RNA Draft #1- Judith Priest (7-2)
**I drafted this deck again and went 7-2. If you want to see me play some matches with it check out the video link above. In the video before that you can see me draft the deck as well**
I actually have a two for one this time because I had an opportunity last night to draft an archetype I had success with (7-2) last time Ravnica Allegiance was on ranked draft. While I unfortunately ended up 5-3 last night, two of my matches looked like this:
So excluding the floods I was 5-1. I do think this deck would go 7 wins most of the time, and if you see Judith and/or Priest this article is meant to help you build around them.
My recent iteration of this deck consisted of 15 creatures, 9 spells, and 16 lands
Keep in mind 3 of those spells are actually creatures (Goblin Gathering). The idea of the deck is to flood the board with cheap creatures that are difficult to block and maximize the value you get out of them. Obviously Judith, the Scourge Diva and Priest of the Forgotten Gods are both great payoffs for having lots of expendable creatures. But I was also sure to include other cards that would add to the overall synergy of the deck.
Goblin Gathering on its own is not a very good limited card, even in multiples. But with sufficient payoffs for the extra creatures the card becomes pretty great. Fireblade Artist is a card that really flourishes in this type of deck as well, as he is another outlet for excess creatures if you don’t draw your bombs. Once your opponent has their defenses in place you just start throwing your creatures at them, and with Judith, all of them are worth 3 damage (Footlight Fiends are even worth 4). Orzhov Enforcer is always great, but shines even more here since your opponent must trade something better than a 1/2 to block him, and then he spits out a creature that is worth a lot more in this deck than on average. Carnival is great for extra removal, and Carnage Mode gets some solid damage in while eliminating some defenses against your threats. Priest is always decent, but in this deck she is an absolute bomb. Even against creature decks, the extra cards you are drawing from her can force your opponent to sacrifice 4+ creatures in extended games. Against decks that only play Thrulls and Chillbringers, she is devastating. Especially since those sort of decks typically play Lawmage’s Binding for removal, which doesn’t stop her whatsoever.
Removal is very good in this deck for clearing the way for your creatures. Skewer is priority removal as it can go to the face as a finisher and 3 damage kills most creatures in this format. Scorchmark is less of a priority, but shines against Imperious Oligarch (a card that really frustrates the gameplan of this deck). There are also several 3/2 creatures in this format that Scorchmark can take out. Plague Wight matches up really well against Oligarch, and trades with 3/3’s if they decide to block it. Footlight Fiend is also difficult to block, since he trades with 2/2’s. Fiend is also great ammo for Fireblade Artist or Priest, since the extra damage can hit anything. Blade Juggler is an essential card in any Rakdos deck, and keeps the threats coming. Finally, Bladebrand is a way to ensure your creatures never have to stop attacking without losing any card advantage. Some cards like Undercity Scavanger or Bankrupt in Blood also become pretty solid in a deck like this, since there are a lot of things you won’t mind sacrificing. Otherwise, there are several Red/Black/Rakdos creatures that simply help fill in your curve. Having a low, tight curve is probably the most important aspect of drafting Rakdos.
This deck is a lot of fun, and very powerful. It can curve out and win the game in 4-5 turns if your opponent is slow on the draw. At the same time, the synergy at play in this deck can provide multiple ways to win even after your opponent stabilizes. It is important to mulligan this deck pretty aggressively if you draw a hand where you don’t have any plays until 3rd turn, for example. I am not super high on Rakdos in general, but I do think if you see Judith or Priest early this is an archetype well worth drafting.