popular enough in my playgroup to keep it from being dominant (the same reason why I've been more than leery of casting Bonds of Agony in the past).  And, at least in my neck of the woods, you'll be dead by the time you can cast a lethal Exsanguinate if you're doing nothing but ramping and tutoring, and if you're doing other things, it's simply a deck that has it as a win condition (hopefully not the only one at that).

So, despite my lack of experience in actually playing against this card, I don't feel that it is degenerate or over-powered; good in multiplayer doesn't necessarily equate to over-powered in multiplayer and popular doesn't necessarily equate to degenerate.  The most basic answers to anything in the game still answer it (counterspells), as do a number of other (admittedly more niche) cards (such as discard, Meddling Mage cards, etc...).  Besides, you can always kill them before they can cast it for lethal.

It's a fantastic card, to be sure, but not one that I feel is worthy of being ban-worthy.
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Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

Besides, you can always kill them before they can cast it for lethal.



Thank you for this. It's something that I have been trying to champion for a long time. There is really no such thing as a casual format, your deck has to be competitive. This doesn't mean what people probably assume I'm trying to say. You do not have to play Power 9, turn 3 win decks. However, if people playing in your games win on average by turn 15, then your deck better be competitive and also be able to win by then (or sooner). If you show up with a deck that wins on turn 30, everything is going to seem overpowered and unfair because everything will crush you. You do not have to play an uber combo deck, but you have to play a deck that fields well given the opposition. If you don't stand a chance going in, then no single card is going to affect your odds of winning. It's not like because Exsanguinate is gone you suddenly stand a chance

My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, I'm just going to riff off this idea:
However, if people playing in your games win on average by turn 15, then your deck better be competitive

Here, "competitive" means able to win by turn 15 or sooner.  If you've got a 5 player metagame, and 4 of them have decks that win on turn 10, then the last player needs to build a deck that win on turn 10, not 30.  In contrast, if you've got a group where 4 have decks that win on turn 20, and one builds decks that win on turn 8, that one player is going to seem overpowered, and there are 3 responses the rest of the group can make: a) ban that player or his cards b) attack that player every chance they get c) make their own decks more consistent.

The OP suggests that A is the proper response.  On my own, I practice C.  In a group, I advise B.

One of my decks provoked a B response, which forced me to take action C, until one of the players begged for A.  Whenever I pull it out, as soon as it's recognized, the other players treat it as B.
D&D 4E Herald and M:tG Rules Advisor I expect posters to follow the Code of Conduct, use Basic Etiquette, and avoid Poor Logic. If you don't follow these guidelines, I consider you to be disrespectful to everyone on these forums. If you respond to me without following these guidelines, I consider it a personal attack. I grew up in a bilingual household, which means I am familiar with the difficulties in adopting a different vocabulary and grammar. That doesn't bother me. Persistent use of bad capitalization, affirming the consequent, and flaming bother me a great deal.
Rule that I would change: 204.1b
204.1b Some effects change an object’s card type, supertype, or subtype but specify that the object retains a prior card type, supertype, or subtype. In such cases, all the object’s prior card types, supertypes, and subtypes are retained. This rule applies to effects that use the phrase “in addition to its types” or that state that something is “still a [card type].” Some effects state that an object becomes an “artifact creature”; these effects also allow the object to retain all of its prior card types and subtypes.
"Eight Edition Rules Update" We eventually decided not to change this template, because players are used to “becomes an artifact creature,” and like it much better.
Players were used to Combat on the Stack, but you got rid of that because it was unintuitive. The only phrase needed is "in addition to its types"; the others are misleading and unintuitive.
I agree with Cathaldus, my play groups don't ban any cards. If one cards is wrecking your meta game
then adjust your decks, that part of the joy of playing a modular game.  I see lots of counter magic
everywhere I look.  I feel that banning cards shows a lack of creativity. 
STEP 1: Find your cousin STEP 2: Get your cousin in the cannon STEP: 3 Find another cousin
Actually, I should clarify my post a bit. When I say you need a competitive deck, I mean you need a competitive deck. Competition generally means 2+ teams that are more or less evenly matched. There's a reason why top sports teams don't just comprise the best of the best players and everyone gets slaughtered by the one good team. That's incredibly boring to watch and no one has fun seeing a masscre every night. There's no suspense, no thrill, no adrenaline, nothing. So, when I say bring a deck that fields well, I don't mean bring one that wins 20 turns sooner than everyone else. If people think Craw Wurm is strong, don't Tinker out Darksteel Colossus on turn 3. Everyone has a responsibiltiy to not be some sociopath that ruins the metagame by forcing everyone to become pro players. Competiton should mean that everyone has a reasonable chance. Not high, not even, but reasonable. If your deck is unreasonably strong, then that is on you to fix.
My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
There's a reason why top sports teams don't just comprise the best of the best players and everyone gets slaughtered by the one good team.

Yes; it's because no team has enough money to buy the best players.
So, when I say bring a deck that fields well, I don't mean bring one that wins 20 turns sooner than everyone else.

And if the group has access to the same cards, and you bring one that wins 20 turns sooner than everyone else, does that mean the group should ban that deck?

What's the difference between growing the metagame and ruining the metagame?
D&D 4E Herald and M:tG Rules Advisor I expect posters to follow the Code of Conduct, use Basic Etiquette, and avoid Poor Logic. If you don't follow these guidelines, I consider you to be disrespectful to everyone on these forums. If you respond to me without following these guidelines, I consider it a personal attack. I grew up in a bilingual household, which means I am familiar with the difficulties in adopting a different vocabulary and grammar. That doesn't bother me. Persistent use of bad capitalization, affirming the consequent, and flaming bother me a great deal.
Rule that I would change: 204.1b
204.1b Some effects change an object’s card type, supertype, or subtype but specify that the object retains a prior card type, supertype, or subtype. In such cases, all the object’s prior card types, supertypes, and subtypes are retained. This rule applies to effects that use the phrase “in addition to its types” or that state that something is “still a [card type].” Some effects state that an object becomes an “artifact creature”; these effects also allow the object to retain all of its prior card types and subtypes.
"Eight Edition Rules Update" We eventually decided not to change this template, because players are used to “becomes an artifact creature,” and like it much better.
Players were used to Combat on the Stack, but you got rid of that because it was unintuitive. The only phrase needed is "in addition to its types"; the others are misleading and unintuitive.
If your deck is unreasonably strong, then that is on you to fix.



