Hello everyone! This is my very first article for the digital worm and boy what an exciting year 2018 was. In this article, we’ll talk about the 3 different drake lists currently circulating around the standard format.
After playing these 3 decks at my local FNM I feel I have a lot to talk about. Let’s get started.
The Main Cards
These 3 decks have a lot of similarities. We’ll go over key cards that are intertwined within these decks.
Lava coil: Deals 4 damage to any target.
A lot of creatures in the format have 4 toughness. We’ll be talking about a few in a bit.
Discovery/Disposal: Surveil 2 then draw a card.
Yes, please. This card is the reason a lot of this can happen. Lands can be skipped or hit if needed. That clutch spell two cards down? Got it.
Crackling Drake: */4 that draws a card when it enters the battlefield. Carry on my wayward son. Carry on.
The Electromancer Version
The electromancer version has the potential to be very explosive from the beginning. However, the price for this explosiveness is consistency.
The electromancer can cause huge turn 3 or 4 plays but the consistency issue causes games to not go your way. The lack of removal spells doesn’t help for wide strategies. This version relies on the return ability of Phoenix ability too much.
One settle and you’re looking at a lot of spells that don’t really affect the board state until a crackling drake hits the field. The appeal to this deck is the fact you can win on turn 5. Been there done that.
The format’s evolution has created slower decks with more removal spells and Wild Growth Walker. Cast down, Shock, and Lightning strike are examples of cards that remove electromancer before he even gets started. With the meta starting to slow down I feel this is a relic of the past and shouldn’t go back unless the format picks up again.
Next is 8 drake with Phoenix. I’m excited about this one. Out of the three decks I played, this was the longest. Enigma Drake, Crackling Drake, and Arclight Phoenix. Twelve cards that your opponent gets super annoyed with.
This version runs a lot of 1 drop cantrips such as Crash Through and Warlord’s Fury. While it still can have explosive turns with Phoenix, the real explosive turn is Crackling Drake or Enigma Drake and Maximize Velocity. Many games my opponent has been at 20+ life and an Enigma drake swung for lethal.
The sideboard plan typically has been to turn into a control deck with Niv and Ral. But with the changes to the meta recently I find myself boarding those in more and more while wishing Phoenix wasn’t in the equation at all. Phoenix can deliver a lot of damage quickly in the early game and finish with a drake. But cards like Settle the Wreckage and Vraska’s Contempt have me feeling like I’m just shy of the win. Typically my opponent is at 3 life and I’m hellbent.
8 Drake With Niv
That leads us to the final version I want to talk about 8 drakes with Niv. Like the phoenix version, this one also runs the 8 drakes but you’re not trying to one shot your opponent. You’re well aware that you want to play a longer mid game then some and probably the long game too.
The deck uses its removal spells to handle the early game and drakes for the mid. This deck can play the midrange and the control game. This version is by far the most consistent.
The draw power in this list isn’t for fast explosive turns. It’s to set up and pull advantage your way while your opponent tries to find a way to deal with Niv. The protection spells seen in this list help with the drakes and Niv surviving the turn and leading to victory. Untapping with Niv normally spells doom for an opponent and for them to remove it you get to draw a card and deal one damage.
Wrapping It Up
Side boarding really depends on your local meta.
I won’t include a sb tutorial in this article unless there’s a high demand for it.
But hopefully, this helps you pick what Izzet deck is best suited for your meta. Thanks for reading.
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