fbpx

Budget Modern Izzet Tempo – Deck Guide

Modern Horizons 2 has completely changed the landscape of my favorite format. Like it or not, MH2 is definitely a format defining set, and many of the top decks are built around the set’s cards. While gameplay in this new Modern is fundamentally different than it was before, in my opinion the gameplay is really interesting, fun and deep at the moment. Beyond just the gameplay, the metagame is in a constant state of evolution, there are constantly dozens of different decks competing to be top dog. Most importantly, Modern is fun at the moment, at least in my opinion, and I’d like as many people to be able to experience it as possible. Unfortunately, deck prices continue to make Modern inaccessible to many players. While prices seem like they’ll always be a problem, this budget Modern deck guide series is intended to help players start playing games of Modern at a cheaper price point and to help them play with cards they’re interested in. 

One very popular deck at the moment, and a fairly competitive one, is Izzet Tempo. This deck seeks to capitalize on its mana-efficient threats and answers to get ahead on board early, then stay ahead on board with countermagic. Here’s an example of a non-budget variant:

 

 

 

Modern Izzet Tempo by Evart Moughon

 

You’ll notice that despite some of these archetype-defining cards like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, Mishra’s Bauble, Archmage’s Charm and Murktide Regent being quite expensive; the core of the deck, the cheap spells are relatively inexpensive. This makes Izzet Tempo a great budget Modern deck as the expensive threats can be replaced with cheap alternatives, the mana base can be built without fetchlands or fastlands (albeit less efficiently) and you get to start filling out your collection with staples like Counterspell, Dragon’s Rage Channeler, Expressive Iteration and Lightning Bolt.

Remember that these budget Modern decks are designed with the intention to be playable at an FNM level, with the ability to directly upgrade into less budget versions over time. 

Here’s the budget deck list:

 

Budget Modern Izzet Tempo by Evart Moughon

 

At the time of writing, this 75 comes out to roughly $187, with the majority of that money going towards format staples that will be very useful for building decks in the future.

 

Delver of Secrets // Insectile AberrationSprite Dragon

You’ll notice that this deck is replacing Ragavan with Delver of Secrets and Murktide Regent with Sprite Dragon. While these cards are certainly less efficient, they are serviceable Modern cards that fit into this archetype. And while these cards are definitely not as powerful, they can still get the job done for you. They’ll pressure your opponent, trade for removal spells and synergize with a deck full of noncreature spells. 

 

Shivan ReefRiverglide Pathway // Lavaglide Pathway

Put bluntly, the mana built as is will function and allow you to cast your spells with a relative degree of consistency, but will not be as consistent as a mana base with fastlands and fetchlands. It’s my recommendation to you that if you intend to upgrade this deck over time, the first thing you should upgrade is the mana base. Starting by replacing the Shivan Reefs for a playset of Spirebluff Canals, then replacing two Islands, the Mountain, and the Pathways for seven blue fetchlands of your choice. 

 

Spreading Seas

Spreading Seas may seem like an odd inclusion, but it serves a couple of important roles here. First and most importantly, the card is a powerful disruption element versus a variety of decks. It destroys Urza’s Saga, Utopia Sprawl, slows down Tron and can make non-blue decks stumble on mana. Second, it gives the deck access to an extra card type for delirium (a role Mishra’s Bauble would normally fill). While this isn’t a card I would normally play in this archetype, it fills out the deck well with the absence of Mishra’s Bauble.   

 

Invasive Surgery

Invasive Surgery is a great budget Modern alternative to the Flusterstorms that these decks usually play. It answers most of the same things that Flusterstom does, such as Crashing Footfalls, Living End and Persist. It even has the upside of occasionally removing all copies of the countered copy from the game. Surgery is weaker against Force of Negation unfortunately, which makes it a bit worse than Flusterstorm in my opinion, but it should be one of the last cards you replace. 

We’ve established that it’s best to first upgrade this deck’s mana, after that the best upgrade path becomes a bit less clear. You’ll have to determine what is best for you, but I would recommend purchasing Mishra’s Baubles (replacing the Spreading Seas) after you’ve finished the mana base. Bauble is a card that goes in a ton of different decks and really powers up Unholy Heat, Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Sprite Dragon. After you have your Baubles, I recommend acquiring Murktide Regents to replace Sprite Dragons before you get Ragavan to replace Delver. Murktide Regent’s resilience to removal spells is a huge part of this deck’s strength and is more important than Ragavan in my opinion. When you do pick up Regents, make sure to swap your Serum Visions for Thought Scours too so that you can power them out on turn two. 

 

Header - Sideboard Guide

As always, thanks for reading. Tempo strategies are tons of fun to play, as games are often fun, fast and interactive. I know a lot of players gravitate towards this kind of deck and I hope this guide helps some of you get into the format.

Here’s a sideboard guide for you before you go. 

 

Blue/Red Murktide

Blue/Red Murktide

In: +3 Mystical Dispute +1 Invasive Surgery

Out: -4 Spreading Seas

[collapse]

 

Mill

Mill

In: +3 Mystical Dispute +3 Invasive Surgery

Out: -4 Spreading Seas (it’s okay to board up a couple of cards against Mill)

[collapse]

 

Esper Reanimator

Esper Reanimator

In: +3 Invasive Surgery +3 Soul-Guide Lantern

Out: -4 Lightning Bolt -2 Sprite Dragon

[collapse]

 

Jund Saga

Jund Saga

No changes

[collapse]

 

Hammertime

Hammertime

In: +4 By Force

Out: -2 Sprite Dragon -1 Logic Knot -1 Serum Visions

[collapse]

 

Burn

Burn

In: +2 Dragon’s Claw

Out: -2 Delver of Secrets

[collapse]

 

Living End

Living End

In: +3 Invasive Surgery +3 Mystical Dispute

Out: -4 Unholy Heat -2 Lightning Bolt

[collapse]

 

Temur Rhinos

Temur Rhinos

In: +3 Invasive Surgery +3 Mystical Dispute

Out: -2 Unholy Heat -4 Spreading Seas

[collapse]

 

Elementals

Elementals

In: +3 Mystical Dispute

Out: -2 Spell Pierce -1 Logic Knot

[collapse]

 

UWx Control

UWx Control

In: +3 Mystical Dispute

Out: -1 Unholy Heat -2 Spreading Seas

[collapse]

 

Amulet Titan

Amulet Titan

In: +3 By Force

Out: -3 Lightning Bolt

[collapse]

 

Mono-Green Tron

Blue/Red Murktide

In:  +3 Invasive Surgery, +1 By Force

Out: -4 Unholy Heat

 

[collapse]

 

Discussion

Scroll to Top