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 Post subject: Varolz, the Scar-Striped
AgePosted: 2013-May-02 7:54 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Nov-30 10:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Issaquah, WA
Fell in love with this guy as soon as he was spoiled, now I'm trying to make the final cuts to my list and could use some assistance.

Commander
Varolz, the Scar-Striped

Creatures
Deathrite Shaman
Death's Shadow
Phyrexian Dreadnought
Birds of Paradise
Oona's Prowler
Dark Confidant
Bloodghast
Nether Traitor
Skullbriar, the Walking Grave
Fauna Shaman
Hermit Druid
Blood Artist
Scavenging Ooze
Sheltering Ancient
Talara's Battalion
Devoted Druid
Lotleth Troll
Eternal Witness
Fleshbag Marauder
Viridian Corrupter
Vampire Nighthawk
Nyxathid
Dusk Urchins
Glissa, the Traitor
Splinterfright
Dungrove Elder
Necrotic Ooze
Corpsejack Menace
Mindslicer
Mortivore
Brawn
Braids, Cabal Minion
Lord of Extinction
Puppeteer Clique
Triskelion

Artifacts
Skullclamp
Sol Ring
Infiltration Lens
Swiftfoot Boots
Lightning Greaves
Umezawa's Jitte
Oblivion Stone
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Feast and Famine
Birthing Pod

Enchantments
Rancor
Sylvan Library
Pernicious Deed
Phyrexian Arena
Tainted AEther
Grave Pact

Sorceries
Demonic Tutor
Diabolic Intent
Buried Alive
Yawgmoth's Will
Maelstrom Pulse
Jarad's Orders
Damnation
Barter in Blood
Bramblecrush

Instants
Grisly Salvage
Abrupt Decay
Naturalize
Putrefy
Krosan Grip
Momentous Fall
Suffer the Past

Planeswalkers
Liliana of the Veil
Garruk Relentless
Vraska the Unseen

Nonbasics
Bayou
Overgrown Tomb
Woodland Cemetery
Twilight Mire
Llanowar Wastes
Command Tower
Strip Mine
Grim Backwoods
Phyrexian Tower

This deck focuses on running out low-cost creatures, particularly those that synergize well with either of Varolz's abilities. It packs a lot of removal, including several board wipes, aiming to use the general to squeeze extra value out of anything that gets cleared away or discarded. Nether Traitor or Bloodghast combined with scavenge allow for a quick recovery from any wrath effects. To take advantage of the low curve and punish those with slower decks, I'm running Braids, Mindsclicer and Tainted Aether, and I wouldn't mind throwing in a bit of LD somewhere.

I'd love to hear about any other cool Varolz synergies I've missed, and I feel like I can comfortably run several more non-fixing nonbasics.

I don't want to go any lower than 37 land, so that leaves at least 8 cards to cut.

Suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Varolz, the Scar-Striped
AgePosted: 2013-May-03 5:33 am 

Joined: 2008-Sep-12 8:43 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Madison, WI
I'm assuming Survival of the Fittest is out because of cost considerations, although it does seem like a natural fit here.

I think a little more recursion would be helpful. Phyrexian Reclamation seems like a good fit. Genesis would also be decent.

It's a little janky, but I've had fun with Avenging Druid in some of my decks that like to load up the yard with goodies.

You have his orders, but Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord is oddly absent.

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Damia - Maga - Bolas - Karrthus - Karador


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 Post subject: Re: Varolz, the Scar-Striped
AgePosted: 2013-May-03 7:00 am 
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Joined: 2009-Nov-30 10:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Issaquah, WA
I could get a Survival for this, and it wouldn't be the priciest card on the list, but I kind of hate that card. Then again, I've said the same thing about Braids...

In this deck I'm going for draw over recursion, since I'd rather exile most dudes in my graveyard using my general. Just gotta keep the Scavenge targets coming.

I had never seen Avenging Druid before, that's pretty cool and fits well.

I think I overlooked Jarad because he is 2 power for 4 as a Scavenge source, and my strategy of exiling my dead creatures doesn't mesh well with his static ability. However, he may just be worth it for his Fling-ish ability.

Thank you for the suggestions


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 Post subject: Re: Varolz, the Scar-Striped
AgePosted: 2013-May-03 11:00 am 

Joined: 2008-Sep-12 8:43 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Madison, WI
The thing about survival is that it helps you get a chain of dudes in the yard and search, so you can get the guys you want to scavenge in the yard while picking up a utility guy or beater in the process. I honestly like it more than something like Buried Alive, simply because it's far more flexible in how you can use it.

I know you want to keep the curve low, but Woodfall Primus seems like it might get more mileage with scavenge than Bramblecrush. Beast Within might also be good, especially with the multiple gravepact effects you are running.

I might also consider Necropotence over Infiltration Lens. Greater Good seems like a good way to draw cards and get dudes in the yard as well.

High Market is a utility land I would consider as well, especially with the sacking theme.

Bennie Smith did a pretty good write-up of cards that scavenge well with Varolz.

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Damia - Maga - Bolas - Karrthus - Karador


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 Post subject: Re: Varolz, the Scar-Striped
AgePosted: 2013-May-03 12:50 pm 

Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Are you sure you want to play Varolz instead of another GB general? 'Cause it seems like your deck has a lot of secondary win conditions; if you cut these, your deck drops to about the right size:

Glissa + O-stone: Powerful together, but they don't fit the aggro plan
Necrotic Ooze + Devoted Druid: Again powerful cards, but for another deck
Birthing Pod: Once you've cut the above, this becomes much less useful

So that's 5 cards. If you miss the cutthroat aspect of the combos, I'd add Contamination instead. I'd also cut these:

Blood Artist: You're probably not going to have many creatures on the field at any given time, which makes it a lot worse
Talara's Battalion: There are better two drops
Bramblecrush: This card is generally awkward
Suffer the Past: This deck probably won't make enough mana to get much mileage out of this

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz, the Scar-Striped
AgePosted: 2013-May-07 12:28 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-25 6:53 pm
Age: Drake
Force of Savagery is a really good card for Varolz that a lot of people actually overlook. Automatically they flock to Death's Shadow and Phyrexian Dreadnaught and forget about this little wonder from Future Sight. Yeah, it's not as mana efficient at the other two, but it's another pump effect that is relatively cheap in comparison to other cards with 8 power.

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"I am the Dragon. And you call me insane. You are privy to a great becoming, but you recognize nothing. To me, you are a slug in the sun. You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is your nature to do one thing correctly. Before me, you rightly tremble. But, fear is not what you owe me. You owe me awe."
Francis Dolarhyde - Red Dragon


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