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Random Commander 15: Golgari's Troll


Hello folks!

I hope that your day is going well!

As you are reading this, I am out on vacation in Cape Verde over in Africa. Today I'm scheduled to be on the island of Santiago and the world heritage site of Cidade Velha. This was the first colony by Europeans in the tropics, (as well as the first in Africa) founded more than 30 years before Columbus sailed. Cape Verde is a unique colony as there were no locals when the Portuguese landed, it was a barren and beautiful area. By the time I finish up my nine-day trip, I will have been on Santiago, Sal, São Vicente, Santo Antão, and Boa Vista. Five of the nine islands in the nation.

Because I am not here, I wrote this article in mid-February to be a fun generic article. It won't be up on the current news or anything else.

I have that itch again. I need to hit up Gatherer and smash that random card button until I get a legal Commander leader. I have no idea which direction this article will take! But I have to do it.

Before I do, a few caveats and rules:

  1. If I flip something illegal but I want to build around it (lie a silver=-=bordered legendary dork) then I can.
  2. If I flip something I've built around before, no thanks.
  3. I reserve the right to skip past the result if it's a heavily played Commander. The point it to push myself into doing something new, not to retread the old. But I'll be open about it!

All right, ready for the first card? What'll it be?


Soulblast. Not a major EDH card due to its cost. Next?

Orcish Settlers
Thought Reflection

My #2 and #3 cards show Izzet. Maybe my leader will be these? Orcish Settlers can take out multiple lands, and Thought Reflection is commonly played in Commander


Fabricate clocks in at #4.

Then at #5, very early is...

Varolz, the Scar-Striped

Varolz it is!!! Not Izzet, but hey, Varolz, the Scar-Striped makes sense.

Now the obvious place that strikes me as soon as I see it is this:

Phyrexian Dreadnought
Death's Shadow

Phyrexian Dreadnought! 1 mana? Check. Twelve +1/+1 counters on something...check! Death's Shadow plays into similar space!

What if I tried to twin Voltron cards for Varolz as well as these get a quick Commander kill? That sounds like a fun theme, right? Right!

Rotting Regisaur
Phyrexian Soulgorger
Traxos, Scourge of Kroog

Let's begin by building up the beefy side of the deck. As you can see, we have a number of dorks I've added in that twin cost and power. I have everything from the Phyrexian Soulgorger to the fun Traxos, Scourge of Kroog. Each of these gives us more reliable bodies for Varolzing. One will pump Varolz to around 10/10 or 11/11 - just a few short hits from lethal.

You can see cheaper cards that will put themselves in the graveyard such as the above Ball Lighting for Green - Groundbreaker. You drop it, punch, and then can scavenge it later for 3 mana for 6 +1/+1 counters. That's a lot of fuel for the cause. We also have a number of similar cards like Timbermare as well.

I wanted to add in cheap cards that would push these power and cost related themes. Wayward Swordtooth can't engage in battle prior to having the city's blessing, but its 5/5 body for 3 mana will help. We have the Amonkhet Gods, the Cavalier cycle, and more where I emphasize scale and size for various effects.

Jarad's Orders
Final Parting

The next place I dipped was tutors for both graveyard and your hand! Cards like Final Parting and Jarad's Orders are both fun extras to getting a Death's Shadow or Phyrexian Dreadnought into that graveyard for scavenging.

Stinkweed Imp
Fauna Shaman
Archfiend of Ifnir

I've also added in some other cool ways to fill up your graveyard. You can cycle something cool like Archfiend of Ifnir or Scion of Darkness to get something to exile for your Varolz. You can also discard a creature in your hand to grab the best dork from Fauna Shaman. Discard something like Desecration Elemental to get Dreadnought. Then discard it... you get the idea. I also have the high volume dredger Stinkweed Imp who can hold the line for you too.

Corpsejack Menace

Wanna double the size of the counters you are putting on your Varolz? Okay! You may also notice a cool Doubling Season there, as well as a way to turn your counters into removal.

