Hey Friends! I have a full article dropping tomorrow, but I thought I would share a deck I have been enjoying. I’m currently sitting at 6th on ladder playing this, and it is reasonably fun in my opinion. There is not a ton of interesting stuff to say about the list, so I figure just sharing it with everyone might be nice, even if I don’t write up a full article.
2 Flame Blast (Set1 #2)
3 Inspire (Set1 #129)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Champion of Glory (Set1 #314)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
1 Copperhall Bailiff (Set1001 #5)
2 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
3 Valkyrie Enforcer (Set1 #151)
2 Auric Runehammer (Set1 #166)
1 Furnace Mage (Set1 #40)
3 Navani, Warsinger (Set1 #323)
3 Rise to the Challenge (Set1 #320)
1 Deepforged Plate (Set1 #317)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
3 Obliterate (Set1 #48)
1 Throne Warden (Set1 #514)
1 Jekk, the Bounty Hunter (Set1001 #11)
1 Stonescar Maul (Set1 #52)
1 Icaria, the Liberator (Set1 #329)
7 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
7 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
3 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
This is a midrangey Rakano deck that has different plans depending on the match up. Your general game plan is either establishing early threats and keeping the way clear with removal/weapons (kinda like Stonescar Burn), or force your opponent into a board stall where you Harsh Rule them out and then land a premium threat (kinda like Big Combrei). One of the things that drew me to this deck is how good Obliterate is. Against Combrei, all of their premium threats are easily answered, and against token decks it will close out the game when the board gets locked down. The “combo” with Navani is also great. Navani is extremely powerful if you can attack with her, but she is nonsense on defense and is easily blocked by other 4-drops. Since the meta has slowed down considerably in recent weeks, you don’t need to count on her to block, and Obliterate/Vanquish/Flame Blast will allow you to push past any blocker you need!
All this being said, I will admit that this deck is much more “season to taste” than most of my lists. I generally don’t like to share lists unless I am fairly certain about almost every slot in the deck. In this case, there are like 10 cards you can shuffle around depending on what you are facing. Navani is good when she is good, but is certainly not vital to the list. The correct number of Baliffs is could be 2, 1 or 0. 2 Vanquish is the least I would want to play. Sword of Icaria can probably be cut if you are seeing a lot of tokens + Combrei. Jekk has really impressed me and I would play a second if I thought I could get away with it, but the top-end can be very clunky. You could easily fit Soulfire Drake, additional Plates, some Pyroknights, or a different mix of relic weapons into the deck. I don’t pretend to have the optimal build here, and the best configuration for your current spot in the metagame is going to be different, so I will encourage you to try and adopt the “heart” of the deck, and mould everything else around that.
The advantage of this deck over traditional Rakano aggro is that you don’t just fold to a stalled board. Both Combrei and Praxis will often stall out the board, and the Rakano aggro player has very few paths to victory. Here you can either surprise your opponent with a Harsh Rule, clear a path to victory with removal or Face Blast for the win! Compared to Armory, you have a more proactive game plan. I have generally found that the solution to beat Obelisk decks is to kill them while they are setting up shop, since their late game is usually better than yours. For those who remember back to January, I was advocating that the best counter to Shimmerpack was a Felnscar control deck that could pivot quickly to the offensive with the help of Statuary Maiden and her clutch of Cudgels. Here I have a similar solution. By playing a bunch of burn and high efficiency threats, I am able to end the game before 2 Obelisks are active, or brutally punish overextension.
Brief stylistic note – yes, I know Oni Ronin and Champion of Glory in the same deck as Harsh Rule looks blasphemous. It is a pet peeve of mine as well, but ya’ know what? You do what you gotta do. Harsh Rule is just one of the most powerful cards in the game, and the combo with weapons is insane! Maybe I should cut them for some more proactive stuff like Jekk or additional Throne Wardens. If you have an alternative list you are happy with be sure to post it in the comments!
PS – thanks to the peps who helped tune the list. I spent some time chatting with people in discord who helped focus the deck, and I think it really improved from that.