That would be my reason for banning it in our meta. We don't really have a "banlist" but we do have this understanding of not running cards that would be seem overpowered to the rest of the group.

There are only two older players in our group of six. The others have all started with M11 and Zendikar, specifically buying Deckbuilder Toolkits and trying to make competitive decks with those cards. We try to ensure fair teams by splitting the two older players and tweaking our decks down. I replace Dense Foliage with lands in my giant deck. He takes out his Jace TMS. Unless we decide to just go all out and then we don't want to pick on the other two teammates with our "power" cards.
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I am Black/Green
 If the group has access to the same cards, and you bring one that wins 20 turns sooner than everyone else, does that mean the group should ban that deck?

What's the difference between growing the metagame and ruining the metagame?



You're asking a pretty impractical question. Just because a group could, in theory, own Power 9 but think Craw Wurm is the best card ever, doesn't mean it's ever going to happen. It we're talking about people with lots of cards who've invested a lot into the game, chances are they know how to build solid, competitive decks. I highly doubt there's going to be a group out there that has players who all have relatively similar card pools where one player has an insurmountable advantage over the others.

Difference between growing and ruining? I think about it like the marketplace. Growing the market probably involves the entry of a new competitor, or in this case a new deck. It should be powerful enough to force its competitors to at least think about reacting to their entry, and how it might affect their performance. The way to ruin the market, or a metagame, would be be for a new competitor to enter and instantly bankrupt all competitors and create a monopoly. Your decks should always peak the interest of other people, and make them think strategically, but it's detrimental if you completely shut them out.

If you think that money is what's keeping people from creating all-star teams, you're dead wrong. One-sided events don't generate revenue, they never have. You detract from your own earnings if you win too much, by too much. Guess how many people watch Olympic hockey to see Canada win 16 to 0 against Sweden or whatever in the early rounds? Pretty much no one. There are tons of rich billionaires out there who would love to own all-star teams if it actually generated revenue. It doesn't. You would never pay to see UFC fighters fight girl scouts. There's no entertainment value when you already know the outcome.
My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
Great arguments, all.
My playgroup can have its rules summed up in four words: "Don't be a d*ick".
We have no banned cards, but have a standing rule that if a deck makes people feel like cutting themselves when they face off against it, it gets pulled apart after about three runs.
The only cards that people really whinge about are Priest of Titania and Congregate. Cloudpost gets the odd complaint when two people suit up 8/12Post decks at the same time, but that's about it.

Exsanguinate won't be banned outright in our group - we'll just factor it into our gameplay. We'll have the standing rule changed to "Don't be a d*ick. That includes 20-point Exsanguinates on Turn 5" if we have to.
But Tich is right - in the end, it's no worse than Hurricane, and my playgroup went through the phase of game-winning Hurricanes a decade ago. But Hurricane did end up warping my meta - we were splashing Fissure in our decks just to get rid of Glacial Chasm.
And this is probably what I'm interested in most, personally - is Exsanguinate warping your meta yet? What are you going to splash to deal with it if that's the way you're headed?
~ Guides I Have Been Silly Enough To Write ~
Budget Duals and Fetches in Multiplayer
CadaverousBl00m's Guide To Multiplayer Artifice
Multiplayer Tribal Format

~ Latest Multiplayer Ramblings: Appearing on my blog when I feel like it ~
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Rise of the Eldrazi Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Worldwake Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Zendikar Post-Rotation
Previous Multiplayer Concoctions
Elemental, My Dear Watson (Rainbow Elementals)
Watch The Little Birdies! (Bird Tribal with Proliferate)
Kavu Kavu Kavu Banana (Kavu Predator aggro)
Faerie Bleeder (The "Death By A Thousand Cuts" Faerie deck)
Braaiiins! (Mono-black Zombie control)
Verhexterring (Jinxed Ring / Grave Pact)
Flourishing Blowflies ( -1/-1 Counters)
Is Exsanguinate warping your meta yet? What are you going to splash to deal with it if that's the way you're headed?

I already have an Exsanguinate deck, and I would have to say that it doesn't always win once people recognize it (I have several decks). If I don't have adequate defenses set up (or those defenses are removed), then it is difficult to gain enough life to cast that game winning Exanguinate.

So other players play with the card as well, but if it ever became a problem I would either rebuild my...
Skyshroud Cutter+False Cure+Kavu Predator deck.
Play with Sulfuric Vortex, Everlasting Torment, Forsaken Wastes, Stigma Lasher, Rain of Gore if I was in or .
Play with Keldon Firebombers, Impending Disaster, Wildfire if I was mono red.
Play with Royal Decree, Cornered Market, Null Chamber, Eye of Singularity, Cataclysm (I name a card, other random non life syphoning opponent names a card) in mono white.
Play with Gaddock Teeg.
Play with Bazaar of Wonders+Mesmeric Orb.
Play with Lifeforce, Spreading Algae+Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Play with Forbidden Orchard+Hunted Horror (or other Hunted creatures) and give the tokens to the players not playing with life sucking spells.
Play with Kormus Bell+Pendrell Mists
...

Budget EDH:EDH on $20 a Deck. Join the Group

People who say Exsanguinate is no more powerful than Earthquake, Bond of Agony or Hurricane, please read these cards again, think a moment, think harder and know I cannot agree.

There is a major difference in "each opponent goes down X" and "everybody goes down X" because we play to win otherwise Divine Intervention would be played heavily. If keeping the X spell player at a lower life total than me protects me from the spell, I am fine with that and I have lost many a game to Earthquake and Squall Line and I am fine with that. Besides that, Exsanguinate generates a healthy life buffer even if you have a low value of X. In 5 player games X = 5 already gives you 20 life. That is the same amount as you start with so n effect people have to try twice as hard to kill you.

I forgot yesterday but counterspelling often doesn't work either because all drain decks should play Boseiju, Who Shelters All.

