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Valuable Lessons – Epic Experimentation/Explosive Impact

Welcome back to Valuable Lessons. Last week, we explored the possibility of using Riddle of Lightning and Blast of Genius with Enter the Infinite and Worldspine Wurm in an effort to burn our opponents for huge amounts of damage. This week, we’ll dive deeper into the world of huge burn spells.

Let’s pick things up where we left off. We made a deck that used Dictate of Karametra to power out huge turns that could end the game out of nowhere with some combination of Riddle of Lightning and Blast of Genius. The deck was missing a key piece to the puzzle, though. Epic Experiment is the perfect follow-up to Dictate of Karametra. Experimenting for 10 seems like a very big game. What would an Epic Experiment version of the deck look like?

This deck looks like a blast. There isn’t another deck in Standard that comes close to going this deep. Still, the deck is inconsistent. If only there were a way to kill our opponent out of nowhere with a single spell…

Luckily, there is, and it involves a rare from Journey into Nyx that we mostly ignored upon our initial read through of the set. Dictate of the Twin Gods may seem like a wonky excuse for a Magic card, but it is a very good way to one-shot our opponent. We can cast Dictate of the Twin Gods on our opponent’s end step, then untap and blast them with our genius for a full 24 points of damage. We don’t even need to be excessively all-in on our combo. Lands that scry and Izzet Charm will do a pretty good job of preventing them from being dead weight in our hand. Additionally, cards like Uncovered Clues can help us find Enter the Infinite and Blast of Genius while also letting us play a true control game in most of our matchups.

There are a few considerations we need to make here.

First, do we want to play a third color? All of the cards for our combo are red and blue. We can play cards like Anger of the Gods in conjunction with a lot of counter magic and Lightning Strikes. We could also play white and gain access to Supreme Verdict, improving our matchup against creature decks at the expense of consistency. We could play black for Thoughtseize, improving our control matchup at a similar expense. We could splash green for mana ramp, but that seems counterintuitive to our game plan. We want our deck to be a pile of spells and Dictate of the Twin Gods.

We should probably start with a version of the deck that’s strictly blue/red.

First, we need to identify the necessary combo pieces. Ideally, we’re looking to resolve Dictate of the Twin Gods on our opponent’s end step, then follow it up with a Blast of Genius discarding Enter the Infinite. I’d like to play four of each of these combo pieces. I don’t think it’s necessary to play Worldspine Wurm in this version of the deck. We’re going to play a good amount of scry, Uncovered Clues, and Izzet Charm, so putting together the combo shouldn’t be excessively difficult. We’re not ramping or playing Dictate of Karametra as we once were, so casting a spell like Worldspine Wurm becomes a bit of a pipe dream even if we shove a lot of green scrublands into the deck.

Uncovered Clues is the perfect card draw spell for this deck. We get to go pretty deep and it finds two-thirds of our combo. Filling up on countermagic or removal is also pretty nice if we’re playing a deck like this. It’s also quite nice to fill our hand with countermagic in control mirrors or against a deck like Black Devotion.

Dissolve is the best countermagic for a deck like this. Scrying the combo pieces into place will be very important in the midgame when we’re looking to set up our combo.

Lightning Strike is a great spot removal spell that can also be used to finish off an opponent that might have been able to jump above 24 life with Gray Merchant of Asphodel or Sphinx’s Revelation.

Izzet Charm is a nice spot removal spell that serves as additional countermagic in the matches where we need it, and allows us to cycle through redundant combo pieces.

Syncopate is a nice two-mana counterspell. Counterflux will round out our countermagic package.

Anger of the Gods is a great board sweeper that will allow a deck like this to compete against the most aggressive strategies.

Quicken is great here. At worst, this card cantrips, or replaces itself. At its best, Quicken can do some very strong things with Anger of the Gods against a lot of aggressive strategies, while providing us with a very difficult to interact with combo against the most controlling strategies.

Here’s what the deck looks like when we put it all together:

Blast of Ingenuity
by Jacob Van Lunen

I really want to play more scry lands in this deck. Finding the combo pieces seems like it’s important and the ability to put redundant pieces on the bottom of our library is extremely relevant. Let’s try adding black so we can add Thoughtseize to the deck’s sideboard.

Blast of Ingenuity V2.0
by Jacob Van Lunen

This is an excellent place to start blasting people for 24 points of damage out of nowhere. The deck may seem silly, but there’s definitely some real power here. We’re sure to catch a lot of our opponents off-guard when we show up and just make someone’s face explode when they decide to tap out for their 5-drop.

Blasting people with genius is easily the most exciting play in the new Standard format. I’ve enjoyed our journey over the last two weeks. Next week, we’ll likely start working on a different archetype. Modern season is finally upon us and we’ll start diving into some of the more interesting decks on Magic Online or in live events. Stay tuned!

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