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Welcome to Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind !

Non-Comprehensive Guidelines for Optimal Izzet Conduct

This deck is an attempt to tune Niv-Mizzet, Parun to the very best it can be tuned, bar placing in the 99 of a deck headed by a Grixis commander. The deck focuses on trying to keep control of the game through a powerful control suite, whilst constantly working towards one of several combo finishes.

I've tried to write this deck-tech in such a way that is both informative to players looking to build an optimized Niv-Mizzet, Parun deck, and so that it informs anyone willing to provide input of what my gameplan is.

The Combos: How to alienate your friends

  • That Time Niv-Mizzet Had All The Ideas

The main combo involves attaching (or soulbonding) either Curiosity , Ophidian Eye , or Tandem Lookout to Niv-Mizzet, Parun (Or Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind ) to draw your entire deck. Each time you draw a card either Niv-Mizzet will allow you to deal 1 damage to any target, when Niv-Mizzet deals damage to an opponent any of the three combo-pieces will allow you to draw another card. This allows you to deal damage equal to the amount of cards remaining in your deck.

You can avoid decking out by either choosing not to draw a card with Ophidian Eye or Curiosity , or by dealing the last instance of 1 damage to either a creature or yourself with Tandem Lookout .

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind , Psychosis Crawler and Spark Double are included so that you can increase the amount of damage dealt each time you draw. You can also use a Timetwister effect to shuffle your Hand into your Library, and draw that many cards again. Winds of Change is included for this reason.

  • That Time Niv-Mizzet Found A Magic Stick

Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter allows you to pay to cast Dramatic Reversal, untapping all of your non-land permanents, including all of your mana rocks and Isochron Scepter. This isn't in any way an original combo, but with enough mana rocks to produce 3 mana you can generate infinite mana, and each time you use the combo you cast Dramatic Reversal , which makes Niv-Mizzet, Parun force you to draw a card (which allows you to deal 1 damage to any target). If you can generate only 2 mana from your mana rocks, you can still infinitely cast Dramatic Reversal , allowing you to draw a card and ping any target for 1 damage.

With Niv-Mizzet in play you can draw your entire deck, but generate 0 mana, as long as you have Mana Rocks providing a total of 2 mana, without Niv-Mizzet in play you can use Sensei's Divining Top to draw your entire library.

This allows you to draw your entire deck and generate infinite mana, or simply generate Infinite Mana. You can use this to win with Laboratory Maniac or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries whilst holding a full grip of counterspells and infinite mana. Alternatively you can cast Psychosis Crawler , followed by Winds of Change to shuffle your hand into your deck, and make each opponent lose 1 life for each card in your deck.

You might include Blue Sun's Zenith as an alternative win-condition, but as this is the only infinite mana combo in the deck and it already leads into two options to win on the spot I don't think BSZ is an appropriate include, as the card does not do enough for this deck isolated from the combo.

  • That Time Niv-Mizzet Had A Dream

Dream Halls isn't part of an infinite combo, however using it to play Enter the Infinite on Turn 5 (or even Turn 1 or 2), ends the game on the spot. You can use Omniscience similarly, however the difference between 10 CMC and 5 CMC is monumental.

Dream Halls and Omniscience both allow you to accelerate any of your game plans, and can turn into a straight win on their own due to the sheer amount of draw power included in the deck. However, without a clear win condition in hand Dream Halls can give your opponents the exact same advantage.

  • That Time Niv-Mizzet's Buddy Ral Cooked Up A Storm

Fury Storm + Ral, Storm Conduit allows you to deal infinite damage. To do this you must have cast your commander once through the game, so that Fury Storm will create an additional copy when cast. With Ral, Storm Conduit in play cast Fury Storm copying any instant or sorcery, and use the additional copy to copy the original Fury Storm. Each time you copy (or cast) an Instant or Sorcery Ral will deal 1 damage to target Player or Planeswalker.

This can be used as a pay off for numerous combos, and is a safe way to win if you may be decked out by casting Niv-Mizzet.

Dream Halls can accelerate this combo, and both of the cards make for strong effects in isolation.

  • Dracomagus Ex Machina

Empowered Autogenerator and Filigree Sages generates infinite mana. With 3 Charge Counters on the Autogenerator tap it for 3 blue mana, and spend the mana to use the Sages to untap the Autogenerator, repeat this generating increasingly higher mana, once you've generated enough Blue mana, begin generating Red mana.

This combo doesn't win on its own and will require a pay off. You'll often be able to use Niv-Mizzet to dig in to an outlet for that infinite mana, if you have an ample handsize.

