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Magic: The Gathering Blue/Red Combo Deck

I am a huge MTG fan who has successfully built and wielded a variety of decks.

magic_the_gathering_deck_blue_red_combo

The Cards

This is a list of cards in the deck. They are grouped by type (Creature, Spell, Land).

Creatures

  • 4 x Drift of Phantasms
  • 2 x Gelectrode
  • 4 x Izzet Chronarch
  • 1 x Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
  • 4 x Tidewater Minion
  • 4 x Wee Dragonauts

Spells

  • 1 x Blaze
  • 4 x Feed from the Real
  • 4 x Izzet Signet
  • 1 x Mana Leak
  • 2 x Peel from Reality
  • 4 x Pyrmatics
  • 3 x Telling Time
  • 3 x Train of Thought
  • 4 x Volcanic Hammer

Lands

  • 6 x Islands
  • 4 x Izzet Boilerworks
  • 5 x Mountain

Note: The deck was made when the Ravnica block was legal and peaking in popularity. There are probably more recent cards that can replace the list here.

The Combos

These are some of the great combos in this deck. Some are game-winners, some just kill a lot.

Tidewater Minion + Freed from the Real + Izzet Boilerworks + Blaze

Enchant your Tidewater Minion with the Freed from the Real, have 1 Izzet Boilerworks on the table and a Blaze (or Pyromatics) in your hand.

  • Tap the Izzet Boilerworks (1 Red, 1 Blue mana in pool)
  • Tap Tidewater Minion to untap Izzet Boilerworks (second ability of the Tidewater Minion)
  • Tap Izzet Boilerworks again (2 Red, 2 Blue mana in pool)
  • For 1 Blue mana, Untap Tidewater Minion (second ability of Freed from the Real) (2 Red, 1 Blue mana in pool)
  • Repeat from step 2 to have infinite Red mana + 1 Blue mana in the pool
  • Cast Blaze with X = zillion (on the player)

Gelectrode + Volcanic Hammer

Have one or more Gelectrodes in play.

Scroll to Continue
  • Tap Gelectrode to do one damage to a creature or player
  • Cast Volcanic Hammer to do another 3 damage, Gelectrode untaps
  • Tap Gelectrode

With this small combo, you can kill a 5/5 creature for 2 mana.

Options: Replace the Volcanic Hammer by any other instant or Sorcery to do 2 damage for each Gelectrode, have a Wee Dragonauts on the table to increase its size while performing this combo.

Gelectrode + Freed from the Real

This small combo allows you to tap the Gelectrode for 1 damage, then untap it for 1 Blue mana with the Freed from the Real. The result is 1 damage / 1 Blue mana.

Izzet Chronarch + Peel from Reality

Have the Izzet in play. When it's your opponent's turn, you can stop 2 attackers without any losses on your side.

  • Opponent attacks (with creature A and B)
  • Block A with the Izzet Chronarch
  • Before damage, play Peel from Reality targeting your Izzet Chronarch and his Creature B
  • A is blocked, B is no longer there, and you have your Izzet Chronarch in hand

Why Izzet Chronarch? You actually want it in your hand a second time, because each time you play it you can bring back a card like Volcanic Hammer.

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind + Freed from the Real

Enchant the dragon with Freed from the Real. On it's own, the dragon is a great card, but now you can draw 1 card and do 1 damage for 1 Blue mana. Over and over again.

The Ideal Starting Hand

This deck is slow. It won't kill your enemy in the first 4 turns, not even in the first 10 turns. Some things in the deck, like Drift of Phantasms, are just there to slow down the game. So what would be the perfect hand?

  • 1 land: Mulligan. Don't even look any further.
  • 2 lands: This could work. However, make sure you have some spells to slow down the opponent. Examples here are Drift of Phantasms, a Gelectrode is nice, a Mana Leak or for example an Izzet Signet (which will get you to 3 mana).
  • 3, 4 or 5 lands: This is an excellent hand for this deck. Even 5 lands. If you happen to have a signet with that and Drift of Phantasms or Gelectrodes, you can start stalling and/or killing from turn 3.
  • 6 or 7 lands: This could work. Seriously. I've won a game where I started with just lands in my hand. The first 2 turns, you can't do anything anyway with this hand. If you draw anything but lands in those 2 turns, you are set to go.

