Read the Bones


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

Lame_Duck on Shedding tears: Golgari Crocodile Tribal

1 day ago

Kheru Dreadmaw seems pretty over-costed and bad, I would replace them with more Ammit Eternals. With very little graveyard interaction, Oath of Nissa is probably better than Grapple with the Past here, especially since you've got so few things to do on turn 1. Also, Scarscale Ritual might be better than Read the Bones in this deck.

KevinWasHere on

2 weeks ago

Here's my take on your Mono Black deck utilizing swamps. It's basically a creature control deck with tons of removal spells with life drain as your wincon. However, when you're up against control, the sideboard changes the deck into hand disruption and aggressive creatures.

(4) Vendetta

(2) Exsanguinate

(1) Damnable Pact

(4) Doom Blade

(4) Go for the Throat

(4) Sign in Blood

(1) To the Slaughter

(1) Never

(2) Ruinous Path

(4) Read the Bones

(3) Liliana of the Dark Realms

(3) Korlash, Heir to Blackblade

(4) Corrupt

(23) Swamp



(4)Kitesail Freebooter

(1)Mind Shatter


(2)Master of the Feast

(1)Gurmag Angler

Stardragon on Dealings of the Corrupt Soul

2 weeks ago

I was i was thinking of an Altar's Reap, Read the Bones, Sign in Blood and other cards like these

kameenook on

2 weeks ago

IDK what decks youre playing against where half of them don't care about life total. The only ones I can think of are ad nauseum and certain decks when they combo out.

Overall in this deck though I think Faithless Looting would be good or some other form of card draw / selection (Read the Bones, Night's Whisper, Painful Truths, because as much as you want the deck to be just 4 land combo with Madcap Experiment I think it'd be useful to have some way to ensure you can combo when you need to or be able to ignore the combo when its not useful

multimedia on Casual Weekend Zombie Deck

2 weeks ago

Hey, great budget deck.

I suggest more draw: Night's Whisper, Sign in Blood, Painful Truths and Read the Bones. Consider cutting some of the less good high casting cost board wipes: Extinguish All Hope, In Garruk's Wake and Hex. You don't really need 6x high casting cost board wipes. Another option is to cut some of the less good six drop Zombies: Geralf's Mindcrusher and Maalfeld Twins.

You're only playing Dimir Signet I suggest also adding Izzet Signet and Rakdos Signet. Consider cutting Mycosynth Wellspring and Manalith for them?

Victimize is a great reanimation spell. Consider cutting Unhallowed Pact for it?

Slave of Bolas is a nice gain control of a creature/kill spell. Letting you attack one of your opponents with one of their own creatures and then that creature dies end of turn. Consider cutting Rescue from the Underworld for it?

You're playing a lot of Basic lands making Sunken Hollow and Smoldering Marsh nice dual lands. Swamps are your primary Basic lands which is good with the Tainted lands: Tainted Peak and Tainted Isle. Exotic Orchard is a good budget rainbow land. Evolving Wilds is another Expanse. Crumbling Necropolis is the Grixis Tri-land. I recommend adding all these lands to help the manabase.

Good luck with your deck.

kameenook on I gain. You lose.

2 weeks ago

Generally speaking a card like Soulmender is worse than Soul Warden or Soul's Attendant. I would explain this in a couple ways.

One, they're the same mana cost same P/T, so we're mostly just comparing their ability to gain life. Thus, Soulmender will only ever gain you one life a turn, although consistently. However one of the other white creatures would give you the opportunity to gain one life every time you play a creature out (if it's Ajani's Pridemate you'll immediately gain the counter on the cat) allowing for the potential of multiple lifegain triggers in one turn. The real icing on the cake though is the fact that it doesn't trigger only on your own creatures, which means now any time your opponent plays a creature, you're gaining life and triggering your synegies. This makes it much easier to gain more than 1 life for each go around and sometimes could be as much as 3-4 life a turn. Another suggestion is to trim on the number of Kambal, as he is legendary and as a general rule of thumb unless you will win the game every time your legendary permanent stays in play, you don't want to draw multiples because if they are not removed any beyond the first is a dead card. I would recommend adding some form of removal in his place, Fatal Push/Path to Exile being the most competitive, while Mortify/Unmake being solid budget alternatives.

Nirkana Cutthroat is likely worse for you than say Vampire Nighthawk which is a very solid similarly costed creature that will not only gain you life but comes right away with flying and deathtouch. Drana's Emissary also plays a similar role of being a solid evasive creature with lifegain.

Another card that I think seems better than it actually is is Diabolic Tutor, it seems great when you think about it, being able to get your best card, but really spending a whole turn to do that sets you back and all your cards are fairly similar in power level. As such maybe you would consider Read the Bones as a cheaper alternative that can get you up on cards.

Then lastly I recommend upping the number of lands you run, as a general rule of thumb I would put 24 lands in any deck, and go lower than 24 when the curve is significantly lower, such as a lot of one drops and two drops, however since your deck reliably wants to get to four mana or so 20 lands is not the ideal number, I would recommend some number of easy to access dual lands (Scoured Barrens, Orzhov Guildgate, maybe even Temple of Silence) which would also help with potential mana problems.

seshiro_of_the_orochi on [B/W] Token Shenanigans w/ Vampires

3 weeks ago

Pretty cool list. You have a good split between tribal synergy and powerful cards. I think the doomed traveler should definitely be replaced with the Legion's Landing  Flips I do see in your maybeboard. Another very powerful threedrop is Vampire Nighthawk. Also, Blade of the Bloodchief is insane in vampire tribal. Among the other powerful vampires are Vampire Lacerator and Blood Baron of Vizkopa. Also, how about Sign in Blood or Read the Bones for some card draw?

MegaMatt13 on Yahenni, Undying Partisan

3 weeks ago

nice deck. overall I would reduce your average CMC. it will make your deck run smoother. with cards over 5 CMC I always ask myself if they are really necessary and fit with the theme of the deck. Ulamog for example is a great creature, but is he really a good fit in here?

Also you may find a bit more card draw to be helpful. I like Read the Bones as a cheap card draw spell.

Bloodghast is similar to Reassembling Skeleton as a creature that can be repeatedly sacrificed to Yahenni.

My version is at Yahenni: Death Matters

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