Read the Bones

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Frontier Legal
Vintage Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Custom Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Noble Legal
Hero Legal
Magic Duels Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
MTGO Legal
Vanguard Legal
Leviathan Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Modern Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Casual Legal
Oathbreaker Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander 2017 (C17) Common
Duel Decks: Zendikar vs. Eldrazi (DDP) Common
Magic Origins (ORI) Common
Commander 2014 (C14) Common
Theros (THS) Common

Combos Browse all

Read the Bones

Sorcery

Scry 2, then draw two cards. You lose 2 life. (To scry 2, look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

Read the Bones Discussion

dingusdingo on Vilis, The Edge Lord

2 weeks ago

Ad Naus with the commander out it doesn't matter if the average CMC is high, you're still getting as many life points as you lose from your commander, plus the ones you get from Ad Naus. A lower average CMC will give more cards, but just consider that Ad Naus gets so much extra mileage anyways with this commander.

Lower CMC will make more explosive early plays, which is important when you can't reliably get your commander for the first couple turns. I would swap spells for permanents, and add more engine cards to help ensure the commander comes out.

Suggested Swaps

And if budget allows

Mindblade grinds value and can block/swing better than Read da Bonez. Etchings draws you the same amount of cards as Ancient Cravings after 2 turns but gives more the longer it stays and causes combotastic lifeloss. Shriekmaw is removal on an evasive creature if you want it, and it ups creature density while keeping a removal slot. Hatred is a nice burst card, but leaves you vulnerable after using it and is expensive to cast and easy to interrupt via counters/combat tricks/blocking, reclamation will let you grind value in longer games and has more of an impact earlier. Medallion outpaces the vesper ghoul immediately, coming out cheaper and being more useful with more spells per turn, and no summoning sickness. Temporal Extortion isn't great because it gives your opponents the choice, and they will always choose the better one for their situation. An extra turn is great, but half life of one player isn't all that important in combo-driven EDH. The rock changes come out earlier and help you dump your hand faster, meaning you have stronger presence sooner in the game, pretty standard in most serious decks.

Also worth checking out Loxodon Warhammer in tandem with with swamp equippers to add some life gain back in. You should also consider having a go-infinite combo for winning once you've drawn your deck. Paradox Engine fits in extremely well with Citadel or Ad Naus, and a Sensei's Divining Top + Voltaic Key gives another way to draw through the deck with Paradox. Use with a mana sink like Torment of Hailfire and you're golden

griffstick on Who Do You Voodoo?

3 weeks ago

I'm trying to think of other cards that are voodoo like Read the Bones

channelfireball12345 on Yawgmoth's Bargain *Primer*

3 weeks ago

Font of Agonies is pretty inefficient removal, despite it’s synergy with the rest of your deck. In fact, all single target removal isn’t great on rate in edh. I’d recommend replacing it and any number of other cards with Sign in Blood , Night's Whisper , or Read the Bones . +1 otherwise

ComicXero on Red, Dead and Eddie

4 weeks ago

Hi Last Laugh! Thanks for the comment and the suggestions :)

I've run Reconnaissance in my Alesha deck for a while and seen huge value, because most of her critters have small bodies. With Eddie, I've rarely found that a 6/6 first striker can't safely swing in against at least one opponent the turn he comes in, and with evasion Drana, Liberator of Malakir can normally get past defenders on the ground easily. I'll continue to keep an eye out for scenarios in games where i'd liked to have had access to Reconnaissance and keep it in mind though.

With regards to Stromkirk Captain , isn't that something of a nonbo with Drana? Now the rest of your team is no longer getting pumped before they do their damage :( Wouldn't a card like True Conviction be a better combo with Drana? I know it's not a vamp, but she's now triggering twice and gaining you a ton of life!

I've structured this deck to generate value from killing, returning to hand and replaying the low CMC vamps. The virtual card advantage there seems to do a good job of ofsetting draw weaknesses. None of those 3 are Vamps (sadly, so I think I'd be looking to cut Read the Bones for one of them). It's a tough one, but I might put Necropotence back in.

