Open the Graves

Legality

Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Custom Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Arena Legal
Standard Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Brawl Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Core Set 2019 (M19) Rare

Combos Browse all

Tokens

Open the Graves

Enchantment

Whenever a nontoken creature you control is put into the graveyard from the battlefield, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.

Open the Graves Discussion

Tylord2894 on W/B Teysa Commander

1 day ago

Okay, so after looking at this deck for a while, considering its sideboard, and adding some cards that I use often for similar strategies, I've come up with a list of edits (well, actually three lists).

Before I get to those, I would like to explain what I found. Firstly, I like the idea behind the deck. Token strategies are always a great way to make a casual deck that can scale to be for optimized. I love the afterlife keyword as it lends itself to this optimization really well. But there were several less-than-savory card choices in here. The two biggest issues that I saw are ones that I see a lot (and full into too). The first of these is that many cards have a very high cost-to-value ratio. That is, there were several cards that cost too much (mana) and do too little for it. Elgaud Inquisitor is a fantastic example. While Elgaud Inquisitor is on-theme with their on-death triggered ability, that is all they have going for them. The lifelink isn't super useful, and the CMC is WAY too high. They are only a 2/2 too boot. Second off, theme isn't the same as function. I understand that there is a vorthos element to this deck, but since this deck isn't a full tribal deck, I think it's better to focus on ways to make the good parts of the theme work great.

I saw lots of cards that were life gaining cards ( Pontiff of Blight , Impassioned Orator , Riot Control , etc). This deck can make a lot of tokens which Tesya gives lifelink. You need not worry about life gain card. The strength of your creatures that make tokens when they die is that you can easily recur them in W/B. In the lists below, there are many cards that give added value to dying creature or make killing your creatures more ways to die. Lastly and most importantly, you had ZERO ramp and ALMOST NO card draw. THESE ARE THE TWO MOST FUNDAMENTAL ASSPECTS IN EDH!!! You NEED to have them!!! You can not rely solely on the one land drop and card draw. I've listed several cards that assist the main strategy and draw you cards (things like Dredge and Altar's Reap ). As for ramp, there is almost no good ramp outside of green. That only means that you have to look harder. Mana rocks are a must. I only have three in the lists, but they are absolute must-haves. Next, I put in several cards that give you mana in other ways. Most of them align themselves with the main strategy ( Ashnod's Altar , Soldevi Adnate , and Pawn of Ulamog to name a few). Similarly, I added cards that draw you cards from creatures dying. There is one card that I would like to point out in particular, Erebos . The important part of Erebos is his last ability. You pay and 2 life to draw a card. Life is a resource, and you'll be making plenty of it. Be sure to spend it. There are lots of cards that help you turn life into various things, like Bolas's Citadel (which I almost put in and still think has a place here). I would encourage you to look into them. Lastly, I would remove 6 lands. You have other ramp now and don't want to be flooded all of the time.

Here is the list of cards that I would remove:

I understand that there is a budget to this deck, so I've split my suggestions into two lists. The first is all cards that are cheap and should keep you under budget. The second list of cards is for later edits. If you want to spend more money on this deck, those are the cards that I would recommend buying.

As you're read through these, you might notice that a lot of these came from your sideboard. There are lots of good cards in there.

I hope you enjoy these changes. Just remember that casual decks don't have to be un-optimized.

Mj3913 on Shhh, its an Eldrazi Party {Primer}

5 days ago

Call the Bloodline , Ghoulcaller Gisa , Open the Graves could be a good way to gain sacrificial token fodder.

Nemesis on Burning Zombies

3 weeks ago

Heyo! I've been out of standard for a while (aside from MTGA), so take my suggestions with a grain of salt, but I think you've got a pretty good base going, especially since you say you're new to magic. Bear with me here, since I don't know what you count as "budget", so I'm going to assume anything below $5. So lets get to the changes:

Fireblade Artist - pretty easy cut here, it's not a zombie so it isn't on theme, and it doesn't really do anything special to include despite not being a zombie.

Open the Graves - This one is a little less easy, I haven't playtested the deck so I don't know the mileage you get from it, but here are my issues - First, it's 5 mana. It's the only card at this cost and it tops off your list. Second, it doesn't do anything when it comes down to help you win. Third, it relies on you have a board that is dying, so you can get value off of it.

Blood Divination - There are cheaper alternatives you could go for here.

Recover - This card basically does nothing. It costs 3 mana and doesn't really bring you closer to winning. The card draw is nice, but I'm sure tehre are better options.

Vraska, Swarm's Eminence - Her passive only works while you have Death Baron on the field, so you can't really count on that.

Midnight Reaper - A zombie based card draw option that triggers off of itself - $3

Graveyard Marshal - Eats your bodies to make more zombies allowing you to go wide - $.50

Vizier of the Scorpion - Creates a zombie and provides your tokens with deathtouch if you decide to keep Vraska - $.10

Josu Vess, Lich Knight - now I'll admit this one is a bit out there, but it is a zombie, it has menace, it has a decent body for the cost and assuming you make it to the late late late game, it's a great finisher. This is my lowest recommendation though.

