About the Deck
Since Modern Horizons 2 was released, the format has completely transformed and today, the elemental cycle has become a mainstay. Rakdos Scam is a deck that aims to abuse the abilities of two of the most powerful creatures among these.
Grief comes into play by attacking the opponent's resources, as a Thoughtseize with legs, which can lash out quite effectively. Fury follows the same line, but its ETB removes blockers or some annoying planeswalkers, also with an excellent body for combat.
The concept of “scam” is just what the name suggests. The idea of the deck is to cheat, putting Grief and Fury on the board. For this, the deck has cards like Feign Death and Undying Malice, which will bypass the elementals' Evoke, allowing them to remain in play and their skills to be used twice.
So, the idea is to cast Grief or Fury for its Evoke cost, discarding a card of the given color, and for one mana cast Feign Death or Undying Malice targeting the chosen elemental. With Grief, you can take two cards from your opponent's hand and still put a 4/3 threat creature in play, or clear the opposing board and have a 4/4 with double strike on Fury. It's literally an assault against whoever is facing us and can be devastating in the early turns.
The deck also has other creatures that will fulfill specific roles. Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer is a staple in Midrange decks, and fits very well with our deck's objective, being a threat in the first turn and can generate a lot of value while accruing resources from your opponent's deck.
Dauthi Voidwalker is another powerful creature that fits perfectly into the “scam” strategy, being a robust and unblockable body that works as a kind of graveyard hate, and can also be sacrificed to cast a card exiled from the opponent’s graveyard.
Seasoned Pyromancer is a creature that populates the board and can give an extra breath in certain situations, and is also a discard option to pay Fury's evoke.
Orcish Bowmasters is the most recent addition from LotR, and the card responsible for Rakdos' current status in the Metagame. It is simply absurd in many situations because it is a card that interacts at instant speed, putting two creatures on the table for just two mana and that already enters dealing damage, in addition to interacting with the opponent's extra draws causing more damage.
On a mirror, for example, in a situation where the opponent made a Seasoned Pyromancer, you can cast Bowmasters in response, dealing two damage and creating a 3/3 token
Blood Moon is almost a secret win condition on this list, and can completely shut down the game for some decks, especially those with three or more colors. Thoughtseize is yet another way to drain resources and Terminate is our main removal.
The mana base consists of fetch lands, which help to fix mana more easily and filter the top of the deck, in addition to utility lands such as Castle Locthwain, which can help in longer matchups.
Mount Doom is a new addition that can be used to impose an extra clock on later turns.
Chalice of the Void is excellent against cascade decks like Glimpse of Tomorrow, Crashing Footfalls, and the popular Living End, and is a powerful card, being able to shut down decks completely in much the same way as Blood Moon.
Tourach, Dread Cantor is a creature that fits well in many matchups and has synergy with Thoughtseize and Grief, as well as protection against white.
Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger is another bomb that can attack the opponent's hand and that benefits from the use of Fury and Grief, in addition to being another target for Feign Death and Undying Malice.
Engineered Explosives fits well against decks like Hammer Time and can also get rid of some other pesky permanents.
Nihil Spellbomb will work against any deck that relies too much on their graveyard.
Vs. 4/5c Omnath
The opponent has Solitude and won't be bothered by the size of your creatures, so put your secondary threats on the board, Dauthi, Ragavan, and Pyromancer, while aggroing the opponent's resources with Grief and Thoughtseize, leaving Fury to deal with a Teferi or an Omnath. Blood Moon is a wonderful card in this matchup, and can guarantee victory.
Vs. Izzet Murktide
Another very difficult matchup, but one that can be improved thanks to Orcish Bowmasters. Izzet is a Tempo deck that can interact well with Rakdos while pressuring the board.
Guaranteeing a Fury with Feign Death can greatly speed up the game and even guarantee the game. Dauthi is another important creature here, disabling the opponent's graveyard and difficulties an early game Murktide.
Vs. Indomitable Creativity
Creativity is a combo deck that has a similar strategy to Rakdos - putting powerful threats in play early, but in this approach, Rakdos is faster.
In this matchup, you must prevent the opponent from comboing too fast, taking Creativity out of their hand and attacking quickly with your creatures. Grief and Thoughtseize are your best friends against them, and Dauthi can be used to steal an opposing Archon to be used against them later if the game drags for too long. Blood Moon once again proves to be very strong here.
Vs. Living End
This is a very favorable matchup. Dauthi and Bowmasters do all the heavy lifting. You can keep Dauthi untapped until your opponent attempts to resolve a Living End, sacrificing Dauthi in response to get it back on the field in time to exile Living End from your opponent's graveyard, then you can cast by sacrificing it later on.
Blood Moon is also a good plan and can end the game, as well as a Fury with Feign Death in the first turn. Leyline of Sanctity can complicate things for us, but our side is well-equipped to deal with this possibility.
Vs. Rakdos Scam
Being on the play or on the draw can entirely change the mirror and define the game. On the play, you will prefer hands that can interact with your opponent's hand. Feign Death on turn 1 for Grief is insanely good. Dauthi Voidwalker once again takes on a crucial role, disrupting their plans - and, if possible, keep a Feign Death or Undying Malice to protect it.
Blood Moon is a bad card in this matchup. Kroxa can serve well as one more large creature to end the game.
Rakdos Scam is a powerful archetype which has been shown to be quite consistent with its results over the last few weeks. I believe that the deck is an excellent option for Modern today, as it can compete among the other best decks easily.
There's room for other approaches and small changes that can further fine-tune your list according to the Metagame you're facing. Some lists run cards like Lightning Bolt, which can help finish the game faster with direct damage, or Fatal Push, which is a cheap removal that can hit most creatures in the format, in addition to having good synergy with the deck. There is also a version with Waste Not that has appeared in a few leagues, and has been shown to be very efficient, especially on the mirror.
Coming to the end of another article. I hope you enjoyed it. Leave your questions, comments, suggestions and/or criticisms in the comments!