Standard 2022 Jeskai Codie Guide: The First Tier 1 Meme Deck
Hello everyone! Today, I’d like to weave you a bit of a tale. By the nature of content creation, I have to play a lot of different decks. A good amount of them are very reasonable, but a good amount of them will also be pretty bad.
Last week, I was working mostly with the latter. Play, lose, play, lose, play, lose. I found myself from mid mythic to 92% in the course of a day, and I won’t lie, I was a little salty.
However, I figured that this was an opportunity. It was time to play decks that looked super cool and not worry about the rank. I scrolled through the mtgazone submitted decks and I found this spicy number.
I mean come on, this deck looks so much fun to play. I figured I would jam like 4-5 games, maybe win once with some cool shenanigans, and call it a day. Well, the first game I played I foretold a turn 2 Starnheim Unleashed, played turn 3 Codie, Vociferous Codex, then turn 4 used Codie to get 2 Angels and kill my opponent’s creature with a Rip Apart. Instant concession. I was quite pleased with myself, but figured I got pretty lucky for that to happen.
Then the next match, Codie cast an Alrund's Epiphany and got me a Lorehold Command, concession. Then I played another where I didn’t even see Codie and just played a Jeskai Control game, I won. Safe to say, I was extremely confused. I never would’ve imagined that this deck could produce wins, but even more so, I didn’t think it would even feel powerful to play. However, Codie was constantly overperforming and not playing any other permanents didn’t even feel like a downside. Maybe, just maybe, there was something to this strategy.
I decided to dedicate a good amount of time to refining the list and it rewarded me greatly, pulling me from 92% back into the mid mythic numbers single handedly. I haven’t tracked my wins, but I’ve lost a total of 3 times with this deck and all of them was missing land drops (one on them I needed a 5th land so it’s not to say I was completely mana screwed or anything).
This deck was definitely the real deal and I was beating up on every archetype I was coming across whether it was aggro or control. I’m not saying this deck is unbeatable, but it definitely feels well positioned as I was able to pretty handily beat every major archetype along my climb. What does the new version of the deck look like? Let’s take a look.
My philosophy here was mostly take out the cards that didn’t really make sense and add cards that were performing well. Not a novel concept, but it worked well enough for me. Velomachus Lorehold had the potential to be good, but the nonbo with Codie was enough for me to nix him as I didn’t want to make removal good against this deck.
Wizard Class was far too weak in general as well as a permament and Serpentine Curve felt too slow. Pop Quiz was ok and felt excellent when you hit it off of Codie, but I still felt it was a little low impact.
Prismari Command was similarly ok, but I haven’t been a big fan of the Command in general anyway. With that, I just mostly upped the numbers of effects that were performing well to arrive at this list.
The core of the deck. I don’t think Codie is absolutely required to make the deck work (more on that later), but it’s an extremely powerful option we’re afforded here. It’s a 3 drop so it comes in early, has 4 toughness so it dodges a lot of removal and blocks well, and has an absolutely back breaking effect when activated.
Ramping into spells and then getting a free one on top of it has been absolutely nuts and more than worth the “downside” which functionally doesn’t come into play anyway. It is unfortunate that you do make opposing removal spells at least decent since they can tag Codie, but that’s been a relatively minor issue.
Either a painful/slow Plains or a wincon for us.
Either a painful/slow Mountain or late game removal spell
One of our main sources of card advantage and a great hit off of Codie as well. If you don’t have a Codie on 3, generally you can do this instead.
It may seem weird to have this over the 4th Dragon’s Fire, but I feel like the Naturalize mode can sometimes be relevant, even if in truth it has yet to be for me. If you feel that it doesn’t come up for you either, you can just play 4 Fire.
I wanted a 5th board wipe and this was my best option. I really like this as a 1 of since you can get this out early enough to be relevant against aggro, but you can also play it later and do it only for like 2 to wipe the opponent’s board but keep your Angel tokens.
The main win condition on the deck. Starnheim has been great when Foretold or when it’s a hit off of Codie. It can be clunky, but it rarely felt that way for me. Honestly, I should probably just play the 4 copies since it works so well with Codie.
There’s a lot of creature decks right now so having a lot of wraths is really helpful to put them in their place.
If Izzet Dragons has taught us anything, it’s that chaining Epiphanies feels ridiculous. Couple that with Codie’s ability to both ramp into them and get an extra spell out of the deal? It’s functionally impossible to lose. I have yet to come even close to losing a game where Codie casts an Epiphany.
