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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Rakdos's Return
Image from Wizards.com

Rakdos's Return
- Return to Ravnica

Reviewed October 15, 2012

Constructed: 3.67
Casual: 3.75
Limited: 4.00
Multiplayer: 3.10

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Rakdos's Return

As you may have noticed last week, I wrote all my Izzet reviews as though I myself were a member of the Izzet. My original plan was to do the same for each guild's theme week, but I have to confess-- I can't figure out how to roleplay as a Rakdos member. I can sort of understand Rakdos himself as a creature that feeds off the pain and misery of others, but I can't get into the head of anyone who follows this guy. Despite having read the first two novels of the original Ravnica block, I just can't understand why you would join a guild where rampant murder and torture are considered entertainment. And I can't understand why the other nine guilds tolerate this one either, other than perhaps mutually assured destruction-- maybe the Rakdos are allowed to operate because nobody is able to stop them without suffering major losses? Was this explained in the third book?

If I'd read the third book, I'd probably also know why Lord Rakdos is "returning"-- I can only guess that someone finally recognized how horrible it was having a guild built around this guy and banished him. But from a gameplay prespective, this looks a lot more like the return of Blightning, a fan favorite. Trouble is, X spells are never as mana-efficient as fixed-point spells that do the same thing. For the same price as Blightning, Rakdos's Return can only take away one life and one card versus Bightning's three and two respectively. With most X spells, the trade-off is that the effect is only limited by your ability to generate mana. Discard spells don't benefit as much from being X spells because they suffer from diminishing returns. Mind Shatter stops getting any better once X hits the number of cards in its target's hand, and any after that is wasted. But spells that deal X damage can always benefit from more mana. Wastign excess mana is less of a concern when the spell's resolution wins you the game. And with Black's mana ramp (Liliana 3.0 and her Shade) and Red's burst mana effects (Priest of Urabrask and Pyretic Ritual, though they're no longer in Standard) then Rakdos's Return should be a great death-blow for any B/R deck, yet still serve as a functional mid-game play to keep an opponent on the defense. It's card advantage if X=2 or more, and it's a means to chip away at that all-important life total.

Constructed- 3
Casual- 3.5
Limited- 3.5
Multiplayer- 3.75

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Rakdos's Return
This card is a perfect example of the most simple multicolor design - "grab an effect from each color and staple them together" - and that's perhaps what makes it so good. Dealing damage to opponents is powerful, and forcing them to discard is also powerful, and when you have both effects on one card, things get scary. People used to sideboard Persecute (remember that card?) against monocolored decks and/or combo-type decks, and like that older card, Rakdos's Return will often force the opponent to discard their entire hand for a reasonably affordable cost.
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 2/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today begins Rakdos week with Rakdos's Return which is a Black/Red and X sorcery that deals X damage and forces X discards from target player. 
This is a very efficient card for recent times and even early in the game can empty an opponent's hand while also doing a little damage.  In the later stages this may not be as useful for clearing cards, but the damage can certainly be a finisher.  Either way a deck will more likely be based on either discard or burn and this card offers the second effect at a bargain price.  Overall a solid card that will probably see at least some play in Red/Black themes, but not working as removal and the not overly complimentary effects will keep it from being widespread.
In Limited this is a bomb for either effect and if not ending games outright will usually put the target into a very bad situation. Despite not being removal the card advantage and burn are more than enough to justify a first pick in Booster as even casting it for three is a one for one with damage, but four or more mana will equal a noticeable swing.  With Sealed the mana for the single Black or Red in the casting cost can be easily splashed when the other color is used in a Golgari or Izzet design.  Direct damage is an effective method to bypass a stalemate or loss of board control and the format can promote holding onto several cards until mana is available or appropriate targets are played.  It is important to note that the discard is not random, so having enough mana to force an entire hand to be lost is highly recommended.
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 3.5


       Welcome to the Pojo.com card of the day section. We begin our new week looking at Rakdos’ Return from Return to Ravnica. Rakdos’ Return is a mythic rare sorcery that costs X and one red and one black mana. Rakdos’ Return deals X damage to target opponent. That player discards X cards.

       Definitely a fun mythic rare in Rakdos’ Return. The ability for direct damage and forced discard is a lot of fun. And only having to do so for one additional red and one additional black mana. Even the extra forced damage is just gravy should they not have enough cards to discard. Used with some old but good cards such as Megrim and Liliana’s Caress, this could be devastating. Not to mention that you could deliver a final blow with a copy or two of Shrieking Affliction in play.

    Nothing bad to say about Rakdos’ Return. A strong mythic with solid abilities.
Limited: 5/5
Constructed: 5/5
Casual: 5/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

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