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New Player Commander Decks: Azorius & Izzet

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Hello folks!

I hope that your day is going well!

If you've been following the Commander series this week at coolstuffinc.com, then you'll know that a series of ten Commander starter decks were released by CSI and each Commander writer has been going over two of those decks in their articles, and then digging into and unpacking them, with suggestions for places to go.

I have the Azorius and Izzet decklists for you. Let's do them in alphabetical order, shall we? I'll give you the decklist and review it briefly, and then dig into some ways you may want to recast it and flesh it out.

New Player Commander Deck - Law and Order

*Note: This is version 1.0 of the deck. Some cards in later batches of this deck may vary*


Isperia, Supreme Judge

Here is the initial decklist you get! Azorius for the win-zius!

The goal of these deck is to run some powerful combos. There are some strong pro-artifact and pro-historic synergies here. You can run artifacts, sagas, and legendary stuff into your historic needs. I think there are some cool synergies you can untap in the base decklist as well. Because of the many historic cards here, Raff Capashen is a good choice for your leader as well, should you choose to slide in more options.

This deck works, marrying control and card-drawing effects to the historic and pro-artifact stuff this color duo can bring to the Commander table. Cards like Cloudblazer, Deadeye Quartermaster, and Skysovereign, Consul Flagship are great here as they flesh out your options nicely!

Where would you want to go next?

The first place I want to dig is into Isperia proper.

Isperia will trigger when folks swing at your face. I don't just want to hope that it happens, right? In order to ensure that Isperia is sending us the goods, I want to force folks to attack us.

The good thing is that Blue (and White's Gideon Jura) are really good at forcing folks to attack:

Alluring Siren
Gideon Jura
Angler Turtle
Bident of Thassa
Imaginary Threats
Bullwhip

All of these cards can force attacks. I really enjoy the cycling Imaginary Threats, in case you need something else. Many of these cards are budget options and can add a fun must-attack aspect to your deck.

Now you are Azorius! Not a crazy deck that wants to force people to attack and then take a bunch of damage. No! You are all about stopping an attack.

Once you have forced an attack on yourself and drawn a ton of cards, you want to have a single-card answer for every attacker, so that you can handle their army in one fell swoop. The sheer card drawing potential of this swap is nasty.

Aetherize
Settle the Wreckage

Angel of the Dire Hour
Illusionist's Gambit
Sunblast Angel
Righteous Fury
Aetherspouts
Mirror Match

All of these can punish attackers immediately, or will take them out on your turn after they've tapped. Many of cards are also pretty cheap on the secondary market. You have a lot of fun ways to draw a ton of cards. These are the first slate of cards I'd look to toss into the deck. Cards that force folks to attack you, so you'll draw many cards, and then options that punish them for doing so. You are Azorius!

After that, the next place I'd want to dig is deeper into the historic theme.

Thran Temporal Gateway
Jhoira's Familiar

The Thran Temporal Gateway strikes me as the first place you could punch people in the face. It should work well as a way to drop cards, especially as you are drawing a big grip of cards from Isperia. In a similar way, Jhoira's Familiar can drop the cost for multiple historic spells across a turn while you are gobbling up all of the cards. And it's historic as well, so it plays well with others.

Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle
Daring Archaeologist

This deck probably has enough smaller stuff for Teshar to have some solid value. In order to ensure it works smoothly, I'd want to work with both of the 3 mana "sacrifice for two lands" artifact creatures - Burnished Hart and Wild-Field Scarecrow. Increasing your land count is a key in this build. I also really enjoy the Daring Archaeologist in here as well! It's nifty-keen-cool.

There are a number of pro-artifact effects that work well here too. Here are a few that hit me in my happy place:

Whir of Invention
Inventors' Fair

Academy Ruins
Blackblade Reforged
Thalia's Lancers

These five cards play into our artifact or legendary theme quite nicely. Note that the two lands are also legendary, so they can be found by Thalia's Lancers or dropped by Thran Temporal Gateway. You can also grab an artifact at instant speed with the Whir, and the Blackblade is a powerful, game-winning blade that's both artifact and legendary, so it can be fetched by the Lancers, Whir, Deadeye Quartermaster, and many more, and then equipped to your leader or others very cheaply. There is a lot of synergy for you to explore if you want to unpack some great cards!

And that's the Azorius build for you. Push into your strengths, and the world is your oyster!

Now Izzet!

New Player Commander Deck - Mage's Guild

Here's the original Izzet deck:

*Note: This is version 1.0 of the deck. Some cards in later batches of this deck may vary*


And there you are!

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius

This deck is built around the Dracogenius version of our good Niv-Mizzet.

What does it want to do?

Much like Azorius, it wants to play control. But it does so with a spells-matter and Wizard theme. That's a bit scattered, but we can pull in together with more concentration on the theme once you have fleshed it out. Note that the deck does run a number of strong Wizard's matters like Naban, Dean of Iteration; Naru Meha, Master Wizard, or Firefist Adept.

Lavamancer's Skill
Sorcerer's Wand

This is Lavamancer's Skill. It was a big target in drafts because of how good it was. Sorcerer's Wand is basically a Lavamancer's Skill in equipment form that hits players and 'walkers other than creatures. This is the space that you can move into. For that reason, the Wand is very nice on your Dracogenius.

Diviner's Wand
Riptide Laboratory

Take a look at support cards like Diviner's Wand, or if you have some money, Riptide Laboratory where you can save your dorks!

Sigil Tracer
Galecaster Colossus
Azami, Lady of Scrolls
Riptide Director

There are also a number of Wizard creatures that strengthen as your Wizard count does, since they use them for things. Many of these are cheap. Did you know that Azami is now a bulk rare? I didn't!

Snapcaster Mage
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir

Now if you really want to invest some cash, then cards like Snapcaster Mage or Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir suggest themselves as well. They can be targets for later acquisition.

If you want other cards that play into both Wizards and casting stuff, how about Mizzix of the Izmagnus? Or Melek, Izzet Paragon?

Mizzix of the Izmagnus
Melek, Izzet Paragon

There are a number of paths you couldhew for with spells mattering and Wizards too!

Unfortunately, some cards that should have been eligible for this deck aren't.

Young Pyromancer

I'm thinking, of course, of Young Pyromancer, who is a Shaman. Of the 8 Pyromancers printed, 5 are Wizards and 3 are Shaman.

And there we are! What did you think? Did you like the Izzet deck? What's next?

Anything else you'd recommend? Anything you looking forward to open? Just let me know!

P.S. - I am out at Morocco on Friday the 15th until next week, and I apologize if that means I miss your comment for a while. But I will read them and respond to them!

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I use as the basis of my book the scripture passage in John where Jesus charges his disciples, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

If you are interested in reading it, then here it is! https://www.amazon.com/Love-One-Another-Abe-Sargent/dp/1644162008 . Check it out and let me know what you thought! You can add me on Facebook (I'm Abe Sargent)!

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