Hello, and I would thank you for taking time out of your day to read my rantings. My name is Scott Holmes. I starting playing Magic in 1994, my favorite formats are Commander (I still call it EDH) and Draft. I also love legacy, however to do work schedule and lack of local interest I rarely get to play legacy. If you are wondering what in the world is that on my icon, it is Nin, the Pain Artist holding Stuffy Doll like a baby. It comes from my altered Nin, which was done by the talented MJ Scott. She can be reached on twitter @moxymtg
When asked if I am a Johnny, Timmy, or Spike my response is “I am an Izzet Guild Mage”. I still remember day Niv-Mizzet the Firemind was spoiled. It was a day that changed my life forever. My favorite deck of all time was the deck I had during the two years that Ravnica was in Standard. The backbone of the is 2x Niv-Mizzet, 2x Mindmoil, and 4x Gelectrode. Then the rest of the deck was basically cheap burn and cheap counter. How I killed you went something like this. Tap Gelectrode deal one point of damage to you. Cast Shock thats two more… this caused both mindmoil and gelecltrode to trigger. Gel untaps and mindmoil cause me to put my hand on the bottom of my deck and draw that many cards. Drawing cards causes Niv to trigger… lets say I drew 4. So take 4 more. I tap Gel take one more. I then cast volcanic hammer take 3 more…. and the cycle goes on. To make sure I didn’t run out of gas I ran two Magus of the Jar just to make sure I get the job done. Unlike most Burn Decks this one was really good in multi-player games.
Well a few years have passed since then, and a few things have changed. I have become a huge addict of EDH, and Izzet has gotten some amazing toys in the past few years. However there is a problem, a really big problem for Izzet as far as EDH is concerned. General selection. Up until recently Izzet has had 3 generals to choose from. Niv-Mizzet is a hated douche-bag. Sadly it is not even the poor guys fault. Three cards make my pal Niv insanly good; Curiosity, Mind Over Matter, and Ophidian Eye. These cause Niv to just draw cards over and over and kill everybody. Then there is Jhoira of the Ghitu. Well what can I say Jhoria is a bitch on her own accord. Paying two mana to cast any spell you want seems pretty good. Paying 2 mana to cast “One Shot the Robot” is just not right. And that leaves us with Tibor and Lumina. Ummm errrr yeah…. Tibor and Lumina is Mormir Vig’s mentally handicap little brother.
With the release of commander Izzet has new friend. Nin, the Pain Artist. This four armed purple Dominatrix has found a special place in my heart. I have a feeling that before too long Nin will be placed right up there with Jhoira and Niv.
Why is Nin, so good? One could look at Nin and say she sucks. You CAN kill your opponents critters, but they get a huge card advantage. To all of those narrow minded scrubs that think this I say “Open up your minds, step out of your conservative shell, and embrace the pain”. Nin real power does not come from killing your opponents creatures (however this is always an option), but rather from targeting your own creatures and drawing lots of cards. Simply put Nin is pure card advantage and tempo all rolled into one package.
With that in mind Nin number one favorite toy is Stuffy Doll. I burn you in the face, and I will draw a bunch of cards, thank you very much. Old stand-byes like Niv-Mizzet, Mindmoil, and Gelectrode have made it into the deck. As for those new toys Izzet have gotten over the past few years. Psychosis Crawler, Consecrated Sphinx, Thought Reflection, and Archmage Ascension are all amazing in this deck.
Now I refuse to run Curiosity, Mind Over Matter, and Ophidian Eye. While these cards are really good….but these cards are not fun to play against/play with. And these cards gave my guild a bad rap, so they have left a bad taste in my mouth. Also you will not find Reliquary Tower in my deck. The reason being is that it is to easy deck myself. Instead I run Ulamog and Elixir of Immortality. I do run Laboratory Maniac however it sucks to have Laboratory Maniac die while you have a draw effect on the stack, so having a shuffle effect that can be done as a fast effect is a life saver.
My main win condition is Psychosis Crawler and then to clone it as many times as possible. If that fails Niv works as well, it is just a little slower.
Well I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings about Izzet. If you have thoughts or suggestions please feel free to share them. I have to apologize, due to holidays I am separated from my deck box (use I am suffering from de-tox symptoms), so at this time I can not post the deck list. I will post the list early next week. Also stay tuned next time I will explaining why Grim Grin is cooler than Thraximunder, with my Zombie Apocalypse Commander deck. Until then have a Happy Holidays.