Deck Tactics

Here are some tips to get you through a game with the deck.

Rule number 1: Once you are past turn 3 and have something on the table, don't play too fast. There is probably something you can do. At end of the opponent's turn, check the following:

  • Have I tapped all my Gelectrodes?
  • Do I have mana to play my Telling Time?
  • Can I tap a Niv-Mizzet?
  • Can I do a little Gelector/Telling Time/Pyromatics combo?

When an enemy kills one of your creatures, check the series again. If it is a Gelectrode, you might still want to tap it, or tap it, play an instant, and tap it again. That's extra damage you need.

Thumb rule when doing damage, if there is a creature on the opposite side, kill it first, unless it gets blocked (Tidewater Minion or Drift of Phantasms on your side) or you can kill the player.

Always be on the lookout for any of the combos above. They really do help.

Don't play your instant damage spells on the first creature that pops up. A Volcanic Hammer is nice to kill that 2/2 creature, but with 1 Gelectrode the next turn, that same Hammer can kill a 5/5.

Gameplay usually looks bad for you until you get some nice cards and the tables turn. So don't give up, even at 2 life or something.

Deck Weakness

A very big weakness with the deck is when the opponent can't die.

For example, if your opponent has a Worship. This deck can't get rid of it. If you know you are playing against these kinds of decks, you could include some enchantment-killing spells or more counterspells, your choice.

© 2007 Magicality LM

Make this deck better

Magicality LM (author) on November 04, 2014:

Actually, the last anonymous reply is wrong.

You can perfectly block a creature, then, BEFORE damage is resolved, take that creature back into your hands.

The blocked creature will still be considered blocked, and your creature will live another day.

This is an important detail for the combo's in this deck, especially Izzet Chronarch + Peel from Reality.

anonymous on August 09, 2013:

If you block with a creature and that creature is taken from the battlefield before damage is delt then you take damage...if you block and tour creature dies you can't play its abilities...now if the attacking creature is a 1/1 yes you are good to go...jus wanted to clarify for the newer players thinking they can block and still get a creature back in hand before damage resolves..

Takkhis on May 13, 2013:

I have heard of this before from one of my friends but I have never tried it. Thanks for the info :)

anonymous on February 09, 2013:

@tophatpro: If you're interested you should look into getting a couple of starter decks. You can find them at big box retailers or specialty game shops.

tophatpro on December 24, 2012:

I've heard so much about this but never known how to get into it?

anonymous on October 08, 2012:

IF you wanna make someone draw out their deck run blue sun zenith

anonymous on July 29, 2012:

@squallpogi: Fireball, I've found, is much better for destroying than blaze. especially if you're playing EDH.

squallpogi on June 13, 2012:

really useful combo.. lol.. infinite blaze.. watch out for the counter though.. hehe..

Zebedee32 on May 29, 2012:

I'm really happy to see Magic doing so well on squidoo. I quit magic about 8 years ago, but glad it's still going.

anonymous on April 07, 2012:

ie been working on a blue red dragon deck starting with illusions and just poking. using spells on anything that can block, then late game i use larger red dragons and spells just for plain damage what do u think

anonymous on April 07, 2012:

i feel that this deck could remove some spells and add counterspells and a few illusions

anonymous on March 20, 2012:

Really nice reading! I came back to MTG after almost 10 years these days and im looking forward to build a red/blue nuke/counter deck and these cards I didn't know gave me some ideas! TY!

anonymous on January 16, 2012:

Enjoyed reading this, this is a game that really studying certain cards is such a plus when playing this game.

love4randomness1 on December 03, 2011:

Cool lens! I'm just getting into MTG. Please check out my lens The ultimate 2011 Christmas gift guide for Magic: The Gathering players! It would mean a lot to me. Hugs :)

iwrite4cash on September 24, 2011:

