The second Return to Ravnica deck is based on the death and regrowth principles of the Golgari (black and green). With access to some of the biggest creatures in the format along with several sneaky tricks to snuff the life out of your enemy’s threats, get ready to drop straight into Friday Night Magic with this assortment of monstrosities.
As less people play the Vampire, Werewolf and Zombie archetypes (OK, not really zombies, they are still errr alive and well in the standard format), Victim of Night gives you a means of getting rid of creatures, especially those annoying guildmages. Dreg Mangler has become the flagship of the scavenge mechanic, as well as many zombie decks. At three mana for a 3/3 with haste, you will often catch your enemy unaware with this rapid plant. His scavenge ability is well costed enough to make it an option in the late game, possibly meaning the difference between a close game and a win. The Wolfir Silverheart makes himself and one friend into really nasty threats turning even your lowliest creature into a 5/5.
The Korozda Guildmage is a really efficient card. Not only can she help something large get past a wall of blockers, but she can sacrifice something for the benefit of the swarm, creating a hot of Saproling tokens if you need numbers rather than size. The Disciple of Bolas can cull your unnecessary creatures, granting you life and card advantage. This grim wizard doesn’t even care where the power came from, making those soulbonded creatures look even more… fitting for his cause, possibly taking you out of death’s reach. With all this ritual sacrifice happening, Tragic Slip is such a logical card to include. Morbid is a rather easy condition for you to meet, and this card can be used in the early game to disrupt decks that rely on gluts of mana to win.
In your sideboard you have various answers for several problems such as spell lands (for example, Gavony Township) and getting rid of non-creature permanents. Vile Rebirth is really handy for those decks that rely on undying or reanimation, removing the creature from a graveyard while giving you a 2/2 in the process. If you need to get your point across in the early game, Strangleroot Geists are extremely aggressive and love to come back for a second bout, and will, along with Dreg Mangler, result in a very hasty attack plan. If your opponent is trying to burn you to the ground, a Thragtusk can pull you off of death’s door, while creating a very real threat. A creature that hits for five damage until it is killed, at which point it makes a 3/3? Not something to be treated lightly, ever.
Here is the entire decklist. You will note that the mana base is rather slow, with seven lands that will enter the battlefield tapped. While they do fix your mana, a few more Woodland Cemeteries would not go amiss, while giving you what you need a lot faster. To get rid of the final four lands that slow you down, Overgrown Tomb cannot be understated in usefulness. Yes they are on the expensive side, but believe me, I am getting my money’s worth out of my playset.
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Golgari Charm
9 other spells
15 sideboard cards
Of course, no Magic player is happy with leaving a deck as is, resulting in some personal flair being seen in card choices. Be it due to availability or budget, or if the player just really really likes a certain card, you will see decks being modified, even if it is just for one small trick. Thanks to this deck running four Vampire Nighthawks, life isn’t as scarce and should be used as a commodity. Luckily my Underworld Connections have a penchant for my blood and will give me a card for one measly life. Who would say no to that deal? Geralf’s Messenger loves hurting opponents straight from the start. He also makes a great target for all of your sacrificial needs, as he will come back once while making the opponent lose another two life. Thanks to the scavenge mechanic, you don’t mind ditching a few creatures straight into the graveyard. The LOLTROLL, I mean, Lotleth Troll gets stronger when you do this and becomes a real pain. With trample and cheap regeneration, Lotleth Troll is a great target for your scavenge triggers and your soulbond size buffs. Using him to break through defences and kill your opponent will indeed give you a laugh. Or a mean chuckle.
Now that you have seen both decks, which one do you think will win in a fight? Both are pretty nasty, embodying nefarious black mana to kill maim and destroy. Rakdos versus Golgari, let us know!
Last Updated: October 31, 2012