This article is part 9 of a 10-part series covering the Singleton Guild Wheel Project, a 10-deck project with only a single copy of any non-basic land among the 10 decks. Each deck uses the color combination of a different Ravnican guild. The methodology is introduced here and expanded upon each week by featuring a deck formed using part of the Wheel. Since the deckbuilding process is iterative, expect featured decks to change in between articles. For the complete introduction to the project, see my first article.
Welcome back kiddies! It’s time for another trip down the spiral staircase of shrinking card pools known as the Singleton Guild Wheel. Once again, if you missed the first article setting everything up for you check out the first article in the series to acquaint yourself with the project. Every week we loose great cards eligible for the next deck, and this week is no different. Step into the chaotic carnival, commandeered by the always enjoyable Rakdos, Lord of Riots!
Even though Rakdos, Lord of Riots looks like a cross between a member of Gwar and Saruman from Lord of the Rings, he’s actually one of the more pleasant commanders that I have come across. The deck LOVES to be around multiple friends. A few of the best cards in the deck rely upon having three or four friends in the game so make sure you have an audience when you roll this deck out!
When we glance at the signature card section of the EDHREC page on Rakdos we see lots of “each opponent” type of effects, which makes sense. These “each opponent” effects play into the green-less ramp that the deck relies on to fire off fatties in rapid succession. Recent sets have been VERY kind to the type of ramp that a Rakdos deck wants with new inclusions like Cryptolith Fragment and Nettle Drone so we can take advantage of not only casting our commander, but also massive amounts of cost reduction later on. The more players in the game, the more we get to cheat. Add this with effects like Palace Siege or Fiery Confluence and we get a way to turn a little mana into huge discounts.
I wish I could cram every Eldrazi titan into this deck! And I do mean EVERY one. Not just because Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is bannably good in EDH (oh wait it is!), but because I want to cast the ol’ gal for free. Since we can’t do that, and we also can’t use a couple of other titans due to their inclusion in other decks, (I won’t find them for you, you gotta read back if you want that!) we just have to use a few other bashers to stomp mud holes into everyone else. Casting high generic-cost beaters like Avatar of Slaughter, It That Betrays and Kozilek, the Great Distortion at discounted rates means that we can sometimes wait and pounce after a big attack to start dropping otherwise expensive creatures. Winding Canyons can be the best card in the deck, because it means we don’t even have to do the work! As we covered when discussing my Omnath, Locus of Rage deck if I can ever let someone else do the heavy lifting for me I am willing to take full advantage!
Amonkhet brings the opportunity to add a sweet sub theme of -1/-1 counters that hasn’t been touched in some time. The new toys really open up a chance to mess with opponents in ways that we didn’t before. The two cards I most want to play with came in Archfiend of Ifnir and Nest of Scarabs for some sweet token production. Since we get to play a new cycling land in Canyon Slough with all the other cycling lands (Barren Moor and Smoldering Crater for example) we can quickly turn otherwise dead draws into very live tokens while whittling away at the opponents board. Of course, it wouldn’t be a -1/-1 counter deck without Black Sun’s Zenith either!
Side note: As I was writing this article I reread the oracle text on Nest of Scarabs. I didn’t realize that you get a 1/1 insect token for EACH -1/-1 counter you put on creatures. I originally thought it was whenever any amount of counters are place it triggers once. Sooooooo yeah. When Black Sun’s Zenith puts five counters on each creature, you then get five tokens per creature! Even if there are only four or five other creatures out, that would be 20-25 tokens!!! I’m seriously so happy that I actually read the cards now.
Some other recent additions we get to jam are some of the newer tutors that have come out along with just plain cheating things into play. Planar Bridge is a heck of a Magic card. Not only do we tutor up something sweet, but we just put it right into play! Behold the Beyond is another recent addition that I think just got better with Archfiend of Ifnir roaming the deck too. Since we discard a fair amount and tutor up multiple cards, we can essentially get a toolbox of whatever we need to win the game quickly. They may not be the newest and flashiest toys, but they keep getting better for sure.
And now, I present the newest decklist to you for my Rakdos, Lord of Riots deck!
Now that I have one last entry into the Guild Wheel I’m looking for ideas for a new direction. I’ve heard some people say I should do the ten shards/wedges next in the same fashion, but if there is something that people want to see more, I’d love to look into it. If you have any ideas for a new series or types of articles we don’t already have or you want to see more of let me know in the comment section below. Let me know what your favorite card in a Rakdos, Lord of Riots deck is too! Thanks everyone!