Ancient Excavation

Ancient Excavation

Instant

Draw cards equal to the number of cards in your hand, then discard a card for each card drawn this way.

Basic landcycling (, Discard this card: Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)

Browse Alters View at Gatherer

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander Anthology 2018 (CM2) Uncommon
Commander 2016 (C16) Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Legality

Format Legality
Duel Commander Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Casual Legal
Vintage Legal
Highlander Legal

Ancient Excavation occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.02%

Ancient Excavation Discussion

thymecop on Zombie Tribal Scarab God

5 months ago

I like the idea of having the plan B of milling your opponents. This way your commander has more targets and Rise of the Dark Realms becomes so much spicier.

For this I’d suggest running cards that fill your opponent’s hands and graves using cards like Font of Mythos/Howling Mine, Fascination, and Anvil of Bogardan. This sets up explosive combos with cards like: Psychic Corrosion, Dreamborn Muse, and Windfall/Jace's Archivist.

Another suggestion I have is to run Phyrexian Altar. It’s 1. a sac outlet 2. Ramp 3. a whole lot of fun with Gravecrawler. He combos with the altar giving you infinite 2/2s with Diregraf Colossus and infinite Altar of the Brood triggers.

Big finishers cost a lot so Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Cabal Coffers got you covered. Running the two I believe always calls for a handy Expedition Map. Cut some basics, easy.

Things I’d cut for the 9 cards I mentioned would be: Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet (see above), Liliana's Mastery (too much for too little)), Dark Salvation (same reason), Sinister Sabotage (same reason), Expropriate (cut for something that synergies with your general. Take a cooler Rise over some stolen permanents), Ancient Excavation (Dreamborn Muse tho), Liliana, Untouched By Death (the best part about her Gisa and Geralf do already), Entomb (not sure about this one actually), and a land.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk.

P.S. Traumatize

wegnerdevin on Just another Breya Commander Deck

5 months ago

I'd run Preordain over Impulse, Gamble over Fabricate, and Ancient Excavation over Dark Deal. Thought Scour seems kinda weak overall, and if you could fit a Codex Shredder and a Scrap Mastery to play off each other while dumping into Krark-Clan Ironworks between iterations, I'm sure you'll have a great time.

Epicurus on Niv's Misfits

5 months ago

TolarianScientist, your concern is real. At the moment, I'm running 16 spells which deal with that concern:

For a hot second, I also had Atzocan Seer on the list, but dropped it in favor of including more offense as a tradeoff for losing mana production (I removed it for Knight of New Alara).

The problem with mana dorks is that none of the best ones are color pairs. With any other 5-color commander, this decklist would look totally different.

I like your suggestion of borderposts. Right now, the Spells I'd most consider removing are Merfolk Skydiver, Rise of the Hobgoblins, Deathbringer Liege, Terminate and Dovin, Grand Arbiter. Of those spells, how many and which would you replace with borderposts of the same colors?

Sorry for the long response.

Mrbeans4700 on Cycle deck mtg

8 months ago

I added the cycle lands to the deck which aids its speed. The cycling takes care of enough of the card draw to make Ancient Excavation not needed. Decree of Pain is a powerful tool but I am trying to keep the deck budget and that is slightly out of my range. I added some others to the sideboard. Thank you for your help.

olivebagel on Kess, Thousand-Year Storm [Primer-ish]

9 months ago

I think a more streamlined version of this deck runs around 30 lands for sure. To get there you really need to have Mana Crypt over Hedron Archive , Vampiric Tutor over Increasing Ambition , Wheel of Fortune over Ancient Excavation ect.. I definately make some budget concessions on artifact ramp and tutors that make me wary to cut the lands too low. 35 has felt right for what this deck is working with but with the new mulligan I am looking to trim a bit.

Hapix on The Scarab God's Arisen Horde

9 months ago

@multimedia, your comment is much appreciated! A lot of thought and play testing has gone into this deck (if I’m being honest though, this isn’t the first attempt as this is around the 8th iteration of scarab god due to play testing and not posting until now LOL).

