8-Rack Alternative: Check Out Death’s Shadow Rack

Death's Shadow Rack Deck Preview

As a newer MTG player, jumping into modern was more than a bit intimidating. I knew it was fast and I knew it was more consistent than the format I was used to, standard. So, when I decided to build my first modern deck, I needed to build something disruptive, that would break these machines and also give me a chance to digest how they operated in the first place. My first deck started as a modified 8-rack deck, but eventually took a more aggressive direction.

The Death’s Shadow Rack Decklist

Death’s Shadow Rack takes a lot of cues from 8-Rack, but with a Suicide Black game plan. It operates based on the fact that most modern decks have a few reliable win conditions. Based on this fact, the deck works at a breakneck pace to deprive your opponent of those conditions. In addition to being disruptive, I wanted a deck that allowed me to learn everything about an opponent’s deck. Many of the key cards in this deck allow me (the pilot) to do both. They allow the pilot to thoroughly examine the opponents library and surgically extract top threats.

Deck: Death’s Shadow Rack {b}
Main Sideboard
4 Death’s Shadow 2 Damnation
4 Dismember 2 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Dread Statuary 2 Gurmag Angler
2 Duress 2 Infinite Obliteration
4 Extirpate 1 Leyline of the Void
4 Horrifying Revelation 2 Nihil Spellbomb
4 Inkmoth Nexus 2 Nyxathid
4 Inquisition of Kozilek 2 Smallpox
4 Mutavault
4 Surgical Extraction
12 Swamp
4 The Rack
4 Thoughtseize
4 Vault Skirge
60 cards 15 cards

For the deck, the ideal starting play is Thoughtseize + Surgical Extraction. This borderline suicidal combo results in a solid, disruptive, and resource depriving advantage. There isn’t room in modern to keep a hand lacking essentials, so you know you will be able to remove a key card early. Plus, Death’s Shadow is just begging for you to be risky! Don’t have Death’s Shadow? The low curve of this deck allows you play discard often and make your lands into creatures consistently. These creatures accompanied by The Rack can whittle down opponents quickly, while¬†mercilessly breaking their strategy.

Help Me Make Death’s Shadow Rack Even Better

I have tested this deck against far more seasoned players, using the big 3 decks in modern and Death’s Shadow Rack has fared extremely well. The worst this deck has performed was against an Assault Formation/Colossus of Akros deck, due to the broad simplicity of so many defenders. The current sideboard was created to accommodate more diverse decks in the future.

Like I said, I am still new to the game, but this deck has worked well for me. Please leave any suggestions you might have for the deck and we can work to make it even better.


  1. I came across an 8-Rack list that had Death’s Shadow in the sideboard. It gave me an idea on using Death’s Shadow in the 8-Rack mainboard because I can’t afford four Lili of the Veils. I did a search to see if anyone else had that idea. Totally going to try this out.

    • Hey Q,
      This makes my day. Please let me know how it works out for you. In June, I am going to take it to a GP near me and hopefully do at least a little damage with it!

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