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CardShark Content - Robert Hager (6/22/2006)

Last time we looked at Simic the guild with plenty of tricks, counters, and many graft creatures. Now we are Hellbent and full of destruction. We look at Rakdos (B/R), filled will all sorts cool creatures, cool removal cards and cards with Hellbent. From the Hellbent side of Rakdos we have cards that force us to have to no cards in hand to get the bonuses from them, which can be a bad strategy since we usually want to have cards in hand. If we get plenty of creatures out in play, we’re probably not going to have the same problems in Constructed, with people playing Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
or other forms of mass removal. You will find with Rakdos there are lots of cards out there that are playable. You will also notice fewer cards for Simic or Azorius that could be played compared to Rakdos.

Avatar of Discord
Avatar of Discord
Avatar of DiscordSet: Dissension
Cost:
11
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
140
Artist:
rk post
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
((B/R) can be paid with either B or R.) Flying When Avatar of Discord comes into play, sacrifice it unless you discard two cards.

A 5/3 flying for 3 mana is really good. Discarding 2 cards shouldn't be a problem and easily can get you Hellbent. This is a bomb cards that would be picked no matter what color you’re going.
Infernal Tutor
Infernal Tutor
Infernal TutorSet: Dissension
Color:
Black
Rarity:
R
Number:
46
Artist:
Kev Walker

Maybe this isn't the tutor you’re looking for? It is limited to what cards you have in your hand so you have to have more than one copy of the card you want to tutor for unless you have no cards in hand. This is one of the best Hellbent cards out there. Most cards with Hellbent are creatures and the bonuses only help the creatures. If you have no cards in hand when you play this, you basically get to search your library for a card and put it into your hand. If you do get one in your first pack, pick it if is FNM since it is at least worth something. Otherwise no matter what this can be splashed and works pretty well in most situations so don't expect to see it go beyond 3rd or 4th pick

Rakdos Pit Dragon
Rakdos Pit Dragon
Rakdos Pit DragonSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
69
Artist:
Kev Walker

Not all dragons get to fly for free. With some it will cost you. Two mana might seem a little expensive but this way you can easily get 3 damage through for 2 mana. You can pump him if you want, but he works best if you also have enough mana to give him flying until end of turn. If you have no cards in hand then he has double strike so he can deal double the damage when not blocked. Yes, trying to give him flying and pump him up until end of turn can be expensive. He also requires double red mana. I do see him as a bomb card that should be picked first no matter what.

Seal of Fire
Seal of Fire
Seal of FireSet: Nemesis
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Fire: Seal of Fire deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

This is the preferred choice of direct damage for red and Rakdos. I would expect to pick this first unless there is a bomb rare or uncommon that should be picked.
You can deal lots of damage with this card to a creature or player.

Cackling Flames
Cackling Flames
Cackling FlamesSet: Dissension
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
59
Artist:
Shishizaru
Text:
Cackling Flames deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Hellbent - Cackling Flames deals 5 damage to that creature or player instead if you have no cards in hand.

What are these Flames laughing about? Three damage for 4 mana doesn't make it sound really good. What makes this good is it can deal 5 damage for 4 mana if you have no cards in hand. This is something I would pick early on. I would first look to see if there is a better rare or some better common or uncommon I could use. If you are looking for red removal then pick this unless something better is going around like Seal of Fire
Seal of Fire
Seal of FireSet: Nemesis
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Fire: Seal of Fire deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
.

Demonfire
Demonfire
DemonfireSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
60
Artist:
Greg Staples

A card like this could be countered by anyone playing blue or prevented by someone playing white. With Hellbent it makes the Demonfire
Demonfire
DemonfireSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
60
Artist:
Greg Staples
so it doesn't get countered and so the damage has to go through. Only a card that bounces a creature to hand as fast effect can make the Demonfire
Demonfire
DemonfireSet: Dissension
Color:
Red
Rarity:
R
Number:
60
Artist:
Greg Staples
useless.

