Forgotten Harvest - Muldrotha Voltron

(Muldrotha, the Gravetide | Art by Jason Rainville)

Such a Chimichanga!

Another two weeks have passed, which means it's time for Forgotten Harvest. This time, I'm focusing all my hyper-underplayed skills on tackling another request from a reader, and I have to say this one was a bit of a challenge! A big thank you to @rowenwolff for daring me to take on the ever-popular commander Muldrotha, the Gravetide paired with a Voltron package.

I know this may sound unconventional, but as many of you know from my article on Kurkesh, unconventional is what we're all about here at Forgotten Harvest! As with any Voltron-style deck, the name of the game is going to be granting evasion and packing on mass buffs to our commander. The key will be abusing Muldrotha's recursion ability to turn her into a real chimichanga turn after turn.

While it's very tempting for a Voltron to focus on a particular card type like artifacts or enchantments, Muldrotha benefits most from a balanced approach. With optimized diversity in our permanent types, we are allowed more recursion each turn, inevitably leading to a bigger commander.

Another contributing factor in deck design is prioritizing those cards that have a built-in sacrifice effect, so they can then be recast and re-buff our commander. We can use slots for Claws of Gix-type cards to sacrifice our permanents and recast them if absolutely necessary, but on the whole, I opted instead for more self-contained sacrificers, peppering in only a few additional cards to help get things in the bin. You may find that a different balance works for you. As always, I encourage you to build your own version of this deck using the cards you enjoy tapping and untapping.

Now, let's see how a Muldrotha Voltron deck actually works.

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge

Some of my first inclusions were the Spellbombs from Scars of Mirrodin. The least-played of the three is Flight Spellbomb, coming in at 133 decks. My research here revealed some fairly limited options for granting evasion while still fitting Muldrotha's theme, so flying is about the best that can be hoped for here. Another instance of this, Illuminated Wings, sees play in only 8 decks, and also draws you a card when sacrificed. I'm still torn on the amount of evasion to include, and I might need to go back and add more options, even if they're not on-theme. Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments, especially if you give the deck a try.

Providing some safety for our juggernaut is Shielding Plax. Played in 294 decks, this hexproof-granting enchantment also replaces itself, making for some great hijinks when combined with a sacrifice outlet (see Greater Harvester below). I think the protective nature of this enchantment is something Muldrotha can greatly benefit from, as she makes for a pretty big target.

Though it doesn't count as an underplayed card, Plaxmanta is another option for protecting our commander. While the flash is a bit of a "non-bo" with Muldrotha, I still see value in being able to cast Plaxmanta, before combat but after buffs, to keep her safe in the red zone from the likes of Condemn and other combat tricks. And there's no way I'm spending any green mana on Plaxmanta, so it's coming back turn after turn.

+3/+3 For Days

I don't know what it is about this color combination, but I kept running into pump effects based on sacrifice which give +3/+3 until end of turn. The simplest of these is the classic Seal of Strength. Seen in only 36 decks, the repeatable nature of this card when combined with our commander can mean some big combat phases for us. I've also included Seal of Doom and Seal of Removal to help remove pesky blockers, but those cards already get enough love in other decks.

When @rowanwolff first proposed the deck, the card Llanowar Augur (57 decks) was mentioned as a good inclusion. And yes, this card is an all-star! Much like Seal of Strength, this card does its best impression of Giant Growth on the way to the bin, but it also grants a very relevant trample ability as well.

I liked the idea of Llanowar Augur so much, in fact, that I also opted to include the blue card from the Augur cycle in Future Sight: Aven Augur. It sees play in even fewer decks (only 21), but it can help repeatedly clear the way for our commander to get through. This whole cycle is great when mixed with recursion, and these cards are very underplayed right now.

Cunning, probably my favorite find for this theme, only sees play in 18 decks right now. The Aura seems tailor-made for this kind of deck. It pumps our baddie +3/+3, sticks around until after combat, then drops off only to be cast again. While I'll admit this card would be even better if I had gone in the Enchantress direction with Muldrotha, I still think it has a good home here, essentially functioning as a second Seal of Strength.

The Evoke mechanic plays great with Muldrotha, as can be seen from her page on EDHREC. Of course Mulldrifter and Shriekmaw made the deck, but I also included the hyper-underplayed Briarhorn, despite seeing play in only 122 decks. A great option to Giant Growth each turn, I can see its numbers going up in the near future, especially with all the Elemental tribal cards coming out in Core 2020. I can't wait for those!

From the ranks of Llanowar Reborn and Earthen Arms, Afiya Grove does something I've rarely seen on another card: it's a noncreature that enters with +1/+1 counters on it. The enchantment slowly doles out its three counters to the creature(s) of your choice, sacrificing itself when its counters are spent. Only seeing play in 51 decks, I'm surprised that more Proliferate decks don't run this card.

Supporting Creatures

We've covered a lot of the buffs for our commander, but haven't really gotten into the support cards which help to glue the deck together. First on my list here is Greater Harvester. This card, in 35 decks, just needs some sweet evasion to regularly get through and start removing opponents' resources. And the "downside" is actually a bonus in this deck, where we can use Muldrotha to recast all those sacrificed permanents again. There's nothing sweeter than binning Stitcher's Supplier each turn to keep the Harvester alive while watching the graveyard fill up with all kinds of options.

While we're on the subject of self-mill, Wood Sage is definitely a pet card of mine. It allows you to dig for that one spell you need, and also fills the graveyard with the scraps. With Muldrotha on the field, a whiff from Wood Sage can actually be a blessing! It's only used in 86 decks right now, but Tamiyo, Collector of Tales seems to think the ability is very relevant.

Another option for self-mill that can be tough to fit into a deck is Avenging Druid. I've been looking for a home for this card for a while, a deck where I don't really care what cards go into the bin. But, despite only seeing play in 88 decks, this looks to be a perfect home for it. The Druid is an excellent target for an early-game Flight Spellbomb, or you can feel free to swing in willy-nilly knowing that Muldrotha can bring it back onto the battlefield later on.

Finally, as with any Voltron deck, it's important to include some Plan B options should our commander become incapacitated. My first pick for this role is Vorosh, the Hunter. With the option to grow its power and toughness by six each time it connects with an opponent, coupled with native flying, the Dragon is a great second option to Muldrotha. But for a far more underplayed option, please consider Fungal Shambler (21 decks). This loamy devil gives you a great trigger on connection, and has trample to help force that combat damage through. While it will put your opponents on a longer clock, it may be advantageous to keep the key ability granting you so much card advantage and all your buffs separated.

Enough jank, here's the full list:

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

Such a Non-Traditionalist

Thanks for reading this edition of Forgotten Harvest. I hope you enjoyed my crazy take on a fairly straightforward commander. What are some other non-traditional directions to take popular commanders? Are there any hyper-underplayed graveyard-based cards you'd like to see featured? Lastly, I have a question for you, a question I've been asking myself recently (unrelated to Muldrotha, the Gravetide): what are some commanders that haven't really found their archetype yet? I absolutely love suggestions from readers, and try to fit them in as soon as I can. Let me hear your thoughts in the comments section. See you all next time!

Midwest transplant to the Pacific Northwest, Kyle has been playing the jankiest of decks for nearly 20 years. He loves non-lethal combos, obscure deck themes, Cloudstone Curio, and winning with Coalition Victory. When he's not tapping lands or brewing decks, Kyle is enjoying his other ridiculously expensive hobby: building with Lego.

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