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 Post subject: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-27 7:31 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
This is a deck I've had around for quite some time, basically ever since Dragon's Maze came out. I quickly put together the deck, tested it out about two times, and then set it aside to make other decks from other guild leaders and runners. Well...I'd actually like to make this guy a little better.

1) I still play rather casually, but I'm looking for clever interactions to run in this deck. For instance, I took out this deck yesterday just to see if I even wanted to make it better, and play tested it against a Horobi, Death's Wail and Aurelia, the Warleader decks. I hadn't realized Scavenge not only targets, but also could be used on any creature and not just your own. Came in very handy in combination with Horobi, so I ended up adding Horobi to this list to see where that goes.

2) I currently have no particular theme going on here. I've tried to think of a good theme, but still nothing comes to mind.

3) I'm trying to keep tutors to a minimum. The ones I already have here are probably the only ones every going in.

4) After playing the deck recently, I've noticed there needs to be a balance of low cost, low power creatures and high power creatures (whether low or high cost). The low cost creatures are mainly utilized as sacrifice material to regenerate Varolz, because without them the deck tends to flop. So some of the current creature choices reflect this.

5) The deck is virtually Voltron, since I really only care about pumping up Varolz. I don't entirely think this is a really good decision, but I'm just not sure what else to really do with his ability. Well...Mycoloth did just come to mind, but this isn't the deck I really want to make into a token deck. I have enough of those already.

Commander:
Varolz, the Scar-Striped

Creatures: (33)
Bellowing Tanglewurm
Bloodghast
Brawn
Canker Abomination
Crowned Ceratok
Deathrite Shaman
Death's Shadow
Desecration Demon
Doomgape
Elvish Skysweeper
Force of Savagery
Fyndhorn Elves
Horobi, Death's Wail--Because Scavenge targets any creature, and Varolz can regenerate.
Hunted Horror
Krosan Tusker
Llanowar Elves
Lord of Extinction
Lotleth Troll
Myr Superion
Pack Rat
Phyrexian Dreadnought
Phyrexian Soulgorger
Polukranos, World Eater
Puppeteer Clique
Putrid Imp
Reaper from the Abyss
Reaper of the Wilds
Reassembling Skeleton
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Thought Gorger
Ulvenwald Tracker
Veteran Explorer
Yavimaya Elder

Sorceries: (9)
Bramblecrush
Buried Alive
Cultivate
Essence Harvest
Jarad's Orders
Life from the Loam
Mulch
Sever the Bloodline
Syphon Flesh

Instants: (6)
Beast Within
Entomb--Very nearly the best card in the deck, besides Varolz.
Grisly Salvage
Krosan Grip
Tribute to the Wild
Withering Boon

Enchantments: (10)
Asceticism
Cadaverous Bloom
Dark Prophesy
Deathreap Ritua
Death's Presence
Grave Pact
Greed
Gutter Grime--Saved me so many times by providing both blockers and regen support.
Ooze Flux
Pernicious Deed

Artifacts: (3)
Grafdigger's CageI don't normally have a lot of recurring
Kusari-Gama
Rings of Brighthearth

Lands: (38)
Dryad Arbor
Evolving Wilds
Ghost Quarter
Gilt-Leaf Palace
Golgari Guildgate
Golgari Rot Farm
Overgrown Tomb
Rogue's Passage
Terramorphic Expanse
Treetop Village
Woodland Cemetery
13 x Forest
14 x Swamp

I've left some notes on some of the cards, which I plan on replacing as soon as I have something to replace them with. For instance, I don't think I have an Overgrown Tomb available currently, but there might be something else I could squeeze in here to help fix colors better.

Other cards I've been meaning to fit in:
Greater Good ((I haven't ever gotten one, but at some point I'll probably try to find one))
Vulturous Zombie possibly? It doesn't really help out Varolz at all, which is the only reason I'm not gun-ho about it, but it doesn't really well with the other +1/+1 counter cards I have.
Spiritmonger might be better than Vulturous Zombie, especially due to built in regen and higher power to mana cost. Hmm...

