I’m in the process of adding more selection and diversity to my Commander games. Both Kozilek and Lorthos are late game big mana decks that can play remarkably similar games despite their color differences. With Progenitus winning my Next Commander bracket, I’ll be adding another big mana deck to my rotation. I think the 4th deck in my lineup will be something Rakdos. I’ve got four in mind and I know that only one will see play at a time. The real question is which one?
There are two things I want the deck to do in general regardless of the choice. The first is that I want to play a minor knight tribal theme. Haakon, Stromgald Scourge and Nameless Inversion is a bit of a pet combo for me. Being in R/B gives access to Dakmor Lancer (removal), Ashenmoor Liege (recursive threat), and Kulwrath Knight (a lot of counters in my meta) to add to the Haakon package. The second general thing is that I want the deck to play differently than Kozilek and Lorthos. You can find my TappedOut lists for each deck here (Kozilek) and here (Lorthos).
Uncle Grenzo is an old favorite of mine. It’s been built before, back in 2015, but always has been fickle when I pilot. Too often it reads “2: Put a land card from the bottom of your library into your graveyard.” That or Grenzo just dies repeatedly and the deck falls behind. Despite all of this, there’s just something about that grinning goblin that gets my attention. Grenzo would be a mix of goblin tribal, knight tribal, and generically good creatures with power four or less. Should it matter, and I know it often does, I have a foil copy of Grenzo.
The minotaur from Amonkhet has had my eye since release. Instead of leading an army of his fellow cow brothers, Neheb would helm a more midrange deck. There might be a few other minotaur lords, but I’m not going in hard on this theme. If it played out like I had envisioned, most of the table would be “heck” bent the entire time while Neheb kept the pressure up. Sprinkle in some reanimation cards, recursive knights, and a few planeswalkers and you’ve got my idea of a Neheb deck. While Neheb sounds fun for me, I’m not sure how many of my opponents want to be pushed into a top deck war. I also have a foil copy of Neheb.
The Scorpion God
The newly spoiled servant god has me pretty excited. It provides additional synergy with Kulrath Knight, the ability to draw a stack of cards, and a clear build around path. The fact that it dodges Commander tax in most games (watch out for blanket graveyard hate) allows for heavy reliance on the new god, without worrying about it being out of reach in most games. The Scorpion God does bring two pieces of baggage though. The first is that it’s brand new. This means that it’s in danger of being a fad deck and that I don’t own one yet. The second piece of baggage is that it’s the most likely of these four ideas to play closest to Lorthos and Kozilek. Despite these, the deck looks amazing in my head. Who doesn’t love a R/B control deck that can keep pressure up while drawing cards?
Smokestack is in my top 5 favorite Magic cards. Mogis provides me an easy opportunity to let my inner stax player loose. Pair some bleeder cards, some ways to squeeze the whole table, maybe a Havoc Festival (the game needs to end) and I’m having a blast. The biggest issue with Mogis is, how fun is this to play against? Most players don’t enjoy even light stax but Mogis begs to wrap the whole table in a tight hold.
Which version of Rakdos do you think would be a good fit? Keep in mind that if you are coming to Gen Con that this deck will be in my arsenal. Do you have a particularly favorite Rakdos deck? Do you prefer to add or remove a color?
Until next time, happy brewing.
– Cowboy Kyle
P.S. Go listen to the Commanderin Rakdos episode.