Last week I played aggro pretty extensively, looking to try and capitalize on the removal of Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath from the format. While I wasn't convinced control was viable, having no reasonable way to close out a game without something fairly tedious like Ashiok, Nightmare Muse, it felt like there might be an opening to attack the metagame if there was just a little less life gain floating around the format. The Omnath decks were also less likely to have a way to stabilize when they flooded a bit too much, or whiffed on an Escape to the Wilds/Genesis Ultimatum. If I had liked my aggro match-up before Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath was removed, it was likely I liked it as much, if not more, when it was gone.

While I wasn't successful, apparently between the Red Bull Untapped event and the ChannelFireball Clash event, there were a handful of aggressive decks that did well. While the bulk of decks were still Omnath, there were a few things that snuck into reasonable finishes between Mono-White, Selesnya, and Gruul.

Unfortunately Adventures had already risen to the top of the pile. Well known for beating up aggro and control, it snuffed out most of the new competition, with or without Omnath, Locus of Creation. Luminarch Aspirant and Conclave Mentor looked pretty awkward in the face of a million copies of Bonecrusher Giant.

If there is one lesson to come out of the last week it's this: don't be weak to Stomp. Omnath, Omnath Adventures, traditional Adventures and the newest player, Rakdos Midrange, are all running the full playset of Bonecrusher Giant, and the litmus test for the deck is whether or not it relies on early plays that can be stomped out easily. Without pressure to punish the Omnath decks, I moved off aggressive decks fairly quickly. I gave the Mono-White and Gruul versions a try on stream on Sunday, but neither felt good enough to put more time into.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Rakdos Midrange by Noham Maubert

'Rakdos Midrange' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Noham Maubert

Event: Red Bull Untapped Online Qualifier France

Rank: 1st

Standard

Market Price: $249.97

Cards

Embereth Shieldbreaker // Battle Display

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198550_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/embereth-shieldbreaker-battle-display

Heartless Act

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212369_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy target creature with no counters on it.
• Remove up to three counters from target creature.

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Skyclave Shade

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222127_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{B}
Skyclave Shade can't block.
If Skyclave Shade was kicked, it enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.
Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, if Skyclave Shade is in your graveyard and it's your turn, you may cast it from your graveyard this turn.

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Spikefield Hazard

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221957_200w.jpg

Spikefield Hazard deals 1 damage to any target. If a permanent dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Castle Locthwain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.57

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199388_200w.jpg

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp.
{T}: Add {B}.
{1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

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Liliana, Waker of the Dead

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215353_200w.jpg

+1: Each player discards a card. Each opponent who can't loses 3 life.
−3: Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of cards in your graveyard.
−7: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of combat on your turn, put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. It gains haste."

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Nighthawk Scavenger

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221895_200w.jpg

Flying, deathtouch, lifelink
Nighthawk Scavenger's power is equal to 1 plus the number of card types among cards in your opponents' graveyards.

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Terror of the Peaks

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $13.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215673_200w.jpg

Flying
Spells your opponents cast that target Terror of the Peaks cost an additional 3 life to cast.
Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, Terror of the Peaks deals damage equal to that creature's power to any target.

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Rankle, Master of Pranks

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $11.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198584_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Whenever Rankle, Master of Pranks deals combat damage to a player, choose any number —
• Each player discards a card.
• Each player loses 1 life and draws a card.
• Each player sacrifices a creature.

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Ox of Agonas

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $2.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206651_200w.jpg

When Ox of Agonas enters the battlefield, discard your hand, then draw three cards.
Escape—{R}{R}, Exile eight other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)
Ox of Agonas escapes with a +1/+1 counter on it.

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Mire Triton

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215956_200w.jpg

Deathtouch
When Mire Triton enters the battlefield, mill two cards and you gain 2 life.

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Soul-Guide Lantern

Market Price: $1.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206867_200w.jpg

When Soul-Guide Lantern enters the battlefield, exile target card from a graveyard.
{T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Exile each opponent's graveyard.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Draw a card.

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Shatterskull Smashing

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $7.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222030_200w.jpg

Shatterskull Smashing deals X damage divided as you choose among up to two target creatures and/or planeswalkers. If X is 6 or more, Shatterskull Smashing deals twice X damage divided as you choose among them instead.

