MTG Deck Tech: The Wiz Kids (Standard)

Artwork from the 'Magic: The Gathering' card Adeliz, the Cinder Wind. Artwork from the 'Magic: The Gathering' card Adeliz, the Cinder Wind. WOTC / ZEZHOU CHEN

Friday Night Magic and weekend events at the local game store are great opportunities to try out fun new decks. If you're looking for a new Standard deck that's entertaining and can give you a chance to win it all, may we suggest our wizards tribal take on the classic counter/burn archetype?


Counter/burn is a long-time archetype that has been around since day one.  Back then, it was all about controlling the board with counterspells and bounce spells while taking chunks out of your opponent with efficient burn spells and X-spells.  Taking inspiration from that classic deck type and adding the now well supported wizards tribal thank to Dominaria, we feel that a variation of classic counter/burn can be viable once again.

The first turn or two should give you plenty of options.  We suggest putting boots on the ground by dropping down a Soul-Scar Mage or Siren Stormtamer.  You could play a Ghitu Lavarunner, but that card is better beyond the first turn once you've countered or burned a bit.  That said, if the Lavarunner is the only wizard in your hand on turn one, then by all means do.

Dropping a wizard on turn one opens up both Wizard's Lightning (now effectively a Lightning Bolt) and Wizard's Retort (now effectively a Counterspell) on turn two.  If you're feeling confident (and cocky), you could drop your Adeliz, the Cinder Wind on turn three, but we'd suggest holding her a turn or two while you drop a couple more wizards onto the battlefield so you can go a tad wide.  Once you feel comfortable and confident with how the game's going -- probably turn four -- you can drop down Adeliz and compliment her with a Wizard's Lightning or Shock for some nice fireworks and a board-wide Prowess trigger (or two) before turning all of your wizards sideways and (hopefully) going for the kill.

Mixing things up a tad, we've included two copies of Riddleform.  While the enchantment doesn't turn itself into a wizard when triggered, a 3/3 flier that comes in and out of existence really does come in handy.  And as for the two Mirage Mirror cards, they give you some wiggle room.  If you want or need an additional wizard or two, it can be that for you.  If you want it to be something of your opponent's as a sort of equalizer, it can do that too.

As for the sideboard, it contains many of the usuals for a standard red-blue deck.  Abrade for artifact hate.  Reduce // Rubble for added control.  Kari Zev's Expertise as an equalizer with a bonus.  And Goblin Chainwhirler because, well, it's Goblin Chainwhirler.  As for the other slots, you'll notice that they're mostly extra copies of non-playsets already in the main deck.  They're for you to tweak as necessary.

Goldfishing, the deck does quite well and often wins on turn four or five.  In simulated digital games, things slow down a tad due to the control nature of the deck, but it can often win by turn six.  One thing is certain: the deck is fun to play.  And (more importantly) it's more fun for you than it is for your opponent.

Are you running this deck at your LGS?  If so, leave us a comment and tell us how you fared!

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