Izzet Prowess Deck Guide in Modern

Kelvin Chew

Kelvin Chew


Today I will be talking about a deck that I have been playing after it won one of the Modern Challenge. Izzet Prowess is the most aggressive deck in Modern which is capable of winning the game as early as turn 3, it is especially good in metagame where decks have little to no interaction.

Izzet Prowess

This is the decklist that I have been playing.

The Creatures

The following creatures form the core of the deck.

Monastery SwiftspearSoul-Scar MageSprite DragonStormwing Entity

《Monastery Swiftspear》, 《Soul-Scar Mage》 are the best creatures in the deck as they can easily deal a huge amount of damages in the early game. Your best opening hand will always start with one of those.

Although 《Stormwing Entity》 and 《Sprite Dragon》 deals lesser damage compare to our 1 drops flying is an important keyword as it allows us to push damage through ground creatures which usually demand an answer from our opponent as the damages stack up quickly. 《Manamorphose》 into 《Stormwing Entity》 is one of the best turn 2 you can get.

The main deck spells are pretty much the same as the original list, I have tried different spells in various slots which I will explain below.

《Opt》 vs. 《Serum Visions》 vs. 《Sleight of Hand》

OptSerum VisionsSleight of Hand

《Opt》 and 《Sleight of Hand》 are similar as they both allow you to dig 1 more card deeper instantly compared to 《Serum Visions》 which is especially important as I have kept a fair bit of multiple 1 drop creatures with 1 land and 《Opt》.

If 《Opt》 was 《Serum Visions》 instead, I must cast it on turn 1 instead to set up my draw and miss out on extra potential damages. It is also especially important if you draw 《Opt》 and need to look for your sideboard card immediately.

I prefer the instant part of 《Opt》 as sometimes, I can choose to cast 《Light Up the Stage》 instead of 《Opt》 if my creatures deal damages but with 《Sleight of Hand》, I have to always cast it before combat.

《Burst Lightning》 vs. 《Firebolt》 vs. 《Lava Spike》

Burst LightningFireboltLava Spike

In the beginning, I was trying with 《Firebolt》 but rarely did I Flashback with it. Between 《Lava Dart》 and 《Fiery Islet》, I usually do not have access to 5 mana.

For 《Lava Spike》, it is only better in Boros Burn as they have way more burn spells compared to us. It just felt awkward to cast in Prowess deck as we mostly win by combat.

《Burst Lightning》 is the best we can get in this slot as it also combos well with 《Soul-Scar Mage》 in combat.

Sideboard Cards

《Blood Moon》

Blood Moon

I found 4 color Omnath to be a difficult matchup and 《Blood Moon》 is one of the easiest ways to win against them as they do not expect them and it also turns off 《Field of the Dead》. It gives us another angle to attack decks that are weak to it and usually they have to spend 《Aether Gust》 and 《Celestial Purge》 on our creature which makes our 《Blood Moon》 better.

《Blood Moon》 is also effective against ramp strategy as well as Tron. Even though I have 《Blood Moon》, I did not find the need to have Basic Island as a fetchable land as most of our spell is red base and having Basic Island can make casting multiple spell awkward.

《Soul-Guide Lantern》

Soul-Guide Lantern

Your best card against 《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》 and 《Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger》 as they are both hard to deal with while also enable as a graveyard hate against Dredge and Oops All Spells. I prefer it over 《Relic of Progenitus》 as it does not require us to hold up 1 mana every turn in order to activate it and it does not remove our graveyard too.

《Seasoned Pyromancer》 and 《Bedlam Reveler》

Seasoned PyromancerBedlam Reveler

This is your midrange package against any removal heavy deck, I do not like to play multiple 《Bedlam Reveler》 as it is bad if you draw it early. If opponent saw 《Bedlam Reveler》 post board, they might board in 《Soul-Guide Lantern》 or 《Relic of Progenitus》 against us which make playing multiple 《Bedlam Reveler》 bad. 《Seasoned Pyromancer》 is also better against removal by creating 2 1/1 tokens instead.

《Vapor Snag》

Vapor Snag

I would not play this card if not for Hammer Time being one of the best decks now. This is usually enough to buy us turns and race against them and is our only answer to delay 《Auriok Champion》 with 《Colossus Hammer》 on it.