NinetyFish on Witchcraft

1 month ago

Wickedly evocative. One of those theme decks where it's fun just to look at the decklist and see various creative ideas like Black Cat or Read the Bones or Rites of Flourishing !

multimedia on Daxos Enchantment

1 month ago

Hey, saw your forum topic asking for help.

Nice upgrade of the precon, but consider less creatures, more one and two drop enchantments? Lots of creatures is not really needed because Daxos is a repeatable source of creatures from the Command Zone. For him to create a token that's worth three mana then you need to be casting enchantments. One and two drop enchantments can give you experience counters faster and also reduce the avg. CMC of your deck.

Ward, Ghostform and Renewal can protect Daxos. Bounce Ward for one mana and then cast it again. For Ward is an engine to get experience counters with Daxos, draw a lot of cards with Mesa, gain a lot of life with Coinsmith, create a lot of Angels with Throne, etc. Conviction can also be an enchantment engine for .

Ascension can be a repeatable source of creatures it's amazing in multiplayer Commander because it looks at each opponents end step. Obedience and Consuls expand on the pillowfort strategy which is helpful to stall opponents, giving you more turns to get experience counters, get other value from casting enchantments and make Spirits with Daxos. Exort is also a deceptively powerful effect in multiplayer Commander.

Hall of Heliod's Generosity from Modern Horizons brings a new graveyard strategy with repeatable enchantment recursion for white enchantress decks (wanting to cast enchantments to get value). You can now use your graveyard as a source of enchantments. Hall has good synergy with an enchantment that can sac itself to give you value such as Seals, Aura of Silence, etc. since you can recur it, draw it and cast it again. Sun Titan is very good repeatable reanimation of 3 or less CMC permanents includes enchantments and lands.

Other budget cards to consider adding:


I'm not going to give you an exact plan of what cards to cut and replace. Instead, I'm giving you lots of options, list of 26 cards to consider adding and list of lots of cards to cut. I'm leaving it up to you to make the decisions of what you cut. My advice of cards to cut are creatures and high CMC cards. Cards that don't give you value right away or repeatable value over time can be cut. The exceptions for these kinds of cards is removal, board wipes and draw spells, but you only want a few of these kinds of cards not a lot instead focus on enchantments.

Cards to consider cutting:

  • Temple of the False God
  • Vivid Meadow
  • Orzhov Guildgate
  • Vivid Marsh
  • New Benalia
  • Herald of the Host
  • Necromancer's Covenant
  • Deadly Tempest
  • Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts
  • Dreadbringer Lampads
  • Treasury Thrull
  • Thrilling Encore
  • Thief of Blood
  • Silent Sentinel
  • Celestial Archon
  • Vow of Duty
  • Vow of Malice
  • Kor Sanctifiers
  • Corpse Augur
  • Burnished Hart
  • Banishing Light
  • Traveler's Amulet
  • Ghostblade Eidolon
  • Nighthowler
  • Orzhov Cluestone
  • Death Grasp
  • Finale of Eternity
  • Ancient Craving
  • Nevermore
  • Marshal's Anthem

I offer more advice if you would like. Good luck with your deck.

multimedia on Davy Jones Pt.2

1 month ago

Hey, saw your forum topic asking for help.

Since you're a new player in Commander my advice is keep it simple. Build this deck around what your Commander does. Admiral Beckett Brass means Pirates and she doesn't do anything unless you have Pirates. Not Zombies, not Vampires or any other tribe, just Pirates.

The steal your opponents nonland permanents/creatures is a fine strategy, but don't go overboard with single cards that only give you a single steal effect on a single creature such as Act of Treason . Brass's combat damage to a player from three Pirates ability and Captivating Crew are repeatable ways to steal your opponents creatures/nonland permanents and that's better, really all you need for this effect.

