Read the Bones

Read the Bones

Sorcery

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

bushido_man96 on Tribal Vampires Help Wanted

2 weeks ago

I would consider some different card draw options. Simple ones like Night's Whisper, Read the Bones, and Ambition's Cost are effective. I really like a card like Plumb the Forbidden, especially in response to a board wipe. Arguel's Blood Fast  Flip is an underplayed card in my opinion. It's not as good as Greed, but it might be better than Phyrexian Arena.

If I were looking for cuts, I'd be curious about the performance you've gotten out of Skeletal Scrying, Soul Foundry, and Well of Lost Dreams. The well seems like it's really good in any lifegain deck, but to get a big bang out of it, you've got to always keep a lot of mana open, and be gaining life. Perhaps you've made it work well for you, though. Let me know your thoughts on these.

SOTC on Chatterfang´s Karre

2 weeks ago

Hey Fridulina, what a cool deck! I love the theme; token shenanigans are a particular favorite of mine. As it stands, this deck has 105 cards - let's shave it down to a legal 100, and see if we can't make it a bit more focused to boot :)

Cards to Add
- Additional recursion and protection cards keep Chatterfang and your other combo pieces in the game. I have to say I love the addition of Gyome, Master Chef - he interacts excellently with all your deck's pillars, and keeps both you and your important creatures alive. Economical ways to keep your general around are Kaya's Ghostform and Aspect of Mongoose. The former recurs him no matter what; the latter keeps him from being targeted, and should he get board-wiped, you still get the Aura back! In a general sense, picking up a Regrowth is just an all-round good idea: you can go fish for anything you lose.
- Consider using Mycoloth, as it synergizes fantastically with this deck. As a mass sacrifice outlet, a big stompy creature, and a prolific token generator all in one, this Fungus has it all.
- Though expensive at , Nadier, Agent of the Duskenel can get huge real fast in this deck, and removing him only worsens your opponents' problem.
- For reliable card-draw, an Idol of Oblivion and a Species Specialist will do tons of work here. They also have supplemental uses in providing creature bodies to swing and block with.

Cards to add: 7

Cards to Cut
- I'd say Squirrel Sanctuary & Squirrel Nest don't really work fast enough to warrant their mana costs. Additionally, this deck doesn't exclusively lean on Squirrels but has a general token-value theme, diminishing the synergy they may have had in a pure tribal deck.
- Mitotic Slime is somewhat over-costed for its effect. If there would be a reliable way to keep sacrificing and recurring it, it would be quite a bit better.
- Avenger of Zendikar works better in a landfall or Plant deck; here it's a token maker that only occasionally buffs those tokens, provided it and they even stick around. For , that's not very spectacular.
- Sifter of Skulls and Golgari Germination both suffer from the 'nontoken' element in their rules text. While this deck is all about tokens kicking the bucket, you don't really want to lose any of your 23 creature cards - most of them only provide value while they are alive, and you want to save recursion for your commander.

On single-use spells in EDH
This deck runs into a problem many Commander players encounter: that of smaller, value-providing instants and sorceries underperforming in EDH. Cards like Read the Bones, Sign in Blood, Chatter of the Squirrel, Skeletal Scrying, Village Rites and Scatter the Seeds can be played only once or twice, unless your deck runs permanent-based recursion effects to keep bringing them back. As a rule of thumb for EDH, if you want to include an instant or sorcery, its effect should be at least one of these:

  1. Dramatic: powerful game-changing effects, as on Kindred Dominance;
  2. Permanent: ramp spells such as Three Visits are a good example;
  3. Reactive: capable of selectively enhancing or protecting one of your cards, negating an opponent's (more expensive) spell - i.e. a Professor's Warning to stop a removal effect.

These criteria are born from necessity - in EDH, you don't have a single opponent to defeat, but three. In a two-player game, a Village Rites gives you a one-card advantage over your opponent - you spend one, and gain two. In a four-player game, with each of your opponents drawing a card for turn, you have accrued a one-card deficit.

With that in mind, I'd recommend culling the aforementioned instants and sorceries. This deck already has powerful card-drawing (Toski, Bearer of Secrets) and token-making (Chatterfang) effects available to it. Trust that they will do the job well.

Cards to cut: 12

Wrapping Up
And with that, we're down to 100! I hope this helps you streamline the deck, so you may overrun your foes with a horde of vengeful rodents. Good luck!

oeliberti on TOSHIRO BRINGING BACK ALL THE SPUMONIES

4 weeks ago

Hey, fyi:

Succumb to Temptation and Blood Pact are strictly worse (at least imho, although they're in instant speed) than Sign in Blood, Night's Whisper and Read the Bones.

All three are pretty much "staples" for me in mono-black edh.

PuddinWing on Vampire: The Dark Ages

1 month ago

Pact of the Serpent is a direct upgrade to Read the Bones and Smothering Tithe is an auto-include in anything white. Other than that I really like the deck.