Killing the drain player before he/she casts the drain is in most cases also very difficult because mass removal costs a lot less mana and direct burn or mill isn't good enough in multiplayer or fast enough generally.

Capitan_Esteban has listed a nice list of cards that would often work against Exsanguinate.dec but this does mean I should play these cards in all my decks if I don't want to have a boring game against the Exsanguinate.dec. The creatures even aren't good enough because any self respecting black deck should be able to handle a creature or two. That stifles creativity and originality and fun of decks.

Genesis Wave for X is 10 doesn't kill 4 players (Exsanguinate for X is 10 doesn't necessarily too but bear with me for a moment). So you cast the wave and have a lot of permanents and Concordant Crossroads and multi-attacks are allowed so you attack and kill 1, maybe 2 players. I can still block against that attack, remove a crucial attacker with an instant, Rout , Holy Day or Evacuate. Destroying the Concordant Crossroads before the attack phase works for a bit of delay too. So lets assume after the X-Wave turn that player hasn't won yet (because I have seen many a wave go of and never seen them win that turn). Then everybody can keep their blockers ready, play a sweeper, do whatever the game normally does. It allows interaction between players instead of have a deck that denies interaction like exsanguinate.dec does. So yes, Genesis Wave demands certain cards in your deck too but these are the same cards every other deck demands: instant removal, sweepers, artifact and enchantment hate, something (creatures, dmg prevention, attack deterants like Dread) against attacks. Not some nice card that only works in certain matchups. Multiplayer doesn't use sideboards (aside from wishes because all cards you own is very broken) because people generally don't play best of 3 with the same decks each time so you can't tweak your deck like you can in 1 on 1.

That is my biggest quip with Exsanguinate. It doesn't cause interaction between players which attacking and blocking and stuff does. Interaction is what makes games fun otherwise Magic is just a bunch of guys playing with themselves (pun intended). That is exactly what Tich says about meta's. Formula 1 wasn't fun when Schumacher had won the season 4 races before the end. A football match that ends in 12-0 is a lot less fun to watch then one that ends in 3-2 because the 3-2 game must have had a lot more interaction between the players of both teams than the 12-0 game. The limited interaction is because of a difference in power lvl and I think exsanguinates power lvl in multiplayer is too high. I would place it in first place for the multiplayer power nine.
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
Bl00m asked if Exsanguinate has warped our metas yet.  Not mine.

Then again, I am the only regular buyer in my meta, and I've so far only gotten two copies of this wonderful card (I like opening packs).  As they both reside in one deck that sees play every other week at best, it has not been an issue.  That said, I recently placed a large order*, and six more copies of Exsanguinate are on the way, to be spread between 2-3 other decks.

If I run a full playset in a BR deck, backed by the assorted Black and Red rituals and Fork and its cousins, I think I'll warp the local meta.  If this proves too heinous for my group (mostly high school kids with limited funds and access to singles), I will either cut back on the playing of the deck, tweak the deck, or break it back into its component parts.

Should this thread still be active when I get it all together and test it out, I will report back.  Given our play schedule and card shipping times, it will be at least two weeks until I can do so.

*This order also included Death Cloud, Pulse Trackers, Charcoal Diamonds, and a number of other items to apply the comments people have made to my assorted decklists!

Cheers!
A shout out to Gaming Grounds in Kent, Ohio and Gamers N Geeks in Mobile, Alabama. www.zombiehunters.org for all your preparation needs. http://shtfschool.com/ - why prepping is useful, from one who has been there.
Just out of curiosity, to those of you who believe that Exsanguinate is degenerate, over-powered, format-warping, etc... Have you checked out the Mirrodin Besieged spoilers, particularly for Consecrated Sphinx?  Are you planning on pre-emptively banning him as well, since, near as I can tell, he's far, far more powerful than Exsanguinate is in multiplayer.  The ability to draw 6-8 cards off of him before you even untap after he enters the battlefield is insane, and the body's not to shabby either.

I'm not advocating banning him, understand, I'm just curious if any of you were, given his intense power level in any kind of multiplayer game.
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

In my playgroup we haven't discussed it yet but I don't think we will ban it. Instant speed spot removal runs rampant in our meta so that sphinx shouldn't cause any trouble.
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
There's no way Consecrated Sphinx is on the same level as Exsanguinate. The Sphinx is almost always going to be a bad or whatever because it is an expensive creature with an incredibly strong effect with no protection. It's too much of a "please kill me now" card to ever warp a meta, it just dies to everything and people will be expending resources to remove it. It's like Forgotten Ancient and Taurean Mauler and such. They seem like they'd be overpowered given their effects, but the reality is that they're too easy to stop to ever get out of control. I doubt any of you have banned these card or seen them warp metas.

Are these creatures worth using? Absolutely. It's not like they're weak or worthless. Are they going to break the game? Probably not. 
My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
Maybe a BWU deck built around that Sphinx, Congregate, and Exsanguinate?  Would that be bad, or just unreliable?  ;)

Creatures "warp" metas only in that they encourage players to run spot and mass removal - we've likely all seen it, an ugly hits the table, and everyone looks at one another, waiting to see who zaps it first.

Cheers!
A shout out to Gaming Grounds in Kent, Ohio and Gamers N Geeks in Mobile, Alabama. www.zombiehunters.org for all your preparation needs. http://shtfschool.com/ - why prepping is useful, from one who has been there.
People felt the same way when Kokusho, the Evening Star was printed.

Quick question, does Reverberation work to stop Exsanguinate, or does the whole
"lose life" thing get in the way, since it's not technically doing damage?
Used to use it to stop those game winning Earthquakes and Hurricanes. 
STEP 1: Find your cousin STEP 2: Get your cousin in the cannon STEP: 3 Find another cousin
People felt the same way when Kokusho, the Evening Star was printed.

Quick question, does Reverberation work to stop Exsanguinate, or does the whole
"lose life" thing get in the way, since it's not technically doing damage?
Used to use it to stop those game winning Earthquakes and Hurricanes. 

Yeah. I have a friend that had a full set of Recurring Nightmare, but he was playing in a different group when Kamigawa was released (I wonder if his new group hated him?).

