Commander Corner: Volrath the Fallen

Welcome back,

[c]Volrath[/c] was born with the name Vuel on the plane of Dominaria as part of the Jamuraan war clan. During his youth, he was introduced to [c]Gerrard Capashen[/c]. Gerrard eventually joined Vuel’s family, much to Vuel’s contempt. Eventually, though, he got over it and they became the best of friends.

A few years passed since then, and it was time for them to face the rite of passage. This rite of passage was meant to test them, and if they complete this challenge, they will become a full fledged member of the clan. Before they would attempt the rite, they had to get their bodies painted in the traditional war paint. This would be not a problem for Gerrard, but for Vuel, it was a different story. One of the clan members, Starke il-Vec, poisoned his warpaint and caused Vuel to fail the trial. 

Gerrard managed to save him from certain death, but Vuel resented him for it, as he was cast out from the clan for failing the rite of passage. Starke managed to comfort him and take him under his wing. He fueled his ego and lust for revenge, turning him against Gerrard and his former clan. Vuel rallied up the neighboring clans to attack his former clan, slaughtering everybody in their path. Gerrard managed to escape, but Vuel swore his revenge against him.

Vuels ego and lust for power grew with each passing day. He eventually used Starke’s portal and went to Rath, joining the Phyrexians. He was given the name Volrath and the position of evincar. He also became a shapeshifter and the master of flowstone.

After this he started to enact his revenge on Gerrard. He plotted and executed the kidnapping of [c]Captain Sisay[/c] and lured the Weatherlight over to the plane of Rath, where his own ship, the Predator, would ambush them. This plan ended up failing, even though Volrath managed to obtain Karn and the Legacy artifacts.

Gerrard managed to survive a fall down to the Skyshroud Forest. Volrath knew this, and kept his eye on him, watching and waiting for him to come rescue Karn.

Volrath watched over Gerrard as he attacked the Stronghold. He managed to wound Gerrard’s crew-mates until only Starke and Gerrard were left. Volrath then confronted him, having Sisay and Takara under his control. Gerrard managed to kill who he thought was Volrath at the time. Volrath took the form of Takara before he went to confront him and had another shapeshifter take his form in order to trick Gerrard into thinking that he had been slain. Volrath stowed away on the Weatherlight before it left his Stronghold.

After they arrived in Mercadia, Volrath pitted each crew member against one another. Eventually, he took revenge on Starke and killed him. He was then attacked by Gerrard and was bested in combat. Gerrard then left his lifeless body to rot on the plane. Volrath was not dead, and went after the Weatherlight once more. He failed though, and he then retreated back to Rath, avoiding certain death.

When he went back to Rath, Volrath found that his throne as the evincar was being contested by Greven, Ertai, and Crovax. With the aid of Ertai, Crovax ended up beating Volrath in combat and took his place as evincar. During Corvax’s ceremony, he was given the honor to kill Volrath, who was now stripped of his Phyrexian name and augments. Crovax injected him with a vial of flowstone, which destroyed him from the inside out. The last thing he saw was the sky of his home plane of Dominaria.

Volrath’s card perfectly encapsulates him at his peak of power. His ability to discard a creature to give him +X/+X, where X is the creatures CMC, is really powerful. This allows you to one shot any opponent with “general” damage. He is an extremely powerful general and is a great discard outlet for you to fuel your graveyard with fatties and bring them back with reanimation spells. Let’s take a look at what we can do with this shapeshifting master.


I wonder what his life would have been like if Starke didn’t poison him.

