Updated description / deck: February 26th 2017

Hueless Havok! This was my very first Commander-Deck a long while ago and I still like it very much; I keep it up to date. Rakdos, Lord of Riots is the center of this Deck. Enabling him and getting the deck to work is not too difficult, and the effects nearly explode if you do this right. This is kind of my shot for this deck-type and this is probably one of the strongest Rakdos-Decks online. Since relying on your commander to win is naive, it can also work without him pretty well.

A lot of updates were done, currently going more towards colorless stuff. There is also a lot more draw than there was before. Once you got some damage in, you can nearly drop everything you hold and draw. Exciting times!

There is only one combo in there on purpose - no one likes to win with combo around here, but sometimes it is necessary to end a round that drags on for too long. I included Cloudstone Curio since it works with a lot of colorless creatures as a loop when they aren't artifacts and I can cast them for free again and again if opponents suffered enough damage. And even then, needing the Artifact, 2 non-artifact colorless creatures, your commander and enough damage in the current round seem like enough loops to jump through for everyone not to feel cheated.

Edit: Chandra, Torch of Defiance is amazing in play! Every ability of hers is incredible in this deck (+1: Draw/Damage (Cheapen with Rakdos), +1: Colored Mana, -2: Removal, -7: Combo with the Cast-Loop I mentioned above... just bonkers...)

Edit: Recently I changed Vial Smasher the Fierce for Walking Ballista. It pings for free (instead of having to play a spell with Vial Smasher the Fierce), I can use it for 2 mana to get a ping in and late game it scales beautifully and I can reduce the costs fully instead of it being multicolored.

No, I don't have a Badlands, but if I had one it would be in there obviously. And I'm currently not very happy with Earthquake as it is - looking to replace it.

Be sure to upvote and leave a comment. =)


I made another update on the list, included some newer cards and thought about some in there. I really like this more than ever. Also: Discussion reset. =)

Comments View Archive

An EDH deck needs 100 cards total, not 101. You have the 99 singleton, and your commander.

February 23, 2015 5:28 p.m.

Crivaro says... #2

You did read the description, didn't you? It will count it double.

February 23, 2015 5:46 p.m.

MartialArt says... #3

How about Festering Evil? Could help you with constant cost reduction.

Great deck btw. +1

February 25, 2015 9:35 a.m.

They must've updated the EDH listings to include the General in the total card count, bringing it from 99-100 to 100-101.

February 26, 2015 3:19 p.m.
February 26, 2015 7:53 p.m.

Crivaro says... #6

Nice idea, thanks! =)

March 1, 2015 11:11 a.m.

Coinman1863 says... #7

I would suggest Goblin Fireslinger just to get that damage through to get Rakdos on the field.

June 12, 2015 8:54 a.m.

Coinman1863 is right. I had a new Rakdos deck for a bit and burn fellas and burn spells turn into mana with him.

June 14, 2015 6:37 a.m.

Hawaiiwong says... #9

Looks like a nice deck <3 A tad bit expensive. Well done.

June 17, 2015 11:10 a.m.

saturn999 says... #10

so dope. +1

July 3, 2015 4:57 p.m.

Crivaro says... #11

Thanks =)

July 4, 2015 1:47 p.m.

Mgrabusky says... #12

-1 homura +1 wurmcoil engine

July 6, 2015 7:52 a.m.

Shakajiub says... #13

How about Master of Cruelties? Fits in any Rakdos deck and pretty much wins the game in the rare occasion it's left unanswered.

July 14, 2015 2:59 a.m.

square711 says... #14

Mogg Fanatic helps casting Rakdos too. More so than Goblin Fireslinger, though I'd probably include both.

July 21, 2015 1:48 p.m.

Matrixxx999 says... #15


I would definitely add Sneak Attack from your Maybebord. When this card drops on the battlefield Eldrazi, or similar creature it is disaster for your opponents.

July 26, 2015 4:51 p.m.

evncrbch says... #16

Havoc Festival seems very Rakdos-y. Any thought to that one?

August 9, 2015 12:18 p.m.

Crivaro says... #17

It may be Rakdos, but it's really REALLY bad. I am the only one to loose life during my turn and I can't get life. Sure, getting life isn't some primary thing, but it's nice to have and when I have to get some I need them desperately.

August 9, 2015 6:07 p.m.

Scorprix says... #18

Um, why is Defender of Chaos in here?

August 13, 2015 noon

Crivaro says... #19

Because he has Flash, I can play him in opponents turn for one red mana if damage was done, white is often a problem for the deck and he has protection and lastly he is a cheap enabler or a surprise blocker. Never regretted drawing him so far.

August 13, 2015 12:18 p.m.