As for Reverberation, yes the whole "lose life" thing prevents the spell from doing anything (although it doesn't prevent you from casting it).

Budget EDH:EDH on $20 a Deck. Join the Group

                                           Yeah. I have a friend that had a full set of Recurring Nightmare, but he was playing in a different group when Kamigawa was released (I wonder if his new group hated him?).







That's just mean.

I run Kokusho with Debtors' Knell and Diamond Valley
This makes me no friends.

STEP 1: Find your cousin STEP 2: Get your cousin in the cannon STEP: 3 Find another cousin
You're asking a pretty impractical question. Just because a group could, in theory, own Power 9 but think Craw Wurm is the best card ever, doesn't mean it's ever going to happen.

And not the idea I had when asking the question.  Instead, imagine two years ago, with a playgroup of 5 people.  They've been playing for three years, and have built several decks to play one another.  They have each bought a box of cards for each set.  One of them has several Tarmogoyfs, but thinks it's too weak (early game 1/2) to play more than 1 per deck.  They introduce a brand-new player to the group.  This player decides to go online and builds a Jund deck from the tournament deck-lists.  This Jund deck proceeds to beat the rest of the group.  Does that mean Jund is overpowered?  Does Jund have to be banned?  Does Bloodbraid Elf need to be banned?  Does that player need to be banned?

There are tons of rich billionaires out there who would love to own all-star teams if it actually generated revenue.

Name one.  As far as I can tell it's the losing teams that fail to generate revenue, not the winning teams.

I forgot yesterday but counterspelling often doesn't work either because all drain decks should play Boseiju, Who Shelters All.

Ertai's Meddling

Killing the drain player before he/she casts the drain is in most cases also very difficult because mass removal costs a lot less mana

And if you've got them stuck playing sweepers, they can't fetch their combo pieces.

Genesis Wave for X is 10 doesn't kill 4 players

Really? 2x Pelakka Wurm, 1x Avenger of Zendikar, 3x Forest, 3x Birds of Paradise variants, 1x Garruk Wildspeaker
If I have an enchantment granting haste, I could make a beast token and swing for 42 damage.  If it was Exsanguinate instead, it would be 44 life lost.  If I don't have the enchantment, then I untap 2 lands, and next turn use Garruk's Overrun, dealing 78 trample damage.
(check my math; I've assumed 7 lands in play)

I can still block against that attack, remove a crucial attacker with an instant, Rout, Holy Day or Evacuate. Destroying the Concordant Crossroads before the attack phase works for a bit of delay too.

  Great.  So why can't you cast stuff like Cancel, Acidic Slime, Goblin Ruinblaster, Desecrated Earth, or Eldrazi Monument to keep him from wrathing away your guys?  These are all cards that work in nearly all match-ups, and that's limiting myself to Standard.  You've reached into Legacy with Rout.

It doesn't cause interaction between players which attacking and blocking and stuff does.

Funny, I was talking about "and stuff", whereas you seem to focus exclusively on the "attacking and blocking".
D&D 4E Herald and M:tG Rules Advisor I expect posters to follow the Code of Conduct, use Basic Etiquette, and avoid Poor Logic. If you don't follow these guidelines, I consider you to be disrespectful to everyone on these forums. If you respond to me without following these guidelines, I consider it a personal attack. I grew up in a bilingual household, which means I am familiar with the difficulties in adopting a different vocabulary and grammar. That doesn't bother me. Persistent use of bad capitalization, affirming the consequent, and flaming bother me a great deal.
Rule that I would change: 204.1b
204.1b Some effects change an object’s card type, supertype, or subtype but specify that the object retains a prior card type, supertype, or subtype. In such cases, all the object’s prior card types, supertypes, and subtypes are retained. This rule applies to effects that use the phrase “in addition to its types” or that state that something is “still a [card type].” Some effects state that an object becomes an “artifact creature”; these effects also allow the object to retain all of its prior card types and subtypes.
"Eight Edition Rules Update" We eventually decided not to change this template, because players are used to “becomes an artifact creature,” and like it much better.
Players were used to Combat on the Stack, but you got rid of that because it was unintuitive. The only phrase needed is "in addition to its types"; the others are misleading and unintuitive.
Just out of curiosity, to those of you who believe that Exsanguinate is degenerate, over-powered, format-warping, etc... Have you checked out the Mirrodin Besieged spoilers, particularly for Consecrated Sphinx?  Are you planning on pre-emptively banning him as well, since, near as I can tell, he's far, far more powerful than Exsanguinate is in multiplayer.  The ability to draw 6-8 cards off of him before you even untap after he enters the battlefield is insane, and the body's not to shabby either.

I'm not advocating banning him, understand, I'm just curious if any of you were, given his intense power level in any kind of multiplayer game.

Heck, I love its intense power level! I wanna Donate it to someone else and then drop Forced Fruition!
~ Guides I Have Been Silly Enough To Write ~
Budget Duals and Fetches in Multiplayer
CadaverousBl00m's Guide To Multiplayer Artifice
Multiplayer Tribal Format

~ Latest Multiplayer Ramblings: Appearing on my blog when I feel like it ~
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Rise of the Eldrazi Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Worldwake Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Zendikar Post-Rotation
Previous Multiplayer Concoctions
Elemental, My Dear Watson (Rainbow Elementals)
Watch The Little Birdies! (Bird Tribal with Proliferate)
Kavu Kavu Kavu Banana (Kavu Predator aggro)
Faerie Bleeder (The "Death By A Thousand Cuts" Faerie deck)
Braaiiins! (Mono-black Zombie control)
Verhexterring (Jinxed Ring / Grave Pact)
Flourishing Blowflies ( -1/-1 Counters)
I forgot yesterday but counterspelling often doesn't work either because all drain decks should play Boseiju, Who Shelters All.

Ertai's Meddling



Come to think of it, Venser, Shaper Savant and Mindbreak Trap would both work on a Boseiju-protected Exsanguinate.  Granted, Venser's a more temporary solution, but Mindbreak Trap will take care of it for good.

If Un-Cards are allowed, Magical Hacker could be an absolutely hilarious way to turn the tides on an unwary player (or keep the wary one from casting it).

