Golgari Build

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EDIT - Here's the final draft as of 2/1/13:





Now for the original post....




I just built this deck, and it's pretty fun and seems fairly strong. I would like to take it to FNM and not get beat up too badly. I'd always heard people say that Golgari decks fall behind, but it seems like it keeps pace fairly well. What do others think? I have some questions about it, and would really like suggestions.

23 Creatures

Slitherhead x4
Lotleth Troll x4
Dreg Mangler x4
Deadbridge Goliath x4
Corpsejack Menace x2
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord x1
Veilborn Ghoul x4

17 Other Spells

Tragic Slip x3
Farseek x4
Mulch x4
Grisly Salvage x4
Golgari Charm x2       

20 Land

Overgrown Tomb x2 
Golgari Guildgate x4 
Swamp x7 
Forest x7  

The mana base needs two more tombs and in the long run I need to replace the guildgates with Woodland Cemetery. I can see that much, and that probably needs to be 1st priority. I also wonder if another Corpsejack Menace would be good or if it would just tend to get mulched/salvaged. I've thought about Deathrite Shaman too, but I don't know if he contributes enough to be justified. 

I eagerly await your suggestions.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Do you have a sideboard? One thing you need to know about golgari is that it is very weak to flying. Silklash Spider might fix that.
What about Vampire Nighthawk in place of Veilborn Ghoul? Feel like the Nighthawk would do a lot more for you in thie deck then the Ghoul would. You could also look at Strangleroot Geist as another option. 

In terms of land, I would go for the 4x Overgrown Tomb first, simple because you can shock yourself to play use it the same turn.  
The ghoul is the best card to never play! I discard him to feed the troll, then play a swamp and do it again!
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Ah okay, that makes sense. Slitherhead is probably your favorite to feed to the troll I bet, cause it basically pumps the troll to a 4/3 instantly. 
What about a full-on graveyard theme, with some things like Splinterfright, Ghoultree, and Boneyard Wurm?
What about a full-on graveyard theme, with some things like Splinterfright, Ghoultree, and Boneyard Wurm?


then you probably want Jarad's orders and stuff like that
but it might not work since scavenge exiles the creatures 
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Typically I'll let slitherhead, mangler, and goliath die in combat or get mulched/salvaged before I scavenge them. I can feed the same ghoul to the trolls several times, and they'll grow plenty from that before scavenging the other critters. Scavenging then becomes a bonus, rather just expensive counters. This seems like correct play to me. It seems to me that things like boneyard wurm actually contradict this strategy.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
probably should just drop slitherhead, since the card is actually really bad.  would you really want to run a 1/1 do-nothing creature because it happens to be decent with other creature that should already be good on it's own?

that clears up 4 spots for stronger cards. 

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What would you replace it with?
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Yeah, i'd suggest Gravecrawler in this deck as a pretty good 1 drop, maybe Blood artist could be thrown in here since you're practically relying on creatures dying as the game progresses.
I'd like to add the gravecrawlers, but its not in the budget at the moment. I'm going to focus on the mana base first. What about a sideboard? Any suggestions?
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
I'm going to focus on the mana base first.

Is 20 land enough? You have Farseek but that still requires two mana.

Between that, Mulch and Grisley Salvage I almost never miss a mana drop, so I think 20 is ok.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
What are you Farseeking to?  T3 Goliath?  T4 Ghoul?  Is that worth the card and the tempo hit?
I don't usually farseek on two, but a little later to make scavenging easier. But if its an option a turn 3 5/5 goliath ain't bad.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
I can also farseek to pull the ghoul in and out of the graveyard. I had the troll up to 8/7 on turn 3 last night.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Between that, Mulch and Grisley Salvage I almost never miss a mana drop, so I think 20 is ok.

I believe you since you are experienced with the deck, but statistically, with 20 lands, there is almost a 20% chance (17.6%) of not having two lands in the first eight cards (and a 12.3% chance of not having two lands in the first nine cards). You're definitely helped by having 8x 1-mana drops.

So what would you take out for 2 land? I'd say Jared for one, and what else?
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
So what would you take out for 2 land? I'd say Jared for one, and what else?

