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Izzet Midrange on a Budget

Modern Budget Midrange U/R (Izzet)




How it Works: Keep the board clear in the early game (Mana Leak, Anger of the Gods, Lightning Bolt) to make way for creature drops in the 3-5 mana range to finish off the game (Stormbreath Dragon,Thunderbreak Regent.

Important Synergies



lagotripha says... #1

Izset midrange is a neat idea. I'd reccomend Think Twice and Jori En, Ruin Diver alongide a bunch of counterspells, dependant on meta. If you're mostly playing casually, that should be enough.

If you are spending money on modern cards start with low to mid-priced lands like Shivan Reef or Sulfur Falls, as they remain useful as the format moves on, and arent as heavily impacted in price by metagame shifts and releases.

Protection for your larger creatures is a must- Path to Exile is king in the format. Most of that is going to be blue hexproof granting effects or counterspells. Prognostic sphinx is a nice choice, if drawing more cards than your opponent.

Roast is useful for dealing with those high-toughness second turn creatures, before your Mana Leak is online.

Good luck with the brewing! If you do choose to join us playing competitively, you don't have to spend a fortune. Just understand that some matchups are lost then sideboard aggressively.

March 8, 2017 2:12 a.m.

Sargeras says... #2

Interesting deck idea, so +1, I'll give what I can for some suggestions. But first I must ask a clarifying question. If by "A trip to the shop" you mean FNM, and you intend on winning (with friends or not), then that does make it competitive, even though you don't plan on playing this deck at GPs, (a lot of people at shops play netdecked t1 decks that try to stomp out any and all competition) but this is simply my opinion.

  1. Replace Dissolve with Mana Leak, it's cheap, and counters almost everything that is played in modern and lets you curve out while you assemble your game plan.

  2. I'd highly recommend playing Bedlam Reveler over Prognostic Sphinx for a few reasons, #1 reveler is card draw at the price of discarding your hand, which likely isn't great, but in fact, this action fuels your Spellheart Chimera and gives you access to better card filtering.

  3. Speaking of card filtering, Serum Visions, Faithless Looting, Anticipate, and cards like it are wonderful at getting through your draws to get you the cards you need, (also fuels Spellheart). I get that Steam Augury is the UR fact or fiction, but you need to be curving out if you want this to be a midrange deck and not a control build.

  4. Lands... If you intend on being able to play 4-5 drops consistently around turns 4-5, you need to be playing at least 24 lands, as otherwise you will fall up short when you need to be winning the game.

  5. While I get that your playgroup is casual, personally, I'd replace with Melek, Izzet Paragon with Keranos, God of Storms as Keranos is an easy backup wincon that can win you games.

  6. Find a place to put Lightning Bolt.

  7. What is the purpose of Ral Zarek in this deck? Is it to possibly achieve his ultimate and simply kill the opponent with flying creatures? I'm just wondering if his purpose would be better served if he were another big creature to fill the board, as most decks that are played in modern are designed to kill around turn 4.

  8. The deck needs a sideboard plan, I'd recommend cards like Dispel and Negate for control matchups, Vandalblast for decks like Affinity, I could see Dragon's Claw as budget attempt to help against burn, Guttersnipe could be a way to grind out value with all the spells you play; and while this deck may be casual, blue and red decks are notorius for having a hard time killing anything with a toughness higher then 4, which is why something like Vapor Snag can be pertintent. (It also sometimes gives you the jankiest wins.)

Let me know if this was what you were looking for, or if you want to be on the jankier end of the spectrum.


March 8, 2017 2:17 a.m.

derposaurus says... #3

Thank you both for the input!


  1. I feel like Think Twice and Jori En, Ruin Diver don't really fit that well, as TT is 5 mana for 2 cards in total and the flashback gets rid of any bonus for Spellheart Chimera, and Jori doesn't really fit if I'm trying to keep tight to the curve.

  2. As far as lands, I'm planning to go for Shivan Reef for now and then upgrade to Sulfur Falls and better lands as time goes on.

