Hello, and thanks for taking the time to look at my decklist here. When I got back into Magic, and started playing Commander, the first deck of my own I really decided to build was with Volrath the Fallen. I've always liked the card, and so it was great to have a format to play in that made building around him viable. This is the updated version of the deck, with such an upgrade I decided to change the name up. Although it isn't really going to be a powerhouse deck, it seems to run much smoother and much more efficiently than it did before. With that in mind, I'm always open to ideas, so feel free to offer any suggestions you have. I know that Volrath the Fallen isn't a terribly popular commander, but that makes playing him fun, too. So please feel free to upvote as well! Thanks again for taking a look!

Volrath offers up some great options as the Commander of the deck. His ability to pump himself up for is perfect for a Volrton strategy. It's cheap to activate, and can be used as often as mana availability allows. Discarding a couple of high CMC creatures in one turn can put an opposing player in Commander-damage bind pretty quick, if not eliminate him outright. Volrath's ability can also be done at instant speed, letting me use combat tricks to my advantage. Make him unblockable or give him some other form of evasion (like shadow), and you suddenly have a Voltron Volrath that is drawing people's attention at the table. This makes for a pretty great win condition, and at the least will force other players at the table to think about dealing with him.

The very nature of Volrath the Fallen's activated ability lends itself very nicely to the deck's secondary strategy: reanimator. Playing in , reanimation is king, with plenty of spells to get that job done. Volrath himself can deal with one threat, while I reanimate some fatties with some nice abilities that allow me to work on the other threats at the table, or at least keep them at bay while I try to aim Volrath at someone else. With my early build, I thought quantity of creatures was the key to victory, but I've found out from great suggestions and support here at Tappedout that the quality of the creatures is what matters. With that in mind, I guess you could say that I trimmed the fat quite a bit, and came out with a much leaner product in the end.

So, the idea is to ramp out Volrath the Fallen as quickly as I can, then pump and swing. Since Volrath's activated ability is the main path to Voltron, I focused on evasion as opposed to other anthems or cards that pump him up. I've got plenty of recursion running in the deck, along with spells that will return discarded fatties to my hand for another activation of Volrath's ability. Key cards for this strategy include Whispersilk Cloak, Dauthi Embrace, Trailblazer's Boots, and a swampwalk strategy fueled by Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Filth, who just synergizes perfectly with Volrath.
This is pretty straightforward. A package of reanimation spells including Animate Dead, Dance of the Dead, Necromancy, Apprentice Necromancer, and Reanimate. I also run a package of spells that bring cards from the graveyard to my hand, like Phyrexian Reclamation and Palace Siege. Hell's Caretaker is also in there for some recursion shenanigans.
As an option to the Voltron theme, I've snuck in a few infect cards in Tainted Strike, Grafted Exoskeleton, and Phyresis. Tainted Strike can be especially sneaky, because getting 10 Commander damage across can come easily in this deck.

I'm not running many tutors in this deck, mainly because I don't play in a very heavy meta. Its pretty much me and my sons playing at home with decks I've built or with precons. If the need should arise, I think I could eventually add more tutors, but for now, I'll take my chances. I run an Expedition Map to go get Cabal Coffers or Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth or any other land that will benefit depending on my boardstate. I also have a Rune-Scarred Demon that is mainly to be reanimated. Buried Alive is also included to kick-start the reanimator strategy.

The biggest drawback of playing with Volrath the Fallen as my Voltron Commander is his high casting cost. Six CMC is pretty high, and one removal of him can be a real setback (hence the reanimation strategy). So, there were two ways to help ramp him out and get to the resources I need (aside from tutoring): ramp and card draw.

This is made up of some artifact ramp in the likes of Sol Ring, Worn Powerstone, Thran Dynamo, Commander's Sphere, and Caged Sun, and spells like Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual. To generate more mana more consistently I'm also running Crypt Ghast, Magus of the Coffers, Bog Witch, and Cabal Coffers. Liliana of the Dark Realms is great for digging for a land drop each turn, too.
Card advantage is important for this deck, and unfortunately, I can't run the best option available to , Necropotence, because of Volrath the Fallen's activated ability and the reanimator strategy. So, I've got to go with some other options. Erebos, God of the Dead, Baleful Force, Graveborn Muse, Bloodgift Demon, Greed, Phyrexian Arena, and Howling Mine make up the card draw package for now.

With all that out of the way, I've got a few other tricks and win conditions stowed into the deck, too. I'm a fan of combos, so I couldn't resist running a few. With only a few tutors, and one exclusively for land, setting off a combo win isn't a guarantee, which is ok for now.

Thornbite Staff has a couple of decent uses. Equipped to Avatar of Woe makes for some nasty removal. Equipped to Hell's Caretaker makes for even more fun. Hell's Caretaker + Thornbite Staff can combo with Rune-Scarred Demon to effectively tutor for whatever I need to get, and teamed up with Gray Merchant of Asphodel becomes a game-ender. All I need is one other creature in the graveyard to swap in and out, and I'm good to go.

That's the meat-and-potatoes of the deck. It offers a fun play experience, although it may not be the more traditional way to run a Voltron deck. Graveyard hate will wreck it for sure, so Anafenza, the Foremost is not Volrath's friend. But if you're playing Anafenza, then you don't have any other friends. She probably doesn't like you, either. I don't think she likes anyone...

Thank you again for taking the time to check out this decklist. If you like it for nothing more than a bit of a change-up, please leave a +1! I'll take any thoughts on substitutions and/or changes, because I still want to improve it.


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92% Casual


Revision 11 See all

(1 year ago)

+1 Scion of Draco maybe
Top Ranked
Date added 7 years
Last updated 1 year
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

4 - 0 Mythic Rares

37 - 2 Rares

28 - 1 Uncommons

10 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 4.26
Tokens Emblem Liliana of the Dark Realms, Emblem Ob Nixilis Reignited
Folders Black EDH Decks I Have, EDH, Possibles, EDH I like, Deck Templates to Pull From, Wish list, Mono-Black, Tapped Out - User Decks
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