Welcome to the third article for Garbage Fire Generals! In this article, I’ll be analyzing one of the least popular Mono Black Commanders – Veldrane of Sengir.
Sometimes, you just look at something and think “exactly how are you useful, at all?”
Thus we get to Veldrane of Sengir, our Mono Black Garbage Fire General, and…yegh. Veldrane comes from that early time in magic when landwalk was important and legendary creatures could be overcosted mana dorks. I decided to do a little more research on this card than usual and…yep, Homelands.
The Cards I Guess
Alright, so the first thing I thought of was Skulk. Veldrane makes himself itty bitty in the power department with his ability. There are a few Skulk cards in mono black, namely Skeleton Key to help us out.
Now the thing is, Veldrane gets forestwalk with his ability. This is neat and narrow in application. Why forestwalk? Why couldn’t it make sense and be swampwalk? There are so many mono black cards that make everyone’s lands swamps. Mono black loves friends with swamps. Mono black doesn’t like turning things into boring forests.
Let’s do my favorite thing – make something that’s needlessly complicated. So we’ve got lands and land givers like Contested War Zone, Gauntlets of Chaos, and Rainbow Vale.
We’ve also got Herald of Leshrac who can take other player’s lands and give them back upon his death, which will probably be soon since players like their lands. Now we get things like Unstable Frontier to turn those lands into forests for the turn before handing them off to someone else. Mystic Compass will also turn lands into forests without needing all that stealing malarky.
Another, slightly easier way to go about this is just to staple Swampwalk on Veldrane with something like Leshrac’s Rite or Filth, then use Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth or Blanket of Night to turn everything into swamps. Because, really, forestwalk?
So that answers the question of making sure we use Veldrane’s abilities to make sure he can attack and get damage in for us. The next question is – why do we want that? I mean, Veldrane’s a seven drop 5/5. Today for that cost and those stats I can get a flying demon who makes a bunch of flying Harpies. Oh wait, sorry, I was wrong – Abhorrent Overlord is actually a 6/6.
But then you use his ability and he turns into a 2/5. That’s not much of an impact in EDH. If you consistently got his ability off, and he never died, you could kill one person in 11 turns. Your opponent’s probably already cast Derevi fifty times by that point. On the one hand, we could make him a voltron commander. But I’d rather focus on triggers revolving around Veldrane attacking and dealing combat damage, instead of maximizing the damage he can do.
Cloak of Confusion is a great way to force some discard, and you’re probably not going to miss two damage. Spiteful Returned adds some incremental life loss.
For artifacts/colorless, we can use Argentum Armor to make Little Eldrazi Veldrane, and Eldrazi Conscription to make Big Eldrazi Veldrane. Explorer’s Scope can be land ramp, same with Sword of the Animist. Captain’s Claws makes tokens you can sacrifice to one of black’s many goodstuff cards.
Anyway, that’s about all I can write on Veldrane. Sorry this article’s a bit of a disappointment, I really seem to have hit a wall…
Wait wait wait
He’s a ROGUE?
The (Roguishly Good Looking) Cards
I’m such a fool. The answer was Prowling right under my nose. Let’s get Stinkdrinker Bandit, Earwig Squad, Auntie’s Snitch, Noggin Whack, and Morsel Theft. All incremental, but all there for the value. Cloak and Dagger also just immediately gives Veldrane shroud. Frogtosser Banneret can make him a little cheaper. Throw in a few other great rogues like Gonti, Lord of Luxury. Add Conspiracy to turn everything that’s not a rogue into a rogue.
Ok, so now we actually have a direction for this deck. Let’s fill in up with goodstuff according to our budget – Decree of Pain, Sorin Markov, Grave Pact, Necropotence, Damnation and its cousin Toxic Deluge, Gray Merchant, Black Market, all the fun things.
For this deck in particular, I’d recommend a number of tutors, from Diabolic to Demonic, in order to search up the necessary equipment and enchantment pieces you’ll need to make Veldran useful. Any mono-colored deck would benefit from Caged Sun, but this deck can especially make use of it since it’s somewhat creature based.
That concludes this article. I hope that my deck analysis helps you build the Veldrane of Sengir deck you’ve always dreamed of. If this deck isn’t your style, there’s plenty more where that came from in the next article of Garbage Fire Generals.