Standard Temur Blitz Deck Guide

Greetings Planeswalkers! Crimson Vow is on its second week in Standard. With spirits, zombies, and vampires taking over the landscape and multiple decks looking to find their spot in the Standard Tier List, I figured I would show you the product of my testing, and what I think could be the best aggro deck in the format. Today we will look at and updated version of one of my more popular decks which was Izzet Blitz, I am proud to present to you, Temur Blitz.

I love “all-in” style decks like Death's Shadow, Infect, Reanimator, Scapeshift, and the list just goes on. In fact, I top 16’ed my first SCG Open playing Kiln Fiend with Assault Strobe and then during college I largely ignored Standard for a long time, but I was called to came back when I saw the Become Immense + Temur Battle Rage for the first time in Khans standard. I was in love, and it dragged me back into Magic’s prime format and rewarded me with many, many top 8’s and tournament wins.

The most popular deck I ever did (going by YouTube views) was my Izzet Blitz deck. I loved that deck a lot. But sadly, a large chunk of it has rotated out. I tried to rebuild that deck with the new cards but sadly, the protection that made that deck so effective, namely the 1-mana counter spells like Spell Pierce proved to be irreplaceable.

I was attracted to spells like Shell Shield but it was just too slow in too many matchups to matter. I considered Snakeskin Veil, but as long time readers know, I didn’t like the idea of skewing my mana for just a handful of cards. Then while testing with a friend on MTG Arena and chatting on Discord he mentioned to me how Wild Shape was perfect since one mode gave hexproof, and another gave trample, plus Dragonsguard Elite (one of my favorite standard cards that I had forgot about) would be perfect as another threat in a spell-based deck. This was an eye-opening moment for me, and I began testing and tuning the deck with the new green cards since I now had enough cards to consider playing.


The Deck

This is the build I ended up with and it is probably the fastest deck in Standard:

Temur Blitz by The MTG Hero
by Terence
Standard
Aggro
best of 3
0 mythic
24 rare
15 uncommon
21 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (12)
4
Umara Mystic
$1.00
Instants (20)
3
Snakeskin Veil
$3.87
3
Wild Shape
$0.75
4
Massive Might
$1.00
4
Critical Hit
$1.00
Sorceries (8)
4
Ancestral Anger
$1.00
Lands (20)
4
Rockfall Vale
$23.96
60 Cards
$179.84
Sideboard
2
Abrade
$0.50
2
Negate
$3.58
2
Burning Hands
$0.70
15 Cards
$7.23

Playing the Deck

When playing this deck your first decision comes when you draw your opening hand. Of course, you need mana but you also need a threat to put on the board. I will keep almost any hand with at least one creature and the mana to play it. All we need to do is stick one. Think of the deck as you would play Infect or Bogles in Modern. If you have at least one way to protect your creature then the hand will be much better.

Don’t feel pressured into making plays early, and get a creature on board on turn two if possible. I will often lead with Dragonsguard Elite if I have it since it gets counters that stick around, giving it consistent damage. Turn three you have some options. You can cast another creature or cast an Expressive Iteration to stack yourself up for that all important turn 4 kill. I would always leave a mana open for a Snakeskin Veil or Wild Shape to save my creature from removal. It is preferable to chip away and get in as much damage as you can to make your all-in play guaranteed lethal.

Okay, now for the tricky part, combat math. We have two “transformation spells” in Serpentine Ambush and Mordenkainen's Polymorph. These spells are like a super pump effect to any of our creatures. Please note that it DOES NOT REMOVE ABILITIES. It just changes base stats, except for polymorph which gives flying. I couldn’t decide which is better, so I settled on a 3/3 split, since flying on a Festival Crasher or Dragonsguard Elite is fantastic, but ambush is more damage. It just depends on the situation. This will trigger our creature’s ability and make them huge. Often when paired with Critical Hit, it ends the game.

