Look up, look down, your deck might be better now

The Eldritch Moon has risen… and with it, we get a whole load of new cards to fuel our brewing habits. Most of the pros will be busy, trying to squeeze even more value into their Green/White Token decks, or working on the next breakthrough. Will it be Zombies or Spirits, Sultai or Boros?

As we gaze out upon this brave new Standard, I can’t help but think we are missing something. Has Eldritch Moon given us some hidden treasures for older, maybe unloved archetypes? Well let’s take a look at one of those archetypes, and see what awaits us under the moon’s eerie glow.

Blue/Red Prowess

Back when Oath of the Gatewatch was released, there was a little known deck that made use of creatures like Elusive Spellfist, Abbot of Keral Keep and the prowess mechanic to win games out of nowhere. However, it never quite made the cut as it seemed to be either out raced by the more aggressive decks, or had its small number of creatures easily and quickly removed from play. Now though, with addition of a few key cards from Eldritch Moon, we may finally have given Izzet players a shot at the top slots.

Firstly, let me ask you a question. Would you like to deal 10 points of unblockable damage to your opponent as early as turn 3? How about 28 points on turn 5? Well I am sorry to say this, but you may be an aggro player. Don’t worry though, Stormchaser Mage’s bigger cousin Mercurial Geists is here to help lead you to victory!

Add in some Galvanic Bombardment">Galvanic Bombardment to hold off those pesky early creatures, as well as Bedlam Reveler for some mid game punch, and your opponent won’t know what hit them.

Let’s take a quick look at a possible aggressive Red/Blue deck we could bring to the table.

Izzet too Aggressive

Creatures    (12)
 Bedlam Reveler
 Mercurial Geists
  Stormchaser Mage
Abbot of Keral Keep

Land (22)
 Island
 Mountain
 Shivan Reef
 Wandering Fumarole
Instants (20)
 Galavanic Bombardment
 Expidite
  Slip through Space
 Fiery Impulse
 Uncaged Fury
 Titan’s Strength

Sorcery (6)
 Collective Defiance
 Tormenting Voice
Side board (13)
 Exquisite Firecraft
 Turn Aside
 Dispel
 Negate
 Rush of Adrenaline

https://i2.wp.com/az877203.vo.msecnd.net/imageuploads/imageuploads/81d1f94c-c982-4360-bdf3-d07678fd47c2.jpg?resize=223%2C311&ssl=1

But what if the calming flow of blue mana is more your cup of tea? Could we just throw in some counterspells? With decks in recent years leaning towards being creature heavy and having very few low-cost counter spells to deal with them, we need to think more outside the box. How about some early blockers to stem the bleeding, with late game relevance? Thing in the Ice is certainly a good start, but with Humans and Tokens going wide these days, we’re going to need something to help the board cool down.

At first, Niblis of Frost seems like another run of the mill bulk rare. Well, this little geist has more to offer us than it seems. Let’s break the card down. A 3/3 flyer for 4 mana is already reasonably playable, and giving it prowess does help with the theme of the deck. We want to look at its last ability though, as that’s where we see the true value of this card. In a Standard format dominated by creature heavy decks, Niblis of Frost is able to control the board by tapping down problem creatures almost permanently due to the number of instant and sorcery spells we are playing. Prepare to watch your opponent sit across from you and slowly lose their mind as they are shut out of the game (pretty fitting, really).

In the example below, we’re having a little trouble with our local Green/White Tokens player (you know who you are). With Niblis on the board, we can play Tormenting Voice, discarding and playing Just the Wind for its madness cost.

https://i1.wp.com/az877203.vo.msecnd.net/imageuploads/imageuploads/baebfb81-1fc7-4548-846d-2732bc5d8fde.jpg?resize=732%2C646&ssl=1

After playing Mono-Blue Brain in a Jar last release, this is looking pretty fun to me. So let’s see what we can brew.

Izzet me, or Izzet Cold?

Creatures   (14)
 Jace Vryn’s Prodigy
 Thing in the Ice
  Niblis of Forest
 Negate

Land (22)
 Island
 Mountain
 Shivian Reed
 Wandering Fumarole
Instants (16)
Galvanic Bombardment
 Take Invortary
 Just the Wind
 Firey Temper

 Sorcery (10)
 Collective Defiance
 Nahiri’s Wrath
 Tormenting Voices
Side board (13)
 Docent of Perfection
 Turn Aside
 Dispel
Chilling Grasp
 Exquisite Firecraft

https://i0.wp.com/az877203.vo.msecnd.net/imageuploads/imageuploads/f36a0460-40d5-4afa-96ac-7cf503329fd0.jpg?resize=223%2C311&ssl=1

Both of these decks could have various alterations made to them and different sideboards for different metas. With that in mind, let’s have a look a deck that can dish it out, and control the board.

Izzet Hot or Izzet Cold? (Mk.II)

Creatures (15)
Abbot of Keral Keep
Bedlam Revealer
Niblis of Forest
Stormchaser Mage
 Negate
 Lands (23)
 Geier Reach Sanitarium
 Island
 Mountain
 Shivain Reef
 Wandering Formale
Instants     (16)
Clash of Wills
 Firey Temper
Galvanic Bombardment
 Lightening Axe
 Titans Strength
 Uncaged Fury

 Sorcery (7)
 Collective Defiance
 Incendiary Flow
 Tormenting voice
Side Board (14)
  Chandra, Flamecaller
 Dispel
 Exquisite Firecraft
  Incendiary Flow
 Rending Volley
 Roast
 Slip through Space
 Smash to Smithereens
 Summary Dismisal

https://i1.wp.com/az877203.vo.msecnd.net/imageuploads/imageuploads/2041342c-1c2e-485c-a74c-cfdf77a924da.png?resize=223%2C311&ssl=1

I would love to see your versions of the decks!

Will the prowess deck be the next big thing? Why not find out for yourself? On the 13thand 14th of August, your local game store will be running their Eldritch Moon Game Day. Players will be eager to try their hand at busting open the meta, and earn some sweet goodies to boot. So why not try brewing your own prowess deck? It’s a brave new world out there, let’s see what awaits us.

Never played at a store before? Give it a go, you’ll make lifelong friends and join one of the biggest gaming communities in the world! Pop into your local gaming store or (most likely) find them on Facebook, they should be friendly and able to help you.

Leave a Reply