Rakdos Theorycraft Decks – Throne of Eldraine Standard

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Rakdos is a fan-favorite color combination comprising of the aggressive nature of red, and the resilience of black. On the surface, it can look like an one-dimensional aggressive color but it offers a surprising level of depth. We covered Gruul and Golgari in the last two days of Throne of Eldraine Standard and here we combine some of the strengths from these two guilds.

Before Throne of Eldraine, the short-lived Standard 2020 format was actually dominated by Rakdos piloted by various pro players, with the deck claiming the Twitch Rivals and Fandom Legends tournaments. The key components of the deck come from the big, black creatures supported by black’s diverse removal suite.

We can also explore the ever-popular Aristocrat style deck with these colors, based on sacrificing your own creatures for damage and value, a Knights tribal deck and even a more controlling version.

In Throne of Eldraine, the key cards to be introduced are Murderous Rider and Bonecrusher Giant (yet again). They act as both spells and creatures on one card, and is less situational removing the need for removal spells in the main deck and leaving more room for aggression.

Rakdos Aggro

This is the main Rakdos archetype we expect to perform the best in the metagame. We have access to the new haste creatures, which provide a lot of value. Robber of the Rich can often give us the card advantage the deck needs (in addition to cards like Castle Locthwain). Rankle, Master of Pranks give you the choice to hit your enemy where it hurts them the most – remember, you can choose more than ability and it will resolve in the listed order on the card.

This version of Rakdos Aggro is by Martin Juza, who adopted it from his builds that was successful in the Standard 2020 tournaments.

4 Gutterbones (RNA) 76
8 Mountain (ELD) 265
4 Knight of the Ebon Legion (M20) 105
4 Dreadhorde Butcher (WAR) 194
10 Swamp (ELD) 261
4 Robber of the Rich (ELD) 138
4 Spawn of Mayhem (RNA) 85
2 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
4 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245
1 Castle Locthwain (ELD) 241
4 Rotting Regisaur (M20) 111
3 Rankle, Master of Pranks (ELD) 101

4 Duress (M20) 97
3 Experimental Frenzy (GRN) 99
2 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
3 Legion's End (M20) 106
3 Noxious Grasp (M20) 110

Rakdos Knights

Knights is the new Vampires, and while three colors has access to some strong cards, we believe the two color version will work the best due to the painful manabase we have at the moment. We will cover the Orzhov (white and black) another time, but Rakdos has access to some great cards that we can use to our benefit and connect to some fast victories.

This version of Rakdos Knights is originally theorycrafted by Andrea Mengucci, Magic Pro League Player.

3 Steelclaw Lance (ELD) 202
4 Blacklance Paragon (ELD) 79
4 Knight of the Ebon Legion (M20) 105
4 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97
4 Midnight Reaper (GRN) 77
4 Stormfist Crusader (ELD) 203
4 Smitten Swordmaster (ELD) 105
2 Embercleave (ELD) 120
4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245
4 Tournament Grounds (ELD) 248
7 Swamp (XLN) 269
4 Mountain (XLN) 273
4 Fervent Champion (ELD) 124
4 Foulmire Knight (ELD) 90
2 Castle Locthwain (ELD) 241
2 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239

4 Duress (M19) 94
1 Fry (M20) 140
3 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
4 Experimental Frenzy (GRN) 99
3 Noxious Grasp (M20) 110

Rakdos Aristocrats

Aristocrats is a deck archetype focused on sacrificing your creatures for damage. Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven is a perfect addition to this deck as it allows you to loop them over and over if needed. In combination with the core shell involving Priest of Forgotten Gods and Mayhem Devil, we can do a lot of things here – kill them aggressively or stall until you can get a sacrifice engine going.

The new Rakdos Aristocrats deck for Throne of Eldraine adds Witch’s Oven and Cauldron Familiar as an additional sacrifice engine.

4 Knight of the Ebon Legion (M20) 105
4 Swamp (ANA) 63
4 Witch's Oven (ELD) 237
6 Mountain (ANA) 64
4 Gutterbones (RNA) 76
4 Priest of Forgotten Gods (RNA) 83
4 Dreadhorde Butcher (WAR) 194
4 Heartfire (WAR) 131
4 Mayhem Devil (WAR) 204
4 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame (M20) 126
2 God-Eternal Bontu (WAR) 92
2 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239
4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245
3 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244
3 Castle Locthwain (ELD) 241
4 Cauldron Familiar (ELD) 81

4 Duress (M20) 97
3 Legion's End (M20) 106
4 Noxious Grasp (M20) 110
3 Chandra's Triumph (WAR) 121
1 Tibalt, Rakish Instigator (WAR) 146

Rakdos Midrange

m20-127-chandra-awakened-inferno

This is our last Rakdos variant deck. Midrange decks are probably not in the best spot in the new Standard, but as the meta settles it can get better over time. Chandra, Awakened Inferno is a great finisher and board wipe so it is definitely worth looking into.

This is a slower version of Rakdos that leverages on removal and bigger creatures.

4 Dreadhorde Butcher (WAR) 194
4 Knight of the Ebon Legion (M20) 105
4 Spawn of Mayhem (RNA) 85
3 Rankle, Master of Pranks (ELD) 101
4 Skarrgan Hellkite (RNA) 114
2 Bedevil (RNA) 157
4 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
2 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239
3 Castle Locthwain (ELD) 241
2 Chandra, Awakened Inferno (M20) 127
6 Mountain (GRN) 263
6 Swamp (GRN) 262
4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245
4 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244
4 Robber of the Rich (ELD) 138

3 Noxious Grasp (M20) 110
2 Chandra, Awakened Inferno (M20) 127
2 Command the Dreadhorde (WAR) 82
3 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
2 The Elderspell (WAR) 89
3 Duress (M19) 94
4 Gutterbones (RNA) 76
4 Spawn of Mayhem (RNA) 85
4 Dreadhorde Butcher (WAR) 194
4 Knight of the Ebon Legion (M20) 105
4 Rotting Regisaur (M20) 111
4 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97
3 Rankle, Master of Pranks (ELD) 101
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
4 Robber of the Rich (ELD) 138
2 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245
10 Swamp (XLN) 269
8 Mountain (XLN) 273
1 Castle Locthwain (ELD) 241

3 Experimental Frenzy (GRN) 99
2 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
4 Duress (XLN) 105
3 Legion's End (M20) 106
3 Noxious Grasp (M20) 110

Wrapping Up

Rakdos looks to be another strong contender to become a tier one deck, possibly replacing Mono Red Aggro as the aggressive deck of choice as it is affected by the abundance of bigger creatures that it cannot push through. The other archetypes involving the sacrifice strategy is also a viable option with the addition of the Cauldron Familar and Witch’s Oven loop. These decks are definitely worth watching and refining over the next week or two.

Make sure to check out our decks section for all the up to date Throne of Eldraine Standard decks, and as always you can follow us on Twitter to keep up to date on all our guides and find us at our Discord server to discuss the latest Throne of Eldraine format.

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