Standard 2022 Izzet Dragons Guide: 2022’s Best Deck

Galazeth Prismari Art by Raymond Swanland
Galazeth Prismari Art by Raymond Swanland

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 2022 Izzet Dragons 

Creatures (7)
3
Galazeth Prismari
4
Goldspan Dragon
Spells (28)
1
Shatterskull Smashing
4
Frost Bite
2
Disdainful Stroke
3
Dragon's Fire
4
Expressive Iteration
3
Prismari Command
4
Saw It Coming
3
Behold the Multiverse
4
Alrund's Epiphany
Lands (25)
3
Faceless Haven
4
Riverglide Pathway
8
Snow-Covered Island
6
Snow-Covered Mountain
4
Volatile Fjord
Cards (60)

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!

CARD CHOICES

Expressive Iteration Art by Anastasia Ovchinnikova
Expressive Iteration Art by Anastasia Ovchinnikova

Goldspan Dragon

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.

Furthermore, there aren’t many removal spells that even hit Goldspan Dragon the turn it comes down making it even more potent in 2022 as Power Word Kill can’t target 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.

Galazeth Prismari

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.

Shatterskull Smashing

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.

Expressive Iteration

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! 

Alrund’s Epiphany

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.

Frost Bite

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.

Disdainful Stroke

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.

Dragon’s Fire

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

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.

Saw it Coming

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.

Behold the Multiverse

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.

POTENTIAL INCLUSIONS

Inferno of the Star Mounts Art by Jesper Ejsing
Inferno of the Star Mounts Art by Jesper Ejsing

Iymrith, Desert Doom

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.

Inferno of the Star Mounts

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.  

Orb of Dragonkind

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.

Dragon Turtle

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

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.

Magma Opus

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

Heated Debate Art by Bayard Wu
Heated Debate Art by Bayard Wu

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.

2022 Izzet Dragons v2 

Creatures (8)
3
Galazeth Prismari
4
Goldspan Dragon
1
Iymrith, Desert Doom
Spells (27)
1
Shatterskull Smashing
4
Frost Bite
2
Disdainful Stroke
3
Dragon's Fire
4
Expressive Iteration
2
Heated Debate
4
Saw It Coming
3
Behold the Multiverse
4
Alrund's Epiphany
Lands (25)
3
Faceless Haven
4
Riverglide Pathway
8
Snow-Covered Island
6
Snow-Covered Mountain
4
Volatile Fjord
Cards (60)

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 Iymrith, 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
  • Iymrith, 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 Fire cares 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!    

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a 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 coaching! Join our community on Twitch and Discord.

32 Responses

  1. David says:

    This deck is not the meta. Stay away. I’ve played it and about 8-10 other decks have easily beat it. You have to curve perfectly to win. Too slow even with the removal and counters. Thanks for nothing.

    • DoggertQBones says:

      I know it’s currently the most popular deck and has performed well in both Insight Events. That of course doesn’t mean it’s unbeatable by any means but I think it has a solid enough track record to he considered meta.

    • Zafarion says:

      It struggles vs aggros if it doesn’t draw a lot of spot removals, because usually there’s no main deck sweepers. This deck would be better in Bo3 and these insight events was played Bo3, no?

    • Brad Morgan says:

      I’ve been doing great with it last standard and standard 2022. Maybe it’s just not your style brotha.

  2. DoWeTrustDavid says:

    Maybe David just sucks?

  3. Matt says:

    Make sure you put “Cleansing Wildfire” in every top tier deck. “Faceless Haven”, only a cute addition in Standard, is now a serious threat in 2022. DND includes very good man lands you need answers to the potential late game threats. Lastly, every white mana deck I’ve played against has “The Book of Exalted Deeds” that can crush any game not prepared for it.

    • DoggertQBones says:

      Although I understand the worry, we do already play a lot of removal for Faceless Haven so I don’t think you need something as specific as Wildfire. You could play more single target removal though if the matchup is a concern

    • Bianca Lages says:

      Your tip helped me a lot. I got a bad turn and they got the Book in the Haven, but the copy of Wildfire saved me in a local tournament yesterday.

  4. Ed says:

    maybe I suck too… I tried the deck and went 0-15; always playing vs aggro and always on the draw. arena also helped my misfortune, but I honestly didn’t see the deck’s power. the one game I lives to cast goldspan dragon opp had a koma and killed me in 2 turns.