The 2 copies of Unsummon are critical as you always know what you’ll hit if you cast a 2 mana spell off of Codie. It may seem weak compared to the heavy hitters, but spending a turn using Codie to double interact into Foretelling something can be an unbelievable tempo swing early in the game.
2 mana removal is good and casting it instant speed is very nice.
I generally don’t like tempo counter spells when you’re playing a Control deck, but we have enough velocity to make really great use of it. Bouncing a spell, getting a Lesson, then slamming a big spell afterwards is a very common play pattern as well as being very hard to beat. Furthermore, hitting Divide by Zero off of Codie’s ability is also pretty nuts.
I’ve never really thought Lorehold Command would have the chops to see play in Constructed, but it’s performed really well for me so far. I’ve used every mode a decent amount, but the most common one is definitely the Lightning Helix and then it’s up in the air. You can use this as a double removal spell or pressure with the 3/2, removal spell and card draw, or as a way to close the game quickly with some Bird tokens from Epiphany.
The original creator said they didn’t want to play taplands, but I’ve been pretty happy with them so far. I constructed the mana so we have 14 sources of each color, but you can adjust as you need. Realistically we need Blue and White more than Red so having them be exactly equal could be wrong, but I’m not positive.
When you need lands or likfe in a pinch.
I functionally never grab this, but it’s decent if you need a body in a pinch.
Since we can really easily clear out hand, Teachings has been consistently strong for me. Foretell works so well with this effect.
Like Spirit Summoning, I very rarely grab this, but a 4/4 is a decently sized body against some of the small aggro decks which makes it an effective stopgap.
If you’re desperate for a removal spell.
This is probably your most common grab as you can ramp into it with Codie and it can win by itself, albeit not as well as Stanheim Unleashed can.
NOTABLE EXCLUSIONS/POTENTIAL INCLUSIONS
Decent spell, but mostly worse than Unsummon.
I’m a pretty big Negate fan right now, but counterspells are really awkward with Codie.
Decent, but we have a lot of removal and this is bad with Codie.
Behold is quite good and could definitely be a 1-2 of if you wanted to trim other options.
You could change your mana base to support this pretty easily, but I’d prefer Behold personally. Furthermore this works awkwardly with Codie since Codie gives one of each mana.
This is pretty close to being considered, but I think it’s too weak.
This does have some utility, but generally you’re looking to cast game winning spells in the late game rather than a draw spell.
You could definitely change the mana and cut the Unsummons to play this if you want, but I think Unsummon gets the nod. You’re already pretty good against small creature decks and Unsummon is the better general hit off of Codie most of the time I’d think.
Great if the 4th toughness matters, but that’s really just Old-Growth Troll.
This could be solid as it’ll always be a draw 4 discard 1, but I rather play more Lorehold Command then.
This card is very powerful, but I don’t think closing the game is an issue in this build of the deck.
CAN’T GET BEHIND CODIE?
Some people just don’t believe in the good book, and know what, that’s ok. Codie is bad in multiples, a bad top deck, and turns on the opponent’s removal. Although I really like it, not everyone might. What do I have to offer you then? How about this Jeskai Control deck that’s also been performing extremely well for me.
As you can see, it’s functionally the same deck with some minor alterations. This version leans harder into the Control plan and has the advantage of making all the opponent’s removal pretty bad which is a great feature.
TIPS AND TRICKS
I know it’s on the card, but keep in mind that Codie, Vociferous Codex makes one of each mana so you can’t cast double pip spells with just the ability. Furthermore you can use that mana for anything, not just casting Instants or Sorceries so if you play a cheap spell off of it, you can also Foretell other spells.
Although I like using the MDFCs as spells, playing them as lands is generally what you need to do to maintain your curve.
Try to only play Expressive Iteration when you can play a land off of it, but if you somehow don’t have something else to do turn 2, you can cast it if you’re looking for something specifically.
Starnheim Unleashed is normally double white, but it only requires single White after it’s Foretold making it synergize well with Codie.
When you’re unsure what to foretell first, it’s mostly about what’s going to be relevant first. If you need to wrath before turn 5, put down Doomskar, if you think you’ll need to go double Angel on 5, put down Starnheim Unleashed, if you want to Codie into Alrund's Epiphany on 5, put down Alrund’s.
If your opponent casts a spell when you have a Codie open, you can use Codie in response and potentially hit a Divide by Zero to gain some serious tempo.
Thank you for reading!