  • That Time Niv-Mizzet Didn't Actually Combo

A final strong win condition which can go under the radar is to copy an effect like Winds of Change with Fury Storm . This can help close out a game when you're left 1 vs 1.

  • If At First You Don't Succeed...

Try adding more PLASMA!

Getting your combo countered is a set back, but not the end of the world. This deck doesn't try to dwell on one combo, when our combo is countered we move onto the next instead of bothering to try and recur it. We only run two forms of recursion: Flood of Recollection and Mission Briefing , however most of our combo-pieces aren't an instant or sorcery. These are instead used to use our tutors over and over again, to keep finding new combo pieces, but can also be used to reclaim Winds of Change , Enter the Infinite , Fury Storm , or Dramatic Reversal .

If your combo is countered look at the pieces you have in play, and return to your control gameplan until you have an opportunity to pursue another line of play.

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius whilst not in the deck is with us in spirit; He has no patience for minds that do not inspire him or explode by trying. You only get one shot.

  • Dragon Wizard Avatar: The God Hand

This deck is capable of winning on Turn 1 and 2 with a God Hand. This section serves no purpose other than to illustrate several fantastic lines of play.

With a starting hand of any any untapped land, Sol Ring , Mana Vault , Isochron Scepter , Dramatic Reversal , and Sensei's Divining Top (6 of your 8 cards on Turn 1) you can win on Turn 1. Play your Land, tap it to play Sol Ring, which you tap to play Mana Vault, floating 1 mana. Tap your Mana Vault and cast Isochron Scepter, imprinting Dramatic Reversal and floating 2 mana. Tap your Isochron Scepter and begin generating infinite mana. Once you've generated some mana, cast Sensei's Divining Top . Tap the Top, hold priority, and tap Isochron Scepter. Let that resolve, untap all your non-lands, and tap the Top, repeat this stacking Top triggers until you have enough Top triggers to draw your entire library+1. From then, use your infinite mana to cast and producing mana-rocks and use any of the several combo finishers. Sol Ring or Mana Vault can be substituted with Mana Crypt

With a more reliable god-hand you can win on Turn 2 with a starting hand of a producing untapped land, Sol Ring or Mana Crypt , Izzet Signet , Sky Diamond , Talisman of Curiosity , or Coldsteel Heart , and having in either the starting hand or first 2 draws, 1 more land Dream Halls , Enter the Infinite , and any Blue card to discard to Enter the Infinite. On Turn 1 play a Land, cast Sol Ring, and cast your CMC 2 mana-rock, turn 2 play Dream Halls, and cast Enter the Infinite by discarding a Blue card. Use Dream Halls to cast any of your various combo finishers.

Tutoring: Digging up the dirt

  • Feeling lucky, punk? Gamble is your foremost tutor, on turn 1 allowing you to dig into your deck, put any card in your hand and then discard 1 card at random. Gamble is best used with more cards in your hand than less, if there is a card you can't afford to lose in your hand don't use Gamble unless you have at least 7 cards in hand (ideally 10 or more cards).

  • In it for the long haul? Long-Term Plans is ideal. Long-Term Plans is the only blue card that can search for any card which makes it ideal for finding Ophidian Eye , Curiosity , or Tandem Lookout which can only be searched up with Long-Term Plans or Gamble. Whilst it does put the card 3rd from the top if you are at a stage where you need that card quickly that will likely never be a problem, and if you are simply making a long term plan, that's no bother either.

  • Let's get crafty. Fabricate will dig out any artifact. Whilst only one of our combo pieces can be drawn up with this ( Isochron Scepter ) it helps us to dig up a lot of cards that can help accelerate our game plan. Often we'll be stuck for mana, or need just a little push over the edge, and digging up Chromatic Lantern or Gilded Lotus is something I've found myself doing a lot to help shore up my mana, or using Fabricate to find Psychosis Crawler before I combo off with Niv-Mizzet, Parun + Ophidian Eye to increase the total damage dealt. It also helps us dig up Tormod's Crypt , our only way of dealing with graveyard based decks.

  • Let's think small. Muddle the Mixture lets us pay to discard it and search for any card with CMC2. That's great, especially when Dramatic Reversal , Isochron Scepter , Mizzium Mortars , Cyclonic Rift , and a big ol' dragon-butt load of other better counterspells are CMC2. Muddle the Mixtures depending on your meta is also a cheap and surprisingly relevant counterspell, despite its narrow focus, and it can lead to hilarious (and completely inefficient) chains such as this: Muddle The Mixtures, searching for Merchant Scroll, Merchant Scroll searching for Mystical Tutor, Mystical Tutor searching for Shattering Spree.

