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Thread: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

  1. #1
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    Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    I've taken one shot at commander before, playing a B/G graveyard deck with Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord. I ended up selling my Survival of the Fittest and other cards, so I'm stuck without a commander deck ATM. I'm looking for a pretty high Timmy factor here, big demons, big dragons, flashy spells. I have an initial list started but I am painfully unaware of how to build a decent commander deck, right down to not even knowing how many lands to play.

    Here is my rough list, I would love to get some ideas in here to finish it up. Theme is to make play big dudes discounted with Rakdos, reanimate big dudes, from the graveyard, and use pox-like effects to work the early game. I really like the Blood Speaker synergy of finding a demon and then getting it back when I play/reanimate Rakdos or another demon.


    Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Bloodgift Demon
    Thundermaw Hellkite
    Bogardan Hellkite
    Abyssal Persecutor
    Bladewing the Risen
    Blood Speaker
    Hellís Caretaker
    Demon of Dark Schemes
    Desecration Demon
    Mindwrack Demon
    Rune-Scarred Demon
    Flameblast Dragon
    Flametongue Kavu

    Read the Bones
    Barter in Blood
    Diabolic Edict
    Innocent Blood
    Damnation
    Entomb
    Buried Alive
    Faithless Looting
    Zombify
    Kolaghanís Command
    Torrent of Souls
    Sulfurous Blast
    Rakdos Charm
    Shred Memory
    Slaughter Games
    Bituminous Blast
    Animate Dead
    Dark Ritual
    Cabal Ritual
    Seething Song
    Dark Petition
    Demonic Tutor
    Tormenting Voice
    Sol Ring
    Demonic Dread
    Senseiís Divining Top
    Expedition Map
    Diabolic Tutor
    Demonfire
    Rakdos Keyrune
    Toxic Deluge

    Bojuka Bog
    Bloodstained Mire
    Blood Crypt
    Sulfurous Springs
    Lavaclaw Reaches
    Wasteland
    Ghost Quarter
    Maze of Ith
    Molten Slagheep
    Barren moor
    Forgotten Cave
    R/B cycle duel
    Dragonskull Summit
    X Swamps
    X Mountain
    Rakdos Guildgate
    Rakdos Carnarium
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 01-11-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Well, I think your idea isn't bad, but you are kind of short on ways to execute your plan. You really are going to need "cheap" ways to enable Rakdos to be cast/his ability to discount big guys. Here is a list I made and "goldfished" around with a while back:

    Commander:
    1 Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Enablers:
    1 Shepherd of Rot
    1 Thermo-Alchemist
    1 Lobber Crew
    1 Nettle Drone
    1 Sin Prodder
    1 Stronghold Rats
    1 Tunneling Geopede

    I honestly am not sure why these are in here:
    1 Fleshbag Marauder
    1 Balthor the Defiled

    Tutor/Card Draw:
    1 Blood Speaker
    1 Corpse Augur
    1 Disciple of Bolas
    1 Graveborn Muse

    Payoff:
    1 Solemn Simulacrum
    1 Pilgrim's Eye
    1 Archfiend of Depravity
    1 Bloodgift Demon
    1 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
    1 Keldon Firebombers
    1 Combustible Gearhulk
    1 Conduit of Ruin
    1 Demon of Dark Schemes
    1 Harvester of Souls
    1 Kokusho, the Evening Star
    1 Kothophed, Soul Hoarder
    1 Ob Nixilis, Unshackled
    1 Scythe Specter
    1 Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
    1 Wurmcoil Engine
    1 Bane of Bala Ged
    1 Balefire Dragon
    1 Kaervek the Merciless
    1 Knollspine Dragon
    1 Myr Battlesphere
    1 Rune-Scarred Demon
    1 Sheoldred, Whispering One
    1 Myojin of Night's Reach
    1 Artisan of Kozilek
    1 Nullstone Gargoyle
    1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
    1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth

    Ramp:
    1 Rakdos Signet
    1 Talisman of Indulgence
    1 Chromatic Lantern
    1 Cryptolith Fragment (also an enabler)

    Utility/Removal/Draw Spells:
    1 Phyrexian Reclamation
    1 Tortured Existence
    1 Animate Dead
    1 Phyrexian Arena
    1 Price of Glory
    1 Terminate
    1 Chaos Warp
    1 Hero's Downfall
    1 Dreadbore
    1 Night's Whisper
    1 Read the Bones
    1 Toxic Deluge
    1 Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath

    Enabler:
    1 Lim-DŻl's Hex
    1 Retreat to Hagra
    1 Creeping Dread
    1 Palace Siege

