Powerful Golgari Mythic Rare in Return to Ravnica
September 1, 2012 | Posted by Dee
Return to Ravnica Preview Week starts in two days on Monday, September 3. However, Wizards has already spoiled a few cards from the set.
One of the cards is a Golgari mythic rare from Duel Decks: Izzet vs. Golgari. Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord is a green/black legendary Zombie Elf that has me trading for Woodland Cemetery. His power level is pretty high and I want a good mana base to support him.
Check out the card below.
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
There’s a good chance Jarad will make a big impact in Standard because he has three strong abilities.
1. Buff the Power and Toughness
If you build around his first ability, he enters the battlefield as a huge creature most of the time.
When I saw this ability, the first thing I thought of was the Blue/Green (UG) Self Mill deck with Splinterfright. This deck has a whopping 30 creatures and multiple ways to get those creatures in the graveyard (Screeching Skaab, Armored Skaab, Tracker’s Instincts, and Splinterfright).
Splinterfright is one of the best cards to play with Jarad because it fills up your graveyard every turn. Also, like Jarad, it gets bigger as more creatures go to your graveyard.
Jarad has a double black mana cost, so the mana is probably too shaky right now to just add him in the UG Self Mill deck. However, I’m hopeful that Return to Ravnica will give us enough mana fixing to make the deck work. It is a multicolor set after all.
Jarad’s first ability fits a deck with many creatures so don’t let your creature count go too low as you build a deck for him. Otherwise, his power and toughness will not be very high.
2. Cause Your Opponent to Lose Life
The second ability of Jarad gives you a way to kill your opponent without attacking. For just three mana, you can sacrifice a creature and your opponent will lose life equal to the power of the sacrificed creature. You can activate the ability multiple times a turn because the cost doesn’t include tapping the card.
For example, you can pay six mana and sac 2 Ghoultree to kill your opponent in one turn by causing him to lose 20 life. In a deck that fills up the graveyard with many creatures, Ghoultree is a cheap 10/10. With enough creatures in your graveyard, you can cast it for only one mana.
Staying in the Zombie tribe (did you know Ghoultree is a Zombie?), Gravecrawler and Geralf’s Messenger are also good creatures to sac to Jarad. With Jarad on the board, Gravecrawler can be cast from the graveyard for only one mana so you can sac it multiple times and it fits well in a Self Mill deck.
When you count Geralf’s Messenger’s undying and -2 life loss ability, the Zombie causes your opponent to lose 11 life after you sac him twice to Jarad. Not bad for a three mana creature.
If you look at green cards, you have great options with Strangleroot Geist, Thragtusk, and Rancor. Strangleroot Geist has undying like Geralf’s Messenger so you can sac it twice. Thragtusk has five power for five mana and it gives you a 3/3 Beast after it dies.
Rancor buffs up the power of your creatures. Plus, you can replay it after sacrificing the enchanted creature because Rancor goes back to your hand when it is put into a graveyard from the battlefield. Rancor and Gravecrawler is an especially sweet combo. For two mana, you get a four power creature that keeps coming back from the graveyard.
With all the sacrificing you’ll be doing with Jarad, you can throw in Blood Artist for even more life loss.
By the way, Jarad’s sac ability says “each opponent” and he is legendary so he can definitely do damage in multiplayer EDH games.
3. Return to Hand from Graveyard
The third ability of Jarad makes him very good in the late game. When a game goes long, you often have a lot of spare lands doing nothing. You can make use of them by sacrificing a Swamp and a Forest to return Jarad back to your hand from the graveyard.
This ability makes Jarad hard to kill permanently. Your opponent will need an exile removal spell like Oblivion Ring or graveyard hate like Tormod’s Crypt. Otherwise, Jarad will just keep coming back to wreck your opponent again.
You can play Disciple of Bolas as a card advantage combo with Jarad. Late in the game, the Zombie Elf will probably be pretty big. By sacrificing him to Disciple, you can draw a bunch of cards. Some of those cards may be Swamps and Forests, which gives you more lands to sac to bring back Jarad.
Also, Jarad’s third ability works well with the Self Mill strategy. If you mill him, you can just put him in your hand by sacrificing two lands.