Arena Standard - Theros Rakdoscleave

23 26
31 6 0 23
Main 60 cards (17 distinct)
Creature (31)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (6)
Land (23)
Side 15 cards (5 distinct)

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Well, here I am again with another gofastsmashface list. Shocking, I know. heh. Well, I didn't choose the SMOrc life, the SMOrc life chose me.

First, please do note that this is just my first pass at updating this for Theros. The list will undoubtedly go through several revisions in the next couple weeks as a meta starts to shake out, and I shape the deck to react to the elements of that meta. This 75 is set up to have a lot of generic answers and less specific ones (notice no noxious grasp), since I don't know for sure what's going to be important yet. First up is additions from Theros to my original Rakdos Embercleave list. After that will be the sideboarding guide (unfortunately also going to be very generalized.)


New Additions

Shadowspear: This is a REALLY good addition to the deck. Indestructable creatures are definitely a thing in Theros (along with our old friend, the Wicked Wolf), as are big hexproof threats like Dream Trawler. Pay 1 to deal with any of those problems? Uh, yes please. It also gives you another source of trample, which is great to keep your regisaur from getting chumped all week by 1/1s. Even the lifegain is incredibly helpful in some matchups, and gets ridiculous if you can have both this and Embercleave on something large. Note that the cost reduction for equipping on the Fervent Champions comes in handy here. T1 Champion into T2 Champion + Spear is an 8 point health swing on T2.

Tectonic Giant: I am already thinking hard about going to 3 of these at least. These can push damage in a race or give you an extra draw every turn, depending on whichever you need. It also can give you kind of the same double-duty effect of the Questing Beast, allowing you to attack into a Planeswalker to get rid of it while still damaging face. Lives through Ritual of Soot and Clarion, too. Nice critter to put a spear on, as well. Still not sure what I'd take out to fit the 3rd in as yet.


Sideboard Cards

Agonizing Remorse: This comes in against Fires, Control, Combo, etc. Basically any matchup where the opponent has threats that are *much* better dealt with by having them never hit the table. Definite upgrade over Duress, and the fact that it exiles makes it the definite choice over Drill Bit.

Pharika's Libation: Enchantment removal? In a BLACK card? Can Design please slip me some of what they were smoking, since it was obviously good shit? I don't think I need to explain how crazy good enchantment removal can be for black in the right matchups. Note also that since it forces a sacrifice it gets around hexproof and indestructable, which is very very useful vs Trawlers. Just don't be as big an idiot as I frequently am, and try and cast this when they have a Tamiyo on the field... DOH.

Bedevil: For anyone with artifacts you really would like to remove (Cats, other Embercleave decks, etc.) or for decks like Fires with all Big Things that largely ignore the nuke from the Bonecrusher Giants. Oh, and for Superfriends decks, if those end up being a thing.

Eat to Extinction: Remember I mentioned Indestructable being a thing in Theros? Well, that's what this is for. Spear is our main deck method, but here's another one. Also bring this in vs Fires, assuming they're still using Cavaliers, since denying the on-death trigger is very useful. Again, also good vs Superfriends, should that be a thing.

Leyline of the Void: Well, Theros is full of Escape things, self-mill seems to possibly be a thing, and there's likely to be a lot of decks doing graveyard shenanigans, at least early on, so an answer would be nice. Possible these want to be Soul-Guide Lanterns, to allow for proactive voiding of a GY rather than preventing it from filling in the first place. That'll have to be tested out, and there obviously hasn't been time yet.


Things to take Out: 

On the draw against anything midrange or faster: Robber. Any deck that empties its hand relatively quickly means robbers are very unlikely to get to steal cards when you're on the draw, which makes them significantly worse. 

Against Fires: Crusader *must* go out. You're shooting yourself in the foot if you let Fires draw more cards. Depending on their secondary cards, can remove some of the giants, as there's really not that many good targets for the nuke, and they die to Clarion.

Against decks with *lots* of removal: Ebon Knight. Yes, it's a great card, but it depends on it and other creatures staying on the board for an extended length of time in order to build up a lot. Since that's unlikely to happen in these matchups, these can be dropped in favor of cards better against that specific deck.

Against super-fast aggro: Some number of Spawns and crusaders. Self damage against decks that are faster than you is risky at best. For the same reason, giving them more cards is pretty hazardous. How many of each get removed will have to be a judgment call, as crusaders can eat removal and block, and spawn are at least somewhat hard for decks like RDW to get past. Not THAT hard, though.

Hard to give more hard & fast rules for stuff to take out, since there's so many possible variants of decks you can run into. 


Hope the deck works for everyone, and hope the guide helps some. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, insults, etc.


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Thanks! I'll give it a watch.
wizardoak here the link of your deck
Sure, go right ahead. :)

Glad it's doing well for you!
hi there, am wizard oak. i recently just play your deck idea on rank. am really love the gameplay of the deck. it could hit mythic rank in my theory. with the recently theros beyond death. there are so many good and greats card on any colour. I like to make a video on my youtube channel if that okay with you. I will make shoutout on your half and link your twitch channel too.
Last Updated: 07 Feb 2020
Created: 17 Jan 2020
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