Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Budget Magic: $74 (23 tix) Izzet Saheeli (Standard, Magic Arena)

Budget Magic: $74 (23 tix) Izzet Saheeli (Standard, Magic Arena)


你好, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! This week, we have a bit of a special episode: we played best-of-one Standard during the War of the Spark preview event held earlier this week. While the set wasn't actually released until Thursday afternoon, thanks to a stocked preview account (for one day only) from Wizards, we were able to stream and get in some games early! The deck for today? Izzet Saheeli, which looks to go super wide with tokens by casting a ton of spells with Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and Murmuring Mystic on the battlefield. If the go-wide plan fails, we can always amass a huge Zombie Army with the help of Invade the City. Apart from being super sweet, Izzet Saheeli is also super cheap everywhere, being around $75 in paper and requiring only two mythics and four rare wildcards on Magic Arena. Can our new Young Pyromancer planeswalker make for a competitive and fun budget deck in War of the Spark Standard? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

First, a quick reminder: if you enjoy the Budget Magic series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Budget Magic: Izzet Saheeli

The Deck

Izzet Saheeli is sort of a strange mashup: halfway Izzet Tokens, halfway a spellslinger deck. The main plan of the deck is to stick a Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and a Murmuring Mystic or two, cast a ton of cheap spells, and make a massive board full of 1/1 tokens to beat the opponent down. If that plan fails, we can also go tall with the help of Invade the City or Crackling Drake to put a 10+ power creature on the battlefield for just three or four mana. Izzet Saheeli is actually pretty easy to break down into three parts: payoffs, cantrips, and removal.

The Payoffs

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

The main engines of our deck are Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and Murmuring Mystic, which are actually very similar cards. Saheeli, Sublime Artificer gives us a three-mana planeswalker that makes a 1/1 Servo whenever we cast a noncreature spells, while Murmuring Mystic gives us a 1/1 flying Bird whenever we cast an instant or sorcery. Since all of our noncreature spells apart from Saheeli, Sublime Artificer itself are instants or sorceries, this means that we're triggering both of our payoffs every time we cast a spell, which allows us to make a huge board full of tokens quickly.

Ideally, we'll play a Saheeli, Sublime Artificer on Turn 3 and a Murmuring Mystic on Turn 4 and then untap on Turn 5 to cast several spells, which often leaves us with 10 or more power on the battlefield across a ton of bodies. We can then use our Birds and Servos to chump block and protect our Saheeli. Then, we repeat the process again the next turn until we eventually have such an overwhelming board that we can go on the attack and kill our opponent in just a turn or two.

While Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and Murmuring Mystic are both fine standalone cards, they also work well together. While Saheeli's 2 ability doesn't come up all that often, it does allow for some incredibly explosive turns where we turn a random Servo token into a copy of Murmuring Mystic to make even more tokens. With a Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and two copies of Murmuring Mystic on the battlefield, every spell we cast comes with a kicker that's pretty close to a free Spectral Procession, which is pretty absurd!

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Invade the City and Crackling Drake are our backup plan for killing our opponent. While our plan of going wide with tokens is great in most matchups, certain cards can ruin our day if our only play is to make a bunch of 1/1s (like Goblin Chainwhirler or Fiery Cannonade). Invade the City and Cracking Drake allow us to go tall with one or two massive creatures that dodge some of the common sweepers and removal in the format.

Invade the City is incredibly powerful in the late game, often giving us a 10/10 (or more) for just three mana once our graveyard is full of spells. Plus, since it is a sorcery itself, it triggers both Murmuring Mystic and Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, making it an easy inclusion in our deck. Meanwhile, Crackling Drake—apart from being a huge, flying, cantripping threat—can do some fun tricks with Saheeli, Sublime Artificer since we can use Saheeli's 2 to turn a Servo into a copy of Crackling Drake, which sometimes allows us to kill our opponent with just one big evasive attack.

Cantrips

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Once we have our payoffs on the battlefield, the next most important part of our deck is cheap spells that draw us a card. These cards allow us to sort of combo off by casting a bunch of spells in the same turn, triggering our Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and Murmuring Mystic multiple times to make a bunch of tokens while also stocking our graveyard to grow our copies of Invade the City and Crackling Drake. Opt gives us a bit of card selection while replacing itself in our hand, making it a great one-mana way to trigger our payoffs. Meanwhile, while Radical Idea is a bit expensive, being able to cast it twice thanks to jump-start makes it very powerful with Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and Murmuring Mystic, essentially doubling up our tokens with just one card.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

We also have Chart a Course and Tormenting Voice, which allow us to turbo through our deck at lightning speed, allowing us to discard our worst card (or maybe even a Radical Idea) to see two fresh cards. This makes it really hard for our deck to run out of action, even if we happen to hit a pocket of lands, since we can simply discard them and (hopefully) turn them into another spell to trigger our payoffs an additional time.

