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Ugin’s Insight 7: Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord EDH – Midrange Combo

Hello readers welcome back to Ugin’s Insight! This is the article series that features YOU and YOUR EDH deck in an interview style format. If you would like to have your deck featured on Ugin’s Insight, it’s easy! Simply go to the MagicEDH.com EDH Deck Interview Page and fill out the form.

Before we begin, I would like to mention a couple of GREAT articles recently posted here at MTGCasualPlay.com. I highly recommend giving them a read!

Now then. Let’s get started!

Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord EDH Deck by atr0s

About atr0s: Today’s article features an interview with EDH Reddit user /u/atr0s as he introduces his Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord Commander Deck. atr0s has been playing EDH for a little over a year and is from Ottawa, Canada. He usually plays combo, stax or big mana ramp decks. His first commander was Maelstrom Wanderer but has played several generals since then including Talrand, Derevi, Sasaya, Kruphix, Daretti, and Melek. atr0s currently has two Commander decks built. In addition to Jarad (which he has been playing for about 6 months now), he also has a Grixis Storm deck helmed by Jeleva. Besides Commander, atr0s also plays a bit of modern with a slightly upgraded BW tokens Event Deck. He and his friends also like to play legacy and vintage as well, but only on free online platforms.

Before we begin the interview, let’s take a look at the Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord EDH Decklist!

Jarad EDH Deck Interview with atr0s

Jarad Golgari Lich Lord EDH deck

MTGCasualPlay.com: Why did you choose this commander?

atr0s: I chose Jarad because I had been interested in a graveyard based deck for a while, originally planning on building Karador, but dropping a colour helped it fit in my budget easier. Jarad seemed to fit with playing with the graveyard. He’s a sacrifice outlet for dredge creatures, grows based off what I throw in the yard, and wins off Lord of Extinction after a spending a few turns binning things.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Give us a Brief History of this deck and how it came about.

atr0s: The deck started when I wanted to build a more casual deck than what I had. I used to only play a very fast Maelstrom Wanderer list, and newer players at my college’s Magic club didn’t always have fun against it. So I figured a deck based around filling up the grave and doing stuff with that, while sometimes flinging fatties was pretty casual and fair.

I eventually found out about the card Phyrexian Devourer, and how he wins instantly with Jarad. Inspired by that, I looked into tuning my deck. I found a primer by /u/razzliox for his Jarad combo deck. Basing mine heavily off that, I scrapped most of the deck and rebuilt it as a combo list with the ability to win fast or play the long game.

Now anything but a casual deck, it is my most powerful. Capable of turn 2 wins, previously turn 1 before Lotus Petal got cut, its one of the best decks in my local meta and my favourite to play.

MTGCasualPlay.com: What are your Win Conditions?

atr0s: The main win condition is Necrotic Ooze combo. With Ooze on the field, and Phyrexian Devourer + Triskelion in the graveyard, I can convert the remaining converted mana cost of my library into damage pointed at my opponent’s faces. Buried Alive sets this up perfectly, as does Survival of the Fittest. This combo is hard to beat. Once the Ooze hits the board, nothing can actually stop me from winning short of a split second spell. I just go off in response to any removal that can be responded to.

If that fails, simply casting Jarad and sacrificing a big enough Phyrexian Devourer is an easy but very telegraphed and stoppable way to win. An important note for winning with Devourer itself is that only one instance of his sacrifice trigger can be on the stack at one time. Let him hit 7 power and trigger, than make him as big as you need to before sacrifing to Jarad, all in response to the initial sac

After that is Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Triskelion for infinite damage. Easily accessed by Tooth and Nail, Buried Alive + Victimize, Jarad’s Orders into cast one reanimate another, Survival of the Fittest and reanimate the discarded one, and many more ways, this is an easy combo to assemble, but unfortunately also easy to disrupt. A removal spell on Mike at the right time (in response to the undying trigger when Trike dies) stops it completely, with one person only having taken one damage.

Mikaeus shows up in another win condition, going infinite again, this time with Woodfall Primus and Altar of Dementia. This combo not only mills all your opponents out, it also destroys all noncreature permanents they control. If you get disrupted trying this one, you’re left with a Woodfall Primus, significantly more useful than a Triskelion. But it takes an extra piece, so it is harder to do.

