Skullclamp

Skullclamp

Artifact — Equipment

Equipped creature gets +1/-1.

Whenever equipped creature dies (is put into the graveyard from the battlefield), draw two cards.

Equip

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Printings View all

Set Rarity
Commander 2020 (C20) Uncommon
Mystery Booster (MYS1) Uncommon
Commander 2017 (C17) Uncommon
Commander Anthology (CM1) Uncommon
Commander 2016 (C16) Uncommon
Commander 2015 (C15) Uncommon
Commander 2014 (C14) Uncommon
Vintage Masters (VMA) Uncommon
MTG: Commander (CMD) Uncommon
From the Vault: Exiled (V09) Mythic Rare
Darksteel (DST) Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Highlander Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
Block Constructed Legal
MTGO Legal
Leviathan Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Skullclamp occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.26%

White: 0.9%

Black: 0.6%

Red: 0.78%

Green: 0.3%

Blue: 0.16%

Golgari: 0.88%

WB (Orzhov): 1.31%

GW (Selesnya): 1.11%

Rakdos: 0.32%

UR (Izzet): 0.59%

BRG (Jund): 1.15%

BGW (Abzan, Junk): 3.52%

RBW (Mardu): 0.94%

Skullclamp Discussion

Tzefick on How would you give white ...

9 hours ago

TL;DR: The pre-text is LONG. Sorry about that, but there's a lot to unfold about the subject. If you just want to skip down to the suggestions I brainstormed, go below the first set of 3 lines.

It is no secret that the Commander community for a long time has regarded white as one of the weaker colors in Commander, especially as a monocolor. Many have pointed their fingers at how well the color achieves mana ramp and card draw/advantage.

White actually do have a small slew of card advantage and ramp cards or cards that in essence cheats the requirement for mana.

White has raw card draw in Mentor of the Meek and Dawn of Hope, although hidden behind a requirement in form of a trigger. Both are triggers that are fairly easy to achieve but not without costs. Not to forget Sram, Senior Edificer (and Puresteel Paladin) - but again behind a trigger requiring a very specific type of deck building. White has additional card advantage through regaining access to cards once lost, like through a Sun Titan getting back small permanents, or Nomad Mythmaker, Order of Whiteclay, or Bishop of Rebirth.

White has ramp in form of Knight of the White Orchid and Kor Cartographer and pseudo card advantage in good ol' Land Tax. The knight has a requirement that you need to be behind to actually ramp, and that aspect goes again in many of white's attempts to imitate ramp and card draw. White can only catch up, they cannot get ahead. These aspects are most recently seen through Verge Rangers (pseudo card advantage - not ramp, you don't get access to more lands than 1 per turn) and through Cartographer's Hawk. There's also Oath of Lieges but that is a symmetrical effect and may as well just benefit some of your opponents as much as it does you.

White can cheat the requirement for mana in a few instances, like casting Resurrection on a higher costing creature, an aspect they share with black and often a favorite when the two are paired. Where they differ is that black usually does it for less mana at another resource expense, and that black has different means to get those creatures out into your graveyard to set it all up. White has none of these opportunities/advantages.

This thread mainly aims to discuss white getting card draw/advantage in the Commander format and how they would achieve it to fit their color identity, but we can talk about the Commander format in general as well. To clarify, the topic is aimed at discussing how white could get card draw/advantage and not really whether or not they should - do feel free to voice your opinion for or against but please keep it limited and instead focus on how card draw could fit into white's color identity. It doesn't necessarily have to be from a place within the current color identity, but could be exploring new design space that hasn't been seen before.


Let's examine how other colors achieve card advantage:

Blue is super easy and the main color that achieves it, they usually do it straight as an investment for the specific purpose of gaining more resources; Concentrate. Blue also has access to looting options where they draw cards and discard cards (or the other way around); Merfolk Looter / Tolarian Winds. Blue also has the largest collection of cards with Flashback, so even once Blue uses a resource from their hand, they can do it again from their graveyard; Deep Analysis - although these cards are usually more costly than their non-flashback peers.

Black is also relatively easy as they imitate blue's investment but at an additional cost; Night's Whisper. As previously stated black can also access their graveyard like white and reuse mainly creatures that have died or otherwise put into the graveyard (from say an Entomb) by using Animate Dead or Zombify. Black's ability even goes beyond their own graveyard and dip into their opponent's graveyard. Black also have some aspect of self-discarding, usually as a symmetrical effect that aims at harming their opponents while still being able to access the cards they lost themselves; like Cunning Lethemancer.