Things like Fork, Reverberate, Twincast, Echomage, Parallectric Feedback etc... all will end up killing that player before their spell can resolve.

Something along the lines of Platinum Angel, Angel's Grace, Platinum Emperion, etc... will keep you from dying.  While Angel's Grace is a bit narrower of a card, the other two are certainly bodies in their own right.

Plus Capitan_Estaban mentioned a large swath of spells that would hate on life-gain or prevent it from occuring in the first place (allowing surviving players a fairer chance of killing the drain player).


By all means, if something's not working in your meta, and everybody is agreed on it being the appropriate action to take, ban what needs to be banned.  I just don't think that Exsanguinate is as over-powered or difficult to answer as others believe.
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

By all means, if something's not working in your meta, and everybody is agreed on it being the appropriate action to take, ban what needs to be banned.  I just don't think that Exsanguinate is as over-powered or difficult to answer as others believe.

This is of course the best thing to do. Usually though the owner of the deck just doesn't play the deck that often (maybe once a month, or puts it away for 3-4 months before playing it again). I originally built my False Cure+Skyshroud Cutter deck because another player was almost always playing his Oath of Druids+Kokusho, the Evening Star deck. The False Cure could kill him, and it just works wonders when you cast 2x and Skyshroud Cutter (-15 life each opponent). My deck wasn't completely optimized, but it would get crazy quick wins some times (Turn 3-4, it was Vintage Legal). Since the only way to stop it was to counter the False Cure (or play cards like Forsaken Wastes), and since my opponents would grumble when they recognized the deck (everyone grumbled when the recognized Kokusho Oath too), I dismantled it after a couple of weeks (probably 4-5 plays). I had proved my point, and the gentlemanly thing to do was to move on. Not long after that, our group although we allowed Vintage Legal deck all starting regulating ourselves and only playing Legacy Legal decks.

Budget EDH:EDH on $20 a Deck. Join the Group

The beautiful thing about magic is that there are many ways to answer almost anything people will do. There are very few truely perfect plays that you just have to eat no matter what. Better players will adapt, whiners will whine until people stop playing.

That's not to say that you shouldn't "ban" the card if your group doesn't like it. Banning the card is just a poor solution that inhibits creativity and the more competetive, back and forth environment which I enjoy.

People who say Exsanguinate is no more powerful than Earthquake, Bond of Agony or Hurricane, please read these cards again, think a moment, think harder and know I cannot agree.

Bored, so I wanted to say that I agree with this.  I've got a Black deck with Exanguinate, and I've tried to build a Green deck around Hurricane.  When Time Spiral came out, I updated it with Squall Line, but it still stunk.  So I tried adding a bunch of level-up manadudes and land-fetch when Rise of Eldrazi came around.  Still didn't win.  I was doing better with the creatures than the Hurricane, so I tried trading in Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre.  Lo, and behold, the deck finally works.  It wasn't that I couldn't get the mana, but that I had trouble staying alive after casting the spell.  Drain Life effects handle it easily, but Earthquake effects don't.  Casting a 20-point Consume Spirit means you're alive long enough to get another one.  But Hurricane might mean you're already dead.
D&D 4E Herald and M:tG Rules Advisor I expect posters to follow the Code of Conduct, use Basic Etiquette, and avoid Poor Logic. If you don't follow these guidelines, I consider you to be disrespectful to everyone on these forums. If you respond to me without following these guidelines, I consider it a personal attack. I grew up in a bilingual household, which means I am familiar with the difficulties in adopting a different vocabulary and grammar. That doesn't bother me. Persistent use of bad capitalization, affirming the consequent, and flaming bother me a great deal.
Rule that I would change: 204.1b
204.1b Some effects change an object’s card type, supertype, or subtype but specify that the object retains a prior card type, supertype, or subtype. In such cases, all the object’s prior card types, supertypes, and subtypes are retained. This rule applies to effects that use the phrase “in addition to its types” or that state that something is “still a [card type].” Some effects state that an object becomes an “artifact creature”; these effects also allow the object to retain all of its prior card types and subtypes.
"Eight Edition Rules Update" We eventually decided not to change this template, because players are used to “becomes an artifact creature,” and like it much better.
Players were used to Combat on the Stack, but you got rid of that because it was unintuitive. The only phrase needed is "in addition to its types"; the others are misleading and unintuitive.
People who say Exsanguinate is no more powerful than Earthquake, Bond of Agony or Hurricane, please read these cards again, think a moment, think harder and know I cannot agree.

Bored, so I wanted to say that I agree with this.  I've got a Black deck with Exanguinate, and I've tried to build a Green deck around Hurricane.  When Time Spiral came out, I updated it with Squall Line, but it still stunk.  So I tried adding a bunch of level-up manadudes and land-fetch when Rise of Eldrazi came around.  Still didn't win.  I was doing better with the creatures than the Hurricane, so I tried trading in Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre.  Lo, and behold, the deck finally works.  It wasn't that I couldn't get the mana, but that I had trouble staying alive after casting the spell.  Drain Life effects handle it easily, but Earthquake effects don't.  Casting a 20-point Consume Spirit means you're alive long enough to get another one.  But Hurricane might mean you're already dead.



I think there's a bit of a disconnect here. As far as actually killing people, any of these cards will serve the same purpose. But you don't just throw around a 5 point Hurricane here and a 5 point Squall Line there. I use Pestilence as a win condition in one of my drain decks for multiplayer (since it also serves to clear the board, making it a pretty handy card all-around). As long as I have more health than my opponent, Pestilence is just as dangerous as Exsanguinate.

The value of exsanguinate over the alternatives is you can throw it down here for 5, there for 5, strong table-wide damage without killing yourself. Syphon Soul and all of it's clones are strong much like Exsanguinate, but I wouldn't say they're overpowered. Exsanguinate only starts to get ridiculous when you're dumping 8, 12, 15+ mana into it. I mean, what doesn't? That's a lot of mana.

The card is definitely very strong in a multiplayer setting, but I still think it's cool.
I think there's a bit of a disconnect here. As far as actually killing people, any of these cards will serve the same purpose.

