You draw three cards and you lose 3 life.
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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Ancient Craving occurrence in decks from the last year
Latest Decks as Commander
Ancient Craving Discussion
2 months ago
Peligrad: EDHREC is not the best argument. Sure, a lot of people run a card, but I see a lot of really trash cards run in a lot of decks, so that's not always a good argument.
As for the case for Phyrexian Arena, nobody is saying it's bad - it'sa greawt card. The problem is that there are a lot of scenarios where you just want the cards now and you're happy to pay a bit more life for a one shot to draw some cards, since a lot can happen in two-three turns. Arena is great for drawn out games, where you see six-seven cards from it. But the more competitive you go, the more you value cards in hand immediately, which is why you don't see Phyrexian Arena in higher end decks. You see more Dark Confidant as A) it's less mana and B) there's no double black casting cost.
As for Necropotence, that's a tricky one. The card is definitely powerful and it has made a name for itself in hte history of MtG. but in a casual mono black deck, I don't think it's that good if I'm being honest. Most casual mono black decks run pretty high mana curves and from a lot of the ones I've seen on T/O don't run enough ramp. Which means that you're potentially only casting one-two cards a turn if you're being proactive (less if you have removal in hand you're holding onto). Which means that you may be drawing one-two cards a turn off of it. Sure, it's great when you cast it a then draw five cards, but after that you can be back to drawing not much, which you would have just gotten at the beginning of your draw step anyway.
I've played Necropotence in both a casual mono black deck that ran a crapload of ramp and I've also run it in a <2 average CMC cEDH combo control deck and I've found it to have mixed results for both. I actually cut it in the cEDH deck, since I wasn't running the Angel's Grace + Windfall line, which is where you see the most value from it.
@everyone: I think the key here is that while you can have some hard and fast rules about cards, you need to be willing to break the rules to suit the actual meta you're playing in. Phyrexian Arena is an awesome card, but if it doesn't suit the deck or how most games are played (over in 10 turns, lots of removal, etc.) then you may be able to do more consistent work with that slot.
Same thing goes for Greed (my preference) and Erebos, God of the Dead. If your games go long and you have lots of mana, I'm sure either is fine. But if the games are shorter and mana is an issue, you might get more value from Ambition's Cost or Ancient Craving. But the worst thing you can do is just say "this card needs to go in every deck" or "EDHREC says this card is good".
2 months ago
Hey, nice first build of Teysa.
Reveillark + Karmic Guide + Teysa is a combo to exile all your opponents creatures because Teysa can sac herself and Lark/Guide are white creatures who can reanimate each other and Teysa. Lark + Guide + sac outlet is a combo to reanimate all the 2 or less power creatures in your graveyard which an aristocrat can be the win condition or Ayara or Gray Merchant of Asphodel. Buried Alive is very good at setting up Lark + Guide getting an aristocrat into your graveyard.
Hour is an important card and you're playing many other enchantments which makes Hall of Heliod's Generosity a helpful recursion effect. You're playing many utility lands which gives Expedition Map many choices thus I think it's worth adding. When your Commander is able to create 1/1 tokens it makes Skullclamp excellent repeatable draw.
Cards to consider cutting:
- Forsaken Sanctuary
- Apocalypse Demon
- Epicure of Blood
- Butcher of Malakir
- Price of Fame
- Norn's Annex
- Ancient Craving
Good luck with your deck.
3 months ago
The amount of utility cards that facilitates for a large-creature/stompy deck (like giant tribal) is completely unparalleled and unrivaled. There are things--both budget and expensive--like Garruk's Uprising, Soul's Majesty, Hunter's Insight, Snake Umbra, Triumph of Ferocity, Lead the Stampede, Garruk, Primal Hunter, Return of the Wildspeaker, Abundance, Rhythm of the Wild, Selvala's Stampede, Shamanic Revelation, Elemental Bond, Colossal Majesty, Guardian Project, Rancor, Primal Rage, Heroic Intervention, Wrap in Vigor, Golgari Charm, Lifecrafter's Bestiary, Canopy Cover, Aspect of Mongoose, Alpha Authority, Asceticism, Defense of the Heart, Lignify, Lurking Predators, Bow of Nylea, The Great Henge, Eerie Ultimatum, Reap, Creeping Renaissance, Seasons Past, Reap the Past, Genesis Ultimatum, Beastmaster Ascension, Overwhelming Stampede...
The list is huge, and it grows every year.
This is on top of the superior ramping ability of Green and it's above-average removal options. One big advantage of Green's land-based ramp is things like Planar Cleansing, Hour of Revelation, Play of the Game, Bane of Progress, Creeping Corrosion, and Merciless Eviction can't send you back to the stone age by destroying all your mana rocks.
Everything you will want to be doing with Giant Tribal, Green supports and supports well. I cannot stress this enough. Not to mention the good green giants that keep getting printed.
Black doesn't provide too much in the way of utility specific to giant tribal or stompy decks other than recursion and good card draw like Greed, Phyrexian Arena, and Erebos, God of the Dead. Personally I like cards like Damnable Pact, Read the Bones, Ancient Craving and Ambition's Cost but if you're running Green and/or Blue you shouldn't need to lose life to draw cards. Painful Truths might still be useful due to it's great rate (three cards for three mana is good). Syphon Mind is a great rate and has the upside of making your opponents discard.