    Lands:
    1 Blood Crypt
    1 Command Tower
    1 Dragonskull Summit
    1 Graven Cairns
    1 Lantern-Lit Graveyard
    1 Leechridden Swamp
    1 Piranha Marsh
    1 Rakdos Carnarium
    1 Rocky Tar Pit
    1 Shadowblood Ridge
    1 Smoldering Marsh
    1 Spinerock Knoll
    1 Sulfurous Springs
    1 Tainted Peak
    1 Temple of Malice
    9 Mountain
    11 Swamp

    Not saying this is perfect, but you need some low cost ways to get Rakdos out, then ways to fuel his ability, even if you can't swing in. That is why the Shadow creatures are there, since they can almost always get around flooded boards and let you use Rakdos to push out big dudes to break the game.
    "The Ancients teach us that if we can but last, we shall prevail."
    óKaysa, Elder Druid of the Juniper Order

  3. #3

    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Your lists needs more fuel, I think. Faithless looting, cruel bargain, goblin lore, infernal contract, pains reward and so on.

    Also, havoc festival and heartless heidetsugu are good cards to cut the game shorter!

    Also, pox or rakdos the defiler goes well with it that betrays. I run defiler as the general and itís basically a wincon.


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  4. #4
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    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Thanks for the notes! I do have Looting in there, along with Tormenting Voice. For tutors I have Dark Petition, Blood Speaker, Demonic Tutor, and Diabolic Tutor. I definitely want more Looting-type cards, if there are suggestions.

    I neglected to add Read the Bones and Liliana of the Veil, both go straight in.

    Please, keep the comments coming! I'm skimming the lists to see synergies, so I really appreciate the initial blast of good info.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Well, again, I think you need to include a fair amount of enablers so you can even cast Rakdos himself. Your lowest cost creature is 4 and the only way to any of them can allow you to cast Rakdos is by attacking, which almost any opponent is unlikely to give you, if possible.

    Besides creatures, you only have 3 ways to do damage and be able to cast Rakdos, are K Command, Rakdos Charm and Demonfire. You are likely to be stuck casting these very unproftably just to be able to cast Rakdos, if you even draw them at all. You can't really run this Rakdos as RB goodstuff, he needs more synergy than that. Not saying I nailed it with my list, but that was the aim...
    "The Ancients teach us that if we can but last, we shall prevail."
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  6. #6

    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    There is a 1 mana 0/2 goblin in RNA that taps to deal damage to each player - Spear Spewer.
    Daretti, Scrap Savant also loots, and there is dark bargain in black as well.

    Not sure if this is too janky, but with Daretti you could have ETB artifacts (maybe Combustible gearhulk? I'm not too keen on ETB artifacts that can do damage. Pyre spellbomb fits but its 1 shot which isn't that great. Perhaps an artifact token generator and Daretti/goblin welder can make it useful) that can help turn on Rakdos as well. Browbeat and Risk factor might have a home here too.

    Also, with all the fliers you have, I have to think Earthquake is good here too. Helps clear opponent's boards and turns on spectacle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Look at the bright side, if Legacy becomes like Vintage all of us old dudes can get together, drink whiskey, and smoke cigars while we play the gentleman's format. Like an MtG speak-easy.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Definitely! Here are ways I was planning on enabling it:

    Honden of Infinite Rage
    Chandra, Pyromaster
    Cinder Pyromancer
    Vulshok Sorcerer
    Cunning Sparkmage
    Lava Dart
    Fireblast
    Blightning
    Anathemancer
    Blazing Specter
    Hellhole Flailer
    Mogis, God of Slaughter
    Rakdos's Return
    Skullrend
    Tymaret, the Murder King
    Arc Lightning
    Flames of the Firebrand
    Ghitu Slinger
    Knollspine Invocation
    Cursed Scroll
    Staggershock
    Vithian Stinger
    Volcanic Fallout


    Those should all enable Rakdos pretty well. The problem is I need to curve them before rakdos, so basically I need a bunch of 3 or less cards that will do the job. Repeatable pingers seem good, as well as including some equipment like Basilisk Collar to dig out as a machine gun removal.

    I am super new to Commander, are cards like Lightning Bolt good in this format?
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    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Quote Originally Posted by ronco View Post
    Browbeat and Risk factor might have a home here too.
    Not sure about the 1 mana guy, he is probably OK, might be slightly better than Nettle Drone, I'm not sure.

    Browbeat and Risk Factor (especially the latter) is probably a good inclusion. What you want though, if repeatable effects though, generally (which is why Risk Factor is a lot better). This is why something like Palace Siege is really good here. One, it is just pressure by itself and two, it enables Rakdos to be cast every turn and his effect to be active every turn.
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    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Palace Siege is a nice find!
    I am counted amongst legions of the unrighteous
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    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I am super new to Commander, are cards like Lightning Bolt good in this format?
    Conventional wisdom says no - you're trading your 1 card for 1/3 of your "opponent's" cards, and the average toughness of a creature in this format is something like 5 or 6. Let's not even talk about the futility of 3 to the face vs. your "opponent's" 120 life total. So, if it comes down to Bolt vs. Doom Blade, I'm picking the Doom Blade every time.

