Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Review: Izzet League

The Izzet League is the guild everyone seems to love. The band of mad scientists working for an insane dragon certainly has some appeal, but the lack of focus makes me think Izzet has no idea what they are doing. Every now and then, they’ll do something awesome though. Probably accidentally.

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Epic Experiment

This card is hilariously stupid and equally awesome. Generate enough mana and this can end games in a mess of spells waiting to resolve. In Commander, I see this being the destroyer of worlds like Genesis Wave. I can’t wait to see one go off.

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius

Curse you Wizards, you had to make a second Niv-Mizzet that doesn’t automatically cause infinite damage when combined with the first. An inverse of his old-self, Niv-Mizzet is still a good card and a great legendary but he’s so much harder to abuse now. That said, turning UR into a card whenever you want is amazing. For combo commander players, he will easily find a home but his original version is better.

Cyclonic Rift

I remember when Hoodwink was almost playable. Bouncing a non-land for essentially the cost of a Boomerang is solid, but the Overload here is absurd. A super Upheaval for only 7 mana makes me think this is going to get banned in Commander very, very soon. In team based games, Overload is a dangerous gambit since it also means your teammate gets hit by it.

Mizzium Mortars

Targeted removal or mass removal in the same card? Usually you need a split card for this kind of value! Mizzium Mortars is an amazing addition to Red’s arsenal of toys. Two mana for 4 damage is a deal, even at sorcery speed but late game this sweeps the battlefield before combat and clears the way for you. This is a near perfect spell.

Counterflux

The Izzet piece in this cycle is great and perfect for ending messy counter wars. The overload cost is relatively cheap too, so it is nice and easy to cast. If combo is getting out of control, consider this.

Firemind’s Foresight

I do like tutors, but this one feels oddly specific. In Commander, it could be interesting as a way to get those last few combo pieces but this is a tutor that costs 7 mana which just feels very expensive.

That said, it combos with The Unspeakable very, very well.

Hypersonic Dragon

The potential power of this card is absurd. Effectively turning all your sorceries into instants is beyond dangerous. Never mind the fact that this is also a 4/4 flier with haste for 5. Here is a list of all red and blue sorceries just begging to be abused (some more than others), but I am very happy this card is Izzet’s prerelease promo.

Mercurial Chemister

HOLY CRAP. This card could keep the first ability and be excellent. Drawing two cards for one mana is beyond a deal. And then he can discard cards to deal damage too? Delightful! Add in some Madness spells and you’ve got an engine that keeps giving.

Nivmagus Elemental

This is the coolest Atog ever created! He eats instants and sorceries! How awesome is that? This card is something I have no idea if it is actually good.

Steam Vents

This card is excellent. If you are playing red and blue, you should probably be playing these as well. Who wants some steamed dumplings?

Blustersquall

A creature only Twiddle isn’t the best, but once this card becomes overloaded it really becomes interesting. Tapping all creatures you don’t control is a great ability, but like many Overload cards, it’s a double edged sword in multiplayer.

Street Spasm

Like Mizzium Mortars, Street Spasm is a great addition to Red. Targeted removal is handy in a pinch, but late game this can utterly decimate your opponents. It is really expensive though which makes it harder to use effectively.

Vandalblast

I fully approve of this card. I would pay 4R for mass artifact destruction that doesn’t touch my stuff but the ability to also have it be a sorcery speed Shatter? I’m sold.

Izzet Charm

The new charm cycle is a thing of beauty. The ability to counter non-creature spells, deal damage to creatures or filter your hand make me excited at the sheer versatility.

Izzet Staticaster

This card feels slapped together. The mess of abilities like flash, haste and name-chaining all on a 0/3 all feel weird. The total package though is an interesting anti-token card and can really get interesting in non-singleton formats.

Nivix Guildmage

The potential here is amazing. Filtering is a nice touch, but the ability to Fork any of your spells is very, very powerful. This card is begging to find a home in Commander where it will really shine.

Teleportal

As an overload card, this one basically reads “kill one player.” That sounds great usually, but against three or four other players, killing one of them isn’t enough.

Thoughtflare

Instant card draw and filtering in one? I love this card. It isn’t flashy but mid or late game, this is exactly the kind of spell I want to cast to improve my hand.

Blistercoil Weird

The newest addition to the Kiln Fiend family, Blistercoil Weird is an interesting one-drop that is just begging to be abused.

Izzet Keyrune

The templating on this card bothers me, but as a keyrune it does well enough. The filtering is an interesting ability since it gains it whenever it becomes animated, regardless of how it animates. If you’re in the colors, it’s a fine mana source.

Downsize

It’s Hysterical Blindless! But better… or maybe worse depending on what kind of Magic you play. As an overload, this is a nice soft Fog but this doesn’t wow me.

Mizzium Skin

Oh yes, I love this. The extra toughness doesn’t matter but giving hexproof is amazing! Giving hexproof to your entire army though for only 1U will make this a blowout consistently on the battlefield. Vines of Vastwood is great, and now blue can compete.

Dynacharge

For aggressive red decks, this is decent but not ground breaking. Maybe with a lot of goblin tokens it could work as a finisher.

Electrickery

A one-sided Tremor is petty great. A one-sided instant Tremor is even better. If small hordes of tokens are an issue, this can really clear the way. But instants like this are why I love multiplayer because toss this out in the middle of combat you aren’t even involved in is a delightful mess.

Pursuit of Flight

An interesting aura in limited, Pursuit of Flight doesn’t really do anything besides combine Giant Strength with Flight.

Chemister’s Trick

I love forcing attacks in multiplayer, but this one has a weird way of going about it. The reduction in power across the board when overloaded means people will just let them clash together without any real results.

Essence Backlash

This sounds like a blue-black card to me. Or black-white. As a counterspell, it’s okay but it feels too situational work since the damage always goes back to the controller. It is easier to cast than Suffocating Blast at least.

Goblin Electromancer

I like the idea of making spells cheaper, but this card really needs the right kind of support. In a finely tuned deck, he can work wonders but he can’t really just be thrown into any red-blue deck and work.

Frostburn Weird

So I guess Frostburn is the new Flowstone? A decent card, especially being a 1/ 4 for only two mana, but it could do so much more.

Izzet Guildgate

Like the Azorious Guildgate, I really love these common duals. They’re simple and great for Commanders. But for enemy color pairs, this is the first time this card of card has been made making them even better. Also, the art is beautiful.

As a whole, the Izzet League offers plenty of toys for combo players across the board but sadly, most of those cards are rares. The commons and uncommons don’t inspire me much, but a handful of cards manage to make the cogs in my head turn with ideas. To get a good Izzet deck working, it will take some work but when it works, it will be glorious.

Top 5 Izzet League Cards for Casual & Commander

5. Izzet Charm
4. Epic Experiment
3.  Mizzium Mortars
2. Cyclonic Rift
1. Mercurial Chemister

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
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