Izzet is a strange pairing of colors… reckless aggression and rage meets calm and patience. It seems like a color pairing that will always produce some form of aggro-control similar to Delver… Resolve a threat and protect it with countermagic. Well, I wanted something a tad more controlling, with the ability to board into a more aggressive build after game 1, and early experiments have been promising. Aetherling is the best finisher a control deck could ever ask for. Even Elspeth, Sun’s Champion can’t do it justice (and Elspeth is an awesome card.. don’t get me wrong).
Don’t laugh, but the best card in the deck is probably Lightning Strike. It deals with a majority of the big loyalty producers in mono-black and mono-blue devotion, and it trades 1-for-1 with Reckoner (granted, you take damage, but still… a sweet trade).
The slots that were originally Trading Posts are Young Pyromancers. The Trading Posts didn’t perform as well as I had hoped in protecting my life total. Maybe it should be a 1-of in the sideboard. Sometimes, discarding a card to gain 4 life was good or paying 1 life and 1 mana for a chump blocker, but not very often.
Izzet Charm is really underwhelming in a deck that doesn’t run a whole lot of card draw… its third ability is almost completely irrelevant. It seems I’m usually pretty elated to trade this away for a mana dork or other durdly creature. The other modes have never been relevant. Ever. Granted my testing consisted of three rounds of far less than competitive REL Magic.
Cyclonic Rift overloaded is an out to anything hexproof, gets rid of planeswalkers about to ultimate, and sometimes is just a non-overloaded tempo play to keep up the pressure when you go on the beatdown. Sometimes, you live in magical Christmas Land and stabilize on the back of double overloaded Cyclonic Rifts. Sometimes, but not often. It is the deck’s “wrath” effect, but it costs just a tad more. Mizzium Mortars and Anger of the Gods may have a place in the deck as well, but I haven’t fully explored all my options yet.
The most annoying threat to this deck comes out of the sideboard: Mistcutter Hydra. If it gets more than 3 +1/+1 counters put on it, it is nigh-impossible for the deck to deal with inside of Izzet colors. Ratchet Bomb does a reasonable job, and can do a lot of work against other cards as well. That might be the answer, particularly considering how well Ral Zarek interacts with Ratchet bomb.
Steam Augury has been pretty sweet… None of the cards you pull off of it are bad. Even if it’s all land, it’s still pretty sweet because you didn’t have to sit there and draw all five of those lands.
The aggressive vane in it seems pretty obvious to me, but maybe I should cover it anyway… but it’ll have to wait. It’s 2:40 in the morning here.. time for bed.
Happy Thanksgiving by the way!