Jeskai Fires Deck Guide – Theros Beyond Death Standard

fires-of-invention-art

Who am I?

I’ve been playing Magic for the last ten years; with this experience I’ve played in many competitive tournaments and been part of many play test groups for Grand Prix, Pro Tours and Mythic Championships. I am consistently in the top 100 Mythic constructed players every month since the release of the Magic Arena ranking system, enjoy collecting data, coming up with new deck ideas, and I normally stream my progress during the summer. I go by Thecorgibutts and I hope you find this guide extremely helpful; I wrote it in the in hopes that it can teach people how to board and teach them an action plan for particular matchups. Thank you for taking the time to read this guide and I hope that you find it extremely useful!

Introduction

Jeskai Fires is a deck that was dominant during the Thrones of Eldraine standard meta and compared to other standard decks of its time, and it is one of the few that has actually aged well. Having gained some additional cards such as Shatter the Sky, Dream Trawler and Elspeth Conquers Death, many still consider it to be a tier one deck in the Theros Beyond Death meta. With Mono Red Aggro’s recent massive surge in popularity, Jeskai Fires has been a wise choice for climbing.

Decklist

Unable to access deck list

See all Jeskai Fires decks in our archetype page!

Tips and Tricks

  • If you have Fires of Invention out, always cast Cavalier of Gales before Cavalier of Flame if you plan on casting them both in the same turn. Brainstorm all the cards you want to the top of the library and keep all the cards you don’t want, then cast the red cavalier and discard all the cards you don’t want. You would think this is common sense but this is by far the most common mistake players make with this deck.
  • Manage your lands wisely. Try to minimize your lands to six lands on the field; don’t play further ones as they can be used as Cavalier fodder. If you have Fires out, you want to have your sixth land as a Fabled Passage, without cracking it. Use it as a shuffle effect with Cavalier of Gales to get rid of cards you don’t want to draw.
  • When scrying with Sphinx of Foresight, I would recommend scrying the 5th land away. The deck has twenty six lands, and you will be very likely to find it through natural draws.
  • Be careful of what you brainstorm to the top of your library. If Cavalier of Gales is your last spell of the turn, I recommend that you put lands on top of your library; it’s very likely the cavalier will die on your opponent’s turn and shuffle your library.
  • Teferi, Time Raveler can be used to bypass Fires’ two spell restriction. If sequenced correctly, you can cast your two free spells in a turn and then use Teferi to bounce Fires to cast critical spells like Chance for Glory to win the game instantly.

Matchup and Sideboard Guide

Simic Ramp

Matchup: Favored

The Plan: The goal of the game is to end the game as quickly as possible. The only true threat in the deck is the Cavalier of Thorns. Your opponent will play the game of stalling the board with multiple Cavalier of Thorns and then finishing you off with Finale of Devastation.  If you play Teferi on turn three, I recommend that you plus him the turn he gets out. Normally your opponent can not lower his loyalty or get rid of him the turn he gets out. You want to save the minus ability for a Cavalier of Thorns when you go for the kill. The plan is to kill your opponent with one to two swings in the air, often using Chance for Glory. If the game goes on too long, your only out, may be a combination of Chance for Glory and Shatter the Sky.

For games two and three, I’m not a huge fan of Teferi, Time Raveler, so I normally end up trimming two of them. I just want cards that can kill my opponent as fast as possible and wasting time to cast Teferi seems to impede my plan; however I wouldn’t cut all of them. Most likely your opponent boarded in two Disdainful Strokes and two Mystical Disputes. I also end up cutting Deafening Clarion because I normally find my opponents boarding out their mana dorks and relying more on Growth Spiral to ramp in the early parts of the game so Deafening Clarion often ends up being a dead card. If you’re on the play I recommend putting in Robber of the Rich and Legion Warboss for early aggression. On the draw, I would put in Elspeth Conquers Death and Teferi back in for Cavalier of Thorns.