But that’s not the purpose given here.  The purpose is casting it, and not killing yourself.
The value of exsanguinate over the alternatives is you can throw it down here for 5, there for 5, strong table-wide damage without killing yourself.

Which is why helphelpe and I agree that exsanguinate is more powerful than Earthquake, and it’s counterparts.  It gives an option not available to the other variants, and while they can deal damage to creatures, (except Bond of Agony) we’re already talking about a deck chock-ful of wrath spells, which means they’re not needed.

The point of my little story was to show how exsanguinate simply works, while it was very difficult to figure out how to make hurricane work well.  In fact, it was so difficult, I had to replace it with another spell entirely.  Given this experience, I feel that exsanguinate is more powerful.  Of course, we could always do a “vs” in General, if you’re not sure.
D&D 4E Herald and M:tG Rules Advisor I expect posters to follow the Code of Conduct, use Basic Etiquette, and avoid Poor Logic. If you don't follow these guidelines, I consider you to be disrespectful to everyone on these forums. If you respond to me without following these guidelines, I consider it a personal attack. I grew up in a bilingual household, which means I am familiar with the difficulties in adopting a different vocabulary and grammar. That doesn't bother me. Persistent use of bad capitalization, affirming the consequent, and flaming bother me a great deal.
Rule that I would change: 204.1b
204.1b Some effects change an object’s card type, supertype, or subtype but specify that the object retains a prior card type, supertype, or subtype. In such cases, all the object’s prior card types, supertypes, and subtypes are retained. This rule applies to effects that use the phrase “in addition to its types” or that state that something is “still a [card type].” Some effects state that an object becomes an “artifact creature”; these effects also allow the object to retain all of its prior card types and subtypes.
"Eight Edition Rules Update" We eventually decided not to change this template, because players are used to “becomes an artifact creature,” and like it much better.
Players were used to Combat on the Stack, but you got rid of that because it was unintuitive. The only phrase needed is "in addition to its types"; the others are misleading and unintuitive.
My group has yet to ban any card.  As some previous posters have mentioned, if a player is wiping the table with the same card or deck every time they play, then either adjust your deck to deal with the card or convince everyone else at the table to wipe that player out before they go off. 
 I think Exsanguinate is a multiplayer beast, but I do not believe it is ban worthy.  Like every other card in this game, there are tons of answers for it.  That's the beauty of magic, no one card is truly unbeatable.  
I don't believe that banning cards (at least in a casual format) is the answer.  I think too often that cards get banned by groups simply because people get tired of losing to the same card/ deck.  There's been many a time in my group that I have thought about proposing a ban of a card (Thopter Foundry immediately comes to mind).  But when I stopped to ask myself why, I usually found myself coming to the conclusion that I simply hated the card, and moreover hated losing to the card.
Some of you have probably heard me complain about how vengeful my play-group is. If I bust out exsanguinate on turn 5 for the win, then I will have a swift death the next game. I hate this mentality, but I can't make people less arrogant. We don't ban any cards because of this, either. Even so, everyone in my group who has exsanguinate has placed them neatly into their overpowered multiplayer decks, which don't get to see much play. So, this card hasn't warped anything for us.
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
I just wanted to comment of some of my favorite posts in this thread so far...
Creatures "warp" metas only in that they encourage players to run spot and mass removal

Creatures because of their permanent nature, and their ability to deal damage efficiently with a single card (over time), are by far the largest warping influence in probably any multiplayer meta. 
My playgroup can have its rules summed up in four words: "Don't be a d*ick".
...Cloudpost gets the odd complaint when two people suit up 8/12Post decks at the same time, but that's about it.

Speaking of collusion, me and a friend planned to play the same type of deck vs. our group. We each agreed to play full sets of Accumulated Knowledge, Rhystic Study, AEther Burst, Flame Burst, Pardic Firecat, Kindle, (plus whatever else we wanted) and play those decks at the same time. The group wasn't prepared for so much drawing and burn all at once (and my friend wasn't ready for my Willbender, Divert, etc.).
Competiton should mean that everyone has a reasonable chance. Not high, not even, but reasonable. If your deck is unreasonably strong, then that is on you to fix.

I think we lost a player for this reason. He didn't have a deep collection (all his cards were donated to him), and he enjoyed playing want appeared to me to be strategies that were good in duels. He did have several interesting decks, and counterspell/redirect/draw deck that didn't win, but came in 2nd often, and definitely had an impact on how others played. He also had a red burn deck that could kill a single opponent on turn 4, but had to empty his entire hand (he would play that deck to kill who ever attacked him first, and then scoop after his hand was empty). I tried to help him by proxying good cards (Demigod of Revenge, Clone, etc.) and I had donated 1000+ commons/uncommons (Seal of Fire, Rhystic Study, Armadillo Cloak, Seal of Doom, lots of good stuff), but he didn't seem to like playing in our meta that had a couple of players with very strong decks, a handful of mid-rage decks, and about 2 other noobs (I think felt he always lost, and was unable to compete).
Metas light on the countermagic or those with limited card options due to budget (or other) reasons may well find Exsanguinate broken.

I would say that these aren't necessarily all qualifications that would make Exsanguinate feel broken (and the answers listed so far aren't all the answers). Pox+Tainted Sigil might very well feel just as broken in a meta like that. Attacking the Exsanguinate player early and often, either through man-lands/chimeric creatures (if Innocent Blood is an issue), or removing Exsanguinates walls with targeted removal (if Wall of Souls is the issue), or playing LD if mana acceleleration is the issue.
I don't know why people act like it's hard to win when you have 20 mana. ... The only reason why you see Exsanguinate so much is because it's cheap and available. ... It also promotes playing the metagame and maindecking cards like False Cure for the exact same reason you play it when Congregate is around. ...I don't think a card can be truly degenerate unless it completely shuts everyone out of the game before they can reasonably react. Limited Resources, Armageddon, Balance, decks that instantly take each opponent to 0-1 lands and essentially keeps them there. Combos that win within the first 3 turns. This is the kind of thing that decks can't reasonably react to, and would break the format.

