Flinging Fatties with Jarad

Tired of reading? I talk about this list in my deck tech.

Concept

With the new Overgrowth mechanic being unveiled for Guilds of Ravnica, I wanted to take another shot at a commander that I felt had potential; Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord.

Evaluating his strengths and weaknesses against other Golgari commanders, I searched for something at which he excels above all else:

Of the similarly archetyped commanders, we see that sacrificing and creature growth are covered in a variety of ways. The closest one to Jarad would be Varolz who shares love for enormous creatures and putting creatures into the graveyard. To distinguish the strengths of Jarad over Varolz, we focus on the ability to use on-the-battlefield power modifiers like Managorger Hydra and Death's Presence for a uniquely Jarad approach to the build. The advantage of casting creatures in Jarad, instead of dredging them in Varolz, is that we utilize some quality Enter-the-Battlefield triggers to interact and disrupt our opponents rather than goldfishing.

Development

After building a goyf-centric list; or the number-of-creatures-in-graveyard matters cards like Mortivore,Nighthowler, Splinterfright, and Lhurgoyf; I found that the deck often had dead cards in the early game that were heavily contingent upon successfully dredging creatures. I didn't like dedicating larger portions of my deck to a strategy that was Superior in a Varolz deck.

So I started leaning away from the traditional graveyard-counting creatures and towards creatures who grew large in their own ways while providing a board-presence and interacting with opponents.

Jarad's activated ability's cost also became an apparent issue. It was difficult to both keep mana open to fling and have enough mana to cast creatures to make up for the sacrifices body. It became apparent that I would need to dedicate a larger portion of the deck to ramping if I wanted to enable those powerful game-ending turns.

The final iteration of the list, it more closely resembles a Gitrog Monster list than a Varolz one. But the consistent ramp and land drops enables more explosive turns that catch opponents in disbelief, having thought that 20+ life was safe for a turn or two.

How It Plays

Similar to a Gitrog list, we focus on ramping and fetching in the early game to enable a mana-base capable of both resolving a fatty creature, and then flinging that creature with Jarad.

Resolving a Mesmeric Orb will allow us to quickly follow up all graveyards to pump up the few goyf-esque creatures.

Wins come from flinging a Lord of Extinction and then recurring it to fling again.

Card Selection

Broken into the categories (Ramp, Removal, Draw, Fatties, Reanimator, and Utility):

Fatties

Seeing how well Ghalta decks play, I'm confident that we can get there without having to leverage the absurd power/mana discrepancies of Goyf-style creatures (who count graveyards) anymore.

  • Lord of Extinction is the fattest of the fatties. King Fat.
  • Death's Presence is a pet card of mine, and allows us to fling multiple creatures while accumulating their power as we go. This usually catches everyone off-guard and can kill them before they realize lethal is on the board.
  • Centaur Vinecrasher synergizes with our fetchland/Gitrog strategy and has built-in recursion for multiple flings.
  • Managorger Hydra is one of those cards that people aren't excited to use removal on. It grows at an alarming rate and has evasion, so it can get some combat damage in before flinging. If you fling in response, it'll have grown by 1 from the removal spell. This card has does not synergize well with reanimation spells, as it takes a turn or two before it grows to an impressive size.
  • Ob Nixilis, the Fallen is a mediocre card that has incremental damaging upside. Incidentally damaging everyone equally allows use to innocuously reduce everyone to a much more burstable life total.
  • Ulvenwald Hydra fetches us our tech lands like Bojuka Bog and Rogue's Passage and promises to be a huge body with all the ramp we're packing.

Landimator

To enable landfall and land-based recursion, we plan on running every fetchland we can, including ones that only share one of our colors (i.e. Wooded Foothills).

Removal

Focusing a little more on creature-centric big-bomb removal, the notable standouts are:

  • Demon of Dark Schemes/Massacre Wurm - Unable to decide between the two, I ran both. The former adds an additional recursion effect while the latter creates passive damage which increases the danger of Jarad's flings
  • Noxious Gearhulk takes the spot over Duplicant because of a larger base power while in the GY, destroy instead of exile for growing graveyards.
  • Woodfall Primus wins out over terastadon due to +1/+1 counter synergy.

Draw

A mixture of burst-draw and passive draw:

Reanimation

We may not have as many dredge engines but we, instead, have value creatures that we can be recurred to gain big advantages over opponents.

  • Journey to Eternity   is a fun add that threatens to be a consistent, albeit expensive, reanimation engine.
  • Animate Dead unfortunately reduces the creature's power by 1, but is certainly a cheap effective method to double fling.
  • Reanimate should be in the list, but I don't currently own one!
  • Victimize is probably the most power for our mana that we can produce. Turning a mana dork into two gigantic creatures for a huge fling is well worth the downside of coming-into-play-tapped, since we aren't focused on attacking.

Dredge

Postmortem

After playing several games with the deck, it seems that this build isn't nearly as explosive as other iterations of Jarad. It does however, consistently interact and disrupt opponents, allowing it to grind out wins. However, it isn't nearly as impressive as other iterations which can steal wins earlier in the game through luck and good timing.

Power Level

Sacrificing synergies for quality creatures makes this "good stuff" deck most consistent by lowering the ceiling and raising the floor. Trying to address the gaps in the decks functionality led to a the deck having a scattered design, with land reanimation, card reanimation, and fatty creatures having loose synergies.

Competitive

Optimized

>Focused<

Casual

Jank

Gameplay

You can see my play this deck in The Trinisphere's Jarad vs Teysa vs Circu vs Prime Speaker matchup of the old Ravnica legendaries.

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Date added 3 years
Last updated 1 year
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

15 - 0 Mythic Rares

49 - 0 Rares

18 - 0 Uncommons

11 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.70
Tokens 1/1 Elemental, 3/3 Elephant, 3/3 Beast, 0/0 Germ, 5/5 Wurm, 1/1 City's Blessing
Folders Works in Progress, Commander, Commander
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Revision 6 See all

1 year ago)