Return to Ravnica Event Decks: Wrack and Rage reviewed

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wrackandruin

It is event deck time, which means I’m allowed to take the velvet gloves off and get into the mechanics. You are here because you like Magic or are really interested in getting into it. Event decks are a great starting point for Friday Night Magic, allowing you to jump straight into the action.

This Rakdos deck (black and red) boasts a strong removal suite to back up a pack of nasty creatures. Rakdos likes hitting hard and fast, leaving almost nothing back for defence. If you enjoy the idea of racing your opponent to zero life, this is the type of deck for you.

The Rakdos Cackler is your turn one grunt. If you are playing against slower ramp decks or long-term control, unleash this guy so that he can have some fun. You get a 2/2 for one mana, who cares if he can’t block? Being a hybrid card really helps, as you will always have the right mana for him, unless you decide to include some lands that make colourless mana. Borrowing from the Izzet (and cackling all the way), this deck isn’t scared of stealing a good card from another guild. Mizzium Mortars is an absolute horror at any point of the game. For two mana you can lay waste to any pesky creature with four or less toughness, or hit a behemoth after your combat step to make your opponent regret blocking. Later in the game, however, the mortar can devastate those opponents who like a wall of creatures. Whether it is a pile of ghosts thanks to Lingering Souls, or your opponent just miracled Entreat the Angels, their smiles will vanish as you do four damage to each creature that isn’t yours. The Stromkirk Noble caused quite a bit of havoc back when he was released, and as a white weenie player, he often became a game-breaking problem for me. While he might not face as many human only decks now, he is still a really powerful one drop, especially if left unanswered.

Rakdos Cackler Mizzium Mortars Stromkirk Noble

To help you get your creatures through to your opponent, Pillar of Flame is great for opening a hole early game. The fact that it exiles the creature if it dies that turn makes it highly effective against Strangleroot Geists, Gravecrawler and Geralf’s Messenger, stopping their pesky undying mechanic before it becomes an issue. The Rix Maadi Guildmage, while possibly not the most interesting or powerful guildmage, has a great way of turning excess mana into damage on your opponent. She can also weaken a blocker, possibly changing a bad attack into a trade, or a trade into a free kill for you. The Hellhole Flailer is a 4/3 for three mana, making him a rather terrifying creature. Like I said earlier, you don’t care to block, because you are playing a race. If it reaches the point that this ogre can’t get through anymore, you can sacrifice him to turn him into a bomb of muscle and shrapnel, netting four damage on your opponent. (More so if you use the pump options available in the deck!)

Pillar of Flame Rix Maadi Guildmage Hellhole Flailer

Your sideboard comes with a whole bunch of options, from extra damage to extra spot removal, extra card draw and cards for dealing with hordes of 1/1 creatures. One card that sticks out is the Grafdigger’s Cage. Not only will this help against pesky flashback, reanimator and snapcaster shenanigans, while hurting undying decks too. Vexing Devil was a great inclusion here and is something I want to use four of in a similar concoction that I am making (more on this later). Your opponent will almost always choose four damage to themselves rather than have this devil wander the battlefield. A pretty scary one-drop! With the loss of Doom Blade, Geth’s Verdict and so many other nice black removal cards, Ultimate Price comes, partially, to the rescue. Most massive threats are indeed monocoloured, allowing you to have a cheap, instant way to get rid of them. A great sideboard card, especially once you have seen what cards your opponent is using to try push the race in their favour.

Grafdigger's Cage Vexing Devil Ultimate Price

Here is the full deck list for Wrack and Rage, can you see any other cards you want or are looking forward to using?

Main Deck

60 cards

 

1  Dragonskull Summit
13  Mountain
2  Rakdos Guildgate
8  Swamp


24 lands
2  Hellhole Flailer
3  Knight of Infamy
2  Lightning Mauler
4  Rakdos Cackler
4  Rakdos Shred-Freak
3  Rix Maadi Guildmage
2  Stonewright
2  Stromkirk Noble


22 creatures

2  Brimstone Volley
1  Devil’s Play
1  Mizzium Mortars
1  Nightbird’s Clutches
4  Pillar of Flame
1  Rakdos Charm
4  Searing Spear


14 other spells

Sideboard

2  Brimstone Volley
3  Duress
2  Electrickery
2  Faithless Looting
1  Grafdigger’s Cage
2  Murder
2  Ultimate Price
1  Vexing Devil


15 sideboard cards

 
     

Besides adding more Vexing Devils, here are a few non-Mythic ideas for your deck. Dreadbore is an efficient, sought after removal, being the first card ever to be able to outright destroy a planeswalker. In fact, I think it might be this popularity that stopped Wizards of the Coast from including this card in the deck. The Cryptborn Horror is one of those cheap rares I want to abuse. Casting this guy on turn four, after casting a Vexing Devil and attacking with two Rakdos Cacklers can result in you casting this guy as an 8/8 with trample. While it might not be the most reliable card around, I think it will win more than a few games. Slaughter Games fills the hole that black is feeling with the loss of Surgical Extraction. While this card costs a lot more, it doesn’t need to target anything, meaning Slaughter Games is great for game two and three, once you suss your opponent’s winning condition out. While you might want to rather use the mana to damage your opponent, remember that there is nothing worse than watching your opponent undo your hard work with a reoccurring Thragtusk.

As a footnote, always remember to look after your mana. Standard has access to some of the best dual lands out at the moment, with Blood Crypt and Dragonskull Summit both producing mana for Rakdos decks. While they may seem like quite the expense, remember that there is nothing more annoying than losing a game with winning cards in your hands due to colour screw.

Dreadbore Cryptborn Horror Slaughter Games

Wrack and Rage is in store now!

Have any other ideas? Let me know in the comments section. We can fill the page with a discussion of Mythic rares or other really expensive cards and watch the guys who don’t play Magic explode. Stay tuned for the other Return to Ravnica event deck review.

Last Updated: October 30, 2012

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