Too-Specific Top 10 - I'm Leaving You(r Yard)

(Quintorius, Field Historian | Art by Bryan Sola)

Cause I'm Leaving...

Welcome to Too-Specific Top 10, where if there isn’t a category to rank our pet card at the top of, we’ll just make one up! (Did you know that Restoration Specialist is the only creature that lets you return both an artifact and an enchantment to your hand, guaranteed?)

So, that new Elephant with the "leaves the graveyard" trigger is pretty sweet, right? Let's do a top 10 list on that!

Top 10 Cards with "Leaves the Graveyard" Triggers!

  1. Syr Konrad, the Grim
  2. Desecrated Tomb
  3. Tormod, the Desecrator
  4. Quintorius, Field Historian
  5. Stonebound Mentor
  6. Fuming Effigy

Oh. Right. This stuff isn't just brand new to Boros, it's brand new in general. While it might feel that Syr Konrad, the Grim has been around forever, it's actually been less than two years since Throne of Eldraine hit the scene, and just over three years since we initially saw this effect for the first time on Desecrated Tomb.

So let's try a different tack, then. What are the best effects that trigger these cards?

Top 10 Cards That Remove Cards from the Graveyard

  1. Bojuka Bog
  2. Eternal Witness
  3. [REDACTED] (On our real list)
  4. Faithless Looting
  5. Buried Ruin
  6. Mystic Sanctuary
  7. Animate Dead
  8. Finale of Devastation
  9. Reanimate
  10. Ramunap Excavator

Well, that's not the most helpful list, either! It's kind of just a top 10 list of cards that say "graveyard" on them, which isn't really the information that people who are interested in this new Lorehold ability want, is it? No, to get there, I think we're gonna have to get more specific.

Top 10 "Leaves the Graveyard" Effects (in Boros)

First off, let's cut it down to the color identity in which Lorehold is a permanent resident. Sure, there are a lot of cards that can remove themselves or others from the graveyard in other colors, but you can't play those under the Elephant anyway, can you? Which just leaves red, white, and colorless cards that should be fresh and new for everyone to consider for that spicy archaeological brewing endeavor!

Top 10 Boros/Colorless Leaves the Graveyard Effects

  1. [REDACTED] (On our real list)
  2. Faithless Looting
  3. Buried Ruin
  4. Scavenger Grounds
  5. [REDACTED] (On our real list)
  6. [REDACTED] (On our real list)
  7. Elixir of Immortality
  8. Mimic Vat
  9. Karmic Guide
  10. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth

Hmmm. That's not exactly what I'd call "fresh". Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of great cards here that will absolutely go into a Quintorius build, but most of these are more generically good effects rather than specific to the deck. Faithless Looting, Scavenger Grounds, and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth would make just about any deck better, and are unlikely to be cards that a brewer would miss on their first pass.

To dig a little deeper on our expedition, then, let's see if we can eliminate the colorless stuff entirely, and highlight the red and white cards that are gonna give us big, repeatable effects. If you really are having trouble finding the colorless tricks, I'd suggest just looking at the artifact section under Syr Konrad's EDHREC Page, and as for the rest, they're probably just in the top Boros cards in general. So let's brush right past all that and see if we can't find some obscure cards!

Criteria: Cards in the Boros color identity that allow you to exile, cast, play, return, or shuffle cards from your graveyard more than once in an inclusive-to-the-card repeatable fashion (Note: Repeatable does not mean multiple, as Quintorius only triggers once per instance of cards leaving the graveyard, not for each card). As is tradition, all results are ordered by EDHREC score.

10. Past in Flames

(8,166 Inclusions, 3% of 244,722 Decks)

In a word, no. No, we can't find any obscure cards. Don't get me wrong, I could keep refining things down to find the Dawnbreak Reclaimers of the world, but we'd also miss almost every playable you'd actually want in the deck getting there. So instead, we'll acknowledge the fact that a top ten list effectively dedicated to a single commander starts with an extremely deep pool of powerful, recognizable cards, and revel in the fact that said commander is Boros!

