Help with Voltron protection and evasion.

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Aug. 8, 2021, 7:16 a.m. by Asgeren

Hi all, I'm looking for some advice on playing Voltron. Mainly, on how much evasion/protection/haste/flash is needed? In my current deck I have 7 cards which makes my commander semi-unblockable (3 of which makes him completely unblockable. But I only have 2 cards that protect him directly - to make up for this I have 6 cards which can recur him and 6 cards to give him flash or haste.

How does these numbers look? if I need to look for more protection for my evil doer Volrath is my main concern...

Thanks in advance!

griffstick says... #2

Do you have a declaration list to share

August 8, 2021 8:44 a.m.

rshistorysmuf says... #3

I have many and so of instead of listing them I will just show you the deck:

UMS the unstoppable machine

August 8, 2021 8:55 a.m.

Asgeren says... #4

This is the deck.

The thing is that I'm restricted to old borders.

So this is my evasion: Dauthi Trapper Filth Dauthi Embrace Manifold Key Dragon Shadow Sword of Light and Shadow Sleeper's Guile

This is my protection and recursion: Soul Channeling Sword of Light and Shadow Shallow Grave Animate Dead Reanimate Strands of Night Doomed Necromancer Apprentice Necromancer

I am currently trying to fit in Shade's Form but other than this I'm not finding much protection.. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

August 8, 2021 9:10 a.m.

Volrath - No School, like Old School.

My current beloved voltron is Moraug, Fury of Akoum. Having evasion restricted to old-borders is kind of hard, so the Dauthi propably are your best bet. There are multiple sword of X and Y you could use.

Cards you could consider, too:


Corrupting Licid

Cover of Darkness

Dragon Shadow

Ebony Charm


Sleeper's Guile

August 8, 2021 10 a.m.

Last_Laugh says... #6

You have a LOT of creatures for a voltron deck. Most take advantage of cards like Divine Reckoning and Smoke

August 8, 2021 11:18 a.m.

plakjekaas says... #7

Daring Fiendbonder seems exactly what you're looking for. You can discard it for +4/+4 and make your commander indestructible for 4 mana.

August 8, 2021 12:19 p.m.

Asgeren says... #8

Thx for all your comments, yeah I know I have a lot of creatures, but most are just for Volrath to eat and grow BIG, Last_Laugh but I see what you mean, with those cards - I'll have to see if there's anything like that in old black :)

seshiro - very nice suggestions TY!

and I would love to have Daring Fiendbonder, but since I'm restricted to old borders for coolness, I can't use that card..

thx again for all your fast comments though !

August 8, 2021 1:10 p.m.

You're welcome. There should be an old print of Undead Gladiator btw. That could be a nice repeatable pump for Volrath in case you run out of bigger creatures to discard.

August 8, 2021 1:19 p.m.

Peoyogon says... #10

Dirge of Dread is another evasion piece too, if you are looking for more. The cycling aspect could be really nice here if you only need to target Volrath, since it also cantrips.

I really love your deck though and I think your balance is actually quite good, especially considering your restrictions. Are you finding it hard for your deck to gain traction in games? Are there matchups that are specifically difficult to deal with?

August 8, 2021 1:55 p.m.

Asgeren says... #11

Hey Peoyogon,

I looove your mono-black deck too, really turning into a beauty!

The balance is alright in my deck yeah, I'm just starting with a new playgroup and they are a bit heavy on removal, so I'm considering the Evasion/Protection balance.

Also considering Defense Grid - anybody have experience with that card?

August 9, 2021 9:39 a.m.

Last_Laugh says... #12

Defense Grid is a really good card. The more competitive the pod, the more work this will typically put in though.

August 9, 2021 9:54 a.m. Edited.

Asgeren says... #13

Great Last_Laugh - I'll give it a go !

August 9, 2021 12:09 p.m.

Peoyogon says... #14

Aw, thank you! :D

I've never played with it but Defense Grid certainly seems really good to help keep Volrath on the table!

It's kind of a weird card, and might have too expensive a cost for its utility to be effective, but Horror of Horrors might be something to consider? It also really depends on the type of removal your new play group uses though, since it obviously won't do anything for exile/tuck/bounce effects...

August 9, 2021 12:20 p.m.

linksdeity says... #15


Let's begin with evasion - because answers run out and might not even be there.

My favorite way to make Volrath unblockable is discarding Filth with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in play. I also love Rime Transfusion and having Snow Covered Swamps. Manifold Key does double duty by also untapping big mana rocks or other toys like Quicksilver Amulet. Dragon Shadow is a decent option, and helps most of the other big creatures. Whispersilk Cloak is obvious, as is Rogue's Passage.

Some less obvious plays are using instant speed board wipes via Vedalken Orrery to clear the field right before your turn so nothing is left to block - or similar instant speed board wipe effects like cycling a Decree of Pain. Things like Pestilence/Pestilence Demon can clear the field with little threat to a pumped up Volrath. You could include a Breaker of Armies, which would absorb all of your opponents blocking creatures or also be discarded to Volrath for 8.

Ok, then you have protection. Normal stuff like Swiftfoot Boots and Lightning Greaves. Volrath gains a lot of protection and evasion from the swords of X and Y. Light and Shadow is a must play. Feast and Famine is a very high recommend followed by Fire and Ice. Imp's Mischief is invaluable in redirecting removal or countering a counterspell. You can run Not of This World for a good counter. Veilstone Amulet is a good option for protection as well.

Really you want some protection but if you focus more on ramping, haste, evasion, and other ways to continue putting pressure and threats out then the odds are that you will find a way through. Command Beacon and Netherborn Altar can help Volrath be cheaper, or even cheated into play. Have some reanimation effects, preferably those you can use repeatedly like Strands of Night and Sheoldred, Whispering One. Artisan of Kozilek is amazing when you can hit 9 and bring another major threat out. If they "deal" with Volrath it just means they have less answers for Phage the Untouchable or Blightsteel Colossus, or the next time Volrath lands and swings.

August 11, 2021 6:28 p.m. Edited.

Asgeren says... #16

linksdeity! Hi sir, it is an honour hearing from you! In my opinion you wrote the (black)bible on Volrath. My deck has drawn so much inspiration from your deck. Thank you for all your tips - what I should have mentioned in the original post is that my deck focuses on cards with old-school borders, so some of your suggestions are out of my reach, but the suggestions that I can use, are included in my deck ;) I have less protection than you, which I hope to make up for in my new playgroup with more recursion. I love your instant speed boardwipe strategy, which I could do with Winding Canyons and Crypt Rats ! Now I can't have Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth so I was thinking maybe Blanket of Night - but maybe that is too coincidental? Also are the swords THAT good? I just got Sword of Light and Shadow, would 2 more be worth it to include at the expense of evasion? I think I could possibly get Sword of Feast and Famine, and surely the newer ones.

Anyways, thank you for all your advice, I really appreciate it!

August 13, 2021 11:22 a.m.

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