Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers!
Mathew from GenericBadMagic here to bring you all a deck that was voted for by the good people of Twitter. Earlier this week I ran a poll allowing my followers to choose the colour combination of this weeks scheduled deck tech. The options available were Dimir (Blue/Black), Rakdos (Black/Red) and Izzet (Blue/Red) and after an initial draw between Dimir and Izzet our final victor in the follow up poll was Blue/Red!
This is one of my favourite colour combinations to brew and mess with due to the high volume of aggressive non-creature spells and efficient methods of sculpting your hand to be found amongst the card pool offering almost unreasonable flexibility. From here all I had to do was decide “What kind of Izzet deck do I want?” We’ve all seen the control mode which made a huge splash in Standard not too long ago but I wanted to run with something more suited to FNM than a feature-match table, good ol’ Izzet Spells Aggro!
Onwards, to the ingredients!
4x Soul-Scar Mage
4x Daring Saboteur
4x Bloodwater Entity
4x Enigma Drake
To make this work we need a creature package to live in harmony with our suite of instants, either by receiving some benefit or facilitating the optimal hand. Soul-Scar Mage, to start with, has the old favourite keyword “Prowess” providing a temporary +1/+1 buff each and every time we cast a non-creature spell. On top of this he also turns the damage caused by our spells into permanent -1/-1 counters for the opposing creatures, a sort of two-step answer to Hazoret and other dudes with Indestructible.
Daring Saboteur doesn’t really benefit from our other spells but rather facilitates the sculpting of your ideal hand via doing combat damage, we can even use our excess mana to make this abseiling pirate unblockable and guarantee a loot effect. This can be very useful in a game where you either want to ensure you hit land number four or simply need some more interaction in hand to take care of a threat or go into overdrive and wreak some havoc.
Bloodwater Entity is another creature with evasion in the form of Flying, which makes the Prowess keyword all the more intimidating as the only limit to how much damage you put over their ground troops with this guy is your potential mana pool and cards in hand. It even facilitates it’s own Prowess triggers by returning any one Instant or Sorcery card from your Graveyard to the top of your own Library, meaning you can play it again the turn you want to attack and make sure you get at least one Prowess trigger.
Last in the main-deck menagerie is Enigma Drake, coming down and getting a huge bonus for all the spells you cast over the course of the game due to it’s power being equal to the number of Instant and Sorcery spells in your graveyard at any time. As a late game bomb or just a solid creature in the mid-game this card has potential to really spiral out of control and take over a game. If anything is going to eat a removal spell out of the opponents hand, I’d be betting on Enigma Drake.
4x Lightning Strike
3x Repeating Barrage
3x Heiroglyphic Illuminations
In a deck like this it’s useful to note that all of your non-creature spells have a good chance of doing more than they naturally should, due to the presence of Prowess triggers. This can lead to some very interesting decisions on when to play spells and how to get the maximum amount of damage in. With Opt, this isn’t a question you would normally find yourself asking, as it has the sole purpose of drawing you a card after scrying. But here it can turn on a Prowess trigger and find you a burn spell or removal, thus getting another Prowess trigger if you can cast the newly found spell and ultimately making your Soul-Scar Mage, Bloodwater Entity and Enigma Drake far more dangerous than they otherwise would be.
Shock and Lightning Strike are cheap staples in any Standard burn/red-based aggro decks, once again triggering Prowess for next to nothing and also doing damage to face or clearing the path of obstacles in the way of your attackers. Abrade fulfils a strictly removal niche, either causing three damage points to a creature or outright destroying an Artifact. Plenty useful in this, the world of God-Pharaoh’s Gift and as a result we run two in the main board by default.
Repeating Barrage is one of those spells that doesn’t want to stay gone once you’ve cast it and can be returned to your hand for a moderate fee, which in the late game you’d be happy to pay to get back a Prowess enabler that’s capable of going straight to the opponents face for three damage or potentially removing a creature from contention in future combat phases.
Heiroglyphic Illumination offers versatility as a spell to either cast when in need of a couple more cards and a Prowess trigger or you can just cycle away when it just isn’t doing the business for you and mana is a concern.
To close out the main deck spells we have Sweltering Suns, an excellent reset button against other fast aggro strategies and, much like our previous card, can be cycled for another when it isn’t relevant. I’d also like to remind you that with a Soul-Scar Mage on board this would put three -1/-1 counters on EVERY opposition creature permanently and if you can trigger prowess a couple of times before it resolves your mage will even live through the damage!
4x Spirebluff Canal
In order to cast spells we need mana and since this deck is mostly red there is a heavy slant towards Mountains compared to a relatively low number of Islands, but we do run a full playset of Spirebluff Canal in order to facilitate both of our colour requirements.
2x Sorcerous Spyglass
2x Spellweaver Eternal
2x Neheb, the Eternal
2x Field of Ruin
2x Crook of Condemnation
In th sideboard we fill out the playset of Abrade for those games against God-Pharaoh’s Gift, Sorcerous Spyglass to get some early information on what the opponent is up to in game two and shut down a card (I’m thinking Walking Ballista or Hazoret). Negate allows us to pick our battle when we really need something to resolve and stay on the board for the win where it may be countered or removed and Crook of Condemnation can fairly effectively combat Torrential Gearhulk strategies as we wipe the field of graveyards in general. Field of ruin is another card for the control matchup, usually taking care of one of the many flip lands in Ixalan and helping us fix for our second colour.
In games where we struggle to get damage through I’ve elected to try out Spellweaver Eternal, a creature which still has Prowess but also causes the opponent to lose life for blocking it through the Afflict mechanic. Following in a similar vein we get to use Neheb, The Eternal, a bigger, badder Afflict creature that generates mana post-combat based on how much life your opponent has lost so far that turn, allowing you to then throw out another creature or even a couple more burn spells to close out the game.
That’s about all I’ve got on this list so far and hopefully a few of you guys make it up, apply adjustments and take it for a spin. You can locate the complete deck on MTG Goldfish for pricing, just click the link!
If you do, you can let me know how it was on Twitter @GenericBadMtg or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, have fun, draw well and respect each other.