Rakdos Midrange - Budget Pioneer by Duy Vu, Swish Gaming
Hello Everyone! Welcome to another article here on All Star Sports! This is Duy and today we are getting diving into my current favorite format Pioneer. Starting any new format can be daunting as Magic the Gathering is an expensive game. Luckily, Pioneer isn’t the worst format to dive into. Let’s take a look at the metagame itself and the average cost of the decks. We are going to tackle the most popular decks today and I will keep working on additional recommendations on builds and build paths for you in the upcoming articles. Metagame from MTG Goldfish
Most decks range between $200 to $600. Due to the nature and build of some decks, it would be more difficult to build certain decks as a budget mana base or skipping out on key cards will result in a significant shift from what the deck is intended to do. My intent in presenting you a budget build is to have a base deck that will allow for you to build towards the full build.
We are going to start with Rakdos Midrange as one of the premier decks in the format. MisplacedGinger will always have a good base build for us to work from so let’s start with a recent list of his at $530. Fable of the Mirror Breaker is not a card I want to remove from the deck even with the cost as it is integral to the deck. We will need to work around the $65 price tag it has.
The offenders for the list that keeps this at a high price point are:
- Sheoldred, the Apocalypse at $80 each and dropping the three copies will save us $240 bringing us to $290 already! We are going to swap these Archfiend of the Dross at $0.50 each for $291.50.
- Thoughtseize is next on the chopping block at $50 for the playset to bring us down to $241.50 and add in 1 Duress and 3 Despise for about a $1 total to get us to $242.50.
- Blood Crypt is too rich for our blood so Foreboding Ruins will serve as a substitute which will want us to increase our Mountains and Swamps within the deck. This means Blightstep Pathway will be a path we will venture later on with swapping the 4 of them for 2 of each basic. We are also going to trim Sokenzan and Takenuma to save $10. Haunted Ridge gets dropped as well for Canyon Slough helping us with Foreboding Ruins a bit and saving us more money. Castle Locthwain, Den, Hive, and Blackcleave will also need to go sadly to get us closer to our $100 price point. We are going to add back in Bloodfell Caves to have a budget friendly dual.
- Our total savings from the land drops will bring us to $116.
- Our sideboard gets an overhaul next dropping Unlicensed Hearse and Hidetsugu, Consumes All for a sizable $16 savings to get us close to the finish line. Swapped for 2 Damping Spheres and 2 Ray of Enfeeblement to bring us to $108.
- We are almost to the finish line! Swapping out 2 Pushes for 2 Heartless Acts, 2 Kroxa for 2 Go Blanks for the final $8 to bring us to $99 and some change.
To build this back, I would start with the lower cost cards that are more efficient. The removal and adding back in Kroxa is the best place to start. Next it is getting the Bloodfell Caves out of the deck and obtaining those utility lands. The rest of the land updates you will want to do in a larger batch as the value of Foreboding Ruins requires us to have a decent count of Mountains and Swamps so I would look at the sideboard next to get it back to a similar state but adjusted for your local weekly event. Once you are set there, upgrading our discard spells back to Thoughtseize before the lands leaving you just with Sheoldred to slowly pick up over time. Thank you for joining me on All Star Sports! Next time, I will continue my budget article series with Mono Green Devotion.