Izzet - 22nd and 23rd cards

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So, last night I decided to go for an 8-4 draft rather than Swiss as I wanted a bit more of a challenge.  I ended up going Izzet although wasted a pick in P2p1 on an Amarda Wurm as I needed one for my collection.  I ended up with a fairly strong deck topped off with a Mizzium Mortars but I only had 21 'good' cards and then about 5 options for 22 and 23.  I really struggled to decide what to main deck so thought I would see what others had chosen.

Here are the 38 cards that I knew I was going to play and the 6 cards that I had left to pick from.  What would you have chosen?

Lands (17)     
Azorius Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
1 Plains
7 Islands
7 Mountains

Creatures (13)
3xGoblin Electromancer
Frostburn Weird
Izzet Staticaster 
Lobber Crew
Splatter Thug
Vassal Soul
Runewing
Hypersonic Dragon
Voidwielder
Isperia's Skywatch
Skyline Predator       

Spells (8)
Dramatic Rescue 
Mizzium Mortars
Pursuit of Flight 
Cancel
Izzet Keyrune 
Essence Backlash
Thoughtflare
Explosive Impact   

Choices
Bellows Lizard
Electrikery
Mizzium Skin 
2xViashino Racketeer   
Another Essence Backlash 
Batterhorn
Pyroconvergence 

I ended up taking the Electrickery and a Racketeer.  I nearly always sided the Electrickery out but for different things (Batterhorn in one game with an aggressive deck running Civic Saber, Mizzium skin against a removal heavy Rakdos deck and Essence Backlash against a controlling Izzet deck).

     
I would not splash for Dramatic Rescue, so would also leave out the Azorius Guildgate and the Plains. I would run 18 lands, though. Being a bit more blue heavy in the early game, I'd add 2 Islands and a Mountain. I'd also want more creatures and thus would go with both Racketeers, which could also cycle away excess lands, making running 18 lands even more plausible. I'm partial to the Keyrune as you need to push it through somehow to really get some benefit out of it. Seeing that you don't have much in the 4 mana slot yet, I'd prefer the second Essence Backlash over the Batterhorn, but would be fine to run that in the main instead as well.
Mizzium Skin for sure.  I'm always looking for a way to include this, and you have a perfect opportunity to do so.  For  the other, probably the extra-copy of Backlash, but be ready to side in Electrickery if needed.
First of all Dramatic Rescue has to be removed, along with the two lands that allow its usage.

Mizzium Skin is good!
bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
I would also say lose the Dramatic Rescue.  Love the card but it's not something I would splash for.

I would then add Mizzium Skin and both Racketeers.
Get rid of Rescue and Essence Backlash and board in the lizard and a racketeer and a batterhorn and a miz skin.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

It's really interesting that everyone would cut the Rescue.  I really rate this card and the one time I played it it was a game-changer but maybe I am overrating it.

In terms of the cards, I would certainly not get rid of Essence Backlash, which was my second best card behind mortars in terms of what it actually did.  It killed one opponent stopping a Tenement Crasher, won the final game by countering a Carnival Hellstead (for 6 damage) and allowed me to play a draw/go style game, which is how I prefer to play Izzet.

I do think that given I had Staticaster I shouldn't have played Electrickery and should have played the Mizzium Skin over it.  I was really unimpressed by Staticaster I have to say although I did not come up against any Populate/Eyes in the Skies decks where it can be very good.   
It's really interesting that everyone would cut the Rescue.  I really rate this card and the one time I played it it was a game-changer but maybe I am overrating it.

In terms of the cards, I would certainly not get rid of Essence Backlash, which was my second best card behind mortars in terms of what it actually did.  It killed one opponent stopping a Tenement Crasher, won the final game by countering a Carnival Hellstead (for 6 damage) and allowed me to play a draw/go style game, which is how I prefer to play Izzet.

I do think that given I had Staticaster I shouldn't have played Electrickery and should have played the Mizzium Skin over it.  I was really unimpressed by Staticaster I have to say although I did not come up against any Populate/Eyes in the Skies decks where it can be very good.   



Dramatic Rescue is a fine card. But it isn't something to splash for by any means, and it is at its best as tempo in Azorius!

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
In terms of the cards, I would certainly not get rid of Essence Backlash, which was my second best card behind mortars in terms of what it actually did.  It killed one opponent stopping a Tenement Crasher, won the final game by countering a Carnival Hellstead (for 6 damage) and allowed me to play a draw/go style game, which is how I prefer to play Izzet.


Note, that if you counter the Hellsteed with Essence Backlash, your opponent never gets to the point of choosing to unleash it or not. Backlash will only ever deal 5 damage here.
I'd drop Dramatic Rescue and add Batterhorn, Viashino Racketeer and Mizzium Skin.  Batterhorn is pretty bad from a value perspective, but often times having that 4 power in the ground is pretty relevant, moreso with Pursuit of Flight in the mix.  Racketeer is fine in a build like this without a ton of creatures -- helps you dig for what you want.  Gets a little clunky in multiples.  Mizzium Skin isn't something I always like to maindeck but in matches where it's a completely dead card you're usually in decent shape.
I'm not sure the Izzet Keyrune is good enough. I would cut that.

I don't think the Dramatic Rescue is worth it as a splash since it's a timing-dependant card. I think it's more important to have a rock-solid mana base for those three turn-2 Goblin Electromancers. Then again, it's solid Auras/token removal so it might depend on the matchup.

I would consider replacing those cards with 2 Racketeers, to improve the chance of drawing the Mizzium Mortars (or the Thought Flare that might draw you into Mizzium Mortars). When your one bomb is as strong as Mortars, it makes me want to play a virtual "38 card" deck, even if 2 of those 38 cards are three-drop 2/1s.

I love the synergy between Goblin Electromancer and Essence Backlash. While I'm not sure if the 2nd copy should go in or not because you already have a Cancel too, I would not cut the first copy. 

For the final card, I would play an 18th land because you want to hit those three 5-drops and three 6-drops on time, and with 2 Racketeers and Thought Flare, there should be enough looting to loot away excess lands if you get flooded.
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