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Budget Magic: Izzet Rielle | 3 Mythics / 10 Rares | (Standard)


Moghrey mie, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! Last week. we tried to Fling opponents to death with Kazuul's Fury in Modern, and while Fling Affinity performed super well (going 4-1), we never actually killed anyone with Kazuul's Fury. Well, today, we're giving the land Fling another shot, this time in Standard with the help of Rielle, the Everwise and other creatures that can grow massive based on the number of instant or sorcery cards in our graveyard! While our main goal is to draw through our deck, fill our graveyard, and eventually win with Kazuul's Fury, since we have a bunch of cheap card-draw spells, we also get to take advantage of a couple of "when you draw your second card" payoffs in Irencrag Pyromancer and Improbable Alliance. The best news about Izzet Rielle? It's super cheap, not just in paper (where it's only $41, making it an ultra-budget deck) but also on Magic Arena, where it will only cost you three mythic wildcards (for Rielle, the Everwise) and 10 rares for the entire 75! Can we actually Fling some opponents to death this week? How many cards can we draw with Rielle, the Everwise? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Budget Magic: Izzet Rielle

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The Deck

Izzet Rielle is a hard deck to classify. It's not really a control deck because we don't have that much removal or counters. It's not really an aggro deck since we only have eight creatures, even though we do occasionally get aggro wins by growing a big Rielle, the Everwise or with Improbable Alliance, which I guess makes it a combo deck (with the combo being Kazuul's Fury and a creature big enough to kill our opponent with direct damage), although it's a slow combo deck that looks to win in the mid- to late game. 

The Combo

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Our primary plan for winning the game is to Fling a high-power creature at our opponent's face with Kazuul's Fury. By far the biggest upside of Kazuul's Fury is that it comes attached to a land, which makes it easy to play the full four copies in our deck even though Kazuul's Fury doesn't do anything for most of the game. 

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So, what are we Flinging at our opponent? We actually have three options in our deck, all of which have power and toughness based on the number of instants and sorceries we can get in our graveyard. The first, best, and most important is our namesake Rielle, the Everwise. Apart from growing into a massive threat as we cast cheap spells and fill our graveyard with instants and sorceries, Rielle, the Everwise's power is that it is also an absurd card-advantage engine if it sticks on the battlefield. With a Rielle, the Everwise out, Cathartic Reunion lets us discard two cards to draw five for just two mana, while Thrill of Possibility is discard one to draw three at instant speed. Plus, we occasionally get extra discard value by cycling Neutralize or looting with Improbable Alliance. While it might seem strange to see our namesake card be just a three-of in the deck, this is in part because Rielle, the Everwise is legendary and in part because our deck draws so many cards that we're likely to find a copy of Rielle before long, even with just three in the deck.

Kinetic Augur and Experimental Overload are our backup Rielles. Kinetic Augur is basically a four-mana Rielle, the Everwise with an extra toughness and trample. Along with being a good Kazuul's Fury target, Kinetic Augur also works really well with Rielle, the Everwise. We can play Rielle on Turn 3 and then cast Kinetic Augur on Turn 4 to discard two and draw four while also stocking our graveyard with spells to grow our threats. Meanwhile, Experimental Overload is slightly different than our other Fling targets since the power and toughness of the token it makes is determined when it resolves (unlike Rielle and Kinetic Augur, which grow through the game as our graveyard fills with spells). This means that we can't simply cast Experimental Overload on Turn 4 and make a token big enough to Kazuul's Fury our opponent. On the other hand, Experimental Overload has one massive upside: it returns an instant or sorcery from our graveyard to our hand. This makes Experimental Overload our best way to get a surprise Kazuul's Fury kill in the late game, even on an empty board. We can discard Kazuul's Fury to Cathartic Reunion or Thrill of Possibility early in the game, fill our graveyard with spells, get up to seven mana, cast Experimental Overload to (hopefully) make a token bigger than our opponent's life total, get Kazuul's Fury back from the graveyard, and immediately Fling the token at our opponent for lethal!

Card Draw

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Having a bunch of cheap card-draw and looting spells is essential for our deck to work. Not only do these cards keep us churning through our deck to find our combo finish, but they also add spells to our graveyard to grow our Rielle, the Everwise, Kinetic Augur, or Experimental Overload token big enough to get the Kazuul's Fury kill. Cathartic Reunion and Thrill of Possibility are especially strong in our deck since discarding cards is an upside, turning into card draw if we have Rielle, the Everwise on the battlefield. Meanwhile, both Frantic Inventory and Opt are instant speed. This occasionally allows us to trigger our backup "draw two" payoffs during our opponent's turn, which can be quite powerful.

The Backup Plan

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Irencrag Pyromancer and Improbable Alliance do double duty in our deck. They both support our primary Rielle / Fling plan, Irencrag Pyromancer by shooting down our opponent's threats to help us stay alive long enough to grow a massive Rielle, the Everwise and Improbable Alliance by making a flying chump blocker every turn cycle (assuming we can draw some extra cards, which we almost always can). However, just as importantly, the combo of Irencrag Pyromancer and Improbable Alliance offer a solid backup plan. Sometimes, we just play an Irencrag Pyromancer or two, draw some cards, and Lightning Bolt our opponent to death, or play a couple of copies of Improbable Alliance and get a Bitterblossom-esque token-beatdown win.

