Historic - [Historic] Rakdos Burn Revisited

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A few months back, I posted a Historic Rakdos Burn deck. I'm revisiting and reposting it because I feel like it is still a pretty solid deck in the current Historic metagame. Naturally, there are some real janky and annoying brews out there that are WAY too fast for Burn to handle (looking at you Thassa Treasure Hunt), but fortunately they are few and far between because they just don't hold up to most of the Historic metagame. One of the biggest changes I made was making the decision to mainboard [[Tibalt, Rakish Instigator]]. Lifegain is the bane of burn and thanks to [[Soul Warden]], it is EVERYWHERE. There are also some [[Alseid of Life's Bounty]] Tron/Enchantress decks roaming out there as well. So Tibalt just became a no-brainer mainboard. When lifegain decks lose their main engine, they will do whatever they can to get it back wasting key removal spells like [[Conclave Tribunal]] etc to get rid of it.

So the gist of this deck is to burn face fast and hard. I experimented with a Mono R variation of this using [[Obosh, the Preypiercer]] as a damage boost, but in all honesty, Obosh is just too damn slow. Hell, I'd argue that Obosh is too slow even for AGGRO decks. By the time you get him out, you are either at a point where you could just win easily enough without him, or you are too far behind where the extra damage won't mean jack. Losing out on key burn spells like [[Lightning Strike]] and [[Sovereign's Bite]] along with losing some good burning creatures like [[Viashino Pyromancer]] and [[Dreadhorde Butcher]] just didn't warrant using Obosh. Onward to the deck guide!

The Aggro:

{{Ghitu Lavarunner}}{{Dreadhorde Butcher}}

Pretty much staples in burn decks at this point. Ghitu becomes a 2/2 with Haste if you have two or more Instants or Sorceries in your graveyard. Butcher is a 1/1 Haster that gets bigger the more it smacks your opponent or their Walkers. Should it be destroyed, its power becomes burn damage.

The Burn:

{{Shock}}{{Lightning Strike}}{{Sovereign's Bite}}{{Viashino Pyromancer}}{{Slaying Fire}}{{Wizard's Lightning}}{{Risk Factor}}

All of these spells can go face with burn which is really what we are going for. There will be times when we will need to do some spot removal, but we don't want to be doing that too much. Mentions go to: 1) Sovereign's Bite because it gives us health, 2) Slaying Fire because we can pump it to 4 damage if we pay the casting cost with three red mana, 3) Wizard's Lightning because it costs only 1 red mana if we have a Wizard out (Lavarunner, Pyromancer), and Risk Factor because it forces our opponent to decide between giving us three cards or taking 4 damage.

The Support:

{{Torbran, Thane of Red Fell}}{{Tibalt, Rakish Instigator}}{{Light Up the Stage}}{{The Flame of Keld}}

Torbran pumps up our red damage which is all of our damage. Torbran is cheaper and more durable than Obosh, increases red damage by 2 instead of 3, but takes away the ridiculous deck restriction. All in all a better card overall than Obosh for burn. Tibalt stops lifegain decks cold unless they can get rid of him. His devils also count as burn if they die dealing 1 damage to any target. LUtS does what LUtS does...giving us some more casting options for 3 mana or 1 mana if we hit Spectacle which there is no reason we shouldn't. Flame of Keld we ideally want to play with an empty hand, but if our cards are dead (it happens sometimes) or we are holding a land or two we don't need, then there's no reason not to Keld and get rid of them. On Keld II, we draw two cards. On Keld III, all of our red damage is boosted by 2 until EoT.


For the time being, I'm running only 20 lands because usually that is enough for us. There are times where I have been stuck on 2 lands and regretted it, but there have been other times where I have won even when stuck on 2 lands.

Other cards:

Other cards for consideration are [[Skewer the Critics]] and [[Sword-Point Diplomacy]]. Skewer is another usual staple card in burn, but I wound up cutting it because I like Slaying Fire better. However, the Spectacle cost reduction of Skewer should not be underestimated as it can accelerate the rate you burn your opponent. I feel SPD is a necessity in this deck, but I do not have any and I have no Rare WCs. If you do have SPD, then I would suggest probably cutting Light Up the Stage.


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Last Updated: 29 May 2020
Created: 29 May 2020
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Mainboard - 60 cards (17 distinct)

Creature (13)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (25)
Land (20)
Planeswalker (2)

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