Start Playing Golgari!

So they want to blink, do they? How about some instant-speed removal? And they want to drop a Fetters on your finisher? How about sacrificing it to gain 2 life instead? And the best part is, after all the teeth-gnashing and hand-raping is over, at the end of your opponent’s turn, you pay XBB and get a whole handful of creatures to unleash the following turn.
These are the possibilities available to the Golgari mage in Future Extended. With so many half-finished archetypes lingering in the annuls of Standard PDC history, how much longer will XPDC have to wait before the rot farmers start reaping the Harvest their Standard counterparts have sown?

Perhaps you’ve heard of one of the following decks?
HARVESTER – This deck relies on a loop created by Shambling Shell’s self-sacrificing ability and the Recover trigger on Grim Harvest (for which the deck is named). Silhana Ledgewalker is the lucky (and hard to block) recipient of the Shambling Shell’s +1/+1 counters, which quickly produces a hard-to-solve win condition.
NIGHTWALKER — This deck, like Harvester, tries to make a really scary Ledgewalker, but uses aura enhancements to accomplish the feat. The deck’s success, lead by 53N531, exploited an unprepared metagame.
DEATHSPORE ROCK — Also more recently seen as Mr Slippery 39′s ‘Prison Yard,’ this deck uses Grim Harvest and Sprout Swarm, two of the most potent card advantage spells in Standard, along with Deathspore Thallid who is removal on legs. A host of other Saproling-producing spells augment the Deathspore’s potency.
PYRAMID SCHEME — Yet another deck that exploits the card advantage engine of Grim Harvest, this time by coupling it with a host of green and black creatures that have CIP abilities to replace themselves in your hand. Cadaeic314 was the father of this beast, which has fallen short of 1st place in SPDC on several occasions.
DREDGESEEKER — This deck uses either Fa’adiyah Seer or Greenseeker to pitch dredge cards into the graveyard for gain, and then to dredge them back up to accelerate into threats. Both the Dredge mechanic and Grim Harvest help in this task.
I hope you noticed some common themes. If not, I’ll point them out to you:
- Silhana Ledgewalker
- Shambling Shell and other Dredge creatures
- Deathspore Thallid and Saprolings
- Grim Harvest
These are central pieces of a black-green strategy, even in the Future Extended format. However, in the wider cardpool we have some advantages over Standard, most notably:
Death Denied
This card has the potential to completely refill a Golgari mage’s hand with threats, especially in decks that rely on Dredge to fill the graveyard. So far in XPDC, the graveyard has not been an especially big resource (and therefore not a big threat), so XPDC’ers wanting to take advantage of an unprepared metagame could certainly heed my advice and look to the rot farmers for new deck inspiration.
If the idea of exploiting a virgin resource doesn’t sell you on the guild, then how about this other reason: Golgari has a really solid game against Orzhov Blink? That’s right — the deck that shows up in droves week after week at XPDC tourney tables struggles to handle the recursive threats and card advantage packed by a well-constructed black/green deck!
Harvester, in fact, was originally designed specifically to counteract the dominance of an Orzhov deck. Its main threats, Ledgewalker and Shambling Shell, are both immune to Orzhov’s #1 form of removal: auras. Early discard doesn’t hurt Golgari as much because they can pitch Dredge creatures and then call them back up as needed in the future. Sacrifice outlets like Gutless Ghoul and Golgari Rotwurm make it even less likely that Orzhov auras will cause the major life swings they are capable of against lesser decks.
I am working on a build myself, but I’ll provide a ‘skeleton’ here for you. Feel free to run wild with the archetype. I trust you’ll find you’re beating the top archetype in Future Extended with ease!
proposed by Polyjak for Future Extended
8 Swamp
8 Forest
4 Terramorphic Expanse
2 Mountain
4 Ravenous Rats
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
4 Shambling Shell
4 Phyrexian Rager
3 Chittering Rats
2 Sakura-Tribe Elder
3 Gutless Ghoul
3 Stinkweed Imp
4 Rend Flesh
3 Strangling Soot
3 Grim Harvest
1 Death Denied
4 Echoing Decay
4 Naturalize
4 Mindstab
3 Shred Memory

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