I find it difficult not agreeing with everything Tich is saying. Exanaguinate only looks bad when people are casting it with boatloads of mana. When it is cast with an X of 3 it is an overcosted Blood Tithe (and no one thinks that is broken). Allowing cards like Exanguinate promotes people playing their decks differently. You can't just sit back and wait for the life syphon player to to kill everyone, everyone needs to go on the offensive, and quickly.

So, most of us know how good Exsanguinate is in multiplayer by now. ... it's becoming my playgroup's kill card du jour. It's the card you throw in to a multiplayer deck to finish off the whole board at once with, and it's the one you have to design against to an extent already.
So, does that make it degenerate in a multiplayer environment?
Is it as bad as Congregate?
Is it worthy of being banned in your playgroup yet?

If everyone is splashing Peat Bog in their decks just to play Exsanguinate, your particular group may have a problem. But, the problem isn't with Exsanguinate, it is with a lack of creativity. Sure, it's a good card, even better than Congregate in my opinion, but it is just an X spell that cushions your life and can win the game. As others have said, this card isn't that much different than other player burn. If I was going to rank some player burn (this isn't all inclusive), with cards getting better as you went down the list...
Flame Rift
Acidic Soil
Syphon Soul
Breath of Malfegor
Blood Tithe
Breath of Darigaaz / Flamebreak
Rolling Thunder
Drain Life / Consume Spirit
Bond of Agony
Death Grasp
Reverse the Sands
Hurricane / Earthquake
Squall Line / Fault Line / Rolling Earthquake
Pox
Exsanguinate
Biorhythm

Now, this isn't saying that Exsanguinate is always the best card in every situation. If you are only playing a 3 player game, then Breath of Malfegor is probably better (5 point life swing vs. 9 point life swing. 2 more damage for the same mana, but you get instant speed). Hurricane/Earthquake are sometimes better, because it is preferable to wipe the board of creatures at the same time.

Consume Spirit is already low skill no fun win, Exsanguinate is even worse so banning it to maintain fun in the games was a no-brainer.

Ok, so your group has seen one too many life syphon decks. And your group prefers creativity, so you banned that card. Of course, this is all dependent upon what your group decides is fun. And that is a question that can only be answered as an individual (or worked out amongst a group). Someone in my group would likely say of an elf deck, "seen that before. Elf decks lack creatitivity." I don't care one way or the other, a deck is a deck, the challenge comes from figuring out how to beat one. In a Wrath heavy environment, if someone brings a Biorhythm deck, might the group not first think Biorhythm is overpowered? (all they are is doing is adapting to the meta).
Yes, every deck can play Strip Mine, Ghost Quarter, Wasteland, Tectonic Edge, Dust Bowl or any other form of land destruction but then you deny all other fun lands in your meta too. No Wirewood Lodge, no man-lands, no tri lands for color fixxing, etc, etc because every deck will simply play 2 more lands and a playset at least of land destroying lands.

So my opinoin of drain decks is: low skill, boring and degerate because it nullifies originality and forces cards to be played in pretty much every deck because every person who can play magic can build an effective drain deck and play it correctly.

I personally don't think that anyone can build and play a drain deck who can play magic. While it isn't a complicated combo deck, timing exactly which cards to use when ("Can a hold off a turn casting Barter in Blood and possibly kill X more creatures (and prevent more damage later)?", "Can I survive this turn so I can drop another Swamp in my hand to make my Exsanguinate more effective?", "Do I have the defenses to tutor out Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth/Cabal Coffers now, or should I wait until later before I give away my plans?"). There are lots of variables you have to take into account while playing any MP deck, even a simple drain deck. I have built quite a few drain decks over the years, and they are all quite different. (Pox+Tainted Sigil, Tamanoa+Overabundance, Squallmonger+Armadillo Cloak, Thrashing Wumpus+Spirit Loop). So what if it isn't original, few decks in magic that are. The quote that The Ferret takes from Playing to Win is so telling (replacing move with drain spell). (Note: If you haven't read the Ferret Article, or Playing to Win, they are both good reads):

"why can the scrub not defeat something so obvious and telegraphed as a drain spell done over and over? Is he such a poor player that he cannot counter that drain spell? And if the drain spell is, for whatever reason, extremely difficult to counter, then wouldn't I be a fool for not using that drain spell? The first step in becoming a top player is the realization that playing to win means doing whatever increases your chances of winning. That is true by definition of playing to win. The game knows no rules of 'honor' or of 'cheapness.' The game knows only winning and losing."

I can't agree with your LD comments in any way. How does me playing Ghost Quarter/Wasteland prevent anyone from using fun lands like man-lands. Those are targeted LD abilities, so by playing non-basics you are only increasing your odds that your lands might get destroyed. Now, if everyone was playing Back to Basics, Price of Progress, Ruination etc. you might have a point, but even then I would just say that people are adapting to the meta. If people are playing non-basics, wouldn't I be a fool not to take that into account when designing my deck?
People who say Exsanguinate is no more powerful than Earthquake, Bond of Agony or Hurricane, please read these cards again, think a moment, think harder and know I cannot agree.

There is a major difference in "each opponent goes down X" and "everybody goes down X" because we play to win otherwise Divine Intervention would be played heavily. If keeping the X spell player at a lower life total than me protects me from the spell, I am fine with that and I have lost many a game to Earthquake and Squall Line and I am fine with that. Besides that, Exsanguinate generates a healthy life buffer even if you have a low value of X. In 5 player games X = 5 already gives you 20 life. That is the same amount as you start with so n effect people have to try twice as hard to kill you.

Soul Warden (et. al.) also generate a healthy life buffer for much less mana than Exsanguinate (although I grant you they don't do as much damage as a single creature). Using Soul Warden and friends and then powering out a Cloudpost fueled Earthquake will kill people just as easily as Exsanguinate. And getting an opponent down below your life total only works against Bond of Agony, as the proper thing to do before you die is to force a draw with Hurricane (et. al.), or force as many other players out of the game so you don't have to wait so long for the next game.

Now, I have a question for everyone (three actually).
For what value of X does Exsanguinate become (broken/degenerate/etc.)?
For what value of Y players does Exsanguinate become broken?
Are these two variables related, and at what values of X and Y is it broken?

