Arena Standard - Ratdos Draw 2! [Updated]

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Combo Jank


Originally this deck was a spinoff of the typical Rakdos sacrifice deck that used Mad Ratter to provide sac fodder for outlets like Ayara and Priest of Forgotten Gods. The combo though was often difficult to setup up and curve into. The main issue being trying to do two things at once, that is, draw 2 and sac. I've played with this deck and have tuned it into the list you see here. I must say I find this jank to be a tad more reliable and more to the core of what I origianlly wanted which was rats - and lots of them!

To start off, we are focusing completely on the draw 2 aspect of this deck and foregoing the typical sacrfice shenanigans that slowed this deck down. The goal is to start out agressive with cheap stuff while digging for key cards with early card draw via Glint-Horn Buccaneer or Stromfist Crusader (Note: I will detail these choices later). Then hopefully we have Mad Ratter down by turn 4 and can begin pooping rats and going wide.


For our primary card draw we are using Thrill of Possibility and Honor the God-Pharoh in conjuction with Bag of Holding. BoH is vital to this deck; being able to bin cards without remorse and get them back later is huge and it combos well with our main draw 2 sources. HtGP has the added benefit of leaving behind a 1/1 Zombie token. Our secondary draw engine is Glint-Horn Buccaneer or Stormfist. Currently I prefer Glint-Horn as he doesn't compete with my other 2-drops unlike Stormfist, has Haste and is a sizable body for a 3cmc creature. His loot ability is not as reliable as Fisty girl's draw ability but it combos with BoH and triggers Mad Ratter and anytime you discard he pings the opponent for 1. The main issue I have with Stormfist is it dies to Shock and Stomp from Bonecrusher Giant. And if it lives, it unfortunately gives our opponents draw as well. I oculd see switching out Glinty boy for Fisty girl for those matches where you just want to go fast.

In order to maximize our ability to beat down the opponent with rats, I've included Heraldic Banner (choose black obvi) and Piper of the Swarm. Banner is great for making the rats more threatening while putting the opponent on a shorter clock. Choosing black also buffs the other black creatures in the deck as well as any of our black tokens. Piper giving menace to our rats is simply icing on the cake and makes going wide all the more easy. Supporting the rats with targeted removal and extra damage is Irencrag Pyromancer. You will often see her in Izzet draw 2 lists and she does just as much work even in this Rakdos shell. She's beefy and harder to remove than all our other creatures and often forces our opponent to spend removal on her rather than Mad Ratter or Piper as 3 damage to any target can really add up.

Lastly on the top end we have Rankle. He's straightforward, hasty, and his damage triggers can be chosen based on your needs. Most often you will be choosing the card draw, as well as the sacrifice as saccing a rat is not a big deal if the opponent is forced to sac any of their creatures. I've also threw in a single Bedevil and a couple of Disfigures for early removal.


My sideboards could always be better and I'm still fine tuning this part of the list. Drill Bit and Noxious Grasp for the control matches and anything that runs Nissa or Teferi-3. Angrath's Rampage for more versatile removal to hit things like ovens, and plansewalkers Noxious Grasp doesn't. Switch Glinty for Fisty if you want to go fast. Lastly a Liliana for extra card draw when stuff dies as well as comboing with Mad Ratter and getting back another 2 rats to replace the ones you probably sacced. However, I find her to be slow most of the time and this deck wants to stay low to the curve. 

Lastly I've been testing Foulmire Knight and Bladebrand. Switch out Burglar Rats for Foulmire. it provides the occasional card draw if its needed and its an early body that discourages attackers. Bladebrand is similar to FK in that it provides card draw but at instant speed as well as removal at instant speed. Play Bladbrand before declaring blockers as a combat trick, take out a big boy (hopefully one without trample) with a rat lol and draw a card. If Mad Ratter is out and you play Bladebrand followed up by another one or Thrill, then you get an extra two rats on your opponents turn. 

P.S. When the Theros set is released I suggest replacing Bloodfell Caves with Temple of Malice for the Scry over the lifegain. Otherwise, the manabase wants slightly more red than black in general. Castle Emberath should be activated when going wide with menace rats, and Locthwain on upkeep with a small hand to get a Mad Ratter activation.


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Last Updated: 06 Jan 2020
Created: 04 Dec 2019
96 19 0

Mainboard - 60 cards (18 distinct)

Creature (20)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (16)
Land (24)

Sideboard - 15 cards (7 distinct)


Maybeboard - 8 cards (2 distinct)


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Main/Sideboard Rarity Count
28 8 22 2 0
0 9 5 1 0