Interaction

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Rounding out our main deck is a bit of interaction. Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor offers some removal. While it isn't great in the early game, once we get some spells in our graveyard, Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor quickly turns into a red, instant-speed Dreadbore, exiling any creature or planeswalker for just two mana. Meanwhile, Neutralize gives us a way to answer noncreature threats and comes with the upside of cycling. If we don't need a counterspell, we can always cycle it away and trigger Rielle, the Everwise to draw more cards, Irencrag Pyromancer for another Lightning Bolt, or Improbable Alliance to make a token.

The Mana

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There isn't a ton to say about the mana of Izzet Rielle. We have one rare dual land in Riverglide Pathway, one budget dual in Swiftwater Cliffs (which can be upgraded to a Triome or Temple of Epiphany if you have extra rare wildcards), basic lands, and Kazuul's Fury. The one thing I did want to mention is that you shouldn't be afraid to play Kazuul's Fury as a land. We have four copies in the deck and draw a ton of cards, so it's generally best to play the first Kazuul's Fury as a land (if necessary—if we're flooding out, it's a different story) and trust that we'll find another copy by the time we're ready to pick up the Fling kill.

Playing the Deck

In general, Izzet Rielle is a fairly straightforward deck to play. The main decision point is figuring out when we're playing for an eventual Kazuul's Fury kill and when we're on one of our backup plans trying to piece together a win with Irencrag Pyromancer and creature beats. Thankfully, our two plans are related, so it's pretty easy to switch back and forth mid-game when the situation calls for it. 

Also, don't underestimate the amount of damage the deck can deal! There were some games where we almost missed lethal because our opponent was at such a high life total that it didn't seem likely that we could actually kill our opponent, but thanks to the combination of attacks with big creatures and Kazuul's Fury, we can deal a surprising amount of damage when things go well.

Finally, don't forget that in a pinch, we can use Kazuul's Fury to kill a creature. While this isn't ideal, it is better than dying. With four Kazuul's Fury, Experimental Overload, and a bunch of Fling targets, we're likely to be able to reassemble the combo eventually anyway. While killing a creature with Kazuul's Fury is a last resort, it is worth keeping in mind just in case.

Wrap-Up

After doing a bunch of testing and tuning with the deck, we ended up going 3-2 in our five matches (with another pseudo-loss from scooping in game one to a second Rogues deck because I just didn't have the stomach to play against the deck again after our heartbreaking loss the first time). Most importantly, the Kazuul's Fury Fling plan actually worked extremely well. Most of our wins came from throwing a Rielle, the Everwise or something similar at our opponent's face.

As far as changes to make to the budget build of the deck, I'm mostly happy with how it turned out, although it might be worth including something like Shock, Fire Prophecy, or another early-game removal spell in the main deck, depending on the meta. While Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor is great in the mid- and late game, it's not good at killing something like Edgewall Innkeeper on Turn 1 or 1. It might be worth trimming just a touch of card draw to squeeze a copy or two into the main deck. 

All in all, Izzet Rielle was super fun. It draws a ton of cards, plays some really strong cards that don't show up in other decks, and has a really sweet way of finishing the game. If you're a Fling fan or just like drawing oodles of cards, give it a shot!

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Since Izzet Rielle is already ultra-budget in paper and on Magic Online, let's talk a bit about if and how we can make the deck even cheaper on Magic Arena. We have three mythics, but those are our namesake Rielle, the Everwise, so we can't really make any cuts here. Otherwise, we have a playset of Irencrag Pyromancer, which is important not only because it is good but also because we only have eight total creatures in the deck and sometimes Irencrag Pyromancer eating a removal spell is necessary for keeping a Rielle, the Everwise alive. While I wouldn't want to cut Irencrag Pyromancer, if you need to, it can be replaced with more copies of Kinetic Augur and some Shocks. In the mana base, we have a playset of Riverglide Pathway. Much like Irencrag Pyromancer, the dual land probably shouldn't be cut, but thanks to our ample filtering and card draw, you probably could replace it with more basic lands and be okay most of the time (although you will occasionally lose to mana screw). Finally, we've got two Storm's Wraths in the sideboard, which are nice to have against go-wide aggro decks but should be dropped for more targeted removal, if necessary. This would get the deck all the way down to just three mythics and zero rares. While the cuts do make the deck less consistent, it should still be functional, and you can't beat the price!

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Finally, our non-budget list doesn't get any major changes (and is still fairly inexpensive). The biggest additions are Fabled Passage, Sea Gate Restoration, and Shatterskull Smashing to the mana base in place of Swiftwater Cliffs and a few basic lands. We also get [[Fire Prophecy] in the main deck for a bit more early-game removal (that also works with our card-draw plan) and Ox of Agonas in the sideboard to help against Rogues. While these changes do improve the deck (especially the mana base upgrades), the differences between the budget and non-budget builds of Izzet Rielle are slight.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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