Izzet Time For Izzet?
First and foremost, I would like to commend the Goblin Traders for the guidelines and precautions that they have in place when having customers in-store. The store requires masks and social distancing, as well as impeccable cleanliness and constant disinfection.
This past weekend was when some local game stores held some version of a prerelease for Core Set 2021. I don’t plan on going too far into the actual games and such of the event itself, this is more of a mention of how safe I ultimately ended up feeling thanks to the store’s staff and my fellow players. Every participant wore their masks and maintained social distancing, including while sitting at the tables (the tables were very wide). During the matches in the tournament itself, we did not cut or shuffle each other's decks; opting instead to shuffle and cut our own decks in full view of our opponents. There was no sharing of dice or other gaming supplies out of respect for each other.
I hold no allusion that this is the return to some form of normalcy for tabletop Magic the Gathering, but this is a start. It is going to take everyone caring about one another and be sympathetic and compassionate towards our fellow player. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
Don’t Call It A Comeback
As many of you know, I am an Izzet mage through and through. Core Set 2021 has done nothing to change that, but it may have given my favorite color combination new life in Standard. The two cards that have done the most to push for this rise from the ashes are Frantic Inventory and Stormwing Entity.
First, let's take a look at an oldie but a goodie. Rising from the ashes as one does, is Arclight Phoenix. This card and archetype was a dominant force throughout its early days in Standard and Modern. The lists that I will be presenting are completely untested and initial drafts of what the decks could be. Both of the cards that I’ve mentioned above add more of graveyard synergy and an extra cheap threat that goes alone with your gameplan already.
Following in the footsteps of the Izzet archetypes from early in our current standard, we arrive at a list that is more akin to the Izzet Drake lists that we saw after the hype around Phoenix died down. We see the return of Crackling Drake and Pteramander in this list from MTGO grinder VTCLA. Stromwing Entity can come down early and be a quick and powerful threat if not dealt with immediately.
While at first glance this list seems to have the same game plan as the Arclight Phoenix decks, it is quite a horse of a different color altogether. This version of an Izzet has a slightly more aggressive slant to it, but we also have staying power with all of the card draw and selection build into the deck. Prowess is far more powerful than most players give it credit. If you have some combination of Sprite Dragons and Stormwing Entities can result in a quick defeat when followed by a few spells to trigger Prowess on all of our creatures and permanently power up our Dragons.
This is only a preliminary look at these to lists, in the future I am going to delve into these much more and on a more in-depth level.
We’ve Only Just Begun
I firmly believe that with each new set release, previous sets deserve another look. We never know what is going to be good in Standard from release to release; this also goes for cards that have yet to see play or those that have fallen out of the realm of those believed playable.
This is only the beginning of what Core Set 2021 Standard has to offer. There are so many exciting things that I have on my list to try out, so keep an eye out for more videos here and on our Destroy Target Permanent YouTube channel, as well as articles right here on Goblin Traders.
Good Luck, I Hope You Lose!