Golgari Guildmage

Golgari Guildmage

Creature — Elf Shaman

((B/G) can be paid with either (Black) or (Green).)

(4)(Black), Sacrifice a creature: Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

(4)(Green): Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.

Golgari Guildmage Discussion

multimedia on Latty the baddie

2 months ago

Hey, one drop green mana Elves are really good, a big reason to play Elves. They aren't just ramp with Lathril they're also fuel for her activated ability when you don't need them for ramp and lets you get more Elves onto the battlefield quicker.


Staff of Domination does everything as a mana sink for Elves and can be an enabler for Lathril to be a win condition. With Staff you first make infinite green mana by tapping and untapping one of Archdruid, Marwyn(with 5 or more power), Priest of Titania, Circle or Wirewood Channeler. When you have infinite green mana then Staff is the mana sink to draw and cast enough Elves to control 10 or more. When you have 10 or more Elves then Staff can be the mana sink to repeatedly untap Lathril and each one the 10 Elves as the win condition.

Quest for Renewal is another enabler for Lathril and 10 Elves to be win condition. When Quest has four counters which is not difficult especially with more mana Elves, you can untap all creatures you control during each opponents turn. With Lathril each opponent loses 10 life on each player's turn, resulting in all opponents losing 40 life in one cycle of all player's turns if you have three opponents.

Chord of Calling is a helpful instant creature tutor since can tap Elves to help to pay for it's convoke, with enough Elves it's a free spell to cast and it puts the creature you search for onto the battlefield. It has nice interaction with Elf tokens since can tap them to convoke the turn they're created. With Chord get Ezuri or Miara, Thorn of the Glade in response to removal, get Archdruid so you can tap him on your turn, get Magistrate so you can tap her on your next turn, get Varragoth so you can attack with him on your next turn, etc.

Patriarch's Bidding is among the most powerful tribal spells for quick recovery. For five mana it reanimates all Elves in your graveyard. Play a Regrowth just to have another potential Chord or Bidding or recur any other card.


An area to consider improving to help with competitiveness is the manabase by upgrading to Golgari dual lands that ETB untapped.

Cabal Stronghold only works with basic Swamps and there's only 9 here which is not enough to really get much if any ramp making it consistently only a colorless source of mana.


Some cards to consider cutting: Blightbeetle, Mana Bloom, Terramorph, Serpent's Soul-Jar, Return Upon the Tide, Masked Admirers, Wild Pair, Golgari Guildmage, Korozda Guildmage, Rhys the Exiled, Blanchwood Armor, Dowsing Dagger  Flip, Harvest Season

If Blightbeetle is tech in your playgroup than nice, but if it's not then it looks out of place. Most if not all mana ramp sources can come from actual Elves instead of other sources like Mana Bloom or land ramp like Terramorph. I would even play one drop mana Elf or Farhaven Elf over Cultivate or Harvest Season.

Serpent's Soul-Jar is not a good card, exiling an Elf when it dies is not a may you have to do it and hoping to be able to cast many Elves later, one at a time with Jar is not going to consistently happen. Instead most if not all your exiled Elves will be stuck in exile for the rest of the game because Jar will be destroyed or removed another way.

Good luck with your deck.

Chutney_Shining on Top of the Deck To Ya

5 months ago

Hello stranger, whom I have never met! Awesome concept! Some ideas that come to mind for refining this:

I think your mana curve is super high compared to the number of lands you're running. Since mono-black doesn't access to a lot of ramp, I'd suggest switching out some of your higher costs sorceries, such as Gruesome Discovery , with something like Duress . Similarly, I think that life gain cards like Increasing Ambition are too high costed, and don't really support your overall strategy. I'd suggest replacing with things like Raven's Crime , which you can retrace, or Dying Wail which offer better timing and utility.

Similarly, I think Headhunter and Hypnotic Specter probably have better synergies than your rogues. I really like [card:Black Cat], but think we could do more to trigger it on our terms. Carrion Feeder could be a cool addition, as could Legion Vanguard or Malevolent Noble .

Fiend Artisan is spendy, but would be such a powerful tutor and likely game ender in this build. Hell's Caretaker and Golgari Guildmage are significantly less powerful, but still allow you to exploit repeated triggers of your cats and Sangromancers. If you preferr an enchantment approach, Malevolent Awakening also works well.

I would definitely suggest upping the number of Painful Quandary , and definitely increasing the number of lands you're running to 20-22. I also think 4-8 removal spells, such as Murder , Doom Blade , or Poison the Cup would help respond to enemy threats and interruptions. I'd reduce the number of sorceries to make room - the looping creature threats have more of a long term board presence.

If budget weren't a consideration, a couple of copies of either Massacre Wurm or Sheoldred, Whispering One would make great finishers.

I hope this helps!

hkhssweiss on Google Ghave and The Search Engine of Doom

3 years ago

goldlion I like the way your thinking, and plus it's so janky no one can hate it LOL!

Some instants and sorceries that you can benefit from hmm...off the top of my head you can go for a sub reanimator theme and I would like to go for the reusable ones. Here might be some cards that can help:

Regrowth, Oversold Cemetery, Animate Dead, Dance of the Dead, Athreos, God of Passage, Dawn of the Dead, Disturbed Burial, Dread Return, Golgari Guildmage, Meren of Clan Nel Toth, Palace Siege, Phyrexian Reclamation, Debtors' Knell.

On the more expensive scale:

Reanimate, Necromancy, Corpse Dance, All Hallow's Eve, Genesis, Sheoldred, Whispering One.

Boza on The Guildmage Cycle

3 years 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

LordBlackblade on The Guildmage Cycle

3 years 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.

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