Maybeboard


Description

Thrasios offers an infinite mana outlet in the general zone (and puts our win condition into play for free if we don't have a land drop) and Tymna allows the deck to play in slower games by using its many creatures to draw. Having two cheap generals conveniently sets up a manual Razaketh turn after casting both generals when the game gets very grindy.

This deck is for you if:

  1. You like very consistent, focused decks.
  2. You like executing complicated turns.
  3. You enjoy reanimator.
  4. You love to tutor, and tutor, and tutor...
  5. Flash Hulk is the thing you've been missing for years.
  6. You feel thrilled when overcoming disruption repeatedly to win.
  7. You like to play the short game and the long game.
  8. You like to win in unusual ways.

This deck is NOT for you if:

  1. You just want to win in a quick and simple way.
  2. You are stingy about paying/losing life to cast spells or use abilities.
  3. You get tired of shuffling easily.
  4. You dislike having to change plans or having to re-think what you will do several times per turn cycle.
  5. You dislike having to explain what you are doing to opponents.
There are several reasons to play Flash Hulk along with Raz:
  1. The number of cards required is actually quite small: Flash, Hulk, Viscera Seer, Academy Rector, and Pattern of Rebirth.
  2. Getting to play Flash Hulk into Academy Rector/Pattern of Rebirth for Razaketh sometimes plays like the old Boonweaver-style decks, and mashing Flash Hulk with the Reanimator shell (for Raz or Jin) provides another fast strategy with the upside of leaving plenty of room for protection/disruption cards, making the deck both flexible and powerful as it can switch plans seamlessly and threaten to win at any point in the game through lots of disruption.
  3. Flash Hulk deterministically wins the game through Razaketh loops with protection in the form of Sylvan Safekeeper, which allows the pilot to keep mana and interaction in hand or creatures in play (tutoring for counters, etc.) to protect its lines very well.
  4. Unlike most Flash Hulk decks, having these pieces in hand is actually much less detrimental and they can be used to forward the game plan even without Flash/Hulk. For example, With Pattern of Rebirth in hand, you need only find Viscera Seer to turn it into Razaketh on board and continue with the game plan. This is much, much easier than casting Mikaeus (+ Viscera Seer and Walking Ballista).
  5. The deck is quite close to the ground in terms of Avg. CMC (1.80 with Hulk, Raz, and Jin included) and a whopping 37 1-drops, including tons of mana in the form of dorks and almost every piece of fast mana. This enables both fast Raz lines/wins and the ability to push through Stax strategies without much risk of land flooding.

Bottom line, this means that there are tons of routes to get Razaketh into play, and combined with the volume of fast mana and protection/disruption, the deck has surprising consistency and resiliency. This is something that is particularly important for me in a deck, as reducing variance and increasing the ability to shrug off opponents' disruption are my primary goals in deck building because ultimately they lead to more wins.

Many of the lines leading to these loops are well known, though I will run through the minimum resources required for them here. keep in mind the goal is to have additional mana/cards in hand to increase resilience too, depending on the matchup.
Flash + Hulk grabs Viscera Seer, Academy Rector, Sylvan Safekeeper, and Dryad Arbor. Sac Academy Rector for Pattern of Rebirth on the Dryad Arbor, sac enchanted Dryad Arbor for Razaketh (and still have 2 creatures in play). This line is a shortcut which both puts Raz into play and protects him from removal via Sylvan Safekeeper, who also aids in generating infinite mana later (see below).
Start with the following:
  1. Raz and (a) 2 creatures in pay or (b) One creature, G, and 2 lands in play (and 2 more life) to search for and cast the "Life" half of Life/Death (the "Life Line").
  2. Sac a land/creature (-2 life) to grab and sac LED (for GGG), discarding your hand.
  3. Sac the second land/creature (-4 life) for Eternal Witness which grabs LED again.
  4. Sac LED for BBB, then sac Eternal Witness (-6 life) finding Reanimate/Animate Dead/Dance of the Dead to generate mana by recurring LED. This generates up to 4 mana and leaves you with Eternal Witness + LED in play (-5 life for reanimate, -2 life for Animate dead, -2 life for Dance of the Dead, total of -15 or -17 with the Life line thus far).