Shadow02 says... #20

what do you think about Dread Cacodemon instead of Zealous Conscripts?

the cacodemon is a one sided boardclear for BBB while the conscripts enters after combat while u have no sac outlets in your decks to destroy or use the permanent you stole

August 16, 2015 7:20 p.m.

Not for nothing, but you don't really have any Rakdos triggers. I would suggest Goblin Fireslinger, Tormented Soul, Lobber Crew, Vulshok Sorcerer, Prodigal Pyromancer, or something that deals direct damage with no problem at all.

August 25, 2015 4:15 p.m.

Flamekin Village and Cavern of Souls on demons could be useful. Dreadbore and Terminate are solid removal in these colors. Hero's Downfall is nice as it can hit walkers too. Rakdos's Return also solid late game card.

August 28, 2015 6:53 p.m.

+1 btw :)

August 28, 2015 6:54 p.m.

r_type_one says... #24

Sanguine Bond to go with your Exquisite Blood?

September 18, 2015 12:56 p.m.

Crivaro says... #25

The one I have is good on its own, the one you suggested useless on its own. And in 100 cards it is unlikely to draw both... Thanks for the suggestion anyway! :)

September 19, 2015 4:05 a.m.

Browbeat seems really bad here, no offense. Like. in a typical multiplayer game, I wouldn't want anyone to draw three cards, and I think the other players at the table would agree, and five damage in commander is in between a shock and a lightning bolt in modern/standard, and it only hits players. You could just play something that draws you cards unconditionally, like underworld connections, which is a worse phyrexian arena sure, but why not.

September 30, 2015 7:19 a.m.

NecroPony says... #27

That's false. He can draw 3 or make things cost less. Seems good to me.

October 13, 2015 4:28 p.m.

Well, I didn't think about it that way at all. But, at the same time, I know Oloro is a popular commander and that's just not great against him, other then that and other dedicated life gain stuff, sounds great actually.

October 16, 2015 9:33 a.m.

Steaditup says... #29

Endless One and Cryptborn Horror can be super-value after a big turn.

December 3, 2015 11:36 p.m.

Crivaro says... #30

About to make a general overhaul of this deck =)

August 20, 2016 9:47 a.m.

Isthan says... #31

I think this is actually a pretty neat concept. I haven't ever given Rakdos, Lord of Riots the time of day in EDH, but I really like the artifact creature synergy.

I have a few general comments that hopefully help!

  1. I wonder how 'sweeper-proof' this deck is. RB is not exactly a card drawing engine, so if you get swept up, how can you recover? I think you might be well served to move a card slot like Sepulchral Primordial into Sheoldred, Whispering One. The primordial is too situational (are you playing an OPPONENT with creatures? Maybe not...Maybe they simply have none in the yard). Sheoldred will help you bring back your creatures (which we know you've got in spades) and also help thin your opponent's board. It also has about equal tilt when you're in multiplayer setting as well.

  2. Bloodgift Demon will help you dig deeper into your own deck, or it will have the surprise tech of allowing you to cast Rakdos, Lord of Riots by pinging your opponent. Sure they get to draw a card, but perhaps it will be what you need to really explode.

  3. I hesitate to suggest Purphoros, God of the Forge but then again you do have 40 creatures in the deck. While he might not always turn into a creature, you can give your whole team firebreathing which might be pretty effective.

  4. Butcher of Malakir is pretty good, but I think Balefire Dragon might be a better choice for the slot. He he has flying as well, it slightly bigger, plus can act as a sweeper against your opponent.

  5. Master of Cruelties can be a sleeper in this deck. The way his ability works is if you succeed in dealing combat damage to reduce your opponent to 1 life, they actually lose life equal to the difference. What that means for us is that if you do this while Rakdos, Lord of Riots is on the battlefield, they will lose perhaps 20 or more life. What that means is that you can cast ALL of your artifact creatures in your hand!

  6. I saw that you cut Demonic Tutor. I think that this card should be played in any EDH deck running black, just like people think Sol Ring belongs in every EDH deck.

  7. I think you could play a few more sweepers. Damnation and Blasphemous Act come to mind. Other things like Toxic Deluge or Nevinyrral's Disk could be good as well.

  8. Flame Rift seems like a low-impact card, even in multiplayer setting.

  9. Instead of running Sign in Blood, pay the 1 additional mana to scry the cards you'd draw first with Read the Bones.

  10. To help deal with your opponent's graveyard, consider Bojuka Bog

  11. Buried Ruin will help 'sweeper-proof' this deck a bit better, as well.

September 21, 2016 3:58 p.m.

