Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Sep 09 2021 12:00pm

Izzet Blitz has always been a favorite among Pauper players for quite some time. However, while these days the archetype is not positioned well, that does not stop players from trying to still make decks with Kiln Fiend work.

Kiln Fiend is an interesting creature. Although it is only a 1 power creature for 2 mana, it can end the game in the blink of an eye by just playing a couple of spells and then targeting Kiln Fiend with a Temur Battle Rage. Kiln Fiend is a lot like Atog in the respect that once it hits the battlefield, you know there is a good chance you are deck within the next 2 turns.

That is what we will be looking at toady, a Kiln Fiend deck. The list we will be looking at was part of the 5-0 league dump from 8/25/2021 and was piloted by the player MakingSmartPlays.

Kiln Fiend – Here is your big combo creature. Never play less than 4 of these so that you can maximize your combo potential and win quickly.

Thermo-Alchemist and Firebrand Archer – You can play a lot of spells in 1 turn. Both of these creatures can burn your opponent out very quickly if the Kiln Fiend plan fails.

Galvanic Relay – It is nice to see this card get play outside of Squirrel Storm. This card gives you a ton of card advantage to work with and is what helps your deck be more consistent, as well as resilient.

Expedite – This is a big reason this deck can be strong. It allows you to win the turn you cast a Kiln Fiend. You can go off with Galvanic Relay and use this to win the next turn if you don’t have a Kiln Fiend already in play. It also draws a card to help keep the gas flowing.

Crash Through – One problem you might face is your opponent having a blocker for your Kiln Fiend. This helps with that. This also draws a card to keep the gasoline flowing.

Warlords Fury – Not as good or needed as the other 2, this still helps as it is a trigger for Kiln Fiend and it does draw a card so it is not totally useless.

Lava Dart – A great spell as it gives you 2 uses in the same turn for the small cost of sacrificing a Mountain. Lava Dart allows this deck to be extremely explosive.

Rite of Flame – This deck is a combo deck and a combo deck needs mana. Rite of Flame can generate a lot of mana and trigger your creatures. I love having 4 of these in the deck.

Manamorphose – Although you do not play a second color, this is still a free spell to help trigger your creatures and it allows you to play a 56 card deck in a way.

Faithless Looting – You are a combo deck and you need to sculpt the perfect hand. Looting is great card draw for a deck like this. You also can discard Rite of Flame and Lava Dart and not lose too much card advantage because them being in the graveyard also helps.

The Manabase is nothing special. Just 2 Forgotten Cave to be used for mana if you need it or to dig a card deeper if you don’t and then 15 Mountains. You don’t want any come into play tapped lands because you do not want to be slow. The only thing I would do is add a Mountain if you think you need another land.

The Sideboard

Fiery Cannonade – One big thing to learn about combo decks is that you don’t necessarily need to win quickly. You can just sit, sculpt the perfect hand and win just before the turn that you are going to lose. Against aggro decks where you will be under a lot of pressure, board wipe spells are very good to help buy time. This one is particularly good because it doesn’t kill your Thermo-Alchemist.

Flaring PainPrismatic Strands, cards like Circle of Protection: Red and Fog effects are a pain to deal with. Flaring Pain is pretty much a must have sideboard option for a deck like this.

Martyr of Ashes – This is an old favorite of mine that sadly you don’t see much anymore. This is a huge card against aggro decks to help you buy time. The only issue is that it does not hit creatures with flying, so be a bit careful when using Martyr.

Red Elemental Blast – In a deck like this, having some number of Blasts in your sideboard is a good thing to have. I would like to say that Pyroblast is a better card here because it can target anything and give you a Kiln Fiend trigger if you need it. Pyroblast says, “Destroy target permanent if it's blue”. This means that you can still play it and target something like a land, but it won’t be destroyed because it is not a blue permanent. Red Elemental Blast says that the target has to be blue. If you have access to them, I would play Pyroblast.

Smash to Smithereens – Great card for a deck like this. It helps against Affinity and destroying mana rocks from Urza Tron, it deals 3 damage to your opponent and it triggers Kiln Fiend. I like this option a lot here.

Verdict and Conclusion

Decks like this are not new, but this is definitely one of the coolest lists I have personally seen. It can do some pretty powerful stuff, it can reward you for sequencing your cards correctly and doing proper math.

Being mono red as opposed to 2 colors can also have its advantages here. While it means you don’t have access to good card draw from blue or to Nivix Cyclops, it does mean that the only problem you will run into with your mana is not having enough of it. Although casting your spells will never be an issue and it means that you don’t have to worry about having a bunch of cards in your hand that you can’t play because of not having enough mana of the right color. I don’t think that this archetype is as powerful as the Izzet Blitz deck as a whole, but I think it can still be quite powerful.

However, while this deck is can be powerful, it can be disrupted easily. You don’t have something like Apostle's Blessing to protect your Kiln Fiend and so it is extremely easily to get hit by removal as you are going off. You also do not have a way to give Kiln Fiend double strike and so you are reliant on trying to chain a bunch of spells together to win in 1 big turn, which can be an issue because you can easily brick. This is also another problem, that while you are going off, you can easily brick by drawing into your creatures and/or running out of mana to cast your spells.

You do have a lot of burn potential thanks to Thermo-Alchemist and Firebrand Archer, but you don’t have any actual burn spells except for Lava Dart. It will take a lot of time and decent of amount of luck with your draws to be able to burn your opponent out quickly. Hitting any Mountains and bricking off, while you are going off, can mean the death of you right then and there.

Do I think you should play this deck? If you are an Izzet Blitz fan, I think this deck can scratch the itch you have been having. For leagues, I think this deck can be a lot of a fun and has a good possibility of bringing you a decent amount of success. For the challenges though, I don’t think this deck is consistent enough to risk the high entry fee.

I am not saying this deck is straight up bad by any means. MakingSmartPlays is a good player and the deck must be good enough to a degree that it was able to 5-0 a league. It is just that it can fall short fairly easily to its own cards and you should be cautious. While this deck can do powerful stuff on paper and in theory, it can fall just as easily.

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!