Pick the Brain


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

cenazwalker on Mono-Black Good Stuff

3 weeks 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 ...

3 weeks 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 ...

3 weeks 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 $50)

1 month 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


1 month ago

Hi there :)

I've been playing and messing around with your deck! So much fun!

I made the following modifications to the maindeck:

Seasons Past is very good, specially against more grindy games (like BG Snek and such) and Control.

This is the sideboard that I've been using:

I hope it helps in the construction of your sideboard! Keep tweaking this!

Mokan on B/G Fun with deathtouch (3-1 at FNM)

1 month ago

The deck seems really fine but I think it could use some tinkering. First and foremost I don't think you need 23 lands, I'd drop them to 22. I don't really think the Untethered Express in the sideboard fits with the idea of the deck. Also why have both Vines of the Recluse and Natural State (I'm thinking they're against big bad flying vehicles) in the side, I think it's a bit of an overkill. I would instead put more things to protect myself from wipes and removal i.e.: more Blossoming Defense and Heroic Intervention. Again - why have both Transgress and Rot (I suppose they're both against control)? I'd personally stick with Transgress or add Pick the Brain since you already have delirium in the deck. I would suggest you go a little bit more into the delirium or revolt thing (just a suggestion, honestly don't know if it'll be any better). If you go the delirium route I think the oh so expensive Grim Flayer will be a good pick for this deck - since you have such good board control it wouldn't be hard for him to hit home and since you don't have much in the way for card draw the deck fixing could come in quite handy.

Indexxical on

1 month ago

Haha well I do like energy as a concept and Dynavolt Tower is undeniably good in standard right now, but man do I love recurring Ishkanah, Grafwidow and tutoring my heavy guys with Traverse the Ulvenwald. Pick the Brain is also very useful and To the Slaughter surprises a lot of opponents.

I have not dabbled in Sultai energy or counters, but delirium has definitely served me well. Thanks for the comment :)

ticked-off-squirrel on Control the Hand, Control the Game.

1 month ago

Pick the Brain VS Thoughtseize

Pick the Brain:

+if can trigger Delirium then you pick more than hand.

+exiles selected card(s) instead of sending them to graveyard

-costs more to cast


+is cheaper in terms of mana

-makes you bleed 2 (lose 2 life) after cast.

Harsh Scrutiny VS Inquisition of Kozilek

Harsh Scrutiny:

+has no mana cost limit for choice

+a free scry after usage

-has to be a creature

Inquisition of Kozilek:

+any nonland card

-has to be mana cost 3 or less

Mind Rot VS Wrench Mind

Mind Rot

+a straight discard two with no other options

-costs more to cast

Wrench Mind

+is cheaper in terms of mana

-player may (and most likely will) discard an artifact as opposed to two cards

looking at the statistics I'd say my suggests are at the VERY least even with the cards in the deck already. no better no worse.

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