I think you need to play test a couple of different configurations. How much benefit do you get from Golgari Charm? If Tragic Slip was your only option on T1, would you use it to take care of, let's say, your opponet's Avacyn's Pilgrim? Or do you tend to save them for Morbid to kick in? You could go -2 Golgari Charm / +1 Tragic Slip. If not, how much Mulching / Grisly Salvage do you need to make your deck tick? Would 6x be enough instead of 8x? I've alwyas been a fan of consistent decks, with mostly 4x and 3x, and a few 2x, but I'm just an intermediate FNM kind of guy, so take my advice with a grain of salt.
So based on a number of helpful suggestions from you folks, here's the new list. Thanks for the help and keep 'em coming!

27 Creatures

Slitherhead x4
Lotleth Troll x4
Vampire Nighthawk x4
Dreg Mangler x4
Deadbridge Goliath x4
Corpsejack Menace x3
Veilborn Ghoul x4

11 Other Spells

Grisly Salvage x4
Treasured Find x2
Ultimate Price x2
Murderx3

22 Land

Overgrown Tomb x3 
Golgari Guildgate x4 
Swamp x9 
Forest x6   

Sideboard

Prey Upon x3
Tragic Slip x1
Cremate x2
Golgari Charm x3
Naturalize x2
Triumph of Ferocity x2
Sever the Bloodline x2
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Is 4x Veilborn Ghoul really necessary? It's only good if you draw it and a Lotleth. I've never played this deck so I don't know if Vielborn is good enough to have all 4.
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Is 4x Veilborn Ghoul really necessary? It's only good if you draw it and a Lotleth. I've never played this deck so I don't know if Vielborn is good enough to have all 4.

Four absolutely. 
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Your strategy here relies extremely heavily on your trolls and nighthawks now it seems... I think I would consider some hexproofing in the sideboard at least, in the form of perhaps Ranger's Guile or Sheltering Word if black doesnt have any better ways to keep your trolls from getting exiled or bounced back to hand.
Your strategy here relies extremely heavily on your trolls and nighthawks now it seems... I think I would consider some hexproofing in the sideboard at least, in the form of perhaps Ranger's Guile or Sheltering Word if black doesnt have any better ways to keep your trolls from getting exiled or bounced back to hand.

That's a good sideboard suggestion. Thanks! That said, even if the troll gets removed somehow the deck can still function. Dreg Mangler and Deadbridge Goliath can go a long way, especially scavenging later in the game.  I've made Slitherhead into a 7/7 before in a pinch.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
I see no rancors. I see no arbor elves, or ramp of any kind. I see veilborn ghoul, but nothing to discard it except lotleth troll. I see grisly salvage, with scavenge guys and the aformentioned ghoul the only things to discard. Your running 22 lands, while most of your scavenging costs 5.


No sir, I don't like it. Extremely easy to hate out considering the current meta.


But I DO like the ghoul. Maybe I try to make him a little more usable in here...


Personal suggestions:

-4 slitherhead
-2 treasured find
-3 corpsejack menace
-1 murder
-4 grisly salvage


+4 rancor
+4 strangleroot geist
+4 lilliana of the veil
+2 forest



strangleroot complliments the dreg mangler nicely, lilliana nets you solid discard per turn with the ghoul in hand. Ideally, we would also want Gravecrawlers for this, but that spirals into making this just another B/G zombies, and I'm not sure that's what you want.

Rancor is in here because it is, in fact, RANCOR. 
 
@pandaman, I can agree with the rancors and just about everything else, but I think removing the corpsejack menaces is a bit counterproductive
So tonight I'll take it to FNM, -2 Treasured Find, -1 Murder, +3 Liliana of the Veil, and we'll see how it goes. Smile
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
I don't know so much about running Liliana mainboard, i agree with people above, add rancor
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/rCB4r.jpg)
I think the most important suggestion that pandaman gave was the rancors. Liliana just lets you have your opponent discard...and I suppose that is good for some control, but that doesnt seem to be the ultimate goal of the deck.
I think id go with:
-4 slitherhead
-2 treasured find
-1 murder
+4 strangleroot geist
+3 rancor
So I played this last night at FNM with the configuration I said, but with Rancors in place of the slitherheads and it was a lot clunkyer. I think I'm going to ditch the rancors and try out the Strangleroot Geist in that spot and see how it goes. That said, I actually like the Slitherheads, and I think they're more versatile in this build than people think. Alternatively I think I'll also try it out in place of Salvage and leave the slitherheads. We'll see which is better. .
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Honestly, most of these lists are very bad. Try picking a role or a course of action and figuring out how to fulfill it as efficiently as possible- or getting a line of plays that is difficult to fight against. Why not try making a list of your favorite Golgari cards before having to pick some for the deck? Building a great deck in a vacuum is generally a bad idea.
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I don't think this deck is going to beat a tier 1 deck, but I don't think it's a bad list. Here it is as it stands: 

