Tabletop Review: Return to Ravnica: Izzet Ingenuity Deck (Magic: The Gathering)

Return To Ravnica: Izzet Ingenuity Deck (Magic: The Gathering)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Cost: Between $16-20 USD
Release Date: 10/6/2012
Get it Here:

Izzet Ingenuity is one of the five new dual colour decks that use cards from the recently released Return to Ravnica set. I always like the thought of a Blue/Red deck. One of my first ever decks was a counterspell/direct damage deck, and there’s something about the dichotomy of fire and water being used together. This particular deck hits opponents in one of three ways: creature onslaughts, direct damage and the overload ability, which lets a spell affect all of one type of card (be it land, creature, enchantment, etc). What’s here flows really nicely, but there are a few outside cards that would help to improve this.

First up, let’s look at the creatures. You have four blue, six red, two red OR blue, and four gold. The four blue creatures are all birds (three Runewing and one Welkin Tern). The Welkin Tern is okay, as it’s 1U for a 2/1 flier that can only block other fliers. The Runewings are 3U for a 2/2 flier where you can draw a card once it dies. The Runewings are okay, but for four mana, I guess I’d expect something more. I can get a 4/4 Flier in an Air Elemental for only a single mana more. The red creatures, likewise, are okay. I like the Guttersnipers, which are 2/2 Goblin Shaman that deal 2 damage to each opponent whenever an instant or sorcery is cast. You also have three Cobblebrutes, which are 5/2 creatures for 3R, which isn’t too bad of a deal. Finally, you have a Tenement Crasher, which is a 5/4 with haste for 5R. Again, not too bad. Honestly though, I’d probably put in two more Guttersnipes so that you do 8 damage with each sorcery or instant, and probably a Goblin King or two to make them survive some direct damage. As well, this deck is full of goblin tokens, so Goblin Kings can earn their keep pretty quickly here. The most interesting card is the Blistercoil Weird, which is a 1/1 creature for one red and blue mana. Whenever you cast an instant or a sorcery, the Weird gains a +1/+1 token until the end of its turn AND it untaps. That’s a pretty good deal. Finally we have the gold cards, all of which are pretty awesome. You have two Goblin Electromancers, which are 2/2 creatures and also reduce the cost of your instant and sorcery cards by 1 colorless mana each. So if you have both in play, the cost is reduced by 2. I’d strongly consider adding a third, especially if you are also going to be upping the Goblin content of this deck, as there are sixteen instants and/or sorcery cards in this deck. The next Gold creature is Nivix Guildmage. For one red and one blue you get a 2/2 creature that will let you draw a card and then discard one from your hand OR copy ANY instant or sorcery you put down. That’s a pretty heavy ability. The final creature is the Hypersonic Dragon, which is a 4/4 flier with haste that lets you cast a sorcery spell anytime you cast an instant. All this for 3RU. That’s awesome!

You have two artifacts in the deck, both of whih are Izzet Keyrunes. You can tap the Keyrune to add U or R mana to your pool, or you can turn them into a 2/1 creature. Very versatile. You also have a land called the Izzet Guildgate, which acts as a R/U dual land. There’s also a single enchantment in the deck called Pursuit of Flight. It gives a creature +2/+2 and flying each turn you give it a U mana. It’s okay, but it’s probably best with a Cobblebrute as most everything already has flying or isn’t meant for attacking. You might want to consider replacing it with Pyroconvergence, which is more useful to the deck. This enchantment is a global one, and for 4R, anytime you cast a multicolored spell, it deals 2 damage to any target of your choice. With eight multicoloured cards in the deck, possibly more if you add another Electromancer and some other cards, you’ll get far more use out of this Ravnica card.