As for Past in Flames itself, Spellslingers will be very familiar with the might of this card that allows for you to Flashback a multitude of spells without Flashback from the graveyard, and then has Flashback itself so you can do it all over again the next turn! The only twist this time is that if you have your favorite Elephant Indiana Jones in play, you can grab a 3/2 Spirit not only for Past in Flames itself when you flash it back, but also for every instant or sorcery you Flashback with it. In short, if you lean even a little bit in the spellslinger direction with your Quintorius build, this is gonna be an absolute staple of the deck, and it's probably worth considering even if you only have a dozen or so spells total.

9. Sevinne's Reclamation

(8,363 Inclusions, 4% of 202,809 Decks)

Whether or not you build around spells, however, Sevinne's Reclamation is going to be an absolute powerhouse in the deck. On first cast, you'll get a single Spirit along with whatever you grab back from the graveyard (don't forget: it can be a land, all of you folks who say white can't ramp!), then on second cast you will have a minor cavalcade of triggers as Sevinne's Reclamation leaves the graveyard with Flashback, and the actual spell and copy will also trigger at different times. In other words, in addition to the regular three-for-one card advantage that Sevinne's Reclamation supplies, you'll also get a minimum of four Quintorius triggers if you manage to keep him alive throughout the process.

In other words, stop complaining that white doesn't have any means to ramp or get card advantage, mono-white deniers. It absolutely does, and has for a long time now, you just aren't playing the cards.

8. Mistveil Plains

(8,684 Inclusions, 4% of 229,495 Decks)

Mistveil Plains has always been a neat card in search of a deck that actually wants it. Don't get me wrong, looking through its EDHREC page, you can find the likes of Djeru, With Eyes Open and Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero in the top three commanders, and you do get a bit of a mental click as to what you could actually use this ability for.

Still, putting cards back in the deck so you can then search them back up with your commander is a bit clunky, even if it is effective. And honestly, given that every optimize-at-all-costs brewer out there will be throwing Sunforger into their Quintorius build as the second card total, Mistveil Plains probably would have always had a place in just about every high-level Boros deck. With that said, it's refreshing to see a much more direct use for this odd land, and it will be entertaining to watch Strip Mines get pointed at what is usually a fairly innocuous nonbasic as opponents realize just how much of a problem a two-mana 3/2 a turn is.

7. Daretti, Scrap Savant

(Helms 965 Decks, Rank #140; 7,728 Inclusions, 3% of 240,652 Decks)

My initial leaning when I saw Daretti, Scrap Savant among the top ten was to consider further tightening the top ten list to not include artifact and enchantment deck staples, as we're all fairly familiar already with these strategies in not only Boros but also mono-red and mono-white as well. Ultimately, I decided against it, as Quintorius, Field Historian not only brings a breath of fresh air to the archetypes, but also because it really highlights just how diverse the builds for this commander are going to be. A Lorehold "leaves the graveyard" brewer has a really, really deep well to choose from. Aside from the already-mentioned spellslinger builds that are going to abuse cards like Past in Flames, Dreadhorde Arcanist, Finale of Promise, and every card with Flashback ever, there will also be your optimized good stuff builds, artifact decks (with distinct equipment and Treasure subthemes), and Enchantress decks. And that's just what I can think of off the top of my head, without even getting into the super-off-the-wall builds the true hipsters will get into!

6. Goblin Welder

(9,806 Inclusions, 4% of 241,050 Decks)

One card that is sure to make the deck for just about all of those above strategies, however, is Goblin Welder. Being able to trade out a random mana rock for a crucial engine piece is good enough, but getting a 3/2 whenever you do means that you're not going to care whether you want the card in your graveyard or not, you're still going to make a trade every turn to keep the tokens going. A piece of advice on those mana rocks, though: make sure they come into play untapped for maximum efficiency!

5. Emeria Shepherd

(10,079 Inclusions, 4% of 225,850 Decks)

Today I learned that more people play Emeria Shepherd than Goblin Welder, and I... don't know how to feel about that. I'm one of the biggest proponents of mono-white recursion decks out there, and I still barely play this seven-mana Angel. Sure, it's amazing in Landfall decks that happen to contain white, but that's a pretty short list!

