Hey everyone! The circus is in town! …huh? They’re demon worshipers? WHO CARES!? Let’s go!!!
The Cult of Rakdos
If you have ever heard of the term “Red Light District” that could definitely apply here. From circus type performances, burlesque shows, and nightclubs they have it all. There are even darker festive acts found where the Cult of Rakdos hold sway from fight clubs, twisted versions of their circus performances, and even sex acts. It’s no wonder why this guild is quite popular among the citizens of Ravnica as you are almost guaranteed to never see the same thing twice.
Sounds great, right? No? Well this is definitely not for the squeamish or timid. Their performances are quite the Spectacle after all.
Kicking off this showcase of Rakdos cards is none other than the guild’s top performer Judith, the Scourge Diva. Her giving your team an extra power boost shows how much the rest in the guild look up to her…well except the guild leader whom she is trying to garner the attention of.
Remember when I spoke about the Orzhov cards leading to an Aristocrats style of build? Well you’ll want to add her to the deck as each creature card (not token) you sacrifice will cause Judith to do damage. This will be a must include in such a deck, so make sure to build your manabase accordingly.
Here we have the one, the only, Rakdos himself with Rakdos, the Showstopper! A six mana 6/6 flying and trample creature is always nice, but when he comes into play he somehow turns into…Harvey Dent?
Seriously. You’re flipping coins to determine which non-Demons, Devils, or Imps are destroyed (which usually is every other creature on the board). You’re leaving everything to chance here, just like the performers in Rakdos. This is card fits the theme of Rakdos 100%.
Now to something serious. Super serious. I know this may sound a tad hyperbolic, but Bedevil will be played in Modern. Why? It deals with your choice from one of three problematic permanents: Artifacts, Creatures, or Planeswalkers. Sure the mana cost may be problematic for some, but what if you could cast it for free?
YEP! That’s right! It’s going to be played in Jund!!!
Why is this you ask? Well have you ever faced against a Griselbrand without an Assassin’s Trophy in hand? Good luck throwing a pair of Lightning Bolt at it, and then it being resurrected. Bedevil allows you to kill it, or anything the rest of the spells in your deck does not kill. Assassin’s Trophy helped simplify the removal suite in Jund for Modern, and Bedevil will provide a little redundancy as well.
Again I know this is crazy, but I am confidant it will happen.
Now to take a look at the spectacle that is the guild mechanic…Spectacle. First I want to take a look at Drill Bit not only because it is a discard spell you can follow up with when casting it for the cheaper cost, but because of puns. You all know I love puns.
Spectacle works by the opponent losing life on the turn you can cast the spell. They may damage themselves, or maybe you can damage them with combat or a spell. This is quite the powerful mechanic. Let’s look at what else it offers.
Light Up The Stage feels a lot like a reverse Faithless Looting upon first glance, but read it again. The cards exiled can either be played the turn you play this, or your next turn. What if you took an extra turn the turn you played this? What if the second turn you had a land exiled with this that you needed that turn? This card is really good, and can help you power through your deck.
Now we come to, in my opinion, the best card in the set. Flavor, art, mechanics…all A+. It don’t care what others say because I will Skewer the Critics (after resolving a Rift Bolt off of suspend). Yes I know I have talked about mono red with the Gruul review, but the cards available in Rakdos are too good not to talk about. This card will be seen in many formats, especially pauper. This card is amazing.
If you have not been playing since Ravnica: City of Guilds then the first side of the card Bedeck will not seem familiar. This is a slightly different version of Last Gasp. This can be cast in mono red decks so keep that in mind when looking at this card. Some creatures Adanto Vanguard can not be killed with damage so this will be useful against cards like that. Bedazzle will have a lot of targets, but I’m not sure how much play it will see. The extra two damage may come into play though so don’t overlook it if you need an extra source of damage.
That’s it for the Cult of Rakdos. I really think these cards will perform well in Standard. This is my favorite of the guilds in this set, and my favorite of this trip to Ravnica. In the past we had Hellbent and Unleash, but both of them were subpar at best sadly. Spectacle hit it out of the park, and no matter how you play Magic these cards will bring forth many memorable plays.
Tomorrow I reach the finish line on the Ravnica Allegiance guild review. The last one on the list will be the Simic Combine.
TAP MORE MANA!!!
Scott Campbell, better known as MTGPackFoils, has been playing Magic since he was 17 (which was in 1993). He’s known for loving decks such as Azorius Control, Jund, and others (especially in Modern). He is a husband, father, and a former nightclub DJ.