Key Cards:

InOut
4 Robber of the Rich (On Play) (2 on Draw)
3 Legion Warboss (On Play)
2 Elspeth Conquers Death (On Draw)
3 Deafening Clarion
2 Teferi, Time Raveler (On Play)
2 Omen of the Sea (On Play) (1 On Draw)

Azorius Control

Matchup: Heavily Disadvantaged

The Plan: Azorius Control is the arch-nemesis of this deck as it’s full of cards that completely shut down your deck. Azorius mainboard Narset, Parter of Veils; this card absolutely wrecks Jeskai Fires by turning Cavalier of Gales into a 5/5 that makes you lose two cards. Cavalier of Flame also gets much worse since you can’t loot through your lands. One of the few weaknesses of Fires are decks that run plenty of counter magic, which Azorius Control is definitely not lacking. Not to get your hopes down, but this match is pretty bleak. So I guess we should get onto our plan of action.

The first step to beating Azorius Control is laying down an early threat such as Robber of the Rich or Legion Warboss. The most important key is somehow crossing your fingers that Teferi, Time Raveler resolves on turn three if you have him in your hand. A resolved Teferi, Time Raveler will turn the tides of the game to favor you tremendously. My guess is that the opponent  will have around twelve plus counterspells post board. In games two and three you want to take out all of the Cavalier of Gales as the card will become too much of a liability with your opponent casting Narset, Parter of Veils, and being expensive enough that it will probably get countered easily.

Key Cards:

InOut
4 Robber of the Rich
3 Legion Warboss
3 Deafening Clarion
3 Cavalier of Gales
1 Fires of Invention

Mono Red Aggro

Match Up: Heavily Favored

The Plan: The goal of the game is to get rid of multiple threats with your sweepers. Anax is the main problem since he can make the board sweeper proof and he can randomly kill you out of nowhere with Embercleave. Due to playing Fires of Invention, you can’t respond to Embercleave, so I try to make sure Anax is never on the field and that they don’t have enough creatures lying around to play Embercleave cheaply. You can permanently get rid of him with Scorching Dragonfire and the other option is to bounce him for a turn with Teferi.

You’ll want Chandra’s Pyrohelix for some early two for ones. The ideal situation is to kill two creatures on turn two with Chandra’s Pyrohelix into a turn three Teferi, Time Raveler or Scorching Dragonfire on Anax. Your best cards in this match are Deafening Clarion, Dream Trawler and Kenrith the Returned King both because they’re sources of lifegain and because Kenrith is extremely hard to kill, since it’s probably taking at least two of their cards.

Key Cards:

InOut
1 Deafening Clarion
1 Shatter the Sky
1 Chandra’s Pyrohelix
3 Scorching Dragonfire
2 Chance for Glory
2 Omen of the Sea
1 Cavalier of Gales
1 Teferi, Time Raveler

Temur Reclamation

Matchup: Medium 50/50

The Plan: Resolve an early Teferi Time Raveler. If you’re on the play in game one, there is a 100% chance that your Teferi will land on turn three since their only countermagic is Thassa’s Intervention usually. A resolved Teferi Time Raveler will make the game extremely tedious for your opponent as he prevents giant Explosions or Thassa’s Intervention from happening throughout the rest of the game.  I suggest you always leave Teferi at 5+ loyalty; the only method they then have of getting rid of it is to either bounce it with Brazen Borrower or by using Storm’s Wrath.

For games two and three your opponent will board in more counter spells to stop Fires of Invention from landing and board out Storm’s Wrath. So once again, Teferi is still the most important card in this matchup. I suggest putting in Robber of the Rich and Legion Warboss; it’s actually funny that most players board out Storm’s Wrath against Fires and once they receive a beating from Robber of the Rich and Legion Warboss, they board them back in game three. 

Key Cards:

InOut
4 Robber of the Rich
3 Legion Warboss
3 Deafening Clarion
2 Shatter the Sky
2 Omen of the Sea

Jeskai Fires

Matchup: Medium 50/50

The Plan: This match up will come down to who can resolve Fires first and have it stick. I often find this match up quite interesting; you’ll be spending half of the game bouncing Fires of Invention back and forth. The ability to have access to additional mana to use Kenrith, the Return King and Cavalier of Flames ability is very important. I have played the mirror so much that I’ve learned my lesson about  leaving Fires of Invention on the field; if you have a choice between bouncing Fires of Invention or playing a creature, bouncing Fires is the correct play more often than not.

