Ancient Craving


Format Legality
Noble Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Vintage Legal
Casual Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander 2015 Rare
Duel Decks: Sorin vs. Tibalt Rare
Starter 1999 Rare
Portal Second Age Rare

Combos Browse all

Ancient Craving


You draw three cards and you lose 3 life.

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Ancient Craving Discussion

Karzalar on Until the Lambs Have Become Lions: Meren

2 days ago

As you kindly asked!

Since you abuse ETB effects, Panharmonicon could be an all-star in there.

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx is a very good land to consider.

Maybe some kind of all-around removal like Beast Within could help, too.

As a finisher, Craterhoof Behemoth goes well with Avenger of Zendikar.

Maybe some filtering and draw? Abundance, Mirri's Guile, Sylvan Library, Read the Bones, Night's Whisper, Ambition's Cost, Ancient Craving.

(Note : Abundance and Sylvan Library combo with each other into drawing 3 cards for 0 additionnal life as a replacement effect.)

Otherwise, this seems a real solid Meren deck. Even if i find it light in removal (enchantment/artifact/planeswalker removal, i mean).

Also note, maybe some of those options aren't quite budget. Sorry!

Deepstriker29 on Vampires in Brooklyn

2 weeks ago


(sorry, I had to)

Anyways, your biggest flaw that I see here is that you have a very large number of creatures at the 5+ CMC stage, despite your commander being a prime mana sink. Between your ability to gain card advantage and hold cards in hand by taking control of other creatures and your severely low land count (should be at 36 at the very least), these big creatures are both unnecessary and risky to keep in. You should look at subbing these out for more stabilizing ramp and draw effects. Sol Ring, Rakdos Signet, Mind Stone, Hedron Archive and Crypt Ghast should round out a good basic ramp package, and you can throw in Neheb, the Eternal if you still crave more but don't want to put in many more artifacts. Necropotence, Read the Bones, Ancient Craving, Skeletal Scrying, Sign in Blood and Wheel of Fortune / Reforge the Soul / Magus of the Wheel can be mixed and matched to put together a powerful draw package as you see fit. It really is critical to use Olivia to steal creatures whenever feasible, as it lets Rakdos have a form of removal that it very rarely gets to have. Your commander gets to use a better version of Spine of Ish Sah at instant speed whenever you please.

lilgiantrobot on Life Theft

1 month ago

Sunscorch Regent doesn't drain, but it is a big beater that gains life.

Promise of Power/Ancient Craving/Ambition's Cost turn that life into cards.

hoardofnotions on Budget Karl B/W lifegain EDH

1 month ago

anything with extort that's at least a little good. Basilica Screecher, Kingpin's Pet, Treasury Thrull, Thrull Parasite or Pontiff of Blight

Battlegrace Angel possibly not good enough

Blood Artist or Falkenrath Noble

Bloodbond Vampire for a back up karlov. this is iffy

Chant of Vitu-Ghazi, remember to block then tap for convoke.

Contemplation, combo off!

Disciple of Griselbrand, or Disciple of Bolas let you convert a big karlov to something else

Honor the Fallen - on theme graveyard hate that's also a combat trick

Mastery of the Unseen this needs a lot of mana to be great, but maybe you'll get some good use out of it. It's kinda iffy though

Patron of the Kitsune and Righteous Cause are VIP's with karlov

Resplendent Mentor this could be an all star if you go heavy white

Royal Herbalist combat tricks for karlov

Soldier of the Pantheon

Suture Priest

Vampiric Rites

Vizkopa Confessor

Wingmate Roc

Exsanguinate is good

Well of Lost Dreams and Alhammarret's Archive are nifty but expensive on the $budget$

Use all the life you gain for benefits, like card draw! Ambition's Cost, Ancient Craving, Graveborn Muse, Night's Whisper, Ob Nixilis Reignited, Phyrexian Arena, Read the Bones, Dark Tutelage, Underworld Connections

or recursion Phyrexian Reclamation

budget cuts might include, Ajani Goldmane, Lightning Greaves (this might be Swiftfoot Boots), Angelic Chorus

Some possible cuts

Rupture Spire, Shimmering Grotto, Transguild Promenade - two color decks don't need to slow down this much for mana fixing

Sacred Cat dosen't seem strong enough for commander

Bond of Agony seems bad, maybe Exsanguinate

Orzhov Charm What mode are you adding this for?