Tips and Tricks

Soul-Scar MageLava DartSprite Dragon

Sideboard Guide

4c Omnath

Uro, Titan of Nature's WrathWrenn and Six

Game 1 is tough if they manage to draw a removal heavy hand and manage to Escape 《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》, we need to push every damage whenever possible and I usually ignore 《Wrenn and Six》 in this matchup if they have it on board.

Soul-Guide LanternBlood Moon

Post board, we board out our low impact spells. Save your 《Soul-Guide Lantern》 for 《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》 and cast your 《Blood Moon》 whenever they tap low on mana.

vs. 4c Omnath


Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth
Burst Lightning Burst Lightning Stormwing Entity
Lava Dart Lava Dart Gut Shot


Spell Pierce Spell Pierce Seasoned Pyromancer Seasoned Pyromancer
Blood Moon Blood Moon Blood Moon
Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern

Hammer Time

Colossus HammerAuriok Champion

The easiest way to lose is they manage to attach 《Colossus Hammer》 on any of their creatures. Always hold up mana for a removal for their creature if you have. After sideboard, they have 《Auriok Champion》 which is best against us, so we have to try to end the game fast while slowing down their combo.

vs. Hammer Time


Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth


Abrade Abrade Vapor Snag Vapor Snag

Rakdos Midrange

Stormwing Entity

This is a bad matchup as their deck is full of removal and most of their cards have built in advantage. 《Stormwing Entity》 is your best card against them as it dodges 《Fatal Push》 and 《Bonecrusher Giant》 which are their main source of removal.

vs. Rakdos Midrange


Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth
Burst Lightning Burst Lightning
Lava Dart Gut Shot


Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern Bedlam Reveler
Seasoned Pyromancer Seasoned Pyromancer
Abrade Abrade

Heliod Company

Lava DartSpell Pierce

We are favorable unless they are able to cast an early 《Collected Company》 with the infinite combo. 《Lava Dart》 is very good at disrupting their infinite life combo if they do not have 《Conclave Mentor》 in play. Although 《Spell Pierce》 has a very little target, I boarded it in as a way to interact with 《Collected Company》 as it is one of the easiest ways for them to win against us.

vs. Heliod Company


Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth Mutagenic Growth


Abrade Abrade Spell Pierce Spell Pierce

《Primeval Titan》 Deck

Dryad of the Ilysian GrovePrimeval Titan

This matchup is just about racing before they assemble 《Dryad of the Ilysian Grove》 + 《Primeval Titan》 combo. I will usually kill 《Dryad》 if possible as they can assemble 《Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle》 combo to clear our board. Their deck is also capable of gaining life with 《Radiant Fountain》 by bouncing it repeatedly with bounce land.

Blood Moon

After the sideboard, we have access to 《Blood Moon》 which is very good against them. Do take note that if they cast 《Dryad》 when 《Blood Moon》 is on the battlefield, they are able to get the 《Dryad》 ability as it overwrites our 《Blood Moon》 ability.

vs. 《Primeval Titan》 Deck


Burst Lightning Burst Lightning Gut Shot


Blood Moon Blood Moon Blood Moon

Ad Nauseam

Angel's Grace

As they can’t really interact with us, we have to try and race and force them to use 《Angel’s Grace》 if they do not have 《Phyrexian Unlife》 in play. After sideboard, we try to slow down their combo with 《Abrade》 and 《Spell Pierce》.

vs. Ad Nauseam


Burst Lightning Burst Lightning
Light Up the Stage Light Up the Stage


Spell Pierce Spell Pierce
Abrade Abrade


That marks the end of my article! If you enjoy a creature combo deck that is capable of dealing a huge amount of damage in a single turn, do give this deck a try. If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them via Twitter.


Kelvin Chew (Twitter)

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Kelvin Chew

Kelvin Chew Kelvin Chew is one of the great player from Singapore. He has 2 GP top8s with his favorite format Modern, but he is like an all-arounder and top 8ed three more times with different formats. He took his first trophy with super impressive "Cartouche Strategy" at GP Beijing 2017 (Limited). He then reached 4th place at World Championship 2017 and became one of the world best for everybody. Read more articles by Kelvin Chew