Volrath: Breakdown

To read the introduction to this deck, click here.
To see the full decklist, click here.

The Manabase

Bojuka Bog
Polluted Mire
Barren Moor
Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
Miren, the Moaning Well
Temple of the False God
Crypt of Agadeem
Volrath’s Stronghold
Cabal Coffers
Terrain Generator
27 Swamp

This is a simple and effective manabase for a mono-black deck. Lots of Swamps and utility black lands help you cast your giant black creatures.

Shizo is an interesting land in this deck; its ability to grant fear to Volrath can lead to easy general kills, and as a land, it doesn’t eat up a spell slot.

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Volrath: Introduction

Volrath EDH came about when I decided for Christmas 2011 that I wanted the lovely Angela to build me an EDH deck. I thought it would be a fun challenge for each of us to build a deck for the other, and swap for Christmas. The deck she built me was Stonebrow, Krosan Hero, which will get its own post later on.

For myself, when it came time to brainstorm a deck for Ang, there were a number of different ideas that I wanted to tie into the deck. First, I wanted to take an interesting, older, and obscure general to build around – the more obscure the better, so I could guarantee that Ang wouldn’t build the same deck. I wanted to build a deck that had a lot of raw power and synergy, where every card was good, but they all worked toward the deck’s theme. I wanted the deck to be fun to play, but strong. And early on in the brainstorming process, I thought that building a deck based around general damage could be interesting if done right. (Especially since none of the EDH decks we had built up to this point focused on killing with 21 general damage.)

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Hidden Gems #1: Card Drawing (Black/Artifact)

One of the article types I plan to do as a recurring feature for EDH is a section on Hidden Gems, or cards that I want to spotlight which people wouldn’t normally think of using. Hopefully this will encourage more people to try cards that they may not normally consider.


For this first instalment of Hidden Gems, I will focus on some overlooked black and artifact card-drawing spells.


Most people, when looking to add black or artifact card-drawing to their EDH decks, grab the normal and obvious choices: Skullclamp, Phyrexian Arena, Mind’s Eye, Promise of Power, Ambition’s Cost, Ancient Craving and Bloodgift Demon. While these are commonly used (and extremely good) card-drawing spells, here are some of the lesser known gems:
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Random Christmas Sealed: The Games

For my deck, and to see a summary of Ang’s idea for the Christmas Sealed, click here.
For Angela’s deck, click here.

Game 1:
This game is mostly anticlimactic. Ang gets color-screwed; she is stuck with one Island and multiple Swamps for ages. My deck, meanwhile, gives me the perfect curve of turn two Somberwald Dryad, turn three Moniker Mage, turn four Cudgel Troll, and turn five Spined Wurm. Spined Wurm gets killed by Victim of Night, but my team is joined by the monstrously large 11/11 Elvish House Party, while Ang has a mystery morph guy, suspended Viscerid Deepwalker, and a Whispersilk Cloak. With Careful Consideration in my hand to back up this board, I figured I was in the driver’s seat for this game.

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Random Christmas Sealed: Mark’s Deck

Waaaay back in October of last year, my wonderful girlfriend Angela had a fun idea when she saw a booth with a ton of older packs at a local convention. “What if I bought some of these for Mark for Christmas so we could play a sealed-deck-style match?” She quickly picked up two packs each of Time Spiral and Unhinged. I later filled in the rest of the gaps with Magic 2011, Innistrad, Dark Ascension, and a pack of Starter, and we sat down to game. The winner would get to open a pack of Portal Three Kingdoms that I’d saved for five years; high stakes!

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Casual Tribal Decks: Conclusions

Building the casual tribal decks for my brother was a fun deckbuilding exercise, and I felt that I did very well at building these decks. Each deck had its own personality and playstyle, with several themes, and each one was both fairly competitive and fun to play.

Again, these were the decks I ended up sending my brother:

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Casual Tribal Decks: Robots

To see the introduction of the Casual Tribal Deckbuilding challenge, click here.

The final deck that was completed, this may also be the weakest and least tuned. I knew going into this that the last deck I wanted to build would be Robots (all artifact creatures). Doing this opened up some problems, the main one being a lack of good removal spells.

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Casual Tribal Deck: Angels

To see the introduction of the Casual Tribal Deckbuilding challenge, click here.

As one of the two decks that were specifically requested by my brother (the first being the vampire deck), I worked extra hard on this one.

Angels is basically a control deck, and is one of the few I built with actual Wrath effects. The game plan here is to survive the early game, and just take over the late game with giant bomb-y angels.

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