Izzet Locust God Combo: Historic’s Splinter Twin Variant

Locust God Art

Hello everyone! If you’re a Magic boomer like me, you probably have some strong opinions on Splinter Twin. Easily one of the most contentious decks ever, the idea behind Splinter Twin was that it was a Tempo/Combo deck where you would constantly interact with you until they killed you out of nowhere by casting either Deceiver Exarch or Pestermite followed up by Splinter Twin for infinite creatures.

Since the playstyle was both unique and fun, as well as the deck being extremely powerful, it created a huge divide in the community, one side saying the deck was fair, skill testing, and super fun, the other saying the deck was boring to play against, overpowered, and required every meta deck to warp itself around having an ok Twin matchup. So, with years of foresight, who was right? This may seem like a cop out, but I think both. Twin was very fun to play with and skill testing, but didn’t feel the best being on the other side of it and the fact every deck needed a plan for Twin or they can never win isn’t the best for a healthy metagame. That’s my hill to die on Magic boomers.

Now with that brief History lesson over, let’s talk about the most Splinter Twin like deck I’ve seen in a long time, Izzet Locust God Combo (also known as Creativity Combo or Literally Twin). The deck plays in a similar fashion, you are looking to keep interacting with your opponent until you kill them with your combo. Both combos require at least “two cards”, where Twin needed an Exarch and Twin, this deck needs a card that creates tokens and Indomitable Creativity. The original list I believe was made by k_prinz, but this list is what Gabriel Nassif was working on. Let’s take a look at this beauty.

(H) UR Creative Combo

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Planeswalker (2)
2
Narset, Parter of Veils
Creature (2)
1
Sage of the Falls
1
The Locust God
Sorcery (15)
2
Callous Dismissal
3
Forbidden Friendship
4
Indomitable Creativity
4
Pirate's Pillage
2
Shatterskull Smashing/Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
Instant (20)
3
Depths of Desire
4
Fire Prophecy
2
Opt
3
Pact of Negation
4
Silundi Vision/Silundi Isle
4
Valakut Awakening/Valakut Stoneforge
Enchantment (4)
4
Shark Typhoon
Land (17)
4
Fabled Passage
2
Island
3
Mountain
4
Riverglide Pathway/Lavaglide Pathway
4
Steam Vents
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
4
Abrade
2
Aether Gust
2
Hornswoggle
1
Lazotep Plating
1
Mystical Dispute
1
Pact of Negation
1
Sweltering Suns
3
Tale's End

So how does the combo work? First, you need to get your two combo creatures out of your deck with Indomitable Creativity. Once you Creativity,  the combo works around The Locust God and Sage of the Falls interaction. The Locust God makes a 1/1 Flying Haste Insect every time you draw a card, where Sage of the Falls lets you draw a card then discard a card every time a non-Human enters the battlefield. With that, when you Indomitable Creativity into both, Sage triggers off The Locust God which starts the chain where you can make as many 1/1s as you want, as long as you have cards left to draw. Hypothetically, you could have fewer cards in the library than your opponent, but that will be really rare. 

Alright so I talked about the comparison with Twin enough, but is this deck as good as Twin was? Not really, but it does feel very similar! Your interactive pieces are much worse than what Twin had access to, but you can combo off in the same turn where Twin couldn’t which is nice! Furthermore, although this deck seems reasonably good, it’s not at all oppressive and just joins the pantheon of solid decks you could play in Historic right now. Let’s talk card choices.

CARD CHOICES

Indomitable-Creativity-Aether-Revolt-MtG-Art

2 Narset, Parter of the Veils

With so much Sultai running around, having access to Narset is always nice and works well to find Indomitable Creativity. 

1 Sage of the Falls

One of your combo creatures.

1 The Locust God

Your other combo creature.

2 Shatterskull Smashing

In this list you use a lot of MDFCs to squeeze as much value out of all your cards as possible. For Smashing, this is just an interaction spell as well as a land, nothing too crazy here.

2 Callous Dismissal

This limited all star is great at slowing the opponent down and starting to set up your combo. Bouncing a creature and getting a 1/1 to chump with or Creativity away later is quite good value.

3 Forbidden Friendship

Although this card isn’t the most impressive, it’s the cheapest way to create the requisite 2 tokens for the combo. 

4 Indomitable Creativity

Your main way of enabling the combo. Sacrifice two tokens and draw your way to victory! 

4 Pirate’s Pillage

Although 4 mana Tormenting Voice generally isn’t a Constructed all star, this helps you draw towards your Creativities and makes 2 tokens for it as well! It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done.

3 Pact of Negation

We’re a combo deck so we really wouldn’t like if the opponent tried some funny business like interacting with the combo.

4 Silundi Vision

A tap land or a really great tool to dig for Creativity!

4 Valakut Awakening

A tap land or a really great tool to dig for Creativity!

2 Opt

A cheap draw spell, want to guess what you’re generally looking for?

4 Fire Prophecy

As innocuous as Fire Prophecy is, this deck would be a whole lot worse without it. The best and worst part of the combo is that you want both creatures in your deck so Indomitable Creativity works as intended. If you ever happen to draw one of the combo creatures, Fire Prophecy is a way to interact with the opponent while also putting the pesky creature back into your deck!

