Creature — Elf Shaman
, : Creatures you control get +1/+0 and gain menace until end of turn. (They can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.)
, : You gain 2 life.
Printings View all
|Guilds of Ravnica (GRN)||Uncommon|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Swarm Guildmage Discussion
6 months ago
It's all fun and games until the vampire starts flexing ;D
You've been asking for creatures with lifegain abilities. Many creatures with such an ability want you to sacrifice other creatures. What I found were these:
I hope this helps.
1 year ago
Hi, somewhat of a interesting deck, My primary suggestion is to considerably lower or take out a bunch of the 1x's. The ones in which you need most should always be put at a 4x or at least a 3x.
I'd start off with something like this in a way to revolve around Undergrowth and Vraska. Someone else can help out and build upon this idea for later if they like or improve upon it for I don't often play Golgari. Hopefully it helps out a bit.
1x-2x Golgari Locket
1x-2x Vraska, Regal Gorgon
Hopefully some of this helps out :). Good luck with the deck building
1 year ago
Additionally, the OG ravnica guildmages were weak as hell and/or more useful because of their mechanics and interactions with other guilds:
Selesnya Guildmage vs Conclave Guildmage - they both have comparative token making abilities, since the token on the one is bigger. Trample for 1 mana vs +1/+1 for 4 mana - trample is way weaker, but not in the context of GRN. The payoff for the selesnya guild in OG Ravnica is a wide board - convoke on Scatter the Seeds vs GRN's payoff of Rosemane Centaur. GRN Selesnya is tall, compared to RAV's wide Selesnya.
Izzet Guildmage vs League Guildmage - League guildmage's copy ability is better than izzet mages. There are likely no turns where you can use Izzet's ability twice, since paying 6 mana on top of another 4 mana for decent spells is a lot. Getting to copy any spell, not just 2 CMC or less is a big plus in League's favor. When you do not cast a spell, Izzet guildmage is a bear. League can at least draw you into spells to copy.
Golgari Guildmage vs Swarm Guildmage - Golgari's abilities cost entirely too much - paying 5 mana for a counter or a worse Raise Dead is not really a worthy investment. Swarm has two relevant abilities and both put you further ahead in the game that shore up what the guild lacks.
Dimir Guildmage vs House Guildmage - is 4 mana draw a card vs 3 mana surveil 2 comparable? Yes, in GRN, the House guildmage has better abilities. The tap ability is rarely useful, but potent when the opportunity arises, but instant speed surveiling is very powerful. Dimir guildmages's abilities are both sorcery speed, which limit their uses significantly.
Boros Guildmage vs Legion Guildmage - Boros' abilities are a bit overprised, especially the haste ability for 2 mana is rarely useful. The first strike ability is very powerful though and makes for tough combat math, but has very limited cases in which it allows you to actually win combats, because it is open information compared to a combat trick. Legion on the hand is much better at pushing damage with its (overpriced) 3 mana tap ability, which actively changes combat whether you are attacking or not. The 6 mana ability is a game ender and mana sink for a guild made up of low-cost aggressive cards. Legion guildmage is more versatile than its RAV counterpart.
I would say all of the new guildmages are better than all of the oldest ones. However, none of them are better than Ravnica 2's guildmages.
TLDR: Powerlevel of guildmages goes Ravnica 2 -> Ravnica 3 -> Ravnica 1
1 year ago
There is a difference, but honestly, Guildmages were never playable outside of Limited and maybe a few in commander, but never in standard. There is no difference between tapping and not tapping for the ability, unless you want to activate it two or more times. And if you can afford to activate your guildmage twice in any format, you are probably already winning.
In constructed, even though the guildmages have to tap, I think that it is OK. League Guildmage is great in Limited and both abilities are OK in Standard, where you can never realistically expect to activate the ability twice.
Legion Guildmage having the ability to push early damage with its first ability and late game damage with its second one is exactly what the guild wants to do in Limited.
Selesnya Guildmage is less useful, but your Rosemane Centaurs having trample or not is a really big deal. Heck, your Flight of Equenauts being chumped by a Bird token from Murmuring Mystic feels awful. And the second ability takes over the lategame in a stalemate.
