Last updated on December 28, 2023
Mizzix of the Izmagnus | Illustration by Cliff Childs
The Izzet Guild of Ravnica is best known for their infamous experiments that advance the science of Ravnica! And incidentally, help with building demolition, planned or not.
Any good Izzet mage learns from their mistakes, letting their experiences lead them to greater and greater explosions of magical power. Going big and flashy with spells is the idea of today’s deck, built around the wizard Mizzix of the Izmagnus!
Ardent Elementalist | Illustration by Miguel Mercado
An Offer You Can't Refuse
March of Swirling Mist
Slip Out the Back
Pull from Tomorrow
Blue Sun's Zenith
Storm King's Thunder
Expansion // Explosion
Crackle with Power
Burn Down the House
Sea Gate Restoration
Apex of Power
City of Brass
Otawara, Soaring City
Blue-red spellslinger is a classic Commander strategy. The goal is to cast tons of instants and sorceries alongside spells that benefit you from doing so. These strategies tend towards being controlling or combo-focused because that’s where a bunch of instants and sorceries leads: you’re either throwing a bunch of countermagic and removal around and whittling your opponent away or setting up for one explosive turn.
This deck falls into the combo side of things. There are certainly some controlling elements to buy the time you need to win, but it’s all in the service of setting up an infinite combo to win the game with.
You also have a bunch of X spells to capitalize on Mizzix’s cost-reduction ability. While you could build around using your commander to get discounts on massive spells, the X spells offer greater flexibility in castability when you don’t control your commander. They’re also an outlet for your infinite combos!
Mizzix of the Izmagnus ties the entire deck together. Making your spells cheaper is strong in a spellslinger list, but what makes Mizzix special is how hard it is to interact with experience counters.
Once you start racking up experience counters, your opponents can’t remove them. If you get four experience counters before Mizzix dies, you keep them. As soon as you recast your commander, the count starts at four again. Unless you’re facing Solemnity, experience counters are a resource your opponents can’t interact with.
Outside of this, Mizzix fuels your game plan. Your best bet for winning a fair game without combos is to use Mizzix’s cost reduction to cast spells like Crackle with Power and Comet Storm, where X represents enough damage to level a pod.
Mizzix is also a combo piece itself. Several of your combos utilize Mizzix and its cost reduction to generate infinite mana, making your X spells into lethal finishers.
Experience Counter Generation
Mizzix dispenses experience at a trickle, but you’ll want those counters flowing to get massive discounts faster than your opponents can keep up with your virtual mana generation.
Veyran, Voice of Duality, and Harmonic Prodigy both double Mizzix’s trigger that gives you the counters. They provide additional value by making all your creatures better – everyone has a triggered ability doubled by these triggers. They’re surprisingly effective attackers and blockers.
You get more proliferation in Tezzeret's Gambit, Steady Progress, and Experimental Augury. Try to cast these when the card’s mana value generates an experience counter so that each card gives you two counters.
Spells with X in their casting cost are fantastic with Mizzix. You declare X before paying mana costs, so they’ll be discounted by the number of experience counters you have.
If you cast Blue Sun's Zenith with four experience counters, you can have X=4 while only paying . These always trigger Mizzix since the spell always has a higher mana value than your experience counters because you’re paying X in addition to colored mana costs. Almost all the X spells are great outlets for your infinite mana combos.
Blue Sun's Zenith is one of your best card draw options that cost X. You can use this as a win condition by making your opponents draw more cards than they have in their library, though this only takes out one player at a time. It also lets you draw your library to find something to end the game with.
Comet Storm is one of your most consistent win conditions. With infinite mana, you can easily take out all your opponents. Spellseeker tutors this since its mana value is two, and it’s an instant. That last bit matters because most of your combos can happen at instant speed, letting you try to win the game on somebody’s end step, so you still have an extra turn if you’re interrupted.
If you can’t cast Comet Storm for a million mana, Crackle with Power with a million power is another, arguably more satisfying, option. Every three counters or mana you have for X is another five damage. It adds up quickly and gets better the later the game goes.
