Izzet Token Time?

Posted in Feature on November 19, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

We're going to kick this week off with a reader submission, as I was sent an interesting list that combines Young Pyromancer, Master of Waves, and Bident of Thassa for an impressive amount of card-drawing potential. Jean R. sent me his blue-red tokens list (which you can do too, using the email link at the bottom of the page), and I made a couple changes that seemed reasonable.

Young Pyromancer

The core of the deck is the pair of army-creating threats, and they don't seem very similar at first. Young Pyromancer is red, makes red tokens, and requires a stream of spells to maximize his potential. On the other hand, Master of Waves just wants blue permanents, so at first glance there is a conflict. Luckily, Bident of Thassa lets us travel down both sides of the fork in the road, as it neatly merges all of your objectives together. Bident makes Young Pyromancer incredibly dangerous, as spells lead to tokens, which lead to more cards, which invariably leads to more spells. Meanwhile, under the sea, Bident powers up Master of Waves, putting an additional two tokens into play and threatening to draw just as many cards as with Young Pyromancer. The last piece of the puzzle is that Master of Waves happens to pump Elementals, which conveniently enough is exactly the type of creature that Young Pyromancer makes!

Now that we have our superteam of Elementals, all that's missing are the spells. Young Pyromancer does need fuel, and ideally we have some amount of removal and defense to ensure that we don't die. Cheap spells are best, which is why Jean's deck has fourteen burn spells that cost two or less mana, and two Rapid Hybridizations and a Cyclonic Rift to handle the larger-sized creatures. Shock, Lightning Strike, and Mizzium Mortars all efficiently remove creatures, and Mizzium Mortars even scales up very nicely. Izzet Charm pulls double duty, killing small creatures or big spells alike, and is one of the best tools for this deck to fight against control. Turn & Burn is another versatile answer and takes down Desecration Demons like no other burn spell can (although be warned: if the Demon has two +1/+1 counters, even making it a 0/1 and dealing 2 to it won't be enough). Lastly, Teleportal is a finisher, and makes even just a couple tokens deal a substantial amount of damage. I wouldn't be surprised if another Bident of Thassa and another Dissolve end up being what you want in the Teleportal slot, but they were in Jean's original list, so trying them seemed reasonable.

The mana in this deck is solid, and with only Shocks as realistic turn-one plays, the deck can afford to play four Izzet Guildgates, which are definitely important. Mutavault is also a nice way to get to twenty-four lands without flooding, and it's possible the deck could even run three without much trouble, although I like to start out on the safe side.

Jean R's U Elementalry

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