I'm headed back to the Pro Tour.
(Or Set Championship - whatever they're calling it these days.)
Yesterday I went all the way in the MTG Arena Qualifier, going 7-0 on day one and then 7-1 on day two to secure my invitation! The format was the relatively uncharted waters of Alchemy and my deck was very, very good.
Last weekend I was in the coverage booth for Stream League 7 watching eliott_dragon take down the whole event with a very unique looking Rakdos Midrange deck that was pretty out there compared to the other decks in the format. I loved the concept of the deck, being able to run tons of removal and two for ones but also burn your opponent out in a pinch, but was unhappy with many of the cards.
Sorin the Mirthless was only ever good when you were ahead and then not even that good against the crazy Leir, Disciple of the Drowned fueled endgame of the control decks. The Meathook Massacre also surprisingly underperformed, as most creature decks in Alchemy are going very big or attacking your lands with Town-Razer Tyrant. It was hard to get Massacre big enough to kill things often, while the deck wasn't using its triggers well either. Lastly, Sedgemoor Witch almost never triggered and if it did it rarely mattered.
I spent an entire day working on the deck on stream, which lead me to the current crop of cards. Citystalker Connoisseur was the perfect 4-drop for the deck, providing great defense, often hitting their best spell, and providing a Blood Token that could discard extraneous cards that were bad in the matchup. Graveyard Trespasser // Graveyard Glutton was phenomenal against the Lier decks and the Cleric decks, while also just being a solid body that's great against removal, while Soul Shatter killed even the biggest creatures while dodging things like Snakeskin Veil.
Put it all together and you get this!
06:01 - Match 1
16:43 - Match 2
27:11 - Match 3
49:39 - Match 4
Rakdos Midrange | Alchemy | Jim Davis, 7-1 MTG Arena Qualifier Day Two
- Creatures (17)
- 2 Bloodtithe Harvester
- 3 Graveyard Trespasser // Graveyard Glutton
- 4 Bloodthirsty Adversary
- 4 Citystalker Connoisseur
- 4 Town-razer Tyrant
- Instants (12)
- 1 Abrade
- 1 Infernal Grasp
- 2 Flunk
- 2 Soul Shatter
- 3 Electrostatic Blast
- 3 Spikefield Hazard // Spikefield Cave
- Sorceries (10)
- 1 Thundering Rebuke
- 2 Go Blank
- 3 Shatterskull Smashing // Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
- 4 Igneous Inspiration
- Lands (21)
- 2 Mountain
- 2 Swamp
- 2 Hive of the Eye Tyrant
- 3 Den of the Bugbear
- 4 Blightstep Pathway // Searstep Pathway
- 4 Forsaken Crossroads
- 4 Haunted Ridge
I went 7-0 on day one of the Qualifier, as mentioned in the video, and 7-1 on day two. Couple this with 18-3 on the ladder for a combined 32-4 over a decent sample size. Did I run well? Sure, but the deck really has the capability to handle almost anything.
This is a "Jund" deck through and through. Almost every card in the deck is a very efficient answer or a two for one, allowing you the ability to grind your opponents into dust while also applying ample pressure. Half your removal spells double as burn, which means once you turn the corner you can end the game very quickly. At the same time, the deck has enough card advantage and things to do with its mana between creature lands and lessons that you almost never run out of gas.
Sideboarding is fairly simple. Against spell-based control decks you can cut most of your non-burn, non-Soul Shatter removal for Discard, and apply ample pressure while punishing their hand with Duress, Go Blank, and Citystalker Connoisseur. Against creature decks you can go down on the Go Blank and Graveyard Trespasser // Graveyard Glutton (which isn't good in pure creature combat matchups) and bring in the Smoldering Egg // Ashmouth Dragons and Bloodchief's Thirsts. It's very important to not let the Werewolves deck get under you and Bloodchief's Thirst helps break serve, especially on the draw.
There may be some changes to the format this week, but there's no doubt in my mind that this is currently the best deck in the format, and will continue to be so barring some outrageous changes. The only card in the deck that's on the watchlist to be nerfed is probably Town-Razer Tyrant, and it's certainly less important in this deck than others.
Get it while the getting is good!