With everyone at home because of the Coronavirus, playing magic has become limited to MTG Arena, MTG Online, or kitchen table Magic to pass the time in isolation. Win Condition Games is working on creating online events for the local community to participate in during this time.For those of you who are looking for a different deck to play, I have two that I found that are both fun and competitive (Izzet Aggro and a variant of Jeskai Fires that has taken me into the Top 1300 in Mythic.).

Personally, I enjoy playing aggro decks the most. Mono-Red is the best Aggro deck in the format, but this Izzet Aggro deck is very playable and has a few advantages that Mono-Red does not. Crokeyz created the deck and Merchant played it on his channel with good results, so I tried the deck. I have played the deck to a 17-10 record in Best-of-One on Arena.

IZZET AGGRO, CROKEYZ

CREATURES (26)
Anax, Hardened in the Forge
Tin Street Dodger
Lightning Stormkin
Brazen Borrower
Bonecrusher Giant
Fervent Champion
Robber of the Rich

PLANESWALKERS (3)
The Royal Scions

INSTANTS (4)
Quench
Mystical Dispute
Scorching Dragonfire

ARTIFACTS (3)
Embercleave

LANDS (24)
Island
Mountain
Steam Vents
Temple of Epiphany
Fabled Passage

SIDEBOARD (15) (15)
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
Aether Gust
Negate
Mystical Dispute
Embereth Shieldbreaker
Redcap Melee
Scorching Dragonfire

Izzet Aggro takes the core of Mono-Red Aggro and adds blue interactive spells that gives the deck a better matchup against midrange and control decks. In the creature package two new cards were added Lightning Stormkin and Brazen Borrower. Each gives the deck something it lacked while maintaining the speed of Mono-Red. Lightning Stormkin is a 2/2 flyer with haste. There are only a few flying creatures that see play in standard, so having a two power creature that is evasive gives the deck additional reach. Brazen Borrower needs no introduction because it has a home in several of the top decks in the format. What it provides in this deck is a way to bounce cards like Fires of Invention at a key point in the game to give you an additional turn or two to finish off an opponent.

Another key addition is The Royal Scions. The Kenrith twins give the deck card advantage and the ability to pump up a creature by giving it +2/0 and first strike. This gives the deck the opportunity to discard unneeded land in favor of news cards that can advance your game plan. The ability to pump up a creature is the ability that I use the most because you can give +2 to a creature, then attack, and then cast Embercleave to finish off an opponent. This can end a game from out of nowhere.

Finally, the deck has added a few early use counter spells that can prevent an opponent from playing Fires of Invention or another key card to interrupt your opponents game play. Mono-Red is generally at the mercy of what an opponent wants to do, so this deck having the ability to counter a key spell gives it an advantage that Fires and other decks may not be expecting.

Overall, Izzet Aggro is a fun deck to play that provides varied game play and can provide quick wins when left unchecked.
The second deck I want to look at is Jeskai Oktera Fires. During the last two seasons on MTG Arena, I used Mono-Red Aggro to reach Mythic level. This season once I reached Mythic the bad matchups for Mono-Red became more frequent, so I looked for another deck that could get me into the Top 1200 to qualify for the next Mythic Arena qualifier. As I played more matches in Mythic, a deck that intrigued me the most was a version of Jeskai Fires that used Oketra as an engine to generate extra creatures to finish-off an opponent. After looking at several versions of Jeskai Fires, I settled on the version below.

JESKAI OKTERA FIRES, SCOTT TREPANIER

CREATURES (21)
Sphinx of Foresight
God-Eternal Oketra
Brazen Borrower
Bonecrusher Giant
Kenrith, the Returned King
Cavalier of Flame

PLANESWALKERS (4)
Teferi, Time Raveler

SORCERIES (4)
Deafening Clarion

ENCHANTMENTS (4)
Fires of Invention

LAND (27)
Sacred Foundry
Steam Vents
Hallowed Fountain
Temple of Epiphany
Temple of Triumph
Castle Vantress
Fabled Passage
Plains
Island
Mountain

SIDEBOARD (15)
Tithe Taker
Devout Decree
Aether Gust
Mystical Dispute
Elspeth Conquers Death
Shatter the Sky
Storm’s Wrath

Many of the Fires of Invention decks in BO1 have incorporated card in my sideboard as part as their main decks to take hedge against matchups that they expect to see. Fires decks do particularly well against Mono-Red because they have multiple tools to destroy Red’s creatures. What this version of the deck does is reduce the number of dead cards in any matchup.

Just like other Fires decks, you want to get Fires of Invention out on turn four. Rather than relying on Shatter the Sky to clear the field against aggro decks, the deck uses Brazen Borrower, Deafening Clarion, and Teferi Time Raveler to deal with small creatures early in the game. Then relies on the large creatures in the deck to win after turn four.

Fires has many ways to win after turn five. What makes this version of the deck unique is God-Eternal Oketra. She saw some play as part of a Bant Flash deck during War of the Spark season but has not seen much play since that season. What makes Oketra very powerful in this deck is that you can play her on turn five, cast either Cavalier of Flame or Kenrith, the Returned King, create a 4/4 black Zombie Army, and then use Cavalier’s or Kenrith’s ability to give all creatures haste. I have turned this advantage into kills on turn five or six.

The addition of Oketra to Jeskai Fires has increased its power level in BO1 play. I think the deck is an interesting option for anyone looking to climb the latter on Arena.

Until next time, good luck finding your win condition!