  3. How does Roast compare to other cards like Mizzium Mortars or even Lightning Bolt?

@TeamSDBags To answer your clarifying question, I mean there's not even a shop open near me currently and there won't be for another month, so being highly competitive isn't currently the top priority, but once the basic foundation of the deck is situated then I plan on upgrading to better cards (like expensive lands/mythics).

  1. I've been looking for a replacement for Dissolve but I'm torn between Mana Leak and Spell Pierce, what would you suggest?

  2. Didn't make the connection between discarding my hand and fueling the Spellheart Chimera, that's a perfect card for that.

  3. Out of all of the suggested I feel like Faithless Looting is perfect for this deck, since at best case (discarding 2 instant/sorceries) it puts 3 spells into my graveyard for the Spellheart Chimera and Bedlam Reveler.

  4. I'll aim for around 24-26 lands once I get the main deck situated and do some playtesting.

  5. Melek, Izzet Paragon has always been a mediocre card at best and I've planned to get rid of him once I can afford Keranos, God of Storms.

  6. Lightning Bolt > Magma Jet but I'm also going to ask you the same thing I asked the guy above you about how Roast compares to Mizzium Mortars and Lightning Bolt

  7. He's got no real purpose, he's pretty much a placeholder for now until I find something better.

  8. Sideboards have never been my strong suit, so thank you for the large amount of suggestions to get me started. Once I test out the final build then I can start building a competent sideboard.

Thanks again for the help!

March 8, 2017 3:17 a.m.

Sargeras says... #4

If you are shooting for the long run, one of the best expensive cards you could play would be Blood Moon, as blue moon can have outstanding success, but on to what you asked for.

  1. In my opinion, Spell Pierce would be more of a sideboard card, since leak hits everything and is more adaptable every match, however, Izzet charm or maybe Remand (more money I know) might also work for you, depending on what you need it for.

  2. Personally, I wouldn't play either, as by the time you overload mortars you are likely dead anyway, and Roast is just mortars plus 1 (not really relevant in the modern format, only lets you kill a Siege Rhino as opposed to mortars) What you really want is Flame Slash, it's dirt cheap sorcery speed removal for a mana less then what you are currently looking at. Bolt is a multipurpose card that lets you hit the player, planeswalkers, or creatures.

  3. When you build your sideboard, make sure to put in land destruction cards like Crumble to Dust, Stone Rain/Molten Rain as tons of decks in modern can get destroyed by land destruction.

  4. Personally I'd play Shivan Reef over the tap lands, as you really want to avoid being off curve in a midrange build.

March 8, 2017 3:55 a.m.

Sargeras says... #5

I'm also unsure about Cyclonic Rift being in the mainboard, as you probably wont be able to use the overload cost on it anyway. I'd personally reccomend that it be moved to the sideboard, (or replaced with Echoing Truth entirely) and something like Magma Jet take it's place in the board.

March 8, 2017 4:29 a.m.

derposaurus says... #6

  1. I think 4 Mana Leak and 3 Izzet Charm should be enough for most threats and some sideboarded Spell Pierce can't hurt. Eventually I'll pick up some Remand if I decide it'd make a big enough difference to warrant the price.
  2. How do you feel about the card numbers for Anger of the Gods and the one-CMC damage spells, is 3 Angers too many and should I toss some to the side? I feel like if I'm going for control being able to stop early aggro is important, and while the one-CMC's can do a lot of damage for cheap, it doesn't spread out in the event of a token/early aggro game.
  3. I'll pick up some Echoing Truth when the shop opens up probably, for now that card and Rift will have the same effects in most matchups anyways so it shouldn't be a large difference, but I'll consider sideboarding it in favor of other removal after some playtesting.

Thank you for all the help by the way, most of the cards you've mentioned I've either completely forgot existed or never new in the first place so it's helping a lot.

March 8, 2017 4:35 a.m.