Swarm Guildmage has two very useful abilities. The small ability is useful versus aggro, where golgari really struggles to trade efficiently. The large ability is useful as a game ender. Making Vigorspore Wurm unblockable is a huge deal that has won me multiple games. And in combination with something like Izoni, Thousand-Eyed, it is amazing.
House Guildmage being an instant-speed source of surveil at a good price is incredibly important in the early game to power up your Disinformation Campaign and Dimir Spybug and filtering away lands in the late game. Locking down a powerful creature is an underestimated ability.
TLDR - They have uses which you have chosen to dismiss for unknown reasons. Maybe not as much in commander (though I would still have both Swarm Guildmage and Korozda Guildmage in my izoni deck) though.
1 year ago
I just looked at the Golgari cycle: Golgari Guildmage, Korozda Guildmage, and Swarm Guildmage. Looking at them I feel they support your original point that the Guildmages have weakened over time with this most recent Guildmage being the weakest in the pseudo-cycle.
1 year ago
Hey, nice prerelease sealed deck, but a deck like this doesn't translate well to Standard.
This is fine list of cards you want to play in Standard, but it's not yet a finished deck. Starting out making a list of cards is good, everyone starts out doing this, but the next step is to narrow down the list. Keep the good cards and cut the rest. For Standard decks don't build them like sealed decks. You can use up to four copies of a card in a Standard deck and you have freedom to play the better cards and cut the least good cards.
For example here cards like Glowspore Shaman, Kraul Harpooner, Golgari Findbroker, Underrealm Lich, Izoni, Thousand-Eyed, Find / Finality, Status / Statue even Swarm Guildmage are all good cards for Standard. Why are they good cards for Standard? They either give you value when ETB (enters the battlefield) (Glowspore, Findbroker). Have good stats (power and toughness) for their mana cost (Hapooner, Glowspore). They can win you the game if not answered right away (Lich, Izoni) or they give you a lot of options for a single card (Status, Find).
In contrast cards like Child of Night, Moodmark Painter, Hired Poisoner, Erstwhile Trooper, Grappling Sundew, Deadly Visit, etc. are not cards for Standard because there's many other cards that cost the same that are better options.
I don't want to tell you how to make your deck. I'm simply giving you some advice of how to improve it for Standard. In Standard you can also play cards from other sets. In Guilds of Ravnica Standard which starts Oct. 5th you can also play cards from sets: Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Core Set 2019 (M19) and Dominaria. Using cards from all these sets and cards from Guilds of Ravnica you can build a good budget casual Golgari Standard deck with only uncommon/common cards with a sprinkling of rares/mythics that you have.
I offer more advice such as good practices when building a Standard deck, etc. Would you like more advice?
1 year ago
I'm flattered that you thought of me to help you. Golgari may not be my strong suit, but I'll try to help.
It seems to me that if you want to kill with Vraska than a token sub-theme might be a good idea. Off the top of my head I can think of Izoni, Thousand-Eyed and Ishkanah, Grafwidow for this. If you can get poison counters Phyrexian Swarmlord is good, same with Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons if you can get some counters dropping. Craterhoof Behemoth and Beastmaster Ascension along with Swarm Guildmage and Undercity Uprising are some good support for this.
I mean seriously, if you are gonna go Vraska go all the way and include Vraska, Relic Seeker. This Vraska pairs well with Vraska, Golgari Queen and helps with the token sub-theme with her pirates. Also, Vraska's Stoneglare is just great since it kills something and goes and finds Vraska.
Lastly Triumph of the Hordes is just an amazing alt win-con (if you want to go that rout).
I hope that I can be of some help, and that I didn't come off too strong/overwhelming.
1 year ago
Brewing with Elves for Guilds of Ravnica Standard has been amazing fun because Elves have so many options right now (and more are still to be revealed). More than any other time I can remember there's been this many playable Elf options in Standard :) Elves are in both Golgari and Selesyna guilds and each guild brings something different to the tribe. So many possibilities; why not combine them? This weekend I've done just that and as a result this deck has changed, it's now Abzan.
White for Emmara, Soul of the Accord and Trostani Discordant and black for Assassin's Trophy and Swarm Guildmage. Having access to both black and white for the sideboard will open up a lot of versatile options; some are Knight of Autumn, Shalai, Voice of Plenty, Midnight Reaper and Duress. Emmara and Trostani add a new Solider token theme with Elves. New Trostani is pretty powerful for a five drop with Elves because she can give them all +1/+1 as well as make tokens who have lifelink. She's great at stabilizing against aggro as well as making my army of Elves and tokens safe from Goblin Chainwhirler's ETB ability.
