Many of the best cards in Magic do something immediately when entering the battlefield. So when Yarok, the Desecrated was spoiled, Spikes around the globe looked at their existing BUG midrange decks, saw all those glorious ETB triggers, and rejoiced.

Johnnies rejoiced too, but for different reasons. Yarok's ability calls for an intensive search on the Gatherer for worthwhile triggers on perhaps overlooked cards, as well as the usual mainstays. So if you're going to go to all that trouble, why not play as many ETB triggers as you can? This toolbox deck tries to do just that. By tutoring creatures into play using Prime Speaker Vannifar and Finale of Devastation , we can double all sorts of ETB triggers for value, timeliness, & shenanigans.

Since we're going to need a lot of mana to play a deck full of ETB bombs, there are 11 mana dorks ( Elvish Mystic , Leafkin Druid , and Paradise Druid ) to get things started.

Then we get to the meat of the deck, which is the plethora of options in the 3-5 CMC range plus a few in the 6-8 range. Whether we need to interact with the opponent's board or play aggressively for value, there's a deep toolbox available to the Prime Speaker & Finale, with each creature benefiting from Yarok's doubling effect. In the end, the deck can win through sheer value, but also has a couple of outs to tutor a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Let's break down the tools:


Risen Reef : Helps out with the ramping cause while providing card advantage - potentially a ridiculous amount of it. Although this isn't a full-blown Elemental deck, there is plenty of support including Yarok himself, who triggers the Reef upon arrival & doubles that trigger. Vannifar can pod up the dorks for consistent triggers as well as some of the big bombs at the top of the curve.

Plaguecrafter : Vannifar & Finale can find removal options starting at the 3-drop slot, with Plaguecrafter offering a way to deal with lone fatties & planeswalkers. Alongside Yarok, he basically becomes the minus ability of Liliana, Dreadhorde General .

Plague Mare : The less-heralded of the Plague bros also checks in at the 3-drop slot and offers a nasty one-sided boardwipe against weenies or tokens such as the widely-abused Hero of Precinct One . Yarok makes the Mare especially potent, as giving -2/-2 makes a pretty huge difference against a lot of decks when compared to -1/-1.

Exclusion Mage : The last of the 3-drop options offers a useful tempo effect in case the more situational Plague Bros can't do the job, & is a great way to deal with large tokens, Aura'd creatures, and other threats. If you need to Vannifar your way from a dork to a Hostage Taker , the Mage can help buy a turn, and it's great as a turn 2-3 play against aggro if it finds its way into your opening hand. With Yarok, it goes from an annoying bounce to a huge tempo swing.


Hostage Taker : The premiere spot removal option for the deck. With the help of the deck's dorks & Vannifar's ability to get him into play free of cost (mana-wise at least), it's not hard to cast the stolen creature on the same turn that Hostage Taker came into play, resulting in a devastating tempo & card advantage swing. Add in the fact that Yarok lets him swipe two creatures and this card is just value-town.

Ravenous Chupacabra : In case you don't have the mana to complete the hostage-taking immediately & don't want to risk a removal spell, the Chupacabra keeps things nice & simple: the targeted creature is just dead. Still filthy with Yarok as well for wiping the opponent's best two creatures.

Golgari Findbroker : Since there are a lot of one-ofs in the mainboard, the Findbroker helps to recycle any cards that have already been used. He also offers a more proactive option to bridge the gap from the 3-5 drops for Vannifar in case your opponent doesn't have anything worth the Chupacabra or Hostage Taker's time, and once again, Yarok makes him double the fun.


Cavalier of Gales : Proactive Elemental that gives immediate card advantage & a big, evasive body. Also nice that he shuffles his way back into the library upon his death, meaning he's an easy one-of that can be re-podded again without the Findbroker's help. Probably one of the less impressive triggers for Yaroking, but it essentially lets you draw 4 & put 2 back on top. Nice interaction with the Reef too, as you can stack the triggers to draw the Cavalier's cards first, then put your lands on top for the Reef to put into play.

Cavalier of Night : Another Elemental that gives a removal option at the 5-drop slot and doesn't mind being sac'd himself if it means bringing a Reef, Plaguecrafter, or other nice ETB trigger out of the yard. You'll probably need a couple dorks around to get the full benefit from Yarok's doubling, but the nice thing is you have the option.

Gruesome Scourger : One of the two aforementioned explosive win cons. With the creature count in this deck and help from Yarok, hitting for 10-15 damage or even more is entirely achievable. The ideal setup would be to have either this or Yarok in hand & a 4-drop alongside Vannifar on the board so you can bring both into play for a fast & surprising victory. Of the two insta-win cons, this is the more reliable due to the lower cost, making it easier to afford Finales & well-suited for Vannifar's curve.


Muldrotha, the Gravetide : The lone 6-drop option in the mainboard is the top of the Vannifar chain & offers a nice way to recycle all the ETB triggers that led to its arrival. One particularly potent sequence is to play/tutor a Scourger, pod it into Muldrotha, and then bring it back for another round - with Yarok on the board, it only takes 5 creatures to make that a 20 damage one-two punch. Another nice interaction is with Plaguecrafter, which can basically give you a way to force a sac every turn.


End-Raze Forerunners : The second insta-win option & top of this food chain - pretty good for an herbivore. He's inaccessible to Vannifar but gives the deck a nice out with a single Finale in case you really get an overly-rampy draw. If you can muster 12 mana for a Finale to get the bonus, you'll be attacking with a 17/17 trampling Boar, and each warm body joining it will be chipping in 12-14 trampling damage (depending on Yarok) on top of its normal power. That means that it doesn't take much of a creature count to win the game immediately, just a lot of mana & one of 4 Finales. But if you like attacking for hundreds of damage, then sure, have a huge creature count & play this poor-man's Craterhoof.


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Date added 6 years
Last updated 6 months

This deck is not Standard legal.

Rarity (main - side)

14 - 4 Mythic Rares

29 - 3 Rares

10 - 5 Uncommons

4 - 3 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 3.27
Tokens Food
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