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Murderous Rider // Swift End

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198749_200w.jpg

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Tymaret Calls the Dead

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206625_200w.jpg

(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I, II — Mill three cards. Then you may exile a creature or enchantment card from your graveyard. If you do, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.
III — You gain X life and scry X, where X is the number of Zombies you control.

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $5.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

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Bloodchief's Thirst

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221776_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{B} (You may pay an additional {2}{B} as you cast this spell.)
Destroy target creature or planeswalker with converted mana cost 2 or less. If this spell was kicked, instead destroy target creature or planeswalker.

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Magmatic Channeler

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $1.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222062_200w.jpg

As long as there are four or more instant and/or sorcery cards in your graveyard, Magmatic Channeler gets +3/+1.
{T}, Discard a card: Exile the top two cards of your library, then choose one of them. You may play that card this turn.

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Hagra Mauling

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.92

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222096_200w.jpg

This spell costs {1} less to cast if an opponent controls no basic lands.
Destroy target creature.

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Agadeem's Awakening

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $16.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222163_200w.jpg

Return from your graveyard to the battlefield any number of target creature cards that each have a different converted mana cost X or less.

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Cling to Dust

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.42

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206655_200w.jpg

Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, you gain 3 life. Otherwise, you draw a card.
Escape—{3}{B}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

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Agonizing Remorse

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207044_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it or a card from their graveyard. Exile that card. You lose 1 life.

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Shredded Sails

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212051_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy target artifact.
• Shredded Sails deals 4 damage to target creature with flying.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/208391_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/product/show?ProductName=Mountain

Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.91

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199035_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/bonecrusher-giant-stomp

Temple of Malice

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $1.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206635_200w.jpg

Temple of Malice enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Malice enters the battlefield, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
{T}: Add {B} or {R}.

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Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $21.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206855_200w.jpg

When Kroxa enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless it escaped.
Whenever Kroxa enters the battlefield or attacks, each opponent discards a card, then each opponent who didn't discard a nonland card this way loses 3 life.
Escape—{B}{B}{R}{R}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/theros-beyond-death/kroxa-titan-of-deaths-hunger

Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222820_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/swamp

What was impressive, however, was the Rakdos deck. While I had a few things I wanted to change after a few matches, the core of the deck seemed good: control the opponent's board, escape a Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger, and win quickly. While it's true that both Adventures and Omnath, Locus of Creation will win in a long game, Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger both constrains them on cards and life to be able to get there, and they're frequently forced to make sacrifices not to die, giving you time to cross the finish line. Adventures in particular felt great, as the deck had so much removal they rarely were allowed to draw more than one extra card.

After few days of play, this is my current list:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Rakdos Midrange by NickNPrince

'Rakdos Midrange' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: NickNPrince

Event:

Rank:

Standard

Market Price: $224.13

Cards

Liliana, Waker of the Dead

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215353_200w.jpg

+1: Each player discards a card. Each opponent who can't loses 3 life.
−3: Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of cards in your graveyard.
−7: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of combat on your turn, put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. It gains haste."

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/liliana-waker-of-the-dead

Nighthawk Scavenger

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221895_200w.jpg

Flying, deathtouch, lifelink
Nighthawk Scavenger's power is equal to 1 plus the number of card types among cards in your opponents' graveyards.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/nighthawk-scavenger

Rankle, Master of Pranks

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $11.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198584_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Whenever Rankle, Master of Pranks deals combat damage to a player, choose any number —
• Each player discards a card.
• Each player loses 1 life and draws a card.
• Each player sacrifices a creature.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/rankle-master-of-pranks

Temple of Malice

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $1.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206635_200w.jpg

Temple of Malice enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Malice enters the battlefield, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
{T}: Add {B} or {R}.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/theros-beyond-death/temple-of-malice

Agonizing Remorse

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207044_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it or a card from their graveyard. Exile that card. You lose 1 life.

