Brew For Your Buck - Budget Rakdos Aura Combo Deck

(Lagomos, Hand of Hatred | Art by Tuan Duong Chu)

The Screaming Cat

Hello fellow brewer and welcome back to Brew For Your Buck, where we swap out the top 10 most expensive cards in a deck with 10 budget cards that add a unique twist. Recently, my friends over at the Orzhov discord server (we talk a lot about Ratadrabik, a series favorite) brought a very fun infinite combo to my attention, and I thought I'd share it with the world. Or at least the subset of people in the world that read my articles. I'll explain the combo below, but it involves a very specific black enchantment, and needs an X/1 to start the loop. Enter our commander:

Lagomos, as you see, is pretty much purpose built to include this combo. Also, the starting price of the average list doesn't break the bank too bad at only $128.73. That said, we can still find some savings and certainly drop the list under $100, fulfilling a common budget threshold for those non-BFYB believers. Here's what we can cut:

            1. Dictate of Erebos ($12.22)
            2. Diabolic Intent ($7.73)
            3. Skullclamp ($6.15)
            4. Plumb the Forbidden ($5.13)
            5. Ashnod's Altar ($4.62)
            6. Pitiless Plunderer ($4.60)
            7. Ophiomancer ($4.08)
            8. Braids, Arisen Nightmare ($3.81)
            9. Black Market ($3.79)
            10. Talisman of Indulgence ($3.01)

Total Value of Cuts: $55.14

Even the mana base doesn't hurt too bad, with only two lands, Blood Crypt and Luxury Suite to be replaced with a Swamp and a Mountain. Doing this adds $25.44 in savings, for a total of $80.58.




Infinite Screaming

So let's get to this combo already. Our primary piece in an old Aura from Darksteel which is the screaming part of our Screaming Cats combo: Screams from Within ($3.53). You probably see where this is going. We can enchant the 2/1 that Lagomos creates with this, it will die, and Screams will trigger to return to the battlefield. Enchanting what, you ask? Enter the cat. Warehouse Tabby ($0.02) will see Screams leave the battlefield, and generate a 1/1 Rat, which we can target again with Screams. Our friends from Commander Spellbook explain from there:

csb logo

Seriously, what's with Cats and infinite combos? Fortunately, we can also add a backup cat for some redundancy. Tormod, the Desecrator ($0.38) just needs a sacrifice outlet like Viscera Seer and Tormod will see Screams leave the graveyard to make a token, ready to be enchanted.


Now that we're looping screaming tokens, many of the ways to win the game are already in our deck, so if we get the loop going with an untapped Lagomos, we can go find any of them at will. We also have plenty of ways to make creatures die, like Fleshbag Marauder and friends, to meet the five creature threshold needed to activate Lagomos.


Hapless Howlers

One drawback of the Fleshbag effects is that they're one time use. Jadar is already in the list so we can throw in Ghoulish Procession ($0.16) too. The Decayed mechanic works so well here because the tokens auto-sac at the end of combat, giving us our second main phase to use Lagomos to the fullest. The possibility to untap with four Zombies just means we need to arrange one more death that turn. We can take full advantage of the Fleshbags by adding in Totentanz, Swarm Piper ($0.06) and Anax, Hardened in the Forge ($0.08). These two simply add more bodies to the board for sacrificing later.


Shore-Up the Shrieking

Next up, some cards to support the deck's plan. Dread Return ($0.18) can not only rebuy our commander or a combo piece, but offers a sacrifice outlet from the graveyard if we need help counting to five. With all of creatures dying, thus triggering our many pingers, Body Count ($0.68) seems like an easy one-mana draw-five in our deck, helping to re-gas our hand after we have an engine online. This also seems like a really cool deck to include Jaxis, the Troublemaker ($0.61). We can use her to copy our tapped Lagomos, sacrifice him to the legend rule, then use the token to activate his ability twice in a turn!


Huh, you know, with all these creature cards getting put into our graveyard, I think it's time once again for Mausoleum Secrets ($0.89)! That's right, it's back, and with all of our primary combo pieces being low-mana black cards, it slots right in as a tutor of choice to backup Lagomos's ability. In fact, besides Blasphemous Act, our every card in our deck has a mana value less than five. I will keep adding it to decks and you can't stop me, so you might as well join me.

Wrap Up & Savings

Let's see what we saved:

Out  Price  In  Price 
Dictate of Erebos  $ 12.22 Screams from Within  $ 3.53
Diabolic Intent  $ 7.73 Warehouse Tabby  $ 0.02
Skullclamp  $ 6.15 Tormod, the Desecrator  $ 0.38
Plumb the Forbidden  $ 5.13 Ghoulish Procession  $ 0.16
Ashnod's Altar  $ 4.62 Totentanz, Swarm Piper  $ 0.06
Pitiless Plunderer  $ 4.60 Anax, Hardened in the Forge  $ 0.08
Ophiomancer  $ 4.08 Dread Return  $ 0.18
Braids, Arisen Nightmare  $ 3.81 Body Count  $ 0.68
Black Market  $ 3.79 Jaxis, the Troublemaker  $ 0.61
Talisman of Indulgence  $ 3.01 Mausoleum Secrets  $ 0.89
Total  $ 55.14 Total  $ 6.59
Total (Lands)  $ 26.12
Original Deck Price  $ 128.73
    New Price  $ 54.06
    Total Savings  $ 74.67
    Savings 58%


Look at that! Even with a low starting deck price we still managed to reduce its cost by more than half. What's really cool about this particular combo is that it's in mono-black, so you can slot it into so many different decks. On the Orzhov server, we were talking about using it in Elas, since your win-con is in the command zone. White also gives you Aura/small creature tutors to find the pieces, and another Tabby with Knight of Doves. Ayara would be a similar concept. Plenty of other commanders make X/1s too. Alela, Slimefoot and Squee, or Sek'Kuar just to name a few.

So what do you think? Did you know about this combo already and I'm just late to the party? What commander do you think makes the best fit? Let me know in the comments and I'll see you next time when we brew for your buck!

Screaming Cats

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Commander (1)
Creatures (32)
Artifacts (7)
Enchantments (6)
Instants (10)
Sorceries (9)
Planeswalkers (1)
Lands (34)

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Please note: card prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of writing, but prices can vary over time and between locations.

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Brian played Magic intermittently between 2003 and 2017 when he fully embraced his love for Commander. Finding ways to maximize the value of each piece of cardboard in the deck is one of his favorite things to explore, especially if it involves putting lands in the graveyard! Outside of Magic, Brian works as a consultant in the marine industry, turning his passion for boats and ships into a career.

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