Now, I've played Rafiq in a few FFA games, just for the hell of it. With an amazing draw, and a little luck, it has managed to eke out a few wins, but the fact of the matter is, if every deck in a 4-way game is packing the appropriate number of Wrath effects and pinpoint removal spells, I literally CAN'T win without a god-draw.
So, I added a dash of Infect, to increase the speed of the deck, which will hopefully give it the edge it needs to possibly take out multiple opponents.
Putrefax is just another one-shot-kill in this deck, and is slighly more recurable than something like Might of Oaks would be. I already have various ways of one-shotting someone who lets their guard down for a single turn, but USUALLY I can't realistically pull this off more than once in a given game. Putrefax just increases the chances slightly.
Corrupted Conscience serves this roll as well, but also doubles as spot-removal. Stealing a significant threat has always been great in EDH, but giving that stolen fatty Infect just increases the lethality. Stealing an Akroma, Angel of Wrath and swinging at the Karthuus player pretty much spells Game Over for the Dragon Tyrant.
Vridian Corrupter is just a fine utility creature that happens to supplement the Infect count. I'm under no illusions about this guy - he's going to be a blocker far more often than a true threat, but still - even a single hit from this guy with Rafiq on the table is worth 6 Poison counters. Ouch.
Finally, the incredible Inkmoth Nexus rounds out the Infect portion. This little guy can easily go the distance, dodging Wrath effects all day long. However, I envision him as a finisher most of the time, putting the last few counters on a player previously hit by a Putrefax or something.
Now, I realize that Infect is somewhat unpopular these days. First of all, most of the naysayers have little or no experience actually playing with or against Infect. So I simply reject all snap judgements not based on actual game play. Second, those objections are largely focused on dedicated, hard core posion decks. Infect is NOT a major theme of my Rafiq deck, it's just a tool to shore up the biggest weakness Aggro decks have in a multiplayer arena. 4 cards is not enough to call this an "Infect deck" at all.
That said, as a consecion to popular opinion and to offset the inclusiong of Infect, I have removed Umezawa's Jitte. If you aren't aware of what this thing can do in a Rafiq deck, lemme just say that it's WAY more of a dick card than the 4 Infect cards mentioned combined.
It was never a fun card for anyone but me, and it always made me feel like a jerk playing it. Putrefax might piss someone off, but my response would be that if they'd been up against Jitte instead, they'd still be just as dead, but probably even more pissed off.
So other than some Infect guys, what else is new? Plenty:
Serra Ascendant - 6/6 flying lifelink for W? Seems good.
Consecrated Sphinx - Duh. Every Blue deck ever.
Sphinx Ambassador - Bribery twice for free? Awesome. (Up to FOUR times with Finest Hour and Rafiq).
Augury Adept - Always wanted to run this, never had room until now. Seems fun.
Phryexian Rebirth - Should almost always be better than the Kirtar's Wrath it replaced.
True Conviction - Because this deck wants MORE doublestrike, not LESS!
Mimic Vat - GOES IN EVERY DECK! This is probably even more "must-run" than Sol Ring.
So here's the full list (minus the lands - still tweaking the mana base, but it seemss perfect at a 38 land count).
|Rafiq of the Many|
|Akroma, Angel of Wrath|
|Rhox War Monk|
|Jenara, Asura of War|
|Knight of New Alara|
|Sovereigns of Lost Alara|
|Simic Sky Swallower|
|Swords to Plowshares|
|Path to Exile|
|Wrath of God|
|Jace, the Mind Sculptor|
|Pattern of Rebirth|
|Steel of the Godhead|
|Shield of the Oversoul|
|Sword of Light and Shadow|
|Sword of Fire and Ice|
So what else could I cram in, if I had the cards on hand?
Green Sun's Zenith - This is a must-have for the deck, but I need another copy first.
Primeval Titan - Not strictly necessary, as this deck has a lower-than-average curve (for EDH anyway) but Prime Time is too good not to run if you have him. My two copies are better used elsewhere though.
Wurmcoil Engine - Becasue a 6/6 Lifelinker/Deathtoucher seems even better with Doublestrike and some Exalted bonuses.
Stuff that got cut:
Felidar Sovereign - WinCat won a single game for me. His work here is done.
Rhox - My pre-infect attempt at multiplayer longevity. It worked, too, but not as good as I'd hoped.
Wilt-Leaf Leige - An underperformer from the outset, his days were numbered.
Faith's Fetters - Good, solid utility, especially for Planeswalkers. I can live without it, though.
Kirtar's Wrath - Upgraded to Phyrexian Rebirth (I almost never had Threshhold when I cast it).
Eledamri's Call - Cut for Green Sun's Zenith, but I don't have the Zenith yet. Something else took it's spot.
Decree of Justice - This is the one cut I feel might have been an error. It's been crucial to my defenses against Thraximundar a number of times, so reducing my token generators feels like a bad move. Time will tell, but I half expect to be shoe-horning this back in soon.
This deck is still geared primarily toward 1v1 play, but it looks like it will have better game in multiplayer too. It's not tested yet, but I hope to try it out as soon as possible. I hope the Infect strategy bears out the way I want... it's not meant to ruin games or dominate the deck's goals, but just give an aggro deck a fighting chance in FFA games. If it's too good, or not good enough, I'll go back to the drawing board.