Weiseguy is a top-ranked Masters player (currently #2) who made a Rakano-flavored version of the monofire deck. This is an aggressive deck that attacks opponents from multiple angles- cheap creatures, relic weapons, and scalable burn spells. While the gameplan is diverse, this deck just works. In most cases, the cheap creatures will get in a decent amount of damage. Then, burn spells finish the job. The 4 Sword of Icarias are very strong against equipment/aegis decks as well as unit-light control decks.
The power of this deck is very matchup-dependent. It is strong against armory, durdle-ey midrange decks like Stonescar Weapons/Stash, my Rakano “goodstuff” armory deck, and Feln. It is weak against Bandit Queen, many Combrei variants, and Stronghold’s Visage control decks. I believe it is slightly unfavored versus Rakano Pants.
This is a very competitive deck that is quite viable in the upper portion of Masters-ranked ladder. I do not have winrate statistics on this deck.
The cheap creatures will often get in a lot of damage before control decks can deploy their answers (3-power blockers, and the 5-power Harsh Rule). Burn spells provide reach and finish off opponents rather quickly, before slower decks can deploy their threats or grind out card advantage. Unusual cards like Kaleb’s Favor provide supplemental damage against opponents. This deck generally wants to race opponents, so be aggressive and attack where possible.
The 4 Sword of Icarias disrupt aegis-abusing decks and deal a lot of damage to unit-light control decks.
Piloting the deck
Always calculate the amount of burn you have in hand, so you know if you can start burning opponents out. A few decks have lifegain so you may wish to take that into account:
- Non-aggro shadow decks often run Vara’s Favor, which gains 1 health.
- Armory decks run weapons which grant armor. They often run Rolant’s Favor and sometimes Armorsmith.
- Some Feln decks, Icaria blue (Fire-Justice-Primal factions), and Visage control decks run Staff of Stories (5 armor).
- Visage control decks (Time-Justice-Primal factions) that run excavate generally run some number of Stronghold’s Visage.
Like other decks with lots of burn spells, you may want to speculatively burn opponents in the hopes that you will draw lethal burn.
Flame Blast is a Powersurge spell that will use up all of your remaining power. You can cast another spell and then Flame Blast to kill off a small creature (e.g. Frontier Jito) if need be.
Matchmaking and metagame gaming
Play this deck only when you are favored in getting a good matchup.
Because matchmaking will often pit you against the opponent you played previously, requeue immediately if you’ve just had a good matchup. Otherwise take a break before joining the queue again.
4 Flame Blast (Set1 #2)
4 Fearless Nomad (Set1 #311)
4 Oni Ronin (Set1 #13)
4 Pyroknight (Set1 #16)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Champion of Glory (Set1 #314)
4 Crownwatch Paladin (Set1 #139)
4 Kaleb’s Favor (Set0 #3)
2 Piercing Shot (Set1 #25)
1 Rakano Outlaw (Set1 #20)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
3 Assembly Line (Set1 #29)
4 Sword of Icaria (Set1 #315)
2 Hammer of Might (Set1 #170)
4 Obliterate (Set1 #48)
9 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
4 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Rakano Banner (Set1 #427)
4 Seat of Glory (Set0 #56)
*The original decklist has 2 extra Piercing Shots instead of Vanquish. The addition of Vanquishes is to deal with a metagame with more Rakano (and Combrei) in it.
Playing against this deck
Fearless Nomad, Kaleb’s Favor, Piercing Shot, and Flame Blast are some cards that are unique to this deck. Otherwise, it looks like generic Rakano Pants (which makes it hard to play against).
The deck does need its cheap creatures to connect, otherwise it can have some trouble finishing off opponents with burn. It has a difficult time killing very large creatures, so you can play Gilded Glaive on one of your creatures to make a massive blocker. Expect 0-3 Vanquishes in this deck.
Do race this deck, because otherwise you will lose to inevitable burn spells.
Value your life total and lifegain creatures. Silverwing Familiar will die to Sword of Icaria, so you might want to bait out the sword with other creatures first before running out Silverwing. The deck does not run Auric Runehammer so you don’t need to worry about excessive relic weapons.
This deck does not have silence effects or double-justice cards (e.g. Gilded Glaive, Auric Runehammer, Valkyrie Enforcer, etc.).
Competitive Rakano in ladder
Currently, there are three very competitive Rakano archetypes that see play in ladder:
- Rakano Warcry/Pants/Aggro. There is the slower traditional build with good equipment (Gilded Glaive, Shogun’s Sceptre, and maybe Deepforged Plate). There is a Sparring Partner build with Katana. And there is a super aggressive build with Sparring Partners and Angel’s Feathers.
- Armory-style builds. See my post on Rakano ‘Goodstuff’ Armory, where I discuss my build and link to dudewitbang’s build. Unique cards are Rolant’s Favor and Rise to the Challenge.
- This burn/monofire-like build that only Weiseguy plays. This deck does not see a lot of play at the moment because other players have not copied his deck.
All three Rakano archetypes can look very similar in the beginning of a game, which can make them difficult to tell apart. This can be devastating if you play lots of creatures onto an empty board and you happen to be facing the slowest archetypes that run Harsh Rule (the armory-style builds). So if you see a Rakano deck play Rolant’s Favor, play around Harsh Rule. The aggressive Rakano decks do not play Rolant’s Favor.
An easier way to tell them apart is to remember the preferences of different players (or use a spreadsheet to keep track of preferences). I personally don’t play a lot of traditional Rakano aggro, so expect me to play goodstuff armory or to mess around with the burn-oriented build. (I generally play unconventional decks on ladder and dislike some control decks.) TheDukeOfMilan usually plays armory-style Rakano. And so on and so forth.