Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
May 26 2021 4:23pm

When you think of a Sacrifice archetype in Pauper, I think most of you (and myself included) think of the Golgari version. However, there is also a Mono Black Aggro version that plays cards such as Perilous Myr and Serrated Scorpion. Today I want to talk about a Rakdos version that I think is pretty wicked.

The list we are going to look at today was part of the 5-0 dump from 4/21/2021 and was piloted by the player rereknit16. You will find this this is basically the Mono Black Sacrifice shell with some added red cards to it, but I think the red cards add a very interesting element to the archetype. Without further wait, let’s get right into the list.

Carrion Feeder – When you think of a Sacrifice archetype, rarely will Carrion Feeder be left out. It costs nothing to use its ability and it grows very big, very fast. Carrion Feeder honestly can sometimes just win games on its own.

Lampad of Death’s Vigil – Another good sac outlet for this archetype. It has 3 toughness, so it always blocks well in combat. However, the most important part, is that it also drains your opponent for 1 life and gains you a life when you sacrifice a creature. This makes it so that you can play the control game against aggro and against control, easily drive home the last few points of damage.

Mortician Beetle – In Modern Masters 2017, this one got downshifted to a common and since then, has made a fair amount of appearances here and there. This one can also grow extremely quickly, however it does not have an ability to actually sacrifice creatures like Carrion Feeder does. It still can grow big in a small amount of time and the cool part is that if your opponent sacrifices a creature, the Beetle will grow from that as well.

Serrated Scorpion – This little one might not look like much, but it does get in a fair amount of damage. This is a burn deck of sorts at the end of the day and the Scorpion dealing 2 damage when it dies is really good for this archetype. A small a bonus as well, it gains you 2 life.

Perilous Myr – This Myr isn’t too impressive, but when it dies, it deals 2 damage that can go to any target, which makes it a great creature to play in these decks because of how much synergy it has.

Mogg War Marshal – Your first red addition to the archetype. This is a great one because it gives you 3 creatures to work with, giving you a lot of outlets to use your sacrifice effects.

Fleshbag Marauder – I am not a huge fan of this card, but it was a 3 power creature that also makes your opponent sacrifice a creature, which works really well with Mortician Beetle.

Bone Picker – This is a Sacrifice deck, so creatures should almost always be dying. In this archetype, most of the time, this creature will cost only 1 mana to cast and not only does it fly, but it also has 3 power, which really helps you ramp up the clock on your opponent.

Village Rites – Card draw is always a good thing to have access to in any archetype. Although you need to sacrifice a creature to use this spell, I don’t think that will be a problem.

Unearth – Another great way to gain card advantage. I kind of wish there were 4 copies in this deck because I think Unearth can lead to a lot of quick wins, but you don’t want to draw 2 copies so early without any creatures to bring back. This archetype can’t really afford to stumble and have dead cards in hand.

Reckless Abandon – Your second red addition to the archetype. I love this spell because it allows you to burn your opponent out extremely quickly. Just be cautious, as getting it countered is not a fun thing.

Wrangle – Our third red addition to the deck. Not only does this let you get in for a good amount of damage from using your opponents own creature, but it also can be a kill spell with the help of a sacrifice outlet. The best part of this card is that it can take something as big as a Myr Enforcer and it only costs 2 mana.

Defile – You play a fair amount of Swamps, so Defile should be able to get the job done. However, I personally think Snuff Out might be better in this spot because it is free to cast with a Swamp out, allowing you to cast more spells in the same turn. Although you do have to pay 4 life, this shouldn’t be a big issue. However, not being able to hit opposing black creatures could be an issue, so there are reasons to play either Defile or Snuff Out.

Sign in Blood – It draws cards and can deal the final 2 points of damage to your opponent on some rare occasions. Overall I like this as a one of.

The Manabase is nothing special because you don’t want that many come into play tapped lands. You have 4 dual lands in the form of Bloodfell Caves and then the rest are just basic lands. However, 5 Mountains do seem a like a lot because you don’t need much red mana. It also seems like a lot of mountains because you have Defile in your deck, but I could be thinking to much into it.

The Sideboard

Choking Sands – Everyone needs a way to somehow have game against Urza Tron archetypes. Not only does this slow them down, but it also deals 2 damage to them which helps towards trying to win the game quickly. If you are up against a bounce land heavy archetype (when I say bounce land, I mean lands such as Azorius Chancery, it is possible Choking Sands can be good there as well, however I wouldn’t lean on bringing them in, especially since they would need to heavily rely on bounce lands and have lots of them to warrant bringing them in.