EDIT: I must be out of it, because I have no idea why I titled this as "Varolz and Being Alone." Maybe because this has been a Voltron deck? Maybe because I don't normally play Voltron, so this is one of the few of my decks which is? :facepalm:

EDIT: Edited the list to show most recent changes--1/31/14.
EDIT: Updated 3/27/2014
EDIT: Updated 6/9/2014
EDIT: Updated 9/21/2014

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Last edited by Segrus on 2014-Sep-21 11:34 am, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-27 11:32 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
This might be my personal bias for insane card draw, but I'd definitely take this in a "power matters" direction with stuff like:

greater good
momentous fall
garruk, primal hunter
disciple of bolas
soul's majesty
hunter's insight
hunter's prowess
berserk
nantuko mentor
rite of consumption
not of this world
drop of honey
jarad, golgari lich lord

This seems like it plays right into the scavenge mechanic. Maybe add stuff like:

fallen angel
khabal ghoul
jagged-scar archers
carrion
xathrid demon

Some sacrifice-mechanic stuff seems tempting, too:

symbiotic wurm
dark prophecy
savra, queen of the golgari

Or the fight-mechanic thingers: Arena, Ulvenwald tracker.

I dunno. Then there's the obvious dredge mechanic idea. Fill up your yard and profit?

PS: I did a search for some of this stuff... why have I never seen carrion before? That seems bonkers in a lot of decks.

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-27 12:07 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
mmcgeach wrote:
This might be my personal bias for insane card draw, but I'd definitely take this in a "power matters" direction with stuff like:

greater good--Already mentioned this card above as one I'm going to be looking for in the near-er future.
momentous fall--Might be okay, since this is an instant; see Disciple of Bolas.
garruk, primal hunter--Of the three I already own, they are all being used currently. Will only go in if I find another easy.
disciple of bolas--Probably not. Unless someone is using Arrest cards on my guy, saccing small creatures is what this would probably be resigned to. This is okay sometimes, but I'm concerned it won't be enough.
soul's majesty--I keep forgetting about this awesome card.
hunter's insight--Same with this one.
hunter's prowess--Eh? Not sure what this card is supposed to be...
berserk--Haha, yeah...good card...but continual trample effects might be better.
nantuko mentor--I keep looking at this card with the intent to do something with it, but I keep turning away since it doesn't provide trample.
rite of consumption--Last-ditch kill mechanic? Maybe. I'm not sure I'll always want to kill off my pumped-up guy.
not of this world--I hadn't thought about this one, good call.
drop of honey--Uh...possibly. Although it would really suck for the board to get wiped, I would regenerate Varolz, and then Drop of Honey kills my guy.
jarad, golgari lich lord--Already in the deck.

This seems like it plays right into the scavenge mechanic. Maybe add stuff like:

fallen angel--I don't really keep enough creatures on the board to make this worthwhile enough.
khabal ghoul--Possibly. I don't know what I'd take out for it, and I like the idea of Bloodghast better.
jagged-scar archers--? Nice idea, but there's plenty of janky Flying removal better than this guy.
carrion--You know, I've been meaning to put Carrion into a deck...
xathrid demon--I know this guy really fits in with Lord of Extinction as well as pumping a guy up with Scavenge, but I still don't like it. Not particularly creative.

Some sacrifice-mechanic stuff seems tempting, too:

symbiotic wurm--This guy gets me lots of regen-fodder, but I'm not convinced his cost-to-power ratio is good enough.
dark prophecy--This is a card I forgot to mention as possibly going into the deck, and I have one waiting to see if I'd like it better than something I already have.
savra, queen of the golgari--I'm not certain I want to turn this into a Savra deck, where I begin to build around her. She'd provide a lot of value out of each sacrifice, but I'm not currently convinced...

Or the fight-mechanic thingers: Arena, Ulvenwald tracker.--The Tracker is already in the deck.

I dunno. Then there's the obvious dredge mechanic idea. Fill up your yard and profit?--Would probably be useful for this deck. I think I'd like to cut down on some of the non-creature cards to make this work like I want it to, though.

PS: I did a search for some of this stuff... why have I never seen carrion before? That seems bonkers in a lot of decks.

See comments. Overall, I think I just currently have tunnel vision looking through my cards and I haven't found a good idea yet to go along with this deck.

EDIT: Definitely need Puppeteer Clique in here.

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-27 1:48 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
Well,
a) I looked up skullbriar + scavenge, and it does work.
b) Scavenge + sewer nemesis doesn't work.
c) Hunter's Prowess is from Born of the Gods, and looks like a good one:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-27 2:01 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
mmcgeach wrote:
Well,
a) I looked up skullbriar + scavenge, and it does work.
b) Scavenge + sewer nemesis doesn't work.
c) Hunter's Prowess is from Born of the Gods, and looks like a good one.

