The Great EDH Challenge: Rakdos – Kaervek’s Merciless Enchantments

Kaervek, the Merciless


Power Level: 5.75

This is a typical Rakdos “Hazard” deck, where I play a bunch of permanents whose purpose is to slowly and passively damage and drain players of their life totals. I simply play nasty things, and watch as my opponents (and sometimes myself) die from playing the game. It just so happens that most of these permanents are enchantments, making this a weird Rakdos enchantress deck.

Kaervek the Merciless is a vicious, hateful, high-cmc creature that damages any target I choose when an opponent casts a spell, based on that spells cmc. Most people I’ve played with are always shocked by his ability, especially when I use it to kill their own commanders, even their planeswalkers. He is the finisher of this deck, what I play when I have no useful cards in hand and plenty of mana. He allows me to team up with my opponents to take down a problematic creature, planeswalker, or player; by simply having those opponents cast their spells.

There are many “mean” cards in the deck, that target certain players for extra cruelty. Rakdos’s Return is probably my favorite B/R card, and is usually my way for punishing a player for coming at me too hard. “Discard your hand and take X damage.” is what I say cooly as I cast it, followed by a gleeful chuckle. Mind Shatter accomplishes the hand hate angle as well. Captive Audience is a slow burn mean card, that usually spells the end for the player it enchants. Sorin Markov makes someone’s life total 10, which is usually merciless in a 40-life format. Thought Distortion is especially funny to play against a control player. And finally, most people new to the deck are shocked by Head Games. This cards lets me either king-make by giving someone a perfect hand for victory, or a hand full of lands. I usually choose the latter.

Death Cloud always pisses everyone off, as it is mass land destruction, hand hate, board wipe, and loss of life; all in one convenient package. It is the most hateful card in the deck.

As a Johnny (combo-player), I had to put an infinite combo in the deck. This one is a classic in Black/Red, and can be tutored for in it’s entirety with Final Parting.

Worldgorger Dragon in the graveyard + Animate Dead = Infinite Leaving/Entering the Battlefield of all your permanents.

This combo allows us to do a variety of things, such as make infinite mana for spells like Torment of Hailfire, gain infinite life with Bloodfell Caves, or draw most of my deck with Coveted Jewel.

This deck has a lot of fun pieces to it, and it lets me get my mean-spiritedness out of my system. However, it is a pretty bad deck. Many times I have gotten so low myself that I wind up dying to my own pieces. Also, it takes a long time to play my many costly spells and permanents. I take this deck out when I want to be casual, while passively affecting the game the whole way through.

I sometimes swap the commander out between 2 others:

Tsabo Tavoc when I want to be especially casual, and Xantcha, Sleeper Agent when I didn’t have a chance to play Kaervek in the previous game.

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