Standard 2022 Jeskai Codie Guide: The First Tier 1 Meme Deck

Codie, Vociferous Codex Art by Daniel Ljunggren
Codie, Vociferous Codex Art by Daniel Ljunggren

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.

Jeskai Codie by ZeroisEven 

Creatures (1)
1
Velomachus Lorehold
Spells (27)
3
Unsummon
3
Expressive Iteration
3
Rip Apart
3
Pop Quiz
2
Prismari Command
2
Serpentine Curve
2
Starnheim Unleashed
3
Doomskar
3
Lorehold Command
3
Alrund's Epiphany
Artifacts (4)
4
Codie, Vociferous Codex
Enchantments (3)
3
Wizard Class
Lands (25)
1
Cave of the Frost Dragon
1
Den of the Bugbear
1
Hall of Oracles
4
Hengegate Pathway
4
Island
3
Mountain
4
Needleverge Pathway
3
Plains
4
Riverglide Pathway
Cards (60)
Sideboard (7)
1
Environmental Sciences
1
Expanded Anatomy
1
Spirit Summoning
1
Elemental Summoning
1
Introduction to Annihilation
2
Mascot Exhibition

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.

2022 Jeskai Codie v2 

Spells (33)
3
Emeria's Call
1
Shatterskull Smashing
2
Unsummon
3
Dragon's Fire
4
Expressive Iteration
1
Rip Apart
4
Divide by Zero
1
Draconic Intervention
3
Starnheim Unleashed
4
Doomskar
3
Lorehold Command
4
Alrund's Epiphany
Artifacts (4)
4
Codie, Vociferous Codex
Lands (23)
4
Hengegate Pathway
4
Island
1
Lorehold Campus
2
Mountain
4
Needleverge Pathway
2
Plains
2
Prismari Campus
4
Riverglide Pathway
Cards (60)
Sideboard (7)
1
Environmental Sciences
1
Spirit Summoning
2
Teachings of the Archaics
1
Elemental Summoning
1
Introduction to Annihilation
1
Mascot Exhibition

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.

CARD CHOICES

Starnheim Unleashed Art by Johannes Voss
Starnheim Unleashed Art by Johannes Voss

Codie, Vociferous Codex

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.

Emeria's Call

Either a painful/slow Plains or a wincon for us.

Shatterskull Smashing

Either a painful/slow Mountain or late game removal spell

Expressive Iteration

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.

Rip Apart

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.

Draconic Intervention

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.

Starnheim Unleashed

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.

Doomskar

There’s a lot of creature decks right now so having a lot of wraths is really helpful to put them in their place.

Alrund's Epiphany

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.

Unsummon

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.

Dragon's Fire

2 mana removal is good and casting it instant speed is very nice.

Divide by Zero

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.

Lorehold Command

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 MANABASE

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.

LESSON BOARD

Mascot Exhibition Art by Randy Vargas
Mascot Exhibition Art by Randy Vargas

Environmental Sciences

When you need lands or likfe in a pinch.

Spirit Summoning

I functionally never grab this, but it’s decent if you need a body in a pinch.

Teachings of the Archaics

Since we can really easily clear out hand, Teachings has been consistently strong for me. Foretell works so well with this effect.

Elemental Summoning

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.

Introduction to Annihilation

If you’re desperate for a removal spell.

Mascot Exhibition

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

Magma Opus Art by Liiga Smilshkalne
Magma Opus Art by Liiga Smilshkalne

Into the Roil

Decent spell, but mostly worse than Unsummon.

Negate

I’m a pretty big Negate fan right now, but counterspells are really awkward with Codie.

Reject

Decent, but we have a lot of removal and this is bad with Codie.

Behold the Multiverse

Behold is quite good and could definitely be a 1-2 of if you wanted to trim other options.

Graven Lore

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.

Multiple Choice

This is pretty close to being considered, but I think it’s too weak.

Sea Gate Restoration

This does have some utility, but generally you’re looking to cast game winning spells in the late game rather than a draw spell.

Frost Bite

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.

Thundering Rebuke

Great if the 4th toughness matters, but that’s really just Old-Growth Troll.

Igneous Inspiration

This is pretty solid, but definitely worse than Divide by Zero and likely worse than Pop Quiz as well.

Practical Research

This could be solid as it’ll always be a draw 4 discard 1, but I rather play more Lorehold Command then.

Magma Opus

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.

2022 Jeskai Control 

Spells (36)
3
Emeria's Call
4
Dragon's Fire
4
Expressive Iteration
2
Negate
1
Rip Apart
4
Divide by Zero
3
Behold the Multiverse
1
Draconic Intervention
3
Starnheim Unleashed
4
Doomskar
2
Lorehold Command
4
Alrund's Epiphany
1
Magma Opus
Lands (24)
4
Hengegate Pathway
4
Island
1
Lorehold Campus
3
Mountain
4
Needleverge Pathway
2
Plains
2
Prismari Campus
4
Riverglide Pathway
Cards (60)
Sideboard (7)
1
Environmental Sciences
1
Spirit Summoning
2
Teachings of the Archaics
1
Elemental Summoning
1
Introduction to Annihilation
1
Mascot Exhibition

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

Doomskar Art by Piotr Dura
Doomskar Art by Piotr Dura

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!

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.

