10 Underplayed Gems for The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride

10 Underplayed Gems for The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride | Commander

Kristen GregoryCommander

The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride is the latest version of The Gitrog Monster, showing up at Thunder Junction ‘cos he’s feeling a bit peckish. Gitrog has always been a deck based around value and lands, and the latest offering is no different. Kristen has uncovered some hidden gems that are currently very underplayed.


The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride immediately makes me concerned for Thalia’s whereabouts – anyone else? At five mana for a Trample Haste 6/5, it’s looking very likely to get through provided it doesn’t eat removal, and let me tell you: this hungry frog doesn’t discriminate, he’ll be eating it. 

The value comes in the saddle ability, which is honestly pretty absurd. You get to draw a bunch of cards and ramp a bunch, setting you up for a huge turn. While you might immediately think “Kura, the Boundless Sky?!”, just note that Gitrog’s ability will resolve all at once, putting the dies trigger on the stack after you put a bunch of lands into play. So still good, but not the wombo-combo you might think.

Naturally, you’ll want to be searching for creatures you can curve into Gitrog, and Strixhaven delivers. While reanimating bigger bodies is definitely doable, you’re asking for a lot to go right before you drop Gitrog; best have some options that naturally curve out.

Magical-Christmas-Land is, of course, Yargle and Multani, but it’s better to shore up your gameplan with other consistency and lines to make sure you eat well. Speaking of which, let’s look at some cards that EDHRec says nobody is playing… and if they are? Well, guess this article helped. 


10. Druidic Ritual

Druidic Ritual is a solid roleplayer, and one that kinda goes under the radar, being a recent common. It’s partly because GB has a history of fantastic value commons like this.  What sets Druidic Ritual apart is that it grabs you both a creature and a land back to hand, and that the mill is optional. This makes it great if you’re on the Splendid Reclamation/Mending of Dominaria plan to get lands to the bin, but also great if you’ve surveilled or scryed and want to keep something on top, at which point its the rate of an Eternal Witness for two cards.


Gitrog certainly has a soft spot in his underbelly, where a well placed blade would pierce his heart. Defending it is a good idea, and Defense of the Heart helps us enable our gameplan in an extremely mana efficient way. You’re not losing to other midrange decks, you’re losing to go-wide. Defense evens the odds by giving you two tutored creatures into play, provided you can untap with it. In Golgari this could be anything from Yargle and Multani and… Multani, to Collector Ouphe and Butcher of Malakir

Another one along these lines that’s pretty great is Threats Undetected, as your creature power in the deck will naturally be all over the place. 


Golgari doesn’t get Fling, but if it did, it would look something like this. Rite of Consumption has won me countless games at this point, mostly recently in a Carmen BW deck. Here, it’ll help you keep your life total shored up while giving you an out to burn someone in the face. It’s another way to profit off of the Yargle and Multani or Lord of Extinction you’re playing. Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord is another version of this effect, but this goes under the radar for way less mana.


When you’re playing OTJ Gitrog, big creatures are going to be dropping into your yard constantly. Not just yours and your yard, though – opponents might be saddled with the decision on whether to block, and removal might fly around the table. You might even sacrifice your Gitrog in response to exile removal. In all of these scenarios, Grim Return can lift a lot of weight. What I like most about it is that the creature will come back end of turn if you wait until the end step, allowing you to dodge more sorcery speed removal or board wipes. 


Most Gitrog decks will include actual Selvla, Heart of the Wilds, because mana and card draw. They’ll also opt for the new Ghalta, Stampede Tyrant in order to empty their hand after filling it ravenously. I really like Selvala’s Stampede here as another effect. This card is at its best when you can play mind games, and in a deck that draws this many cards, opponents will be left uncertain which vote is correct. This’ll be especially good if you draw a big hand from saddling and end up with mostly interaction and dorks, because they’ll likely vote wild just incase you have a handful of bombs. At which point, you’re quids in. 


What’s better than instant speed protection? Instant speed protection that sticks around. It baffles me why this card isn’t on EDHRec yet, given how much Gitrog is likely to ramp, making four mana easy to achieve. It gets a lot better, too, if you run sac outlets that gain +1/+1 counters, like Carrion Feeder


Speaking of sacrificing, how about Momentous Fall? You’re not always going to get to snackrifice your chonkers, because they’ll either eat removal, or Gitrog will. Throwing this down in response gets you the cards you’d have gotten anyways, plus a nice bit of lifegain to keep you topped up. Sometimes you’ll also just draw your Daemogoth Titan and be pretty behind on cards, and this can help propel you back into things. Those 11 cards might get you an Animate Dead or Grim Return anyways. 

I can see why Altar of the Wretched is in lists, but this should be too. 


Commander nowadays is all about those big, swingy plays. Doing them for as little mana as possible is generally advised, as that’s what can make cards great – just look at Blasphemous Act. Spoils of Blood is an oldy that I think deserves another look. For just one mana, you can bounce right back after a boardwipe. Depending on where you are in the turn order, the Horror Token could well be enough to just end a player right there and then. If it isn’t, it can be fed to Gitrog for a very low investment and get you right back in the saddle. 


Speaking of value plays, I really like Windswift Slice in a deck like this. You’re playing some really top-heavy beaters, and so any fight spell that “tramples” is worth a look, despite Golgari having access to “better” removal than fight/punch spells.  Blockers are just good, and if you can also feed them to a sacrifice outlet like the aforementioned Carrion Feeder to get a swole guy ready to mount the frog, then all the better. 


I think a lot of people skipped over Battles for Commander, owing largely to being lazy about tracking them. If you can be bothered, however, I think Gitrog, Ravenous Ride is a deck made for Invasion of Shandalar. Grabbing three permanents back for five mana is solid, and you’ll easily be able to pay it in a big mana deck like this. 

Your Commander has Trample, so flipping it over shouldn’t be a problem. When you do, you get access to the best part of Court of Bounty: getting to drop a permanent card into play on your upkeep, for free. Given you’re drawing so many cards from Saddling, there’s no doubt you’ll have plenty of monsters ready to drop into play, or an enchantment like Greater Good that would ordinarily eat a counterspell. 


The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride is a really fun take on Golgari value, and I’m excited to play it myself. These ten cards are thus far flying a little under the radar, and I think they can bring the deck a lot of synergy and power. Which will you add? Got a hot pick of your own? Let us know on X