MTGBurgeoning on Edgar & Eminence: A Love Story

2 months ago

Thank you for reviewing my build and thank you for your comment! I enjoyed perusing your list and admire the strengths and overt power of your deck. There are some cards in your build that I have wanted to include here (Mana Crypt, Vampiric Tutor, Demonic Tutor, Sensei's Divining Top). I am waiting for some copies to become available. Regarding your suggestions:

1) In a vacuum, I absolutely agree with your preference for building Edgar Markov with a vision of tempo and super-aggressiveness. If I were playing an Edgar Markov deck at an LGS, then this is the path I would select as well. However, the 99 of this deck has been shaped to fit the play-conditions of my meta-game. Too often, an early-game overly-aggressive combat directive ended, predictably, with a board wipe, Cyclonic Rift or mass-exiling effect. Even with a high number of protection spells in the deck (Teferi's Protection, Unbreakable Formation, Akroma's Will, Boros Charm), sometimes it's difficult to be resilient. This tendency of my meta helps to explain the deck's somewhat dichotomous structure: I usually had very few options for interacting with my opponents after board wipes. They were able to re-establish their board states with bigger threats than I could produce. I'm creating Vampire creature tokens while they're casting Dragons or Eldrazis. I needed to lean a little bit more into interaction in order to prevail in the mid-to-late game. Leading to...

2) My meta is not prone to use tax or Propaganda effects, so mass-enchantment removal has never been a concern. The majority of removal spells in this build are spot-removal spells, generally with the ability to target various permanent types. These spells have been very beneficial in subduing my opponents' potential threats or barriers to combat. This has allowed me to persevere through the mid-to-late game.

3) As for cantrips spells, I prefer to include spells that have a more controlled effect secondary to life-loss. Cards like Necropotence and Phyrexian Arena allow for less randomized returns and investments. For me, historically, with spells like Pact of the Serpent and Minions' Murmurs on the stack, an opponent will respond to them with instant-speed mass-removal. Unfortunately, this leaves me with a fizzled investment and dreams of what could have been. Also, the potential to lose a high amount of life can be too detrimental. I have died NUMEROUS times to an opponent's Living Death or other mass-recursion spell while Champion of Dusk and a slew of other Vampire creature cards are in my graveyard. It feels bad. It feels really bad. So I decided to cap the potential loss of life by specifically including spells like Read the Bones, Painful Truths and Plumb the Forbidden. Plumb the Forbidden also has been a great way to benefit from imminent board wipes, especially mass-exiling effects. Perhaps if the deck slanted a bit more toward a life-drain theme, then I definitely could reconsider your suggestions of Pact of the Serpent and Minions' Murmurs. However, I just don't think I can ever include Champion of Dusk. It hurts. It hurts a lot.

I really appreciate your feedback and suggestions! Edgar Marvok is uber-powerful and I look forward to continuing our discussions about him! Which brings me to this question:

Are there any cards from Crimson Vow that you are considering for inclusion in the 99?

VampRamped on Edgar & Eminence: A Love Story

2 months ago

Glad to see another Edgar Markov deck join the fray. I do not have much to say for the quality of cards for the Edgar Markov here besides that Painful Truths, Plumb the Forbidden and Read the Bones are kind of weak cards for what you can play in Edgar Markov and would recommend Pact of the Serpent, Minions' Murmurs, and Champion of Dusk as they are significantly more powerful card draw.

Besides that, the biggest challenge I can see this deck facing is that the deck looks a little torn between the midrange element of the plentiful removal suite, and the aggressive speed element of the deck. In my experience, the only removal that an aggressive Edgar Markov needs is cards that prevent Edgar Markov from being able to win through attacks ie propaganda effects, and tabernacle-type effects which are mostly contained in enchantments so mass enchantment removal is very valuable to an aggressive Edgar Markov deck. The issue with a large removal suite is that removal can clog up your hand in addition to the fact utilizing removal slows down your deck by spending your mana to interact with their cards rather than using your mana to play cards that kill your opponent. An aggressive Edgar Markov's decks biggest strength is its ability to put on significant kill pressure and build rapid tempo quickly. By playing a large removal suite you slow your deck down and allow your opponents to get into the game as most commander decks are built around utilizing the early turns of the game to ramp to enable them to make haymaker plays in the mid to late game. By playing a large removal suite you allow most other commander decks to play on their terms which are usually the terms unfavorable for Edgar Markov.

Check out my deck A Vampire Storm *Primer*, and let me know what you think.

Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor on To the Winchester!

4 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions! I opted to cut Smothering Abomination instead of Undead Augur or Village Rites. I like Rites as it is burst card draw which I don't have a lot of right now. I have a ton of steady card draw (death draw basically) but not a lot of burst draw. I think I'll probably swap Rites out for Read the Bones eventually. While I agree on the "may" issue with Undead Augur, it is a creature so I can always sacrifice it if I am afraid of decking myself (which I've accidentally done with Dark Prophecy in the past). Plus it has zombie synergy. Smothering Abomination got the axe because it is basically another version of my commander that I can't control as well.

1 more cut...always the hardest one to remove.

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