27 Creatures

Slitherhead x4
Strangleroot Geist x4
Lotleth Troll x4
Vampire Nighthawk x4
Dreg Mangler x4
Deadbridge Goliath x4
Corpsejack Menace x3

11 Other Spells

Rancor x4
Grisly Salvage x3
Ultimate Price x2
Murderx2

22 Land

Overgrown Tomb x4
Woodland Cemetery x4 
Golgari Guildgate x4 
Swamp x5
Forest x5  

Sideboard

Cremate x2
Golgari Charm x3
Treasured Find x2
Naturalize x2
Liliana of the Veil x3
Triumph of Ferocity x1
Sever the Bloodline x2
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
I was wondering if I could post my Golgari deck here and get some feedback on it?   
I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
I was wondering if I could post my Golgari deck here and get some feedback on it?   

Don't see why not. 
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong

Golgari Guildgate x4


I'm wondering why nobody called you out on this one yet. You may as well be running Evolving Wilds or basic land instead. Either one would give you an advantage with the Woodland Cemetery and you won't end up wasting so many turns.

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Not so sure about that. I was thinking of rakdos aggro (which typically runs 12 dual lands) in that decision and the reason is I need multiple green and multiple black early on for the geist and the nighthawk.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
It doesn't seem like you need to do anything tricky (gimmicky if you prefer) with Golgari to make a good deck. A lot of the creatures are just great for their mana cost (strangleroot geist, Lotleth Troll, Wolfir Avenger, Dreg Mangler, Deadbridge Goliath). It seems to me you could just make a creature heavy deck with stuff like rancor and ultimate price and have a pretty solid deck. It doesn't seem worth it to try corpsejack menace shenanigans when you could just use Wolfir Silverheart as a way to give creatures a boost instead. Slitherhead being able to put a counter on a creature doesn't seem that great when you could be using more reliably good one drops like Arbor Elf, Ulvenwald Tracker or Deathrite Shaman. I would probably recommend something like this (based on a deck I played a few months back with a few improvements + kibler's green black list).

"This list much made Niche barf a lil' in his mouth, so I can be proud of that." -rstnme

I've made some changes based on suggestions and experience playing the deck, and here's a form that I think is finally pretty solid: 

28 Creatures


Slitherhead x4
Strangleroot Geist x4
Lotleth Troll x4
Vampire Nighthawk x4
Dreg Mangler x4
Deadbridge Goliath x4
Veilborn Ghoul x4

10 Other Spells

Rancor x4
Ultimate Price x2
Murderx3
Sever the Bloodline x1

22 Land

Overgrown Tomb x4
Woodland Cemetery x4 
Swamp x7
Forest x7 

Sideboard

Cremate x2
Golgari Charm x3
Treasured Find x2
Naturalize x2
Liliana of the Veil x3
Triumph of Ferocity x1
Sever the Bloodline x2

By way of summation: 
Now the deck is faster and significantly more aggressive, so I cut Corpsejack Menace because his trick comes too late to be terribly effective. Essentially, he's a midrange card. I cut Grisly Salvage because it was becoming less and less useful as the deck came to depend less and less on one or two cards and/or combos of cards. And then, without Salvage, I found that I usually would rather have something other than Treasured Find in my hand, so I cut it too.  I made room for Rancor because it's great on anything, but especially the nighthawk (and so is scavenging, for that matter). Without Salvage, Rancor no longer feels clunky. I'm stubborn about slitherhead because I can discard and exile for a quick +2/+2 on the troll, he's a turn one defender that's still useful after he's dead, and, of course, he too looks great as a +1/+1 on the nighthawk. Next time payday rolls around I'll give Deathrite Shaman a shot in that slot. I restored the ghoul because he's too awesome with the troll to cut. And I sideboarded Liliana because she's just not that effective in this deck. And it's true, the guildgates did slow it down. I don't miss them. 

The sideboard is still flimsy and needs more attention. Abrupt Decay would be nice in there.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and advice as I've playtested my way through this build.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Making this deck faster I think is a good move. Besides, if you don't kill your opponite in the first 4-6 turns, you have things to scavage for extra kill. (A big part of this deck is people's fear to kill your creatures, this will allow you to hit faster).

I like the idea of the Deathrite Shaman it is a versitile card and I think will be worth the cost.