Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Feb 03 2022 11:57am

Izzet Serpentine Curve is a deck that was created shortly after Strixhaven came out. Besides being one of my favorite commons to draft in the set, it also became one of my favorite decks to play in recent memory.

Back when the deck was first created, the format wasn’t exactly in a healthy place for it (or in general for a lot of people) in my opinion. However, it has been quite some time, the archetype has matured and the format has had recent bannings. It seems that may have been enough to push this deck over the edge.

Today we are going to look at the list that recently took second place in the challenge that was posted on 1/30/2022. It was piloted by the player Tarrasque1. This is as hardcore control as it gets. Without further interruption, let’s talk about it.

One thing you will notice is that this deck has no creatures at all. Augur of Bolas is the creature that comes to mind I am sure, but it doesn’t do as much as you think. While yes it has a damn good chance of drawing you a card, you would rather put more cards into your hand or put some cards into the graveyard rather than the bottom of your library.

This deck is purely about casting spells and getting huge tokens from Serpentine Curve. There is one creature I think you could see in the sideboard possibly, but I will talk about that later.

Serpentine Curve – The main card and win condition of this deck. It is possible you would play 5 if you could.

Counterspell – You are a hardcore blue control deck. Wouldn’t be a blue control deck without literal Counterspell.

Consider – This is a relatively new toy for this deck and it is great. Unlike something like Opt or even Preordain, this can put cards into your graveyard to feed your Curves. If you could play 5 or maybe even 6, you probably would.

Brainstorm – You have a good amount of ways to put away the cards you put on top. Brainstorm is better than Ponder or Preordain in my opinion because it actually draws you 3 cards. That is important when you are trying to keep the gas flowing as opposed to trying to sculpt a specific draw.

Pieces of the Puzzle – This is a great spell for this archetype. You get to look at 5 cards and get 2 of them, then the rest go to the graveyard to possibly feed your Curves. It sadly isn’t a true form of Fact or Fiction being that it is sorcery, but it is 1 mana cheaper.

Frantic Inventory – This is a great card for this deck. Every copy after the first will draw a good number of cards and it combos well with cards such as Consider.

Thought Scour – Putting cards into your graveyard isn’t a bad thing and you can also target your opponent to mess up their Scrying. Just don’t be unlucky like me and put your best cards in the graveyard all the time.

Dispel – A great counterspell for opposing counter wars and removal.

Skred – This is a great removal spell that should be able to deal with just about anything in play.

Lightning Bolt – Good old Bolt. We know why this is here, moving on.

Fiery Cannonade – Every deck like this will need a board wipe, this is great because it is instant and will deal with almost any aggro deck in the meta.

Fling and Maximize Velocity – Here are your combo finishers. Fling doesn’t require the red zone to win, but you lose your creature in the process if it doesn’t work. Velocity can be discarded and used later to win the game, making it a good alternative.

The manabase isn’t anything to special as you don’t want or need any fancy lands as they will just slow you down for no benefit. You have Evolving Wilds and Ash Barrens for fetch lands. You then have Volatile Fjord as your dual land for the deck and then the rest are snow basics. I would not change the manabase.

The Sideboard

Curfew – You will probably need something for Bogles. This isn’t the best answer, but blue and red are limited in what you have available.

Gigadrowse – I love this card. Against counter decks and/or possibly heavy removal decks, you can use this to tap your opponent out and combo off to win the game. I suppose you could bring it in against an aggro deck to try and Fog for a turn, but that doesn’t usually do much.

Hard Evidence – This is a pretty good card I wasn’t aware of. Not only does it give you a good blocker against most aggro decks, but it also gives you a Clue token so you can draw a card. I like it a lot.

Hydroblast and Pyroblast – For there respective color matchups.

Relic of Progenitus – While I do think graveyard hate is a good thing to have these days, this hitting your own graveyard isn’t exactly a good thing. Make sure to use it when it doesn’t hurt you too muich.

Shenanigans – Good card to have these days as artifacts can be a pain.

Swirling Sandstorm – Once you get Threshold, this will clear just about any board state. If the meta becomes much more aggro, I would like to see another copy or maybe 2 of this in the sideboard.

Verdict and Conclusion

I personally love decks like this with no creatures. Nothing here but reaction spells, cards that draw cards and a combo kill. I think a deck like this can be really good for newer players, as well as veterans, for learning discipline and how to use all of your cards wisely, as well as use your life as a resource.

I like this list but as the meta becomes a bit different, the list will have to change a small bit. However, that is perfectly fine because this deck can be flexible with its spots and adapt easily. One creature I could see a few copies of for the sideboard is Spellstutter Sprite. If archetypes like Burn or Stompy become even more popular, Sprite can be both a counterspell and a blocker. It provides a lot of value.

Some other removal spells you could play are Abrade as it can be very flexible, but being 2 mana can be a bit annoying. Flame Slash is good but sorcery speed so you don’t want to max out on them. For other counter spells you could play a copy of Prohibit if you’d like and I don’t mind that idea. Negate would also be a decent option as a one of. I love how flexible this deck is. For the Bogles matchup, Aura Flux is a decent option, but not the best plan.

Do I think you should play this deck? I think it is better positioned in the meta now than it was months ago. For the leagues this deck is great in my opinion. For the challenges, I think this deck is a fine choice and is starting to prove its worth. However, if you are going to play this deck, you must practice and learn proper sideboarding. You need to have a game plan for most matchups or else you will make too many mistakes.

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!

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