Standard Jeskai Tempo

Posted in Daily Deck on August 19, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

Jeskai was one of the most popular archetypes during Khans of Tarkir Standard, but it has been slowly losing popularity as more and more sets have been released. Jace, Vryn's Prodigy revived the archetype when Magic Origins entered Standard. Jeskai is still not showing up as much as it was eight months ago, but when it does show up you can usually find it at the top of the standings. Today's deck was piloted by Ben Weitz to a Top 8 finish at Grand Prix San Diego.

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy really does a lot in this deck. First, his looting ability lets you filter out your draws. It doesn't really give you card advantage, but it does provide you with card quality while fueling Dig Through Time. Once it flips, it can gain you some tempo by making one of your opponent's creatures smaller, but it's usually better to recast one of your burn spells.

One thing I like about Jeskai is that it can burn you out unexpectedly. Stoke the Flames can often be cast at a discount; and with Jace now flashing it back, as long as you're keeping the pressure on your opponent with Mantis Rider and Goblin Rabblemaster, it's pretty easy to win races. This particular list only has two Stoke the Flames, but Jeskai decks now have access to twelve copies of 4-damage burn spells in Stoke, Jeskai Charm, and Exquisite Firecraft. With all of these options, it's very realistic to deal your opponent 20 damage without ever attacking.

Narset Transcendent, absent from this decklist, is a card that hasn't gotten much love lately but would really shine here. Narset has been tried out in control strategies, but never seemed to work. I found Narset to be great in tempo strategies like Jeskai. With proactive direct damage and removal cards, you can really take advantage of her rebound ability. Narset does compete with Ojutai's Command in this deck, but it's definitely worth considering making the swap.

Ben Weitz's Jeskai Tempo

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