We have 11 ways to give trample versus creature decks. Massive Might is the big new inclusion with Ancestral Anger. Both spells are fantastic since they are just one mana but give a pump and trample. Giant Growth has been power creeped without a doubt. In fact, I don’t think this deck would be possible without them. The other trample spell is Wild Shape which gives our creature better states since it becomes a 3/3 but you should remember that if you cast this spell for trample you need to do it BEFORE you play Serpentine Ambush or Mordenkainen's Polymorph because if you cast ambush first, the creature becomes a 5/5, but Wild Shape turns it back in to a 3/3 if you cast it after.


Cards Not Included

This creature was in early builds of the deck. But it was just so much worse than our other creatures and finding another pump just was not worth the mana spent.

This was a main fixture in the OG Izzet list, but since we no longer have cards like Infuriate, there is no reason to include it. We would rather just have another spell to pump our creatures.

So, I would totally play this if I had more room. I could see myself finding room for it in the future if Serpentine Ambush or Mordenkainen's Polymorph becomes the clear choice and I trim the effects. Until then, I am happy without it and have not missed it yet.

This is a card I would consider playing if I had the room. 2 damage isn’t all that much in current Standard as 3 is the magic number for toughness and a scry effect isn’t going to change that. With a meta shift, I could see it being played as it does really increase our clock. I would also play another strong pump effect over a burn spell.


Sideboard Guide

Massive Might Art by Iris Compiet
Massive Might Art by Iris Compiet

Vampires

InOut
+2 Abrade-3 Serpentine Ambush
+2 Burning Hands-3 Mordenkainen's Polymorph
+2 Thundering Rebuke-2 Critical Hit
+2 Negate

Werewolves

InOut
+2 Abrade-3 Serpentine Ambush
+2 Burning Hands-3 Mordenkainen's Polymorph
+2 Thundering Rebuke-2 Critical Hit
+2 Outland Liberator

Mono Green

InOut
+2 Abrade-3 Snakeskin Veil
+2 Burning Hands-3 Wild Shape
+2 Outland Liberator-2 Critical Hit
+2 Thundering Rebuke

Mono White

InOut
+2 Abrade-3 Serpentine Ambush
+2 Burning Hands-3 Mordenkainen's Polymorph
+2 Outland Liberator-2 Critical Hit
+2 Thundering Rebuke

Izzet Dragons

InOut
+3 Choose Your Weapon-3 Serpentine Ambush
+2 Thundering Rebuke-3 Mordenkainen's Polymorph
+2 Negate-1 Critical Hit

Control

InOut
+2 Negate-4 Massive Might
+2 Disdainful Stroke

Tips and Tricks

  • Remember that if you cast Wild Shape, do it before you play another Serpentine Ambush effect as it will lower attack if the creature’s states were already changed.
  • Don’t just cast an Expressive Iteration on turn 2. You get more value out of it if you can exile a land to play it and add another spell to your hand.
  • Always play a slow land first if you can since we don’t really have a 1-drop play.

Conclusion

This deck is sweet and hard to deal with. It is incredibly explosive and can win out of nowhere with just a few spells. If you are the type of player that likes these “all-in” style decks, then I can’t recommend this deck more. If you are new to the archetype or just a new player in general, remember that this deck can be easy to play but hard to master, you must do math quick and consider all factors when making your plays. Nothing is worse than going all in just to get blown out by an Infernal Grasp.

It is always fun to blast through with a new brew and I hope you have as much fun as I did making this deck. So, until next time Planeswalkers, Hero out and follow me on these platforms!

The MTG Hero

My name is The MTG Hero. I have played Magic for over 15 years. I am a consistent high Mythic ranked player. Follow me on Twitch and subscribe on YouTube!

5 Responses

  1. ratkorga says:

    Tested this out a bit on the Bo1 ladder and it’s a lot of fun. I’ve been playing a lot with a Simic Magecraft deck that plays similarly when messing around on the Bo1 ladder, and the addition of red for Festival Crashers and Critical Hit definitely ups the explosive potential.