I want to preface my response to your recommendations by saying that lowering the cmc of the deck is not really a priority as I usually have more than enough mana to do, but bringing down the amount of 5 drops and just generally increasing the tempo of this deck is on my radar. Furthermore, some inclusions (such as Consuming Aberration and Noosegraf Mob ) are in response to the meta of my table wherein they perform well (for example, one of my buddies plays an interesting Alesha, Who Smiles at Death homebrew that focuses on controlling the board state by altering base power/toughness of all creatures, Consuming Aberration on its own has saved my hide more times than one against Alesha lol).

Moving onto your recommendations:

Wonder > Grimoire of the Dead

Just the concept of Wonder alone is fantastic and it was even a part of the original iteration of this deck, but during playtesting (and this might just be me being unlucky) but it was often a mid-game dead draw and when I would have it in my graveyard, having a handful of flying zombies was nice, but not often game ending – hence non-inclusion. Grimoire of the Dead is slow AF and it the second eff is not easy to pull off, the only reason it is in the deck right now is I do not have a Rise of the Dark Realms , not sure what I will replace it with yet but I will take it out.

Windfall > Ancient Excavation

I like Windfall , it is a great wheel and I would like to include it. As it is right now Ancient Excavation is a card I keep in for the versatility of both self-mill and the basic landcycling, although I might swap it out for the Lim-Dul's Vault that you brought up later in your comment (I really like its’ effect tho).

Diabolic Intent > Exsanguinate

Diabolic Intent is a good card and that I plan to add in someday, but just to save $ I’m looking at Wishclaw Talisman as a budget alternative with some inbuilt politicking mechanisms. When it comes to Exsanguinate , it was a filler card I tossed in for play testing I’ll replace it with the aforementioned Wishclaw Talisman most likely

Relentless Dead > Noosegraf Mob

Relentless Dead is a card I used to have in here but I removed it since it felt slow and I just never really utilized the secondary eff I’m looking at getting a Gilded Drake in as a replacement. I agree though that Noosegraf Mob , as a six drop, is quite lackluster in comparison to the other high cmc cards. The potential value of 6 ETBs and/or death triggers is enough to keep him around for now, but if there is something I find I like more I’ll probably take mod out.

Graveborn Muse > Liliana's Reaver

Graveborn Muse I tested it out and saw myself dying to it more often than not, if I move further away from the zombie tribal aspect I might reconsider it. As for Liliana's Reaver , It isn’t to flashy but it works, no need to remove it rn but if anything better comes along I might.

“2 drop mana rocks > Commander's Sphere

Commander's Sphere is place holder card that I had socketed in while I was looking for some better mana rock options. Thanks for bring Arcane Signet to my attention, I’ll probably toss that or the signet in.

Arcane Denial > Countersquall

Arcane Denial isn’t a card I’d normally consider since the +2 for my opponent kind of hurts, but in a format like EDH with the 99 filling up a library, it seems pretty negligible so I’ll add it but won’t remover Countersquall since Its not that hard to get either {B} or {U} mana on demand. This though does touch on a different subject, I do want to add in some more counter magic, tutors, and removal (I’m looking at Arcane Denial , Swan Song , Pact of Negation , Mystical Tutor , Mastermind's Acquisition , Cunning Wish , Death Wish , Wishclaw Talisman , Victim of Night , Hero's Downfall , Murder , and Doom Blade but am stuck on evaluating which are the most beneficial inclusions).

To wrap up, thank you very much for your input it has been really helpful in reevaluating this deck. I sure do have some tinkering to do, haha. The nature of deckbuilding in EDH to me is everlasting and I hope I can continue to improve and refine my decks with recommendations and insight from other kind folks, like you, on this site :D

One last question, a friend is considering selling their Mana Vault to me at a discount, is this a card that I should seriously consider including or not?

Cheers!

SideBae on Aminatou in Progress

11 months ago
  1. So Preordain is awesome for the same reasons your Brainstorm and Ponder are... I suggest running it.