There's only 27 lands here which is not enough land; you risk getting land screwed (not drawing or have lands on the battlefield). When this happens you're not able to play cards in your hand because you don't have lands on the battlefield. Getting land screwed is not fun and since you're a new player it's even worse as it can possibly make you not want to play again.

Getting land flooded (drawing too many lands/having too much land) is also not fun, but it's better to have lands to cast spells then to not have any lands at all. If land flooded you can at least cast Brass since she's in the Command Zone. All Commander deck builders have to clear deck space for enough lands.


My advice for the manabase is if you don't want to add other lands that you don't have then add more basic lands. Play a total of 38 lands with 15-20 basic lands, split up between Islands, Swamps and Mountains. Play more Islands than the rest, next is Swamps and last is Mountains. There's more blue and black Pirates/cards than red here. If you're willing to add lands you don't already have then I can help you on a budget to upgrade the manabase starting with Command Tower .

11 cards to consider cutting to add more lands:


Other cards to consider cutting to make 100 cards:

As far as cuts to consider, cut single cards that give a single effect such as stealing an opponent's creature for one turn. Only getting to cast a card once and only target one creature to steal for one turn is not good enough. Single card combat trick spells that can only target one creature are lackluster and can be cut. Auras that only help one creature and don't give evasion can also be cut. Ghostly Wings and Aqueous Form are fine since they can give Brass evasion making it easier for her to do combat damage to a player.

Simplify your deck's strategy, go with Pirates and cut the majority of the nonPirate creatures. Creatures such as Wonder , Nightveil Specter and Sower of Temptation are worth keeping especially Wonder. Specter and Sower are good cards to go with the theme of stealing your opponents cards. Clones are fine, but not high mana cost ones that can only copy a creature; honestly cut them.


Some redundancy (multiple cards that do the same effect or close to it) in Commander is good. But, if you're needing cuts then redundancy is a place to make cuts. Draw spells for instance are good redundancy such as Brainstorm , Night's Whisper , Read the Bones . These are all low mana cost/mana efficient draw spells. Opt and Sleight of Hand are also fine, but if you need cuts they can be cut. Draw spells such as Pirate's Pillage , Pirate's Prize , Train of Thought , Think Twice are not good, cut them. Low mana cost (0-2 CMC) mana rocks are more good redundancy: Sol Ring and Signets/Talismans. Chromatic Lantern and Commander's Sphere are much better than the other three drop mana rocks here; Mana Geode and Darksteel Ingot can be cut.

For your deck combat trick spells, counterspells and targeted creature removal is in my opinion bad redundancy. I'm not saying to not have these kinds of effects, but limit the amount of them you play. Counterspell for instance is a staple card of Commander play it, but Cancel , Sinister Sabotage and Rethink are worse then Counterspell, cut them. Sabotage is better than Cancel, etc.

Blasphemous Act and Fiery Cannonade is good redundancy. Murder is better than Doomblade, cut Doomblade. Sorcery or high mana cost instant creature removal can be cut such as Contract Killing and Price of Fame . Bitterblossom and Dreadhorde Invasion is good redundancy, but Bitterblossom is a much better card than Invasion. Invasion is a good card, but if you need to cut a card then cut it because you have Bitterblossom, otherwise keep it.

Spells that give all your creatures evasion of some type are fine, but don't go overboard with including lots of them because these cards do nothing without you controlling a creature; making them dead draws/dead cards in your hand too often. These kind of effects that can give all your creatures evasion are better if they can be repeatable or are a static ability such as Wonder or from an enchantment, not an aura. You want to play cards that can give your creatures lasting evasion more than a single card for a single effect on one turn.

I offer more advice if you would like. Good luck with your deck.

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Read the Bones occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.08%

Black: 0.69%

Rakdos: 0.76%

WB (Orzhov): 0.57%

Golgari: 0.16%

RBW (Mardu): 0.6%