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The meanest deck I've played in ELD Standard

Arena Standard Content Creator 
By: Titansfan920 - 01 Oct 2019
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A week has passed us now and we're diving head first into the Throne of Eldraine standard season. Spells are slung, food is consumed, creatures are cast, and mana is screwed. It's a wonderful time in the land of magic. 

With a new standard, we have new choices. Do we smash face with a low to the ground deck like Mono Red? Do we go the control route and try to prevent any new shennaningans from happening? Do we make people go loko while casting turn two Oko? The answer for these for me so far, is no. While all are good options, there's been one deck come about that's really caught my attention has led to some games that have been fun AND brought in the wins. I present to you: Rakdos Aggro. Let's look at the deck and talk about why it's been good compared to others I've played. 

Rakdos Aggro

Main 60 cards (17 distinct)
Creature (36)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (2)
Land (22)
Side 15 cards (6 distinct)

Simulating MTG Arena Best of 1 starting hand
(Simplified, true algorithm in MTGA not revealed by Wizards yet)


Right now the Throne of Eldraine standard is still very early. While there's certianly been a fair share of lists that have shown to be good, it's much to early to call the format solved already. Things like Esper Stax, Sultai Food, and others have looked nice early on but seeing whether they stand the test of time is another issue entirely. When you're not sure how to attack a format, one method is pretty tried and true, and that is swinging in the face. 

Aggro decks will usually reign supreme early in a format because control doesn't know what to target, and many midrange or value engine decks take time to get fired up and finding that right mix of cards. It's my belief that Rakdos Aggro is wonderful right now because it can do the aggresive line while hitting on a lot of places that typical aggresive decks miss on. 


The deck has a low curve. A playset of Knight of the Ebon Legionimage and two Foulmire Knightimage start us off in the one drop slot. Both of these cards already do what many one mana cards can't do in aggresive decks and that is provide flexibility. You're not just smashing with these cards. Knight allows you to pump it and grow it as the game goes one, and provides a body for one mana that can terrify even the biggest of creatures. Foulmire Knight has it's adventure tacked on for some later game card draw and still provides a deathtouch body that will make anyone think twice before blocking it or attacking into it. 

At the two drop slot, Dreadhorde Butcherimage is still the terror on the play that you would usually expect and a card that has to be answered quickly or it can run away with a game. Rix Maadi Revelerimage offers early game filtering when needed as well as a late game hand-refill which can really turn a game in your favor. Most impressive of all here, and one that I was really not high on before trying it, is Stormfist Crusaderimage. Stormfist allows us to provide guranteed damage every turn, enable spectacle, give a menace body that's hard to block, and draws us an extra card to provide a quicker clock. Such a great package for a two mana creature.

At three mana, we're given Bonecrusher Giantimage, which is another flexible piece as a solid body and a two mana burn spell to give us some nice built in card advantage. Murderous Riderimage is in the same boat giving us an excellent piece of removal tacked on to a body. A fun one here is Irencrag Pyromancerimage, which is enabled by most of our creatures in the deck. If your opponent can't find an answer here, you can start to snowball away with a game very quickily.Speaking of snowballing away quickily, I hear three mana 7/6's can do that. Rotting Regisaurimage is a monster body that will end a game if it's left unchecked and we get added benefit of playing adventure cards here that can still remain in exile and leave you with more options while you discard to Regisaur. Lastly, though technically four mana, Spawn of Mayhemimage is going to be the three drop beater of choice when spectacle is enabled. You'll come to notice very quickily here, that spectacle isn't hard to enable here at all. Spawn is a monster and hard to match up with so early in a game.

Finally, closing out at the top end, Rankle, Master of Pranksimage tops our curve giving us a hasty, flying, threat that does a multitude of things. The possibilities with this card are wonderful and the shaping of your hand, as well as the opponents, is an option we rarely see in such aggresively natured decks.


A few things popped up pretty often that is worth noting with this deck. Make sure to keep an eye out for these lines when playing.

1.Many starts will give you a turn one Knight of the Ebon Legionimage and a turn two Stormfirst Crusader. When swinging in on turn three, you will rarely have blocks because your Stormfist has menace, and most people are afraid of a Knight pump to block it. If you have something like a Spawn of Mayhemimage in hand, this is the perfect scenario. You enable spectacle, you get your turn three Spawn out, and you have still done four damage for the turn and get to put a counter on your Knight of the Ebon Legion. This is a huge turn for most decks to fight back from.

2.Turn two will often make you decide whether you want to play a Dreadhorde Butcherimage or a Stormfist Crusaderimage. While a Dreadhorde is your common choice if you have no blockers ahead, don't be afraid to go with a crusader if your hand is looking light on threat density or especially if you have a Irencrag Pyromancerimage in hand. If that engine gets going, your opponent is in trouble.

3.When discarding with Rotting Regisaurimage, there will be some times where you will want to shoot a creature or plansewalker with an adventure card just to get it in exile. Discarding these cards provides you no value, but if you can shoot something on upkeep, even if it's something you'd usually just ignore, it still puts the creature side in exile where you can cast it without putting it in the yard. Abuse that value if you can.


While we have a multitude of options and potential in the early weeks of standard, I think my best bet is to avoid being too cute and play something that allows me to close a game before bigger engines can go off, but still provide me the versatility to have constant card draw, removal, and different lines of play should our initial aggro line be thwarted. Is this deck real? Who knows. It's hard to set in stone whether any deck is real so early in standard....but from my experience, this deck has been a force and I look forward to optimizing it and getting more reps with it. This deck is fun. This deck seems strong. This deck is MEAN.

About Titansfan920

My name is Daniel Parris, otherwise known as Titansfan920, and I am a content creator that enjoys playing Magic the Gathering and upload various standard decks on my Youtube Channel


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Stormfist has been wonderful. He's definitely been a card that's impressed me compared to how I felt when I first saw him spoiled.
omg nice....stormfist is my favorite personal card but can't figure out best way to abuse...draw 2 omg

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