RNA Cube Review: Rakdos

It’s time for the Rakdos to put on their show, and this time they brought some really amazing toys with them!

Image result for rakdos symbol

Judith, Scourge Diva

Judith fits great into cubes because she can fill so many roles at once. Supports going wide, aristocrats lover her, and she is an awesome lord for aggro all at once! The only thing that I am not a fan of is that she says nontoken creature. If she pinged for anything being sacrificed it would be incredible, but not everything can be perfect. Regardless it still says 1 damage to any target and she still buffs the tokens so it’s not a dealbreaker. Grade A-

Bedevil

I think one of the most direct comparisons we can make with this card is Dreadbore. By adding one black symbol we get instant speed, the ability to destroy artifacts, and that sweet Seb McKinnon art. As long as the mana fixing is good (which most cubes should try to have good fixing) I believe that Bedevil is a fantastic and very versatile option for Rakdos sections. Grade B+

Spawn of Mayhem

Now that’s a really efficient beater. I’m currently playing Archdemon of Paliano, which is a 5/4 Flyer for four mana with its only downside is having to draft the next 3 cards randomly. This card is effectively a 5/4 Flample for 3 mana with its only downside is that it pings you for 1 damage on your upkeep (which also makes it grow bigger!) If we choose to evaluate this card in it’s worst case, it only costs 4 mana. This card is insane and is an easy replacement for other cards such as Archdemon, Desecration Demon, and Demon of Catastrophes. Grade A+

Light up the Stage

Faithless Looting, this is not, but I’m still a fan of this card. Being able to draw 2 cards for 1 mana is really impressive and the cards not disappearing until the end of your next turn gives you plenty of time to cast both of the cards. Even in it’s worst case scenario it’s still a Divination in red which is not something the color gets very frequently. I’d be more than happy to top deck this in the later stages of the game. Grade B+

Skewer the Critics

Another Lightning Bolt! This one is pretty competitively costed. As we have seen in the past with cards like Wizard’s Lightning and Open Fire, 3 mana for 3 damage is still pretty good actually. With Skewer the Critics, it is much easier to trigger Spectacle. I’m not sure I see this card breaking into 360 cubes, but 450+ this seems like a great contender. Grade B

Bedeck // Bedazzle

I can’t really say I’m a fan of this card. This is a cheaper Augur Spree on one side of the coin (even though Augur Spree is not seeing very much play nowadays), and the other half of the card does nothing to convince me that I want to put it in my cube. 6 mana to blow up a nonbasic land (why even is there a restriction?) and it deals 2 damage to the opponent, not to any target?? I’m never spending 6 mana to cast that half of the card, and the other half just simply isn’t good enough for cube. Grade F

Carnival // Carnage

While the rare variant could not hold my attention, I do believe that the uncommon version has a lot of merit. 1 mana to ping any target is a nice and simple combat trick to have, while Carnage is just one more mana for Blightning. Not bad at all, and if I were currently playing Blightning I might try to replace it temporarily with this card and see if the versatility makes up for the more expensive mana cost. Grade B-

Gutterbones

1 mana 2/1’s are a cube specialty and this is no exception. Black has had many recursive threats printed in the last few years, most recent being Dread Wanderer. Gutterbones is probably the worst of the bunch, however. Skeleton instead of zombie doesn’t do it any favors in the scheme of cube, and being returned to hand is typically much worse than being returned to the battlefield. It’s direct competitor Bloodsoaked Champion has it beat in almost every way. (Raid is easier to trigger, it returns to the battlefield, and human synergy is far more plentiful than skeleton). Regardless, based on its own merits, it’s not terrible and more 2/1’s for 1 are always welcome. Grade B-

Pestilent Spirit

This is a pretty unique card! Not very many cards give deathtouch to spells and putting it on an evasive and efficient beater still means it’s good even when you can’t get value off of its ability. Combining this card with spells such as Arc Lightning can mean a one-sided wrath. If your cube plays cards such as Arc Lightning and Forked Bolt, and supports Rakdos aggro Pestilent Spirit might be a good fit for you. Grade B

Priest of the Forgotten Gods

I probably should have reviewed this card along with the rest of the other Orzhov cards, because this screams aristocrats. Sacrificing 2 creatures is a pretty steep cost, but if the creatures you are sacrificing have beneficial effects and you get to take full advantage of all 4 effects from losing 2 creatures (and that’s not even accounting for any beneficial death triggers those creatures might give you). Another hidden feature of the card is that you can target yourself and choose to sacrifice a third creature. I’d only play this card if you had Aristocrats, but for cubes that do this seems like a slam dunk. Grade B+

Rakdos had some pretty amazing cube cards this time around and gave us a lot of fun and powerful toys. They costed Spectacle cards incredibly well and made them playable even in their worst-case scenario, and obviously, they are incredible when you can get in for some damage that turn. Tomorrow I will be covering Gruul, so stay tuned for some pretty awesome creatures! Thank you all for reading, have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!

Orzhov Review

Gruul Review

Simic Review

Azorius Review

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