I’ve written a lot about various red-based strategies featuring Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer since the release of Modern Horizons 2. It’s clear that these decks are here to stay, but there’s also a half-dozen ways to build the archetype that each have strengths and weaknesses depending on the metagame dynamic. Establishing yourself as a master of these decks and understanding when to choose which variant is going to be very valuable going forward in Modern. The variant that I currently believe to be the best, is ol’ reliable Rakdos Midrange Rock. Over the past weekend, I made the Top 8 of Saturday’s Modern Challenge with the deck, and feel that it’s an excellent tool for dealing with a metagame full of Four Color Omnath, Azorius Control, Murktide and Hammertime.
A huge portion of the reason that I like the deck so much in the current Modern landscape is how well positioned Tourach, Dread Cantor is at the moment.
Tourach’s relevance is largely due to how popular Four Color Omnath and Azorius Control are in these weekend tournaments. Both of these decks heavily rely on a white removal suite of Prismatic Ending, Teferi, Time Raveler and Solitude. Protection from white is a staggering relevant ability in these matchups, especially since it comes attached to a 4/3 that casts Hymn to Tourach. While Tourach carries a lot of weight in these matchups, Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger, Dauthi Voidwalker and Den of the Bugbear all give Rakdos effective tools against these white-based decks that other variants don’t have access to, especially contrasted with the other popular red/black/x variant, Jund Saga.
While Jund is a very powerful deck, it struggles against both Azorius and four-color matchups. These decks have late game inevitability in the matchup against Jund, and Jund has a relatively slow clock to try to close the game out early. Tarmogoyf is usually unimpressive in these matchups, and Urza’s Saga can be slow and vulnerable to Spreading Seas. Furthermore, the mana requirements for Tourach, Voidwalker and Kroxa are difficult for Jund to meet.
That being said, here’s the current Rakdos deck list: