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Golgari Swarm

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The Golgari Swarm is a guild from the plane and city of Ravnica.

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The Golgari believe strongly in the necessity of death as a part of life. The guild is home to Ravnica's topmost necromancers and consists of a myriad of undead creatures. The Golgari regularly annex abandoned regions of Ravnica, and their territorial expansion has been compared to the growth of a fungus. The Golgari's role in the Guildpact is to manage waste and provide free food to Ravnica's poor, grown in massive underground farms. Food grown here is typically consumed only as a last resort (the farms are fertilized by dead creatures and excrement). The food may be of questionable origin, but the Golgari take pride in being able to clearly show that they are not exclusively devoted to death: they are, at heart, dedicated to life.

Also known as: The Swarm

Guild Leader: Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord. Previously contested, the Sisters of Stone Death, a trio of gorgons who claimed oracular powers, lead the guild until the dark-elf shaman Savra, Queen of the Golgari challenged them, though she was later killed. Also, rumors abound that the legendary necromancer Svogthir, founder of the guild and "God-Zombie", was never destroyed. Savra's brother, Jarad, became the guild leader by the end of the Ravnica novel.

Champion: Varolz, The Scar Striped

Parun: Svogthir, the legendary necromancer. Revered by the Golgari as the god-zombie. Svogthir has existed since before the creation of the Guildpact. He has been thought to be dead several times within the book series, but always seems to return somehow. It is believed that he is also the most powerful necromancer in the entirety of the multiverse.

Guild Hall: Svogthos, the Restless Tomb. Once an Orzhov cathedral, Svogthos has been so twisted by Golgari magic that it actually came to life! It is believed that every time the centre of Golgari territory shifts, Svogthos moves to the new centre spot.

Values: Power through growth. The Golgari grow by folding the dead into the ranks, as well as through occasional minor incursions into new territory. In game a Golgari player can use his graveyard as well as his deck to play, as many Golgari creatures will not stay dead for long if you don't want them to. However, a Golgari deck needs to have a relatively large number of cards in it as many abilities which take cards out of graveyards put others in.

Structure: A predatory organism with many predators within it. Intelligent subgroups of the guild (a race of elves known as the Devkarin, and the Teratogens, or gorgons) struggle for control. The guild lacks general structure, and except for the guild master and his immediate council, there seems to be no ranking. Leadership of the guild belongs to whoever can take it.

Golgari society is organized into colonies, which function as cooperatives where all members work together in the cycle of life and death which the guild exists on. They may be populated with humans, elves, zombies mobile plants and giant insects, all working together. These colonies provide food, soldiers and employment for the guild and much of the undercity. In their day to day function the colonies function with a degree of independence, expanding and working at their own rate, and organizing with the guild as a whole to fulfill grand objectives.

Goal: The Golgari seek to lift their guild up from the bottom. They are rather self conscious of the fact that the over city guilds look down on them, but take solace in the fact that they will all reach the under city eventually. Their position has lead the Golgari to be a guild of the lowly and left behind. As a result of their ambition the guild has been willing to participate in consipacies with the Dimir. 

Colors: Green and Black

Featured Set: Ravnica: City of Guilds

Signet: Golgari Signet. Their Signet is an insect's head with two snakes circling it. The mandibles on the insect represent that the guild uses both life and death as weapons against its enemies. The snakes represent the Golgari cycle of life, death and rebirth. This symbol reflects the ancient symbol of the Ouroboros as well as the modern symbol for Recycling.

Artifact: Plague Boiler

Gameplay Mechanic: Dredge and Scavenge. Cards in the graveyard that have dredge can be returned to their owners hand by removing cards from the top of your deck and putting them into your graveyard (aka milling) anytime the player draws a card. Doing this replaces the draw. Cards that have scavenge have the ability that when they go to the grave yard you may put a number of1/1 counters on another creature equal to their "printed" amount of toughness not including other 1/1 counters on it.


Guilds of Ravnica


Azorius Senate Mana W Mana U
Boros Legion Mana R Mana W
House Dimir Mana U Mana B
Golgari Swarm Mana B Mana G
Gruul Clans Mana R Mana G
Izzet League Mana U Mana R
Orzhov Syndicate Mana W Mana B
Cult of Rakdos Mana B Mana R
Selesnya Conclave Mana G Mana W
Simic Combine Mana G Mana U


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