If you’ve been following my recent articles, you will know that I have been a big fan of the aggro decks in Pioneer, having played and written about Mono Red Aggro, Mono Blue Spirits and Mono White Humans. With all that said though, in the end, I succumbed to playing the boring, midrange deck of the format!
As I discussed in my most recent article about Mono White Humans, I had given up on the other aggro decks because the Rakdos Midrange matchup was just too difficult, and I expected Rakdos to be the most popular deck at the tournament, and definitely be present at the top tables as the event went deeper. Mono White Humans was the aggro deck I was the highest on as I felt that it had a slightly favorable matchup against Rakdos, especially as Rakdos players were starting to shave on Rending Volleys and Hidetsugu Consumes All from their sideboard.
However, this all changed after the Magic Online Championship, where Nathan Steuer and Marcio Carvalho dominated the tournament with Blue-Red Phoenix.
After that, Phoenix became more and more popular, to the point that it had about the same metagame share as Rakdos Midrange and Mono Green Devotion. It then felt like I could not play Humans anymore due to its poor Phoenix matchup, so I gave up on the deck.
Once all the aggro options were exhausted, I just decided to play Rakdos because the rest of the team had worked on the deck so much.
That’s one of the great benefits to being on a team – you can all be focusing on different decks, so that as the deadline looms closer, you can then converge onto the best option without having to start from the beginning.
Since most of the team were already keen on Rakdos from before, and our regular Zoom meetings had us unified on what we liked and what we wanted to try with the deck, I felt very confident about swapping to it. Our team actually played about 1000 matches on Magic Online with the deck over the two months, which I expect would be one of the higher figures from the season.
Our results with the deck in testing were as follows: