History of Golgari Part 3: The Guild of Golgari

So in my rush to get out the articles about Svogthir and Sisters of Stone Death, I never actually explained the Golgari. Who they are, their mechanics, and what about them fascinated me so much that I continued to play their color scheme in all my decks sense then. So lets take a look at the Golgari.

The golgari are the black and green guild in the original and current Ravnica blocks of Magic the Gathering. The represent the cycle of life and death. One spokesmen for wizards has said “Their all about life. And death. And life coming from death. And  death coming from life.” This is also shown in one of their core beliefs. That you can not truly live till you’ve died. One of the things about them that fascinated me was their use of one of the oddest creature concepts I have ever seen, plant zombies. Also their guild symbol looked really cool. It’s the one below on the left. Even their new on, the one on the the right, looks awesome.

Yeah I know, it’s a little odd to choose based on the symbol. Still did though. To be honest I don’t regret it. Because when I started to play the old Golgari Deathcreep pre-con deck, I really came to like the Golgari mechanic. That mechanic was dredge. So here’s how dredge works. Anytime you would allowed to draw a card you can send a certain number of the top cards of your deck to the graveyard to bring a card back to your hand from your graveyard. The card your bringing back to your hand will tell you how many cards to send to your graveyard. If it says dredge 5, then you send send the top 5 cards from your deck to your graveyard. This mechanic however became a little broken when dread return came out.

Unfortunately, I really don’t know the full work up of that particular deck. That’s something your going to need to look up yourself.

The new mechanic is called Scavenge. Sadly I’m not very adept at explaining it so, take a look at one of the cards yourself:

This just seems like so much fun to me.

So anyway back to the guild itself. The descriptions are right from the Wizards of the Coast website. First is right from the original Ravnica site:

The Golgari believe you can’t truly live until you die. For them, death gives life meaning, and from death comes new life. With its vast horde of undead serving as both standing army and labor force, the Golgari operate in Ravnica’s undercity, slowly taking over abandoned and derelict areas like a fetid slime mold. This guild contains many factions, from undead abominations of plant matter and flesh, to Ravnica’s dark elves, known as the Devkarin. Leadership of the guild is never uncontested.

Here is the description from Return to Ravnica:

The Golgari Swarm fuses the opposite values of life and death, fostering growth in Ravnica’s decaying communities but also fostering decay in places of growth. The elves, zombies, insects, and undead/plant hybrids of the Golgari are like one massive growing, feeding organism, collectively spreading across the plane wherever they can fit. The Golgari provide a necessary service in Ravnica: they dispose of the carcasses civilization leaves behind, and mysteriously they also provide sustenance for the forgotten and the needy. They are the scavengers and decomposers at the fringes of the food chain, but yearn to be the predators at the top.
The Golgari guild is organized more like a single organism than a collective. It has a nucleus or nerve center that drives the direction and growth of the guild, elements that collect nutrients and convert them into usable resources, defenses that fight off foreign bodies, and an instinctual drive to survive, reproduce, and overcome.

An interesting fact. The Golgari have been none to supply a nutritional gruel to the people of Ravnica  that would otherwise have a hard time getting food. Their also known to clean up the dead bodies over the plane. You do the math.

Sited information and the above images belong to Wizards of the Cost. Next time I’ll be going on with the guild leaders and taking a look a Savra, Queen of Golgari.


One thought on “History of Golgari Part 3: The Guild of Golgari”

  1. Obviously you wrote this 2 years ago, so my comment may prove completely redundant, but the Dredge deck allowed you all kinds of magnificent interactions. A blue creature called Narcomoeba goes straight to the battlefield if you mill it (put it into your graveyard from your library).

    With you dredging huge amounts of cards each turn, you will end up with Narcomoebae on the battlefield, and Bridges from Below in your graveyward. Dread Return allows you to sac. your creatures to create multiple zombie tokens. If you Dread Return a Flame-Kin Zealot, then you can get up to a maximum of 12 zombie tokens, the FKZ giving them +1/+1 and haste.

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