Removal

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Our second group of spells is removal, with Shock, Lightning Strike, and Lava Coil giving us ways to deal with our opponent's creatures in the early game that also double up as cheap ways to trigger Murmuring Mystic and Saheeli, Sublime Artificer. Shock and Lightning Strike comes with the additional upside of hitting any target, which makes them a good way to deal with opposing planeswalkers or throw some damage at our opponent's face, if we are looking to close out the game. While these cards are solid in general, they are especially good in Izzet Saheeli since along with dealing damage, they often come along with a kicker of a couple of 1/1 tokens, which means cards like Shock and Lightning Strike often deal much more damage than they would in another deck.

Other Stuff

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Last but not least is another new War of the Spark card, and it's a good one: Finale of Promise. Finale of Promise is pretty insane in our deck, giving us a way to reuse two of our cheap spells from our graveyard for a relatively cheap cost. More importantly, when we resolve a Finale of Promise, the end result is typically that we trigger each Murmuring Mystic and Saheeli, Sublime Artificer three times since we get one trigger for Finale itself and one for each spell we cast from our graveyard. This means that for as little as four mana (flashing back something like Lightning Strike and Chart a Course), we can end up with not only a bunch of value from the spells we cast but also a pile of tokens, thanks to our payoffs. While we only have two copies of Finale of Promise in our deck, the card is so powerful that it might actually be correct to play three or four.

Wrap-Up

As I mentioned in the intro, we played best-of-one Standard this week since it was the only option available during the preview event. Combine this with the fact that a lot of people were trying out sweet brews, and our record should be taken with a grain of salt. Still, we finished with a 6-3 record, which is certainly solid. More excitingly, our deck performed especially well against decks that seemed likely to remain part of the metagame moving forward (like Abzan Midrange and Mardu Aristocrats), while some of our losses came to off-the-wall decks that we simply couldn't interact with (like Persistent Petitioners), which bodes well for Izzet Saheeli moving forward. 

As far as changes to make to the list now that we've played some games, I'm actually pretty happy with how it turned out. Adding more copies of Finale of Promise might be a good idea—the card felt very strong every time we cast it—although I'm not exactly sure what to cut from the list since all of our cantrips, removal, and payoffs also felt really strong. Apart from Saheeli, Sublime Artificer itself, Invade the City was also very impressive. It was surprising how often it ended up being a three-mana 10/10, which makes it a really strong late-game threat.

All in all, Izzet Saheeli felt great. While it certainly will require some more testing as the metagame develops,  considering it only costs four rare wildcards and two mythics for the main deck, it seems like a really good budget option for grinding the ladder on Magic Arena specifically. If you're looking to get a head start on the new format but without spending a lot of money and you like casting cheap spells and drawing oodles of cards, Izzet Saheeli seems like a great option for War of the Spark Standard!

Getting Izzet Saheeli down into the ultra-budget price range is pretty easy: we simply cut the two Finale of Eternity for another copy each of Invade the City and Murmuring Mystic, which not only drops the deck down near $50 in paper but makes the main deck cost zero mythics and just four rares on Magic Arena. While Finale of Eternity is great in the deck and offers a ton of card advantage, it's not 100% necessary and, at nearly $10 a copy, is simply too much for the $50 build of the deck.

Similar to the ultra-budget build, our non-budget build this week doesn't undergo any major changes. We get one extra copy of Finale of Eternity over Invade the City (since Finale of Eternity can be an extra copy of Invade the City in the late game anyway) and trade Izzet Guildgate in for Steam Vents. Otherwise, the main deck remains the same. As for the sideboard, we get a couple of copies of Ral, Izzet Viceroy as a repeatable card-advantage engine for control matchups and two Sorcerous Spyglass, which are especially important with all of the War of the Spark planeswalkers running around in the format. While these changes do improve the deck, the improvement is relatively minor, so don't worry about rushing out to upgrade if your budget is tight.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Next week, we'll be back to traditional best-of-three Magic and continue to explore War of the Spark Standard. Until then, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


More in this Series

Show more ...


More on MTGGoldfish ...

pioneer

New Format Announced: Pioneer!

instant deck tech

Instant Deck Tech: Kethis Combo (Modern)

banned and restricted

Banned and Restricted Update, October 21, 2019: Field of the Dead Banned, Astrolabe in Pauper

much abrew about nothing

Much Abrew: Dubious Challenge (Modern, Magic Online)


Next Article

Keep in Touch

Sign up to receive email updates from us!

All emails include an unsubscribe link. You may opt-out at any time. See our privacy policy.

Follow Us

Welcome to MTGGoldfish. We display prices for both ONLINE and PAPER magic. By default, what prices would you like to see?   

Paper Magic Online Magic Arena