Obviously Black specializes in removal (but so does White!) so you could run things like Mortify, Despark, Utter End, Vindicate, Anguished Unmaking, Dreadbore, Terminate, Bedevil and Ruinous Ultimatum. In Garruk's Wake and Decree of Pain are probably good in your giant deck since you're ramping so hard. Since you're running White you shouldn't need Black's wraths, but those two stood out.
Things like Phyrexian Reclamation, Animate Dead, and Reanimate are great for creature decks. Palace Siege is all right on a budget. So is Twilight's Call. It's no Oversold Cemetery or Meren of Clan Nel Toth or Rise of the Dark Realms but those are pricey. Recovering from boardwipes will be important.
Blue has some interesting removal options like Curse of the Swine, Pongify, Rapid Hybridization, and Reality Shift. You have some Cyclonic Rifts in your trade binder, right? That alone is a great reason to run Blue in your deck (it's literally one of the best cards in EDH straight-up). Do it!
Blue also has all the card-draw--from per-turn stuff like Kumena's Awakening and Mind Unbound; chunks of cards like Concentrate, Treasure Cruise, Fact or Fiction, Fathom Trawl, and Tidings; huge hand-refillers like Overflowing Insight, Mind Spring, Stroke of Genius, and Pull from Tomorrow; and some sneaky stuff like Windfall, Keep Watch, Drawn from Dreams, Verity Circle, and Insight. Green has some amazing card-draw already but it wouldn't be a terrible idea to supplement it with Blue cards. Rush of Knowledge would be REALLY good in a giant-tribal deck--especially with Morophon, the Boundless at the helm.
Counterspells are very much not Giant/Stompy but I have a few aggro decks that run a silver-bullet copy of Negate or Swan Song just as anti-boardwipe tech. Not necessary though. Boros Charm, Golgari Charm, and Wrap in Vigor work well in that capacity. There are lots of 3-cmc options too but the mana difference between 2 and 3 is huge.
Temur Ascendancy would be reason alone to run five colors and be utterly fantastic in this deck.
Garruk's Uprising alone is reason to run at least Green.
Merciless Eviction is one of the best removal spells in the game. Four or five colors would allow you to run that.
You get the idea.
As you can see, there is a myriad of reasons to run more colors. Honestly, I really can't recommend it enough if true Giant-Tribal is the goal--whether Naya giants or five-color giants.
One extremely important thing for large-creature decks is to consider how you're going to recover from board wipes. Superior card-draw from Green, Black, and Blue cards will help immensely. Card advantage like Phyrexian Reclamation, Palace Siege, Seasons Past, All Suns' Dawn, Reap the Past, Reap, Creeping Renaissance, Eerie Ultimatum, and abilities like Mayael the Anima's, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim's, and Kenrith, the Returned King's reanimate ability will help you recover. These are things that Red and White simply can't do well. Sure there's Resurrection and Reya Dawnbringer, but they aren't great.
Brion Stoutarm is a legitimately good general--he really is!--but not for giant tribal. He brings nothing to the table for giant tribal other than being a decently-statted Giant himself and pigeonholes you into the worst color pair in EDH for essentially no benefit. As I mentioned, Iroas, God of Victory and, to a lesser extent, Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas would make better commanders if you are dead-set on Boros colors (which I do not recommend if you want to play maximum giants). If you were building around Brion's ability and had some giants around as support that would be one thing, but it seems that's not the goal. As such, please consider switching commanders :) I think that if you want Brion Stoutarm as the commander, you should make a Brion deck.
I really do think you'll be happier in the long run with a different commander It doesn't have to be expensive. Most of what you would need I can trade to you, including Morophon, the Boundless, and most supplemental cards I don't have are in the 25-cent to $1 range (Realm-Cloaked Giant, Mayael the Anima, etc). I actually have a shitload of this utility stuff on-hand, and you have some great staples like Cyclonic Rift on-hand--and probably more! I want you to be satisfied with your deck! It doesn't have to be competitive to be fun, but it doesn't have to be expensive to work better and smoother and be more competitive.
3 months ago
The new Demon's Disciple is better than Fleshbag Marauder I personally prefer Heart Warden or Llanowar Visionary over Birds of Paradise, since the interact with Meren more effectively and can do something the turn they are played.
I also personally think Phyrexian Arena and other slow draw cards (such as Underworld Connections or Dread Presence ) are unreliable. I consider them to be inferior to Ancient Craving Sign in Blood or Ambition's Cost, but there is a case for playing arena, so make whatever preference or meta call you like, I just think definitely getting 3 cards right away is better than hoping to net 3 cards over 3 turns.
Interesting build, some unusual Meren choices, but some clever interactions too. I like how many different Meren shells there are, she is a very versatile commander.