Drekavac
Drekavac
DrekavacSet: Dissension
Color:
Black
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
Carl Critchlow

This is about as good as it gets for a 3/3 for 2 mana. This isn't as good as Watchwolf
Watchwolf
WatchwolfSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wolf
Rarity:
U
Number:
239
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
but with this you only need black mana to be able to play this. I would want to pick this early on in the first couple of picks.

Flame-Kin War Scout
This isn't the strongest creature for 4 mana. It only is a 2/4. Since this creature does 4 damage to creature if it is sacrificed it makes it hard to die. This can call even some of the big creatures. This is pretty good removal so I would pick it around 3 or 4th pick since in the first couple of picks there probably is something better. This requires only one red mana so you don't have to Rakdos to use this card and can be easily splashed.
Gobhobbler Rats
Gobhobbler Rats
Gobhobbler RatsSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin

You should probably know what the rats do. This would be an early pick for Rakdos unless you don't need creatures. I would be surprised if some are still going around towards your middle picks.

Hit/Run
The run side isn't really good unless you have tokens or you’re going green in your deck as a third color. Hit is what makes this card good. They have to sacrifice a creature or artifact and get dealt damage equal to that card’s mana cost. What stinks is if they got a signet or a token creature then this wouldn't do much for you. I would wait till 3rd of 4th pick since I see much better removal cards out there for Rakdos.

Lyzolda, the Blood Witch
Lyzolda, the Blood Witch
Lyzolda, the Blood WitchSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Jim Nelson

Lyzolda is a powerful creature. She can deal 2 damage to target creature or player for just sacrificing a red creature or drawing a card for sacrificing a black creature. The ability costs 2 mana, which isn't too bad. The problem with this she can easily be killed by cards just like Viashino Fangtail
Viashino Fangtail
Viashino FangtailSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Viashino Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
148
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
T: Viashino Fangtail deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
, Gelectrode
Gelectrode
GelectrodeSet: Guildpact
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Weird
Rarity:
U
Number:
113
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Gelectrode deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Whenever you play an instant or sorcery spell, you may untap Gelectrode.
, Rakdos Ickspitter
Rakdos Ickspitter
Rakdos IckspitterSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
C
Number:
128
Artist:
Christopher Rush
, and even Riot Spikes
Riot Spikes
Riot SpikesSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
C
Number:
146
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
since she has a toughness of only 1. She is still fairly good so I would pick her early on. If I got her in my pack I opened I would only pick her if there wasn't something better to pick.

Rakdos Augermage
Rakdos Augermage
Rakdos AugermageSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
R
Number:
127
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai

This is more of fun card than a really good card. Your opponent gets to choose first which isn't a big problem if you use his ability. You can get rid one of his key cards in hand when you could have nothing. This also could help you try to get no cards in hand for Hellbent cards. I don't see this as a first pick. I see this as a 3rd or 4th pick.

Seal of Doom
Seal of Doom
Seal of DoomSet: Nemesis
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Doom: Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated.

Remember Prophecy
Prophecy
ProphecySet: Homelands
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Reveal the top card of target opponent's library to all players. If it is a land, gain 1 life. That opponent then shuffles his or her library. Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.
when there were the 5 seals. They brought them back. This is the second best out of the 5. It isn't as good as Seal of Fire
Seal of Fire
Seal of FireSet: Nemesis
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Fire: Seal of Fire deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
or as cheap but can easily kill a non black creature. This card also gets around the creatures out there with regeneration. I would expect to pick this 1st pick if there isn't a better uncommon or rare. Otherwise this would be an early pick. If you don't get one of these there should still be plenty of other black or red removal going around.

U3RhbGtpbmcgVengeance
Vengeance
VengeanceSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Keith Parkinson
Text:
Destroy any one tapped creature.

This creature looks evil. He isn't that scary unless you’re the one that has to deal with him. He is kind of expensive being a 5/5 creature for 7 mana. He does have haste which makes him better. What makes him evil is the fact he can deal damage to your opponent every time a creature you control goes to your graveyard from play. This has the power to win games for you and also can take too long or die sometimes. I would probably wait till 3rd or 4th pick to pick this but, do see the possibility of this being a bomb so I might want to pick this first.

