Show of Feast and Famine #14 The Cycle Continues

We are back again from our aggravating and unplanned summer hiatus. Since Steph is MIA, hopefully temporarily, I managed to dig up a flavor durdle and the amazingly insightful Igor Farkas. Both guest hosts hail from a much less awesome cast who clearly stole our name but they’re still cool people.

Now I hope you’re prepared for the pseudo-essay of show notes all about the Swarm guild of the endless cycle, the Golgari. And just ask Jackson, Igor, or Steph, in a well planned episode show notes are usually this long or longer, enjoy.

Old Golgari: The old Golgari embodied the endless cycle of life and death. Technically according to the original guildpact the golgari sort of function as a soup kitchen for the guildless. Because the Golgari function on the endless cycle of life and death they are able to produce huge amounts of cheap food even from the rot of Upper Rav’s expensive food.

The Golgari are the largest guild in Ravnica drawing from humans, the Devkarin (dark elves), Teratogens, and plant zombies. The bodies of the many dead of the City plane all join the swarm as zombies or plant zombies.  The Devkarin are a very strong race of elves though they’re quite sinewy and very pale; they also have a natural affinity for magic even at a basic level. Most Devkarin are either hunters, tracking the remaining beasts through old Rav or they become Shamans like Savra, the short lived queen of the Swarm. The Teratogens are a wide variety of semi sentient to fully sentient non-humanoid creatures including but not limited to harpies, gorgons, and other such pseudo humans.

The guild is the most cyclical both in its nature, expansion, and even in its leadership. the Parun was the God Zombie, holding the undead element as the ruling foaction, Svogthos who was tricked and over throne by the sisters of the stone death, pushing the Teratgens to top dog until Svogthos was rebuilt by Savra and attempted to claim rule again but was immediately usurped by Savra who was quickly surpassed by her brother Jarad, placing the Devkarin as the most powerful faction in the guild at the time of and following the Decamillenial.

The original golgari mechanic is dredge.

Dredge is a static ability that only functions when a creature with dredge is in the graveyard and says “whenever you would draw a card you may instead place the top N cards of your library into the graveyard and put this card into your hand, otherwise, draw a card.”

This ability mostly focused on the black side of Golgari, instead of embracing the guild’s cyclical nature it was incredibly one sides, putting cards into the graveyard, either to recur them or to return specific cards.

New Golgari
Planeswalker’s guide to Golgari

The guild has not changed largely since the events of the original ravnica block, though due to Jarad’s leadership, insects, which he has always had a natural affinity for, now play a larger part in the guild’s forces; likely leading to the change in the guild symbol.

The guild is mostly the same factions it used to be but the Undead have shifted a bit. Fungal zombies are now a bitter more common than “true zombies” relatively decreasing the intellect of newly named Lotle, though the faction is now lead by the necromancers controlling the horde. Over all the Lotleth in gtheneral feel under appreciated as they’re mostly considered slaves, laborers, or second class citizens by the rest of the guild, but as with most proletarians, they’re the most numerous faction.

The Street Swarm is also a fairly new faction, at least in that it only recently was named. The now numerous and empowered Devkarin favor a policy of expansion, the street swarm is their tool. This legion forms small gangs all over the city, sowing seeds of decay into areas the golgari don’t control while sowing the seeds of growth in those that have decayed completely. They’re a vital tool that allows the golgari to quickly expand into new areas and keep their endless cycle of life, growth, death, and decay flowing endlessly.

The mechanic for the new Golgari embraces the color combination better than the old though it will not likely ever reach the competitive highs of it’s predecessor. Scavenge is recognized as “flashback for creatures” (pay N mana: Exile this creautre from your graveyard and put a number of +1/+1 counters equal to this creature’s power onto target creature. Play this only as a sorcery.

Your Host(s): Stephen Rogers
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