Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Dec 23 2021 1:57pm

Izzet Blitz isn’t something new. Back when Gitaxian Probe was legal, (unban it you cowards!) it was actually quite a good deck. It had many different ways of being built and had a good amount of play to it. (There was also Gush, but we can leave that banned) Sadly, over time, the format has matured, more cards have come out and decks have become more powerful. Losing that free spell and information that Probe would give you didn’t help either, but that doesn’t stop players from trying to make it work.

The list we are going to look at today was part of the 5-0 dump from 11/24/2021 and was piloted by the player Milkk. Alright, we aren’t gonna waste any more time. Let’s get right into the list!

Kiln Fiend – The main creature of the deck. Do not play less than 4 in my opinion.

Nivix Cyclops – A version of Kiln Fiend that costs 1 more, needs blue and has 1 more toughness. Cyclops is really good, but costing 3 mana is a little much and that is why you have 3 copies and 4 not.

Festival Crasher – An almost functional reprint of Kiln Fiend. For 1 more toughness, you get 1 less power when its ability triggers. Hopefully that does not come up as a problem often. Years ago, Delver would be played in this spot, personally I hated that so it is nice to have Crasher in this spot.

Temur Battle Rage – Here is your main combo card. I would not suggest playing less than 4 of these and go as all in on being a combo deck as possible. This is just my opinion.

Reckless Impulse – I love this card. Remember that it says you have till the end of your next turn to play those cards. This means you can cast this and keep setting up to go all in the next turn. I almost wish you could play 5 copies of this.

Manamorphose – A basically free spell that draws a card. The helping you fix mana part can also be quite useful.

Preordain, Ponder and Brainstorm – Here are your 1 mana cantrips. While Ponder and Preordain help you set up and find what you need, Brainstorm can help put 3 spells in your hand for you to get more gas and go off. In addition to your other 1 mana draw spells, you also have 3 fetchlands to be able to put away the cards you put back so you don’t have to draw them again.

Dispel – Good old Dispel. This is a good way to spike a counter war or counter a removal spell.

Apostle's Blessing and Mutagenic Growth – Growth is free and can help protect your creatures from burn spells while also helping you further your combo plan. Blessing in addition to countering removal spells, can also be a win condition because it can make your creature unblockable against certain decks.

The Manabase

So for the manabase there isn’t a lot that is special. You have 3 fetchlands and 3 dual lands to help fix your mana and the rest are basic lands. You want to go off as quickly as possible and so you don’t want too many come into played tapped lands. However, the 6 non-basic lands are a must because you do have color requirements. I would leave the manabase as is.

The Sideboard

Fiery Cannonade – Board wipes for this deck are great because they buy you time to set up. Also they are just good in general.

Flaring Pain – Cards like Prismatic Stands and Moment’s Peace are an extreme pain for you. This should help with that.

Gorilla Shaman – I am not sure this is the best way to beat Affinity anymore because they have so many indestructible lands. This deck did 5-0 and Gorilla Shaman could have been one of the factors, but I am unsure Shaman shouldn’t be something else.

Hydroblast and Pyroblast – For blue and red spells respectively. These are better than their Elemental Blast counterparts because they can target a permanent even if they are not red or blue which adds to the Kiln Fiend count.

Lava Dart – This is an interesting one. Against decks like Elves or Bogles where you won’t have to deal with much removal or answers in general and you are just racing, this is a great spell to have. You can go off extremely quickly with Lava Dart.

Shenanigans – You need a Shatter effect? This is one of the best ones. However, again I am unsure if it is needed. I think a 3rd copy of Pyroblast would be better, but that is just my opinion.

Verdict and Conclusion

I am fairly certain that no matter what meta or era we are in for Pauper, Kiln Fiend decks will always be around. Izzet Blitz, personally, is my choice if you want to try a Kiln Fiend archetype.

Comparing this deck to its mono red version, I think the blue cards help a lot. It allows you to play a bit of a slower/longer game without having to go all in. You get the same red cards, but the blue draw spells help you set up much easier without spending too many resources. You also get access to Nivix Cyclops which is a very good creature in its own right.

However, this deck does have its problems. For starters Hydroblast and Pyroblast are extremely good against this archetype in particular and the Faerie archetypes, both Izzet and Dimir are also not great because they can beat you down while countering your key spells.

That being said, I think for this archetype, Affinity and Tron are coin flips. You can easily be a bit too fast for Tron, but Dignitary is the real problem since you don’t have any graveyard hate to break the Flicker loop and Flaring Pain does not stop it. Against Affinity, it is pretty much just a race to the finish, but they will have good disruption for you. These are just my opinions.

When it comes to Aggro decks such as Burn or Stompy, again you will be racing. Stompy can have Fog and bringing in Flaring Pain to stop that can feel bad. You do have Cannonade to buy time, but it isn’t a sure proof plan. With Burn, it is pretty much a solitaire match, you have Hydroblast after sideboarding however and Nivix Cyclops takes 2 burn spells to be dealt with. I think Burn might be an okay matchup.

Should you play this deck? For leagues it is fine to mess around with. For the challenges I personally would stay away. I just don’t think the deck is consistent enough and requires a bit more luck than most to do well. Sure, you can spike a high placing spot, but I don’t think this deck will bring you much success in the long run. I would prefer Bogles to this deck.

At the time of writing this article, a Mono Red Fiend list took top 4 in the Pauper challenge that took place on 11/28/2021. (results were posted on the 29th) I personally still like this version better, but my opinions on both archetypes remain the same. I am sure this archetype can take a top 8 spot in a challenge, but I don’t believe it would happen consistently and I don’t think about just spiking a tournament when I write. However, these are just my opinions and I am always willing to be proven wrong.

However, with all this being said, as always, do remember my words are not gospel. I will always encourage you to try a deck that I bring you despite my personal feelings. Remember that results will vary and always remember to practice!

Would you like to compete in a free Pauper tournament with some great prizes? Head on over to on Tuesday nights at 8pm EDT and play in our weekly Pauper Classic Tuesday's event! Join the chat #PCT to chat with us and feel free to find most of the competitors on Discord!

Thank you so much for reading. Best of luck to you in your next tournament and I’ll catch you all next time!