Temple of Triumph (Block Constructed)Rakdos aggro

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Valdarith
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Rakdos aggro

Post #1 by Valdarith » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:37 pm

There is a block constructed tournament being hosted at my LGS Sunday and I'm free that night so I was inspired to build a deck specifically for that tournament. I've been testing Rakdos aggro on MTGO and have finally found a list that I'm pretty happy with. I honestly feel favored in almost every matchup with this deck, the one exception being Golgari aggro/midrange which is pretty unfavorable in game one.

[deck]
Creatures (30)
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Rakdos Cackler
3 Legion Loyalist
4 Ash Zealot
4 Spike Jester
3 Rix Maadi Guildmage
3 Boros Reckoner
2 Hellhole Flailer
3 Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch

Spells (8)
4 Mizzium Mortars
4 Dreadbore

Lands (22)
4 Rakdos Guildgate
4 Blood Crypt
2 Godless Shrine
10 Mountain
2 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
4 Mugging
2 Electrickery
1 Ultimate Price
3 Auger Spree
2 Act of Treason
2 Toil / Trouble
1 Slaughter Games
[/deck]

At this point I feel like
the creature curve is right where I want it to be. The only real sources of contention now are whether I should run the full set of Godless Shrine and whether I want Act of Treason or another card in the side. I've been doing fine on 2 Godless Shrine as that gives me 20 land that can cast Reckoner, plus running 2 Swamp gives be a better chance of not shocking myself for the inevitable aggro mirror.

Many of the creatures in this deck may be familiar to you from their presence in mono red, but I'll touch on the ones you may not be used to seeing:

Spike Jester - sets us up for huge turn two openings. Hitting a Cackler or Denizen turn one nets us five damage right out of the gate. That can be extremely difficult for any deck to recover from.

Rix Maadi Guildmage - this chick is an ALL-STAR. She gives us a way to plow through midrange strategies and allows us to not overcommit on the board against decks running sweepers. She's a great card to see in midrange matchups as she can shrink blockers to the
point where they flat-out die to our first strikers or trade at the worst. Case in point: Lotleth Troll, perhaps the biggest threat to this deck, is VERY cold to this card.

Hellhole Flailer - a two-of in the deck to compliment the Boros Reckoners in the three drop slot. Can't complain with a 4/3 for three, and he synergizes well with Exava. He also gives us a source of reach for the late game.

Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch - a powerhouse. Many decks will have trouble dealing with a 4/4 hasty first striker.

Dreadbore - one of the best reasons to be running black. Unconditional removal and can also kill planeswalkers. One of the problems mono red has is a weakness to midrange strategies. This card makes those matchups much more reasonable. It's also a fine answer to Boros Reckoner, another card that mono red has trouble dealing with.

Auger Spree - an excellent sideboard card that's particularly handy against Boros Reckoner and Lotleth Troll.

Ultimate Price - a one-of in my sideboard that I bring
in against mono red or Golgari to deal with Deadbridge Goliath.

Toil / Trouble - this card is MONEY against Esper control and Maze's End.dec. I have used this on multiple occasions to hit for 6-7 on turn three or finish my opponent off by fusing it late game. This is my pet card and I love it.

Slaughter Games - that's a nice Sphinx's Revelation you got there. It'd be a shame if something were to happen to it...

OTHER CARDS TESTED / CONSIDERED:

Civic Saber - there are so many multicolored creatures here that this card can pack a mean punch. I've tested it and while it is good in the late-game, it can often result in a troubling tempo loss early on. The cards in this deck are powerful enough on their own that I've determined Civic Saber to be unnecessary.

Rakdos Shred-Freak - early on I was running a faster deck with fewer guildgates and no Boros Reckoner, so I couldn't reliably cast Ash Zealot. I was running this card instead, and it was okay, but ultimately I determined that I'd rather
just go with Ash Zealots and run a full set of gates along with a couple of Godless Shrine to run Reckoner as well. As a consequence, the deck isn't as fast, but it's much more powerful and the net result was a better deck for the meta.