Crivaro says... #32

Thank you Isthan for you in-depth suggestions! Artifacts are important, yes, but I like to think I have a greater focus on colorless stuff, especially in regards to Cloudstone Curio.

Let me get to your points one by one:

  1. Sepulchral Primordial is worth it, seriously. :D I actually changed Sheoldred for the Primordial because he is way better in most cases. Sheoldred paints you a huge mark on your head, while the Primordial gets you value as soon it hits. It also has a ETB trigger, which I can use again and again. And you always have more than one opponent, the chance that you won't get to find creatures is very low.

  2. Yeah, I thought about him a lot, but I don't have the card. It's not expensive, but I will try him someday.

  3. With the mana I have I usually want to cast stuff, don't use his effect. I tested him, but in a non-token deck he is not that impressive. But he is a good card, nonetheless.

  4. You are right. I will change that. Had forgotten about this one...

  5. Irgs... yeah, but is the only thing that will attack. I tested it and he was just meh... he's best in an Alesha-Deck, but surely not good in here.

  6. Yes, I did, and I had regrets. I will put it back in surely.

  7. I have a Damnation flying around here, but I'm not sure what to cut. Any suggestion? In a non-control deck I'm kind of hesitant to include too many sweepers. They are also very disliked in my meta.

  8. Trust me on this - it isn't ;) It counts each opponent, with only 4 players you will drop everything for (nearly) free.

  9. I use Sign in Blood just because I can target opponents for the lifeloss. Well, but to be honest, I don't think the card is that impressive anyway, maybe I get rid of it.

  10. A good one, noted. Buried Ruin is not in, just because I didn't want to have more colorless mana makers - Rakdos needs to ETB early, and his mana requirements are tough...

September 21, 2016 4:25 p.m.

Isthan says... #33

Perhaps cut Sign in Blood for Damnation.

September 21, 2016 4:39 p.m.

Isthan says... #34

Well, I've come back to say that you've inspired me to create a Rakdos, Lord of Riots deck as well. Thanks for that! I wanted to create a deck that really capitalizes on eldrazi because I've never delved into those big colorless dudes. I was going to go for Teferi, Temporal Archmage but I realized the deck I was creating was a bit too "Tier 1" when I'm not trying to lose friends over a game of magic by dropping Kozilek on turn 2-3. :)

As I've begun to study this deck list and others ( is a great resource...) I am wondering if you have considered Heartless Hidetsugu and Temporal Extortion. They seem really amazing in this deck!

September 22, 2016 6:54 p.m.

Crivaro says... #35

Glad you decided to do your own, trust me: It is fun :D Be sure to link me your deck, I want to have a look!

Heartless Hidetsugu... yeah, he is a classic staple in Rakdos, it is true. I excluded him before because he didn't has haste, he isn't strong, and since I made my deck leaning towards colorless he didn't had an impact trigger and everyone can see his powerful effect come from a mile away. Personal taste, you can include him in yours without a doubt.

I didn't play Temporal Extortion because of the mana requirements I had before. Paying BBBB is hard and doesn't allow to play that much else. Right now I thing it is worth another shot since I don't pay for a lot of stuff anyway and the mana requirements are much lower.

Good thinking here. Thanks =)

September 23, 2016 4:11 a.m.

Isthan says... #36

@Crivaro I believe I have done it! Your deck was a great inspriation. Here is my list!

The Earth Died Screaming

Commander / EDH* Isthan


September 24, 2016 11:27 p.m.

Imaru says... #37

I've got a deck with a similar concept. Same general idea, slightly different cards.

Have a look

RIP: Rakdos's Intense Party

Commander / EDH* Imaru


Yours looks solid though. Best of luck!

September 27, 2016 4:25 p.m.

you may need to add more pingers to make the deck more consistent. take a look at my list. Your Pain Is My Gain 2.0

September 29, 2016 4:24 p.m.

Crivaro says... #39

I was just doing that while you posted, but trust me on this: I have enough pingers in there to get everything to work. You have a nice deck as well btw, but I go a different route with mine. =)

September 29, 2016 4:35 p.m.

endersblade says... #40

September 29, 2016 6:17 p.m.

Crivaro says... #41

No, they are simply not good or relevant in my build (they were tested). Sorry. =)

September 29, 2016 6:29 p.m.

Isthan says... #42

The effects on Pestilence, Pestilence Demon and Pyrohemia are all ways to turn on Rakdos, but really they dont have the right mana cost for that task. Pestilence and Pyrohemia both cost 4 to cast plus another to activate. On turn 4 we really want to be casting Rakdos, not setting up to cast him the next turn. The demon is far more expensive than those two. I think your pingers should be reserved for the 2-3 CMC slots so that you can cast Rakdos on curve. The only 4 CMC pinger I think might be worth while is Chandra, Pyromaster. The reason is that after she is done helping you cast Rakdos, she will continue to provide card advantage with her +0.