Red is relatively new on this block, as they have for a long while had many of the same issues as white. Red did however have cards that looted (drawing and discarding cards) in the concept of picking up the strongest of a larger selection of cards - this is also called card filtering as you don't get an advantage in resources, only the selection. However red also has a selection of cards with flashback or activated or triggered abilities from the graveyard. With the introduction of impulse draw - so named from Act on Impulse, where red exiles a number of cards from the top of their library for the ability to play those for a limited time. Thus red has achieved temporary card draw.

Green is one of the richest colors in the color pie at the moment, having access to a lot of control cards, protective measures, card advantage, ramp and swingy plays. It is no wonder to me how green is one of the stronger colors in Commander. Green has access to some very strong card advantage cards that fits right into the slow format of Commander. Rishkar's Expertise is a favorite as it combines the Commander format's slow pace, green's affinity for big creatures, and a powerful swing in resources, all in one card. Another is the ability to draw from creatures being cast or entering the battlefield. Outside the slow Commander format, you don't really see these types of cards, but within the format they are strong and valuable. Green also has access to the most flexible way to reuse cards from the graveyard through Eternal Witness, Greenwarden of Murasa, Road of Return - road and Myth Unbound are even commander specific benefits that makes casting your commander cheaper, within the color with the most access to mana acceleration. So the color that needs it the least has ways to reduce their mana demand on casting their commander. I would argue this aspect should have been placed within white and/or blue more than in green. Black is getting in on it with Netherborn Altar, so in the future we might see the other colors circumventing the commander tax in some fashion.

White has very few card draw cards (the best of which are mentioned above) and all are locked behind some kind of condition that is not insignificant, compared to something like Beast Whisperer.


It would seem white lacks behind quite a bit in this aspect. When a color cannot do something itself or not very well, they usually seek toward artifacts to fix their issues. Here you can utilize Mind's Eye or Loreseeker's Stone or Arcane Encyclopedia or Book of Rass or Endless Atlas or Skullclamp or Tome of Legends to name a handful of the better variants. What most of these have in common is that they are expense to cast or maintain or require some specific deck building choices to function.

If the general consensus of Commander players are to be taken into account along with the perceived strength of each color, it would seem these artifacts are not enough to help white overcome its lack of card draw. Furthermore white's other strengths doesn't seem to have enough impact to offset this lack.

The general argument I have seen against providing white with card advantage is; it breaks the color pie, white can utilize artifacts to fix their weaknesses to some extend, white's strengths comes from mass land destruction, taxing (Thalia, Guardian of Thraben) and hatebears (Aven Mindcensor). Again I don't really want this thread to be overshadowed about arguing for/against White getting card draw into their color identity, let's just assume white eventually will get card draw - how would that look like?

Brief discussion on the counter arguments Show

I really like the way WotC incorporated card draw into red, as impulse draw feels red but it is card draw and it helps red smooth out some edges it may have in especially multiplayer formats, such as Commander.

So, if we assume white is eventually going to get card draw, how would it look like? Here's a couple of ideas for concepts on how to incorporate a card draw mechanic with white flavor.




Taxing

Good ol' taxing. We already have Smothering Tithe, so something similar to Rhystic Study could be a possibility. It could be an aura you put on a land, so whenever it is tapped that opponent pays mana or grants you card draw. It doesn't necessarily have to be mana that is taxed, it could also just be the action/trigger itself that is the tax.

A taxing example Show



Warring / "spoils of war"

White is the most militarized color that deals in organized military strategy, being the main color for the creature types Soldier and Knight. White is often associated with combat and attacking as well. Perhaps it should be used to its advantage and provide some means to acquire card draw - figure it a substitute for roleplay wise gaining lands / trade routes / power / intelligence.

Example of war "spoils" Show



Trading

I actually really like the idea of this one, although it may be harder to properly accomplish.

White has before had trades happening like Armistice and Bargain. There's also the advocates and Benevolent Offering but they are not unique to white and is a set mechanic. It's been a while since this was part of white's color pie, but it could be again.

Example on trading Show

The flavor is there, as white is a color of community and peace, so trading seems like a natural byproduct. I really like the political aspect from this mechanic when considering multiplayer formats.



Divination

An alternative to direct card draw; you choose a card type (instant, sorcery, creature, land, artifact, enchantment, planeswalker) and then look at top X cards of your library, you may reveal a card of the chosen type and put it into hand, put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

This reflects the Commune with Nature (which is a green card I know) but it seems to fit white's color pie as the more religious color, to ask the gods/divine/faith for a boon and maybe it is answered, maybe not. Obviously you can deck tech to increase your chances but the idea is a card draw that is not guaranteed. Under the right circumstances it can be stronger than a card draw as it may filter.

