When we think of Izzet decks we usually think of spell slinging strategies or, maybe, Artifact-focussed approaches . We definitely don’t think of launching huge attacks using giant Wurms with stats in the 30s. This popular new Red/Blue deck aims to change that perception, and show that a true Izzet Wizard can utilise Wurms as well as Phoenixes.Worldspine Wurm was released in Return To Ravnica in 2012. This colossal 15/15 Wurm has some of the highest stats in the game, balanced out by a restrictive cost of 11 mana. The Wurm has trample and when it dies, it creates three 5/5 trampling Wurm tokens, effectively, splitting itself into three. If Worldspine Wurm would go to the graveyard, it instead shuffles itself back into its controller’s deck. The card has become the centerpiece of an innovative Pioneer deck known as “Izzet Creativity”. Worldspine Wurm is one of only two creatures in the deck, alongside Xenagos, God of Revels.
Two of the eight players in the top 8 of Pro Tour: Phyrexia, Reid Duke, and Gabriel Nassif, are running the deck and it’s certainly making an impact on the meta. But what is this deck’s strategy? What makes it so “Creative”? And why is a deck with Izzet in its name based around a powerful Green card?
The Deck List
Reid Duke is piloting the build below at Pro Tour: Phyrexia. Gabriel Nassif’s list is similar, running the same cards in the main deck, with a few cards swapped around in the sideboard.
CreaturesXenagos, God of Revels x1 Worldspine Wurm x1
SorceriesIndomitable Creativity x4
InstantsFiery Impulse x4 Secrets of the Key x1 Spell Pierce x1 Spikefield Hazard x2 Fire Prophecy x4 Impulse x4 Make Disappear x3 Valakut Awakening x1 Big Score x4 Dig Through Time x1
EnchantmentsFable of the Mirror-Breaker x4 Shark Typhoon x1
LandsHall of Storm Giants x1 Mountain x2 Mutavault x2 Otawara, Soaring City x1 Riverglide Pathway x4 Shivan Reef x2 Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance x2 Spirebluff Canal x3 Steam Vents x4 Stormcarved Coast x3
SideboardRending Volley x3 Aether Gust x1 Disdainful Stroke x1 Narset’s Reversal x2 Negate x2 Mystical Dispute x1 Shark Typhoon x3 Hullbreaker Horror x2
The Game Plan
Izzet Creativity decks derive their name from the card Indomitable Creativity. For 3 Red and X, Indomitable Creativity destroys X artifacts or creatures, the controller of each destroyed card then reveals cards from the top of their library until they reveal an artifact or creature which they bring into play without paying the cost. This is repeated until every destroyed card has been replaced with a new artifact or creature from the deck.
Izzet Creativity decks generate artifact and creature tokens using cards like Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Secrets of the Key. Once turn 5 hits, Indomitable Creativity is cast with X equal to two. The player running the deck destroys two of their own artifacts or creatures and then begins to dig through their deck. As the only legal targets in the deck are Worldspine Wurm and Xenagos, God of Revels those cards are fetched and brought straight into play. When the combat phase begins, Xenagos grants Worldspine Wurm +15/+15 and Haste, and the Wurm attacks, assumingly for lethal. Shark Typhoon and Hall of the Storm Giant can also be used as backup threats in the event the Wurm fails to secure the kill.
The rest of the deck is composed largely of removal spells, draw effects and, counterspells. Cards like Fire Prophecy and Valakut Awakening are useful because they can put Xenagos and Worldspine Wurm back into the deck, where they can be retrieved, this keeps them out of the hand where they are useless.
Worldspine Wurm’s ability to shuffle itself back into the deck if it goes to the graveyard is utilized well here. In most decks, this effect would be a downside because it keeps Worldspine Wurm out of the Graveyard where it could easily be reanimated. This deck contains no means of reanimating Worldspine Wurm, but the card placing itself back in the deck, instead of going to the graveyard, is useful in several ways. The Wurm can be discarded to enable Big Score, and, most importantly, even if it is destroyed when it makes its big attack, it can still be fetched back later on with another use of Indomitable Creativity for another attack.
For all of its strengths, this deck has a few weaknesses. Its lack of creatures leaves it vulnerable to aggressive decks which can build a very wide board and potentially outpace its ability to destroy attackers. Similarly, if Worldspine Wurm is destroyed by an exile effect, it doesn’t get shuffled back into the deck meaning it can’t be fetched again for another big strike.
The Worldspine Wurm/Xenagos, God of Revels version of this deck is not the only variant out there. Other versions of the deck instead use Indomitable Creativity to fetch Torrential Gearhulk which they then use to cast powerful like Magma Opus. There’s even a Modern version of the deck which changes up its color identity and brings out Archons of Cruelty using Indomitable Creativity in order to deal an overwhelming amount of damage and close out the game.
Reid Duke was able to win Pro Tour: Phyrexia using this deck. It certainly lives up to its name and offers a creative gameplay experience, while not compromising on power.