  • Got a need to gamble? Make plans? Or just need a counterspell? Mystical Tutor can search for any Instant or Sorcery, and I tend to use it as a tutor-tutor, using it to search out other more flexible tutors. It can search for 40 cards in the deck, however most of our combo pieces (excepting Fury Storm , Enter the Infinite , Winds of Change , and Dramatic Reversal ) aren't actually Instants or Sorceries, but Mystical Tutor can also help us find Gamble , Long-Term Plans , Fabricate , and Muddle the Mixtures, as well as several control pieces, Pongify , Chaos Warp , and the aforementioned butt-load of counterspells.

  • Drift of Phantasms works exactly like Muddle the Mixture , except it searches for cards that are CMC 3. We don't have much at CMC 3, except for a bunch of win conditions. This will mostly be used to search for: Tandem Lookout and Ophidian Eye , the latter being my favourite card to set off Niv-Mizzet's infinite draw combo as it can be done when your opponents can't answer with a draw trigger on the stack. It can also search for Long-Term Plans if you need a tutor that can search for anything at all, or Fabricate if you need an Artifact, Laboratory Maniac (in case you are worried about it being milled), and finally Chaos Warp if you need to answer an Enchantment. Unlike Muddle the Mixture this card is only ever used as a tutor, and serves no other purpose in the deck.

  • Merchant Scroll is the weakest looking tutor in the deck, and priced appropriately at a whopping $3. We can use it to search for any Blue Instant, which is a fairly narrow focus, but that will let us find Long-Term Plans , Dramatic Reversal , and Mystical Tutor . It's a fairly strong tutor in this deck, despite its very narrow focus.

Being That Guy: '...In response'

A large part of this deck focuses on keeping opponents from getting out of control. This deck plays as control deck right up until the point you can combo off, and focuses entirely on holding up enough mana to deal with the one scary thing each full turn rotation. It's important to bare in mind that you have 3 opponents, and should only try to deal with 1 at a time, each time you 1 for 1 an opponent the other two have gained card advantage over you, and to that affect you need to make friends and prioritise targets. Make it clear there are players you can't deal, or won't, and try to focus on only stopping the player who can do the most harm to you.

Niv-Mizzet, Parun is a great choice for an Izzet Control theme. Every time anyone casts an Instant or Sorcery he allows you to draw a card, which keeps your grip full both from your opponents casting something as innocuous as a Rampant Growth and from us casting our Counterspell .

  • Dealing with smaller Creatures and Planeswalkers is fairly straightforward. Casting Brainstorm with Niv-Mizzet in play will give you 4 instances of 1 damage to deal to any target, allowing you to snipe down smaller creatures.

  • Larger creatures call for Pongify , Rapid Hybridization , or Reality Shift . Imprison in the Moon deals with almost any creature for a very long while, but is best used on commanders - mono-black players are especially vulnerable to it, however mono-blue players can bounce the enchantment, and mono-red players can destroy the land.

  • Artifacts are dealt with by Vandalblast and Shattering Spree .

  • We only have one answer to enchantments, and that is Chaos Warp . Meteor Golem and Spine of Ish Sah might be reasonable includes, despite not being an Instant or Sorcery, and their high mana cost however it is typically better to try and recur Chaos Warp with Flood of Recollection .

  • Uncounterable graveyard shenanigans are one of our big weaknesses, such as Gitrog Stuff, they are best dealt with by tutoring for Tormod's Crypt (Other Graveyard exiling effects may apply) and the graveyard. You only get one shot as this deck isn't running any Artifact recursion, but that can be enough to keep the game going long enough for you to win.

All of the time that you're holding up mana you should be expanding your hand, until you find one of your combo pieces. Once you find one, use your tutors to find the other part. As most of the cards are two-part combos this approach is fairly foolproof.

Improving on this deck: Niv Mizzet, Reborn?

Improving on this deck is fairly obvious in many respects, such as acquiring cards like Force of Negation , Mana Crypt , Force of Will , and so on, however the cheaper upgrades are far less straight forward.

Please give me your feedback

If you can think of includes that are not mentioned in the acquireboard or additional combos that are not already included in the deck, but work well as standalone pieces, I'd love to know about them.

I've not included several cards intentionally, especially in regards to fast mana as I do not believe they help to accelerate this colour-intensive deck sufficiently. I've also not included much recursion, as I think the best course of play is to move from combo to combo, rather than to try and recur combo pieces for a second try.

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30% Casual

70% Competitive