Expansion // Explosion is a fantastic mana outlet. Explosion can take out two players at once by dealing lethal damage to one and forcing the other to draw their deck or sets us up for a quick burst of card draw while killing a threat. Expansion is another copy of the best spell you want to cast and wins counter wars by copying your opponents' counterspells.
Storm King's Thunder offers some of the best value in the deck. Copying a spell multiple times for ends games. It’s great at copying your X spells for additional damage and works marvelously with your extra turn spells. You have three or four turns of setup, but even three or four copies of Ponder or Prismari Command can shift a game in your favor.
March of Swirling Mist rounds out the X spells with a highly interactive piece. You can phase out an opponent’s entire board to cut off an alpha attack or hit one or two key combo pieces to make them fizzle. It’s also a great protective spell; you can phase out your creatures in response to a board wipe or spot removal.
Mizzix works with all these instants and sorceries, but a successful EDH deck needs to be more than what’s in the command zone.
Ral, Storm Conduit is one of your best enablers. The deck has plenty of juicy spells to double, but its magecraft trigger is a vital win condition for your deck. Your combos involve casting and copying spells infinitely, so Ral pings your opponents to death even if you don’t have an outlet for infinite mana.
Narset, Parter of Veils offers excellent card advantage that digs for combo pieces and interaction while slowing everybody down. Even if it draws one card and eats some damage or a Hero's Downfall from players trying to draw a card, you’ll have an extra card and extra time to assemble the combo.
Storm-Kiln Artist is a set-up tool to get you the burst of mana needed to combo off early. It can help with some combos; generating an extra Treasure each time we trigger magecraft is like having an extra experience counter. I wouldn’t count this as a reliable combo piece, but it works in a tight spot.
Niv-Mizzet, Parun is an absurdly strong card. It alone serves as another fair win condition if you can call a card that makes all your instants and sorceries into two-for-ones fair. Niv-Mizzet can draw your deck through some combos, but it’s also an incredible value engine.
When you’re comboing, you need some set-up pieces. For this deck, that’s a bunch of tutors and cantrips.
Gamble is risky to cast, but the potential of just getting your card for a single mana is fantastic. When casting this, try to hold some lands to increase the odds of keeping the card you want safe.
Mystical Tutor is inherently card disadvantage, but every one of your combos utilizes instants and sorceries. It doesn’t help much once you go off, but this is the best card in the deck to set up your combos.
Firemind's Foresight looks horribly expensive, but it doesn’t take much for this to cast three or fewer mana, at which point you’re getting great value. This tutor for three cards; oftentimes, combo pieces, payoffs, and protective spells.
You can’t play EDH if you aren’t interacting. You have ways to protect your pieces and cards that disrupt what your opponents are doing. This deck wants to keep its countermagic to defend its combos, though slowing the game is never a bad option.
You have a suite of countermagic to interact proactively and reactively with. Counterspell is a classic, Delay is surprisingly close to Counterspell if you can win within the next few turns, and An Offer You Can't Refuse and Swan Song are your cheapest answers to protect your combos.
Slip Out the Back is a baby March of Swirling Mist. You’ll often use it to protect Mizzix or another combo piece from interaction, but this card can temporarily disrupt an opposing commander or combo.
Snap buys you time while generating mana if you have one experience counter since you’re using one mana but untapping two lands. Keep an eye on that stray mana; often, one mana is all it takes to go off with this deck.
Overload is awkward with Mizzix, but Cyclonic Rift is too good to ignore. It's hard to lose a game where you overload it, especially with Mizzix discounting the overload cost. A 3-mana reset sounds pretty good.
Prismari Command is one of the best cards in the deck. It’s never dead; sometimes you’ll ramp and destroy a Sol Ring, and sometimes you’ll take out a mana dork and filter some lands out of your hand. It's just great value and a personal Izzet staple.
