This may probably be the last blog entry I’ll be posting as a single person. On Sunday I’ll be getting married and I’m honestly freaking out with the last-minute preparations, payments, and of course the anticipation and anxiety that comes with married life. Before I lose all my time doing preparation, here’s my take on making Niv-Mizzet a standard staple.
Niv-Mizzet, Parun, before anything else, has one of the best looking artwork in the set. I am intrigued to see how he reacts to Bolas when they compare who’s wiser. Niv-Mizzet seems clever enough to dodge counter magic, ensuring he will see play whether your opponent likes it or not.
As all of Niv-Mizzet’s iteration, there is always an interaction with dealing damage and drawing cards. This is however the first version where both abilities are passive which is simpler and easier to build around.
My idea for this deck is to control the early turns, stabilize the mid-game and play Niv-Mizzet ideally on an empty board, then draw a lot of cards to control the board and kill the opponent.
The goal from turns one through 5 is to one-for-one every single threat our opponent plays and force them to over commit and burn through their resources. Shock takes down mana dorks and early beaters, while Lightning Strike takes down anything Shock is too small for.
Lava Coil is our primary removal which kills almost anything that drops from turns one to four but if it’s still not enough, we have Fight with Fire to blow up almost anything out of the table.
Niv-Mizzet loves drawing cards and blue players in general like that too so we want to build as many card draw spells into our deck to take advantage of that free damage. 4 copies of Opt allows us to sift through the deck early, while Radical Idea and Chemister’s Insight is similar to playing twice as much card draw. Remember that after your draw step, Radical Idea and Opt converts to Shock damage to a single target, and Insight is like a Bolt to any target.
The last few card draw spells are focused on drawing 2 or more cards. Secrets of the Golden City is a potential Lightning Strike or Lava Coil with Niv-Mizzet out. Pirate’s Pillage is in the deck to allow a turn 5 Niv-Mizzet thanks to the 2 treasure tokens it brings with him. There is no hard really in discarding a card because we can pitch a Jump-Start card and not lose any value.
There is no counter magic in the mainboard and have decided to put all of them in the sideboard against control decks. I think the meta now is still creature based that’s why I prefer more removal.
4 Niv-Mizzet, Parun
4 Lightning Strike
3 Lava Coil
2 Expansion // Explosion
2 Fight with Fire
3 Radical Idea
3 Chemister’s Insight
2 Secrets of the Golden City
3 Pirate’s Pillage
1 Jaya Ballard
1 Ral, Izzet Viceroy
3 Izzet Guildgate
4 Steam Vents
4 Sulfur Falls
2 The Mirari Conjecture
4 Firemind’s Research
2 Nezahal, Primal Tide
Another fun-of in the deck is Ral, Izzet Viceroy and Jaya Ballard.
Ral and Jaya have very high starting loyalty which is really good in ensuring you untap with them sticking on the board. Both have relevant tick-ups as well without costing us anything. Ral nets us a card and possibly dumping an excess land or a jump-start card, while Jaya can allow us to cast a Lava Coil or Fight with Fire and killing off that creature that threatens to kill her when you pass the turn.
What’s interesting here is that Jaya’s other +1 ability is super good with Niv-Mizzet. It’s a hand fixer and a Lightning Bolt rolled into one. Both have game-winning emblems as well which serves as alternative win conditions.
The deck is quite cheap to build at $132.62 on paper. If you have old shocklands from the first two runs of Ravnica then it shoul shed more money off the total cost (approx. $80). I think I might end up building cheaper decks moving forward because getting married isn’t cheap!
Thanks and talk to you guys soon!