Hello everyone! Today I’m going to go over what is considered the best deck currently in Standard 2022: Izzet Dragons. Before I continue, let’s take a look at the list I’m going to reference.
Sandydog and me had extremely similar Day 1 lists, but his list is a bit more tuned for the mirror, something that’s going to be more important moving forward.
So why is Izzet so good right now? It has a lot of unique advantages that no other deck in the meta shares right now which helps contribute to its early success.
First off, it lost very few cards compared to other decks. Sure losing Brazen Borrower and Bonecrusher Giant hurt the decks power level, but it’s not as if they were completely irreplaceable either. Bonecrusher Giant can be supplemented with more early game interaction and Brazen Borrower I would even contend isn’t that good in Izzet anyway.
Second, it has a great blend of interaction. The combination of early removal with counterspells helps you stay afloat against any variety of strategies.
Lastly, the card quality is extremely high where every card you play is either very efficient or very strong. Not every 2022 deck gets to play only bangers, but that’s a privilege afforded by Izzet.
After the card choices, I’ll include my current list which is a few cards different from sandy’s and explain my reasoning. Let’s dive in!
I slated this card as the most powerful card in 2022 and for good reason, this Dragon does it all. It’s an extremely potent threat that’s great at every stage of the game, will put you massively ahead in most board states if left alone, and even gets value if your opponent can remove it.
Lastly, the ability to Foretell a Saw it Coming then play a Goldspan is the nightmare scenario for pretty much any deck as it would be monumentally difficult to remove it once it hits the board. All in all, this card is just insane.
The second piece of the Dragon crew, Galazeth Prismari serves as the perfect complement to this decks strategy. The treasure token it creates is so powerful as it will serve as a functional mana rock as long as Galazeth remains on board or will synergize well with Goldspan Dragon later in the game.
Having a proactive 4 mana play is just great in general, especially one that can help you double spell as well. Lastly, having 4 toughness, being multicolor, and having the Dragon type helps it dodge a large amount of removal in the format making this a particularly annoying threat to deal with.
Despite how insane this card is, having non Snow sources is risky in a deck looking to buff up their Frost Bite and turn on Faceless Haven early and often. Despite that, it’s still a land in a pinch, a small removal spell in the mid game, or a complete blowout in the late game.
One of the best sources of card advantage available in 2022. Iteration acts similarly to Divination, but generally can get you a card deeper and is a mana cheaper. It does feel bad when you really need a land and whiff, but that’s not the fault of Iteration. Furthermore, you can even cast this on turn 2 if you need to find a certain card in a pinch!
One of the best top end cards in both 2022 and normal Standard, Epiphany is really really good. At worst, it functions as a zero mana Explore make 2 1/1s once you hit 6-7 mana, but it’s generally way better than that. If you’re ever ahead and resolve this, the game is functionally over.
Likely the best removal spell in the format. For one mana you can answer most creatures from 1-3 mana which is a huge boon. Furthermore, this works extremely well in conjunction with Galazeth Prismari as you can cast Prismari then immediately Frost Bite.
Playing Stroke in Bo1 is a bit risky, but I feel that it’s justified here. This deck is really good at handling smaller cards with Frost Bite and Dragon’s Fire, so you have Disdainful Stroke to help mitigate the more threatening cards. Furthermore, all 2 mana interaction is much more appealing when you’re playing Goldspan Dragon.
The new 2 mana Burn spell on the block. This will just be a 2 mana deal 3 most of the time, but being able to bump up to 4 if you have a Goldspan Dragon in hand is way more relevant than you may think, especially in the mirror.
Prismari Command does feel a good deal weaker than it does in normal Standard as a lot of the broken artifacts rotated, but it’s still a good card. Being able to kill something small and either make a Treasure or loot is well worth the 3 mana investment.
The premiere Cancel variant. This card isn’t anything special, but shines with Goldspan Dragon if you Foretell it first. Furthermore having multiple Foretell cards makes it more difficult for the opponent to surmise which card you actually Foretold.