Yeah, I just looked up Skullbriar's rulings, and you're right. I'm really glad it does. I already knew Sewer Nemesis didn't work, and originally I had Mortivore in the monster's place. I think I might trade out Sewer Nemesis with either Puppeteer Clique (if I can find it) or Splinterfright.

And I completely forgot about that card being in Born of the Gods. I haven't been looking at spoilers lately. I'm not really excited about it currently.

I'm hoping to play this deck tonight, assuming the call for Casual EDH I saw on a white board is still valid. Please, please let people actually be there, and let it be actually casual!

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-27 4:21 pm 

Joined: 2010-Oct-10 2:50 pm
Age: Wyvern
I can see where horobi would be handy, i tried using both varolz and jarad as commanders but finally settled on skullbriar. For one, he can build up counters on his own, and he is cheaper and quicker to get out. I trimmed my deck to include ways to get varolz out like time of need (good card to help you find horobi) and birthing pod.
My deck did however include a ton of reanimator enablers and effects so i could scavenge more efficiently. Cards like phyrexian dreadnaught, and the black hunted creature (whos name escapes me at the moment) for 2 black add on to the list of fatties you already have.
Other than that your list is decent enough for the more casual circles.
Sorry i dont have any card tags. Wrote this in haste.


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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-27 7:21 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
TheJoho wrote:
I can see where horobi would be handy, i tried using both varolz and jarad as commanders but finally settled on skullbriar. For one, he can build up counters on his own, and he is cheaper and quicker to get out. I trimmed my deck to include ways to get varolz out like time of need (good card to help you find horobi) and birthing pod.
My deck did however include a ton of reanimator enablers and effects so i could scavenge more efficiently. Cards like phyrexian dreadnaught, and the black hunted creature (whos name escapes me at the moment) for 2 black add on to the list of fatties you already have.
Other than that your list is decent enough for the more casual circles.
Sorry i dont have any card tags. Wrote this in haste.

Yeah, I'm not looking to make it super competitive, which is why Skullbriar and Jarad are not the general. Also, the black 'hunted' creature, Phyrexian Dreadnought, and reanimator enablers are all in the deck currently.

Current changes:
- Oona's Prowler
- Sewer Nemesis
- Army of the Damned
- Evolution Charm
- Underworld Connections
- Ashnod's Altar
- Relic of Progenitus
- Buried Ruin

+ Bloodghast
+ Mitotic Slime
+ Skarrg Goliath
+ Bridge from Below
+ Dark Prophesy
+ Death's Presence
+ Gutter Grime
+ Gilt-Leaf Palace

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 8:23 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
I dunno if you wanted to do dredge or not, but I'd be tempted to run life from the loam + svogthos, the restless tomb. They seem pretty on-theme. And probably golgari thug cause really that seems to be awesome in basically any black deck.

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 8:42 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
mmcgeach wrote:
I dunno if you wanted to do dredge or not, but I'd be tempted to run life from the loam + svogthos, the restless tomb. They seem pretty on-theme. And probably golgari thug cause really that seems to be awesome in basically any black deck.

I'm not convinced on dredge yet. It seems good and all, but I'm not trying to dump my entire library into my graveyard as fast as possible, plus dredge ends up becoming a sort of 'all-in' strategy. I've generally found, so far, getting Varolz five to ten counters is enough to be threatening to the board. This means I don't generally need a really big creature really fast. Even further, graveyard exile effects are really prominent and so it's easy to suddenly lose all of that advantage. With EDH intending to take longer than normal Magic formats, it's easier for people to find these effects in their deck and kill my strategy too early.

1) Varolz, slow-rolled this way, seems to be more powerful because: a) low-cost artifact graveyard disruption is less effective when I'm only putting one or two creature cards into my graveyard at a time; and b) it's easier to turn on the valve suddenly and dump several creature cards worth of counters onto Varolz at the right time instead of jumping through the hoop of dredging well ahead of time and then waiting for the opportune moment.

2) Dredge is a powerful mechanic which, with experience players, is known to be really good in other formats. They might incorrectly perceive me as a threat earlier in the game if they know I'm running this. I might be able to slip under the radar more effectively if I don't appear a threat even before the game starts.