3 Depths of Desire

Another Limited all star makes an appearance here. This has the same function as Callous Dismissal, but this is an instant and makes a Treasure token which is generally better than the 1/1 body.

4 Shark Typhoon

An instant speed way to make a token and draw a card slots perfectly into this deck. At worst, you can kill your opponent with Shark beatdown as well.

17 Lands + 2 Shatterskull Smashing +4 Silundi Vision +4 Valakut Awakening

SIDEBOARD

1 Pact of Negation

For when you really need to force through the combo.

4 Abrade

On first glance, most assume that this is either an interactive piece or a way to deal with Grafdigger’s Cage. However, Grafdigger’s Cage doesn’t actually stop Indomitable Creativity as Creativity exiles the creatures first out of the library then brings them to the battlefield. So why play Abrade? Mostly just the best 2 mana deal 3 around that can nug off pesky artifacts like Witch’s Oven.

2 Aether Gust

Great against any red or green based deck, which seems to be most of Historic.

1 Lazotep Plating

Plating is an interesting protection spell as it makes you and your permanents completely immune from your opponent’s interaction for a turn and makes a 1/1 for Creativity.

3 Tale’s End

We’re looking to interact with the opponent the best that we can, and Tale’s End is just great right now.

2 Hornswoggle

I won’t lie, I didn’t even realize this card existed. However, 3 mana Essence Scatter that makes a Treasure for Creativity is surprisingly good.

1 Mystical Dispute

There isn’t as much Blue interaction as there used to be, so just 1 Dispute seems acceptable.

1 Sweltering Suns

I feel like we may want more Sweltering Suns, but it killing off any errant 1/1 you may make probably pushes this card into a niche player rather than upping the copies.

MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARDING

alexander-deruchenko-hornswoggle

SULTAI

INOUT
+1 Pact of Negation-2 Callous Dismissal
+1 Lazotep Plating-4 Fire Prophecy
+2 Aether Gust-3 Depths of Desire
+3 Tale’s End
+1 Hornswoggle
+1 Mystical Dispute

Although the matchup itself can be difficult to navigate, at least the boarding is easy! They don’t play many creatures so stuff like Fire Prophecy or the bounce spells clearly leave a lot to be desired. The nice part about this matchup is that you can combo off whenever you want while they have to interact, and also pressure you enough to actually win the game. I wouldn’t say that because of that the matchup is necessarily good, but you generally have a lot of time to set up.

SACRIFICE

INOUT
+4 Abrade-2 Callous Dismissal
+1 Aether Gust-3 Forbidden Friendship
+2 Hornswoggle-3 Pact of Negation
+1 Sweltering Suns

Regardless of the Sacrifice variant, I believe this is how you want to board. Trying to keep the 1/1s on board will be very challenging with Mayhem Devil so I just cut those for more efficient interactive spells. This matchup, like many others, is all about staying alive until you can combo off. Thankfully, Sacrifice tends to play very little interaction so they will have a hard time dealing with your combo as they aren’t that fast nor have the right interaction for the most part.

GOBLINS

INOUT
+4 Abrade-2 Narset, Parter of Veils
+2 Aether Gust-2 Callous Dismissal
+2 Tale’s End-4 Pirate’s Pillage
+2 Hornswoggle-3 Pact of Negation 
+1 Sweltering Suns

This matchup can be a race, but generally you’re better served by stymieing their game plan until you can combo at your leisure. The only really threatening card is Muxus or a hasty Krenko so as long as you can stop both of those, this matchup generally shouldn’t be too difficult. With that in mind, we cut the slower cards for more relevant interaction to make the deck a pile of removal and the combo kill.

GRUUL

INOUT
+4 Abrade-2 Narset, Parter of Veils
+2 Aether Gust-4 Pirate’s Pillage
+2 Hornswoggle-3 Pact of Negation
+1 Sweltering Suns

This matchup can be challenging as the deck is very fast and doesn’t have specific cards that are way better than others, just all their cards are quite threatening. With that in mind, we do have a lot of interaction to stymie their aggression so hopefully you’ll have as much interaction as they have relevant threats. Once again, we board out the inefficient pieces to streamline the deck more.

GAMEPLAY TIPS

  • Although you generally want to save your tokens to combo off, you only need 2 of them so if you need to block with a 1/1 or use a Treasure for a better turn, don’t be afraid to do so.
  • As I said before, Indomitable Creativity doesn’t get stopped by Grafdigger’s Cage, so no need to worry about your opponent having it
  • Most of your Indomitable Creativity casts will be for X=2, but you can add more mana and targets into it if you’re afraid your opponent can interact with your tokens before the Creativity resolves. I even had to target 4 tokens one game to ensure the combo would go through.
  • Developing your lands is paramount as the deck is mana hungry. We do play a lot of mana sources, but generally you’re looking to get 5-6 lands out per game, so play your MDFCs accordingly.
  • Sometimes you will naturally draw one of your combo creatures and you won’t have a way to put it back in your library. Balance whether you think it’s more likely you can find a way to reshuffle your creature or if it makes more sense just to cast it. Most Historic decks won’t actually have the means to kill either The Locust God or Sage of the Falls anyway.

Thank you for reading! If you like my content and want to see more of it, you can check me out on Twitch! Have a great day!

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is a streamer and high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and teaching!

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