In games two and three you will want to take out three Deafening Clarions, as they kill hardly any creatures other than Bonecrusher Giant and Brazen Borrower. Most Jeskai Fire mirrors are about bouncing Fires of Invention and then ending the game in one turn so most likely you’ll plus Teferi the turn he comes out and save the minus for Fires or bouncing your Elspeth Conquers Death for multi-value plays.

Key Cards:

InOut
2 Elspeth Conquers Death
1 Shatter the Sky
3 Deafening Clarion

Mono Black Devotion

Matchup: Favored

The Plan: The first game should be a breeze. Normally Deafening Clarion and Shatter the Sky are the nails to the coffin for this deck. I’m not normally too scared of getting drained out in this match up, since you have access to Deafening Clarion and Kenrith to gain additional life. Ways to lose the game is to have Nightmare Shepherd to stay on the field and then having them play Gray Merchant of Asphodel with a sacrifice effect on board so it is pretty important to get rid of Nightmare Shepherd when you can or end the game immediately.

Your opponent will be boarding in Agonzing Remorse and Duress in so chances are if you have Fires of Invention in your opening hand that it will be ripped out. This is where Sphinx of Foresight shines; it’s pretty important to scry Fires of Invention as your third card from the top if you can. I tend to keep hands that have two Fires or scry a second near the top against black decks. I would take out the Bonecrusher Giant and put in Scorching Dragonfire as most mono black creatures have three plus toughness and the ability to exile is pretty relevant in this match up. Most of the creatures have ETB effects in mono black so I’m not super stoked about bouncing any of my opponent creatures with Teferi and suggest trimming two.

Key Cards:

InOut
1 Shatter the Sky
1 Deafening Clarion
3 Scorching Dragonfire
3 Teferi, Time Raveler
2 Bonecrusher Giant

Mono White Devotion

Matchup: Favored

The Plan: Play an early control game with Stomp, Deafening Clarion or Shatter the Sky; you may have to use Teferi Time Raveler to reset a gigantic Ajani’s Pridemate. I’m normally not a huge fan of cards like Chance for Glory in aggressive matchups, as chances are that your opponent’s life total will be so high that it’ll be very hard to kill your opponent even across two turns. This goes especially for Mono White, as it incorporates a ton of lifegain.

Key Cards:

InOut
1 Deafening Clarion
1 Shatter the Sky
3 Scorching Dragonfire
2 Chance for Glory
2 Omen of the Sea
1 Cavalier of Flame

Rakdos Knights

Matchup: Heavily Favored

The Plan: This matchup is pretty straightforward. Clear the board of threats using Deafening Clarion, Shatter the Sky or Scorching Dragonfire then place down a Fires and win in one to two swings. Much like the Mono Red match up, you are heavily favored to win.

Key Cards:

InOut
1 Deafening Clarion
1 Shatter the Sky
1 Chandra’s Pyrohelix
3 Scorching Dragonfire
2 Chance for Glory
2 Omen of the Sea
2 Teferi, Time Raveler

Esper Control

Matchup: Disadvantaged

The Plan:  There are two things that Jeskai Fires doesn’t pair up well against: hand disruption and counterspells. Game one is very winnable, as many of the removal spells don’t pair up well against your threats; Esper Control runs far fewer counter spells than Azorius Control and due to that it is technically an easier match up. I’d rather have my opponent packing hand disruption than counter magic. Thoughtseize effects are normally terrible in top deck mode, which the game comes down to.

Much like Azorius control, the first step to victory is laying down an early threat such as Robber of the Rich or Legion Warboss. Teferi isn’t as important in this match up since they run a lot less counter magic and you don’t generally have to worry about running into Narset either.

