Throne of Eldraine Standard for the Izzet guild will be an interesting one for this spell-centric color combination. As we saw in the Blue and Red deck theorycrafting sessions, we saw some powerful cards come into the colors and today we will find out whether Izzet can survive post-rotation. Players who enjoy slinging spells and chaining combos will be sure to enjoy playing these decks in the new Standard format!
Decks build around Arclight Phoenix has probably been the most consistent performer in the last Standard format. Due to the relative power levels of other decks and many ways to stifle the deck, it has fallen off the grid in recent times. With Opt, Tormenting Voice and Chart a Course all looking to rotate out of Standard – players predicted all but the death of the deck – only to see Opt being reprinted, and Thrill of Possibility being spoiled. This gave us some hope in reviving the deck.
What made the deal sweeter is the arrival of The Royal Scions – they are perfect for the Izzet Phoenix deck! The first ability grants the discard (drawing first as well), the second ability gives your Crackling Drake and Izzet Phoenix a faster and unbeatable clock in the air, and the ultimate is just icing on the cake. This new planeswalker also has a high loyalty and is difficult to kill with direct damage and I am really excited to try this card out.
So here is the proposed decklist for Izzet Phoenix in the new Standard. Take note of the sideboard, which we have some sweet options and the tech Irencrag Pyromancer which can be really strong in this deck – maybe even worthy of a maindeck inclusion. Also remember, we still have cards like Finale of Promise (not good against Teferi) and Augur of Bolas (good against aggro) to include and experiment depending on the meta.
4 Goblin Electromancer (GRN) 174 4 Arclight Phoenix (GRN) 91 1 God-Eternal Kefnet (WAR) 53 3 Crackling Drake (GRN) 163 4 Opt (DAR) 60 3 Radical Idea (GRN) 52 4 Shock (M20) 160 4 Discovery // Dispersal (GRN) 223 3 Lava Coil (GRN) 108 4 Thrill of Possibility (ELD) 146 1 Beacon Bolt (GRN) 154 3 The Royal Scions (ELD) 199 4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257 4 Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253 7 Island (GRN) 261 5 Mountain (GRN) 263 1 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242 2 Aether Gust (M20) 42 2 Negate (M20) 69 1 Disdainful Stroke (GRN) 37 2 Fry (M20) 140 2 Flame Sweep (M20) 139 2 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58 2 Redcap Melee (ELD) 135 2 Irencrag Pyromancer (ELD) 128
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Niv-Mizzet, Parun is just a sweet card and it would be a sin not to mention it in an Izzet article. It had its brief moment in the sun, when Adrian Sullivan took it to a tournament finish with a deck including four copies of Niv-Mizzet and Dive Down to protect it at all costs – but ever since the printing of Teferi, Time Raveler, Narset, Parter of Veils and other counters – Izzet decks have not been given a break since.
However, Throne of Eldraine gives the deck some ways to deal with the Planeswalkers a bit better with stronger sideboard options and with cards like Brazen Borrower able to tempo out the opponents, it might be worth looking at Izzet Control again.
This two card combo is also a potent one – in case you don’t know about it, here’s how it works:
- Have Ral in play with 2 Expansion // Explosion in hand.
- Cast your own Opt or Shock, or wait until opponent plays any instant or sorcery mana cost 4 or less.
- Before that spell resolves, cast Expansion #1.
- Before Expansion #1 resolves, cast Expansion #2 targeting Expansion #1.
- Chain Expansion while Ral deals 1 damage to your opponent each time and rinse and repeat.
I think Witching Well is a nice addition to the deck to help assemble the combo faster as well as acting as a card draw mid to late game.
Izzet Phoenix will definitely be one of the first decks that we will try out in Throne of Eldraine Standard – despite its weaknesses, we are getting some cards to help negate that. The other Izzet variants also look like fun, if not competitive, so if the meta is not too heavy on Teferi, Time Raveler they could also be worth trying.