WHY YOU SHOULD RUN THIS DECK

Unlike mono red, almost every card in this deck is powerful on its own, with the exception being the one drops. This deck topdecks much more favorably than other aggro strategies and runs a removal suite that is only matched by Golgari, which is an unfavorable strategy in the current Block meta anyway. Perhaps the best reason to run this deck is the sideboard options. Auger Spree is a fantastic answer to many cards in the format and are basically Mortars and Dreadbore numbers 9-11, with the added benefit of dealing with Lotleth Troll and Boros Reckoner easily. Against mono red we side in all our removal and take out our Denizens, Loyalists, and Guildmages. By playing control, we can overwhelm our opponent with powerful creatures that they
cannot trade favorably with. Against Maze's End were are much too fast and powerful for them to deal with most of the time. Against Esper control we just sit back with a couple of creatures and force our opponent to answer them with a board wipe. Azorius Charm is only good against half of our creatures since so many of them have first strike, and post board Toil / Trouble can create huge blowouts from an unsuspecting opponent.

While Golgari decks are being pushed out of favor due to the presence of so many control decks in the format, they do pop up from time to time and we can have a hard time dealing with them. Their removal suite is just as good as ours and deals with Boros Reckoner favorably. Our mainboard removal is cold to Lotleth Troll and only Rix Maadi Guildmage can interact with it favorably. Deadbridge Goliath is out of reach of Mizzium Mortars and our opponent can scavenge it later on, making it extremely difficult to answer. Postboard, however, we are much more prepared against the deck
since we can bring in Auger Spree, Ultimate Price, Act of Treason, and even Slaugher Games if we're feeling loose.

Basically, you'll want to run this deck because you like being highly favored in a couple of matchups while having a good game against pretty much every other deck in the meta, especially post board. I've been playing this deck for the past week and I honestly feel confident in every matchup I've faced so far. It's a very rewarding deck to play and has a much broader decision tree than most aggro decks have, but is still pretty unforgiving if you make even a couple of suboptimal decisions (as many aggro players are used to).
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Post #2 by Ilbandguy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:08 am

I really think you have something here. I have been testing all day in the MODO Tournament Practice Room and it has been doing a bang up job. The only games I have lost have been due to flood and one odd game with no removal. I apprecaite teh analysis you have written. What I love is the way the deck runs post board against various matchups. The way you can just drop into a control role against a faster aggro deck makes it a lot of fun. I have lost one game today post board against the Golgari decks. I really like this deck and hope something comes of it in standard post rotation. That might be asking too much but it is so much more fun than the R/G Aggro I am running in Standard right now.

I would note that I am not running Godless Shrine in mine, in favor of two more swamps. Have yet to have an issue with getting RRR for Boros, but oddly enough, there have been a couple times where Ash Zealot didn't come down
when I needed her to.

My favorite game, which is one I came out on the loosing end of, was T2 Voice, T3 Voice. Even drawing removal, I couldn't keep up.

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Post #3 by Valdarith » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:04 pm

Ilbandguy » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:08 pm wrote:I really think you have something here. I have been testing all day in the MODO Tournament Practice Room and it has been doing a bang up job. The only games I have lost have been due to flood and one odd game with no removal. I apprecaite teh analysis you have written. What I love is the way the deck runs post board against various matchups. The way you can just drop into a control role against a faster aggro deck makes it a lot of fun. I have lost one game today post board against the Golgari decks. I really like this deck and hope something comes of it in standard post rotation. That might be asking too much but it is so much more fun than the R/G Aggro I am running in Standard right now.

I would note that I am not running Godless Shrine in mine,
in favor of two more swamps. Have yet to have an issue with getting RRR for Boros, but oddly enough, there have been a couple times where Ash Zealot didn't come down when I needed her to.

My favorite game, which is one I came out on the loosing end of, was T2 Voice, T3 Voice. Even drawing removal, I couldn't keep up.


In running two Godless Shrine I encountered one game where I could not cast Boros Reckoner for a long time, but it was a game that I was sitting on three land for 8 turns and one of them was a Swamp. Definitely not something that is going to occur often.

Flooding can be a problem with no Rix Maadi Guildmage on board. He's basically the Stonewright of Block Constructed, only much more flexible at the expense of being more mana intensive. I'm actually considering adding a fourth to the sideboard. She's just so good in a lot of matchups.

Golgari is trouble for this deck, but again, postboard makes it much more manageable. This is one of those matches where the
fourth guildmage would be money.

