Who loves Rakano? Who loves Midrange? Who loves Valkyries? Who loves Rolant?
If you answered "Me!!!!!" to any of these questions, which you did because let's face it, everyone loves Rolant, I invite you to take a look at the two decklists that got me to Masters this month:
Winchest Rakano and Ixtun Rakano.
Yes, the names suck. Sorry.
Story time :
The main difference between the two decks is the Merchant we are using (Looking at the names, what a surprise!).
I had a successful run with this decklist (I discuss the results of each deck under the corresponding decklist), however, something happened: People decided to craft Teacher of Humility. My life changed.
In Winchest, Out Ixtun. But why?
Winchest Merchant makes your match-up against Time and AP Midrange way easier as your Harsh Rule and Vanquish are always ready for the upcoming Alhed/Behemoth/Tavrod (Fun times) that you know will be perfectly on curve because let's be honest, it always feels that way, even when they're not.
The decks may look the same but they do feel and play differently. The Green one is more control oriented and will excel against Midrange decks and the Red one is geared towards Aggro but also wants to reliably beat the crap out of the Unitless decks it might find.
It's hard, for both deck, to give results that will truly mean something as the meta is absolutely not defined yet. I played roughly 80 games as a whole with these decks.
Without further ado, your two shiny Rakano Midrange-ish decks:
For those of you who are here for the decklist, here's the link to it on Eternal Warcry.
This is the decklist that took me to Master. I love it, blablabla.
Bottom line is : I find it very consistent. The notable difference is the inclusion of Amilli, a good blocker for all these beefy time units. I'll discuss the choices I made below, for now let's have a quick look at the results.
I went 30-8 with the deck. For those who are wondering, my amazing calculator tells me it's roughly a 79% winrate.
It performed wonderfully against Time-based Midrange decks : I went 8-2 against a combination of Elysian Midrange (3-0), Praxis Midrange(3-1), Xenan Midrange(2-1). I also won against the time traveler Big Combrei I encountered.
Praxis tokens was kinda average (2 victories, 1 defeat). If they see 2 Obelisks, you're probably gonna end up having to surrender this game. If they don't, Rizahn is great against them, as are your Harsh Rule. It is good to note that I went 3-3 against Skycrag Aggro. While this is average, I really consider it the deck's worst match-up. I also lost to a lone Combrei Aggro.
However, I went 3-0 against the Stonescar Aggro I faced.
Bottom line is: Cheap bodies with Aegis are a problem for this deck. The rest feels quite good, I have to admit.
This is the list I used to climb on the day of the release (I climbed something like 1500 places with this) and the one I used to do Gold 3 -> D3.
I felt the need to swap it for the other one after the Time brigade arrived, but it did wonders for me while I was playing it. Not having access to your Harsh Rule on time was the deal breaker, but aggressive and Unitless match-ups were a pleasure to play against. (Do you know how much it costs me to put the words "pleasure" and "Unitless" in the same sentence?!)
As you can see, the main differences come in the Flamestoker and the Starsteel Daisho.
It ends up mattering a lot more than one might first think. I pushed for a quick flamestoker very often and it ran away with a lot of games. When Time based decks arrived, this was no longer an option, but the rest of the deck also plays more aggressively than the Winchest version.
Also, Bore is a very good sideboard card, make use of it whenever you can!
I went 31-10 with the deck. (76% winrate)
Against Aggressive match-ups, I lost once (Rakano Aggro) for six victories.
However, I did not win once against my 3 AP Mid opponents. Part of it was me not seeing vanquish at the right time, hence the swap.
As for the random stats: I won against all the Feln Control (3) decks I encountered, and won against the lone scream deck i faced.
The All-Stars in these decks
Little Icaria is best Icaria. Fight me. The ramp it provides coupled with the flying threat she represents makes her one of the most consistent unit in the deck. When you add to that that your three (Four if you're playing the Green version) best units are Valkyries, you are liking the +1/+1 boost. Your Icaria, The Liberator can now attack into Sandstorm Titan, as can your Rizahn.
- RIZAHN. LET'S TALK ABOUT RIZAHN. He is wonderful. I don't have enough words to describe him, so let's leave it at that. (No but seriously, he is the reason aggressive match-ups end up becoming good for you)
Whirling Duo is just solidified as one of the best cards in the game, in my opinion. Lifegain, charge against Unitless. Who needs more?
Bulletshaper. He is the reason you can consistently play your Icaria on 7 without being color screwed, his summon effect is no joke. Add to that that it allows for little Icaria to become 4/3 earlier in the game, and that it can pull off combos to get your Icaria cheaper and you get a very solid Rakano option.
The questionnable cards
- Clearly, Scale Seeker is a surprise in this deck. Yes, it dies to Torch, Hailstorm and Purify. Sucks to be him. However, you're playing a deck that's packed to the brim with threats. If your opponent feels the need to remove him, let him. If he doesn't, however, this comes as a very cheap mean to filter the sigils you do not need while also ensuring a nice big threat three turns in. Controversial, but I love the card. If you don't have it, don't sweat it, though.
- A One-off Sword of Icaria doesn't feel as bad as one might think, but it's clearly only here because Teacher needs to be answered ASAP. If you find a better option, go for it. It's not that great in the meta anyway, so no worries.
What you want to see early on
Don't keep a hand with too many powers. These are two decks that power-screwed a grand total of three times for me. You're more prone to flood than power-screw, so be a bit risky with your mulligans.
It's very likely that you want to see a hand with some removal, unless you somehow know that your opponent is playing Unitless.
If you see a hand with Bulletshaper and Priviledge of rank, I'm tempted to tell you to just keep it, as the value goes through the roof.
What you can do with these decks
- Cheat Icaria with Bulletshaper. Don't hesitate to throw away a torch or a vanquish for it, if you feel like it won't matter too much in the match-up. Your opponent having to spend "early" ressources to remove the Icaria (what is he gonna do, ignore it ?) is what you're looking for.
- Bury your aggressive opponent under all your Rizahn. They are wonderful, so why wouldn't you ?
- Have fun ! Would you believe it ?
Well, that's pretty much it. If you end up trying these decklists, I hope you do have fun with them !