Key Cards:

InOut
4 Robber of the Rich
3 Legion Warboss
3 Deafening Clarion
2 Shatter the Sky
2 Omen of the Sea

Conclusion

Jeskai Fires is a very powerful deck against aggressive and midrange deck, but it falls short in a standard meta where players are playing plenty of counterspells and hand disruption spells. Cards like Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage and Narset, Parter of Veils can simply tear apart the deck quite easily. Having to discard any two cards probably means you are not playing your five drops on time.

I’ve identified the most common key threats in all of my matchups; I believe it’s very important to have three Scorching Dragonfires in the sideboard as the three damage and exile effect is very important when dealing with aggressive threats. Meanwhile, I think that right now is a great time to be playing Legion Warboss and Robber of the Rich. Most control, combo and midrange decks are not playing cheap early instant removal against Jeskai Fires so post board you can easily trick your opponent to boarding out their cheap early removal by playing big threats in game one. Meanwhile I don’t think this is a very good time to be playing Brazen Borrower as against control, there aren’t many things you would want to bounce, and being forced to bounce haste threats at sorcery speed can feel very bad. Overall, I’ve found the Jeskai Fires deck to be the most consistent deck I have played in this current season; the draws and hands have become pretty consistent with the use of Omen of the Sea, Teferi and Sphinx of Foresight. I’ve run into Mono Red about 30-35% of my matchups and Simic Ramp about 20% of the time and these matchups are very favourable. Meanwhile I have run into Azorius Control 15% of the time, with that being your worst matchup. I feel the advantage of farming aggressive decks outweighs the downsides of running into Control. With that being said, I believe that this deck is a very good choice to lock into any competitive Standard tournament.

OpponentInOut
Simic RampRobber of the Rich (On Play) (2 on Draw)
Legion Warboss (On Play)
2 Elspeth Conquers Death
Deafening Clarion
2 Teferi, Time Raveler (On Play)
Omen of the Sea  (On Play)
Azorius ControlRobber of the Rich
Legion Warboss
Deafening Clarion
Cavalier of Gales
Fires of Invention
Mono Red AggroDeafening Clarion
Shatter the Sky
1 Chandra’s Pyrohelix
Scorching Dragonfire
Chance for Glory
Omen of the Sea
Cavalier of Gales
Teferi, Time Raveler
Temur ReclamationRobber of the Rich
Legion Warboss
Deafening Clarion
Shatter the Sky
2 Omen of the Sea
Jeskai FiresElspeth Conquers Death
Shatter the Sky
Deafening Clarion
Mono Black DevotionShatter the Sky
Deafening Clarion
Scorching Dragonfire
Teferi, Time Raveler
Bonecrusher Giant
Mono White DevotionDeafening Clarion
Shatter the Sky
Scorching Dragonfire
Chance for Glory
Omen of the Sea
Cavalier of Flame
Rakdos KnightsDeafening Clarion
Shatter the Sky
1 Chandra’s Pyrohelix
Scorching Dragonfire
Chance for Glory
Omen of the Sea
2 Teferi, Time Raveler
Esper ControlRobber of the Rich
Legion Warboss
3 Deafening Clarion
2 Shatter the Sky
2 Omen of the Sea
0 0 vote
Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
hubbyer
hubbyer
7 months ago

great article! I have always wanted to try this deck out to see how it works, but could not stomach using so many rare and mythic wildcards to build it. your tips and tricks and sideboard guides are really high level stuff! looking forward to more insights!

Andrew
Andrew
7 months ago

Great write up appreciate the thoroughness of each match up and the list 👍🏻

David
David
7 months ago

Do we have a plan against UG Flash?

MonsterMTG (@MonsterMTG1)

Good article unfortunately it’s a tier 2 deck at best and any control deck craps on it.

Jeff Buckley
Jeff Buckley
7 months ago

Is the one copy of Godless Shrine to activate Kenrith’s ability?

MonsterMTG (@MonsterMTG1)
Reply to  Jeff Buckley

Yes

William F Guile
William F Guile
6 months ago

lack on rakodos sacrifice