Sidebar - You do not always need to find reanimation spells, you could simply go straight into Second Sunrise loops (see below). Going for reanimation loops allow you to hold up extra mana and therefore be able to tutor up a response when you go for infinite mana and a kill. The reanimation spells also make the loops more forgiving in case you mess up, as long as you have an extra B or 1B in your mana pool (and 2 life to spare) since you can sac Eternal Witness to find a reanimation spell, get back Eternal Witness, and keep going.

This line will deterministically allow you to produce infinite mana, tutor bounded only by your life total, and win the game:
  1. With Raz, LED, and Eternal Witness in play, Sac LED for WWW and Eternal Witness (-2 life) to tutor up Second Sunrise. Cast Second Sunrise, returning LED, Eternal Witness and anything else you've sacrificed this turn back onto the battlefield (lands/fetches, creatures, animate dead, etc.).
  2. Eternal witness targets Second Sunrise, and you can respond by cracking LED for WWW.
  3. After producing the requisite mana you get back Second Sunrise, make any other sacrifices (sac Eternal Witness and/or other creatures to tutor, tap/sac lands, etc.) that you want, and cast Second Sunrise again.
  4. With a Lotus Petal Or Sylvan Safekeeper and 1 (ETB untapped, non-pain or shock) land, you net mana in each loop (LED pays for Second Sunrise). However, since Razaketh costs 2 life per sacrifice, Viscera Seer is required to create the infinite mana loop.
  5. With infinite mana and threshold, tap and sacrifice Cephalid Coliseum or Explosive Apparatus to use its ability targeting an opponent, then respond by casting Second Sunrise. You can build up a stack of draw or damage triggers this way, enough to kill each opponent 10x over.

Sidebar - Here you can pay 2 life any number of times to grab cards, but be advised that LED will discard cards at some point in this loop or the next, so grab them when you can cast them (after cracking LED and before casting Second Sunrise) and make sure to keep at least 1WW in your pool for Second Sunrise. If you previously searched for and used Animate Dead auras, grabbing creatures and discarding them to LED results in them being reanimated for free in the following loop. This allows you to get any creature from your deck into play without needing infinite mana, just the infinite recursion loop, which opens up other deck building and game-state possibilities (E.g. using opponents' creatures, Zulaport Cutthroat to kill opponents, Children of Korlis to gain infinite life and tutors).

Notably, this is also an instant speed recursion loop for permanents, which means any permanent that mills or deals damage and goes to the graveyard will win the game. Cephalid Coliseum is, therefore, an easy win-con that does not take up a deck slot. The recent addition of Explosive apparatus is tech that wins with Raz loops, Bomberman combo, and can be used as removal in a pinch.

Other Routes and Loops to victory utilizing 1-2 card combos include:
  1. Auriok Salvagers + LED for infinite mana.
  2. Entomb + Reanimate / Animate Dead / Dance of the Dead / Necromancy to get Razaketh or Jin-Gitaxias in play.
  3. Buried Alive + Reanimate / Animate Dead / Dance of the Dead / Necromancy to get Razaketh or Jin-Gitaxias in play.
  4. Intuition + Necromancy lets you pick out all the atrocious options like [Hulk, Jin-Gitaxias, and Survival of the Fittest] OR [Hulk, Survival, Entomb]. So many cards allow you to pursue another line and Intuition lets you truly trick opponents in this deck, since having so many options means the one they are most afraid of is probably the least of their worries.
  5. Survival of the Fittest to find/discard Razaketh or Jin and get Loyal Retainers for reanimation (1G + G + G + 2W = 3GGGW which can be spread over multiple turns).
  6. Fauna Shaman to find/discard Razaketh or Jin and get Loyal Retainers for reanimation (1G + G + G + 2W = 3GGGW which can be spread over multiple turns).
  7. Flash + Rector into the above Survival of the Fittest line, or to put an Animate dead effect in play after discarding a Raz or Jin-Gitaxias.
  8. Viscera Seer + Pattern of Rebirth --> Put Pattern of Rebirth on Viscera Seer and sac him to put Raz into play.
  9. Viscera Seer + Academy Rector --> Sac Rector for Pattern of Rebirth, attach Pattern of Rebirth to Viscera Seer and then sac Viscera seer to tutor out Raz.

As a side note, while it is rare, if you start the game with Flash + Academy Rector + Viscera Seer in hand, you can Flash Rector for Pattern on Viscera Seer (or another creature) to tutor Razaketh as well.