Looking at the EDHREC page, though, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. It's much less that white in general has picked up this weapon that it can't afford, and much more that there just are a lot of Landfall decks in general at the current moment, along with the fact that Angel decks will always be very, very popular. Still, as far as post-Strixhaven mono-white and Boros go, seven mana is getting a lot more reasonable with the likes of Archaeomancer's Map, Monologue Tax, and Scholarship Sponsor, so I actually see these numbers getting a lot bigger, whether it be in a Quintorius deck or otherwise.

4. Emeria, the Sky Ruin

(10,118 Inclusions, 4% of 22,580 Decks)

There are exactly three Plains that are also Mountains, and, as such, Emeria, the Sky Ruin is going to be near impossible to pull off in Boros decks. With that said, the speech I just gave about Emeria Shepherd applies here, too. It's easier than ever for a mono-white deck to get seven Plains into play, and I don't see that trend changing as we enter the "year of white". Expect to see more of this card, and expect it to be much more relevant than you've probably ever seen outside of a Karametra, God of Harvests deck.

3. Underworld Breach

(16,974 Inclusions, 10% of 172,565 Decks)

If you're looking for the number one scary thing to do with our little Elephant friend, then look no further than the Escape mechanic, of which the best is, without question, Underworld Breach (although it's actually closer than you might think when it comes to Sentinel's Eyes). If you've never seen a deck go absolutely off the rails with this card, then it won't take too much post-pandemic time for you to see exactly that, as it's been in print for less than a year and already sees play in 10% of the red decks made in that time. The good news? It's even better in Quintorius decks, where you'll not only get to recast all of the best cards in your graveyard, but will get two Spirits every time you Escape (for those keeping score, you get one trigger on the exile from Escape, then another when the card itself is cast from the graveyard) with your commander in play. Even without Quintorius in play or in the deck, however, I wouldn't be surprised to see this powerhouse keep on climbing lists as older decks filter out and newer builds continue to include it. Don't be surprised if we return to this list or one like it in a year or two and Underworld Breach is number one.

2. Hall of Heliod's Generosity

(20,635 Inclusions, 10% of 213,791 Decks)

For now, however, the number of decks that see the rampant upside of Hall of Heliod's Generosity is even greater. If you thought this card would remain an Enchantress staple and not much else, that's rapidly proving to be untrue. Decks of all kinds want to get their crucial enchantments back, and a utility land is the lowest cost of entry there is in the game. Combine the two and you have almost any deck that has access to white with at least a passing interest in this card, across the entirety of the power spectrum. Quintorius is no different, letting you grab a huge subset of enchantments and getting a Spirit while you wait to draw back into them!

1. Sun Titan

(42,107 Inclusions, 19% of 225,850 Decks)

Most of you who saw the numerous [REDACTED]s in the intro lists made while we were refining our criteria probably had a good idea of what the top card on this list was going to be the whole time. Indeed, it's no surprise to see Sun Titan at the top of yet another Top Ten list. In fact, I was more surprised on looking it up that it was only its third time heading up a top ten, as I had remembered the number being much higher.

Beyond the navel-gazing, however, there's not much to be said about Sun Titan. It's so much value for six mana that its like will never be seen again, and has been reprinted so much that it's still available for even budget builds. The fact that it's good in another deck isn't really news, although the fact that it's better than ever well could be. Regardless, you're going to be praying for this thing to come off the top of your deck (or back out of your graveyard) in the late game often, where it will undoubtedly turn the tide of the game in an efficient manner as it has been doing ever since it was printed. What may be the most impressive, though? With all of that play, people have still yet to get bored with this Giant, even allowing him in hipster builds. Impressive, that.

Honorable Mentions

As with any top ten list that requires quite a lot of whittling down to get to the meat of the matter, I went through a multitude of different lists before finding the one I felt most fit my intentions. So, I figured, why not share them all with you, and then blindly create a Quintorius brew out of just the contents of those lists and some basic lands? You know, just to see how easy it might be to make something workable out of one of the first powerhouse Boros commanders we've ever seen.

So then, let's start with the lists!