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Mazemind Tome

Market Price: $1.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215519_200w.jpg

{T}, Put a page counter on Mazemind Tome: Scry 1.
{2}, {T}, Put a page counter on Mazemind Tome: Draw a card.
When there are four or more page counters on Mazemind Tome, exile it. If you do, you gain 4 life.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/mazemind-tome

Fabled Passage

Market Price: $5.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/fabled-passage

Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/208391_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/product/show?ProductName=Mountain

Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $21.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206855_200w.jpg

When Kroxa enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless it escaped.
Whenever Kroxa enters the battlefield or attacks, each opponent discards a card, then each opponent who didn't discard a nonland card this way loses 3 life.
Escape—{B}{B}{R}{R}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/theros-beyond-death/kroxa-titan-of-deaths-hunger

Soul-Guide Lantern

Market Price: $1.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206867_200w.jpg

When Soul-Guide Lantern enters the battlefield, exile target card from a graveyard.
{T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Exile each opponent's graveyard.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Draw a card.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/theros-beyond-death/soul-guide-lantern

Heartless Act

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212369_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy target creature with no counters on it.
• Remove up to three counters from target creature.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/ikoria-lair-of-behemoths/heartless-act

Murderous Rider // Swift End

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198749_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/murderous-rider-swift-end

Mire Triton

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215956_200w.jpg

Deathtouch
When Mire Triton enters the battlefield, mill two cards and you gain 2 life.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/jumpstart/mire-triton

Tymaret Calls the Dead

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206625_200w.jpg

(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I, II — Mill three cards. Then you may exile a creature or enchantment card from your graveyard. If you do, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.
III — You gain X life and scry X, where X is the number of Zombies you control.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/theros-beyond-death/tymaret-calls-the-dead

Eliminate

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215516_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature or planeswalker with converted mana cost 3 or less.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/eliminate

Bloodchief's Thirst

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221776_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{B} (You may pay an additional {2}{B} as you cast this spell.)
Destroy target creature or planeswalker with converted mana cost 2 or less. If this spell was kicked, instead destroy target creature or planeswalker.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/bloodchiefs-thirst

Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222820_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/swamp

Magmatic Channeler

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $1.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222062_200w.jpg

As long as there are four or more instant and/or sorcery cards in your graveyard, Magmatic Channeler gets +3/+1.
{T}, Discard a card: Exile the top two cards of your library, then choose one of them. You may play that card this turn.

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Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.91

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199035_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/bonecrusher-giant-stomp

Castle Locthwain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.57

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199388_200w.jpg

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp.
{T}: Add {B}.
{1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/castle-locthwain

Shatterskull Smashing // Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $7.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222030_200w.jpg

Shatterskull Smashing deals X damage divided as you choose among up to two target creatures and/or planeswalkers. If X is 6 or more, Shatterskull Smashing deals twice X damage divided as you choose among them instead.

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Spikefield Hazard // Spikefield Cave

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221957_200w.jpg

Spikefield Hazard deals 1 damage to any target. If a permanent dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Hagra Mauling // Hagra Broodpit

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.92

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222096_200w.jpg

This spell costs {1} less to cast if an opponent controls no basic lands.
Destroy target creature.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/hagra-mauling-hagra-broodpit

Agadeem's Awakening // Agadeem, the Undercrypt

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $16.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222163_200w.jpg

Return from your graveyard to the battlefield any number of target creature cards that each have a different converted mana cost X or less.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/agadeems-awakening-agadeem-the-undercrypt

Terror of the Peaks, while one of my favorite cards that just has never felt good enough, yet again… didn't feel good. It was a clunky addition, and the deck is almost never in a position where it can double spell Terror of the Peaks and a Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger. Liliana, Waker of the Dead, while decent, was actually kind of awkward in the mirror, and had some anti-synergy if you'd recently escaped a Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger when you needed her to be a removal spell. Finally, with so many people playing Lotus Cobra and Edgewall Innkeeper (and, now, Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger), I wanted four copies of of Spikefield Hazard.

From the sideboard, Skyclave Shade was a card I liked in theory, but in practice was fairly awkward. Against anyone with Spikefield Hazard, I actively don't want the card. Against control, where I imagine it would be brought in the most, they're fully ready with ways to exile it in the form of Extinction Event anyway. It wasn't really pulling its weight, and I turned to a card that had looked mighty impressive out of the Omnath decks the last week: Mazemind Tome. The deck is actually very mana efficient, and it's easy to start activating and also casting one or two spells a turn in a long game. Eventually between discard and card draw, opponents would be completely buried.

