Upgrading Flash of Ferocity with Ikoria

Well, it’s here. Ikoria is finally up online and we have had our first glimpse of how it will change Standard, and Magic as a whole. Now, with any new release there are two trains of thought when it comes to deck building. Some people will try and build new and exciting decks that have only be made possible by the release of the most recent set. Others will look to older architypes and see what new toys have been introduced to help push them up the rankings. Both are viable options, and time will be the deciding factor to which school of thought will prove the most valuable in the new meta.

Today I wanted to look at the latter option, with a deck that I have had a love/hate relationship with over the last few of months. I love playing it as it has had a pretty good success rate for me on Arena, and I hate going up against it as it has a habit of crushing some of my favourite decks in the format. That deck is Blue/Green Flash.


Blue/Green Flash is a tempo deck that, as the name suggests, plays a lot of instant speed spells. The idea is to use counter magic and bounce spells to pseudo counter the game, and then when your opponent is far enough behind in their momentum cast your own threats in their end step to attack straight away. The deck has had a fair bit of success and was popular enough that it was one of the architypes for this year’s crop of challenger decks.

However, with the release of Ikoria, the deck has got a few new tools to spruce itself up for the new standard meta. So, we are going to look at upgrading the deck for tackling the arena ladder. And since Wizards of the Coast were kind enough to give us a preconstructed deck to work with, it only makes sense to start there.

Creatures (22)
Spectral Sailor
Brineborn Cutthroat
Wildborn Preserver
Brazen Borrower
Wavebreak Hippocamp
Frilled Mystic
Nightpack Ambusher

Spells (14)
Opt
Unsummon
Quench
Thassa's Intervention
Sinister Sabotage
Lands (24)
Castle Vantress
Fabled Passage
Forest
Island
Temple of Mystery
Thornwood Falls

Sideboard (15)
Aether Gust
Disdainful Strike
Negate
Threnody Singer
Mystical Dispute
Shifting Ceratops

As with most challenger decks, this is a fairly strong brew that could do well at any local event or on the ladder online. That been said, there are some new toys that can give the deck a real kick in terms of power level. And the first of these isn’t a Mythic, or even a Rare. No, its only an uncommon, but it is made for this deck.

Cunning Nightbonder is a 2/2 for two hybrid Dimir mana (or two blue in our deck) that as well as having flash also makes all our other creatures cheaper to cast. It also has the added benefit of making all of our spells with flash un-counterable. This is great against control decks, that can match us step for step in the instant speed game and were often a difficult match up for us in the past. It can also lead to some hilarious turns as I discovered in the Early Access Streamer Event, where on turn three I dropped down three Brineborn Cutthroats in response to a Teferi, Time Raveler.

The next spell we will be adding is a replacement for Sinister Sabotage, in the form of Neutralize. Been the same mana cost and doing essentially the same thing, you might be wondering why bother replacing it in the first place. The answer is Cycling. While Sinister Sabotage gives us card filtering, it only does this if we are able to counter something.

This can be an issue if our opponent is super aggro and has already got a ton of threats down on turn one and two, or if they are able to stop us countering, such as with their own copy of Cunning Nightbonder or Teferi, Time Raveler. Neutralize gets around this issue by been a cantrip if we don’t need to counter anything, or if we are in need of some gas in the late game. Never underestimate versatility when it comes to card choices.

There are also some great sideboard cards that we have access to thanks to Ikoria. Sea-Dasher Octopus is a great way of sneaking out some card draw, or just to act as another body if need be. I would have said it was mainboardable, it we didn’t already have access to Brazen Borrowers. Wilt is idea for dealing with enchantments and artifacts and is a strict upgrade to naturalize thanks to Cycling (see above).

Finally, while I would love to make some room for Voracious Greatshark, I don’t think we can justify it while Frilled Mystic is in the format. If we were running a mono blue variant of the deck I would be more tempted, but as it is Jaws will just have to sit on the side-lines.

Creatures  (24)
Spectral Sailor
Brineborn Cutthroat
Cunning Nightbonder
Brazen Borrower
Frilled Mystic
Nightpack Ambusher

Spells  (14)
Opt
Aether Gust
Quench
Mystical Dispute
Neutralize
Lands  (22)
Castle Vantress
Fabled Passage
Forest
Island
Temple of Mystery
Breeding Pool

Sideboard (15)
Disdainful Stroke
Negate
Mystical Dispute
Thassa's Intervention
Wilt
Plummet
Sea-Dasher Octopus


And that’s the upgraded Flash of Ferocity for Ikoria standard. What do you think of the deck? Is it the kind of brew you would want to play? What changes would you make to the deck if you were to run it yourself, and would you like me to upgrade any of the other challenger decks? Why not let us know in the comments below. While you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.

We also have a Patreon so if you want to support future content for the site consider becoming one of our Patrons. Just a $1 a month would do so much to help us create more of the content you enjoy. If you have any ideas for new and exciting decks you want me to look at you can contact me directly @MTGTengu over on Twitter. But until next time remember no matter the game you play or where you play it, Good Luck and Have Fun.

 

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