Lands | 24
4 Castle Locthwain
1 Witch's Cottage
4 Temple of Silence
4 Godless Shrine
2 Scoured Barrens
Creatures | 25
1 Cauldron Familiar
4 Cruel Celebrant
3 Blacklance Paragon
1 Piper of the Swarm
4 Ayara, First of Locthwain
4 Midnight Reaper
4 Murderous Rider
4 Seraph of the Scales
Approximate Total Cost:
The deck aims to kill the opponent with a steady stream of bodies whose purpose is mostly to trigger etb and dies effects.
Ayara, First of Locthwain is the centerpiece. Source of both damage and life gain and a sac outlet to boot.
Midnight Reaper is another card the deck wouldn't work without. CA engine.
Murderous Rider powerful removal and a body. Also auto 4-of.
I'd like to stop for a moment here.
All three of the above fill the 3cmc slot. For this reason the deck is actually Orzhov and not Rakdos, that could otherwise provide things like Judith, the Scourge Diva, Mayhem Devil or Theater of Horrors.
Cauldron Familiar + Witch's Oven mini combo. Hard to disrupt. Makes at least 2 point life swings while stalling any nonevasive creature and generating tons of etb / death triggers. Multiple cats are redundant, but we can play only 1 because of...
Mausoleum Secrets. A hidden star of the deck that is willing to sac creatures and chump block. Allows for amazing comebacks and seals the wins in the late game. Frees slots in the sideboard while making all cards more accessible. And if there are too few bodies to grab what you need, it can usually find...
Wishclaw Talisman. If you really need something, this will do. The drawback isn't usually that relevant, since if the opponent decides to use it, you get another wish. Swapping 4th Secrets for this improved the deck visibly.
Bolas's Citadel puts the opponent on an extremely short clock. Tutorable finisher.
We're at 22 cards now. Curve filling time.
Blacklance Paragon is the card against aggro. Trades with most likely everything and gains you precious life. It can also kill Questing Beast or just swing with its 3 power. I cut one for Piper of the Swarm as it can also hold off aggro while having an option to generate more bodies.
Cruel Celebrant is the other 2cmc creature of choice. Essentially half-Ayara. Considered Corpse Knight instead, but firstly it doesn't gain life, which matters (Castle Locthwain, Bolas's Citadel or having the choice not to block), and secondly I wouldn't want to trade it on the offense for the opponent's X/2s anyway.
Seraph of the Scales is the card I like more the more I play it. Started as a 1-of while I had more Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlords, now a full playset here with Sorin relegated to sb. Flying is big, it's the only card that can reliably deal damage by attacking. Vigilance and Deathtouch come in handy, and Afterlife ensures I get another 2 bodies that trigger stuff and can also beat face.
Spark Harvest is the emergency kill spell that can be retrieved with just 1 dead body using Secrets.
The Elderspell because sometimes you need to kill a whole army of pesky 'walkers.
1 more Blacklance Paragon
2 Cavalier of Night big butt, all abilities very relevant.
2 Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord to kill X/1, bring back blockers and take the damage instead of me.
1 Legion's End can be easily tutored when an opportunity for a "2-3 for 1" arises or just a good removal.
2 Kaya's Wrath this deck may even like to be swept.
1 Liliana, Dreadhorde General she has everything this deck would want, but is too slow for mainboard.
1 Deathless Knight with this amount of life gain, it won't stay dead.
1 Noxious Grasp Oko, Teferi, Nissa, Vraska, yeah. I could maybe even main board it.
1 The Elderspell when I really need to kill those 'walkers.
2 Mortify enchantment kill spell that can be tutored with Secrets
1 Crush Contraband some special love for Esper Dance. Needs a wish to be found reliably.
Surprisingly well holds its own against Oko decks (it doesn't care that much about him and can remove any PW fast), Esper dance (it doesn't care for Teferi and Doom Foretold). Mono Red is tough pre-board, Gruul is more manageable. Tears most of the other jank/rogue to shreds though.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Maybe another color combination could be better? Thanks in advance