What are the three greatest words in Magic? “Bolt the bird”, obviously. But a close second would have to be “draw a card”. It’s no secret that card advantage is one of the most important things in the game, as a player with more resources (i.e. cards) will often have a better chance of having the right answer to any given situation. As a result, cards that give you a card advantage are usually a premium in many control/midrange decks.
The only issue is that drawing cards doesn’t win you the game. For the most part anyway. Sure, there are cards and decks that have figured out ways of turning card advantage into a game winning strategy. But they are usually based around “milling” yourself and the card advantage is just a necessary by-product of the deck. But what if I told you that there was a deck that rewarded you for drawing card, but actively used it as a way to win games!
Izzet Ominous Draw is a deck built around the enchantment Ominous Seas. This two-mana enchantment from Ikoria is I my humble opinion, one of the most overlooked cards in the set. It’s not surprising when you think about it. After all, it’s only an uncommon enchantment in a sea of giant kaiju monsters and broken companions. But it is a card that, given the right deck, can quickly win you the game.
Once we have it on the board, every time we draw a card, we place a foreshadow counter on Ominous Seas. Once we have eight counters on it, we can remove them to create a 8/8 blue kraken creature token. As you can see, that is some serious value for just drawing cards. After all, even if we didn’t draw any additional cards through casting spells or cycling, we would still have a eight turn clock before we could “release the kraken”. But don’t worry. We aren’t going to have to wait that long to get a tentacle beasty on the battlefield.
With spells like Opt, Cathartic Reunion, Thrill of Possibility, Thirst for Meaning and Chemister’s Insight, we can quickly get to eight or more counters in a turn or two. Throw in some Expansion // Explosion to double up our spells and we can easily get to a situation where we can have multiple krakens on the board in short order. Before long, our opponent should be struggling to keep their head above water and victory should soon follow.
However, we must be weary of aggressive decks like mono red that will seek to punish us for spending most of our time drawing cards. So we want to make sure we have a decent bit of removal to keep threats at bay until we can bring our win condition online. Fire Prophecy gives us direct removal and possible card draw when we need it, while a pair of Flame Sweep and Storm’s Wrath allows us to punish opponents that overextend themselves.
We also run a couple of copies of Improbable Alliance and Saheeli, Sublime Artificer. These are primarily here to give us chump blockers as a result of casting our draw spells, which gives us another way of protecting ourselves from unwanted threats. The final none land cards in the main deck are three copies of Crackling Drake and a single Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. These work as alternative win conditions should our opponent have a way of handling our Ominous Seas.
The mana base is very simple since we are only a two-colour deck. Playsets of Steam Vents and Temple of Epiphany coupled with a health supply of basic lands will more than do the job, but if you have them you couple also run some Fabled Passage s for card filtering.
3 Crackling Drake
2 Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
1 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
4 Ominous Seas
2 Improbable Alliance
4 Cathartic Reunion
2 Thrill of Possibility
4 Fire Prophecy
4 Thirst for Meaning
2 Flame Sweep
1 Chemister’s Insight
2 Storm’s Wrath
3 Expansion // Explosion
4 Steam Vents
4 Temple of Epiphany
1 Disdainful Stroke
2 Essence Scatter
4 Mystical Dispute
2 Keep Safe
2 Niv-Mizzet, Parun
2 Aether Gust
For the sideboard we run a ton of counter magic to replace our removal in the control match up. Disdainful Stroke, Essence Scatter and Mystical Dispute to handle opposing threats, and two copies of Keep Safe to protect our own. Fry is a good way of handling pesky blue or white planeswalkers, while Aether Gust keeps giant green or red beasties at bay. Finally, two copies of Niv-Mizzet, Parun is a nice back up win condition should our opponent have the right answers for our Ominous Seas.
And that’s Izzet Ominous Draw for standard. What do you think of the deck? Is this the kind of deck you could see yourself playing? 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.
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