  2. Narset, Parter of Veils is a great way to limit your competitive opponents. Especially if you pair her with a well-timed Windfall . Ashiok, Dream Render happens to be another way to punish people for playing tutor-tribal kinds of strategies.

  3. Another hallmark of competitive decks is their ramp, especially zero and two-mana. In your description, you say you want to stay budget -- unfortunately, that rules out about all of the good zero mana ramp. ( Mox Tantalite is bad, and Mox Amber is hardly better most of the time.) So I suggest increasing your two-mana ramp, and maybe including Ancient Tomb if at all possible to speed up their presence on the board. Some to consider: Talisman of Progress , Talisman of Hierarchy , Talisman of Dominance , Coldsteel Heart , Fellwar Stone , Mind Stone , Everflowing Chalice , Prismatic Lens , etc. None of these should be more than a few bucks.

  4. Concerning your lands: I think you're running too many, especially if you add some of the ramp mentioned in (3). I'd cut four-ish, maybe five. Generally, once you have a few (3 - 4) lands, you'd rather have a rock and a land in hand than just two lands, since you can cast the rock without using your land-drop. I'm not sure HOW budget you want to keep this deck, but Mana Confluence and City of Brass are each around $10, and they're great in any three or more color deck. Pain lands ( Caves of Koilos , Adarkar Wastes and Underground River ) are better than your tapped lands like Sejiri Refuge , as far as I can tell.

  5. I think a reanimation package is probably better than running Show and Tell . Show and Tell is symmetrical, and is often actively dangerous to resolve in EDH, when everyone is trying to do busted stuff. I'm much more a fan of Buried Alive and Entomb to get your fatties in the bin, and then using Animate Dead , Dance of the Dead , Reanimate and/or Necromancy (which is $$$ for some reason) to get them back.

  6. Tutors like your Demonic Tutor are good, but like zero mana rocks they tend to be pricy (see Vampiric Tutor and Enlightened Tutor ). One I do suggest is Lim-Dul's Vault , which is only a couple dollars these days. It also happens to be instant speed, which is kinda dumb-powerful, if you ask me.

  7. Cumulative upkeep was designed to make powerful effects transient; however, Aminatou, the Fateshifter sorta changes that equation with her -1. Consider cards like Mystic Remora , which you can blink to keep around relatively indefinitely. Similar cards to consider are: Musician , Phyrexian Etchings , Tidal Control and Infernal Darkness (if you're particularly mean).

  8. Divining Witch is interesting -- I'd actually never seen that card before. If you're trying to exile your deck and win with your Jace, Wielder of Mysteries , I think Demonic Consultation is probably a better way... though you might want to keep both. Another method (that I think is worse) is to use the card Doomsday , which is only a few dollars. The problem is that if you run Doomsday , you'd likely want to run a Doomsday -package, so you could win by just casting it and drawing into your top card... For that, I'd suggest talking to someone smarter than me, as I've never been able to get the hang of what the hell is going on with that strategy. All I know is that the package usually has something like Gitaxian Probe and Lotus Petal and ends with me being dead.

  9. You may have good luck with card draw spells. Repeatable effects, like Phyrexian Arena and/or Dark Confidant , tend to be expensive; luckily, the spell versions are often decidedly less so. I suggest running a few or more of the following: Painful Truths , Night's Whisper , Treasure Cruise or Dig Through Time (running both can be tough since delve can get in its own way), Fact or Fiction , Thirst for Knowledge , Concentrate , Chemister's Insight , Oona's Grace (questionable, due to the high mana requirement), Ancient Excavation (good with the reanimation mentioned in (5)), Archmage's Charm , Chart a Course , Syphon Mind , Deep Analysis and/or Words of Wisdom -- pay extra attention to the instants you can cast on an opponents end step. Another way to do this is simply to steal your opponents' card draw with Notion Thief or Plagiarize .

  10. Lastly, I know its around $11 these days, but I think Counterbalance would be dumb in this deck. Using your general's +1 will let you stack whatever you want on top, which can be especially devastating if you can keep an opponent's general off the board that way.

Good luck man! Love this deck.

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