Standard: Izzet Dragons Sideboard Guide

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Standard: Izzet Dragons Sideboard Guide

In today's article, we bring an updated sideboard guide for Standard's Izzet Dragons and how to play each of the format's main matchups.

By Thiago, 10/27/21, translated by Humberto, with help from our readers

Versions:

On my previous article, I talked about the Izzet Dragons of the current world champion, Yuta Takahashi. Today, I'm going to supplement that article with an updated deck list and sideboard guide for Standard's top matches.
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First, a few remarks about the changes made to the list. As expected, Mono Green remains the most popular deck, so another copy of Burning Hands and Fading Hope in the maindeck are needed, not least because they are good cards against Mono White, another currently popular deck.

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The third copy of Divide By Zero is good against all decks, especially on the play, and for that, I added another sideboard lesson, Teachings of the Arcaics, which is good on Izzet mirrors and can have its use against aggro. The rest of the slots are the same or are interchangeable, as in the case of Thundering Rebuke and Heated Debate. I don't think it's bad to have a Test of Talents in the main deck instead of Rebuke or Fading Hope, or even replace a Test with Negate. The use of 2 Test of Talents instead of other counterspells is because against MonoG, there will be very rare the moments when we can use Negate and not Saw It Coming, that we have 2 copies in the main deck. As such, Test of Talents' ceiling is much higher than Negate or Disdainful Stroke.

Sideboard Guide

Vs Izzet Dragons

IN:
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OUT:
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On the mirror, the post-side plan is to play with a more control stance and take advantage of any gaps to fit Goldspan Dragon. The more eggs we have on the board as quickly as possible the better, as it's an annoying card to deal, especially because, by spending removals on it, the fewer answers they will have for the other dragon. Hermit is also extremely relevant on the post-side board, being probably the best card as it is a counterspell and pressure on the board. Not letting your noncreature spells get countered gives you a lot of security for resolving extra turns.

Vs Izzet/Grixis Turns

IN:
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OUT:
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Epiphany decks runs Lier, Disciple of the Drowned, so we need some removals and don't need to take extra turns because, despite using 4 Divide By Zero, Lier doesn't allow spells to be countered. Other than that, the lists are using Smoldering Egg on the sideboard for matches like this and even Goldspan Dragon. The way of playing this match and the Dragons mirror is similar, but here it is necessary a little more caution so that the game does not get out of control with Lier on the board, as it generates too much card advantage.

Vs Mono Green Aggro

IN:
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OUT:
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I see arguments to leave 2 or 3 Epiphany post-side in this match, especially on the play, and we can take 2 Saw It Coming to leave more extra turns. Cinderclasm kills few things, it's not worth adding it.

Vs Mono White Aggro

IN:
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OUT:
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This match is naturally good for Izzet due to the amount of removals we have for small creatures and especially the use of 2 Cinderclasm on the sideboard. This 2 or 3 mana sweeper basically destroys all MonoW creatures, except for Reidane and Adeline. Despite sideboarding Guardian of Faith to try to evade removals, an aggressive deck doesn't have many windows to get through with 3 mana.

Vs Mono Black Control

IN:
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OUT:
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In this matchup, Test of Talents on Blood on the Snow is insta-concede and the removals end up not being as efficient because Mono Black has many small creatures with effects when they leave the battlefield. So, just make the deck's main plan of dragon for extra turn.

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Vs Temur Treasures

IN:
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OUT:
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Temur Trease will leave 4 or 5 counterspells post-side. So, I like to have 1 Test of Talents to prevent our spells from being countered. If you prefer not to have Test of Talents, you can replace it for Cinderclasm, but I don't like the card in the matchup because Gruul takes out Jaspera Sentinel, Prosperous Innkeeper and almost all the Magda, Brazen Outlaw, which are the main targets for the sweeper.

Vs Tempo Decks

IN:
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OUT:
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Tempo decks consist of small creatures and counterspells, making our removals more effective and heavy spells less effective. Amazingly, these decks always leave Fading Hope post-side even though it's bad against Izzet, so I opt to take 2 Smoldering Egg and leave more removals for our deck to be redundant.

Conclusion

Izzet Turns shot a bit ahead of the other decks in the format, but Izzet Dragons is still a safe choice for anyone who likes the archetype. Its biggest problem is Mono Green, but the increased number of interactions helps balance the match and hold the game until Smoldering Egg and/or Goldspan Dragon can establish a clock, and overall the metagame remains favorable for the deck. Not that the match against Turns is good for Dragons, but it's even as long as it doesn't go to the ultra-late game where they can copy Epiphany 2 or 3 times. That's it for today, I hope the sideboard guide will help you optimize your games and give you a little more ideas on how to play some matchups with the deck. Any questions, comments or feedback I'm available in the comments below!
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Thiago

Economist, Standard and Historic player. I stream on Twitch MTG Arena.

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