Mizzium Mortars, Burn Down the House, and Aetherize all give you interaction for opponents trying to go wide and run you down with a bunch of creatures. Aetherize is interesting since the creatures don’t have to attack you to get bounced, so it can be a bargaining chip if playing politics is your game.
The Mana Base
There’s nothing super flashy about the mana base. You have a couple of modal double-faced cards that keep your spell and land count high, acting as either when you need it. Shatterskull Smashing is another interactive piece, while Sea Gate Restoration and Valakut Awakening dig deeper into your deck.
You have an assortment of mana rocks to accelerate you. Getting an early mana advantage is vital to cast Mizzix and multiple spells, but also to help pay for your expensive X costs when your commander doesn’t stick. You have all the playable 2-mana rocks like Signets and Talismans. Gilded Lotus gets a shout-out here as acceleration and a combo piece.
Beyond that, the mana base is filled with color-fixing lands. You have a healthy amount of basics, so there’s minimal concern of running into Ruination or Blood Moon. There are plenty of duals to ensure you can cast your spells on time.
This deck keeps things simple. You want to ramp out your commander, accumulate some experience counters to discount your spells, and assemble a game-ending combo to finish things off.
You’ll always want to have ramp in the opening hand when possible. Interaction is also important; if you can’t accelerate ahead of your opponents, tools like By Force and Lightning Bolt to keep the game slower are vital.
You want to fly under the radar if you can. Get Mizzix down, then start generating a few experience counters. You only need three to four counters for the combos using Mizzix. With a proliferate card or two, it’s easy to generate that within two turns of playing Mizzix, and it’s not impossible to do it the turn after you play it.
Your countermagic should protect Mizzix during this accumulation period. Once you’ve got the counters, it’s best to start setting up your combos with some extra mana to defend them. Most of your set-up cards are cheap, so you’ll have extra mana to protect pieces before going off – another reason generating a mana advantage with the rocks matters.
If you need to play a fair game, you’ll plan for a longer game. You’ll want to accumulate as many experience counters as possible – the main goal for these fair games is casting spells like Crackle with Power manually instead of with infinite mana. It’ll be harder and slower, but not impossible to win without combos.
Combos and Interactions
Almost all the combos in the deck focus on generating infinite mana, which gets fed into one of your X spells that burn your opponents out. You can also use that mana for something like Blue Sun's Zenith or Pull from Tomorrow to draw your entire deck and find the burn spell.
Since your combos all cast or copy spells infinitely, they have the side effect of dealing infinite damage with Ral, Storm Conduit’s magecraft ability. Harmonic Prodigy, Veyran, Voice of Duality, and Storm-Kiln Artist also incidentally grow infinitely large if they’re in play, which can offer yet another win condition. Let’s look at the combos, starting with the two-card combos.
Change the target of Heat Shimmer to the Mage. The copy resolves, making a hasty copy of Dualcaster Mage, which copies Heat Shimmer again to make infinite hasty Mages to attack with.
If you have Harmonic Prodigy in play, you can get two triggers from Dualcaster Mage entering the battlefield. You can then use it to copy another instant or sorcery infinitely by casting Shimmer, responding with the second spell, then responding with Dualcaster Mage. It's useful to copy a burn spell like Lightning Bolt or Prismari Command if you can’t attack with infinite Mages due to something like Ghostly Prison.
Let Reiterate resolve, making a copy of Mana Geyser and returning Reiterate to your hand. Let the copy of Geyser resolve, generating at least seven red mana, then use six of that to recast Reiterate with its buyback cost, repeating to generate infinite mana.
Your combos with Mizzix of the Izmagnus are also infinite loops using Reiterate. The first utilizes Mizzix, Reiterate, and Seething Song. You need Mizzix in play, a minimum of three experience counters, and available ( if you have four experience counters).
Cast Seething Song for one red, holding priority, then respond with Reiterate paying its buyback cost, reduced by three to four depending on how many experience counters you have. This combo proceeds as above, and you can substitute Mana Geyser for Seething Song as long as it produces more mana than Reiterate costs.
