Finding Finality

Finding Finality: Three Tournaments with Overgrown Tomb

Over the last two weeks, I have created the Golgari box...

golgari box.jpg


...a box of black and green cards to take into battle against the wide world of standard. There are three core reasons that I will most likely be playing Golgari for the remainder of the season:

Stable Mana
Do you know what decks look great on paper? Esper Control. 4-color midrange. Grixis dragons. None of those decks check this box. I want to cast my spells on time, every time. I don’t want to lose games because I drew three checklands or three shocklands. I want to play the excellent value lands available in the format. Golgari gets to do all of this, and that counts for a lot by the time you sit down for the 8th round in a tournament.

Versatile Removal
Assassin’s Trophy and Vraska’s Contempt are certainly the stars of the show here, but Vraska, Relic Seeker and Vivien Reid pull a lot of weight as well, not to mention Finality getting you some free access to a maindeck sweeper against History of Benalia and March of the Multitudes. Golgari even gets access to Plaguecrafter and The Eldest Reborn as outs to any hexproof adversaries. This means it is quite difficult to catch a vigilant deckbuilder off guard and gives the Golgari player some serious room to breath when trying to leverage the third feature:

A Deep Pool of Powerful Cards
Golgari has a wealth of riches that allow the deckbuilder to posture themselves to beat almost any adversary. The reason I have a box full of cards for the deck is that as other players adjust, to the metagame, you can keep changing your deck to stay ahead of them. The mushroom guild offers everything from discard to graveyard hate to reanimation and more, and with testing and practice can defeat any foe.

The Tournaments
When the first week of magic online results were in, the Mono-Red menace became the first order of business in building midrange decks. I began with a deck almost preboarded for the matchup, with 4 maindeck Wildgrowth Walkers and 4 Thorn Lieutenant, ready to pounce on anyone bringing 22 mountains to battle against me. By the time of the season’s first PPTQ, however, I was convinced that the mirror match would also be a big concern, and so in the hours before the tournament I landed on this decklist:

4 Thorn Lieutenant
4 Merfolk Branchwalker
2 Wildgrowth Walker
4 Jadelight Ranger
2 Deathgorge Scavenger
1 Thrashing Brontodon
1 Isareth, the Awakener
1 Plaguecrafter
3 Ravenous Chupacabra
2 Golgari Findbroker

3 Assassin’s Trophy

3 Find//Finality
2 Vraska’s Contempt

1 The Eldest Reborn
1 Vivien Reid
2 Vraska, Relic Seeker

4 Overgrown tomb
4 Woodland Cemetery
2 Memorial to Folly
1 Field of Ruin
7 Forest
6 Swamp

1 Arguel’s Blood Fast
1 Deadeye Tracker
3 Duress
1 Find//Finality
1 Izoni, Thousand-Eyed
2 Karn, Scion of Urza
2 Ritual of Soot
1 Vraska’s Contempt
1 Vraska, Relic Seeker
2 Wildgrowth Walker

Luckily my instincts before the tournament proved quite correct, and over 7 rounds of play my matchups were:
3 Golgari Midrange (2-1)
1 Mono-Red (1-0)
1 UB Midrange (1-0)
1 Abzan Midrange (1-0)
1 Esper Control (0-1)

In the first four rounds I battled to 3-1 and drew with my opponent to cruise into the top 8, but eventually fell to Esper control in the finals. Luckily the next PPTQ was the following morning, and I was able to make a few changes in the intervening hours, including cutting the Thorn Lieutenants for an extra Vivien and Vraska each in the maindeck, as well as an Additional Izoni, Thousand-Eyed in the main to close out long game 1s in the mirror. I played seven matches on Sunday:
2 GB Midrange (2-0)
2 GW Tokens (0-2)
1 Jeskai Control (1-0)
1 Monoblue Tempo (1-0)
1 UR Drakes (1-0)

My only loss in the swiss was fellow Dark Tower competitive team member Alex Mooers, and he thanked me for driving him to the event and providing him a deck by defeating me again in the semifinals. I suppose I have only myself to blame.

Ungrateful teammates aside, Golgari played out excellently in both tournaments, and I eagerly got back to work for the following weekend’s Team Trios event, where I would be the standard seat. My notes from the first weekend were as follows:

-Need a more comprehensive postboard plan for control decks
-I want the fourth Finality in the maindeck basically all the time, but especially against tokens
-Planeswalkers are great, can I get some more of those please?

During the week, there was a lot of buzz about Golgari, and many decks had turned to Tocatli Honor Guard to nullify explore creatures, and I also expected the number of inferior midrange decks to decrease, along with probably the death of Esper control (which despite beating me week one I have generally found to be an easy matchup). I turned to the Golgari box again and reconfigured the deck and sideboard, and by Sunday I felt ready to take on anything.

4 Merfolk Branchwalker

3 Seekers' Squire

1 Wildgrowth Walker

4 Jadelight Ranger

2 Plaguecrafter

1 District Guide

3 Ravenous Chupacabra

2 Golgari Findbroker


3 Assassin's Trophy

2 Vraska's Contempt

4 Find//Finality


1 Vraska, Golgari Queen

1 The Eldest Reborn

2 Vivien Reid

3 Vraska, Relic Seeker


7 Forest

6 Swamp

1 Field of Ruin

2 Memorial to Folly

4 Overgrown Tomb

4 Woodland Cemetery


Sideboard (15)

1 Sorcerous Spyglass

2 Carnage Tyrant

2 Deathgorge Scavenger

2 Wildgrowth Walker

2 Karn, Scion of Urza

2 Ritual of Soot

4 Duress



Standard moves fast, and by next week I am sure I will need to reevaluate the card choices here, but during this tournament I really felt like I had cracked the code. I played seven rounds alongside Jon Munck and Andy Wilson as part of team Search for Teriyaki.

2 Mono-Red (1-1)

1 Jeskai control (1-0)
3 GB midrange (3-0
1 RW Aggro (1-0)

I mulliganed both games and was quickly dispatched by Mono-Red in round 2, but luckily my teammates bailed me out and we were able to finish the tournament in first place without ever dropping a match as a team. I even got the chance to defeat Tocatli Honor Guard in the finals, which was a nice payoff for running as much non-Chupacabra removal as I had been throughout all these tournaments.



And as Soy sauce on the cake, we also found the Teriyaki as usual.

Golgari Quick Hits:

-Llanowar Elves is not good in the average game in the mirror. It gives you an edge on Monoblue, Selesnya, Steel Leaf champion, and UR drakes, those foes were few enough that I was disinclined to build around the card. Doom Whisperer is in a similar spot in the matchup spectrum, and I made the same choice.

-Isareth, the Awakener was quite good for me when I played it, but the mana can sometimes be an issue, and you maybe need to lose the one Field of Ruin to do it.

-Have you ever tried casting Karn, Scion of Urza? It is excellent, just try it.

-Izoni (God of Macaroni) is a fine plan in extremely long games, but for anything within reason I would prefer to either make sure I have real enablers (stitcher’s supplier?) and a higher creature count, or just “settle” for Vraska, Relic seeker (which is hardly settling at all)

-I am still on one copy of The Eldest Reborn for now, but it is at the top of my cutlist and maybe should just be another Plaguecrafter anyhow.

Thanks for reading, and may you always find finality.

Steven Boston

Steven BostonComment