Almost at the bottom of the list, we have sacrificing a Lord of Extinction to Jarad. This requires it to be pretty late in the game, so it isn’t used often, but it is a reliable way to surprise one shot most people.

Right at the bottom, just barely above good old fashioned beat-down, we have a Living Death win using Rune-Scarred Demon and either Greater Good or [/card]Altar of Dementia[/card]. Use this only if you have been Jester’s Capped a couple times and had your good combo pieces taken, and your board isn’t in a state to be attacking. With your outlet on the board or a reanimation spell in hand cast the Demon finding the missing piece. Sacrifice the Demon and mill yourself/draw then discard some cards, and reanimate him. Use the trigger to find another reanimation spell. Continue looping the demon until you run out of reanimation, use the final trigger to find Living Death. Sacrifice any creatures you have, and cast Living Death. Hopefully you’re now in a better spot. This whole process usually takes a couple turns.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Are there any specific strategies when playing the deck?

atr0s: During mulligans, if my hand has a Buried Alive or Demonic Tutor, and especially if it also has my Dark Ritual, I will aggressively mulligan for a reanimation spell, even to the point of throwing away lands above 2. Otherwise I look for tutors, some reanimation, mana acceleration, removal, and small early game creatures.

In the very early turns of the games where I don’t have the god hand, I will attempt to get some source of card advantage online. Entombing and bringing back a Baleful Force, or Ritualling out a Necropotence are some of my favourite plays at this stage.

In the mid game I try to either win if I have enough mana and draw power, or just survive while setting up enabler cards like Hermit Druid and Survival of the Fittest. Most of my board wiping, spot removing, and tutoring takes place here. Crypt Ghast‘s extort is surprisingly useful to get through the mid game against decks that are better than me at it.

Late game I try to win somehow. Ideally I have an active Survival with a bit of mana and a creature in hand, activate it a few times on end step, untap and win. If that fails I can try to Tooth and Nail, use Buried Alive, sacrifice a Lord of Extinction or Devourer, go for a Living Death win, or finally just rely on creature beatdown with a Rune-Scarred Demon and a fat Jarad.

MTGCasualPlay.com: What are some of the deck’s strengths?

atr0s: This deck has a good matchup against anything that is prepared for a longer fair game. With a good enough hand, I entirely ignore midrange attackers and declare their controller dead a few turns later.

It also has a good matchup against other dedicated combo decks. It can race pretty well, and plays enough removal to disrupt some of the opponents plans. An example of a good matchup in this category is a creature and artifact based deck like Arcum Daggson, who hates Sudden Death, Krosan Grip, Putrefy, Nature’s Claim, etc.

Control is a fairly good matchup too. The deck just plays so much recursion that it’s hard to keep everything down with counterspells. Add to that the fact that with a Necropotence or other CA source running, I can draw just as well as a blue deck, and having enough answers to my threats becomes nearly impossible.

MTGCasualPlay.com: What are some of the Weaknesses of the Deck?

atr0s: Storm is not a great matchup for me. It plays enough countermagic to stop me from racing it with turn 1 or 2 Buried Alive, and goes off soon enough after doing so that I can’t get my stuff back to try again or assemble another win condition.

Aggressive decks like Elves are also problematic. I pay a lot of life, and they take advantage of that. They can prey on my weaker mid game by just ending the game then with a board of pumped tramplers. Cards like Decree of Pain and Pernicious Deed help, but you can’t always have one.

And of course, graveyard hate is brutal. Krosan Grip is an all star in stopping it, and even prevents a Relic of Progenitus or Tormod’s Crypt from being popped in response, but it is the decks biggest weakness.

MTGCasualPlay.com: What are some of the more Powerful cards or interactions of the deck?

atr0s: The most powerful card in the deck is Survival of the Fittest. If I have a creature in hand and an unanswered Survival, that’s game over.

Buried Alive is a big one too, setting up my early god hand wins.

Entomb is nice for finding a turn 1 or 2 Baleful Force and drawing tons of cards. I always keep Entomb in my opening hand.