Doom Blade could be Go for the Throat if your meta/budget allows for it

Darksteel Ingot, Orzhov Cluestone, Orzhov Keyrune could be cut for a 2 mana rock, Fellwar Stone, Mind Stone, Star Compass. Maybe one of those

Blind Hunter, Blood Tithe, Agent of Masks, Certain Death don't seem strong enough

Jeremiah_Von_Pringleton on The Lords of Endless Strife

1 month ago

shandiris: Ancient Craving, Ambition's Cost, and Painful Truths are just worse than Harmonize so I'll pass on those. But Phyrexian Arena is more consistent draw for longer games, so I'll consider it.

shandiris on The Lords of Endless Strife

1 month ago

I like Ancient Craving and Ambition's Cost as a card draw package in my own Saskia deck. Painful Truths and Phyrexian Arena are options I'm looking at myself right now.

Chuff_Bucket on More Life, More Problems

2 months ago

I actually like this build a lot, it seems pretty functional already! Lots of fun little interactions and ways to abuse your lifegain.

That being said, here are my suggestions:

First, you need more sources of card draw - at least a couple more. Harmonize, Ambition's Cost/Ancient Craving, Erebos, God of the Dead, Damnable Pact, Bloodgift Demon, Harvester of Souls, Painful Truths, Promise of Power, and Wretched Confluence are all good options. Decree of Pain pulls double duty in being a board-wipe and a hand-refiller!

In order to make room for a couple of those, I would cut Ghostly Prison and Faith's Reward. For Ghostly Prison, you're already padding your life total a lot, so that will mitigate any attacks coming your way. Additionally, you're playing a lot of big, scary stuff that people aren't going to want to swing in to anyway. It doesn't really seem to go with the gameplan of the deck. With Faith's Reward, I've always found this card to underperform. In a permanent-heavy deck like this, very rarely are you going to want to hold up 4 mana on the off-chance that your opponent uses a boardwipe. And even if you wanted to use this in conjunction with your own, that's a minimum of 8 mana right there. There are better things to be doing at that stage of the game. I can just foresee that a lot of the time, that card will be a dead card in your hand.

Another thing that sticks out to me is that you have a LOT of high-CMC creatures. In fact, of all your creatures currently in the deck, only 5 are below CMC 4. You may want to consider eschewing some of those bigger CMC creatures for smaller ones that will help you out - stuff like Soul Warden, Soul's Attendant, Essence Warden, maybe Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim. You don't want to get stuck with an empty board by the time Ikra Shadiqi hits the board!

TheRedGoat on Pattern Recognition #32 - Functional ...

2 months ago

@ClockworkSwordfish: I've played and consequently lost a lot of games to elf-ramp-centric EDH strategies and the only names I've ever heard those deck types called is either "Elfball" or "Elf Cancer" (because they can be disgusting in how quickly they win the game when built right).

They are more or less a play-group warping type of deck that demands other players build in a manner that can stop them or they just lose. Many other tribal deck types, Slivers especially, are capable of doing this in addition to stax or even combo decks like those built with Leovold, Emissary of Trest or Breya, Etherium Shaper. With the latter options being banned because as opposed to the tribal strategy, they are not stopped dead by one well timed Damnation.

@berryjon: Would you say that cards like Ancient Craving and Ambition's Cost count as functional reprints of Concentrate or Harmonize? If they do, would you think red will ever get a similar card to that specific example?

Also, I figure you're "retwistment" card is a reference to Wheel of Fortune, but how do Wheel of Fate and Magus of the Wheel not break the functional reprint rule? Or am I confused about when some of these were printed?

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