Similarly, GW aggro is a problem for the deck. Voice is impossible for us to deal with profitably, and if they can get a Wurm token out on curve and we have no Dreadbore or guildmage out we have a tough game ahead. Auger Spree is good here to fight Unflinching Courage shenanigans postboard. I also don't mind boarding in Slaughter Games naming Advent of the Wurm. I did this once and it was a game-assuring move.

Compared to Gruul aggro in Standard, I'm inclined to agree that this is more fun to play. I happen to play an 18-land version of Gruul aggro on MTGO and it has a lot of variance. With this deck there are many more keepable hands because the cards are so powerful on their own.

Honestly, after playing many games with this deck, I'm ready to snap up as many extra Exavas, Dreadbores, and Mizzium Mortars I can find. I get the feeling these cards are going to be staples after rotation, especially Exava. She'll basically be the new Falkenrath Aristocrat to
Standard.
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Post #4 by Ilbandguy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:58 pm

I couldn't agree more with your thoughts. I am in the process of buying all of teh cards IRL. Playsets to be exact, maybe more depending on the prices.

Maybe you can explain something to me. I stopped playing after the first Ravnica block and came back about 2 months ago. We I played before, I never saw singletons in the sideboard. Today, I see them all over the place. What is the rational behind this? I always thought if your were boarding in cards, you wanted a reasonable chance of seeing them.

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Post #5 by Valdarith » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:35 am

Singletons are good for cards that you'll only be boarding in at very particular matchups. Ultimate Price will only come in against mono red and maybe Golgari. Slaughter Games is a card I NEVER want to see two of and only comes in against Esper control or maybe Golgari ora Selesnya if I'm on the play.
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Post #6 by Ilbandguy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:48 am

So it isn't about seeing that specific card as it is about threat density. Instead of four cards that are good in this matchup (mb) we take one bad card out and add the singleton, thus increasing the threat density with 5 good cards in teh matchup. It isn't a card you have to see, but a card that adds to the overall game plan. Am I stating that correctly?

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Post #7 by Valdarith » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:54 am

Ilbandguy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:48 pm wrote:So it isn't about seeing that specific card as it is about threat density. Instead of four cards that are good in this matchup (mb) we take one bad card out and add the singleton, thus increasing the threat density with 5 good cards in teh matchup. It isn't a card you have to see, but a card that adds to the overall game plan. Am I stating that correctly?


It's more complicated than that. A lot of the time the sideboard is a package deal. For instance, against mono red I will always bring in 4 Mugging, 2 Electrickery, 1 Ultimate Price, and 3 Auger Spree and take out 4 Foundry Street Denizen, 3 Legion Loyalist, and 3 Rix Maadi Guildmage. The singleton Ultimate Price helps round out the package so I don't have to keep a card in the deck
that's suboptimal.

The same can be said of the Maze's End matchup. Our deck is already favored here, so there's not much we want to take out. Putting in 2 Toil / Trouble and 1 Slaughter Games allows us to take out the playset of Mizzium Mortars that is usually dead in this matchup since the deck runs no creatures. We can put in one Act of Treason in case they try to next level us by boarding in a creature (for instance, the green Gatekeeper that gains 7 life if you control two gates is big game against us, and is a decent sideboard option since they may anticipate us boarding out removal).
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Post #8 by Valdarith » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:39 pm

I played my deck in a block constructed daily event today, going a disappointing 2-2. I went 2-0, 1-2, 2-0, 1-2.

Match 1 vs Esper Control: CRUSHED this guy. I lost the roll. He was running the typical Nightveil Specter/Sin Collector/Precinct Captain/Blood Baron list, but I was too fast for him in game one. In game two, I snap kept a hand with three land, a Jester, a Cackler, a Dreadbore, and Slaughter Games. He made a loose keep on a two land hand and didn't hit land three until turn four. This was to my advantage as I opened with Cackler and Spike Jester. He bounced the Jester (wrong move) with Far/Away and I replayed Jester with another in hand. He had to Azorius Charm my Cackler on his fourth turn since he was on three land still. I figured that if he had made such a loose keep he had to have at least one Supreme Verdict in hand, and since he was short on land drops I decided to cast Slaughter Games naming Supreme
Verdict instead of the Flailer I just top decked. His hand was Verdict/Verdict/Revelation/Revelation/Detention Sphere/Azorius Charm. Ballgame. 2-0 win.

