Grinning Malice Deck Build

Grinning Malice, Rakdos, Red & Black Deck


Sometimes, there’s nothing better than taking the evil route. Who wouldn’t want all that power?


With that in mind, we come to the Grinning Malice deck, from the expansion. This one is all about (as you might expect from a red and black deck) attacking outright with damaging spells (red), and using creature deaths to empower yourself (black). So, here’s what I’ve come up with.

  • 4x Evolving Wilds
  • 2x Bloodchief Ascension
  • 1x Dragonmaster Outcast
  • 2x Stabbing Pain
  • 2x Vexing Devil
  • 1x Demonic Tutor
  • 2x Onyx Mage
  • 2x Sootstoke Kindler
  • 3x Terminate
  • 2x Blightning
  • 2x Blood Cultist
  • 1x Heat Shimmer
  • 2x Hissing Iguana
  • 1x Pain Magnification
  • 2x Rockslide Elemental
  • 2x Ashenmoore Liege
  • 1x Blazing Sceptre
  • 2x Hellhole Rats
  • 2x Scavenger Drake
  • 2x Wrecking Ball
  • 2x Bitumous Blast
  • 4x Demigod of Revenge
  • 2x Grave Titan
  • 1x Massacre Wurm
  • 12x Mountains
  • 11x Swamp

Total of 70 cards.

And here is a quick check of the cards themselves. Specific details can be found on the Wizards website here:

Evolving Wilds – Self explanatory, you need lands.

Bloodchief Ascension – This is a nice one to start off with when you have little else to play. It’s not a make-or-break card, and it doesn’t matter too much if it gets removed, but nevertheless can be a great boon to help you recover precious life mid to late game.

Dragonmaster Outcast – I’ve read a few places giving this card some stick for being too weak for a card that only really works late game. While that may be true, if you’re playing it on turn 1, this is nonetheless a 1 mana cost card that can potentially pump out endless 5/5 dragons. Save it for late game when you have 6 lands if you can, but if it’s safe there’s no harm in playing it early.

Stabbing Pain – A classic instant. Either kill a 1 toughness creature outright, or use it to weaken a blocker so you can take it out with your creatures.

Vexing Devil – One of my favourite cards in the deck, there are two outcomes when you play it; either you get a 4/3 creature for 1 mana, or you sacrifice the card but your opponent loses 4 life in the process. For 1 mana, that’s pretty good.

Demonic Tutor – No question about keeping this card in the deck. Shame there’s only one of them really. Search for any card of your choice to put into your hand.

Onyx Mage – The ability to confer deathtouch to your creatures is nice. Not much to say about it.

Sootstoke Kindler – Same as above, but you tap Sootstoke Kindler instead of paying a mana cost, and target creature gains haste instead of deathtouch. These two cards make a lethal combo to turn any new creature into a killing machine as it hits the ground running.

Terminate – Again, not a lot to say about this card. Pay 2 mana, kill a creature. Simple.

Blightning – Kind of like a powered up Lightning Bolt, this costs 3 mana to play, but deals damage and forces your opponent to discard two cards in the process. Good to whittle down your opponents options.

Blood Cultist – This did initially seem like an underpowered/overcosted card (much like Intrepid Hero here), but in combination with other attackers/spells, this can quickly be boosted up to become quite decent. Still, not the best card in the deck, you have to be careful how you play it.

Heat Shimmer – Useful to force your opponent into sacrificing a creature to block you, or to simply cause double damage. You’ll lose the copy of your creature at the end of your turn, and unfortunately this card isn’t an instant, but still decent.

Hissing Iguana – A fairly fragile creature, you probably shouldn’t use this to attack outright unless it’s safe to do so. However, just having it on the field can whittle your opponent down bit by bit.

Pain Magnification – This is a nice enchantment, and really seems to fit with the apparently emerging theme of slowly hurting your opponent little by little, this card will force your foe to discard 1 card if you deal 3 damage from a single source.

Rockslide Elemental – The first card of the deck that gets stronger as other creatures die (+1/+1), this will get nice and strong from using your removal cards wisely.

Ashenmoore Liege – A good buffer creature, giving +1/+1 to all other red and black creatures you control, plus protecting itself from spells and abilities unless your opponent is willing to lose some life in the process.

Blazing Sceptre – As long as you’re not facing an enemy deck full of fliers, this is a sure-fire way of getting in some decent damage quickly, plus once again removing your foe’s options by discarding their cards.

Hellhole Rats – It was a toss-up between this and Singe-Mind Ogre. I opted for this as it is also a discard, plus it has haste. And Singe-Mind Ogre is slightly stronger and the card which it targets is random, not your opponent’s choice. It really is up to you which you think is more appropriate.

Scavenger Drake  – More or less the same as the Rockslide Elemental, but costs 1 mana more but with flying. Nice.

Wrecking Ball – I was hesitant about putting this card into the deck. It costs twice as much as terminate, but can target both creatures and land cards. If you’ve got land to spare it’s decent, but it’s quite a high cost.

Bitumous Blast – Cascade may be one of my favourite effects in the game. This card costs 5 mana, so you will automatically play the first 4 mana (or less) cost card drawn from the top of your library for free. Plus 4 damage to target creature. I see no reason not to have this in.

Demigod of Revenge – Definitely the pinnacle of the deck, this card can beat your opponent into submission very quickly. Every time you play this card, any other Demigods of Revenge that are sitting idly in your graveyard are returned to the battlefield. Also, they have haste and flying. Let’s say you play one and it gets removed pretty quick. When you play your next one, you get two Demigods onto the battlefield. Let’s now say they’re worn down and defeated too. Play another, you’ll get three onto the battlefield! By some mad stroke of luck the enemy decides to use something like Maelstrom Pulse and wipe off all three of your Demigods. Simply play another on your next turn, and lo and behold you have four Demigods of Revenge, with haste and flying. I’m not usually a fan of sticking too many of a single card into decks, but this one is worth it.

Grave Titan – Whereas the Demigod mentioned above will win through its refusal to stay in the graveyard for very long, the Grave Titan is the master of assaulting your foe with all-out brute force. When played you get the 6/6 Grave Titan plus two 2/2 zombie tokens (a total of 10/10 on the first turn), costing 6 mana. Assuming he’s not killed off, and you can keep up the offensive, you’ll get an additional two 2/2 zombie tokens each time the Grave Titan attacks. Even if you’re being blocked, this is a nice way to build up a large army.

Massacre Wurm – When this is played, it’s generally game over. This will kill off any weak enemy creatures outright as it enters, weaken any that survive, and beat down your opponent by sapping his health away. This card is a must.


What do you think of the Grinning Malice deck build? I think 70 cards seems about right to me. There are couple I could get rid of, but this build has served me well. Do you have any suggestions, or other builds entirely? Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted on January 25, 2014, in MtG Deck Builds, Video Games and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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