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Budget Commander: Volrath Voltron Reanimator | $50, $100

Hey friends, welcome back to Budget Commander! The latest set, Phyrexia: All Will Be One is prereleasing this weekend so I figured I'd capitalize on the hype by making this week's budget brew focused on a Phyrexian: it's Volrath the Fallen!

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

What? You were expecting a new Phyrexian commander? I guess I could do that, but trust me, dear reader, this oldschool commander is still a blast to play decades later and is a surefire bet to impress playgroups!

Voltron Reanimator

Volrath the Fallen is a severely underrated commander (ranked #997 on EDHREC) that fills a unique role of supporting both Voltron and Reanimator strategies, providing the deck with lots of flexibility and resiliency to ultimately win the game.

As a Voltron commander, Volrath can effortlessly 1-shot opponents thanks to his 6 starting power and his ability to pump his power further by discarding creatures. In fact, Volrath the Fallen can straight-up 1-shot anyone by discarding just a single Draco or Shadow of Mortality to deal 21+ commander damage in a single swing!

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Voltron hits very hard but his key weaknesses is a lack of evasion and haste, so we can fix both those issues with cards like Mask of Griselbrand and Fleetfeather Sandals to get evasion going with added bonuses!

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Discarding these huge mana value creatures sets up our second theme of Reanimation, a Mono Black specialty: cards like Victimize, Ever After, and my personal favorite, Strands of Night, can put the huge beaters we discarded with Volrath directly on to the battlefield! Why yes, I would like to reanimate Pathrazer of Ulamog and Baleful Force for a fraction of their mana cost, thank you!

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Some creatures actually want to be in the graveyard to benefit from them, such as Daring Fiendbonder and Scavenged Brawler to pump Volrath further, or cards like Elvish Dreadlord and Rakshasa Debaser reanimating themselves. Or maybe we return cards to our hand to discard again with Soul of Innistrad, or exile them to drain life with Dread Defiler!

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There are TONS of really cool and unique cards that are especially good in Volrath the Fallen, like drawing high mv cards off Protection Racket, Myojin of Grim Betrayal able to return all discarded cards back to our hand, and Essence Harvest able to 1-shot an additional opponent when we pump Volrath!

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$50 Deck List

The $50 list plays a bit slow, looking to hit land drops for the first few turns, ramp a little, maybe get an equipment like Chariot of Victory out. We have a higher number of board wipes than my average (7 here) to compensate for the lack of speed and let us catch up to the board. Then we drop Volrath the Fallen and start dishing out the pain, ideally 1-shotting an opponent. We use our reanimation to get back Volrath when he dies or any of our discarded fatties to keep the pain train chugging along!

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$100 List

Doubling the budget allows us to pick up better discard fodder with cards like Pathrazer of Ulamog and Shadowgrange Archfiend, but most notably we can start speeding up our game plan with better ramp: I love the mana doublers in Mono Black so Nirkana Revenant, Crypt Ghast, and Bubbling Muck are huge pickups!

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Further Upgrades

Here are some ideas if money is no obstacle (or you have the cards already):

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Next Up: All Will Be One!

Okay okay, I'll get to the new stuff next week! Which hot new commander is deserving of a budget treatment? Let me know in the comments section below!

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