Secrets of the Dead
Whenever you cast a spell from your graveyard, draw a card.
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Secrets of the Dead Discussion
1 week ago
First things first- its important to know the aproxamate format that your friends play- casual 'throw whatever together and we'll self regulate' is great, but needs to be discussed. If they're playing modern then this deck will be a little slow due to the larger surge cards. I'd look at things like Mana Leak, Flame Slash etc. With this deck- the construction is a little creature heavy. 3 Enigma drake/4 stormchaser/3 swiftspear/3 jori is enough to back a very solid spells deck. The tournament play version is based around Delver of Secrets Flip and swiftspear and is affectionately referred to as 'delver'. Lists looked something like Izzet Delver pior to Brainstorm, Gitaxian Probe and Treasure Cruise bans and after that something like Pyrodrakedelver is still pretty commonly played. I'd reccomend looking up the top 8's for ideas if you go that way.
The core gameplan is just to play small creatures then use spells to protect your creatures and finish the game. Izzet Charm and Vapor Snag or Unsummon are super practical here, and if you want to push closer to midrange in a more casual meta Spellheart Chimera does a decent impression of a second enigma drake and can be backed by a powerful engine in Faithless Looting/Cathartic Reunion/Izzet Charm/Think Twice/Burning Vengance/Secrets of the Dead/Flame Jab. Your lands are good enough to run pretty much any of this, though I'd consider Wandering Fumarole or Faerie Conclave in place of swiftwater if trading permits
Big advice in noncompetitive metas where you're mostly playing with the same deck over and over, have a core of 3 4-ofs that make your deck tick- in this deck it would be 4- 3 ofs in enigma Drake, Jori En, Ruin Diver, Monastery Swiftspear and Stormchaser Mage, 4 Lightning Bolt, then run a lot of singleton cards. A Negate, a Mana Leak, a Reverberate a Redirect, a Temur Battle Rage, an Electrolyze , a Wild Ricochet etc so that no two games go exactly the same. Otherwise, things get stale pretty quick. If things get competitive, pick up full sets of the things that have been working best, then keep a stable of cards to switch in and out as the game permits. Sideboards are your friend if things go like that.
3 weeks ago
I feel like a self-mill/reanimator strategy would speed up this deck a lot, using Thought Scour is a good start, but the "aggro" potential in zombies lies in your ability to turn your graveyard into a massive, hard-to-interact with hand, then cast things like Gravecrawler from your then-huge graveyard and get some free effects such as Prized Amalgam and, to a lesser extent, Secrets of the Dead
Your zombie base is pretty meta for modern, i would definitely run 4 Prized Amalgam because your ability to activate a free 3/3 body early game is quite high.
The go-to reanimator spell in modern is Living End, although without cascade its not as fast, something similar would be potent in this list
3 weeks ago
I have some suggestions:
the two above go infinite mill with your Geralf's Mindcrusher
and personally, the real MVP of your deck, and the card that we all wish could be its commander is:
My deck I've worked on for quite some time. Take a look. maybe it will inspire some new ideas for ya. Gisa and Geralf, Corpses Everywhere!
1 month ago
Just put Laboratory Maniac into your deck. If you play the sac Gravecrawler + Secrets of the Dead combo (e.g. with Phyrexian Altar), you win the game by milling yourself. You will definitely draw your Laboratory Maniac.
1 month ago
Aside from assisting Grimgrin's ETB tapped factor, Amulet of Vigor is actually more handy than it looks considering I'm currently running 9 'enters tapped' lands. Unless I spruce up the land base, I'd have to really be struggling with cuts to consider axing Amulet. Totally agree with Syphon Flesh though, it's mediocre at best - every so often it shines but it's definitely a contender for replacement. Secrets of the Dead stays put! Not only is it fantastic from a thematic standpoint, the draw is insane with Gravecrawler in the mix (he's almost always my first tutor target as he enables virtually everything). At 3 mana, I'd hardly call it a win-more card.
Regarding your second paragraph, yeah...The overall deck synergy complements dozens of sneaky interactions.
Onto the lands - I like the idea of Crypt of Agadeem, Fetid Pools (really like the Island Swamp factor + cycling may come in handy if I pull it late game) & Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx in here, good calls. Also agree with your Island suggestion - although Blood Moon/Back to Basics are rare in my meta, it would still really suck. I would absolutely run Underground Sea but yeah, I'm not ready to drop $350 on an ABUR dual just yet. I don't think I'd cut Reliquary Tower for the aforementioned draw engine and as for Nephalia Drownyard & Balthor the Defiled, I ran both of those in here in previous iterations and ended up removing them at some point - Drownyard is too slow + too little value & I found I was running enough recursion without giving my opponents potential advantage as well.
Great feedback & suggestions McDeity, I appreciate it!
1 month ago
I respect the build. I'm not sure that I love Amulet of Vigor in the deck though, nor that Syphon Flesh is neccessary. Secrets of the Dead also feels slightly win-more since it looks like only Gravecrawler, Yawgmoth's Will, Army of the Damned's flashback, and Havengul Lich trigger it.
On the topic of Havengul Lich, I believe you already have the components of a somewhat messy combo (besides anything with Rooftop Storm- that's pretty obvious). Cast a Fatestitcher from the graveyard to gain a sweet tap ability; if you can get Grimgrin in there as well, you pickup a means to untap the Lich; add a land that can make larger doses of mana (e.g. Cabal Coffers), and you can cast all zombies from your graveyard. If your Coffers taps for enough, just feed creatures to Havengul to keep untapping the Coffer and recasting dudes from the sandbox. Geralf's Messenger works pretty well here as well (or anything with Undying), as you get two untaps. The only uncertainty I have is that Grimgrin's untap ability says to untap "Grimgrin," and I'm not sure how that translates to Havengul copying the ability (I've never found a ruling). All that does require a decent mana investment to get started though, so it's pretty much limited to the late-late game.
Somewhat still in the same vein, I'd reccomend Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Crypt of Agadeem, and Nephalia Drownyard to the list. Ooh, also an Underground Sea (budget permitting), Fetid Pools, and possibly Bad River (or other black fetch) and basic Island. The Nykthos is just good, and the Crypt+Drownyard combine well with your plethora of Zombie Apocalypse effects (though Balthor the Defiled is conspicuously missing). Underground Sea, Fetid Pools and Bad River just juice up Coffers a little more. The basic is a concession to Blood Moon/Back to Basics effects, even if it's otherwise miserable. Maybe Reliquary Tower could go? I cut it a long time ago, since discarding with the deck isn't that bad. Anyhow, you write a good intro and the list is one of the more sensible ones I've seen. Keep up the good work and God bless. -McDeity
1 month ago
Hybrow the reason i justify Beacon is due to the fact it hits any graveyard, creatures + artifacts, AND it shuffles. More times I can count, Beacon has be involved with a major play in not only my deck, but an opponent's deck.
1 month ago
I play this commander, love it. Four hero cards in my deck are:
Buried Alive is a great way to get your best zombies into grave for command ability
Vengeful Pharaoh has basically deathtouch from grave. Either people forget about him and swing with a big guy, or he acts as a deterrent against attacking.
Moonlight Bargain look at top 5 and put zombies into grave and anything you really want into hand for very small life