Blossoming Defense

Did someone mention Voltron? Great! Rancor gives Varolz trample and is my favorite choice here in the build. I enjoy the ability of Blossoming Defense to both protect a key dork (like Varolz) and pump it up. We have a number of equipment such as Sword of Fire and Ice. They can stay and blast folks over and over again!

God-Eternal Rhonas

But doubling power with God-Eternal Rhonas? That's good with a capital G, O, and D. It's also big enough to help punch faces and be scavenged.

I liked protection enough that we have multiple pieces of equipment as well as Asceticism. Given that the card and abilities are based on Troll Ascetic, it seems suitably Troll-ish.


All right, how about some fellow Trolls?

Hunted Troll
Lotleth Troll
Golgari Grave-Troll
Clackbridge Troll

Here are four Trolls I tossed in that add to my theme. One gives me another discard outlet for my dorks. Another adds more dredging which helps too. The last two are sizeable and cheaper additions that yield some powerful bodies for your consideration.

Sorin Markov

Don't have a big enough Varolz for one-hit? Drop Sorin Markov and -3 someone to 10 life and finish them off with a 12/12 Varolz.

I toss in some utilities like removal and card drawing and call it a deck!

Want to see my random build? Okay!

Voltron Varolz| Commander | Abe Sargent

And there we go! Anything in there challenge you or inspire you? Anything you disagree with or that I missed? Just let me know, and thanks for reading!!!

Random Commander Challenges

Did you enjoy today's deck and want to check out all the random chaos from the previous editions? Great! Here they are.

  1. For my first challenge, I hit on Random Gatherer Gwendlyn di Corci from the set that introduced legendary permanents. I create a discard-matters deck around her.
  2. I flip over one of the original Elder Dragon Legends that the format was initially named after - Arcades Sabboth. I decide to build around a non-Red and non-Black Dragon theme. Get ready!
  3. The Random Fairy Strikes Again! This time it lands on Toshiro Umezawa, one of the major protagonists of the Kamigawa Block storyline. Check out my spell-based fun time deck!
  4. My submission of the random button finds the vanilla The Lady of the Mountain. Inspired by one of the few Commander options legally printed as a common, I decide to create a Pauper EDH deck for you! Let me know what you think!
  5. I hit the random button and got Kefnet the Mindful. I turned him into a budget build for fewer than $33 as part of my Budget Commander series. Enjoy!
  6. Random Gatherer hits Nissa, Vastwood Seer for a fun, mono-Green Forests-matter deck! Check it out!
  7. This time, we hit 1-drop vanilla Isamaru, Hound of Konda. What do I do with him? How about Isamaru Ultron? Let's give our pet some pants.
  8. Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle - This build wants to build a fun challenge around the historic recursions of Teshar's potential. You can check it out here.
  9. I randomly uncover the first Niv-Mizzet from way back and build a fun damage-matters and card-drawing matters build for your consideration! Let me know what you think!
  10. What happens when Gatherer give me Palladia-Mors, the Ruiner? I make one of the most fun EDH decks in this series, that's what! Check it out!
  11. I flip over Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient that loves to fork artifact abilities. Want to check out this odd take on mono-Red artifacts?
  12. Gatherer gives me Selvala, Heart of the Wilds. I use it to build a fun power-matters synergetic build. Check it out!
  13. I randomly hit Lady Zhurong, Warrior Queen, and I decide to build a mono-Green deck around her and her husband Meng Huo, Barbarian King. Check it out here!
  14. My first card is Seasinger, and I decide to build an EDH deck themed around it, rather than waiting until I grabbed a randomly selected card! Want to check out the Seasinger deck with my Islands Matter mono-Blue theme led by Thada Adel, Acquisitor. You can here!


One of the most common questions I get as a writer of articles like this one, is how my Huntington's Disease impacts my writing. Great question! I have the answer here for you:

Let me know what you think!

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