Maga, Traitor to Mortals

Maga, Traitor to Mortals

Legendary Creature — Human Wizard

Maga, Traitor to Mortals enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it.

When Maga enters the battlefield, target player loses life equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on it.

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Maga, Traitor to Mortals Discussion

freezerboy on Liesa's Suicide Squad

3 weeks ago

lol, OrigamiMaster502 yes I don't have a land base for this one yet, but I'll be using most of the lands from my other Orzhov deck The Evil Dead II.

griffstick thanks for the suggestions. I'm torn with this deck because I want something different from The Evil Dead II and Hairy Troll Sacks, but I think I may just be crippling this deck trying to keep it away from those two mechanics. I was trying to make a reactive sacrifice deck that would slowly build to late game massive creatures. I may be missing the boat a bit though. For something that requires sac outlets, then you almost have to have token generation in it, but then I'm stuck with the same deck that I already have just less powerful.

Maybe I can keep the same idea, but add in more draw engines and then add effects like Maga, Traitor to Mortals to dish out a bunch of damage out of nowhere.

Mana_Mythic_Legendary on Pursuing Perfection, Part 8: Rakdos …

2 months ago

Brothers, sisters, and assorted non-binary siblings, welcome to the riot! You like throwing waves of frothing, hasty lunatics at your opponent AND profiting when said lunatics die? We got you! You like watching the world burn and don’t mind getting caught in the flames? We got you! You like anarchy? The purge movies? Gender reveal parties? We got you! Rakdos is the proud home of those who take pleasure at the expense of others, the sort of people who like to mix Skittles and M&Ms in the same party bowl. If that sounds fun, then just you wait: in the house of red and black, that sort of misbehavior is only the appetizer.

Haste and sacrifice. Vampirism and burn. Discard in both barrels. This is a beautifully synergistic color pairing that belongs in the same league as peanut butter and chocolate. Heath Ledger’s joker undoutably played a rakdos deck: things like Havoc Festival, Last One Standing, and Sire Of Insanity are all up the clown’s alley. There are a number of themes we can cover here, but as usual we’re settling for three: Discard, WAAAAGH, and Pain. As always, please bear in mind that the point isn’t a discussion of the competitive but rather as a celebration of the thematic.

Discard

This is both red’s primary draw resource and a uniquely black removal technique. Combining those aspects makes for a deck that both ruins opponent’s hands and digs through your own cards at shocking speed. Granted, you won’t have a big hand, but who cares? Suddenly you've got an overpacked graveyard at your black-hearted beck and call. Red self-mill and black reanimation, people, with just a naughty touch of haste. Discard a pile of hate and then pitch said pile straight into combat. You won’t be sorry.

Chainer, Nightmare Adept

A regular teddy bear, Chainer’s second coming is a real treat for anyone who left their graveyard hate at home. Haste on a stick is only a perk: suddenly your graveyard is only as full as you want it to be, and probably full of friendly, group-huggy things like Ravenous Chupacabra or Combustible Gearhulk. Yes, the table will certainly love you and your unending, undying deck of unbearable hellbeasts. Undoubtably.

Malfegor

Ok, this guy is horrifying, as you would expect of the king of Grixis. Anyone not running tokens is going to be mighty twitchy about seeing this guy hit the field, and who needs a hand anyway? Rakdos evidently loves empty hands, and rewards you for ensuring that particular misery has company. Consider, if you will, the fulsome, vicious suite of cards tied to poking those who discard. Consider Experimental Frenzy. Consider all the madness cards you could play (or, you know, just play Anje Falkenrath instead). And, if you get tired of the simple gains synergy can win you, you can always Demonfire someone.

Blim, Comedic Genius

THIS. This is neat. Leave aside the look on the face of that certain someone who steals everything on the board. Pay no mind that Seize the Day and all it’s red cousins can make Blim an unholy terror. Forget that you can pass off Demonic Pact, Grid Monitor, and whatever other obnoxiousness you can think of. None of that matters, no. This, for all you glorious nutters out there, is an excuse to finally play Nuisance Engine. That’s the takeaway here.

WAAAGH

Anyone can run tokens or big creatures, but only in Rakdos do you find the conjunction of boardwide haste and sacrifice. Harnessing right, proper WAAGH energy means not just drowning opponents in a tide of zippy little shits but also capitalizing on all that death to cause even more mayhem. Did you ever want to hold a bundle of fireworks, light them all at once, and watch whatever you point them at turn into a smoking, shredded pile of giblets? Here’s the lighter, fellas.

Juri, Master of the Revue

Treasure tokens. Nuff said.

Garna, the Bloodflame

There are a number of nasty combos here that I’d rather not spread. I’ll just say that long ago, I played many, many depressing games against a Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund deck. There was self-milling involved, and Living Death. Evidently, someone decided what the deck needed, rather than burning, was fewer moving parts. That someone deserves a long, interesting life in all the worst ways.

Kardur, the Doomscourge

This guy makes me laugh. The idea of ruining the table’s carefully laid plans to off you and instead throwing them into combat with each other is absolutely hilarious. It’s like a Fog designed by someone with pyromania-by-proxy syndrome, and that second block of text the equivalent of throwing gasoline on an already burning house. Get a Conjurer's Closet in there and watch the fun.

Pain

Forget destroy effects. Those are too easy. Direct damage. -X/-X. -1/-1 counters. Life loss. All of the nastiness you can fling at opponents and creatures is under the umbrella of this color pairing. If you like blasting the unholy hell out of your opponents and their minions, this is the arsenal you’re looking to plunder. Stuff like Blasphemous Act, Toxic Deluge, or Orcus, Prince of Undeath will leave a smoldering crater of a battlefield, across which you’ll doubtless be stepping with appropriate gribbliness. Or launching that demonfire we talked about. Whatever works.