Costly Plunder - Draws 2 instead of 3, but is an instant so you can respond to creature removal by casting it. It's also half the cost. - $.10

Lastly, you may want to consider adding more Cast Down s, drop the land count by one (if you're dropping the 5 mana slot), and lastly Dragonskull Summit for mana fixing (these are about $5 each). Thaaaaat's everything, I think.

Justmaximum on Whispers in the dark 35$ budget build

3 weeks ago

Illusionist's Bracers allows you to get 2 for 2 which is nice, and Reassembling Skeleton is a sweet basically free sac outlet because you just pay two to bring it back. Consider Desecrated Tomb and Open the Graves to just keep that sac train rolling without losing power on the battlefield. I know this is out of budget as well but eventually Mikaeus, the Unhallowed crushes in a sac decks like this and Cauldron of Souls is a great alternative as well. Finally with all these death triggers Blood Artist or Dictate of Erebos can go a long way. I know a lot of these cards are out of budget but they are good additional choices. Cabal Stronghold is probably a better similarly priced alternative to Wayfarer's Bauble for ramp, and also since your reanimate Solemn Simulacrum or Burnished Hart get really out of hand for ramp.

RAIL17 on Life Leech

1 month ago

Oh, no, it's quite alright, I honestly I'm glad that I can get detailed feedback on a deck that felt was pretty gimmicky; and something I can actually work with. Open the Graves , much like most of the cards I picked, is there mainly for token summoning-- It's not much about building a defense, but getting three spawns for life points: exactly so I can play Thoughtseize and Dark Confidant , which are two great additions I am definitively going to try and squeeze into the deck, now that I know they are a thing.

I figured there were two ways I could play this deck: - Vampiric healing: Which would depend on having one or more Ajani's Welcome set up from the beginning and then start dropping 1/2 mana creatures w/Token spawning until I can run Epicure of Blood and turn my healing into the offensive. Having two 'Ajani's Welcome' setup with 'Epicure of Blood; and then having Ajani's Pridemate attack with it's 2 cat tokens, and three vampire tokens from Call to the Feast , that's a minimum of 10 healing if everything was blocked, which translates into 10 damage to the opponent's Life (Which has the problem of being a more 'endgame' strategy, with a weak start that can mess me up) - Token overwhelming: Which is basically dumping as many creatures/tokens from the very start, which mixed with the fact most of them have life-link, allows me to save my beefy cards for attacking, rather than blocking. (Which, considering most of them are 1/1, would mean a simple splash damage card would leave me wide open. So basically dead on arrival against a Red deck)

Now I'm the one that's rambled, but to get to the end of my thoughts: Ixalan's Binding is good, but Seal Away is cheaper, and unless I'm preventing Token piling, like clerics from Rite of Belzenlok and the like, I don't think the cost justifies it's use.

So, since you're offering advice-- I could remove : 1x Harmless Assault , 2x Ajani's Pridemate . And in their stead, add: 2x Mortify , 2x Cast Down , 1x Thoughtseize , and 2x Dark Confidant for a good 60 card roundup, while keeping the core gimmick of 'stealing life' intact?

Daveslab2022 on Life Leech

1 month ago

Hey, there! Welcome to MTG! It’s a super complex game that’s always evolving but it’s incredibly fun and we’re glad to have another player! Your deck looks incredibly solid, I just have to critique one small thing, that every player falls prey too when they first start. That critique is: life is a resource. It’s not important to have 100 life, all that matters is that you don’t have 0. Cards like Thoughtseize and Dark Confidant (my favorite card) are some of the most powerful in the game, even at the cost of your life. Use your life total as a resource. Cards like Ajani’s Welcome are super fun, because who doesn’t like gaining a bunch of life? However, those cards are traps. They’re not good. They have a neat effect, but you should play a cheap creature with lifelink, or a removal spell instead. Ajani’s Welcome will gain you maybe 5-10 life per game, but will cost you immensely when it’s turn 7-8 and you’re at 30 life, and you draw it. You’re going to wish it was anything else besides a land. Ajani's Pridemate and similar cards are also traps. You’ll spend so much time trying to build it up to a huge contender on the battlefield, just for it to die from a Mortify or a Cast Down . Open the Graves is strong when you have a huge board, but if on turn 5 you don’t have any creatures, again, you’ll be punished. I would recommend playing your own copies of Mortify, Cast Down, Vraska's Contempt , or Ixalan's Binding which are all super good in your colors.

Hope I helped! Sorry if I rambled. I’m around to answer any questions you have.

Justmaximum on Monster Girl Massacre (Tokens)

1 month ago

Hey I really like running Open the Graves in self destruction/sacrifice decks, since the tokens are 2/2 they spawn then die before Poison-Tip Archer functionally doubling your burn damage!

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Open the Graves occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.02%

Black: 0.2%