Sargeras says... #7

Anger of the Gods is great if you expect to be playing creature heavy decks that play lots of 1,2,3 drops, and is Dredge hoser, however against a deck like Control, the card does effectively nothing, so you have to decide whether or not the card is good enough to have a place as a 2-3 of in the main. However, if dredge and GW decks that play cards like Kitchen Finks/Voice of Resurgence aren't a thing in your playgroup, you can be a really sneaky bastard and use Firespout instead of anger, that way you can wipe your opponent's board without killing your Chimera. (given that their stuff isn't flying too)

After a bit of playtesting, I can give you some more constructive feedback, which is

  1. While Ember Swallower is a decently sized 4/5 body for 4cmc, that is all it really is, as you need at least 3 more turns for it to become a 7/8 and try to ram through an opponent's board. (Which means it has to live that long) I'd try to swap these out for a playset of Thunderbreak Regent, this card is cheap now that it is out of standard, and is a 4/4 with Flying that has the ability to Lightning Bolt and opponent if they target it.

  2. While Spellbound Dragon has the potential to bring a lot of damage to the field, it is pretty underwhelming by itself, I'd personally recommend playing Stormbreath Dragon or Thundermaw Hellkite as these creatures are devastating when they hit the board and can win games by themselves. (They all have a synergy with Thunderbreak Regent) But playtest to see what works.

Realistically, you'd need to playtest to see what works and what doesn't work, as you are trying to homebrew up an arch-type, so there is no well-defined plan, only things you can look at and see if they work or not.

March 8, 2017 5:08 a.m.

Exteez says... #8

Idk if you find it useful but, here's a card for your maybeboard: Fevered Visions@TeamSDBags It's personal opinion, but i'd rather use Telling Time than Anticipate, because it let's you "scry".

March 8, 2017 6:06 a.m.

lagotripha says... #9

I've put together where I'd go with this. Jori-En is intended as a late game card advantage tool, rather than an early game card. Keeping him and a Peer Through Depths effectively lets you cast an instant from the top of your library and draw a card, which helps when things stall. Izzet Midrange on a Budget copy

March 8, 2017 3:47 p.m.

GabeCubed says... #10

Two cards that could be helpful- Pia and Kiran Nalaar and Young Pyromancer. Both can take over games, and in the case of Y-Pyro, just gets better over the course of the game.

Electrolyze is also an amazing UR card, along with Spell Pierce.

March 8, 2017 4:56 p.m.

derposaurus says... #11

@TeamSDBags The reason I have 3 Anger of the Gods is because my playgroup has a lot of token/aggro decks and the most expensive in the group is a top-tier Voice of Resurgence deck from when Theros was standard. I think what I'll do to make up for control matchups is to sideboard more counterspells.After playing more I came to the same conclusion in that Ember Swallower is quite underwhelming so I'm swapping that for the Thunderbreak Regent.

@Exteez I feel like Fevered Visions could be good especially against control decks with heavy card draw, but against aggro it wouldn't be as effective, so I think I'll put that on the sideboard if anything.

@lagotripha I see what you mean with the Jori, he can be very useful but I'm not sure if he's the right fit for this deck. If it's stalling out to the lategame anyways then another, stronger monster would probably fit that spot better than the card draw. I do plan on picking up a few copies to playtest with though, so I'll let you know how that turns out.

@GabeCubed Pia and YP are both good cards on their own, but I'm not sure if they fit that well. YP fills the important 2 mana slot for counters and removal, and Pia takes up a spot for the 4-drops and dragons in this deck.Spell Pierce has a dedicated spot in the sideboard but I'm not sure if Electrolyze belongs in the main or side.

March 8, 2017 7:36 p.m.

Alookeva says... #12

+1 Upvote! Loving the feel of this deck! Two minor things I could suggest. Shore up that mana base. There a lot of better land cards out there over Izzet Guildgate which is pretty obvious XD. Depending on the match up Lava Spike could be a side board card. Flame Slash is really good for keeping the board clear, but if you're facing up against something that isn't creature heavy, it would be a good swap. This deck looks very solid for what it's doing!

March 9, 2017 1:01 a.m.

derposaurus says... #13

@Alookeva Thanks for the suggestions, added Lava Spike to sideboard!

