Daily D&D Deck Tech: Rakdos Goes Realms

Every workday ahead of the set's paper release, Insight takes a quick look at a deck featuring cards from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Black-Red Sacrifice has been a mainstay of Standard for a while, surviving even the banning of its premier one-drop. Luckily, there's a new one-drop (shambling) on its way.

shambling ghast

Black-Red Sacrifice has been terrorizing Standard with its Claim the Firstborn ever since Throne of Eldraine. The deck was so strong in fact that it got a card banned out of it—Cauldron Familiar, which formed a quasi-loop with Witch's Oven. The deck stuck around, albeit in a much weaker form, and still leverages sacrificing its own or the opponent's creatures for value.

The most annoying synergy in the deck is certainly Claim the Firstborn in conjunction with Village Rites. Essentially, for two mana you get a removal spell and two fresh cards. As you can imagine, it's a wildly strong effect. Should you not have Rites, you can still sacrifice the creature to any other sac outlet you may have, for example Woe Strider or Immersturm Predator. It's also a highly interactive deck. Between four Claims, Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp, and hard removal spells like Heartless Act or the new Power Word Kill it can easily assume a more controlling role in a matchup.

power word kill ebondeath, dracolich

With Adventures in the Forgotten Realms it's also got some nice proactive toys. Let's begin with Ebondeath, Dracolich. First, it's a four-mana flash flier with 5 power. Its low toughness is not as relevant when the creature has evasion, is mostly here to attack anyway, and returns from the grave. Indeed its last paragraph is where it's at. The Dragon allows us to cast a meaningful threat almost every single turn—very difficult to grind through for the opponent.

Another sweet addition is Deadly Dispute, which is a bit of a different take on Village Rites. The difference in the effect is that we can alternatively sacrifice an artifact such as a Treasure instead of a creature and also get a Treasure in return. It means that each subsequent Dispute can create an artifact to fuel the next one.

deadly dispute shambling ghast

Of course, a Treasure is a treasured addition in more respects. Shambling Ghast also leaves one such token behind when sacrificed or otherwise dying. With both in the deck, our curve virtually gets leaner and we can cast our strong four-drops sooner. The following list made Top 8 at one of the earliest tournaments featuring the new cards, and it may just be the beginning …

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