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Jaya's Magical Shotgun (Wizard Control)

Standard Burn Control Tribal UR (Izzet) Wizards



Do you feel as if your decks just don't fire you up like they used to? Wimpy standard burn spells leaving you cold? Does tapping three lands for counter magic scald you with disappointment?

Hi, my name is 40fy and I am here to help! I too once struggled with a meta that can seem unfairly biased towards the muggle creatures. I too was disappointed when it looked like even the new wizard theme would turn into a beatdown strategy. I too thought that there was little magic left for me to gather in this game. Then, I found a card that let me fight back. It let me Fight with Fire.

Now THAT'S a wizard

Despite their name, Wizards of the coast don't seem to get wizards. Just look at Adeliz, the Cinder Wind and Ghitu Lavarunner. What are these, karate wizards? Remember that scene where Gandalf just up and punched those orcs? Oh that's right, he didn't, because wizards aren't about whacking things.

To their credit, it looks like WOC did at least some research. They gave us two tools, Wizard's Retort and Wizard's Lightning that we can use our magical buddies to help cast. Still, these aren't even close to enough. You can't kill an opponent with just 4 Lightning Bolt.

Fortunately, Jaya Ballard is here to wip some sense into these fools, to learn them some real magic if you get my drift. And what does this real magic look like you might ask? Why, it looks like a kicked Fight with Fire, a.k.a. the magical shotgun!.

So here is the basic game plan. On five mana, Jaya Ballard comes down. She can use her first +1 to help blast some critter, or her second +1 to help find something else you might need. Then, on six lands plus Jaya, you get to kick a Fight with Fire, destroying your opponent's board and usually hitting them in the face for a good bit too. With their board gone, Jaya can now safely cycle through your library until you arrive at one of a couple of ways to kick another 10 damage to their face.


Ultimately this deck is control oriented, but it starts out like a tempo deck. Playing a wizard means that our opponent has a turn to play something of their own and we won't have mana up to counter it. As such, it is critical that we aren't playing wizards just to have a wizard on the battlefield for Wizard's Retort and Wizard's Lightning. They need to generate enough value on their own to be almost worth including, or we wont be able to regain board control. Thankfully, we don't need a ton of the dudes anyways, just enough that we will usually draw into one and be able to start wizarding our opponent before we die. The following fit the bill pretty well:

4x Champion of Wits: It seems like decent card draw costs 3 mana these days. Most control decks choose Search for Azcanta  , but in this case we are going to take Champion of Wits. First, it's a wizard. Second, it can chump for Jaya. Third, we are going to be discarding a lot, and this is a good card to cycle into the graveyard.

4x Merfolk Trickster: I'm honestly really surprised that this isn't a rare, or possibly even mythic. A 2/2 for two with flash is a decent base line. Add on not one but two useful creature types and you have something that looks like it could see play. Then, on top of that you give it the ability to do two fairly relevant things as it enters the battlefield (tapping and removing abilities), and your have what I like to call an unfair two drop. Aside from it's obvious use of tapping down something big to spare our lifepoints for a turn, Merfolk Trickster can also be used alongside other removal to get rid of these problematic gods from the Amonkhet block. It's ability is so versatile, I'm going to do a whole section on combos this card can do.

Just Say No

Whatever your opponent is doing, you want nothing to do with it. In general, you have two options to make sure that they aren't getting closer to winning: counters and removal. Often you will have the option to use either one, and learning to choose correctly usually is the difference between victory and defeat. When you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself the following questions:

What is my opponent playing? What card in their deck am I most scared of? Are they playing anything that can protect itself from damage once on the battlefield (Bristling Hydra, Hazoret the Fervent)? Could they cast some sort of spooky artifact, and if so, do I have Abrade in my hand?

How much mana is my opponent leaving up? Could they just pay the Censor cost (I will admit to forgetting this question more than once)? Could they play the Censor cost next turn? Are they baiting me into countering this so that they can play something worse?

Does my opponent know that I could remove or counter this? Do they fundamentally not understand what I am playing, and if so how can I use this to my advantage? If they do understand, why might they be playing it?

Our tools to stop our opponent from playing stuff are:

3x Censor: For the first few turns, most decks don't leave up mana, making this even better than Counterspell. Once the game has gone past that point, it becomes : draw a card, which isn't the worst either.
3x Supreme Will: Kind of like Censor+. Just remember, leaving up 3 mana is significantly harder than leaving up 2.
4x Wizard's Retort: To be honest, this card is just really good. Unlike its counterpart Wizard's Lightning, three mana to counter a spell is surprisingly close to being standard playable. Get a wizard on the field, and you have Counterspell, which... well, let's just say there is a reason it hasn't been printed in standard for a long, long time.

