Today, I’ll continue my exploration of Standard Rakdos, which began here. I’ve had a chance to hone the deck list and get in some games. I’ll discuss what went right, what went wrong and how I’m adjusting the deck to be more successful in the early days of ladder play on MTG Arena. Importantly, I’ll also share a recommended sideboard, and discuss how Rakdos lines up against some of the important archetypes.
I sketched out my original piece even before the full Dominaria United spoiler was available. As it turns out, there weren’t any more slam dunks for a constructed Rakdos deck, but seeing the complete set gave a much better idea of what’s possible.
For example, the existence of Drag to the Bottom and Leyline Binding means that many-color, big-mana decks are well-supported, and will definitely exist in Standard. I’ve already seen plenty of people brewing with The Kami War. This style of deck tends to be a nightmare for midrange, and I now know that I’ll need an effective plan for the matchup. More on this to come.
I also misread The Raven Man the first time around (a common experience during preview season). I didn’t realize that the Bird tokens can’t block, which makes the card significantly weaker in general and less effective at protecting planeswalkers specifically.
I still like The Raven Man, and will add that he’s exceeded my expectations in other ways. However, I’ve found him to be weak when on the back foot, and that I like to sideboard him out when on the draw in aggressive matchups. As such, one or two copies feels better than three or four.