You can also perform a similar loop with Mizzix of the Izmagnus, Reiterate, and Frantic Search. For this combo, you need Mizzix in play with four or more experience counters, , and lands that can tap for .
Cast Frantic Search for , holding priority, then cast Reiterate for , tapping your third land with it on the stack to float mana. Let Reiterate resolve, go back to your hand, then resolve the Frantic Search copy to double loot and untap your lands.
This loop isn’t infinite since you’ll run out of cards in your library, but you can use it to draw all the cards in your library, find Seething Song or Mana Geyser, and insert them into the loop.
Both the Frantic Search and Seething Song combos can be performed at instant speed, so you can attempt a win at the end of somebody’s turn if your win condition is Comet Storm or Blue Sun's Zenith. Not every player taps out every turn, so going off halfway through the turn cycle can be the best way to combo off with minimal threat of interaction. Be mindful that the Seething Song and Mana Geyser combos only produce infinite red mana.
You can use Reiterate as a win condition even if you don’t have an X spell by using the infinite mana to infinite loop Reiterate copying Lightning Bolt for infinite damage, Ponder or another cantrip to draw your deck and find a win or an extra turn spell to set up infinite turns – though the latter uses up the infinite mana, forcing you to go off again.
Tap the Gilded Lotus for , then cast Essence Flux targeting Ardent Elementalist. This triggers Displacer Kitten. Target Lotus with the Kitten’s trigger. The Lotus flickers, coming into play untapped.
Then the Elementalist flickers. Since Essence Flux goes into the graveyard as part of its resolution and before the Elementalist’s trigger goes on the stack, you’ll target Flux with the trigger, returning it to your hand. You can repeat this loop for infinite colored mana.
This loop takes more pieces but gets you some nifty little tricks once you’ve got infinite colored mana and this engine working. Firstly, if you have Narset, Parter of Veils in play, you can flicker Narset instead of the Lotus. This lets you draw every non-creature spell in the deck, including something to win the game with.
If you have Harmonic Prodigy in play to double the Elementalist’s ETB triggers, you can loop a second spell alongside Essence Flux by letting the second spell resolve before flickering the Elementalist; again, burn spells are the best option to loop here. You can also copy your cantrips to infinitely dig through your deck to find a true win condition.
Rule 0 Violations Check
This is a walking infinite combo deck on mechanical legs, so tables that don't care for infinite combos won't love this deck. Winning a fair game is possible; all the combo pieces are valuable spells-matter cards independently, but it’ll hobble the deck greatly if you try and play without the combos.
Let’s go over some options to make the deck more accessible. First and foremost, this deck prioritizes untapped lands, which are more expensive. Cards like Scalding Tarn and Steam Vents can get swapped for Temples or Gates and other budget options. The MDFCs all cost a bit, especially Sea Gate Restoration and can get replaced by basics of the appropriate color.
Cyclonic Rift gives beautiful protection but costs a bundle. You could replace it with Chain of Vapor if you want to prioritize bouncing any permanent or Aetherspouts if you care about mass-bouncing creatures.
There are other ways to build Mizzix of the Izmagnus. While this deck has a couple of extra turn spells for value, you can go much harder on the strategy, relying on Mizzix to make them cost next to nothing and spells like Shark Typhoon to exploit repeatedly casting big spells.
Mizzix could also be a fine storm commander, utilizing its discount ability to cast a flurry of spells ending in something like Mind's Desire or Grapeshot for a million mana instead of using X spells as a win condition.
Firemind's Foresight | Illustration by Dan Scott
The Izzet Guild loves slinging spells, and this deck embodies this. Combo decks particularly get to the essence of Izzet mages, taking an array of components and mashing them together to ignite a spark of genius, much to the dismay of everybody in their vicinity.
Mizzix of the Izmagnus was among the first commanders to use the experience counters mechanic. His cost reduction makes him a perfect Izzet mage to helm such a hectic deck.
What’s your favorite Izzet commander? Do you like a different guild better? Let me know in the comments or on the Draftsim Discord!
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