September 29, 2016 6:50 p.m.

Crivaro says... #43

Yes. But forgive me to think Chandra, Torch of Defiance is a better Chandra, Pyromaster. I haven't tested the new one, but she sounds incredible!

September 29, 2016 7:01 p.m.

Isthan says... #44

Gosh yeah that is a really close call. I think the only thing that Chandra, Pyromaster has going for her above that version is how she can ping a creature and that creature cannot block. That makes swinging in considerably easier if your opponent has had time to put up his own defenses. Its cool that Chandra, Torch of Defiance can create , though.

September 29, 2016 7:07 p.m.

Judge_Beard says... #45

I'd suggest Lobber Crew and Thermo-Alchemist. I find they work a bit better if you are running Terminate, Rakdos Charm and Dreadbore though. Lobber Crew can be a handy blocker on the ground too.

I've a similar list myself
The Rakdrazi Threat

October 22, 2016 12:36 p.m.

Crivaro says... #46

Thanks, I'll look it up! =)

October 22, 2016 3:55 p.m.

Isthan says... #47

Unlicensed Disintegration seems like it could be a good fit here, too!

October 22, 2016 4:44 p.m.

Rhyno52 says... #48

Needs moar Havoc Festival. :D

January 6, 2017 6:51 a.m.

Crivaro says... #49

Havoc Festival - as much as I like it - is a nearly dead card in here just because it triggers on opponents turns (in most cases Palace Siege would be better...). Thanks! =)

January 6, 2017 6:58 a.m.

Rhyno52 says... #50

Crivaro But that pretty much is it. If you are playing a commander game it will trigger for each single person. It will do some damage before it gets destroyed and if not its also ok. I play this card mainly because its pure devastating effect. Its a good card to turn the tides because even if you are lower on health the chance it gets destroyed before its going onto your face is more likely and even if you get hit, you will probably have lost less health.

But i get your point it just fits the Name of the Deck not its gameplan that much. ;)

January 6, 2017 8:42 a.m.

Crivaro says... #51

Replaced Harvester of Souls with Sheoldred, Whispering One. Not playtested her yet.

January 8, 2017 7:43 a.m.

namesallgone says... #52

Have you considered adding Walking Ballista? It can be cheap to cast with Rakdos, and provide instant and free damage to opponents.

February 17, 2017 11:12 a.m.

Crivaro says... #53

Good point, I'll add that to my Maybeboard to test it. Thank you! =)

February 17, 2017 3:26 p.m.

ManSauce says... #54

Why do you play Seal of Fire? Why not Lightning Bolt? Even Shock is better. I'd take it out and put Vial Smasher back in at least.

April 8, 2017 9:42 p.m.

Steaditup says... #55

ManSauce Seal of Fire is useful for Rakdos so you can set up a turn to cast him on. Play it on turns 1, 2 or 3 and you can pop it to shock someone and drop Rakdos on curve. His damage requirement can demand that you jump through hoops.

April 9, 2017 4 a.m.

Crivaro says... #56

Steaditup has it exactly right. Often in Commander the best overall card isn't what you actually need.

April 9, 2017 4:04 a.m.

ManSauce says... #57

Upon longer reflection I figured as much, saving yourself that red mana for an earlier casting of Rakdos, but is it really worth it? Goblin Fireslinger seems better for example, more so than Bolt, from my earlier post. Now you could argue that opponents will most likely never try to, or not be able to remove Seal, but it still seems kinda on the shorter end of useful.

Same goes for Endbringer, since you have merely six sources of colorless mana to activate its abilities with (including Everflowing Chalice, which I am not a fan of in any deck so far). I get it though, it pings, can attack, block, is an Eldrazi and can potentially be cast for free. Good enough. But Scuttling Doom Engine, which I have tried to make good in many a deck, but never got it past being mediocre, seems a bit meh. Is Grenzo, Dungeon Warden good in your build, or is he so-so? Again, it seems his usefulness is situational. Or Underworld Cerberus? Hes bitten me in the ass a couple of times and keeps being put back into a binder. Tyrant's Choice seems like too much of a one shot/trick pony to me. If your opponents know your deck, they will probably sac something, rather than risk you plopping down something big and nasty for free. I know I would.

I ask all this, because I put together a preliminary version of a Rakdos deck in a similar vein to yours and Im trying to get a feel for the nuances Im probably not considering and you seem to have played and refined this deck a lot.

Also, to reiterate, Vial Smasher is really too good not to be in here.

April 9, 2017 6:58 a.m.

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