GLARING SPOTLIGHT is a Magic the Gathering™ column featuring a card that may have gone over-looked during the the building of your EDH Commander deck. Today we discuss Quest for Ancient Secrets.
CARD: Quest for Ancient Secrets
EXPANSION: Zendikar – Uncommon
Whenever a card is put into your graveyard from anywhere, you may put a quest counter on Quest for Ancient Secrets.
Remove five quest counters from Quest for Ancient Secrets and sacrifice it: Target player shuffles his or her graveyard into his or her library.
Quest for Ancient Secrets is a fairly straight-forward card. I was personally drawn to this card when I began looking for enchantments for my 5-color Enchantment control deck (which you can read about here if you’d like!) that would expand my long-term endurance in the long game, by allowing me to shuffle in precious enchantments that had already eaten removal, like the critical Sterling Grove and Privileged Position, so I could either cascade into or fetch them again. I also use this card extensively in my more instant/sorcery spell-oriented deck attempts (like the Damia brew I talked about in my last article!), as it can refuel a deck to play things like ramp and tutors a second time — without having to mess with flashback-enablers or anything of the sort.
Why It’s Good
Quest for Ancient Secrets is a very inconspicuous and nonthreatening enchantment, much unlike others from the “Quest” and “Ascension” cycles of enchantments from the Zendikar block. It costs essentially nothing to turn on for when it’s needed, as it will gain quest counters whenever something gets dropped off in your bin, whether it be a creature that was just killed by an opponent or a cantrip that you wouldn’t mind recasting if it happened to show up in your hand again. Granted, this card can definitely be a wasted slot in some decks that rely on sustaining a tempo advantages throughout the game, or decks which simply do not care for committing to more long-term recursion or graveyard disruption.
That’s right, this enchantment’s ability works both ways. Let’s say, for the sake of understanding, you are a Rubinia Soulsinger Bant control player at the table with two other opponents, one of which is a Chainer, Dementia Master reanimator player. When that fifth non-permanent spell is put into the graveyard or when your fifth utility enchantment eats an ill-timed Krosan Grip, or even when your Fact or Fiction and/or its family fill up your graveyard to at least 5 cards, you have a decision: will you shuffle your graveyard into your deck or shuffle the Chainer’s bin into his deck? And then, with that answered, when?
This card is great because it offers you these great options, at a hilariously low cost of to cast (and essentially free to “turn on”), at instant speed in the form of of an activated ability, and it even shuffles itself! Yes, in the event that a player shuffles his or her own graveyard into his or her own library, that player can come across Quest for Ancient Secrets again if another gold mine of valuable cards are unfairly thrown into the bin– ready to be shuffled back into the 100-card headquarters of your deck’s core strategy.
Quest for Ancient Secrets is a strong yet underrated EDH inclusion due to the fact that it is an enchantment in blue, and seemingly harmless. It can however act as a utility savior when a player’s deck needs to be refueled by cards that have already been cast, milled, or killed. Its ability can clutch-save you from a rogue mill deck or even just to get some cards you wanted back into your deck for toolbox/versatility purposes. On the other side of the coin, the card’s ability can put a stop to any deck that wishes to abuse its own graveyard by having that player shuffle in his/her graveyard into his/her library at instant speed. Everyone who plays blue enjoys playing the broken spells the color has to offer, but deck and time resilience can be a distant and fleeting commodity without other colors like green and white. Quest for Ancient Secrets likes being played for its several options while also being an inconspicuous and oddball enchantment in the blue color, making this spell a serious contender for a slot in most of my toolbox/control decks in EDH.
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave your impressions of this card in the comments section below! Until next time!