Example on Divination Show



Honor the ancestors

I really wanted to create some kind of mechanic that allowed white to dump cards into their graveyard, to synergize with white's inherent ability to generate card advantage through recurring permanents, especially low CMC permanents. As it stands white needs to cast those smaller permanents and have them put into the graveyard from the battlefield - thus making these recurring effects a lot more narrow than their black and even green brethren, who can more easily set up these beneficial plays. But it doesn't seem very much like a white thing to self-mill, ala Surveil, nor do they discard. For white to have this particular synergy you would have to make them gain it without much prior precedent.

One thing that seemed sort of within the flavor of white would be to honor the ancestors, remember the history, keep to the traditions. I think you could work that flavor into some kind of mechanic that could work to white's advantage.

Examples on Honoring the Ancestors Show




Anyway, that's just what I brainstormed for. Like I said before I really liked the flavor on red's card draw and I want white to get something similar. Do you like any of my suggestions or think you can refine them? How would you give white card draw that is flavorful?

Grind on Teysa's Pilgrims

1 day ago

Sweet deck!!
Skullclamp sounds good here.
Also any thoughts about Blind Obedience or Gray Merchant of Asphodel?
Generous Gift or Anguished Unmaking are also good if you want to tune your point removal.

Profet93 on Xenagos EDH

3 days ago

+1 !

As a fellow Xenagos player myself, I have a couple ideas I would love to discuss with you...

  1. You're average CMC is pretty high, even for a xenagos deck. You need to lower it to be able to pressure the table effectively. I would cut these to lower the CMC a bit....

Hellkite Charger, Blightsteel Colossus, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, and Worldspine Wurm

To add back more creatures for synergy, Shaman of Forgotten Ways, Somberwald Sage are both really good.Springbloom Druid along with Wood Elves, Farhaven Elf and Sakura-Tribe Elder can help bring you closer to a Turn 3-4 Xenagos which is what we need.

  1. Land base is solid. There are a few tweaks you can make for utility but not needed. Let me know if you are interested in them.

  2. Ramp - Our goal is a T3-4 Xenagos. Ramp at 4 CMC does little, trust me on this as I have playtested it extensively.

  3. Tempt with Discovery and Triumph of the Hordes - Tempt is bad because you give opponents options, barely ramps you, and there are no good utility lands in the deck, even with my potential additions, this card is bad in this deck. Moreover, opponents usually tutor for strip mine if they are smart. Triumph is better in decks that go wide. By playing 6+ mana for a beater, you rarely will have another 4 mana to play this the same turn. Right now, you're playing a beater, hope it survives on your turn, survives on opponents turns, then doesn't get removed in response to cast of Triumph.

  4. Draw! - You have about 8ish draw sources, you need more. The biggest issue with Xenagos is 2 for 1s, where you try to cast a draw spell and they remove your creature that the draw spell was targetting in response, thereby putting you down 2 cards for their 1.

Beast Whisperer, Harmonize, Lifeblood Hydra (really fun with Berserk, which ironically, is also fun with malignus), Lifecrafter's Bestiary, Life's Legacy (beware of blue player, sac as additional cost to cast, but because it only costs 2, can be used same turn as beater if you ramped prior), Momentous Fall (in response to removal, also beware of blue), Skullclamp (not the best in your build but still worth considering. I run more 1 toughness creatures so its easier to make it work.....and

Greater Good - BEST CARD FOR XENAGOS. Used in response to removal or just whenever. Play a fatty, Xenagos buffs it, swing, sac it, draw a bunch. Profit. Win. GG

Lastly, the red card that came out recently that lets you change the target of a spell if you control you commander, I can't remember the name but that card is great in Xenagos as you can redirect their spot removal, targetted draw, targetted extra turns, and counters counterspells. Works on abilities too (I think?)

I'm still in the process of tweaking my list in general, and adding the new cards that came/coming out.

multimedia on Edgar Markov Vampy

4 days ago

Hey, very good version of Edgar.

Some card upgrades to consider:

  • Skullclamp > Bloodcrazed Paladin
    Paladin looks to be the worst Vamp here and Clamp can be amazing repeatable draw with tokens.

  • Cover of Darkness > Merciless Eviction
    Ultimatum and Dominance are better high CMC board wipes. Three high CMC board wipes is a lot.

  • Champion of Dusk > Vanquisher's Banner
    Dusk is a Vampire and is good immediate draw with tokens. Banner is too slow to be a draw option and an anthem effect.

  • Twilight Prophet > Olivia Voldaren
    Voldaren is completely outclassed by Captivating because of eminence. You will get the city's blessing quick and then Prophet becomes a value engine for no additional mana.