Match 2 vs Junk Valroz: this deck shouldn't exist due to the prevalance of control in this meta, but whatever. I win the roll (my only roll win of the day). He opens with a tapland and passes. I have an insanely fast hand and open up a can of whoopass. I see nothing in the first game so I put him on some sort of midrange plan, so I bring in only Act of Treason and a couple of Auger Spree from the board. Game two, he opens with two Experiment One and Voice of Resurgence, which suprises me. Then he gets out Valroz and that's pretty much game because I never draw my Auger Sprees. Game three I bring in the third Auger Spree, some Mugging, and Electrickery. I have a fairly quick opener and am doing well until he topdecks an Unflinching Courage to put on his Valroz. Pretty unlucky here. 1-2 loss.

Match 3 vs Boros Blitz: CRUSH this guy too. I lose the roll,
and he opens rather quickly, but I have answers to everything he plays. He tries removing some of my more threatening cards such as Ash Zealot but he has no way to interact with my Boros Reckoner and I eventually overwhelm him with higher quality cards. Game two I take out the Denizens, Loyalists, and Guildmages and bring in the removal package. This game was closer since he was able to get off a clutch Boros Charm but I still had Ash Zealot and Boros Reckoner on the field after and once again he had no answer. 2-0 win.

Match 4 vs Mono Red: Perhaps the match in which I should be most favored, this match did not go my way. I lose the die roll and he nut draws me. Game two I bring in the entire removal package despite being on the play and 1-for-1 him until I overwhelm him in card quality. Game three he spits out his hand quickly and I start 1-for-1ing him but he starts topdecking Firefist Strikers and Legion Loyalists like crazy and I start topdecking lands so that's that. 1-2 loss.

So overall I felt
like the deck should have at least gone 3-1 but I did not have the best luck today. Upon further reflection I may want to split the Mugging/Electrickery package to 3-3 and consider adding a fourth Reckoner mainboard. Also, if I am go to run into more decks running Valroz and friends, I may need the fourth Auger Spree. My matchup against Esper seems so good that I think I can take out Toil / Trouble to make room for some of this stuff.
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Post #9 by Valdarith » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:44 pm

[deck]
Creatures (30)
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Rakdos Cackler
3 Legion Loyalist
4 Ash Zealot
4 Spike Jester
3 Rix Maadi Guildmage
3 Boros Reckoner
2 Hellhole Flailer
3 Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch

Spells (8)
4 Mizzium Mortars
4 Dreadbore

Lands (22)
4 Rakdos Guildgate
4 Blood Crypt
2 Godless Shrine
10 Mountain
2 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
3 Mugging
3 Electrickery
1 Ultimate Price
1 Boros Reckoner
4 Auger Spree
2 Act of Treason
1 Slaughter Games
[/deck]

What I'm thinking of doing with the sideboard. Could add a slot for Rix Maadi Guildmage as well. She's money in the Golgari matchup. I would do it if I can free up room for a fourth Reckoner in the main. Being able to sac the Flailer has won me a couple of games and his four power makes me reluctant to remove him.
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Post #10 by Valdarith » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:25 pm

Well, I got lucksacked again at the block constructed tournament last night, putting me at 2-2 for the night. Both of my match loses were 1-2. My pairings were terrible and the field was almost exclusively midrange strategies that my deck has a hard time handling.

[deck]
Creatures (30)
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Rakdos Cackler
2 Legion Loyalist
4 Ash Zealot
4 Spike Jester
3 Rix Maadi Guildmage
3 Boros Reckoner
3 Hellhole Flailer
3 Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch

Spells (8)
4 Mizzium Mortars
4 Dreadbore

Lands (22)
4 Rakdos Guildgate
4 Blood Crypt
2 Godless Shrine
10 Mountain
2 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
3 Mugging
2 Electrickery
2 Dynacharge
1 Legion Loyalist
1 Ultimate Price
3 Auger Spree
2 Act of Treason
1 Slaughter Games
[/deck]

Match one was against Selesnya and I won the roll and blew him out quickly in game one. Game two I had to mull to six and kept an average hand but he was able to get out a
couple of wurm tokens and play Voice turn two before that then flood the field with little guys and eventually win. Game three I mull to five and keep a one-lander with all two drops and never see a land for the next five turns.