[d title=”Volrath, Master of Death (EDH)”]


1 Volrath the Fallen


1 Cabal Coffers

1 Crypt of Agadeem

1 Everglades

1 Evolving Wilds

1 Lake of the Dead

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

28 Snow-Covered Swamp

1 Terramorphic Expanse

1 Volrath’s Stronghold[/d]



1 Avatar of Woe

1 Bloodghast

1 Bloodsoaked Champion

1 Champion of Stray Souls

1 Doomed Necromancer

1 Draco

1 Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief

1 Duplicant

1 Geth, Lord of the Vault

1 Grave Titan

1 Gray Merchant of Asphodel

1 Hell’s Caretaker

1 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

1 It that Betrays

1 Lord of the Void

1 Magus of the Coffers

1 Massacre Wurm

1 Nirkana Revenant

1 Overseer of the Damned

1 Pack Rat

1 Platinum Emperion

1 Rune-Scarred Demon

1 Sepulchral Primordial

1 Sheoldred, Whispering One

1 Solemn Simulacrum[/d]



1 Betrayal of Flesh

1 Doom Blade

1 Entomb

1 Go for the Throat

1 Hero’s Downfall

1 Insidious Dreams

1 Malicious Affliction

1 Murderous Cut

1 Reckless Spite

1 Shallow Grave

1 Slaughter Pact

1 Tendrils of Corruption


1 Buried Alive

1 Chainer’s Edict

1 Damnation

1 Dread Return

1 Exhume

1 Living Death

1 Night’s Whisper

1 Reanimate

1 Sign in Blood

1 Zombify[/d]



1 Animate Dead

1 Dance of the Dead

1 Necromancy

1 Oversold Cemetery

1 Phyrexian Reclamation


1 Caged Sun

1 Extraplanar Lens

1 Gauntlet of Power

1 Gilded Lotus

1 Grimoire of the Dead

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Sol Ring

1 Thran Dynamo

1 Whip of Erebos


1 Liliana Vess


This deck is here to play with the grave. It can power out an [c]It that Betrays[/c] as soon as turn two, and can start hard casting these large monsters later in the game with the myriad of ways to double our mana generation. It pulls no punches and will shut any player down immediately if need be. This deck is all about raw power and doesn’t care for much else. Your opponent is going to die whether they like it or not.

The main win condition for this deck of course is Volrath. With a hand full of large creatures, Volrath turns into a must-answer threat. Your opponent will be met with a swift demise if he goes unchecked. Being able to discard a [c]Draco[/c] to kill an opponent on the spot with general damage is great. You can also get your creatures back if you decide to go all in with Volrath with [c]Phyrexian Reclamation[/c]. This card pairs so well with him since you’re able to reload your hand with fatties to go after the next player. If any player gets out of hand at the table, you can shut them up right then and there with a one hit KO.

Outside of winning via general damage, we have what you would expect out of a reanimator deck. We have our ways to get our fatties into the grave such as [c]Pack Rat[/c], [c]Insidious Dreams[/c], [c]Entomb[/c], and [c]Buried Alive[/c]. [c]Pack Rat[/c] is especially effective. If somebody decides to nuke our grave with a [c]Rest in Peace[/c], we can just go on with the [c]Pack Rat[/c] plan. We can bring back our monsters via [c]Reanimate[/c], [c] Animate Dead[/c], [c]Dance of the Dead[/c], and a few others. These will allow us to threaten our opponent with a titan out of nowhere and immediately change the board state in our favor.

The biggest issue with this deck is the same with any graveyard-based deck. If somebody decides to deal with the grave with [c]Rest in Peace[/c] or [c]Grafdigger’s Cage[/c], its going to be a lot harder for us to win. We will either have to lean a lot more on Volrath getting there, or just start hard casting these titans. Its a good thing that we have many ways to accelerate our mana with [c]Cabal Coffers[/c], [c]Extraplanar Lens[/c], [c]Gauntlet of Power[/c], and a few others.

This deck has been a powerhouse in testing. I honestly don’t think I dropped a single game while working on it. It’s ridiculously powerful and really fun to play if you like utilizing your graveyard. For any player looking to play with the grave or just kill people in one fell swoop, this is the deck for you.

Thank you for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions, like always, please let me know in the comments below.

Next week, we slay the world. See you soon my friends.

-Steven Gulsby