I'd apologize to Vanilla Ice, but I have a feeling I should be apologizing to Vorel.
Recently I played in a "bad rare draft" at Friday Night Magic. If you have never played in one of these, you should beg your local game store (or kitchen table group) to dedicate a night to one. For this draft, each player brings in 45 of the worst rares they own. They are turned into the tournament organizer that verifies their rarity, shuffles them into a single rare pool and then breaks the pool into 15 card packs. Cards are then drafted normally. Its goofy fun and the worst cards win in the most spectacular of ways. Of course, "bad" is relative term when describing these cards.... Some people have a smaller collection to pull from, some buy the 45 cheapest rares from ChannelFireball, while others just pull from a pile of "fifth rares" they have had sitting in their collection. The point is not all "bad rares" are created equal and you can usually "trade up" (from your point of view). When I cracked my first "bad pack" poor old Vorel of the Hull Clade was staring me in the face. I windmill slammed him into my hand and built a pretty dangerous "+1/+1 counters" deck. It was so much fun to play that I knew I had to build a deck around him and EDH seemed to be the way to go. With a week or two of research and deck brewing, this is the result.
Vorel's ability is straightforward - for one green and one blue mana you can tap him to double the counters on any one artifact, creature or land. So this is what we are going to be exploiting with this deck. To really turn on Vorel's engine it's important to have a way to use the ability more than once per turn, so we are going to include a suite of cards that will untap him. There are a ton of choices here that will get the job done, but here are three of the best in Vorel's colors. Minamo, School at Water's Edge is a "free slot" - as a land it doesn't take up any extra room in your deck and it doesn't even come into play tapped. Thousand-Year Elixr is a cheap, colorless choice and Kiora, Master of the Depths is great because you can also untap a land while building loyalty. Speaking of loyalty counters, it's worth noting that Vorel's ability can't target a planeswalker. If you are running Vorel as your commander and you prefer a "Super Friends" build throw Liquimetal Coating into your deck to get around the restriction.
So we can trigger Vorel and double counters, what now? How about adding an extra counter to everything. The "Proliferate" ability does just that - and we should pack our deck with cards that trigger this. It is crazy value when you get a large board presence. Here are four of the best choices. Contagion Clasp is a perennial EDH favorite. Cheap to cast it gives you a way to proliferate every single turn without worrying about an enters the battlefield effect. Fuel for the Cause... What's better than countering an opponents spell? Countering their spell and proliferating. This card can be quite the swing if timed properly. Contagion Engine is the big brother to Contagion Clasp. While it is waaay more expensive to cast it proliferates twice for the same cost. Finally Inexorable Tide is the ugliest of our quartet. It says, "Hey, let's just proliferate every time we cast anything. All four of these are rock stars in a Vorel deck and you should run all four since none of them are particularly spendy to acquire.
We're doubling and we're proliferating. What could we possibly be missing. How about gas. With the low casting cost of the entire deck (it comes in at an average converted casting cost of 3.02), we need to keep up a fast pace to contend with opponents running the huge, splashy creatures and spells. Lucky for us Vorel brings a bunch of his Ravnican friends to the party that do just that. Fathom Mage - This girl is a house. Evolve throws counters on her in the early game and proliferate and Vorel help her out after she begins to accumilate the counters. Zameck Guildmage can trigger an additional counter on creatures coming into play, but he shines late game. Pulling seven counters off a creature and refilling your hand for 14 mana is a thing that can actually happen with this deck; and with some regularity. Bred for the Hunt gives you a card for successful combat damage. None of these are too shabby. Run all three, and then as a bonus throw Prime Speaker Zegana into the mix for crazy late-game shenannigans.
This is fair warning. This deck draws lots of cards. No... like twice as many as that - I mean a lot. Remember to include a few cards that allow you to hold more than seven cards at a time. Reliquary Tower is a must... Just get the promo with the good art and not the terrible one that is on every other printing of the card.
Last but not least - include this beautifully designed card by Mark Rosewater. It is a bit spendy, but this card turns the deck up to 11. Yep, Doubling Season does just what you think and it's worth every penny if you are running a Vorel build.
So that's the highlights of my Vorel EDH build and should get you going if you decide to create your own version. As always, if you want to see the full list you can find it right here on Tapped Out. One more thing.... Invest in a lot of dice. You are going to need them! Enjoy the deck!
This article is the third of an ongoing series of articles focusing on Elder Dragon Highlander. If you enjoyed it, check out "Coldeyes." and "Elder Dragon." to catch up.