Dan’s Deck Tech — Budget Black/Red Aggro

My favorite part about Magic: The Gathering is absolutely how varied and interesting deck building is. With 25 years worth of cards and mechanics, pretty much anything is possible. As of late, I’ve been updating a few of my decks, and I decided that I want to share some of them. Today I’ll be talking about one of the first good decks I’ve ever used, a budget black/red (Rakdos) aggro deck that I affectionately call Super Weenie Hut Jr.

And when I say budget, I mean REALLY budget. It’s composed of nothing but commons and uncommons, but I’ve been able to make it see a good amount of success over the years. This is the most recently updated version of this deck.

The Decklist:


x4 Rakdos Cackler

x4 Tormented Soul

x4 Rakdos Shred Freak

x4 Spike Jester

x4 Minotaur Skullcleaver

x4 Mogis’s Marauder


x4 Lightning Bolt

x4 Go For The Throat


x4 Untamed Hunger

x4 Madcap Skills


x4 Dragonskull Summit

x9 Swamp

x7 Mountain

Pretty straight forward strategy here. Play good value, low cost cards throughout the game and swing in with them as consistently as you can. Eventually use one of the menace-giving auras to make creatures harder to block and/or play Mogis’s Marauder and win the game. Let’s get into the meat of it, starting with the one-drops: Rakdos Cackler and Tormented Soul.

This deck wants to attack a lot, so these two offer some really good advantages. Rakdos Cackler is a super versatile card. Early game, you can Unleash and get a 2/2 on the board on turn 1, or later in the game, it’s still a solid card to play quite simply because it adds to your field of weenies and is mana efficient. The fact it loses its ability to block if unleashed doesn’t really bother this deck because it’s not going to do much blocking to begin with, plus if you ever have to be cautious, you can just not unleash it. That said if you’re playing defensively with this deck, you’ve probably already lost. The reasoning for Tormented Soul is the same. The fact that it can’t block is made up for by the fact that this deck doesn’t block much, and being an unblockable 1/1 that we can pump later with our auras is super good for how aggressive we’re trying to be here, especially since this card can help us get past threats that are simply too big for this deck to handle otherwise.

For our two-drops, we have Rakdos Shred Freak and Spike Jester.

Again, reasoning here is quite simple. Rakdos Shred Freak is a 2/1 with haste, and Spike Jester is a 3/1 with haste. Fast, easy damage. But let’s take a look at the board for a minute here. Let’s say turn 1 you play Rakdos Cackler and unleash it. That means if you play Spike Jester the following turn, you’re swinging for 5 damage on turn 2. Between the 1 and 2-drops in this deck, you pretty much never run out of ammo to throw at someone.

Finally, our 3-drop creatures: Minotaur Skullcleaver and Mogis’s Marauder.

These two are quite honestly some of my favorite cards ever printed. Minotaur Skullcleaver is a hyper-aggressive monster, coming onto the field as a 4/2 with haste. Skullcleaver is scary because it’s not only 4 damage raw the turn you play it, but the turn it’s played, it can deal with threats the deck otherwise couldn’t handle. Those threats being literally anything with 4+ toughness. He’s hard to block, super cheap and efficient. Mogis’s Marauder is this deck’s win condition for when you’re facing a deck that either doesn’t run red or black, or runs them but isn’t swarmy. That is, if you haven’t already won from repeatedly bashing your opponent’s face in. When Mogis’s Marauder comes into play, it gives X creatures haste and intimidate until end of turn where X is your devotion to black. Notice something about the cards in this deck? The only permanents that don’t count towards devotion to black are Minotaur Skullcleaver and Madcap Skills. Chances are when you play this, you’ve got enough devotion to black to pretty much give your whole side of the board intimidate, which you use to swing in and win the game. So long as your opponent isn’t running black. Generally speaking, if you’ve been playing well and drop Mogis’s Marauder on turn 4, you can probably win the game. If you’ve been playing well and drop him on turn 5, you definitely win the game.

Now as for instants, it’s quite simple. This deck is running two instants: Lightning Bolt and Go For The Throat.

So uh, what is there to explain? Lightning Bolt is an amazing card that can help keep your tempo going or just smack your opponent in the face for 3 damage. Go for the Throat is amazing removal for every threat that isn’t an artifact. Creatures in this deck don’t really go past 4 power, so if any really big threats show up, Go for the Throat can generally handle them.

As for enchantments, this is where the deck becomes really mean. Fun, but mean. We’re running 4 copies of both Madcap Skills and Untamed Hunger.

Menace has always been a really cool ability, in my opinion. It doesn’t make your creatures unblockable by any means, but it makes them incredible frustrating to deal with. being forced to double block is always something players dread, and when you’re being as aggressive as this deck, it makes it even more frustrating. Madcap Skills gives a creature +3/+0 and menace, and Untamed Hunger gives a creature +2/+1 and menace. By the time you end up playing these auras chances are you’ll have built up a solid board state of 3-4 creatures. Putting menace on any of them will make them terrifying, and force your opponent to deal with your offensive pressure in ways they probably didn’t want to. Generally speaking, Madcap Skills is preferred on cards like Rakdos Cackler and Minotaur Skullcleaver and Untamed Hunger is preferred on Spike Jester and Rakdos Shred Freak. But any combination of aura and creature work. Tormented Soul makes menace not important, but a 4/1 or 3/2 unblockable is still scary. Untamed Hunger also helps with Mogis’s Marauder by adding to your devotion to black. Menace also helps in conjunction with Mogis’s Marauder. If your opponent has a way to get through intimidate, you can still mess with their blockers by having a menace or two on the board.

Our mana base is quite simple, with 9 Swamps, 7 Mountains, and 4 Dragonskull Summits. Really basic setup because quite frankly, this is all you need. You could replace the check lands with better ones like, say, shock lands, but then this deck wouldn’t be as cost-effective.

For a super budget version, you could run only basic lands and still have the deck function well, cutting the price of the deck down to about $30 USD. Just replace the 4 Dragonskull Summits with 2 swamps and 2 mountains. Roughy 1/3 of your creatures are hybrid mana, so getting mana stuck generally isn’t an issue.

Total price of this deck is just under $40 USD, $30 USD for the super budget version, and for that price, you get a fun, aggressive deck with interesting abilities.


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