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January 25, 2019

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Standard Deck Tech – Rakdos Aggro

This week I’m brewing a Standard Deck Tech for each of the five guilds from Ravnica Allegiance.

Today I’m brewing up a Rakdos Standard deck! There is only one choice for me when it comes to making a deck for the Rakdos guild and that is aggro, aggro, aggro! I want to deal as much damage as possible in as few turns as possible. Ravnica Allegiance helps bring some new cards to the aggro decks in the format and I think is the next iteration of aggro decks after the Mono Red deck we’ve seen in the past few months.

I want to start off with a list of cards from Ravnica Allegiance that I believe could be a good fit in the deck. These could include main deck cards and cards that would eventually end up in the sideboard.

Potential inclusions from Ravnica Allegiance:

Now that I’ve pulled out the best from Ravnica Allegiance, I want to turn my attention to the card pool from the rest of Standard. There are plenty of cards to choose from, so let’s see what potential cards I’ve come up with to put in the deck.

Potential Existing Cards from Standard

Now that I have a list of cards to choose from, it’s time to decide what goes and what stays. What I like to do first is break them down by their casting cost with creatures and noncreature spells separated. Let’s see how that breakdown looks below.

One-Casting Cost Spells

We want to have a bunch of one-drop creatures so that we can get off to an aggressive start and be able to activate Spectacle on a bunch of our cards. I went with a combination of Fanatical Firebrand, Footlight Fiend, and Ghitu Lavarunner. These are all great at getting in at least one point of damage if needed. Gutterbones just seemed a little too slow for the deck.

When it came to burn spells, it made sense to have the one-mana Shock to help us clear the battlefield and deal some cheap damage to the opponent.

Two-Casting Cost Spells

All three of the creatures seem like they would be a good fit for our deck. These provide both instant damage as well as some card selection and advantage with Rix Maadi Reveler. When it comes to noncreature spells, Lightning Strike is an obvious choice. The other two just don’t make the cut for this deck. When it comes to Flame of Keld I just believe there are better card advantage cards to be used in the deck.

Three-Casting Cost Spells

There are a few options for creatures at this point in the mana curve, and I decided to go with one that could deal some extra damage and one that could provide some card advantage. Midnight Reaper seems like a great choice for the deck with multiple cheaper creatures that could die during combat, giving you card advantage and replacing them. Judith, the Scourge Diva provides that extra reach and makes it harder for your opponent to trade during combat.

Theater of Horrors is a key to the deck, providing extensive card advantage like that of Experimental Frenzy. This allows you though to play card that you draw and occasionally ping your opponent for damage. Light up the Stage provides some more card advantage and allows you to cycle through your deck. A couple of Wizard’s Lightning work well for some more direct damage.

Four-Casting Cost Spells

The only four-mana creature I went with was the one that you hope only costs three-mana, Spawn of Mayhem. It can grow larger later in the game and pings your opponent for one mana each turn helping you activate your Spectacle spells. I decided against Experimental Frenzy and went in favor of Theater of Horrors for this deck.

Five-Casting Cost Spells

I didn’t think that any of the cards in this point in the mana curve would be great in this deck. With the card advantage cards favouring cheap costing spells, these could be stuck in your exile/hand and not be able to be cast.

Here are the lands that I could choose from for this deck:

Swamp, Mountain, Blood Crypt, Dragonskull Summit, Rakdos Guildgate

I want to play a lower land count in this aggro deck, but still want to have enough to take advantage of the card advantage cards we play later in the game. I decided on 22 lands with majority of the basic lands being Mountains as majority of our spells are red. The eight dual lands are a must to make sure we hit our two black mana if we need to for cards like Spawn of Mayhem.

Now that we’ve figured out what cards to use, its now time to build the deck! Here is what I came up with for quantities for the final deck list.

Rakdos Aggro

Creatures (22)
Fanatical Firebrand
Footlight Fiend
Ghitu Lavarunner
Rix Maddi Reveler
Fireblade Artist
Viashino Pyromancer
Judith, the Scourge Diva
Midnight Reaper
Spawn of Mayhem

Enchantments (3)
Theater of Horrors

Spells (13)
Shock
Lightning Strike
Light up the Stage
Wizard’s Lightning

Lands (22)
Dragonskull Summit
Blood Crypt
10 Mountain
Swamp

I like the direction this deck took. There’s plenty of damage, but also plenty of card advantage spells to make sure that the party continues throughout the game. Thanks again for reading this Standard Deck Tech on Ravnica Allegiance deck tech week. Join me again tomorrow for a new guild and a new Standard deck.