Izzet Wizards has been around since Dominaria with Adeliz, the Cinder Wind, but now with Lightning Stormkin it becomes an even better deck.
While it doesn’t seem to have the traditional power level for Standard play, the fact that it is a Wizard powers up Wizard’s Lightning and Adeliz, the Cinder Wind. It enables broken draws and Turn 4 kills!
I built this deck on stream after getting repeatedly beat by it. The deck could definitely be improved, as there are many options to build around, and today I’ll go through all of them.
Izzet Wizards in Standard
2 Temple of Epiphany 6 Island 4 Sulfur Falls 4 Steam Vents 6 Mountain 3 Augur of Bolas 3 Adeliz, the Cinder Wind 4 Lightning Stormkin 4 Dreadhorde Arcanist 2 God-Eternal Kefnet 4 Wizard's Lightning 4 Shock 2 Spell Pierce 4 Chart a Course 2 Reckless Rage 4 Opt 2 Lightning Strike Sideboard 3 Aether Gust 4 Fry 3 Negate 3 Flame Sweep 2 Lava Coil
A card that has stolen my heart in Legacy is Dreadhorde Arcanist, which has the same role as Dark Confidant but is more resilient to Wrenn and Six. In Standard, the Arcanist will have fewer targets to flashback at 1 mana, but you can pump it with Adeliz, the Cinder Wind and cast more expensive cards.
Burning Prophet enables great scenarios where you select your draws very easily and deal huge chunks of damage, and Merfolk Trickster is perfect to deal with the super-annoying Adanto Vanguard. But the consistency offered from Augur of Bolas is something I valued very highly. With 22 noncreature spells in the deck and many more in the sideboard, Augur of Bolas has a high chance of hitting, guaranteeing you the fuel to continue to pressure your opponent.
The top-end cards are also hard to choose, as Crackling Drake and Naru Meha are very appealing. I like God-Eternal Kefnet, because while it doesn’t immediately guarantee you card advantage, it is good in the long-term and this deck often turns into a control deck where Kefnet will give you more than just a card.
Before Core Set 2020, you were easily playing 4 copies of Adeliz, the Cinder Wind, but I think with the addition of Lightning Stormkin is fine to cut down to 3 Adeliz, as they are very similar and you might find yourself with a redundant copy of the legendary creature in your hand.
Other than Shock and Opt, you’d love to play more 1-drops to power up the Dreadhorde Arcanist. And while some people play Unsummon, I really can’t see myself playing it. I truly despise the card disadvantage of bounce spells in Magic overall, from Limited to Legacy, and I’d rather playing the more high-risk, high-reward Reckless Rage.
It’s also close to whether you should play Wizard’s Retort, but I decided to have a more aggressive and proactive approach, and the double-blue in the mana cost is something that can be hard for this deck to accomplish.
Core Set 2020 brought some incredibly good pieces for sideboarding. Fry and Aether Gust are great at what they do, especially Aether Gust, which is able to delay a Scapeshift or a Wilderness Reclamation even through Veil of Summer, which has happened to me multiple times already. Flame Sweep is mandatory to counter a sorcery-speed Scapeshift, and once again I wouldn’t sideboard it in against Vampires or Mono-Red, as it’s solely a concession to Scapeshift.
I played against Scapeshift four times and haven’t dropped a match, and this matchup is the main reason why I’ve stuck with this deck. You have a good clock that doesn’t get blocked by Zombies, and you have plenty of interaction. I like to board out my burn spells as I want to keep all my creatures and board in more interaction– one match my opponent even played Leyline of Sanctity against me.
I always keep Shock though, because it’s important for Dreadhorde Arcanist, as well as killing Teferi, Time Reveler, which is the best way for them to beat Flame Sweep.
If Scapeshift is the best matchup, this is the worst. Esper has been historically very good against any sort of Izzet deck, and we don’t have any planeswalkers to punish them. While I think that Esper has become way worse with M20 (mainly because Field of the Dead, Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord and Chandra, Awakened Inferno) it’s still played. If you want to respect it more, you can add some Saheeli, Sublime Artificer.
This is a close one. Adanto Vanguard will play a huge role, as you have no ways to deal with it. If you want to respect it more, you can add Entrancing Melody to your sideboard or Merfolk Trickster to your main.
You’ll play the control role in this matchup–you want to kill every single one of their creatures and eventually kill their planeswalker with your flying creatures.
I’m not comfortable in saying that this is a Tier 1 deck in Standard, but it’s a fun deck with a great matchup against Scapeshift, which is exactly where you want to be right now in Standard.