A powerful draw spell and a foretell card, what’s not to like? Once again, anything that can cost 2 mana is going to work well with Goldspan Dragon and having a “free” Foretell cost also aids the power level of the card.
The new Dragon on the block. I am personally a huge Iymrith stan, but it’s probably unnecessary in this build as you already have a lot of top end. That being said, I could see shaving a copy of Behold the Multiverse to play one as it is such a strong proactive play and most decks can’t really deal with it. Furthermore the deck does struggle when it doesn’t have a proactive play early enough, so it may be correct to add this or something else in.
Although this big baller is a bit pricey, it dodges nearly all the interaction in the format (barring double burn spells) and will kill your opponent extremely quickly. If the Izzet mirror becomes even more popular, I wouldn’t be surprised if this snuck in as a 1 of to hedge against the counterspells.
I think the Orb is actually really good as turn 2 mana rocks are non-existent in Standard. Furthermore, the activated ability is excellent later in the game as a means to nearly guarantee finding a play. That being said, you would need to play more Dragons to make this viable and I wouldn’t consider it until you’re running at least 10.
It’s a Dragon so we have to at least consider it right? Although this may seem gimmicky, it’s actually a pretty decent answer to Goldspan Dragon or other annoying threats like Skyclave Shade. I don’t think it quite gets there, but it is worth considering.
Heated Debate seems very well positioned as it can kill most creatures in the format and can’t be countered, something that’s extremely relevant for the mirror. I wouldn’t be surprised if this overtakes the Prismari Command slot as the Izzet mirror becomes more popular.
Although this card is very powerful, trying to resolve an 8 drop in a field with a lot of counterspells seems like a risky proposition. It is an Instant so it’s not like you’ll be horribly blown out if you do this on your opponent’s end step, but it’s still a little clunky for my taste.
THE UPDATED VERSION
With these suggestions in mind, I actually changed the Izzet list a bit to test some of these cards. It’s only a few cards different and I’m not claiming that it’s better than sandydog’s version, but here’s where I’m currently at.
Not particularly different, but I believe the changes make sense. Prismari Command really wasn’t cutting it for me as the deck had no issue with taking out small creatures anyway, so I just cut all 3.
Heated Debate seems well positioned right now, whether it’s against Izzet or against the Monogreen menace.
I decided to add in the one of Desert Doom”] since, as I said before, the deck really needs an early proactive play to pull ahead and having one more has been helpful. That being said, I’ve personally found Iymrith to be insane in every deck I tried it in as it’s both very strong and well positioned.
Realistically speaking, I think Prismari Command just isn’t good in the deck and can be replaced with functionally anything that’s reasonable. It’s a great card, just not particularly in Standard 2022.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Although most people take Galazeth Prismari’s Treasure ability for granted when casting it, there will be a period between it coming in and the Treasure being made. This is relevant if you were expecting to have the mana to use interaction to protect it immediately after it enters
- If someone targets your Goldspan Dragon with removal and you can’t stop it, a good use of the Treasure it generates is to Foretell a spell. Make sure you turn on Full Control to make this work so you can sacrifice the Treasure before Goldspan hits the bin
- Desert Doom”] only has Ward 4 when untapped so make sure that if you want to attack the coast is clear!
- Dragon's Fire can be boosted by a Dragon in hand OR on the battlefield. Furthermore if the Dragon on the battlefield is removed in response, it still keeps it’s buff.
- I mentioned this before, but you can cast Expressive Iteration on turn 2 if you need to. This will rarely happen as you generally would want to use your mana otherwise, but if the rest of your plays are already lined up, why win or lose with Iteration rotting in your hand. Furthermore this can be an important play if you need a crucial piece of interaction ASAP.
- Remember that
Dragon’s Firecares about the revealed Dragon’s power, not CMC or toughness. This is easy to forget.
- Only activate Faceless Haven if it significantly speeds up your clock. You don’t want to be too hasty in attacking with it then not have enough mana to interact later.
- Although this isn’t obvious on Arena, Treasure tokens tap themselves first before sacrificing. This is relevant as you can’t tap it with Galazeth Prismari then sacrifice it afterwards as well.
Thank you for reading!