Duress – Always need ways to push through your spells against counter heavy decks. I am sure Duress is good in plenty of non counter matchups as well.

Geth's Verdict – Do you hate Bogles? Well here you go!

Shenanigans – Artifact hate is a good thing to have access to and this is a great flexible spell that keeps coming back if need be. If you feel you want specific hate against Affinity and not really anything else, Gorilla Shaman might be better.

Suffocating Fumes – Have access to a board wipe spell is always a good thing, this one has a good chance of not killing much of your own board, while still doing well against Faeries, Elves and the like. It also Cycles at worst.

Trespasser's Curse – I haven’t tried this one out too much, but it should be really good against the Familiar Flicker decks. If you can guarantee to have it in your opening hand, it could also be decent against Elves, but don’t quote me on that.

Unexpected Fangs – If you can resolve this on a big Carrion Feeder or Mortician Beetle, it will be extremely hard for Burn to win. It can be good against some other aggro matchups as well, where they might not have the removal to deal with a big creature with Lifelink.

Verdict and Conclusion

I really like this archetype. I think it does a lot of fun things and it has the potential to be quick and powerful. I like how it can play the control game against other aggro decks and put pressure on the control opponents as well. This archetype has a lot of synergy and card advantage going for it.

One thing about this archetype though, is that none of your cards are very good on their own, you do need to draw your deck in a bit more of a specific order than other archetypes because your cards rely heavily on each other.

However, while I do like this archetype and think there is potential here, would I play this over something like Burn? Would I play it over something like Stompy or Affinity if I want to play an aggro deck? Actually, I might consider it.

You might not have the fast combo potential that Affinity has and you certainly don’t have access to all the sideboard options that the Affinity archetype has access to, but you aren’t hurt by artifact hate. You don’t have the pump spells or threat density that Stompy can produce, but you can play a solid control game and your Carrion Feeder and/or Mortician Beetle can grow very big in a short amount of time, while having a good amount of burn to finish off your opponent. Finally comparing this archetype to Burn isn’t exactly an apples to apples comparison, but you can fight a somewhat later game and you don’t have as hard of a time against life gain effects that Burn does.

A couple of thoughts. I do wish there were at least a few copies of Snuff Out in the deck somewhere because you can benefit from Snuff Out not costing any mana to play. Fling also crossed my mind as a potential card to play because of Carrion Feeder, but I don’t think it would be worth it because unlike Atog, it would take a ton of time to grow a Feeder to the size you need it to be to make Fling worth it.

Do I think you should play this deck? For the leagues yes, I think the archetype is a lot of fun and powerful enough to bring you success in the leagues. I don’t think you will get constant 5-0 finishes (no deck can guarantee that), but I do think you can get a good amount of 3-2 and 4-1 finishes, while having a good amount of fun.

As far as the challenges, I won’t say to stay away from this archetype, but can’t say for sure you will have a good amount of success. This archetype doesn’t do anything too special that the Faerie decks or the Tron decks can’t handle.

Affinity has more powerful options and has proven it can do well through hate. Burn and Stompy are both mono colored decks, so their mana will be better/smoother. Stompy has pump spells, speed and good creatures that can get through the red zone with almost no problem. Burn can be extremely fast and doesn’t need the red zone to win the game. Both Burn and Stompy are also a little more straightforward and somewhat easier to play as well. The reason why I bring up these 3 archetypes is because they are the 3 best aggro decks for playing in the challenges, in my opinion. However, take my opinions with a grain of salt.

One thing to think about when comparing this deck to Stompy or Burn, as I said earlier, is that this archetype needs all of its card to do something. Nothing in this archetype individually are powerful, unlike in Burn and Stompy which are a bit more consistently powerful with a bit less effort.

All 3 of these archetypes (Affinity, Burn and Stompy) have their fair share of problems with other archetypes in the format, but they have been proven to do well and I don’t think Rakdos Sacrifice is doing anything mind blowing to combat Tron, Walls Combo, the Faerie archetypes and the other top decks you will see, that Burn, Affinity and Stompy aren’t already doing.

The reason I am saying all this is that, for me personally, it takes a lot for me to say, “play this deck over a proven archetype”. However, as I said earlier, I do think there is potential here and I hope to see more from this Rakdos Sacrifice deck in the future.