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John Shultis on Magic
Ravnica Golgari Deathcreep

       Welcome to another installment of Precon Recon here at your source for everything gaming, Pojo.com! This week in honor or Magic returning to Ravnica, I thought it would be fun to go back and have a look at an original Ravnica Preconstructed deck, and tweak it a bit. Then, next week, I will look at the newer version of the same guild’s deck, and revamp that one as well. Now, I would find myself having a hard time aligning myself with a guild should I be on Ravnica, since I like what a few of them represent. But I find myself drawn more towards being either Gruul or Boros, and officially aligned myself to Gruul online. What guild are you? But, since neither of those Guilds are coming to us in Return to Ravnica, I will wait until Gatecrash to look back at their stuff. So from the Guilds we are getting, I have always had a fondness for the Golgari. I built a Golgari deck that still puts fear in my friends. And that is also the Guild I have opted to represent this weekend. At my store, we will be having a Prerelease and all sorts of fun events to kick off Return to Ravnica. Be sure to get to your own local store and take part in this amazing event!

 Anyways, back to today! So I will be reconstructing the Golgari Deathcreep deck. The deck is heavy on Dredge, as that was the Golgari’s ability back then, and also does a lot of creature sacrificing. These days, there are so many great cards that compliment the deck, and that is without me even using cards coming from Return to Ravnica! Which in the interest of sport I have opted not to do. But since older Magic was no where near as powerful as newer Magic, we will certainly be adding in some boosts! For the original deck list, head here: http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/productarticle.aspx?x=mtg_tcg_ravnica_themedeck#deck1


         So we begin by looking at things that just seem like they really no longer have a place in the grand scheme of the deck. This is the hardest part when redesigning decks to older formats, because the argument could be made that nothing fits, or everything fits. So first, we need to design a game plan for the deck that brings it into more newer styles, so we can better build. Now the original concept was of course graveyard abuse. You’d want to Dredge until you found something you really wanted, and then just go to town. But for me, there really seems to be no ‘Wow, THIS card wins me the game!’ it just seems so one dimensional, and flat. We will continue the graveyard advantage, but must find ways of making it better. Plus, the second part of being Golgari is using death to bring life, so things simply cannot die, unless it serves a grander purpose to life.

Sow while Dredge WAS an important part of the deck back then, so many better options exist now. So several of the Dredge cards will be being removed, Golgari Brownscale and Greater Mossdog being two of them right off the bat. Elves of Deepshadow punishes you for using it, which isn’t always a good thing, and should be taken out. Elvish Skysweeper is nice, if you’re matched up against fliers and have tons of mana to spare. In my experience, a kill spell in this guys place is a thousand times better. Woodwraith Strangler is simply too costly, both in ability and function, for what it does, and definitely should be removed. Darkblast would only have been useful if the Dredge ability was still so desperately needed, which it is not, a definite removal. Last Gasp is also no where near as good now as it was then, especially with what we can add. Necromantic Thirst is also just not worth it. I would rather pay the same amount of mana to get the card onto the battlefield. Rolling Spoil would be nice if you were focusing on land destruction and a majority of your creatures wouldn’t die in the process, but since neither is in your favor, neither is this card, remove. The main point about the new deck once it’s done is it will pump itself, and will not require Moldervine Cloaks to do it, so remove them. This results in seventeen vacancies. I hope that we made enough room.

        So the main point behind the deck is things should be dying, on both sides of the field. I must stress how important one card, and two copies of it is to the future success of the deck, and that card is Grave Pact. That card suites this deck perfectly. And let me tell you, people think twice about attacking, and then that is your opening to begin punishing their field. Another two copy card should actually be the Golgari Germination. I laugh at the fact it was withheld from the original decklist. Another two copy card would have to be Diabolic Tutor. Always make sure you get your situational card. A card that is amazing in the deck is also Scavenger Drake. As things die, he gets huge, and has flying. Three copies should suffice. Now in place of those Dark Blast and Last Gasp. I said we had a better option, Tragic Slip. Something died, -13/-13, how fitting? Two copies. Now, I truly believe that Mycoloth has a home in this sort of deck. And I know it is a rare, but you should attempt to nab two copies. Another great three card option is Reassmebling Skeleton, since you can easily bring him back from the dead. The final slot could go to any number of cards, but I like protection, and while there is a great deal of removal already, I firmly believe enough is never enough, and that the final slot should go to Beast Within, since it can kill things that Putrify and Tragic Slip cannot, such as enchantments and planeswalkers. I would also go ahead and add in two more Golgari Rotfarms, and remove one each of the basic lands. This will only help your mana ratio.

       Now obviously once the Return to Ravnica releases, you should greatly consider adding in the Corpsejack Menace, because he will make Mycoloth and Scavenger Drake ridiculous. Which of course then you could also add in the new Guild Leader, Jarad, and make proper use out of those fatties!

      The deck does need some time to get going, so don’t be afraid to use your kill spells early. It only benefits you in the long run.

     So after the changes made, your new and improved deck should look something like this:


10- Swamps

10- Forests

3- Golgari Rotfarms

1- Svogthos, the Restless Tomb

1- Thoughtpicker Witch

2- Infectious Host

2- Stinkweed Imp

1- Golgari Grave-Troll

1- Savra, Queen of the Golgari

2- Shambling Shell

2- Golgari Rotwurm

2- Drooling Groodion

1- Golgari Guildmage

1- Vigor Mortis

2- Recollect

2- Putrify

2- Grave Pact

2- Diabloic Tutor

2- Golgari Germination

3- Scavenger Drake

2- Mycoloth

2- Tragic Slip

3- Reassembling Skeleton

1- Beast Within


        And there you have it. Like I said, there are times the deck plays kind of slow. Don’t be afraid though to keep a slow hand, there is a Vigor Mortis, and some of the cards still have Dredge, so pitching sometimes won’t hurt. Three mana is the go time for the deck. And the Golgari Rotfarms get you there fast. Remember, hang on for the first few turns, then the fun begins. Don’t be afraid to spend a Tragic Slip on something insignificant if it will save you from taking some unnecessary damage.

        Join me next week when I continue looking at Golgari, only this time with the Return to Ravnica deck! Make sure you get to your local Prerelease this weekend and begin checking things out. You can even score the Corpsejack Menace featuring alternate artwork, which can go nicely in this deck, just for attending!

So until next time, keep safe, and keep gaming!




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