Hey folks, welcome back to another edition of Slice of (Colour) Pie! Today I’m going to be enjoying some Saheeli Fried R(a)ice straight from Kaladesh, and talking about the wonderful colour combination of Blue/Red!
Red/Blue is a really fun colour combination (and a personal favourite of mine!) with a lot of potential for different strategies, so lets dive straight in and see, Izzet worth it?
Strengths, and how to play to them
Red/Blue has a number of strengths, making it a rather appealing colour combination! Both colours have access to card draw, with everything from Brainstorm and Ponder to Tormenting Voice and even Dack Fayden, and all these and more allow you to filter through your deck to find the cards you need (great for combo!). Combos, in fact, are a great way to go with these colours, and there are a multitude to choose from, including the classic Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind + Curiosity combo, the Palinchron + Dead Eye Navigator combo, or even Splinter Twin + Deceiver Exarch. All of these are powerful, win on the spot combos that can be played around in an Izzet deck, and they’re all really fun to pull off! In addition to this, blue allows access to so many counter spells, and red allows Pyroblast (a great non-blue counterspell), and these can be used to protect your combos! Red gives access to plenty of burn based removal, and Blasphemous Act is a fantastic board wipe without needing to splash white or black! There are plenty of very cheap spells in this colour combination too, that are often quite powerful, greatly reducing the chance of you drawing a high cost card you can’t use early on!
As well as combos, red blue also has a good pool of cards to build an artifact deck with, ranging from Phyrexian Metamorph and Etherium Sculptor through to Tezzeret the Seeker, Daretti, Scrap Savant and Feldon of the Third Path! Unfortunately, we are still waiting on a dedicated Red/Blue artifact commander (here’s hoping!). However, Nin, the Pain Artist does have some fun interactions, in particular using her ability with Stuffy Doll!
And if you don’t want to build combo or artifacts, you can even go for a storm build with Mizzix of the Izmagnus or Melek, Izzet Paragon at the head, using cards like Mind’s Desire and Grapeshot to take people out!
Weaknesses, and what to look out for
Whilst this colour combination has a lot of strengths, it is not without its weaknesses. Whilst red gives access to burn, the lack of black and white takes away a lot of the hard creature removal in magic, and the lack of green severely decreases your ability to deal with enchantments, as well as your ability to ramp into land. On top of this, as many red/blue decks rely on certain cards to pull off their combos, you can often be forced to have to hold up additional mana for counter spells to protect your game plan (unless you just out race your oppponents!)
Key cards and potential commanders
So here’s a section that is going to be a lot of fun! There are so many cards I could put here, so I’ll try and keep to the most powerful, the most versatile, and the most fun!
Mizzix, of the Izmagus– This gals ability is great, reducing the cost of your instant and sorcery cards more each time you cast them! This is great for going off in storm, building up the storm count, whilst also enabling a number of infinite combos, by addingReiterate to Turnabout, Seething Song or Reset for infinite mana. She can also make Firemind’s Foresight considerably cheaper, making it easier to tutor and cast Reset, Reiterate and Lightning Bolt for infinite damage!
Melek, Izzet Paragon– This guy is so much fun! He not only lets you cast the top card of your deck as long as its an instant or sorcery, but he also lets you copy it! In the right storm or combo build, that can get insane very quickly! (Plus, the full art promo version is beautiful!). He plays really well with topdeck manipulation cards like Sensei’s Divining Top or Soothsaying go well with him, squeezing value out of his ability!
Jhoira of the Ghitu– Jhoira is an interesting commander, giving your spells suspend. This can be used to make political plays at the table, giving your opponents time to react, whilst also allowing you to cast things much earlier in the game (and by things, we here at Rain of Salt are obliged to recommend that these things don’t just include Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger or Decree of Annihilation)!
Dack Fayden– This guy is another fun one, and I promise you there is nothing quite as funny as dropping a Sol Ring turn one, followed by this guy turn 2 and instantly stealing your opponents Sol Ring (or Mana Vault, or Mana Crypt….). In addition to this his +2 helps to filter through your deck, and if you can pull off his ultimate, your opponents will hate you – in a meta that uses permanents (a lot, as it turns out), being able to instant speed steal a combo piece with something like Gigadrowse is absolutely backbreaking!
Jori-En, Ruin Diver– Whenever you cast your second spell a turn, you get to draw another card… in a colour combination that loves playing multiple cheap cards a turn, whats not to like?! It’s easy to abuse this from the command zone by using cards with mechanics such as Flashback, Retrace or Surge to drown your opponents in card advantage!
Counterflux– This one might have a very specific casting cost, but not only is it an uncounterable counter spell, but you can overload it to get rid of the stack! While not a sure-fire way to do this (somebody can counter the original spell in response to Counterflux), it’s a great way to hold back up and force a combo through!
Firemind’s Foresight– 7 mana seems like a lit, but to tutor for 3 instants at instant speed? I hear ‘win on the spot’! The most popular pile being Reiterate, Reset and Lightning Bolt, each slot can be incredibly flexible, allowing you to grab combo pieces while grabbing backup through Counterspell, Counterflux or Pyroblast, or even removal by grabbing Cyclonic Rift or Rapid Hybridization (or Pongify, to satisfy Dr Jank)
Reiterate– This is one of my favourite cards in all of magic. Being able to copy a spell is good, but being able to repeatably copy spells for a small buyback cost is truly fantastic (and in many cases, infinite!). A lot of spells in Magic go nuts when copied a large number of times, and with enough mana this can win the game easily (while Bolt is a favourite, I get incredibly excited by the thought of casting 10 Warp Worlds at the same time)
Mystical tutor– In a deck that uses so many instants, being able to tutor for whichever you need to the top of your library is an incredible asset, and it’s particularly great in combo decks! (Especially with on demand draw like Sensei’s Divining Top, this can be a Merchant Scroll at instant speed)
Gamble– This one lets you tutor for literally anything… BUT you have to then discard a card at random…. Still a great card, just gotta believe in the heart of the cards! (oh wait, wrong game…) this drawback can be mitigated through having a large hand, and Izzet has a lot of ways to do that, by combining Spellbook effects (maybe not actual Spellbook, though) and copious draw to keep you topped up on cards.
Epic Experiment– Now, I’ve never actually seen someone win off of this card before (isn’t that right, Crazy?), but it’s so fun if you build your deck right! Casting a load of random stuff, basically for free? Sure, why not?! It becomes incredibly flexible if it flips Twincast effects, allowing you to copy other flipped spells!
So there we have it, a quick look into the Izzet guild in edh. I love this colour combination as there is so much that can be done, so I hope I’ve inspired you to get building, and if so, please feel free to send me your deck lists, or any advice you have on my articles! But for now, take care guys, its bye from Yami!