Match two is against Selesnya again but a more budget version. I blow him out both games with very fast hands.

Match three was against Golgari with a red splash for Gore-Clan Rampager as well as postboard Dreadbore. Game one I crush him with a fast hand. Game two he draws all the removal and wins on the back of Deadbridge Goliath. Game three I open fast again and he throws down a Deathrite Shaman and Lotleth Troll on turn three, leaving him with no open mana. I have Rix Maadi Guildmage and two Cacklers on the field. My turn four hand is Dynacharge, Mizzium Mortars, Boros Reckoner, and I THINK Auger Spree with him at 12. I think I make a misplay here by not using Auger Spree on the Lotleth Troll, but then again I'm not certain I had it because it seems like I would have played
it if I did. I swing with everything. He blocks the Guildmage with the Lotleth Troll, and I decide to overload the Dynacharge to put him at 4. He plays the Goliath next turn and I play Reckoner and pass. He plays Desecration Demon and passes. I Mortars the Shaman and he gains two life in response. I swing with Reckoner to put him at 3 life. Of course he topdecks Putrefy next turn, then scavenges the turn after for lethal.

I stick around for match four since I loaned some cards to a couple of friends. I end up crushing a Boros deck for consolation.

If not for the misplay I may have won the third match, which would have put me against a solid Boros deck for match four which I would have been slightly favorable in. Nevertheless I have a hard time placing the local meta here. It's much different than online. I feel like I tune my decks for tier one strategies and then everyone ends up bringing decks that absolutely fold to the MTGO meta but do well against me. I attribute that to me not getting out much.
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Post #11 by Valdarith » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:02 pm

I've decided to make a few changes to the deck in anticipation of participating in DEs.

[deck]
Creatures (29)
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Ash Zealot
4 Spike Jester
3 Rix Maadi Guildmage
3 Boros Reckoner
4 Bloodfray Giant
3 Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch

Spells (8)
4 Mizzium Mortars
4 Dreadbore

Lands (23)
4 Rakdos Guildgate
4 Blood Crypt
2 Godless Shrine
11 Mountain
2 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
4 Mugging
2 Electrickery
2 Legion Loyalist
1 Ultimate Price
3 Auger Spree
2 Act of Treason
1 Slaughter Games
[/deck]

Did a few trial runs with it last night and it performed well. I've been right in every matchup, even the less favorable ones. I'm actually considering playing two Gift of Orzhova in the sideboard now that I'm going with a more powerful curve. I've had times where I really wanted the evasion and lifelink, especially after an Unflinching Courage
hit the board. I could take out one Mugging and perhaps the singleton Ultimate Price or one Act of Treason.
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Post #12 by Yarpus » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:43 pm

How Bloodfray Giant performed?
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Post #13 by Valdarith » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:12 am

Yarpus » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:43 pm wrote:How Bloodfray Giant performed?


He's tested well. I found that increasing the curve gave me better game against the midrange decks I was having trouble with. He powers through Smiter and Advent of the Wurm and is nasty with Exava on board.

If Theros doesn't bring anything decent in the four or five slot I wouldn't be shocked to see this guy in competitive Standard lists.
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Post #14 by Platypus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:03 am

Have you tested Chaos Imps as a 1-2 finisher? 6cc might be too much though, but with Exava on board you get a 7/6, flying, trample, haste guy.
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Post #15 by Valdarith » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:13 pm

Costs too much.
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Post #16 by Platypus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:20 pm

I'm wondering if there's a more midrangey build where it might work. Would probably need some ramp in the form of Rakdos Keyrune (+ maybe Cluestone?).
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Post #17 by Valdarith » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:53 pm

Platypus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:20 am wrote:I'm wondering if there's a more midrangey build where it might work. Would probably need some ramp in the form of Rakdos Keyrune (+ maybe Cluestone?).


For block constructed, no. It slows the deck down so much that it can't compete with Esper control and Maze's End, which this deck crushes in its current iteration. Those being the two biggest players in the format, there's no reason to weaken that matchup.

Cluestone is not a constructed playable card.

I'll avoid talking more as we're starting to get into Standard talk which is outside the scope of Block.
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Post #18 by Platypus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:59 pm

I was thinking of block contructed, but I must admit that I'm a bit clueless when it comes to that metagame. So let's skip the idea then.
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