Mechanics of Golgari Part 1: Scavenge

So why start with scavenge? Well, there are only two Golgari mechanics. So I decided to start with the newest,and work back. So lets get started with the newest mechanic, scavenge.

The reminder text for scavenge reads “[cost] Exile this card from your graveyard: Put a number of +1/+1 counters equal to this card’s power on target creature. Scavenge only as a sorcery.” For example, a card like this:

Its our friend Dreg Mangler again. Anyway, when you would scavenge Dreg Mangler, target creature would get three +1/+1 counters placed on it. So the trick is 1) Surviving long enough to scavenge it, and 2) having a viable target for those counters. The first one is the most important part of scavenge. Surviving long enough.

There are ten cards in Return to Ravnica with scavenge. Most of them have a scavenge cost between 5 and 7. Scavenge is not an early game mechanic. It’s a mid to late game one. If you can use it effectively, then you have to decide on some good targets. We’re going to stick with what was in standard at the time I’m writing this. So here are what I feel are a few good targets for those scavenge tokens.

Any cards along this lines can work.These are just the most viable options that I have in the decks I run. If you find better options, I encourage you to scavenge to your hearts content. There are also a few cards that I like to use in a scavenge deck. The first is Death’s Presence:

I like this card. I really like this card. You see there was an old mechanic during the original Mirrodin block that did almost the same thing, but it had them transfer already existing +1/+1 counters. This is just what their power was. You have a 2/2 that dies, well a creature you control just got two +1/+1 counters. If it was one of your scavenge creatures that kicked the bucket, then now they not only can be scavenged to make a creature bigger, but they make one bigger on the way out. So if it’s the Dreg Mangler from above, it gives three counters on the way to the graveyard, then another three when scavenged. If the next card in on the field, it gets even more crazy. That card is Corpsejack Menace.

So yeah, now a card like Dreg Mangler goes from giving three counters on a scavenge, to giving six. If Death’s presence is out, then he can give twelve all together. Six on the way and another six for scavenging. This is the power of scavenge. Let’s take this scenario for instance. You have a Death’s Presence 4 forests and 3 swamps on the field. During your turn you play Corpsejack Menace, and Dreg Mangler. Your opponent Murders your Mangler, so you give six counters to Corpsejack. The next turn you draw Rogue’s Passage.

I’ll let the rest of the scenario play out in your head. Of course, that’s an optimal situation, an those don’t come about very often. Well that’s scavenge. At least my take on it. There are a couple of good articles on it here and here if you want to learn more. Next time we’ll be looking at the original Golgari mechanic. This is Mops, signing out.

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