What struck me about the Mazemind Tome as I played it was I started bringing it in more and more, even against aggressive decks. Against Dimir Rogues or Gruul Adventures, the only thing I want to do is draw more removal and eventually kill them with a Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger or Bonecrusher Giant anyway. Against Temur Adventures, I wanted to avoid situations where both players were in top deck mode as theirs tended to be a little better, and Mazemind Tome is a way to get ahead on cards that is actively bad to bounce with a Brazen Borrower. Eventually, I stopped boarding it in every match-up and just moved it to the maindeck, and never looked back.

Magmatic Channeler, on the other hand, is a card that I wish I had a replacement for, but so far I haven't found a better option. It's a reasonable early blocker, doesn't die to Stomp, filters out draws that are bad game one based on the match-up you're in and lets you discard Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger without having to cast it (which is almost always the goal early). Unfortunately the deck doesn't actually turn it into a 4/4 very well, and it actively removes cards from its graveyard anyway. If there were another reasonable choice, I'd run it, but everything else I could play feels too situational or expensive. As the metagame becomes more defined, I'm hoping the deck can be built to attack it better without including Magmatic Channeler. Until then, I'm content enough to board it out every match-up.

Sideboard Guide

Vs. Omnath

-3 Magmatic Channeler
+3 Agonizing Remorse

In most respects, the deck is already built with Omnath, Locus of Creation in mind. Agonizing Remorse hits Felidar Retreat, Omnath, Locus of Creation and the Draw 5s. If given the choice, take Felidar Retreat, as even if they don't win with it, it buys so much time it can't stick around. If you want more answers to it, Feed the Swarm is an option, though I'm wary of trying to one-for-one it when they can stick a land drop and be ahead on cards.

The name of the game is to keep them from snowballing and end the game quickly. I don't bring in the fourth Mazemind Tome, because drawing multiples early is often game over, as drawing an extra card or so a turn can't keep up with Omnath, Locus of Creation. I want to get ahead by two-four cards and win, not draw eight and die with a full grip of cardboard.

Vs. Adventures (with or without Omnath)

-3 Magmatic Channeler
-2 Rankle, Master of Pranks
+3 Shredded Sails
+2 Liliana, Waker of the Dead

This is my current plan, though I've changed it quite a bit. The goal here is to kill any early Lucky Clover or Edgewall Innkeeper, and then beat whatever they have leftover before they can recover. Benefiting this plan is the fact that Edgewall Innkeeper and Lucky Clover are fantastic the first few turns of the game, and pretty rancid top decks later.

Because of this, I'm giving Liliana, Waker of the Dead the nod over Agonizing Remorse. While I want more discard to nab any Ugin, the Spirit Dragon they get, planning to cast the next turn, Liliana, Waker of the Dead has more utility and eventually threatens them with an ultimate ability that closes the game after a couple turns. That said, I could see Agonizing Remorse being the way to go as well, and would take out the fourth Bonecrusher Giant. While Bonecrusher Giant is amazing, it's mostly a way to block their Bonecrusher Giant and is frequently brickwalled by Lovestruck Beast. They have relatively few Stomp targets, and I think I can shave on one if I need to.

Vs. Rogues

-2 Rankle, Master of Pranks
-4 Tymaret Calls the Dead
-2 Mire Triton
+3 Shredded Sails
+2 Eliminate
+1 Mazemind Tome
+2 Nighthawk Scavenger

Against Rogues, don't fill the graveyard for them. Post board, the deck is all removal, Mazemind Tome and Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger. Whenever they get too many cards in the graveyard, escape Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger to reset their creatures back to 1/1s and 1/3s. If they aren't pressuring you, great, just draw more cards with Mazemind Tome and there's nothing they can do. Eventually you'll find a way to win, because their deck is full of Flying Men.

Here we see the first time I don't board out Magmatic Channeler. Occasionally it becomes a 4/4 early, and puts them in an awkward position. But for the most part it's an early blocker to save some chip damage from a Thieves' Guild Enforcer, and lets you discard any Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger you draw without having to cast it. Your mana is better spent killing their creatures, and making them discard a land almost never matters.

