Card Spotlight: Cranial Archive

A seemingly weak card, but I do contend it might actually be very, very good… in the right deck.

Cranial Archive

Just a warning: Probably not. This is more of a thought exercise than anything else. I’m not willing to do the math or the testing to get this right, but if there’s someone else out there, I’m here to help.

Elixir of Immortality

Elixir of Immortality was one of the more demoralizing cards of the last Standard. Not as much as Sphinx’s Revelation or top decked Supreme Verdict, but still a sort of sign of inevitability. But its not only about life and the size of the library. Its also about card quality.

Lets say you have 26 lands in your deck, and you’ve played half of those and have seven other cards not in your deck (either in hand or in play), you’ve basically moved from 43,33% to 32,5% of lands in your deck. That might not be enough though. It will help. Especially if you use the Elixir right when you are about to deck yourself.

On the other hand, what if you could dynamically change your deck while playing it? There’s plenty of Sultai cards you can use to manipulate your library, and there’s some cards with Delve. What you could potentially do is to fill you graveyard, Delve away the cards you don’t need in the matchup, and shuffle the rest back into your library with Cranial Archive, which is also a cantrip, so you’re only paying mana for the effect.

On the other hand, this is going to be very slow process and the value gained from all the work is sometimes going to be quite low. Then again, basically rebuilding your deck to dynamically during your match would be quite interesting, albeit difficult and time consuming. Do this at your local FNM and the other players won’t be thanking you.

The other problem is that to get this to work, you’d have to play as many of these cards as possible, but you never want to draw more than one (before using one of them).

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