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Studying Standard 101: Jeskai Fires

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

“...I Consider Myself A Teacher.”

Welcome to the first installment of my new series, Studying Standard. In this series I will be taking a look at the top decks of the standard format. I plan on playing a different deck each week at FNM and reporting on my deck construction, game play and elaborating on the evidence in regards to how each week with each deck plays out. This is a project that I hope will help anyone who is wanting to get into standard or try out new decks within the format. This series will be reoccuring and appear consecutively in the coming weeks.


“I’m A Tenured Professor of Archeology.”

For my first lesson, let us look at Jeskai Fires. While it is a deck that has dropped off in recent months, there is still a lot of power here. My version of Jeskai Fires does not stray far from the established “stock” list that has been a mainstay of tournaments since the release of Fires of Invention from Throne of Eldraine. There are a fair number of flex slots in the most common lists and that is where I’ve attempted to improve some of the flaws that I perceive in the archetypes construction.



When I began looking into this archetype in preparation for this series, I found everything I

wanted in the lists that Matt Nass used in the most recent Mythic Points Challenge. The first thing that stands out when looking at this list is that there are the full eight adventure creatures in Brazen Borrower and Bonecrusher Giant. Borrower is not ubiquitous in the Fires archetype, but it has been fantastic in testing. Dream Trawler is also absent in this version which has become a mainstay in Fires of Invention decklists as of late.


The changes that I’ve highlighted above have been positive changes in regards to their contributions to increased win percentage through testing. The additional copy of Kenrith, the Returned King is by far the powerful card in this deck. When the King enters the battlefield, the dynamic of the game changes. Due to color requirements of the deck two of his abilities are unable to be used, but believe me the other three are more than enough. A close second to Kenrith is Cavalier of Flames and like the horseman War, it is the beginning of the end when this creature enters the battlefield. The Cavalier’s ability to grant haste to your team, it also helps pile on the damage by pumping your team with the same activation.


It Is Not Our Abilities That Show What We Truly Are… It Is Our Choices.

Sideboards and sideboarding guides have become commonplace in Magic the Gathering discussions. Opinions differ from person to person and player preferences. This sideboard is, in my opinion, a work of art for the current construction of the format. Robber of the Rich, Shatter the Sky and Elspeth Conquers Death are extremely powerful cards that combat the different decks of the format.


The Robin Hood of Magic has had a lackluster time in standard since it’s release. That has begun to change. He has appeared in Mono Red lists as well as numerous sideboards, including this one. Robber allows you to get in early damage against decks that can go bigger in the late game than we can while also letting us get card advantage from our opponent’s deck. Shatter the Sky serves us as an additional way to clear the board of threats that the main deck Deafening Clarion cannot handle. The powerful saga, Elspeth Conquers Death, provides the Fires archetype with much needed recursion when faced with attrition matchups.


Sideboard Guide:

Mono Red / Rakdos

Out: 2 Fires of Invention,

1 Kenrith, the Returned King

2 Cavalier of Flames

In: 2 Aether Gust

1 Devout Decree

1 Elspeth Conquers Death

1 Shatter the Sky


Azorius / Esper Control

Out: 4 Deafening Clarion

1 Brazen Borrower

1 Bonecrusher Giant

1 Fires of Invention

1 Sphinx of Foresight

In: 4 Robber of the Rich

4 Mystical Dispute


Temur Clover

Out: 1 Cavalier of Flames

1 Kenrith, the Returned King

1 Brazen Borrower

In: 1 Shatter the Sky

2 Mystical Dispute


Wilderness Reclamation

Out: 4 Deafening Clarion

1 Bonecrusher Giant

1 Fires of Invention

2 Sphinx of Foresight

In: 3 Aether Gust

4 Mystical Dispute

1 Elspeth Conquers Death


Bant / Sultai Ramp

Out: 2 Deafening Clarion

1 Bonecrusher Giant

1 Kenrith, the Returned King

1 Brazen Borrower

In: 2 Aether Gust

2 Mystical Dispute

1 Shatter the Sky


When it comes to a deck that has a history in a format such as the Fires archetype does, sometimes it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. This time it turns out that the old tricks worked just fine against the new threats. This is not always the case when it comes to prominent decks in the modern age of Magic the Gathering.


I hope that with this article I have given you the insight into the Fires deck and allow anyone who wants to play this deck a little more confidence and knowledge to start with. Through this article series I hope that new and seasoned players find something that they didn’t expect about decks that they may have not thought about playing.


I will see you here next week, same time and same place. If you’re striving for top marks, make sure to not be late. Class dismissed.


Good luck, I hope you lose.

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