3 months ago
you are right, the deck lacks card draw. I've been meaning to put Ancient Craving & Ambition's Cost into the deck. they are currently in a deck I don't plasay, so I will be putting them in. only having skull clamp isn't enough, I completely agree. this deck is one of the strongest I own, but card draw is a weaknes in it for sure. I know they say 1 card for 1 life is nothing, but I think it's a hefty price to pay if you have to pay it every turn, 3 for 3 cards 2 times is fine., but yeah, I will consider some of these, the Idol seems good for sure.
3 months ago
Update to the last post. When I get the cards, I'll be switching a few things around.
Replacing Cauldron of Souls with Manascape Refractor. Replacing Nyx Lotus with Jet Medallion. Replacing Unstable Obelisk with Expedition Map. Replacing Decree of Pain with Toxic Deluge. Replacing Puppeteer Clique with Massacre Wurm. Replacing Kheru Mind-Eater with Opposition Agent. Replacing Ancient Craving with Vampiric Tutor.
4 months ago
You don't have a ton of card-draw, and I also recommend at least eight pieces for almost any deck. Graveyard recursion, especially the good ones, definitely count as card advantage in my book, so Phyrexian Reclamation is great here, as is Whisper.
Grim Haruspex and Disciple of Bolas are on-theme. Thorn of the Black Rose and Custodi Lich are fun creature-based choices too. Some other classic choices are Ambition's Cost, Ancient Craving, Promise of Power, Liliana's Contract, Syphon Mind, Castle Locthwain, and Read the Bones. Palace Siege is okay, especially if you feel you need more recursion. Diabolic Servitude is nice and repeatable. Victimize and Blood for Bones are a great rate. Oversold Cemetery is nice too, though pricey.
Greed, Arguel's Blood Fast Flip, Skullclamp and Erebos, God of the Dead are really good but not cheap. Erebos, Bleak-Hearted, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, and God-Eternal Bontu would be decent as well. Bonus points for some being threats/blockers.
Gonti, Lord of Luxury is an interesting choice for card advantage--especially if you can recur him out of the graveyard over and over.
Dreadhorde Invasion is a great source of sacrifice fodder. So are Grave Titan and Bitterblossom but they're expensive. High Market is good in case your commander get's Arrested or turned into an elk or frog or the moon. Rogue's Passage could help end games once Yahenni is huge.
If you find you can't close out games between all the groupslug aristocrat cards and Yahenni's damage, perhaps a few auxiliary groupslug cards could tip games in your favor. Most of the good ones are very expensive though. Bloodchief Ascension, Painful Quandary, Polluted Bonds, Wound Reflection, and Palace Siege et al. Torment of Hailfire and Exsanguinate are classic finishers too.
As far as cuts go... I don't love some of the creature-based removal. I know it's good because you can sacrifice them later but perhaps Morkrut Banshee, Skinrender, and Anowon the Ruin Sage could be cut. I don't love Devour in Shadow and Drag to the Underworld. You should be set on removal even with those five cuts. Feed the Swarm is worth noting! Mortician Beetle is a bit win-more but is uniquely suited to the deck and worth keeping for now. Probably makes a good blocker. Geralf's Messenger is a bit weaker than some of the token generators and recurring threats too.
Also, I don't know if you care (few do) but if you want an accurate price calculation for your deck you should put the cards in the Sideboard into the Maybeboard so they aren't added.
4 months ago
Thanks for the advice, !! This deck is one of my new decks built almost entirely out of cards on-hand. I bought the Venser's Journal, Gilded Lotus, and kind of bought the Torment of Hailfire and Exsanguinate for it and had the rest of the good (and bad) cards already in my collection in need of a home. As such, plenty of the card choices are not ideal or optimized. In a sense, this is a budget deck not looking for big-time upgrades yet. I'm aware that Deathgreeter and Falkenrath Noble don't synergize with my deck at all but they are just incidental lifegain and as early-game blockers. Definitely filler for now. Deathgreeter might have enough utility (in my meta) for his cost to stick around until I get something great for lifegain, such as Twilight Prophet or Exquisite Blood etc. I was thinking about replacing the noble with Ivory Tower since it's old and janky and one of those "works almost nowhere except this commander" cards. I want to play more games and see how important lifegain ends up being to me. Some decks run a shitload and some run almost none.
I've played five games now and in the three games where I played Ambition's Cost and/or Ancient Craving they have worked out. Ideally they smooth out my mid-game and draw me into more lands, ramp, and answers/removal to get up to Vilis. So far they have done so. I also don't have a ton of free-life-payment cards like Doom Whisperer so they serve as passable refueling for Vilis. More games will surely give me insight but for now I like them.
So far the ramp has worked out all right but I had an eye to add more already. I have twelve pieces (13 if you count Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx... oh to have a Cabal Coffers too!! Just gotta wait for Commander Legends). I usually have 7-10 in my decks so this is still feels like a good, high amount. I used to have Bubbling Muck and Dark Ritual in the ~105-card prototype but they were late cuts, reducing my overall ramp-card count without replacement. Five games isn't a huge sample size, to be sure, so I'm gonna feel it out some more before I make swaps. I would definitely add Thought Vessel as an early upgrade. I was also thinking of swapping the Leaden Myr for a mana rock that doesn't die to all my wraths.
Thanks again for your comments!