The deck has multiple ways to get to both its namesake card and infinite mana to win the game, allowing it to adapt to the removal of its core pieces. Notably, the deck loves to double and triple-dip with as many of its cards as possible; a simple example is Dryad Arbor serving as a dork when fetched with Green Sun's Zenith and as a free creature to get with Flash + Hulk for Razaketh lines (and can be tutored into play with a green fetch in some corner cases). Another is Sylvan Safekeeper as protection and as a way to generate infinite mana in Second Sunrise loops. As a result, the deck is able to spring back from the removal of a number of its key cards as others functionally provide redundancy.
  1. Without Razaketh (or Second Sunrise), you can assemble Auriok Salvagers + LED, aka Bomberman.
  2. Without LED, you can Assemble infinite mana via Eternal Witness + Second Sunrise loops using a combination of Sylvan Safekeeper + Lands + Lotus Petal (typically via Razaketh).
The deck is complex, and making decisions on the fly when adapting to stax pieces and other disruption can be a challenge. It takes a lot of time to learn, as there are many options or directions that the game plan can take, which makes tutors brimming with opportunity but also potentially leads to more mistakes.
1. Cursed Totem completely shuts off Razaketh, along with Viscera Seer and Sylvan Safekeeper. Unfortunately, Auriok Salvagers does not get around this particular problem either. 1. Rest in Peace shuts down graveyard recursion, including reanimation, Second Sunrise loops, and Auriok Salvagers + LED combo. Watch out for Faerie Macabre as well, a well-timed graveyard hate effect can also be a blowout.
1. Null Rod and Stony Silence shut down LED, the primary mana generation source in the deck. It can work around that with Sylvan Safekeeper and Second Sunrise, but it is significantly more difficult.

Suggestions:

Often, taking the time to grab a piece of removal can really help, as few cards shut Raz down. If there is only one harmful piece of hate on the board, it is typically not too difficult to deal with. Cyclonic Rift recently made its way into the deck to deal with multiple pieces of board-hate on the field.

If your meta has a lot of Cursed Totem + Rest in Peace, you may want to consider Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal as a backup infinite mana combo instead of Auriok Salvagers. That will not help against Null Rod or Stony Silence, but the deck already has a workaround for those pesky cards. Incidentally, Dramatic Scepter also gets around graveyard hate.

There is certainly more to discuss, but these are some of the unusual selections in my deck:
  1. Stifle in the main (and Trickbind in the maybeboard) - most graveyard hate cards are activated abilities, such as Tormod's Crypt and Faerie Macabre, making Stifle a solid protection card. Being able to stop an opposing Hulk trigger is likewise nothing to scoff at, making the card relevant in many more situations than expected. Sometimes you need only Stifle the trigger on Rest in Peace (eg. Raz is already in your graveyard, or you Entomb in response + Stifle the ETB to get it there and keep it there), after which you can reanimate, sac a creature to find removal, and then continue.
  2. Force of Will - doesn't have enough blue cards in the main to be consistently useful. Autmn's Veil can serve a similar function (sac 2 creatures to get Elvish Spirit Guide and Autumn's Veil which would have gotten Force of Will and a blue card) while both cards can be used individually.
  3. Leonin Relic Warder - recently cut, due to (a) not being necessary for Sunrise Loops and (b) having no Zulaport Cutthroat to go infinite. Feel free to swap some cards out for that combo if you like it better. I have been happy with Cyclonic Rift + Explosive Apparatus in its place.
  4. Some cards in consideration include more control (Natural State, Abrupt Decay, etc.), countermagic (Dispel, Mana Drain, Spell Snare, Trickbind), draw (Necropotence, Sylvan Library, Sensei's Divining Top, etc.), backup plans (Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal, Aetherflux Reservoir) and redundancy (Riftsweeper, etc.) depending on the meta.
Due to the nature of Second Sunrise being a permanent-based recursion loop, other interesting routes I have tinkered with have involved:
  1. Another set of loops with Razaketh in play involves Leonin Relic-Warder (henceforth LRW) and Animate Dead (or its siblings). The result is tutoring costing 2 life each time. Always let the triggered ability of LRW resolve, then respond to the trigger of Animate Dead (or similar) by sacrificing LRW for a tutor. If Razaketh was already put in play via an Animate Dead effect, you need only cast LRW and initiate the loop with Animate Dead's sacrifice trigger on the stack (so at the end of all your tutorings, Razaketh with be sacrificed). If you want to add this package, having Blood Artist/Zulaport Cutthroat kills with Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate dead loops can work as well. In a stax heavy meta, this also provides a way around requiring Razaketh, Sunrise Loops, and/or LED to put together a win.
  2. Using Conjurer's Bauble to recycle an instant/sorcery such as Reality Shift to kill opponents. The benefit is that you can lose Second Sunrise and still execute a win with Conjurer's Bauble and an instant/sorcery via Auriok Salvagers. Interestingly, this pushes the deck in an eggs direction, though Explosive Apparatus does this job nicely on its own.
  3. As an alternative, check out Scroll of Griselbrand; with Raz in play, it kills opponents either through Sunrise loops or with Auriok Salvagers. Extra Flavor points make the demon scroll a hilarious, if unusual, win condition. It is less effective and has less use compared to Explosive Apparatus, but can make opponents discard their hands if you care to lock the table out.
  4. Snapcaster Mage + Riftsweeper + Capsize is a combo/loop that I sometimes try to jam into decks, particularly if I already plan to play one or more of the cards. It often works better in Isochron Scepter and Paradox Engine decks, though, as a way to loop any spell. If you plan to put Riftsweeper or Snapcaster Mage in due to a meta call, consider those cards as another backup way of recycling any instant/sorcery.
An overview of testing and changes I am considering, or have made.