Pay attention to how you exile cards from your graveyard, keeping two things in mind: Nighthawk Scavenger cares about unique supertypes, and Zareth San, the Trickster cares about permanents. Exiling unique types and then creatures makes it difficult for Zareth San, the Trickster to resurrect anything that matters too much, and Nighthawk Scavenger will be fairly tiny.

Vs. Control

-2 Heartless Act
-2 Rankle, Master of Pranks
-2 Bloodchief's Thirst
+3 Agonizing Remorse
+2 Liliana, Waker of the Dead
+1 Mazemind Tome

This is a classic case of, "Take out removal, put in discard," against control. Anything creatures or planeswalkers they have or can bring in should be cleaned up by the Adventure creatures, Bonecrusher Giant and Murderous Rider.

Occasionally I leave in Rankle, Master of Pranks, because he can attack planeswalkers, if I suspect they're heavier on them. But most control decks avoid them because of Omnath, Locus of Creation anyway. Liliana, Waker of the Dead is similar to Rankle, Master of Pranks, but is harder to remove.

Draw cards, shred their hand, and win. Easy!

Vs. Gruul

-3 Magmatic Channeler
-2 Rankle, Master of Pranks
+2 Eliminate
+2 Nighthawk Scavenger
+1 Shredded Sails

Gruul always has creatures with reach that block Rankle, Master of Pranks, so I have to take them out. In their place I take out the other awkward creature, bring in a lot of removal (or, pseudo-removal in Nighthawk Scavenger case), and a single Shredded Sails, exclusively for Embercleave. Frequently when the game has gone quite long, Rakdos gets to positions where they're just continuously Embercleave-checking the opponent. Remove the Embercleave when they're finally able to play it, and the game usually ends shortly after.

Vs the list that Emma and Autumn registered at the Invitational that maxes out on Gemrazers

I've been experimenting with taking out Mazemind Tome and bringing in more Shredded Sails. I think this is overall a worse plan, but with four Stonecoil Serpent and four Embercleave, there should be targets for the card in most games. It's also possible that Tymaret Calls the Dead could come out, because the 2/2 bodies are less relevant here than in other places. I'm hesitant to do that, though, because Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger is typically the biggest thing on the board, and can often stabilize a game on its own.

The "must kill" creature is Kazandu Mammoth. It's fairly easy for Gruul to win fast even through Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger if it gets going, and I will kill that at the expense of taking a few points somewhere else if I have to.

Vs. Rakdos Midrange (The Mirror)

-3 Magmatic Channeler
-2 Heartless Act
-1 Murderous Rider
+1 Mazemind Tome
+2 Soul-Guide Lantern
+3 Agonizing Remorse

The mirror is… strange. It's fundamentally all about control of Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger. An early Soul-Guide Lantern is a massive brickwall to most draws, and if I had more room in the sideboard, I'd play more. As it is I might try to find room in the list anyway, because the mirror has become fairly prevalent.

While Agonizing Remorse is typically not the kind of card that plays in a midrange mirror, doing anti-Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger/Ox of Agonas work and letting the deck proactively attack their hand while drawing more cards with Mazemind Tome all sounds preferable to random removal spells that are likely to rot.

One thing I have tried and am split on is bringing in Nighthawk Scavenger over the Murderous Rider. I'm not too interested in Murderous Rider a Bonecrusher Giant on their side of the board anyway, and they can frequently be ignored. The creature half of Murderous Rider only blocks Zombie tokens, and doesn't often attack. This makes it a fairly mediocre card in the match-up, whereas Nighthawk Scavenger can threaten to win the game quickly if they're failing to find Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger.

While the metagame is likely to be re-defined based on what does well this weekend in the Grand Finals, we at least have a couple representatives of the archetype competing this weekend as well:

Hibanafish's squad reached some similar conclusions that I did, though I'd be curious to know if Duress is a call based on the metagame they expected to face or they believe it's legitimately strong in an open meta. I tried a couple main at some point and wasn't a fan, but I also had a limited sample size, was working solo, and was playing against random opponents instead of a known field of Magic Pros. Either way, I'm excited to see how they do this weekend, and if the deck has legs going forward.