Yarok, the Desecrated

Published February 14th, 2020

It’s a deck tech for a Legendary Elemental and I’m so ecstatic because that’s my favorite kind of Commander! Yarok, the Desecrated can be described as a Panharmonicon on legs with Deathtouch and Lifelink. Unlike Panharmonicon, it triggers off of any permanents entering the battlefield, not just artifacts and creatures. It’s not too difficult to figure out why two triggers are better than one but let’s go through a list and see what fun we can have.

//Commander (1)

Yarok, the Desecrated

//Creatures (24)

Baleful Strix
Bloodghast
Coiling Oracle
Deadeye Navigator
Elvish Visionary
Eternal Witness
Farhaven Elf
Fierce Empath
Lotus Cobra
Mulldrifter
Oracle of Mul Daya
Palinchron
Phantasmal Image
Prime Speaker Zegana
Risen Reef
Solemn Simulacrum
Tatyova, Benthic Druid
Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
Titania, Protector of Argoth
Ulvenwald Hydra
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
Venser, Shaper Savant
Wall of Blossoms
Woodland Bellower

//Lands (38)

Bayou
Bloodstained Mire
Bojuka Bog
Breeding Pool
Cavern of Souls
Command Tower
Creeping Tar Pit
Drowned Catacomb
Fetid Pools
Field of the Dead
Flooded Strand
Forest x2
Hinterland Harbor
Island x2
Marsh Flats
Misty Rainforest
Overgrown Tomb
Polluted Delta
Reflecting Pool
Scalding Tarn
Snow-Covered Forest x2
Snow-Covered Island x2
Snow-Covered Swamp
Strip Mine
Sunken Hollow
Swamp
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Verdant Catacombs
Watery Grave
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Woodland Cemetery

//Artifacts (12)

Arcane Signet
Chromatic Lantern
Commander’s Sphere
Conjurer’s Closet
Crystal Shard
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Panharmonicon
Sensei’s Divining Top
Skullclamp
Sol Ring
The Great Henge

//Planeswalkers (2)

Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Nissa, Vital Force

//Enchantments (5)

Abundant Growth
Animate Dead
Guardian Project
Necromancy
Omen of the Sea

//Sorceries (7)

Cultivate
Damnation
Demonic Tutor
Flood of Tears
Kodama’s Reach
Ponder
Preordain

//Instants (11)

Brainstorm
Chord of Calling
Cryptic Command
Cyclonic Rift
Fact or Fiction
Force of Will
Mana Drain
Mystic Confluence
Pull from Tomorrow
Remand
Vampiric Tutor

Synergies

Risen Reef: Being an elemental, Yarok will trigger Risen Reef twice no matter the order the two come into the battlefield. There is a similar effect on Coiling Oracle but with a few elementals, you’ll quickly be loaded with triggers.

Woodland Bellower: An absolutely amazing tutor for this deck that curves with Yarok. With an additional search trigger, you can find 2 creatures who will each trigger twice giving you 3 bodies with 4 payoff effects. Even if those effects are card draw from Wall of Blossoms and Elvish Visionary, that’s 4 cards, a 6/5, and some extra bodies for one. Is that a 7 for 1? It’s just a such great utility creature.

Combos

Palinchron: Just with Yarok and 7 lands, it’ll generates infinite mana. Commonly paired with Deadeye Navigator which then allows you to Soulbond to something else for infinite enter the battlefield effects but there’s even more options: Phantasmal Image, Panharmonicon, or any mana doubling effect will do (or mana tripler, looking at you Nyxbloom Ancient).

Eternal Witness + Flood of Tears: A combo with Eternal Witness isn’t the most surprising and I overuse it with Temporal Manipulation along with other Time Walk spells there is a need for a way to recur it with other combos. With bounce spells, such as Flood of Tears, that will allow you to bring Eternal Witness back to hand and replay it. A fun way to repeatedly clear the board and reuse your resources.

Theme Options

I had to choose one way to build the 100 card deck but that meant, as usual, a lot of things hit the cutting board. Now this list could go on and on but I’m going to point out some of the ones that interested me.

Elemental Theme: With Risen Reef and Yarok why would I not want to cram in as many Elementals with enter the battlefield triggers as I could? Going off of the generals creature type would also allow the usual tribal support cards and make proper use of Path of Ancestry.

Extra Turns: I am enabled to finish games through infinite turns much too often with Sultai decks. My favorite seems to be chaining Season’s Past plus a tutor and extra turn effect. All pieces function very well on their own, At worse, an extra turn is an Explore.

Lands Theme: Usually left to Jund decks but with Yarok doubling the Dread Presence and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth combination. Adding in Cabal Coffers and Dryad of Ilysian Grove just makes Scapeshift comboing your opponents that much easier.

Artifact Theme: All the extra value by adding in our Gearhulks and Tr- Mages. From equipment to combo pieces the artifact theme has a ton of options and if you just end up with infinite mana there’s always sinking it into Urza, Lord High Artificer

Death and Tokens: Things die, mostly tokens, and with additional enter the battlefield triggers you can end up with a ton of options to sacrifice to all sorts of things. If you’re going wide in with tokens it’s also helpful to have things to boost them to overrun your opponents with. Craterhoof Behemoth will do just nicely, but again, double triggers make things bigger.

Toolbox Creature Options: Whether for fun or for utility, you can find piles upon piles of useful creatures you could play. Even after a whole decklist and several theme options with different cards, I could fill this section several times over. So many effects in the game are enter the battlefield abilities so take your picks and have fun tuning the decks.

Summary

Yarok enables you to extend the value of average cards or pretty much break some already incredibly powerful cards. It can function very well with certain themes or just in general as a Sultai value deck. As a Commander, a creature like Yarok can helm all sorts of powerful decks or just support janky home brews with enter the battlefield synergies. Besides the extra trigger, just having a decent toughness creature with Deathtouch and Lifelink is helpful both offensively and defensively. It’s another one of my favourite kinds of Commanders that allows all sorts of themes and deck styles as there is no one way to build a deck like this. If you like lots of triggers and value then Yarok may be a good Commander choice for you.

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Article by Cascade.Cascade

The editor-in-chief and creator of Command Beacon. They started playing Magic during the Scars of Mirrodin block and hasn’t been able to stop since.

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