March 13, 2017 1:12 a.m.

bestryanever says... #14

I'll second Stormbreath Dragon, it dodges Lightning Bolts, Path to Exile, and Tragic Push. The Monstrosity ability is just gravy after that, and doesn't require you to have an expensive card in hand to be useful a la Spellbound Dragon.

March 15, 2017 6:39 p.m.

derposaurus says... #15

@bestryanever I completely neglected how much shit it can dodge, I'm definitely putting those in then. Should I do a full playset or just 3?

March 15, 2017 10:22 p.m.

I would play 4x Delver of Secrets  Flip and drop a Stormbreath Dragon

March 30, 2017 9:57 a.m.

packbuckbrew says... #17

I'd suggest cutting a Flame Slash with a Harvest Pyre. Helps kill Goyfs. Also, I find Faerie Conclave to be a sweet budget option for manlands.

April 1, 2017 2:30 p.m.

packbuckbrew says... #18

I also really like Izzet Staticaster on sideboard to help you deal with token decks.

April 1, 2017 2:32 p.m.

derposaurus says... #19

@Memphismaymagic5 solid suggestion, after playtesting the SBD often came up twice in the same hand so I'm dropping [email protected]packbuckbrewHarvest Pyre is good to cut off goyf and his friends but it also takes out the small amount of synergy between the deck and Bedlam Reveler, so for now I'm going to put it on the sideboard. Faerie Conclave is obviously a good body but I'm not sure how it'll impact the mana base so I'll playtest with it before I settle on having it in. Also I staticaster is a really solid choice, added.

April 3, 2017 9:43 p.m.

Hexcimal says... #20

Has anyone tried making a case of trading Mana Leak for Rune Snag yet?
If a full set of either are being considered, in a deck that has any sort of discard (which you run Izzet Charm and Bedlam Reveler) and/or doesn't run Snapcaster, I feel it's a better choice. While the first spell of each game is effectively worse than Mana Leak, every other time it's cast that game it's effectively better (and is a much better sight to see when drawing it late game).

April 11, 2017 2:14 a.m.

derposaurus says... #21

@Hexcimal nobody's made a case for Rune Snag yet, and honestly that seems like it could be really solid in this build. I'm adding it to the maybeboard for now and get my hands on a playset asap so I can switch between that and ML and see which one fits better

April 12, 2017 8:34 p.m.

Hey, if you are updating for Amonkhet, you should definitely consider Enigma Drake. Its pretty much a better Spellheart Chimera since its bolt proof. Too bad its not a dragon. I'd recommend reducing your curve for him by replacing Keranos and/or reducing your anger of the gods count so that you avoid killing your delver more often. (Keranos is still really good against control but too slow against aggro, maybe sideboard slot 15?). Btw, I know that this is probably way out of your budget, but as a stretch goal Blood Moon would also be a great card for your deck, making it way better against Jund, Bant Eldrazi, Tron, etc.

April 18, 2017 1:12 a.m.

bestryanever says... #23

Another consideration for the sideboard COULD be Stormchaser Mage, it can come down pretty quickly and go toe-to-toe with early game creatures, block flyers, and against a slower deck can get under them for some decent damage with the support of your spells.Not sure what I'd swap for him, however :-\

April 18, 2017 10:15 a.m.

I think the best way to free up space for your sideboard is to reduce redundancy. For example, Vapor Snag and Echoing Truth are both very similar cards. The same with Dispel and Spell Pierce. What matchups in your local meta are you having trouble with? Some of your sideboard cards make little sense to me because I'm not sure what matchups they are used for. Lava Spike seems like a very narrow reach card, and Harvest Pyre is hard removal but it nonbos with some of your other cards (also Enigma Drake if you put him in).

April 22, 2017 10:36 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 9 months
Last updated 8 months

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.42
Folders Shit I need to make, <$100, UR, Modern, Modern, Budget Decks, how do i play modern
Top rank #35 on 2017-03-17
Views 2290

Revision 11 See all

8 months ago)

+1 Delver of Secrets  Flip main
-1 Stormbreath Dragon main
+1 Izzet Staticaster side
+1 Harvest Pyre side