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Volrath's Stronghold 

Reviewed July 2, 2004

Constructed: 3.4
Casual: 3.3
Limited: 3.8

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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* game store owner in CA, ShuffleAndCut

Cool artwork by Kev Walker.  He has always been one of my favorites.

Hmmm... pretty strong, really.  While it doesn't bring it to your hand, honestly, at that cost, that would be a bit broken, anyhow.  But for 1B, you can bring back an important or key creature, ready for you to redraw the next turn.  Kinda nice against control, as their counters suddenly lose meaning when you can replay a creature over and over until their reserves of permission or destruction are exhausted.

I'm sure this could find a happy place in many Casual decks, especially those that rely on key creature component's to make some insane combo go off.  Even on the simple side, what about Bottle Gnomes with this thing.  Block, sac, gain 3 each turn.  You'd need to add some card draw to your deck to keep it your draws from stagnating, but that can easily be accomplished.  But I'm sure you can think of some grander idea to use this nice utility for.

In limited, a very strong card, assuring that if you run up against burn, or if you lose a good fattie, you can reclaim it. A higher pick in draft, and an include if you are even splashing Black.
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 4

   Current Price:
Volrath's Stronghold - Stronghold - $6.13

   Combos Well With:
Bottle Gnomes - Mirrodin - $0.46

Judge Bill

*Level 2
MTG Judge

*game store employee

Volrath's Stronghold
A very black like ability, this helps you reuse a creature that died (at the cost of a draw). It is very helpful in a recursion deck, and lets you save a creature from a graveyard removal (from game) spell. Only good in very specialized decks, but where it's good, it's very good.
In casual, this would be very effective, as getting back a creature that your opponent either (a) used a removal spell on, or (b) used one of his creatures to kill will provide you with an advantage.
In limited, if I were able to produce the black mana to power this, I'd play it. Being able to get back creatures that die is very good.
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 3.5

2 Grand Prix Top 8's

Multiple Pro Tour appearances

Volrath’s Stronghold


Putting creatures on top of your library from your boneyard has actually been a pretty common practice, with Slivers and Rock probably being the most notable decks to run this in the most powerful manner.  The pain of slowing you down for a draw step meant that you really couldn’t use this until you had managed to stabilize the game somewhat; Rock was probably able to do this best with Spike Weaver and Feeder, ensuring a long life and many, many spike counters.


Keeping your irritating creatures available is always good when you’re goofing around.  This thing’s got my endorsement.  Not so great in Mental, but eh, what’s that gonna hurt you?


Once again, constantly bringing back creatures is good.  The only unfortunate thing is that you didn’t have access to creatures with strong CIP abilities like you had in Mirage-block right before Tempest, or the ridiculous Echo creatures that were available in Saga-block right afterward.  Regardless, you definitely wanted to pick this high if you could.


Constructed:  3.0

Casual:  3.0

Limited:  3.5


Jeff Zandi

5 Time Pro Tour

Volrath's Stronghold
This card was a must-have for several of the better black decks of the
Tempest block era. This card had remained popular among casual players
because it simply gets the job done. Unholy Grotto from Onslaught does a
similar job for one colorless less mana, but can target only Zombies. In
Tempest block limited play, Volrath's Stronghold is a high pick, providing
card quality advantage, the next best thing to actual card advantage.
CASUAL:              3.5
LIMITED:              3.5

Ray "Monk"
* Level 3 DCI Judge
*DCI Tournament Organizer

Volrath’s Stronghold


I admit it. I played a deck called Oath of Oath way back when. It had Survival of the Fittest, Oath of Druids, Oath of Ghouls, and Volrath’s Stronghold, and every utility creature I could find. I won a great many games with that deck, my favorite method of winning being an eventual lock recurring Avalanche Riders using either Oath of Ghouls or Volrath’s Stronghold. The Stronghold was so good at getting what I needed out of my graveyard, and being a land makes it less susceptible to removal spells that would often take out my Oaths. This card is slow, but very solid.


Constructed:                 4

Casual:                         2

Limited:                        4



* game store owner (The Game Closet - Waco,TX)

OK, remember how I dumped on Yavimaya Hollow yesterday?  Well, this is much better than that.  Even with a two mana activation that requires some colored mana, this ability is amazing.  Consider getting creatures back with "comes into play" effects.  Imagine getting the big trouble fatty out over and over again.  Heck, control players hated this card, because their Wrath of Gods were as good.  I think this card has some use in every format.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 4

 Van Zandt

 Volrath's Stronghold
No card advantage by itself,  but very strong anyways.  Control decks rarely
like having to counter spiritmonger or yavimaya elder every turn.  Similarly
in limited,  when they deal with your best creature,  drop this to show them
how much their effort was wasted.
constructed 3.5
casual 3.5
limited 4

Volrath's Stronghold -
Constructed - The original Unholy Grotto. One of the Strongest decks in Extended, "The Rock" can take advantage of this card. Reviving its dead Beat Sticks, to smack the opponent aside the head. It's ability to bring a late game to a deck that somehow gets overcame early is great.
Casual - Zombie decks love to revive critters, but they have a nearly strictly better way in Unholy Grotto. Volraths Stronghold works good to get back any creature though, and splashing a color is the best way to do it. You can use Red, splashing black, to get a Blistering firecat each turn. Same thing with Skizzik. Or you can just use it to help against the overwhelming death your opponent brings upon your fattys. That's what I like about this versatile card, you can build a deck around it, or you can use it to support another theme/idea.
Constructed - 3.0
Casual - 3.0

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