    I guess if there’s anything I wasn’t happy with on this deck (other than Ancestral Anger being sorcery speed… it just feels like it should be an instant!), it’s the mana base. Losing the polymorph spells is less than ideal, but any thoughts on taking this and shifting to a Gruul base? Simplifying the mana base seems like it would smooth things out a lot and possibly even free you to run snow lands for Blizzard Brawl and/or MDFCs (Spikefield Hazard and Vastwood Surge both seem good here as a way to further smooth the mana base). Expressive Iteration seems hardest to replace, but Reckless Impulse and maybe Charge Through for more card draw could help.

    • ratkorga says:

      Alright, tested out a Gruul version and got a quick 4-1 on the Bo1 ladder, with the only loss being Azorius control deck where I had to mulligan down to 5 cards (and even that was surprisingly close). I’ve got to say that Reckless Impulse does not feel like anywhere near as bad of a downgrade as I was expecting compared to Expressive Iteration. It has been the real MVP of the deck.

      As for changes, I swapped the 4 Expressive Iterations for 4 Reckless Impulses, changed out Umara Mystic for Quandrix Pledgemage, took out the 6 blue polymorph spells and subbed in 4 Blizzard Brawls (moving to snow lands, of course). I also dropped the land count down to 18 but added in 2 each of Spikefield Hazard and Vastwood Fortification to make up for it. I was worried that losing flight via Polymorph/Umara would make the deck too easy to stop by opposing creature decks, but with Blizzard Brawl to clear a path and so many trample sources, it hasn’t been an issue at all.

      I’ll probably keep fiddling – Charge Through still seems like it might be a decent option for the extra card draw, and I kind of wish there was some way to be less vulnerable to board clears, since an early Doomskar or Path of Peril can be really hard to recover from given how low the creature count is – but the deck is definitely a lot of fun.

      • ratkorga says:

        OK, sorry to spam the comments here, but I’ve continued to tweak things. I feel like probably the hardest commonly encountered roadblock to the deck right now is Thalia – turning Wild Shapes and Massive Mights into 2s and Critical Hits into 3s is just incredibly punishing. Spikefield Hazard has been huge for that reason alone. Right now I’m running two copies in my snowy Gruul version (with four Blizzard Brawls to similarly stop Thalia) and a full four copies in my non-snow Gruul. I was also initially running Quandrix Pledgemage as my 3 drop, but the 1GG cost was annoying, so I swapped it out for Spellrune Painter. The deck is fast enough that Pledgemage rarely has the chance to accumulate a ton of counters, given that it’s not getting a potential counter until turn 4 at the earliest, and most games are over by turn 5ish. Meanwhile the Painter has a slightly bigger body to play defense while you set up the win (nice against monowhite in particular), is much smoother to cast and is absolutely insane when it flips. It feels really good to drop a Painter on turn 3 against a control deck, watch them pass the turn to flip it to night, and then explode out with 24 damage on t4 from that one attacker.

        I’ve also been messing around with Boros as well, and it’s also been great – Clever Lumimancer/Leonin Lightscribe are awesome additions, though losing Snakeskin Veil/Wild Shape makes the matchup against control and tempo decks a lot tougher. A lot of removal can be blocked with Valorous Stance, which is just all around decent in this meta, but holding up two mana to dodge removal is not always the easiest and it does nothing against bounce or exile effects. Wings of the Cosmos and Homestead Courage are both incredible, though.

        • Albel says:

          Try azorius magecraft with the new drake, delver and lightscribe. Bunch of 1 mana whie / blue spells. 🙂

          Easiest ladder climbing ever

        • jeffgoddin says:

          Found this and tried it in the Standard Event and had great fun until a Thalia dropped. Honestly for daily wins getting to even money in the Event is fine, though it’s always nice to score a rare here and there. But now I wonder, is this the deck that’ll get me to try the Traditional Standard Event? Better payout potential, and being able to sideboard in the Thalia hate for the second match would likely give this deck a good chance to come back from 0-1. Have you only tried Bo1? Not concerned with ranked ladder myself, just having fun while I build my collection without spending too much $$$.