Our main tools to get rid of whatever our opponent just played include:

1x Abrade: 3 damage to target creature for 2 mana is nothing to write home about, but it is pretty much typical these days. 2 mana to destroy target artifact is really good, but kind of situational. Having the ability to both with the same card is really good. Having more of these in your sideboard is probably a good idea.
3x Time of Ice: There is an old saying that aggressive decks either win on turn five or lose on turn six. So what happens if you stop them on turn four? This new card still needs a bit of testing, but so far it seems REALLY good. The fact that you get to stall out your opponent for two full turns with a single card is amazing. The best part is that they won't want to play anything once this is down, since you could just tap it and send it back to their hand. It just kind of leaves them stuck, which is exactly what you want.
4x Wizard's Lightning: Paying three mana to deal three damage is not great. You really want to have a wizard in play before you play this. However, it's upgraded form is only one mana, which often allows you to surprise your opponent by playing this the same turn as another wizard.

Finally, remember this. In a lot of games, people say that you should be playing to win, not just playing to not lose. That is not so true here. Don't be afraid to cast an unkicked Fight with Fire from time to time. Don't feel like you have to ultimate Jaya Ballard as fast as possible with only a couple spells in the graveyard and a dead hand. You want to play safe. It's called control for a reason.

Enter the magical shotgun

3x Jaya Ballard: Man do I love this card. Lets do a quick run down of her abilities.
You've got her first +1, which adds to your mana pool, which can only be used to cast instant or sorcery spells. I remember when Jaya Ballard was first revealed, and people were like "eh, five mana and doesn't even protect herself". I want to know what instant and sorceries they were planning to cast with those mana, because if you aren't roasting something with them then you are doing it wrong.
Then there is her second +1. I honestly thought this was a -1 for about a week. It's just. So. Good. As a control deck, your primary goal is to find answers to everything your opponent plays. That's why control decks usually have some sort of draw engine like Search for Azcanta  . Jaya is that but three times over. You will basically never run out of gas as long as she is on the battlefield.
Finally, her third ability reads "-8: You win the game". Okay, granted that's not actually what it says but it's close enough. Not only does it basically let you draw all of the spells in your graveyard, which usually would be enough, but it also lets you cast all spells from your hand twice. This being said, there isn't a ton special about this ability. Expecting to reach 8 loyalty is pretty unrealistic, and a lot of planeswalkers have ultimates that are pretty much game winning. What makes this good, however, is that both of her other abilities are +1. This means that when Jaya hits the battlefield, aside from her synergy with Fight with Fire, your opponent also has a really tight clock to do something about Jaya or they WILL lose one way or another.

2x The Mirari Conjecture: As 5 drops go, this isn't nearly as exciting as Jaya Ballard. That being said, it's not bad either. As finishers for control decks go, one of the advantages Fight with Fire has is that it's not a dead card until the game goes very late. Still, if it's in your graveyard you can't use it to kill your opponent. What you will usually want to do is use the first chapter to get some sort of counter magic, the second chapter will obviously fetch Fight with Fire, and on the third chapter you can go to town with removal.

3x Fight with Fire: Last but not least, the magical shotgun itself. I'm not really sure what else to say here, aside from make sure that you kill as many creatures as you can before going face with the damage. I think that should be somewhat obvious, though.

Merfolk Trickster Combos

Like I said before, Merfolk Trickster does so much for two mana it's hard to believe. Here are my favorites combos for situations that commonly show up in the meta:

Merfolk Trickster + Fight with Fire (not kicked): Five mana, kill The Scarab God (it won't go back to your opponent's hand)
Merfolk Trickster + Wizard's Lightning: Do this after the declare attacks step on your opponent's turn for the biggest tempo swings you will ever see. And don't forget, you can target creatures that are already tapped with Merfolk Trickster's ability.
Merfolk Trickster + Time of Ice: Lol bet Mr. Opponent thinks he is so clever, not attacking the turn before chapter 3 of Time of Ice. Suprise them by tapping down a creature at the end of their turn. Even before then, you can do this against a Bristling Hydra, and it won't have hexproof on your turn, allowing you to then target it with one of the first two chapters.


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Top Ranked
  • Achieved #3 position overall 2 years ago
Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 years
Exclude colors WBG

This deck is not Standard legal.

Rarity (main - side)

3 - 0 Mythic Rares

14 - 0 Rares

25 - 0 Uncommons

1 - 0 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 3.14
Tokens 4/4 Zombie Naga Wizard, Jaya
Folders Dominaria Standard, ideas, Control, Domstd, deckz, Decks to Make?, jaya, Interesting Standard Decks, Decks, Control, See all 20
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