This is a guest post from /u/Jacksonor, and is the first guest post on the site! He mentioned a few unique decks and I wanted him to talk about Rakdos, Lord of Riots. Anyway, on with the article.
Ladies, gentlemen, and everything in between – the party has arrived. Please allow me to introduce the big man himself:
Much like the always stylish mullet, Rakdos is all business up front, with a party in the back. Before we get to the fun, let’s take care of brass tacks, shall we?
Rakdos, Lord of Riots is a 6/6 Legendary Demon with an unusual limitation.
Even without his main attraction, Rakdos has a lot going for him. He is (very) aggressively costed and comes with evasion AND trample – because there is no kill like overkill. However, all great things come at a steep price and Rakdos negotiates up front. If you’re just sitting around sipping cocktails and indulging in “conversation” Rakdos won’t come to your party. The big bad demon only attends “fun” parties.
A “fun” B/R party means that players are taking damage and are very likely to take more.
If you want to play Rakdos, you have to also play things that can deliver pain to your opponents early. If you’ve gotten in the red zone early enough, the big man can arrive right on turn 4. If Rakdos arrives on the scene in time, things are going to get out of hand fast.
While kicking things off with a bang is great, you need to sustain that momentum if you want to have a chance of recovering if Rakdos is tossed off the board early.
Here’s a few cards that bring pain, enough pain to share lots with your friends:
- Blind Zealot
- Bloodgift Demon
- Cunning Sparkmage
- Mogis’s Marauder
- Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
- Pulse Tracker
- Punishing Fire
- Purphoros, God of the Forge
- Spiteful Returned
- Stuffy Doll
- Vampire Nighthawk
Blind Zealot, is one of our creatures that populates the curve that leads into Rakdos. A 2/2 for 1BB, he can easily get in for damage due to having Intimidate. And if they had a potential blocker, he can also kill off that creature by sacrificing himself.
Mogis’s Marauder gives at least one of your creatures intimidate and haste when it comes into play, and maybe even more.
Pulse Tracker and Spiteful Returned both make opponents lose life without actually hitting anyone.
Vampire Nighthawk, as always, is a really fantastic creature with 3 abilities for 1BB.
Bloodgift Demon, Cunning Sparkmage, Hellrider, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Purphoros, God of the Forge and Stuffy Doll all get to deal damage right to people’s faces without going through all the obnoxious effort of attacking. They can be counted on to allow repeated castings of Rakdos without having to risk themselves by attacking.
Stuffy Doll also has some sadistic synergies with two of this deck’s favourite enchantments: Pestilence and Pyrohemia along with Punishing Fire are even more reliable than the last group of threats because they are obnoxiously hard for opponents to get rid of. The twin enchantments also act as excellent doormen for your little celebration, keeping out unwelcome guests until the time is right to deal with them properly.
Now that we have squared away the business end of things and covered how to convince Rakdos to attend your party; it’s time for things to get rambunctious.
Rakdos doesn’t like to party alone – he wants his giant friends to come along as well. To make it easier to fit his favorite fatties on the guest list, Rakdos ensures that every point of damage that is dished out to opponents makes your giant creatures cheaper.
Fun Fact of the Day: Giant creatures are great in EDH.
- Abhorrent Overlord
- Artisan of Kozilek
- Bogardan Hellkite
- Inferno Titan
- Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
- Massacre Wurm
- Myr Battlesphere
- Rune-Scarred Demon
- Sepulchral Primordial
- Soul of New Phyrexia
- Wurmcoil Engine
Kozilek, his Artisan, Myr Battlesphere, Soul of New Phyrexia, and Wurmcoil Engine are all excellent because they come down for free with enough damage and all help stabilize your board position in one way or another.
Rune-Scarred Demon, Sepulchral Primordial, Massacre Wurm, Inferno Titan, Bogardan Hellkite, and Abhorrent Overlord are also excellent fatties that help you stabilize and, more importantly, impact the board immediately; even if your opponents boot these guys from the party early, they get their chance to leave a lasting impression.
Abhorrent Overlord and Myr Battlesphere deserve special mention for the times they show up right after their main-man Purphoros. Dealing 10 to each opponent’s dome at once is brutal, but effective.
Lastly, when you’re throwing a kick-ass box social like this one, you need some sweet decorations:
- Exquisite Blood
- Wound Reflection
- Vedalken Orrery
Exquisite Blood, Wound Reflection, and Pandemonium are all ways to make sure you trash the board before anyone else has a chance to enjoy themselves. Any of these three enchantments can let you run away with the game if they are left alone.
Vedalken Orrery is an all-star. No matter who is beating on who, you get the chance to show off the beef hiding in your deck. “End of turn, cast Kozilek” is one of the sweetest sentences you can say while playing Magic.
So, that leaves us with this lovely skeleton list:
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Artisan of Kozilek
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Soul of New Phyrexia
Take this list, add in your favourite removal, tutors, and good stuff, and you will have the recipe for one hell of party. Rakdos is here and it’s time you got down with the clown.