Creature-based Rakdos Sacrifice decks are fun and successful across a variety of formats. With the printing of Lolth, Spider Queen in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, I was excited to revisit the archetype.
The first place I looked was the Rakdos Sacrifice deck that Andrew Cuneo used in the Strixhaven League Play Weekend back in May. While this deck was a solo project on Andrew’s part, I’ve worked with him many times in the past and know that he’s one of the sharpest minds for deckbuilding in the history of Magic.
Andrew’s deck could actually be considered Mardu Sacrifice, since it featured three copies of Extus, Oriq Overlord which can be cast off of Savai Triome and Needleverge Pathway. However, it’s more common to choose the Awaken the Blood Avatar side than the Extus side. Moreover, I think it’s very important to center the mana around the Rakdos colors, because once you start including basic Plains and off-color spells, your level of consistency will plummet, and you won’t be able to escape Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger when you want to.
With Andrew’s deck as a starting point, I changed a few cards to make room for the Spider Queen, and shifted the sideboard to be better prepared to deal with the massive Dragons flying around Standard these days.
Standard Rakdos Sacrifice by Reid Duke
In the early turns, your goal is to dump some disposable bodies on the battlefield. With a bunch of tokens and creatures like Eyetwitch, your opponent won’t profit from spending removal spells on your first wave of creatures. However, once you’ve build up a battlefield, you can drop the hammer with Awaken the Blood Avatar, Lolth, Spider Queen, or a big Plumb the Forbidden.
Another key card is Bastion of Remembrance, which is difficult for most decks to remove from the battlefield. Once it’s on the battlefield, you get ahead in the life point race with every creature tradeoff, and every sacrifice you make. Before you know it, your chip damage has added up and it’s easy to find lethal on a big turn.
And finally, there’s the “steal your stuff” aspect of the deck, which gives Rakdos Sacrifice an excellent set-up against opposing creature decks. Using Claim the Firstborn to steal a creature, attack and then sacrifice it to Village Rites or Woe Strider is just such an efficient play and tends to put you in the driver’s seat right away. This is also one of the best decks in Standard for The Akroan War, which is an absolute nightmare for anyone whose strategy is centered around creature combat.