9-9-17

In: Mystic Remora - best card draw, it was somehow was excluded in the initial build.

Out: Force of Will - with just ~15 other blue cards to pitch, it is not particularly reliable and there are other free counterspells that can be tutored (e.g. Pact of Negation, Mental Misstep).

9-30-17

In: Cyclonic Rift - I found that having a mass bounce/board wipe is very useful vs multiple stax pieces, often necessary when playing against multiple stax or midrange decks in the same pod (and occasionally really helpful against a very dedicated/streamlined stax deck). Additionally, with so many mana sources, the deck can very reliably overload this card, especially when games slow down (e.g. versus stax, where it is needed most).

Out: Leonin Relic Warder - Without Zulaport Cutthroat, the card is a bit lackluster and difficult to cast. Sunrise loops are just as easy and efficient to execute for infinite (life-bound) tutoring. Notably, if you want to make space for LRW and Zulaport Cutthroat, it offers a decent primary win condition and a way around Null Rod effects (or if Razaketh, Salvagers, and/or Second Sunrise become unavailable/exiled). I found it a bit slower/clunkier on its own and it required more slots than I preferred to make space for, leading me to want more removal to get rid of stax effects.

11-6-17

In: Explosive Apparatus - An easy primary win condition that synergizes with both our infinite mana combos, it can also be used as removal in a pinch. Also has utilizy against hatebears and other smaller creatures. In a real crisis, it can also serve as a(n expensive) sac outlet instead of Viscera Seer for Second Sunrise loops, possibly even to get Rector or Pattern of Rebirth going.

Out: Forbidden Orchard - I felt comfortable offing a land, and giving opponents creatures is a tad counter-synergistic with the backup plan of Tymna beats for the draw.

Testing:

  1. Bazaar of Baghdad - suggested by Bigpoppawags, a great land for reanimation strategies.
  2. Noxious Revival - Additional recursion, tech against graveyard hate, and quasi-graveyard hate all for free make it very flexible.
  3. Dispel and/or Spell Snare - More control, and specifically anti-counter, anti-Flash/Hulk for the low, low price of U.

TL,DR: The basic goal is to quickly, adaptively, and resiliently enable Razaketh loops to build resources and win the game. While the deck requires the pilot to play a series of somewhat complicated lines to deterministically win the game, they add resources and layers of protection which make it increasingly difficult to stop.

Credit, as it is due, goes to Librudder for his amazing Razaketh brews and lines which he wrote about here. Additionally, ShaperSavant's putting together of the Life line, Eternal Witness and LED mana generation, and LRW loops in his Raz primer here and inspired my pile of shenanigans above.

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79% Casual

21% Competitive





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Date added 4 months
Last updated 2 months
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.80
Tokens 1/1 Bird
Folders Razaketh, Thrasios Tymna cEDH, Thrasios and Tymna Partners, EDH
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