Now let’s look at your Sorcery options in this deck. There are seven cards, but five different spells. There are two of Goblin Rally, which for 3RR, gives you four 1/1 red goblin tokens. See why Goblin Warrens and Goblin King would be nice here? Remember, those Electromancers reduce the cost, so with both out on the playing field, this card would only cost 1RR – a tremendous deal. Krenko’s Command is the other sorcery you have two of, and it’s very similar. For 1R, you get two 1/1 goblin tokens. Again, the Warrens and anything that boosts goblins would be a great addition to this deck. The next Sorcery is Wild Guess, and it’s crap. For RR and discarding a card, you can draw two cards. This card has its uses, but not so much in this deck. I’d dump this for an extra one of the next card, which is Mizzium Mortars. For only 1R you can do four damage to an opposing creature. That’s awesome, but it gets better. For 3RRR more, you do four damage to ALL opposing creatures. Definitely make the swap. Mizzium Mortars is also another reason why you want that extra Electromancer or two. Finally, we have Teleportal, a multicoloured card that costs RU and gives a single creature +1/+0 until the end of the turn, and it is unblockable. HOWEVER, if you add 3UR to the cost, ALL YOUR CREATURES get +1/+0 and are unblockable until the end of the turn. Once again, see why a Goblin King and especially a Goblin Warrens would be amazing with this deck? Another Sorcery you might want to consider adding to the deck from this set is Survey the Wreckage. For 4R, you destroy an opponent’s land and get a 1/1 goblin token in return.

Finally, we have the instants. You have nine of them, albeit it only seven different spells. The two blue ones are Blustersquall and Downsize. Blustersquall costs only a single U and taps an opposing creature. Like the other “overload” cards in the deck, for 3U you can tap ALL creatures that you do not control. That’s an amazing deal. Again, those Electromancers can reduce that cost down big time. Downsize also costs only a single U mana, and gives a target creature -4/-0 until the end of turn. For an extra 2U, ALL opposing creatures get -4/-0 until the end of turn. It’s probably a smart idea to consider adding another of each to the deck. Maybe also a Cyclonic Rift, which is another overload based card that returns one or all target nonland permanents to an owner’s hand. Ouch. Imagine a B/W deck with that and Armageddon.

We have one gold Instant in Thoughtflare, but I don’t care for it. For 3UR, you draw four cards and then discard two. This is too expensive, and not all that helpful with this deck. Now let’s look at the reds. First up are Annihlating Fire, which you have two of here. 1RR for three damage to any player or creature? I could have three Lightning bolts for the same cost. Hell, even with LB out of production, you can find better, cheaper choices than this. Explosive Impact is similar, but it’s 5R for five damage. Electrickery (or Elecdickery as I keep reading it) is the other instant you have two of. For a single red mana, you do one point of damage to a target creature. For an extra 1R, you do it to all creatures not under your control. Nice. Chandra’s Fury costs 4R and does four damage to a target player AND one to each creature it controls. I’d definitely sub out Explosive Impact for another of these. You might also want to consider Dynacharge as a possible substitution into this deck. For only R, a target creature gains +2/0 until the end of turn. It has Overload however, so for an extra 2R, ALL your creatures gets +2/0. Imagine that coupled with Teleportal!

Finally the deck comes with twenty-four basic lands: twelve mountain and twelve island. I’d consider dumping two islands and adding two more mountains, as the deck is more red heavy. Not a single spell requires more than one U unless you are using an overload ability, while lots of the red cards require RR or more. Another land to consider for this deck is Rogue’s Passage. Tap it to add a single colourless mana to your pool, or for four extra mana, a target creature is unblockable. If you’re pumping up those elementals or your Hypersonic Dragon, this can be a real headache for your opponent.

All in all, Izzet Ingenuity isn’t a bad intro deck by any stretch of the imagination. There are lots of ways to improve upon it. I’ve only touched on a few here, and I’m sure in reading this article, you’ve probably thought of one or two changes you’d make as well. Let me know what luck you’ve had using this deck, or any of the other Return to Ravnica decks that were recently released.

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