    • Jambon says:

      0-15 is hyperbolic BS – either that or you are the worst player, literally, ever.

      • Ed says:

        I probably am the worst player ever. I’ll give it a go today and I’ll let you know.

      • charles says:

        lol yeah 0-15 is like impossible.. I don’t think I’ve lost 15 games in a row ever

        • Ed says:

          maybe you should play more bo1 unranked. that’s a lot more wild. it’s easy to lose all the time to things like tibalt’s trickery always on the draw. I tried the deck again and as promised I kept track this time: it went 7-7 (draw 8-6 play). very mediocre, and I managed to lose some games miserably without actually having a chance to even play.

  5. Graeme says:

    Dragon’s Fire gets a lot better with Inferno of the Star Mounts in the deck. Plus it can just win games out of nowhere.

  6. Jon says:

    I personally think the deck has poor position on the Bo1 ladder. Seems far to slow and the interaction leaves a lot to be desired.

  7. Sheriff says:

    Is it worth going into Snow Lands just for Frost Bite? Dragon’s Fire and the other interaction isn’t enough? Non-Snow also has ManLands too.

  8. Prondek says:

    For me Divide by zero is very good in B01 format-extra situational card ,funcion as a counter.This deck is hard to pilot because It depends on small nuances,when played corectly its deadly force.

  9. CharlieChaplin says:

    I’ve been playing the Opus/Draconic Intervention combo in mine. Not great against the mirror for sure, but farms aggro. I think I’ll have to tune it when izzet inevitably becomes more popular.

  10. AngryCapibara says:

    Ehi man, I wanted to ask why disdainful stroke instead of Negate? Jwari disruption can be good too, since can help land fixing.
    Other things I would suggest and i’m currently trying:
    1 Iymrith it’s really hard to come by, i’m switching 1 Goldspan for 2 Iymrith or 1 Iymrith and 1 Inferno.
    I’m trying to reinsert Prismari Command, I think it’s a good card, especially to tear down drop 2-3 vs mono green and red aggro and still getting some mana for other spells or destroy artifacts (esika chariot and other little equipment for red and black).

    • DoggertQBones says:

      Great questions! This list was back when the Izzet mirror was extremely popular so stroke was better, but Negate is likely better now.

      Disruption can also be ok, but it’s not amazing or anything.

      I would stick with 4 Goldspan no matter what as it is your best card, but adding more Dragons is very reasonable.

      You could slot Prismari Command back in as it has gotten better in the meta due to Chariots presence

  11. Peech4 says:

    Gentlemen, I have played this deck in BO1 to a 12-2 record, and one of the losses was because I was watching nick mercs play Apex (hahaha). I am having zero problems with aggro, and I mean ZERO. To be honest, I like the deck so much I went out and bought it in paper. I already had the goldspans and havens. I think this is going to be a real contender when the rotation hits in a month.

  12. TraxMage says:

    this list is good as a general guide but you’re just gonna get steamroller by mono white and likely mono green without crush the weak or battle of frost and fire as wipes. definitely look into adding those for v3

    • Pasquale Insera says:

      Couldn’t agree more here. I am ALWAYS keeping removal in y opener because of exactly this. I just always assume I’m playing against aggro and then go from there. And we definitely need some tweeks for version 3.

      • TraxMage says:

        yep , I’m currently running 4 crush the weak and 3 Tundra furmarole 3 frost bite and 4 dragons fire. sometimes I consider swapping a furmarole for a frost bite but then I play mono green and remember why I have them in the first place , 😅

  13. Peech4 says:

    Are those cards all in your main deck?

  14. Drakk says:

    Been playing this deck around 87-90% mythic, I only have 3 Alrund’s due to lack of wilds and 2 Galareth’s. Draconian intervention is good and so is Divide by zero. Divide allows you to make some great plays and access to lessons which is really important in Bo1. I tried Infernos and they seem exclusively good in mirrors, every thing else it’s too slow to get out and use effectively.

  15. Peech4 says:

    I am really glad you posted. I have been DYING to try divide by zero. I only have 1 Draconic Intervention, but with all the mana we produce I don’t ever see it being a problem to cast, and it would seem like its the best defense we have against aggro. Is it the only sweeper we have? Traxmage in the above post suggested crush the weak, but I love the fact that we can exile an epiphany to wipe the board at X = 7.