  • Mirror Entity > Sangromancer
    Entity is a Vamp, it triggers eminence and it's a mana sink to pump tokens.

  • Heliod's Intervention > Bedevil
    Bedevil is by no means a bad card, but enchantments/artifacts are more important to remove and currently there's only Unmaking that can remove an enchantment at instant speed.

  • City of Brass > Fabled Passage
    Another rainbow land that can ETB untapped turn one to make black mana.

  • Caves of Koilos > Tainted Field
    Another dual land that can ETB untapped turn one to make black mana.

Good luck with your deck.

griffstick on Queen of Disaster

5 days ago

Also I noticed you don't have Skullclamp. This card is great in marchesa because it works great for when you don't have the monarch. Plus it works great with elspeth. Maybe add skullclamp too

StopShot on Alesha, Who Smiles At Death and (s)Taxes [Primer]

6 days ago

Land Tax is an auto-include if you never want to miss a land drop ever again. It also makes playing a turn 3 Blood Moon easy to work with. Makes surviving and using mass land wipes fun too. Goes great with Ghost Town if you never want to miss those triggers.

But Land Tax reaches Skullclamp levels of broken if you pair it with Scroll Rack, Tectonic Reformation, Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion, Necrogen Mists, Stronghold Rats, Raven's Crime or Seasoned Pyromancer with all the excess lands you can throw away. It even makes Sensei's Divining Top godly if you can shuffle your deck with Land Tax every turn before your draw step. (Even if there’s no more basic lands in the deck, that free shuffle can be great with SD-Top and Scroll Rack.) Without that extra oomph Land Tax doesn’t really bring much to the table late game, but it can feel like a Sol Ring in the early game if your deck runs a below average number of lands.

rdean14 on Card creation challenge

6 days ago

Rdean14, the Cautious

Legendary Creature - Human Advisor

Whenever one or more creature attacks, exile Rdean14, the Cautious, then return that card to the battlefield under your control.

Whenever you or Rdean14, the Cautious becomes the target of a spell or ability, you may choose new targets for that spell or ability.

1/1


I'm an exceedingly cautious person. People who know me either think I'm very well prepared or think I'm pessimistic. Many think both. I don't like committing to anything without a solid backup plan. At work I'm known as the 'CYA' guy for my propensity to document everything and very closely follow corporate policy. I'm a Slytherin, by Hogwarts house, and basically, I'm rather persuasive (like I've come up with a sizable chunk of the local policy for my job, e.g.) and highly interested in self-preservation. Like, 100% my #1 priority, no doubt about it. I firmly believe the best way to keep a job is to formulate enough policy and make yourself integral enough that the company wouldn't want to fire you.


Anyways, Let's see a common non-weapon, non-shield/armor equipment.

In standard, Wolfrider's Saddle, Crystal Slipper, Mantle of Tides, Mask of Immolation, and Wings of Hubris.

Other famous ones include Whispersilk Cloak, Swiftfoot Boots, Skullclamp, and Infiltration Lens.

Helms, Saws, Hammers wouldn't count for this. Spidersilk Net seems like a weapon, so like, not really at all weapons or armor. Although Maybe just insanely creative weapons like Gorgon's Head would be cool, not really the goal, but still super cool.

Siren Song Lyre is like the epitome of this challenge, like certainly an equipment, but not like clothing or weapon. Clothing is cool though, to be clear.

Mike94 on Alela The Queen of Faerie's

1 week ago

Your artifact ramp could be more optimized.

-

Take out all the Diamonds and put in Signets, they don't come into play tapped and are great for fixing your mana. Lotus Petal could be considered since it plays well with your commander, Fellwar Stone is also great or even Mind Stone. Just don't play mana ramp that comes into play tapped.

-

I would also try to leave some creatures out for powerfull enchantments/artifacts since your commander is focused on them, if you cast them you'll get a creature for free. I would consider these enchantments/artifacts: Grasp of Fate, Search for Azcanta  Flip, Darksteel Mutation, Estrid's Invocation, Mirrormade, Copy Enchantment, Skullclamp, Sword of the Animist, Lightning Greaves.

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Alela goes infinite quite easy with cards like Banishing Knack or Retraction Helix combined with a Battered Golem, Mirran Spy or Traxos, Scourge of Kroog and any 0 drop atrifact; Tormod's Crypt, Ornithopter, Everflowing Chalice, Memnite orvSpellbook. Making infinite faeries and infinite casts (Storm). Put an Aetherflux Reservoir next to this combo and BOOM.

-

If you don't like to go infinite you could also play Coat of Arms making your faeries lethal on the spot or Magister Sphinx to mess with someone specifically.

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