Top 10 Graveyard Exile Effects (Exiles/Shuffles Entire graveyard)

  1. Bojuka Bog
  2. Scavenger Grounds
  3. Rakdos Charm
  4. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
  5. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
  6. Tormod's Crypt
  7. Rest in Peace (If you're looking for an easy cut....)
  8. Echo of Eons
  9. Timetwister
  10. Relic of Progenitus

Top 10 Boros Recursion Effects

  1. Sun Titan
  2. Buried Ruin
  3. Crucible of Worlds
  4. Hall of Heliod's Generosity
  5. Underworld Breach
  6. Karmic Guide
  7. Myr Retriever
  8. Reveillark
  9. Trading Post
  10. Scrap Trawler

Top 10 Boros Cards With "Leaves the Graveyard" Mechanics (Flashback, Escape, Delve, etc)

  1. Faithless Looting
  2. Underworld Breach
  3. Past in Flames
  4. Seize the Day
  5. Adorned Pouncer
  6. Reckless Charge
  7. Impulsive Pilferer
  8. Phyrexian Triniform
  9. Throes of Chaos
  10. Sacred Cat

Top 10 Boros "Leaves the Graveyard" Effects Not Based on Artifacts/Enchantments

  1. Sun Titan
  2. Crucible of Worlds
  3. Underworld Breach
  4. Mimic Vat
  5. Emeria, the Sky Ruin
  6. Emeria Shepherd
  7. Mistveil Plains
  8. Sevinne's Reclamation
  9. Past in Flames
  10. Spine of Ish Sah

Top 10 Boros "Leaves the Graveyard" Artifact Effects 

  1. Buried Ruin
  2. Myr Retriever
  3. Trading Post
  4. Scrap Trawler
  5. Goblin Welder
  6. Open the Vaults
  7. Daretti, Scrap Savant
  8. Goblin Engineer
  9. Nim Deathmantle
  10. Metalwork Colossus

Top 10 Boros "Leaves the Graveyard" Enchantment Effects

  1. Hall of Heliod's Generosity
  2. Open the Vaults
  3. Auramancer
  4. Starfield of Nyx
  5. Replenish
  6. Cavalier of Dawn
  7. Restoration Specialist
  8. Tiana, Ship's Caretaker
  9. Crystal Chimes
  10. Retether

Top 10 Boros "Leaves the Graveyard" Spellslinger Effects

  1. Past in Flames
  2. Charmbreaker Devils
  3. Mizzix's Mastery
  4. Volcanic Vision
  5. Finale of Promise
  6. Chandra, Acolyte of Flame
  7. Jaya Ballard
  8. Dreadhorde Arcanist
  9. Wildfire Devils
  10. Goblin Dark-Dwellers

Which then brings us to our decklists! We've got an extreme lack of focus here, as one might expect, but otherwise this thing would be a ton of fun to goldfish if it just had a means to actually get cards into the graveyard. But I'll leave that puzzle for you guys to figure out in your builds! (Note: The actual lists and lands only got us to 91 cards, so I filled in the rest with the Boros ramp and card advantage cards out of Strixhaven and Commander 2021.)

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

Nuts and Bolts

There always seems to be a bit of interest in how these lists are made (this seems like a good time to stress once again that they are based on EDHREC score, NOT my personal opinion), and people are often surprised that I’m not using any special data or .json from EDHREC, but rather just muddling my way through with some Scryfall knowledge! For your enjoyment/research, here is this week’s Scryfall search.

What Do You Think?

And finally, what are your favorite effects that have cards leaving your graveyard? Are you excited about Lorehold bringing this mechanic to the Boros color identity? Are you confused about how you should be referring to color identities all of the sudden?

Let us know in the comments, and we'll see you at the table we acquired from the alley out back.

Doug has been an avid Magic player since Fallen Empires, when his older brother traded him some epic blue Homarids for all of his Islands. As for Commander, he's been playing since 2010, when he started off by making a two-player oriented G/R Land Destruction deck. Nailed it. In his spare time when he's not playing Magic, writing about Magic or doing his day job, he runs a YouTube channel or two, keeps up a College Football Computer Poll, and is attempting to gif every scene of the Star Wars prequels.