Champion Spotlight: Grand Prix Fort Lauderdale's "UR Tempo" by WindyDelcarlo

March 7, 2018

 

Entela Spells (UR Spells)
(Entela is the UR Faction on a plane called Volaria, if you were confused)

 

Esia, hi, and greetings in whichever language you decide you want to function on for today. I want to put this really simply: Izzet Spells is an archetype I'm well known for in basically every playgroup I'm a part of. My first standard deck was Guttersnipe/Young Pyromancer, my first modern deck was Delver. I play Izzet Tempo in Canadian Highlander and, of course, I went into a UR Spells list. On one hand, the deck construction, at least initially, seems pretty simple. Some spells, some creatures that like spells, and go.

 

Given it's been a while since GPF and some new sets have come out, I'm going to walk through the list and go over some things that changed in my deck construction and ways I would probably edit this. There's definitely been some cards I wasn't as excited about, some cards that performed way better than I ever could have expected, so let's go over it.

 

GOOD CARDS

 

Master of Tranquility

Big surprise, the card that won the first ever GP won another GP. For 1U and a spellcast you end up with a 5/1 beater that can easily end the game with no other resolved creatures. In this case, using unsummon effects and removal to let it get through as a 5/6/7-power creature usually meant that the game was over in 3 or 4 turns after resolution.

 

Into the Sky

This was the Champion card that I chose for my tournament, and there's a really good reason for it. Unsummon effects are absolutely vital for this deck. Creatures get in the way a lot, and this tournament was the world of 9/9 demons for a single black mana or 5/5's for 2. Both of these being tokens and the exceptional amount of burn at this tournament made the unsummon effect and the minor lifegain extremely relevant. This card would likely make the main-deck if I did this again.

 

Arcane Harvesters

Finally, Arcane Harvesters, which puts in an absolute ton of work in a format full of X/1's. Although the mirror never showed up, where Harvesters poking a Master of Tranquility a bit would end its life if it even tried to become 5-power, it still makes games against tokens so much easier. Those small 1/1's block Master of Tranquility all day long, Seto San can become basically impossible to kill, and other random creatures start dying to burn harder than normal. It also provides inevitability when the game is expected to go long, so Arcane Harvesters allows the tempo deck to slide to more of a control role.

 

CUTS

 

Miyoga Firebird:
This is a card that I wasn't especially excited about and kept being sideboarded out. It seems amazing in a deck that can afford to be slower and it would definitely make it into a 100-card singleton version of this deck, but my fastest draws happened when I played a one- or two-drop and then nothing but instants and sorceries for the rest of the game. At 3-mana, a 3/2 flier with haste is actually not especially exciting.

 

Vedalken Reshaper
This card is nuts. In previous versions of this deck, this card was a house. However, the problem in this deck is that I have so many methods of exiling its own cards from its graveyard that Vedalken Reshaper often cost upwards of 4 and one time it cost 6. I would cut this here for basically that reason. Unlike Snapcaster Mage, Vedalken Reshaper becomes a dead card if I have no spells, and I can't afford to draw dead cards in this deck.

 

Arcanist's Dispersal
Arcanist's Dispersal definitely does what my deck wants. It's a cheap counterspell that's pretty easy to hold up. However, with Novea's release, there actually is a better option for this slot that I'll discuss in the next section.

 

Opt:
This card is very good, and it's very possible that it comes back if nerfs happen to some cards in future updates, but there is a better cantrips I should be playing presently.

 

Seabreen Nullmage
As per usual, a card ended up in my sideboard that I never wanted to sideboard into the matchups I wanted it for. In the last GP I played UR Spells, I had Entelan Erasure that was supposed to be the board against control decks, but it was never any good. In this case, Seabreen was meant as answers to decks like Carrionpult and other difficult-to-interact-with combo lists that need triggered or activated abilities. The problem with this is that my deck is innately good against combo. Tempo applies both pressure and interaction that most combo lists have problems with.

 

ADDITIONS


Reconsider (Novea)
This is my replacement for Arcanist's Dispersal. The pseudo-flashback on Arcanist's Dispersal is never happening in this deck. Therefore, Reconsider is already a strict upgrade for me. Now, the question might be asked about why I'm not playing other harder counterspells. The other slot this is competing for as a 2CMC counterspell is Arcane Genesis, but Reconsider does one thing special: It cycles while still casting a spell. My biggest problem with Dispersal was that if I needed to Reprise my Roggar's Gambit, I just couldn't. If I needed to trigger Master of Tranquility, I just couldn't. Reconsider is so great for this purpose. The 3 copies of Dispersal turn directly into 3 copies of Reconsider.

 

Invalidate (Plagues of Fretport):
Good old Force Spike. This is a card I haven't done much testing with in MSE Modern, but Force Spike is Canadian Highlander is so much better that it would ever, and this card is relatively easy to keep up while casting my other spells. This is far more speculative than anything else in this list. The 4 copies of Vedalken Reshaper come out for these.

 

Roggar's Frenzy (Aftermath):
This is a card that there should have been 4 copies of in the situation I went into a blue-red control deck post-sideboard. This card becomes extremely powerful when you even begin to look at it. The reason it wasn't present in the first place was because of the two mana situation, but lowering my creature count as far as I have makes it very reasonable. Two more get added to the sideboard.

 

Impulsive Plan (Death of Yakizma)
This is a really powerful cantrip for a Spells deck. As I'm sure is probably pretty obvious at this point, drawing three cards for one mana is very good. The unfortunate part is that this comes with the downside of exiling two cards from your hand, so as far as cantrips go, it digs far but doesn't actually generate any cards. I think this is fine, since I no longer need to worry about keeping cards in my graveyard for Vedalken Reshaper. This'll overwrite Opt.

 

Mindstorm's Eye (Mious)
I've talked at short about being able to sideboard into a control deck for long enough to kill someone with burn or with evasive recursive threats. The only thing I lack for that game plan is a method of restoring my hand size, and Mindstorm's Eye does both damage and also drawing 3 cards in that late game. This takes the last extra card slot in the sideboard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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