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by. B. Siems
August 29, 2006

Uno, Rakdos, Tres! Quattro, Cinco, Cinco, Seis!

As I write this, it’s Rakdos (Red/Black) week over at wizards.com. It’s also been a considerable while since I’ve done anything with my beloved Turbo Commons deck. (This, however, is not that article, although I intend to revisit version 1.0 of TC at some point before my life’s end. It would be a shame not to, now that both Mirage and Visions are legal in certain MTGO formats.)
And so, despite my continuing lack of free time (and in the name of synchronicity and serendipity) I think it’s time to build a new version of Turbo Commons. But first, I must lay down the ground rules upon which it’s daddy was built, ones which I try to adhere to whenever possible:
1) My colors of choice are Red and Black
2) Turbo Commons will be an aggressive weenie deck, one full of cheap creatures with support spells. It’s philosophy is "attack with everything you’ve got, kill whatever moves and don’t stop fighting until ten minutes after you’re dead."
3) Stick as close to possible as using cards with a casting cost under 3 mana.
4) Build with cards I actually own.
5) PEZ legality is mandatory.
For this particular version of TC, I feel like building around the flavor of the Rakdos guild. That means that I’m imposing one additional limitation on myself in this deck’s construction.
6) I’m building around the hellbent mechanic. God help my twisted soul.
No, I don’t hate hellbent. It’s a fun mechanic, one that just steamrolls a guy when it’s working. However, in building a PEZ version, I’m not exactly working with the cream of the crop. There’s a whopping total of five hellbent cards at common: Cackling Flames, Demon’s Jester, Gobhobbler Rats, Slaughterhouse Bouncer and Taste for Mayhem. Of those, three of the cards break my "nothing over 3cc" rule. Sigh. Eh, what the hell. I’ll throw caution to the wind and incorporate every last damn one of those cards into this deck!
After a little thought, I’ve come up with a little something like this...
(Standard/ Ravnica block and Online legal. Uncommons marked with an *)
3 Delirium Skeins
2 Demon’s Jester
1 Macabre Waltz
4 Mourning Thrull
1 Slaughterhouse Bouncer
2 Seal of Doom
2 Cackling Flames
3 Kill-Suit Cultist
1 Kindle the Carnage*
4 Seal of Fire
2 Taste for Mayhem
4 Gobhobbler Rats
4 Hellhole Rats*
2 Rakdos Ickspitter
1 Wrecking Ball
2 Rakdos Signet
10 Mountains
10 Swamps
2 Rakdos Carnarium
2 Cackling Flames (extras, just in case)
1 Delirium Skeins (ditto)
1 Disembowel (more creaturekill)
2 Nettling Curse (for critters the Flames and Seals can’t drop)
2 Seal of Doom (more extras)
2 Shred Memory (anti-graveyard with bonus tutoring)
2 Smash (artifact kill)
3 Wrecking Ball (still more creature/landkill)
I’m not sure how much explanation the deck needs, but that’s never stopped me before. Breaking it down, then.
Anyone who’s played Rakdos decks should be familiar with Rule Number One: Cast everything right freakin’ now! Most of the deck consists of 1-3 mana cards, so you should have little problem playing threats on a consistent basis.
We have all kinds of way to enable hellbent. Delirium Skeins gives a touch of discard, in the vain hope that it’s enough to slow down your opponent. The Seals give the deck access to Shock and Dark Banishing while getting your hand emptied. If you’re forces are outnumbered and outgunned, Kindle the Carnage will nuke the battlefield.
At some point you’ll arrive at Discard Nirvana. Once there, the hellbent cards kick in. Demon’s Jesters and Gobhobbler Rats be all up in there! Cackling Flames can gun down really big game! Taste for Mayhem make your critters look like Barry Bonds before the random drug tests! And Slaughterhouse Bouncer still sucks more than Paris Hilton! (Prettier, too.)
Macabre Waltz is here, just in case you’re a little too aggressive in throwing away your own cards. TC Rakdos Edition also has a mini-rat theme going on. In addition to Gobhobbler, we have Hellhole Rats, an uncommon which can both Duress/Bolt your opponent. (Or help enable hellbent, at a cost.) Finally, mana. Two Rakdos Signet and a pair of Rakdos Carnariums help speed up the mana. (And if you’re that worried about the Carnariums screwing up your hellbent, then chuck ‘em to the Skeins.)
And now I feel complete. Send feedback to me at whatever@hcinet.net. Until then, I remain...
B. Siems






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