Budget EDH:EDH on $20 a Deck. Join the Group

This thread shows a great discussion about Exsanguinate and drain decks in particular. It has led to some insight and I have something to add to my earlier comments. I have come to the realization that I don't hate Exsanguinate because of its power lvl (because there are plenty more powerful cards in magic, some of which I even play with myself regularly) but because of it's anti-climactic nature. Just like "suddenly" ** going infinite with Palinchron and winning the game it ends an epic struggle between players rather suddenly. Just like Biorythm is considered lame in some of my playgroups eventhough it is a totally legitimate way to win. I have endured Obliterate decks that have a significant advantage after casting said card but they aren't garanteed to win. If we saw it coming and had a few lands left in hand, or were lucky and topdecked some lands the game becomes great fun because of the "race" between players. That is the interaction I keep on yammering about. The suspense of who is going to come out on top is what makes games fun! Not winning or losing but running the race and having a chance. It may be a 5% chance in a 5 player game and another deck has 50% chance but the underdog can still give a great fight and loose but had fun.

So yes, I aint a spike. Winning aint everything for me. Cool interactions and epic struggles are (especially combined with the humor of my friends makin me laugh my ass of every time we play). Yes, we all play to win because otherwise there also is no struggle, but winning itself isn't the goal of the game. I play magic as a pass time, to have a nice evening with some friends, to have some laughs, to have fun (aka have my body secreet those chemicals that bring happiness and winning does secreet those chemicals but I get a greater kick from a good game with a struggle for the finish than an anticlimactic game).

I have played FNM for years before I quit doing that (because I moved to my university town and there wasn't any FNM nearby there) and there winning was the name of the game. I rarely won constructed because I was a budget player but I won many sealed and limited events because that came down to player skill. I have a dozen or so T-shirt from pre-releases that I won and in a tournament setting like FNM everything goes. I have played Elf infity combo decks, Cleric infinity combo decks and other anticlimactic decks in tournaments. I enjoyed that and I will never call a deck lame in tournament setting because you play for prizes there and I want to win just as much as the next guy. So yes, in tournament settings I AM a Spike.

** You can argue that we could have seen it coming but this is a real life example: Some of my playgroups sometimes come together with each other, hosting bigger tables because everybody from all playgroups are invited. That is great fun every once in a while (although games do last forever). One time we did this, we agreed on 4 way 2HG. Some players from playgroup A said "No combo decks because that is lame" and we started playing. Somewhere around turn 10 or something a player from playgroup B dropped Palinchron, went infinite and proclaimed he had won the game (showing the necessary cards). That 2HG was kicked out of the game and the other 3 teams continued on playing without them because there were cool matchups and struggles going on.

Jeff_B: 8 mana gives you Akroma, Angel of Wrath which we can all agree is a beater and a powerhouse in multiplayer. I will take Exsanguinate for X = 6 over Akroma anyday and twice on sunday because Akroma hardly ever does the same kind of dmg or dmg prevention in multiplayer than the drain spell does. 11 mana gives you Darksteel Colossus and yes, 11 mana is a lot and should give you something game winning like that but in a 5 player game, the Colossus takes more than 3 attacks to do the same kind of dmg the exsanguinate did and when tapped after attacking it doesn't even protect you.

In response to Capitan's argument about land destruction: Non green multicolour decks (like my RWU Miss America deck) pretty much need non basics. You can pull of 2 color decks without them easily but 3+ colours becomes very risky without non basics. If everyone started playing a lot of (non-basic) land destruction to counter the drain decks mana making tactics it would become very easy to deny colours to multicolour decks. It has happened to me before simply because a player had 3 Vindicate in his opening hand and being colour screwed like that is really boring. Nobody truly interacts with you because you aren't threatening and by the time you get your mana again, others are so far ahead that you often can't hope to have a chance.

Exsanguinate becomes truly powerful with 4 or more opponents. It already is very strong with just 2 or 3 opponents but I would call Y=5+. The value of X is harder to pinpoint. Often it will be cast for a single digit earlier in the game and soon after that for a double digit.

A final comment on the italic scrub part of your story: so the answer is (from spikes perspective) to also play exsanguinate turning each and every game into a 5 way life draining slugfest? Just kidding, that is a very narrow point of view.
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
I just finished a Legacy FFA (online) against 5 others, using my Jund X deck. (below) The people there invited me to the table, knowing full well I have a tendency to play very aggressively.

T1: Forest, suspend Search for Tomorrow
T2: draw Breath of Malfegor, played Mountain, Rampant Growth for a Swamp
T3: Search resolves for a Forest, draw Blood Tithe, play another Swamp, Breath of Malfegor
T4: draw Exsanguinate, played Mountain, Rampant Growth for another Forest, Blood Tithe

etc. You get the picture.

All 5 of these players simply let me ramp & drain & draw cards turn after turn. And got more and more upset, and called me viler & viler names, as each turn passed. I just smiled & played. I won with an Earthquake & Hurricane on T7.

Do I feel bad? No. Not one person even tried to stop me until T5. I've played this deck a few times, and it's won almost every time. Mainly because no one tries to stop me!

I've lost with it, too. But (IMO) only because I was the only non-blue player at the table. When you're sitting against 3 to 5 blue (U/W, U/B, U/G, etc included) decks, it just fails. But then, so would most decks that show they need to be dealt with "right now".

Is it cheesy & brainless? Yes. It took me all of 3 minutes to put it together. I simply looked for cards that dealt with "each opponent" and "each player" in the most aggressive way, threw them together with pretty reliable ramp & draw, and presto. It's the equivalent of watching Saturday morning cartoons, or reading a comic book, as far as skills or brainpower goes. And just as fun. 

Will I play it again? More than likely. Is it the only deck I'll play in FFA? No way. Variety is the spice of life.

It's out there, folks. Just like every other "horrible broken" card. People will play it. Deal with it or go play something else.

Jund X

4 Creatures
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder

32 Other Spells
4 Blood Tithe
2 Breath of Malfegor
2 Earthquake
4 Exsanguinate
3 Harmonize
2 Hurricane
4 Rampant Growth
4 Search for Tomorrow
3 Syphon Mind
4 Syphon Soul 

24 Lands
8 Forest
4 Mountain
3 Savage Lands
9 Swamp

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