Muckwading Back In

Fast aggro decks are often a great choice for players on a budget since such decks can often be built using very few rares. With so many powerful aggressive cards in black and red at the moment, Rakdos aggro seems to be a great option. Here's the deck I put together:

The Creatures

Rakdos Cackler
Rakdos Cackler and Diregraf Ghoul each provides a 2-power creature for only 1 mana. These are the most aggressive creatures in Standard, and they'll put some major hurt on any opponent who doesn't have a creature on turn two. Although neither of these creatures is particularly adept at blocking, that will seldom be an issue in a deck as fast as this one.

Stromkirk Noble won't get in quite as much fast damage as the other 1-drops, but if you can put a couple hits in, it'll be big enough to take down most other creatures at that stage of the game. With all the burn in this deck, it shouldn't be difficult to make sure the Noble picks up a counter or two to start things rolling.

Crimson Muckwader and Gore-House Chainwalker are both going to be 3/2s for 2 most of the time, providing you with other solid sources of damage turn after turn. Although there will be some situations in which the Muckwader will only be a 2/1, it makes up for it with a regeneration ability that can come in handy when fighting off creatures such as Thragtusk.

Pyreheart Wolf doesn't look very good at first glance, but it's a great way to push some extra damage through when your opponent has a few blockers. If he chooses to block the Wolf with two creatures, more damage will make it through, and the Wolf will come back thanks to undying. If he doesn't, you'll be able to continue using the ability turn after turn.

Blood Artist gives this deck some major reach, letting you attack all-out even when your opponent has larger creatures. Decks like token decks that seek to trade off creatures will suffer even more greatly, losing 2 life for every trade they're forced to make. A single Blood Artist on the battlefield can often turn a losing situation into a winning one on the spot.

The Burn

Pillar of Flame
Pillar of Flame is excellent at dealing with resilient threats such as Geralf's Messenger as well as creatures that may cause problems for your attackers, such as Silverblade Paladin and Elite Inquisitor. It can also get rid of a turn-one Avacyn's Pilgrim or Arbor Elf to prevent your opponent from accelerating ahead of you.

Searing Spear's 3 damage rids you of most of the creatures that might stop your 2/2s from making it through, such as Centaur Healer, Thragtusk, and Beast and Centaur tokens. 3 damage is also a fairly solid piece of your opponent's life total when you need to close out the game.

Brimstone Volley charges you an extra mana over Searing Spear, but its morbid ability more than makes up for it. 5 damage will often be enough to end the game out of nowhere, and your opponent will usually be unable to avoid turning on morbid without just dying to your attackers.

The Sideboard

Knight of Infamy
Knight of Infamy gives you some extra protection (pun intended) against decks with Silverblade Paladin and Elite Inquisitor. Although these creatures may be able to take down many of your threats, Knight of Infamy can charge right past them without a scratch.

Cremate gives you a way to hate out graveyard-based decks without significantly compromising your own game plan. In a deck in which most of your spells cost 1 or 2 mana, leaving a Swamp untapped after turn three or four shouldn't hurt you too much, and the card-draw will make sure you still have enough damage to end the game before your opponent recovers.

Traitorous Blood is great at ending games against decks playing large creatures. Although it's more color-intensive than something like Mark of Mutiny, giving the stolen creature trample makes all the difference, making sure a stolen Angel of Serenity won't be stopped by a Spirit token, and a borrowed Thragtusk won't be shut down by an Arbor Elf. That extra damage can often make all the difference.

Sever the Bloodline makes life difficult for token decks, letting you wipe out most or all of the opponent’s army before sending yours in. It can also give you some hard removal for decks with larger creatures if you feel you need it.

Playtesting

W/U Flash – Game 1

Gore-House Chainwalker
I won the roll and kept a hand of two Swamps, a Mountain, Rakdos Cackler, Diregraf Ghoul, Gore-House Chainwalker, and Blood Artist. I played a Swamp and cast Diregraf Ghoul before passing the turn. My opponent put a Hallowed Fountain onto the battlefield tapped and passed back.

I drew Blood Artist and attacked for 2 with my Ghoul. I then played a Mountain, cast Gore-House Chainwalker unleashed, and ended my turn. My opponent played Glacial Fortress and passed the turn.

I drew Brimstone Volley, played my Swamp, and cast Blood Artist. I attacked with Diregraf Ghoul and Gore-House Chainwalker, and my opponent cast Snapcaster Mage, blocking the Chainwalker to trade with it. He took 2 from Diregraf Ghoul, and my Blood Artist stole another 2 life. I cast an unleashed Rakdos Cackler and ended my turn. My opponent played an Island and passed the turn.

I drew Searing Spear, cast my second Blood Artist, and attacked with my pair of 2/2s. My opponent dropped to 10 and cast Think Twice to draw a card when I passed the turn. On his turn, he played an Island and cast Augur of Bolas, grabbing an Azorius Charm. He ended his turn.

