Scourge of the Skyclaves is a card that puts you through very many challenges in deck building. During the Early Access of Magic Arena I had fun trying to work out some of these challenges and today I’ll show you the deck I came up with.
The card requires you to be very aggressive pressuring your opponent life total very fast, as well as you hurting yourself or your opponent dealing you damage.
Shocklands would work perfectly with this card, although they have just rotated out, leaving you with the brand new Mythic cycle of Bolt-Lands which you can pick up over and over with Wayward Guide-Beast.
Standard BR Shadow Deck List - Andrea Mengucci
These Mythic Bolt-Lands are very nice with Scourge of the Skyclaves since you need to hurt yourself in order to drop the Scourge as early as possible, while damaging your opponent.
You should consider these cards just for their land side, sure in lategame you will be able to cast them for some value, but their main role in this deck are the 3 damage that they deal to yourself is very important whenever you draw the Scourge, don’t slowroll them.
This deck felt like playing Death’s Shadow, and just like with that deck is important to understand when to play them tapped or not, against Aggro decks or not, on the play or on the draw.
Wayward Guide-Beast has overperformed more and more in this strategy of deck. I started with just one copy, and I quickly went up to 4, since I was noticing many synergies with the card, mainly the ability of bouncing your Bolt-Lands to keep the damage flowing for your Scourge. But not only that, in the lategame you might be able to bring back a Bolt-Land and use it to cast the spell side of it, if you don’t need the additional land or the additional 3 damage.
Getting back a land also ensures that your Akoum Hellhound is constantly a 2/3 for one mana, which is an insane rate for a one drop these days.
Speaking of one drop, there’s just no other better options as Scorch Spitter, Knight of the Ebon Legion and Gutterbones have rotated out, and that Fervent Champion is just too bad in my opinion in a non-Knight deck.
Don’t be afraid of casting your Wayward Guide-Beast on Turn1 and pass the turn, while you might be losing some damage, you’ll gain it back late game where a 2/2 that enables land fall might be more relevant.
Stormfist Crusader is very good to enable Scourge of the Skyclaves, being able to damage both players and guarantee to cast it as early as Turn3, looking for some more Bolt-Lands to increase its stats.
Stormfist Crusader is also an evasive threat that digs deeper for Embercleave, really a great card for this deck.
Roil Eruption is a very bad card that we’re forced to play since I can’t afford to have Thundering Rebuke or Scorching Dragonfire since I believe the ability to deal three damage to face is very relevant in an Aggressive deck.
Spikefield Hazard could be an alternative if Lotus Cobra sees more and more play, but I generally despise the flip cards that are taplands on a side and consider them to be playable only if the first side is an actual good card.
Just like every Red Aggressive decks you’ll win most of your games thanks to Embercleave. Embercleave is particularly sweet with Scourge of the Skyclaves, since if you are at a low life total you can deal first strike damage first, let’s say with a Bonecrusher Giant equipped with a Cleave, which will pump the Scourge for 5, dealing 5 additional damage in an unexpected way.
Everquill Phoenix is a card that I thought had plenty of potential when came out in Ikoria. Mutating this Phoenix on a Akoum Hellhound and then making a land drop is 6 damage in the air out of nowhere, and same can happen if you mutate your Scourge of the Skycleaves. Flying is a powerful ability, and the ability to bring it back from the graveyard with the Feather token isn’t weak either.
Unfortunately, Rakdos doesn’t have a Pathway, leaving the manabase at a pretty desperate situation. That’s why I chose to build my deck in a way that the Black splash is very tiny, with just few two drops, considering that the Scourge of the Skyclaves is often casted at turn 3 or 4, that I feel that the current manabase can hold.
I discourage from ever putting Temples and Taplands in a deck with multiple one drop, that is why you don’t see any Castles or Temple of Malice in this RB Aggro deck, or even Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger.