Trolling the Graveyard

Posted in Feature on September 11, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

It may come as no surprise that I like value, and how better to get value than to turn every creature into a natural two-for-one (without even accounting for the fact that most of them are also two-for-ones in their own right)? The appropriately-named Lord_Rakdos on TCGPlayer put up a nice-looking list, although it is strangely light on Demons.

Varolz, the Scar-Striped

There are two main themes to keep in mind when building a Varolz deck, and this deck does a good job with both.

The first theme is similar to that from the Ruric Thar decklist I posted, which is to always use creatures instead of spells. This deck plays Fleshbag Marauder over Diabolic Edict, Fertilid over Kodama's Reach, Dawntreader Elk over Rampant Growth, and so on. At this point, it isn't difficult to find a black or green creature that provides any effect you could desire, and often at a good cost to boot. Granted, you still have to play some spells, particularly those with unique effects, but most of the deck really needs to have legs to take advantage of Varolz.

The second part of the equation involves getting all the awesome creatures you are playing into the graveyard where Varolz can commence with the trolling. You don't necessarily need to kill all your creatures (that would be both counter productive and counterproductive), but having ways to sacrifice creatures for benefit really makes this deck tick. Many of the creatures handle that themselves, but for those that don't it's nice to have a few outlets. This deck is not short on those, containing all sorts of ways to escort its creatures to the bin.

While you don't really have to do much more to have a sweet Varolz deck, Lord_Rakdos in his infinite wisdom has included some more nice synergies. Death's Shadow is a natural companion to Varolz, and cards like Wild Beastmaster, Corpsejack Menace, and Phyrexian Dreadnought all work very well in the deck. Because commander damage is especially lethal, playing Varolz and giving him +13/+13 can end games in a flash (which may or may not be desirable, as it turns out). While I'm not normally a fan of trolling, this deck looks just fun enough for me to try it out.

Lord_Rakdos's Varolz Scavenge Deck

Download Arena Decklist

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