I drew Gore-House Chainwalker, played it as a 3/2, and passed the turn. My opponent passed the turn with no play.

Blood Artist
I drew Pillar of Flame and attacked with Diregraf Ghoul, Rakdos Cackler, and Gore-House Chainwalker. My opponent cast Restoration Angel and targeted Augur of Bolas with its ability. I killed the Augur with Searing Spear in response, stealing 2 life with Blood Artist triggers. My opponent blocked the Chainwalker with his Angel, taking 4 from the other creatures. He dropped to 2 life from my Blood Artists, and I passed the turn. My opponent played an Island and attacked with Restoration Angel. He cast Azorius Charm to give it lifelink, putting him up to 5 before he ended his turn.

I drew Gore-House Chainwalker and attacked with my 2/2s. Azorius Charm put the Cackler on top of my library, and Unsummon returned Diregraf Ghoul to my hand. I cast Diregraf Ghoul and Gore-House Chainwalker unleashed and ended my turn. My opponent put a Glacial Fortress onto the battlefield tapped and ended his turn.

I drew my Cackler and attacked with Diregraf Ghoul and Gore-House Chainwalker. My opponent cast Snapcaster Mage, flashing back Azorius Charm to give his creatures lifelink. He blocked my two creatures with his, going up to 10 from lifelink. However, my Blood Artists dropped him back down to 4, and Brimstone Volley finished it off.

Sideboarding:
−4 Pillar of Flame
+4 Cremate

Game 2

Augur of Bolas
I took a mulligan and kept a hand of Mountain, Stromkirk Noble, Rakdos Cackler, two Crimson Muckwaders, and a Pyreheart Wolf. My opponent played an Island and ended his turn. I drew a Mountain, played it, and cast Stromkirk Noble before passing the turn.

My opponent played a Plains and cast Runechanter's Pike before passing back. I drew a Swamp, played it, and attacked with the Noble, dealing 1 to my opponent and putting a counter on it. I cast Crimson Muckwader and ended my turn.

My opponent played another Plains and ended his turn. I drew Gore-House Chainwalker, played a Mountain, and attacked with both creatures. My opponent cast Azorius Charm to put the Muckwader on top of my deck, and he took 2 from the Noble. I put a +1/+1 counter on the Noble, cast Pyreheart Wolf, and passed the turn.

My opponent played Cavern of Souls naming Wizard and cast Augur of Bolas, taking another Azorius Charm off the top. I drew my Crimson Muckwader, cast it along with an unleashed Rakdos Cackler, and passed the turn.

My opponent played a Glacial Fortress, equipped Runechanter's Pike to Augur of Bolas, and attacked for 2. He ended his turn. I drew a Mountain, played it, and attacked with everything. My opponent cast Azorius Charm on Stromkirk Noble and dropped to 11 from the other creatures. I cast Crimson Muckwader and passed the turn.

Searing Spear
My opponent played Moorland Haunt and passed back. I drew my Stromkirk Noble and attacked with everything. My opponent cast Restoration Angel, flickering Augur of Bolas. He failed to find an instant or sorcery in the top three, and blocked my Rakdos Cackler with both creatures, dropping to 4 from my other threats. I cast an unleashed Gore-House Chainwalker and ended my turn.

My opponent passed the turn with no play. I drew Rakdos Cackler and went straight to combat. Before I could attack, however, my opponent cast Unsummon on my Pyreheart Wolf. I elected not to attack, and I recast the Wolf, which was countered by Rewind. I cast an unleashed Rakdos Cackler and ended my turn, and my opponent cast Restoration Angel during my end step, flickering the Augur, which found Dissipate.

On his turn, he played a Moorland Haunt and passed. I drew Searing Spear and attacked with everything. The two Restoration Angels blocked the two Muckwaders, and Augur of Bolas blocked Rakdos Cackler. I regenerated a Muckwader, and my opponent dropped to 1 from Gore-House Chainwalker. I cast Stromkirk Noble, and my opponent countered it with Dissipate. I passed the turn.

My opponent passed the turn with no play, and I killed him with Searing Spear on my turn.

Wrap-Up

This is definitely one of the fastest decks in Standard, and although the creatures are somewhat fragile, the burn spells go a long way toward helping you close out a game. Slightly larger creatures such as Restoration Angel and Loxodon Smiter can be somewhat problematic, so I recommend adding a few copies of Mizzium Mortars to the sideboard if you can get ahold of them, probably in place of Sever the Bloodline. If you're looking for a fun aggro deck that doesn't require many rares, give this one a shot at your next Friday Night Magic.

If you have any questions or comments, you can find me on the forums under Twinblaze, on Twitter under @Twinblaze2, or simply leave a comment below.