Read the Bones


Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Frontier Legal
Vintage Legal
Penny Dreadful 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

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


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.)

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Read the Bones Discussion

wraya2 on Olivia's Bloodthirsty Madness

21 hours ago

I would add cards like Read the Bones to keep your hand full if you plan on discarding a bunch.

Phyrexian Arena and it's weaker sibling Underworld Connections should be in here too.

Chasmolinker on Glory to Esper

2 days ago

I could see cutting a Path to Exile for Detention Sphere. What are your thoughts on Read the Bones over Painful Truths? It allows you to see up to 4 cards if you don't like the first 2.

GarmaReborn on Zurgo World Smasher

1 week ago

Warrior Creatures to Consider:

Non-Warrior Creatures:

Equipment to Consider:

Artifacts to Consider:



  • Vandalblast
  • Rout
  • Chandra's Ignition -really great boardwipe for this deck, if zurgo has lifelink you will get that life and also anything that dies will give him counters. You could have zurgo, cast this, and then more than likely one shot a player
  • Read the Bones
  • Open the Armory
  • Disrupt Decorum tapped out won't link this for some reason

Instants: (sticking with four or less Cmc for sunforger shenanigans)



Mardu is great for control, so its best to have plenty of removal spells. I would not have Spinerock Knoll since it might be too slow. Windbrisk Heights might be better than Spinerock tho. Like what if you need to play that spell but can't get 7 damage off. Also, Graveblade Marauder seems too situational to leave an impact. When you start adding/removal stuff to the deck, make sure to keep it low cmc as you can since you don't have much in terms of ramp in these colors; be sure to keep as mana rocks as you can for the same reason.

Polybius on Mairsill

2 weeks ago

Very cool deck! Since your goal is to keep it casual I'll suggest cards that are upgrades to stuff you already have, that way you can do what you've been doing just a bit faster/more consistently.

Mana Ramp:At the moment I see 7 sources of artifact ramp in your deck. I'd highly recommend increasing that to the 10-12 range, it will drastically speed up your deck.

Consider Adding:- Prismatic Lens- Fellwar Stone- Mind Stone- Rakdos Signet- Izzet Signet- Dimir Signet- Coldsteel Heart- Sphere of the Suns

Consider Removing:- Commander's Sphere- Darksteel Ingot- Worn Powerstone

Card Draw:The 6 card draw spells you have here are fine but I'd recommend adding at least 5 more, specifically card spells that help you discard into your graveyard or fill up your hand on the cheap.

Consider Adding:- Thirst for Knowledge- Careful Study- Phyrexian Arena- Read the Bones- Night's Whisper- Dig Through Time- Chart a Course - Tormenting Voice- Preordain- Brainstorm- Ponder

Consider Removing:- Winds of Rebuke- Tragic Lesson - Essence Flux- Fervor- Rolling Thunder- Unstable Obelisk- Treasure Cruise- Conjurer's Closet

Land:If you up your mana rock count to the 10-12 range, you can drop your land count down to 32-34 and have no issues.

The best way to go about improving your landbase is focusing on adding lands that enter untapped and can give you multiple colors.

Are just a few examples of lands you should consider adding in place of slower, enter tapped lands.

That's just the basic rundown of how to improve the core of your deck and make it a bit more consistent. Hopefully those ideas help!

WhichKing on Shadow and Flame

2 weeks ago

Also I realized that you have almost no draw. Black has a lot of card draw. Don't be put off by the lifeloss tacked on to a lot of black card draw spells (Read the Bones, Sign in Blood, Promise of Power, Night's Whisper, Damnable Pact, Greed, Erebos, God of the Dead. You'll need 6-8 draw spells. Looting effects on creatures and Key to the City, Trading Post are also good to suddenly drop a juicy reanimation target into your GY at your opponents' end step.

SynergyBuild on Whisper, Blood Liturgist EDH: To Make an Omelette

3 weeks ago

This deck I feel can be made into a powerful combo deck, by abusing Grave Titan effects with Thornbite Staff, and a few other comboes as well.

The main cards to add for this effect would be:

Triskelion and Mikaeus, the Unhallowed for the most straightforward combo, and the Buried Alive you have to put them in, preferably with Rune-Scarred Demon. You recur the Demon fetching Vindicate, then bring the Mikaeus/Triskelion Combo out by sacing the Demon. This means Buried Alive can win the game with the commander as a one card combo. Phantasmagorian can be used if you end up with any number of the combo pieces in hand.

Other cards to add include Imperial Seal, Grim Tutor, Diabolic Intent, Culling the Weak, Dimir Machinations, Corpse Connoisseur, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Memnite, Shield Sphere, Ornithopter, Grim Monolith, Phyrexian Walker, Chrome Mox, Lotus Petal, Defense Grid, Dark Confidant, etc.

Some cards I'd just say to look at, but not definitely include are as goes: Toxic Deluge (The best board wipe in the game), Read the Bones, Night's Whisper, Withering Boon, Sign in Blood, etc.

Cards you can drop:

Skirsdag High Priest

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Kokusho, the Evening Star

Noosegraf Mob

Overseer of the Damned

Skirk Ridge Exhumer

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Vindictive Lich

Malicious Affliction

Revel in Riches

Phyrexian Arena

Black Market

Call the Bloodline

Dictate of Erebos

Grave Pact

Ancient Craving

PedroMarcello on BW Approach

4 weeks ago

Diabolic Tutor can be replaced by Mastermind's Acquisition. Which gives you more space on the mainboard!
You can actually throw one of the Approaches into the sideboard and jam in more control spells. You can get rid of one Exilir on the sideboard, and never really board-in the other, as when you need it, you can just pick up with acquisition.
Gideon of the Trials is a good call, I would run a second copy if I were you. specially because Mill decks just can't beat his emblem.
I would consider swaping Read the Bones with Dark Bargain, as it allows you to hold your anwsers at instant speed.
Declaration in Stone hits multiple targets, but for that you already have boardwipe, so consider the budget options Oust and Go for the Throat.Also consider focusing your sideboard in getting silverbullets and anti-control piece, as it's a great anti-creature deck already.

jgc10 on Rats in the Walls

1 month ago

I've been play testing some Altar's Reap for card advantage. I want something I can use at instant speed, so Read the Bones and Sign in Blood aren't options right now, but Shadow of Doubt is a sideboard play. There's also Blood Scrivener and cards like Underworld Connections and Phyrexian Arena if you want to go the enchantment route. I've also had good success late game with Ob Nixilis Reignited. If you have a creature or two to protect him, he's a beast. You have a lot of one drops, so maybe replace a couple of those with some bigger threats would help smooth your mana curve?

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