18 Responses

  1. David says:

    Are the Lorehold and Prismari Campus really better than just running Snarls instead? They will come into play untapped some percentage of the time.

    Playing Shatterskull Smashing and Codie in the same deck seems really bad since it means your Codie will whiff and do nothing if it’s on top, and the upside doesn’t seem that great (a land that costs us life in a control deck?)

    • DoggertQBones says:

      Excellent questions!

      It really has to do with the tradeoff between how often you can reasonably get an untapped land vs how often the scry is relevant. I was super torn and even now I’m not positive which is better. You could definitely try Snarls instead.

      I’m not too concerned with the life loss nor whiffing off Codie with Shatterskull for a few reasons. Just using Codie as a mana rock is still more than acceptable most of the time, having access to more spells when you’re flooding, and having a really good spell to cast off Codie has felt pretty good. All that being said, I don’t think it’s a necessity unlike Emeria’s Call.

      • David says:

        After playing with it, this deck is really strong. I’m 12-2 or something so far, just climbing through Plat fast after the reset. I do like the campuses, because the control matchups are the toughest and the extra scry helps. Is there anything that can help out vs control? Behold the Multiverse might be good; Draconic Intervention hasn’t been very good for me.

        “It’s niche, but if you hit Expressive Iteration off Codie on your opponent’s turn, you won’t be able to use the exiled card unless it’s an Instant. This is easy to forget considering you could play the Iteration at instant speed.”

        This is incorrect– If you use Codie on the opponent’s turn, you can’t cast any sorceries you might hit, including Expressive Iteration. Normal timing restrictions still have to be followed. For that reason, I try to activate Codie on my own turn usually (and it’s best not to play a land first in case you hit Expressive Iteration, too, although I usually mess that up).

        • DoggertQBones says:

          Glad to hear you’re having success with it! Behold would be excellent against Control if Intervention hasn’t been working for you as well. Lastly sorry about the misinformation, I assumed it worked like other cards with similar effects but never had it come up myself. Will amend the article to reflect.

  2. Axel says:

    Is it possible to play this deck without Emeria’s call ?.I don’t want to craft it but the decks looks fun otherwise

  3. Daseyn says:

    Bob , I don’t think you can cast sorceries on opp’s turn if you hit them off Codie because Codie says “you may cast until end of turn’” not “you may cast” so timing restrictions shouldn’t be ignored. Great article though! Definitely the most fun deck in standard.

  4. David says:

    Love this deck, got me to mythic, entered at #153. 39-14 with it, 74%. Super fun. Made a couple changes:

    Sideboard: -1 Teachings of the Archaic, -1 Introduction to Annihilation, +1 Mascot Exhibition, +1 Reduce to Memory (Teachings hasn’t been good, I’d rather have the cheaper card that gives them a 3/2 than give them a card)

    Maindeck: -1 Shatterskull Smashing (still horrible off Codie), -1 Mountain, +1 Lorehold Campus, +1 Plains (really need more white sources for Emeria’s Call and Doomskar on turn 3 or 4, double red is only used for one Draconic Intervention so it’s really not necessary. 16 white sources is still a little low for Doomskar, but acceptable, since you don’t always need WW on turn 3)

    Most people in Standard 2022 are playing monogreen or monowhite aggro, and this deck stomps aggro into small pieces, so it’s great. It struggles vs Planeswalker or counterspell control decks, but that’s acceptable.

  5. Chris says:

    Relatively low level player here. . . I don’t usually hit any higher than about 70% when I make Mythic. . . But I’ve been having a blast with this deck idea. I’m missing the Epiphanies (until I score another coue of wild cards at least), but it still performs plenty well enough for me to have fun with.

    My games with it tend to run pretty long, so I added some Replicating Rings. . . Cast a Ring on turn 3, Codie on 4, protect myself and/or do some damage, and then if the game lasts to turn 8 I usually have a Starnheim foretold and ready to bring out 8 angels when the Ring does its thing.

    I ended up adding MORE copies of Serpentine Curve. . . It can be slow, but I usually find it to be worth the wait. Plus when someone starts off the game milling me to death with Ruin Crab or something, it’s fun to be able to cast a 10/10 or bigger creature on turn 4.

    Lastly, I threw in some Faceless Havens, and Hall of Storm Giants in addition to the original’s Den of the Bugbear and Cave of the Frost Dragon. They can be kind of clunky to play with, but I like having them in there as backups if I’m having trouble getting or keeping anything else on the battlefield.

    Thanks for giving me something super fun to tinker around with!

    • Chris says:

      Correction. . . That should be turn 11 for the Replicating Ring to replicate itself if I cast it on turn 3. Makes for a lot of long but fun and exciting games. I don’t know how many times I’ve pulled off a win with just 5 life or less left.

      • DoggertQBones says:

        I’m really happy to hear that! The best comments I can get is someone repurposing my deck to make it work for them and enjoying it. Thanks for letting me know!

  6. Chris says:

    Correction. . . That should be turn 11 for the Replicating Ring to replicate itself if I cast it on turn 3. Makes for a lot of long but fun and exciting games. I don’t know how many times I’ve pulled off a win with just 5 life or less left.

  7. wombataholic says:

    @Chris Fellow low level player here. What are you playing in your list? Also, has anyone tried experimental overload?

  8. Parker says:

    Am I just confused. Unsummon doesn’t seem to fit in Standard 2022. Did I miss something?