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-30 2:38 pm 

Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Segrus wrote:
1) Varolz, slow-rolled this way, seems to be more powerful because: a) low-cost artifact graveyard disruption is less effective when I'm only putting one or two creature cards into my graveyard at a time; and b) it's easier to turn on the valve suddenly and dump several creature cards worth of counters onto Varolz at the right time instead of jumping through the hoop of dredging well ahead of time and then waiting for the opportune moment.


It depends on which removal they're using. Your plan is good as long as everyone's sticking to Tormod's Crypt type cards, but it's not so good if someone's running Scrabbling Claws (or more likely, Scavenging Ooze or Deathrite Shaman).

I've been playing a slow Vorosh dredge deck for a while now, and it's terrible against these kinds of cards.

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-30 3:04 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Kemev wrote:
Segrus wrote:
1) Varolz, slow-rolled this way, seems to be more powerful because: a) low-cost artifact graveyard disruption is less effective when I'm only putting one or two creature cards into my graveyard at a time; and b) it's easier to turn on the valve suddenly and dump several creature cards worth of counters onto Varolz at the right time instead of jumping through the hoop of dredging well ahead of time and then waiting for the opportune moment.


It depends on which removal they're using. Your plan is good as long as everyone's sticking to Tormod's Crypt type cards, but it's not so good if someone's running Scrabbling Claws (or more likely, Scavenging Ooze or Deathrite Shaman).

I've been playing a slow Vorosh dredge deck for a while now, and it's terrible against these kinds of cards.

Well, I'm stuck if I have to discard with Pack Rats, etc. Really, the best card in the deck for getting Scavenge counters is Entomb. No matter what kind of graveyard removal they have, if I play that card and have Varolz out, I'm getting that one card's worth of Scavenge. The reason being: 1) it doesn't target a specific card, so they'd have to remove all of my targets beforehand; 2) the card is put into the graveyard as part of resolving the spell, so I don't pass priority between the resolution of the spell and being able to Scavenge is (assuming there aren't other things waiting to be resolved). And since exiling the creature is part of the cost associated with Scavenge, again there's no chance to remove the creature from the graveyard before I Scavenge.

I managed to find Riftsweeper, and I think I'm going to try to find a place for it in the deck. This in combination with a card like Haunted Crossroads seems really good.

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-30 4:05 pm 

Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Have you had a chance to play with Bridge from Below yet?

I find that card really hard to play with (although it just occurred to me that I've never tried it with Leyline of the Void).

...

I keep scrolling past this topic and getting "so ronery and sadry arone" stuck in my head...

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-30 5:30 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jan-30 4:43 pm
Age: Hatchling
Varolz was my first commander and is still my man deck i've built and deconstructed a few with my friend but he has been my love I can't get myself to use another deck for more than a game or two because I don't want to give up my commander he is to good. My deck is posted here
http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/the-true-golgari-king/
and im trying to cut some of my tutors they just aren't any fun, also im gonna get the hexproof creature from born of gods and put it in and mostly grab it with T&N as a strong choice but not game winning.


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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-30 7:17 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Kemev wrote:
Have you had a chance to play with Bridge from Below yet?

I find that card really hard to play with (although it just occurred to me that I've never tried it with Leyline of the Void).

...

I keep scrolling past this topic and getting "so ronery and sadry arone" stuck in my head...

I managed to see it once so far in testing. It performs okay, I suppose...I mean, I'm didn't get a ton of tokens off it, but that's not my goal. My goal with it is to retain at least a creature after I sac something to Varolz in order to have extra regen protection. So it that regard, it did plenty. I think I'll get a better handle of it once I see it in real matches rather my play testing.

Also, some changes:
- Strongarm Tactics
- 2x Forest
- Swamp

+ Carrion
+ Evolving Wilds
+ Terramorphic Expanse
+ Treetop Village

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 Post subject: Re: Varolz and Being Alone
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-23 2:46 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
I took a look at your list and first and foremost, I support the inclusion of Greater Good.

Random brainstorming:

Drawing:
Soul of the Harvest
Regal Force
Graveborn Muse
Soul's Majesty
Momentous Fall
Skeletal Scrying (this is a good one)
Phyrexian Arena
Promise of Power

Other:
Mortivore (you have Lhurgoyf in there, but not this?)
Terravore (depends on meta, if there is a lot of fetches, it shines)
Hunted Troll
Mycoloth (this just HAS to work)
Mogis's Marauder (this one's a beast)

I want to ask, why don't you play Grave Pact effects? Is there a particular reason?

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