Pick the Brain


Format Legality
Vintage Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Legacy Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Standard Legal
Modern Legal
Frontier Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Shadows over Innistrad Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Pick the Brain


Target opponent reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it and exile that card.

Delirium — If there are four or more card types among cards in your graveyard, search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as the exiled card, exile those cards, then that player shuffles his or her library.

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Pick the Brain Discussion

Illuminate21 on AKH - Grixis Control

5 days ago

You need to weigh the difference between how good the Bicycle lands are in the best situation, and how bad they are in the worst. It also depends on the deck. If you want mana open early to disrupt the opponent then they are not so good, although they power up the Shadow Lands, if you don't disrupt, its just a duel land that enters tapped.

When it comes to Kefnet, I prefer to return Aether Hub to replay and get more energy, usually just to mana pix tho. I'll also point out that this fuels delirium along with Evolving Wilds, making To the Slaughter and Pick the Brain a bit better.

Overall, if you are going to run the Bicycle lands, you should probably run only a few, maybe 2-4. And try use them to their full potential with the Shadows Lands.

Brogan25 on My Ex-Wife

1 week ago

Dispossess is fine, but the marvel decks win over a deck like this with Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Everything else can be fought through. Hence, Lost Legacy handles it just fine. Delirium is fairly easy to hit and Pick the Brain can just randomly be amazing at times. The bonus to it is that without delirium, it is still passable. The extra hand disruption just replaces the abundance of removal that comes out versus control. I can see why Gerry Thompson (running an aggressive deck) would not like the card. Playing a slower midrange/control deck means needing coverall answers to tough threats in particular match-ups. A card like Lost Legacy gives that. The floor is pretty low on it, but the ceiling is high as well.

Noctem on My Ex-Wife

1 week ago

Interesting update to the deck. Back to its roots indeed :)

So the first question that immediately springs to mind is: Why Orzhov over Esper? Is the mana really that bad right now?

Second, Lost Legacy was commented on by Gerry Thompson (he ran 2 in his sideboard at the Pro Tour) over the weekend as being a bad card which he regretted bringing for the event. I've also heard this from other sources. So my question to you, since you're basically running all of the top hand hate cards is: Have you playtested Dispossess? What are you aiming at with Lost Legacy exactly? Also Pick the Brain is an interesting choice in a deck where Delirium might not be as easy to get. Why that over a card like Dispossess?

Thanks for the update :)

WItC on Lunarch Wipes (AKH) - Fun Semi-budget Deck

1 week ago

Yes, DanaBarrosReincarnate, I've been trying to fine tune the deck. Bontu the Glorified and Gonti, Lord of Luxury were both really close to making the cut, but a 4th Gifted Aetherborn is just better at getting us though the early game, and beat out Gonti for that reason. Bontu was competing too much with Yahenni for our creature fodder, and just wasn't effective enough. It also competes with Vampiric Rites.

What I've done is replace a Bone Picker with the 4th Gifted. I dropped to 1 Oketra; she is still good in very specific situations, but just isn't consistent. The Vampiric Rites is in her place.

I'm still not sure about the vampiric rites. The one-of copy just hasn't been very relevant in games to date. There are a lot of games where I would not mind drawing at as the game went on, so it is staying for now.

I've added one Grasp of Darkness and taken away a Fatal Push. It seems like a good balance. I don't really want any more low-curve creature removal; those cards are dead in a control matchup, which tends to be our hardest fight.

I've made some changes to the sideboard. Zombies have been tricky, but adding in 3 Trespasser's Curse has been really helpful, also against aggro and drake haven decks. To make room I removed 1 Anguished Unmaking, 1 Fragmentize, and 1 Planar Outburst.

I like Pick the Brain but it just doesn't slow down control enough, which is the main reason to chose it (the fact that we take a card from the opponent's hand is the benefit of this card, while the other options are guaranteed to remove all of the target cards). Instead, I split the sideboard to 2x Lost Legacy and 2x Dispossess.

cenazwalker on Mono-Black Good Stuff

1 month ago

For Gideon hate I usually sideboard in 2 Ruinous Path and 2 Lost Legacy. Pick the Brain is also a good option for sideboard removal.

Argeaux on Why Standard is not as ...

1 month ago

One of the Wizards developers posted a couple of days ago about how they realised Standard was problematic at the moment.

Particularly due to having a lack of answers for the top decks.

He said they should probably have had Naturalize be Standard legal at the moment.

You can put all the answers you like to combat Copy Cat ... and most of them will just be countered. That's part of the problem - the Jeskai colours give access to lots of Counter spells, and Spell Queller.

With Mardu Vehicles the relentless aggression and access to so many little threats, some of them being Vehicles, means that you can't spot remove everything, and a board wipe won't hit the biggest threat - Heart of Kiran. Lost Legacy can't find that card and Pick the Brain only grabs all copies once you have Delerium - impossible to achieve before it hits the field on Turn 2. Once again, Heart of Kiran will hit the field before you can play Pick the Brain.

I have beaten both of these decks, but never taken a match from them. You can't win by just stacking your deck full of answers. You also need some win cons.

The words you have chosen to use in your OP suggest to me that you don't have a lot of real world experience playing against the top decks. I do. They are extremely difficult to consistently beat. That's why the pros built them in the first place.

The way Mardu Vehicles works is that it uses Heart of Kiran to do most of its dirty work, having lots of Creatures to Crew it. There are enough of these Creatures to also attack with them, and Scrapheap Scrounger has recurrence. If there were easy ways to combat the deck we would have found them by now.

I am not calling for a ban. I'm asking for R and D to do a much better job of designing their sets in future.

Ceondoc on Why Standard is not as ...

1 month ago

We all know about the Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian combo that has taken over Standard at the moment, but I believe that it does not need to be banned, but rather that new ways to get around it need to be found. Take Lost Legacy. It's sort-of like a weaker Surgical Extraction, but I see nobody playing it. It seems like a really good card against those Saheeli Rai/Felidar Guardian decks, yet everyone does not think to play it. Everybody goes straight to "Ban this" and not "How can I deal with these bigger decks?" Also Disallow can stop the Saheeli trigger or the Cat itself, and Pick the Brain can help you get rid of those cards before they are even a problem, plus with a Surgical Extraction Delirium ability. Even Authority of the Consuls can help, by gaining you life whenever a Guardian comes in, so that they can't kill you without dealing with that first. So try using the less used card to your advantage before you call the format "completely broken."

Melanthios on Pia's Recycling Facility! (Budget Combo)

2 months ago

So I've run this deck, with some minor adjustments, I put Marionette Master to the board, and put the 2 Herald of Anguishes in instead. This has made a monumental difference as you can easily get it out turn 4, the aggro and force discard is so good against control... crazy really.

I also have 2 Pick the Brain and 4 Scrapheap Scrounger as they provide me with ways of destroying control, as it is our toughest match up. 4 Colour Saheeli is not super meta in my LGS, but there are a few, and I have 4 copies of Unlicensed Disintegration as a means of combating that.

I also agree with @Userj123 and @Y.M. as G/B Snake is a very rough match. With Unlicensed Disintegration you can pick a Winding Constrictor off or a huge gearhulk etc. but it really has a hard time, I'm thinking it needs some deathtouch or something to force a sac.

I've gone 2-1, or 3-1 a few FNMs/Saturday Showdowns with this deck and know it's potential, if there was a way around control, it could be unstoppable. (Also Release the Gremlins might be considered as it targets enemy Torrential Gearhulks

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