The War Report: PING!

The Prerelease for Guilds of Ravnica starts this weekend, and I plan to attend on Sunday to try and get my hands on some sweet new cards. When we first started seeing spoilers for the set, one of the new legendary creatures stood out to me as something I’d want to build, and I shared that build for Lazav recently. Afterwards, I took another look at the legendary creatures in the set and decided that I also wanted to brew something up for the new Niv-Mizzet, Parun. You might ask why, considering I already have a Locust God deck that does similar things, and one of the old Niv-Mizzets is already in that decklist. Let’s look at the similarities between these cards, and why I think the new Niv-Mizzet deserves his own deck:

The Locust God, Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and Niv-Mizzet, Parun all have three things in common. They’re Izzet, they have flying, and they want you to draw cards. However, each does something that is unique as well. Locust God wants to draw cards to create hasty 1/1 fliers. He can loot for 4 cmc, and is basically immortal, as he is returned to your hand any time he dies (so he avoids commander tax). The OG Niv-Mizzet still wants to draw cards, but so that he can do 1 damage to any target. He can be tapped to draw a card and get this result. The new Niv-Mizzet however, has some interesting features. Firstly, he can’t be countered, so you don’t have to worry about that form of removal. Second, he has the same ability as the OG Niv-Mizzet, in that drawing cards allows you to ping for 1 damage each. However, he also draws cards off of each instant and sorcery spell cast. This means in a spell-slinging deck, you get double value. Let’s say you play a wheel, you’ll draw a card off the cast trigger and do a damage, so the wheel replaces itself, but then you discard all cards in hand and typically draw the same amount so you’ll do that much more damage as that spell resolves. Guess what else we can do? Storm!

The Perfect Storm:

You’ll notice, the only card listed above that even has the word “storm” on it is the new one from GRN, Thousand-Year Storm. This isn’t actually a storm build. However, in a sense it is. Thousand-Year Storm enables a quasi-storm build because it allows you to copy any instant or sorcery you cast and pick new targets. I’ve included a bunch of other spells and creatures that do the same thing. The idea here is to continuously copy spells like your wheels and continuously cycle through the deck, while pinging your opponents to death with Niv-Mizzet (both versions), Psychosis Crawler, Electrostatic Field or Guttersnipe. We’ve also included token generators like Talrand, Young Pyromancer and the new Murmering Mystic so you have some blockers but if you go off enough you might be able to end a game with them too.

Wheels + Pings:

I’ve included a comprehensive package of wheels, minus the original Wheel of Fortune because it’s super expensive. Most of these will target opponents too, so that you can disrupt their gameplan. Teferi’s Puzzle Box is probably the most fun, particularly if you can get a few of your creatures out that will ping for damage each turn.


I didn’t want to put a ton of recursion into the deck as we mostly want to sling spells, but we’re able to get some extra value by recurring them, so here’s a few ways to do so. Why not get an extra use out of a wheel or copy another spell?

Ways to win:

Besides wanting to wheel and ping everyone to death naturally throughout the game, we have a few finishers here to seal the deal. Because wheels can self mill you to death, I’ve included Laboratory Maniac as a fail safe. I’ve also included the Isochron Scepter/Dramatic Reversal combo and a suite of rocks that will help it go off. Paradox Engine can help with this as well, since it will untap things as you are casting all of those cheap spells. If you can generate the infinite mana, you can use Blue Sun’s Zenith or Stroke of Genius to cause an opponent to draw their library. Alternatively, you can use Pull From Tomorrow to finish off your own library with Lab Man on the board. Comet Storm will allow you to kill everyone at once give infinite mana. Omniscience is there just to make casting easier for when you get your wheels in motion, and a kicked Rite of Replication targeting Psychosis Crawler or any of the token generators should help seal a game.

Other tools:

Otherwise we have some nice tools that are on color. Consecrated Sphinx gets you more card draw, Chaos Warp is good removal, and Propaganda will help to protect you in early game skirmishes. I’ve also included nearly all of the mana rocks that can be sacrificed for card draw, which may or may not come in handy but I believe that it will. Overall I think it looks like a solid deck and though it is similar to Locust God, it wants to win in different ways, and I like that. I’ll report back after the Prerelease on my performance and lucky pulls! Til then!