Kaervek the Merciless

Ah, the original Mr. Stop-Hitting-Yourself. I’ve had my eye on this guy for over a decade. Do I own the deck? No. Do I intend to? Again, no. But the prospect here is so, soooo satisfying to think about. To hell with infinite combo fruitwaffles. Damned be those green jackasses ramming X cost spells down the table’s collective throat. Kaervek’s mean, but keeps it clean. Like, nuclear fire sterile clean, and the best part? It’s all self-inflicted!

Rakdos, Lord of Riots

We really can’t talk red-black without discussing demon himself (hehehe). This guy’s been piloting one of my decks for years, and for good reason. The lord of riots likes to pass out rewards for smacking people. Do you like to be rewarded for smacking people? I do. Rewarded with free things... Eldrazi things. Eldrazi things that tutor more things (Conduit of Ruin), reanimate more things (Artisan of Kozilek), or… well, you can always go for broke and just ruin someone else's things (Void Winnower). Run artifacts, like Hangarback Walker. Run X drops, like Maga, Traitor to Mortals. Run anything you like. Run everything you like. Just have fun running them for next to nothing.

The Scorpion God
-1/-1 counters, magic’s analogue for injury and agony. We really shouldn’t talk red-black without talking about Wither, the Everlasting Torment of a keyword that was a precursor to the dark days of Infect. It’s safe to say we all have opinions, for good or ill, about Infect’s place in commander. That said, if you want to play with -1/-1 counters and aren’t fond of green or dealing with those opinions, Scorpy’s first line of text makes this guy an overwhelmingly safe bet. Rocking crap like Black Sun's Zenith is the easy answer: let’s make this fun, discard a crapload of cards, and watch your opponent’s boards melt into obscene card advantage while your Archfiend of Ifnir giggles in the corner.

And for my personal favorite...

Xantcha, sleeper agent

There is an unfortunate element of “screw you in particular” to Xantcha: declaring open season on somebody’s life total sends a particularly unpleasant message. This is another commander that, laying aside the card advantage, doesn’t bolster your deck, which makes for an interesting challenge. I’ve said it before, one hallmark of a good deck is the capability of functioning without its commander… though if you build this hateful beast, I suggest you pack lots and lots of ramp. Just ‘cause.

That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back next week for Gruul!

Prior Articles:

Dimir

Azorius

Green, with links to the other mono-colors

kjbrulport on Hydra Flask

11 months ago

Phule451 switching out Maga, Traitor to Mortals for Exsanguinate is a great choice I just prefer Maga for flavor. Massacar, Finale of Revelation by switching out Gadwick, the Wizened which is again for flavor. Both of your suggestions are clearly the better choices I just enjoy the two card I have in it lol.

Peoni on Zaxara's Infinite Hydras

1 year ago

Yeah Tragic Slip probably isn't so good here, but I really like the art. :^)

Anyway, if you're attached to the idea of using the group hug mana elements, there are probably a few other take outs we can find. Truthfully Gargos, Vicious Watcher might be able to come out. Only reduces the cost of a handful of cards and his passive doesn't have a ton of synergy in this deck. Maga, Traitor to Mortals seems like a good card to sub out for a few reasons, the big two being it's very black intensive and it only kills one player. Black cards you have that also have the potential to kill a player Damnable Pact and Profane Command at least have some utility to them outside of slaying someone and they aren't quite as hard to cast. From what I can tell, the only time you're going to be using her is when you can go infinite, and even then you're only going to kill one person. You could also maybe take out another land since you have plenty of ramp.

Side note, I just realized that Stroke of Genius was in your maybeboard and it's $5. Maybe it was always like that, but I could've sworn when I first got my set it was only like $1.50 or something, maybe even less. Very unfortunate. :^(

kpres on The Tarot

1 year ago

Maga, Traitor to Mortals for the Wheel of Fortune. It fits your criterion of being legendary, it has "X" in its mana cost (as the clue for being ten), and it has synergy with the flavour of the Wheel. The Wheel of Fortune represents change, or the turning of the Wheel of Dharma. The poor become rich, and the rich become poor. Fortunes change for everybody. In this case, you get an X/X creature (good fortune) and your opponent loses X life (bad fortune).

Vulnoth on Turbo Aggro Grind Time

1 year ago

It's not a bad start, but there are some clear ways to take the deck in a better direction. Firstly, keep in mind your playgroup and the ever-present specter that ruins people, "play group politics". When approaching a deck, always consider how certain cards and interactions will affect the playgroup. Some people will not particularly care until you just dome someone out of nowhere, while other people may just act when they see things they dislike. Playing to politics isn't something Rakdos does well, but the ideal way to approach is through "minimal" bad stuff that helps you keep the target off your back. It's always fun to talk about how oppressive a deck or strategy can be, but once people grow aware and start countering you, the tables will indeed table against you.

But that said, onto the said ways to better this little carnival cruiseliner of doom.

Chonk

Let's start with the fun stuff. The whole point here is to play every Big Chungus for minimal cost. You should be looking for either beefy dudes to beat your opponents with or high end utility cards that aren't literal neanderthals.

Utility Dudes

Here I'll go over more miscellaneous creatures. You mostly are going to want creatures that either fulfill Rakdos's requirement or are general good stuff.

I'll address the deck further another day as I'm getting tired.

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