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Much Abrew: Rakdos Waste Not Discard (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're heading to Modern to play a deck built around one of my all-time favorite enchantments: Waste Not! A couple of years ago, we played a Waste Not Storm deck that was all about trying to combo off with the enchantment. But today's build is a lot different. It's essentially a fair Waste Not deck—so fair, in fact, that we're playing Liliana's Caress as a backup payoff for forcing our opponent to discard cards. The main goal is to stick one of our enchantments on Turn 2, start making our opponent discard cards, and eventually win with some combination of Waste Not Zombies and Liliana's Caress burn. Is Liliana's Caress actually Modern playable? How good is Waste Not in a non-combo deck?  Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Rakdos Waste Not Discard

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  • Record-wise, we finished 3-2 with Rakdos Waste Not Discard, which is reasonable, if unexciting. 
  • Like many Waste Not decks, the games where we have a Waste Not on Turn 2 tend to go really well. The enchantment is incredibly powerful in a deck overloaded with discard spells. On the other hand, if we don't have a Waste Not, it sometimes feels like we are just spinning our wheels and not really doing much of anything. The biggest challenge is that we only have one playset of Waste Not, and there isn't really a comparable backup option in the format.
  • In theory, Liliana's Caress is our backup discard payoff, but in reality, it's much less consistent than Waste Not is. A big part of the power of Waste Not is that if we can make our opponent discard cards, we'll be able to draw some cards to find more discard and repeat the process. Liliana's Caress just offers damage. It can be a really interesting and even powerful way to close out the game, but it doesn't offer anywhere near the value of Waste Not. Liliana's Caress didn't feel all that good in our first couple of matches, although it did improve in later matches, so it might just have been the matchups. 
  • As far as discard goes, we've got a ton of different options, from Thoughtseize to Raven's Crime to Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger (which is a great way to close out the game once we empty our opponent's hand). While Thoughtseize and Raven's Crime are great, the problem is that they don't do anything once we run our opponent out of cards. As such, the most important discard cards in our deck are Burning Inquiry and Geier Reach Sanitarium, both of which force our opponent to draw and then discard cards, giving us a way to trigger Liliana's Caress and Waste Not even after our opponent is empty-handed. 
  • Burning Inquiry specifically is insane with either of our enchantments, offering us three triggers for one mana, which amounts to six damage with Liliana's Caress and some amount of Zombies / card draw / mana from Waste Not, depending on what our opponent discards. As such, it's often better to hold onto Burning Inquiry until we have one or more payoffs on the battlefield. While there are occasions where we need to cast it early (maybe to fill the graveyard for Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger), in general, it's better to wait and maximize its power by stacking up a couple of our payoff enchantments first.
  • Underworld Breach might look strange, but it's basically our combo finish. In the late game, we can cast Underworld Breach and cast Burning Inquiry a few times from our graveyard (using the cards we discard to pay for escape), which should either directly win the game with Liliana's Caress or generate so much Waste Not value that we can finish our opponent off in another turn or two.
  • All in all, Rakdos Waste Not is interesting. It's not as explosive as Waste Not Storm Combo, but it is much more consistent and able to win games fairly. While it does have some tough matchups (especially against aggro decks), it feels competitive enough to win quite a few matches in Modern, so if you're a fan of discard decks, keep it in mind!


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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