Twinstrike
Twinstrike
TwinstrikeSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
U
Number:
134
Artist:
Christopher Rush

Twins work better in this case. You deal 2 damage to not 1 but 2 creatures. Then if you have Hellbent you can destroy both creatures. Either way you have to have 2 creatures to target if you want use this. I would pick this first if you’re going Rakdos unless the rare is better or something. Otherwise it would be at least a 3rd or 4th pick since it kind of slow and I might not be going black or red.

Wrecking Ball
Wrecking Ball
Wrecking BallSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Ron Spears

A Wrecking Ball
Wrecking Ball
Wrecking BallSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Ron Spears
is usually used to destroy things such as old skyscrapers. This basically does the same thing to a creature or land. It is fairly expensive but it does get the job done. I would pick it first if there wasn't something better for Rakdos. This would be a 3rd or 4th pick since it is still pretty good creature removal. You could destroy a land with this but in most cases a creature will be more dangerous.

Hellhole Rats
Hellhole Rats
Hellhole RatsSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
U
Number:
113
Artist:
Kev Walker

This is an expensive 2/2 creature. What makes it playable is the opponent has to discard a card. Then it deals damage equal to its converted mana cost. This has a good ability but it is an overcosted 2/2 creature. They could have no cards in hand maybe or just discard a land so they don't take any damage. I would reserve this as an early to middle pick. This is an expensive enough card you probably could find one going around as one of the middle picks unless someone is going with rats.

Ratcatcher
Ratcatcher
RatcatcherSet: Dissension
Color:
Black
Rarity:
R
Number:
52
Artist:
Dan Scott

Maybe you have a rat fetish or want to make some weird rat deck with this. if this is R/G/D not R/G/G then this might have little use. If you get at least 3 or 4 rats in your deck you could play this as a tutor for your rats you play. A 4/4 for 6 mana is fairly expensive and his uses are fairly limited. I would pick him as a middle pick. [Editor’s note: Except that if it’s an R/G/G draft, you won’t see this guy, so of course he won’t be any use.]

Rakdos Guildmage
Rakdos Guildmage
Rakdos GuildmageSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
U
Number:
145
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis

Making 2/1 Goblins tokens until end of turn isn't really good unless you want a few extra attackers or blockers. You can discard a card to give a creature -2/-2 until end of turn. Both abilities are limited and can be used when you really need to. I do think this very good. Four mana to use either ability is fairly expensive. I would make this a middle pick. There are many things to look for before you pick this.

Once you know what the good cards are, you want to know what colors to draft. Now between the first 2 packs the colors you go can be a hard decision. Each kind has its own pros and cons. In the Ravnica pack you want to look for R/W Boros cards, B/G Golgari and then U/B Dimir cards. With R/W you can get some more solid creatures and cheap creature which can fall into our scheme of things. You want to look for cards like Skyhunter Legionnaire, Conclave Equenaut
Conclave Equenaut
Conclave EquenautSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Convoke (Each creature you tap while playing this spell reduces its cost by 1 or by one mana of that creature’s color.) Flying
and you could get some removal cards like Galvanic Arc
Galvanic Arc
Galvanic ArcSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
126
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Enchant creature When Galvanic Arc comes into play, it deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Enchanted creature has first strike.
or Faith Fetters. R/W probably won't give you any big creatures unless it is a bomb rare.

You could look for Golgari cards if you’re looking for more aggro cards. You could get cards like Golgari Rotwurm
Golgari Rotwurm
Golgari RotwurmSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Wurm
Rarity:
C
Number:
210
Artist:
Wayne England
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
B, Sacrifice a creature: Target player loses 1 life.
, Thoughtpicker Witch
Thoughtpicker Witch
Thoughtpicker WitchSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
109
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1, Sacrifice a creature: Look at the top two cards of target opponent’s library, then remove one of them from the game.
, etc. which might or might not fit into the deck we want to make. Lastly we could use some Dimir cards. Dimir provides us with counters and also draw cards. Any draw spells going around could be good for us except if we want to get Hellbent. We didn't mention Selesnya but with a G/W guild we don't really want to go 4 colors.