Shes another anthem effect for the tribe to go along with Elvish Clancaller. Against control she puts out 5 power, 8 toughness over three bodies, good recovery from a board wipe. Trostani is great with ramp with Elves following a Trostani after a Steel Leaf Champion is a power play. Currently I'm playing 2x Trostani main deck, but I could see playing a third copy since she's another anthem effect for Elves.
A three color manabase is tricky and it's the main thing I worked on this weekend; can't play three colors if the manabase is shitty. I came to conclusion that Abzan could work with Steel Leaf Champion and Assassin's Trophy because of Overgrown Tomb, Temple Garden and by adding two cards District Guide and Song of Freyalise. Both these cards can help to fix colors of mana.
Guide is an underrated card. I tested Elvish Rejuvenator instead of Guide, but came to the conclusion that Guide is better even though if I reveal a land with Rejuvenator I can put it onto the battlefield tapped (including a dual land). Guild only puts the basic land I tutor for into my hand, but the difference is Guide can as long as I have a basic land in my library tutor for a land. Rejuvenator can miss in the top five of my library. With 30 creatures I was finding this was happening and Rejuvenator is a terrible card if he doesn't get me a land.
The 1 toughness vs 2 toughness is another factor since I'm relying on Elvish Clancaller as the tribal lord (reason to play Elves) or Trostani as anthem effects. A 3/3 Guide is much better than a 2/2 Rejuvenator with one of these anthems. 2/2 Guide survives Chainwhirler's ETB, 1/1 Rejuvenator doesn't.
I've been waiting for a reason to play Song of Freyalise with Elves and Emmara, Soul of the Accord is now the reason. Emmara and the tokens she can create have amazing interaction with Song. With Song Emmara can be ramp of any color as well as create more fuel for even more ramp the next turn. This interaction creates more creatures for more ramp, more color fixing, but these creatures are also making Song much better for it's chapter three ability which can be a win condition now.
Another reason I added Song is to make Beast Whisperer better. Using Elves as ramp instead of attacking to play even more Elves and draw cards. This is doing things that are good with Song it's adding more creatures to the battlefield who can be more ramp the next turn and it's creating a bigger army to smash my opponent with chapter three of Song.
I don't want to be attacking with Whisperer unless I know for sure it's safe. He's much better to have alive on the battlefield then attacking and doing some damage. With Song I can use Whisperer as ramp to help to play Elves which in turn is making Whisperer double useful (draw and ramp). Whisperer's draw allows me to trim the numbers of cards making it easier to build a clear core (4x Llanowar, 4x Thorn, 4x Clancaller, 4x Champion, 4x Trophy) while also having enough draw power to help to draw supporting cards.
I'm playing both Swarm Guildmage and Conclave Guildmage. It's amazing that both the Golgari and Selesyna Guildmages are Elves; these guys provide a lot of utility for the tribe. I'm been very impressed with Swarm, much less so with Conclave. Swarm in combination with Song's chapter three ability can wreck my opponent. Song gives all my creatures vigilance, I can attack with all of them including Swarm and then with five mana I can tap Swarm and give all my creatures a pump and menace. Song gives vigilance, trample and indestructible to my creatures until EOT and Swarm gives them menace EOT making my army pretty much unstoppable for the turn potentially winning the game.
Conclave is a lone 1 of because it's abilities while good are less needed and as impactful as Swarm. Giving Steel Leaf Champion or 6/7 Thorn Lieutenant trample are good reasons to play Conclave, but these are too situational scenarios. Emmara is the same exact casting cost as Conclave and she's a much more integral part of this deck's new strategy.
Assassin's Trophy is a card that's worth playing and heavily testing a three color manabase to play it. This card is powerful that theoretically I don't need to play any other removal because it can destroy anything including a damn land. Giving my opponent a basic land that they can put into play untapped does have it's disadvantages though when against aggro especially red with burn spells. As a result Trophy is a not good removal spell for the early the game, it's a mid and late game removal spell when lands matter much less to my opponent. I'm playing 4x Trophy main deck right now, but if aggro is dominate in Standard then I could see cutting some for other removal early game removal like Seal Away or Cast Down.