Greater Good is an amazing card. Spot removal becomes much less effective, all your creatures turn into dig spells if you need an answer, and a mid size Lord can draw you a chunk of your library. An interesting interaction here is with Phyrexian Devourer. By eating some cards off the top and risking losing good stuff, you can dig much further down by sacrificing it to Greater Good. Very nice if you’re in an answer now or lose situation, like facing down a Prossh on the stack with Food Chain and Purphoros on the board.

Necropotence is, as always, a super good Magic card. Whether you’re using it to just refill to 7 every turn, or dig 20 cards deep, it almost never fails to put in serious work. The discard drawback is annoying, but the card is good enough you just deal with it. Something cool you can do if you have a lot of mana and life is Necro for your life total minus one, and when you get your cards on the end step, remove your Necropotence. Going to discard phase, your cards will hit the yard normally. If you’ve discarded your Ooze combo and have instant speed reanimation, just pass turn and win.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Are there any Unique or Underrated cards that you play in this deck?

atr0s: Wake the Dead is a card that I get a lot of questions and confused looks for, but it has been very helpful. You can cast it as soon as an opponent tries to declare attackers, and win on the spot. The ability to bring back more than 1 creature means it can yank Mike and Trike right out of the yard to kill everyone when they least expect it. It can also just be value, providing you with a Rune-Scarred Demon, Sidisi, and Phyrexian Delver to block with while tutoring 2 things and reanimating another guy.

Another underplayed card that deserves to see more use is Frontier Siege. The turn it comes down, it is Skyshroud Claim, and every turn after you just get 4 free mana. Since this deck easily wins across multiple steps, and is often limited only by mana, it is very useful.

Mindslicer is also not used often, but has earned his spot. He destroys Storm decks if you can sacrifice at instant speed. He sets control decks far back if you have a decent board. Podding Mindslicer into Phyrexian Delver allows for two strong plays. The first is the most obvious. With your combo in the yard, your hand, or split between both, Pod Slicer for Delver and after the death trigger strips hands, use the Delver trigger to get back Ooze and win. The other is to Pod while you’re holding a fatty. People don’t see anything coming, and let it happen. You get your Delver, then discard your hand, then use the ETB trigger and get your fatty back. Especially powerful with Baleful Force as you rebuild must faster than anyone else.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Do you have a Wish List of Cards that you would like to add?

atr0s: Sylvan Library, Mana Crypt, Vampiric Tutor, Damnation, Toxis Deluge, Scroll Rack, and better lands are my current wish list. They are all just obvious good cards that I can’t afford right now.

The lands in particular need some upgrading. Cabal Coffers needs to be there. Grim Backwoods is much worse than Phyrexian Tower for a sac outlet land. More fetches would be great for fuelling Deathrite Shaman. Eventually cutting almost all lands that enter tapped will do wonders for the speed of the deck.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Are there cards missing because they didn’t work or were too Powerful? What happened?

atr0s: I originally ran Life from the Loam, but it was too slow, despite being a fun engine. The cycling lands are left over from that, and stay in as a way to keep up nonbasic count for Hermit Druid.

Other Dredge cards like Golgari-Grave Troll got cut as well. As the deck moved towards combo, Dredge became worse, until I just took them all out.

Lotus Petal was in for a while, and enabled turn 1 wins, but I cut it for Deathrite Shaman as a more consistent long term mana source.

Sheoldred was a powerhouse in the original deck, but just didn’t do enough as I sped it up and would rather be reanimating a card advantage engine or a combo piece. It That Betrays suffered the same fate.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Why would I want to play this deck?

atr0s: You would want to play this deck if you:

-want to have a powerful deck that can win before a lot of people are stabilized in a game and set up to start doing their own thing.

-enjoy a playstyle of constantly attempting an reattempting the same threat, or similar threats, until one sticks and you win.

-like skill testing decks. All the tutors and the large amount of win conditions mean that you can do lots of different things at any one time, and the obvious choice is not always the best.

You would also want to consider this deck if you were building on a budget. It can make good use of having money thrown at it, but as competitive EDH decks go, it’s cheap. And the only vital really expensive card is Survival of the Fittest. The rest are almost all sub $10.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your EDH Deck. Is there anything else you would like to include before we wrap things up?

atr0s: I’m always available to answer questions about my decks or offer suggestions for other people’s decks from a competitive viewpoint.

Contact me on reddit: /u/atr0s


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Jarad Midrange Combo EDH Decklist by atr0s

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