Next with the Guildpact pack we are looking at each guild. Orzhov B/W fills the bill for extra removal or the extra few flying creatures. We would be looking for cards like Shrieking Grotesque
Shrieking Grotesque
Shrieking GrotesqueSet: Guildpact
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Gargoyle
Rarity:
C
Number:
15
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying When Shrieking Grotesque comes into play, if B was spent to play Shrieking Grotesque, target player discards a card.
, Pillory of the Sleepless
Pillory of the Sleepless
Pillory of the SleeplessSet: Guildpact
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
125
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature can’t attack or block. Enchanted creature has “At the beginning of your upkeep, you lose 1 life.”
, Ostiary Thrull
Ostiary Thrull
Ostiary ThrullSet: Guildpact
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Thrull
Rarity:
C
Number:
55
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
W, T: Tap target creature.
, and Blind Hunter
Blind Hunter
Blind HunterSet: Guildpact
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bat
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying Haunt (When this card is put into a graveyard from play, remove it from the game haunting target creature.) When Blind Hunter comes into play or the creature it haunts is put into a graveyard, target player loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.
. If you go for Izzet you should be able to get some good bounce or creatures than can deal damage like Gelectrode
Gelectrode
GelectrodeSet: Guildpact
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Weird
Rarity:
U
Number:
113
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Gelectrode deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Whenever you play an instant or sorcery spell, you may untap Gelectrode.
, Ogre Savant
Ogre Savant
Ogre SavantSet: Guildpact
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Ogre Savant comes into play, if U was spent to play Ogre Savant, return target creature to its owner’s hand.
, and Steamcore Weird
Steamcore Weird
Steamcore WeirdSet: Guildpact
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Weird
Rarity:
C
Number:
35
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Steamcore Weird comes into play, if R was spent to play Steamcore Weird, it deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
. You should be able to get Wee Dragonauts
Wee Dragonauts
Wee DragonautsSet: Guildpact
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Faerie Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
137
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever you play an instant or sorcery spell, Wee Dragonauts gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
for some fast aggro creatures. You could also try Gruul if you need some good big creatures like a Streetbreaker Wurm
Streetbreaker Wurm
Streetbreaker WurmSet: Guildpact
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wurm
Rarity:
C
Number:
133
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
or some creatures with Bloodthirst. You probably for your last pack get at least some big creatures so not drafting R/G in your Guildpact shouldn't be a problem.

Once you get to your Dissension pack, you will look for your B/R Rakdos cards. If you can’t enough B/R or need some more cards for the other colors you drafted you could look towards white for some more removal cards like Condemn
Condemn
CondemnSet: Dissension
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
8
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Put target attacking creature on the bottom of its owner's library. Its controller gains life equal to its toughness.
or Minister of Impediments
Minister of Impediments
Minister of ImpedimentsSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
C
Number:
144
Artist:
Brian Hagan
. If you get some other bomb rare out of our color just pick it. Blue can give you counters like Spell Snare
Spell Snare
Spell SnareSet: Dissension
Color:
Blue
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Hideaki Takamura
which can be pretty good if blue is your third color. You could pick green cards if that is your third color and look for some of the big creatures out there like Assault Zeppelid
Assault Zeppelid
Assault ZeppelidSet: Dissension
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying, trample
or Indrik Stomphowler
Indrik Stomphowler
Indrik StomphowlerSet: Dissension
Color:
Green
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
. If you get a Voidslime
Voidslime
VoidslimeSet: Dissension
Color:
Multicolor
Rarity:
R
Number:
137
Artist:
Jim Murray
just pick it and you might be able to use it. Unless you’re going 4 colors, that isn't very likely.

Now once you have mastered this you should be able to draft Rakdos and all the other guilds from the previous articles. After awhile of doing this you be able to draft a good deck with these strategies.


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