    That said, there are quite a few fairly powerful cards that Bolt answers at instant speed, not to mention possibly picking off a random planeswalker, or using it as a sort of combat trick post chump block.

    So, whether or not Bolt is worth the slot really depends on your meta. If there's a whole pile of X/3 or less targets floating around out there, it's probably pretty good. If everyone is slinging around x/4 and up fatties, I'd probably pick something else.

    In this particular case, you've got some synergy with Rakdos himself, so 3 to the face might be less bad?

  11. #11
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    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Definitely! Here are ways I was planning on enabling it:
    Those should all enable Rakdos pretty well. The problem is I need to curve them before rakdos, so basically I need a bunch of 3 or less cards that will do the job. Repeatable pingers seem good, as well as including some equipment like Basilisk Collar to dig out as a machine gun removal.

    I am super new to Commander, are cards like Lightning Bolt good in this format?
    Depends on your school of thought/play style. I'd say, generally speaking, "no." Lightning Bolt, in a format where games go very long, life totals are at 40, means Bolt ages very poorly in the game. It's a reasonable card, but unless you deck is balls-to-the-wall fast, I don't think it is very good. I am very much in the mindset of a "Battlecruiser" approach to the format. Meaning, I want to set up to do big things. This is why I am averse to the idea of one-shot effects. I want to be able to cast Rakdos, and cast him again, after they remove him, and again, after they remove him again. This might come from playing in generally removal-heavy pods of 4 people though.


    Mogis, God of Slaughter
    Tymaret, the Murder King


    Mogis is interesting, but damage come on the wrong turn, you need sources dealing it on your turn to enable Rakdos. Tymaret is neat, but you don't have many creatures to profitably sacrifice.


    Honden of Infinite Rage
    Chandra, Pyromaster
    Cinder Pyromancer
    Vulshok Sorcerer
    Cunning Sparkmage
    Knollspine Invocation
    Cursed Scroll
    Vithian Stinger

    These are reasonable includes, although being a RB deck, in the case of the cost of Invocation activation, you don't have much ramp, so mana is tight and that can cost a lot of mana and cards, really.

    The rest of the cards are honestly kind of terrible in a format where games typically go pretty long. 3 damage isn't much in the grand scheme of things, especially not at the cost of something like 3+ mana, where then you need to cast Rakdos, meaning you need 7 just to get on the board. You want "passive" sources of opponents losing life on your turn, that don't cost you mana, so you are free to cast Rakdos and hopefully cast another creature right then too.
    "The Ancients teach us that if we can but last, we shall prevail."
    óKaysa, Elder Druid of the Juniper Order

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    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Cool, nice response. That makes a ton of sense.
    I am counted amongst legions of the unrighteous
    who dread not being immersed in pits of fire

  13. #13

    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Might be worth running snow lands and skred. Iíve used it as a 1 mana kill spell quite often.

    Also, snow lands synergises with effects like scrying sheets which is extra ramp for rakdos colours (which is hard to come by).

    This build is shaping up pretty nicely! Especially palace siege.


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  14. #14

    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    This is probably not a great suggestion, but Indulgent tormentor can potentially turn on spectacle on your turn or if nothing else net you some CA. (I realize "potentially" is not good deck building strategy)

    What about something as simple and old school as Pestilence and the like?

    Have you looked into cards that normally slotted into the bloodthirst decks? I didn't play around that time, but they had similar goals and might have some ideas. No idea where to start but someone else might.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Look at the bright side, if Legacy becomes like Vintage all of us old dudes can get together, drink whiskey, and smoke cigars while we play the gentleman's format. Like an MtG speak-easy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lav Dafka View Post
    I kept hearing random people around the room saying "manaless dredge!" like a sort of "hide your wives and your daughters, grab your pitchforks, say your prayers, the Beast is back" reaction.

  15. #15
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    Re: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

    Quote Originally Posted by ronco View Post
    What about something as simple and old school as Pestilence and the like?
    Pestilence and Pyrohemia are reasonable, but I think likely only worth it if your meta happens to be full of small creatures (likely tokens) and you choose to not go down to small "pinger" creature route to enable Rakdos. I actually don't think that is specifically a bad idea, to play a bit bigger, cut the small creatures and go with the "bigger" non-creature enablers plus a few more "control" elements. Just really depends on what you want out of the build.

    I do think that some big, generic mana-only threats that can be cast for free off Rakdos once your board is reasonably juiced are good, because sometimes you just need to really come over the top. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is likely just the best over-all.
    "The Ancients teach us that if we can but last, we shall prevail."
    óKaysa, Elder Druid of the Juniper Order

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