I like the deck! UR is great some good cards in a budget deck like this might be the addition of cards like belligerent hatchling and double cleave all combined with wee dragonauts makes a pretty beasty budget deck! Please check out some of my tournament decks up for sale. Thanks!

auxpwr lm on June 03, 2011:

I have had a hard time trying to make a deck from these 2 colors but never had it hold up against any other deck, awesome job, i bet this deck holds up well against a vampire deck. Thumbs up, come check out my lenses. Great job again

DarrenLangdon on May 04, 2011:

I love all the artwork in MTG and noticed there were quite a few MTG Fanatics out there. I have also completed a Magic the Gathering Lens with more of the fantastic artwork.

sushilkin lm on May 01, 2011:

Thanks for sharing on squidoo. Pls Pray for japan by visiting my lens

anonymous on February 10, 2011:

@anonymous: or u could use like an unsummon for the creature

teammurphy on February 01, 2011:

Great uses for freed from the real. Amazing card, definitely a personal favorite of mine. Great combos, and great lens!

anonymous on January 08, 2011:

I know absolutely NOTHING about this, but apparently a lot of other people do, and you have gotten some great feedback. Well done on such an informative lens :)

natashaely on January 08, 2011:

I like the suggestions but I have never run my pack so low on lands, usually have 24 in it. However although I use a white/blue pack some of these combos are something to think about! Good lens

anonymous on January 05, 2011:

@anonymous: also, did you consider throwing in curiosity? it combos with niv-mizzet using only those two cards for something like 40 dmg depending on how many cards you got left on your library

anonymous on January 05, 2011:

you're running a slow combo/control deck with 15 lands... really?

im not an expert in blue/control decks but here are some tips.

use atleast 22-24 lands... since you're playing signets maybe 20 will work... you may throw in some terramorphic expanses/evolving wilds to fetch your islands/mountains and thin your deck of lands so you're not constantly drawing lands.

if you want to combo, focus on one combo. get rid of everything else.

keep the casting costs low. instead of having izzet chronarch to get your volcanic hammers back try to replace it with some more burn spells, like lightning bolt or incinerate.

finally, try to get some more counterspells, like couterspell or negate. negate is actually pretty good in 2 colored decks since it doesn't cost UU to cast like counterspell and you can use your lightning bolts to get rid of creatures. also, since you're getting rid of the chronarch you should replace peel from reality with some permanent bouncing spells like echoing truth or boomerang and it would eliminate your worship problem.

anonymous on December 08, 2010:

@anonymous: and I'm back with the all new streamlined version, behold:

Creatures:

3x Guard Gomazoa

4x Gelectrode

4x Izzet Chronarch

2x Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind

3x Tidewater Minion

Spells:

3x Ophidian Eye

2x Invoke the Firemind

2x Fireball

4x Swerve

3x Mark of Eviction

4x Electrolyze

4x Freed from the Real

2x Spellbook

Lands:

8x Islands

4x Izzet Boilerworks

8x Mountain

Sideboard:

4x Lightning Bolts

4x Mana Leaks

1x Guard Gomazoa

2x Fireball

1x Mark of Eviction

2x Invoke the Firemind

1x Ophidian Eye

Everything you need is in there, the infinite combo, the gelectrode combo, ophidian eye+Niv-Mizzet combo (which is amazing), and the Chronarch+eviction combo. I bet you can figure out how the sideboard would filter out. Enjoy!

Kapalbility on November 27, 2010:

Eek. Those combos are scary. Especially the enchanted Gelectrode combo. Friggin' awesome to have, annoying to go against.

anonymous on November 08, 2010:

@anonymous: Okay just had a redo, forgot the Free from the Real. it's in Sideboard so you can trade it out with another, also made better land, added the "or" cards to the sideboard and added

Mark of Eviction, Fireball (for multiplayer), and Clout of Dominus. Also, if you can find a way to fit in Echo Mage, go for it, I run them in my mono blue mill, definitely worth while.

Here it is:

Creatures

4 x Drift of Phantasms

2 x Gelectrode

3 x Izzet Chronarch

1 x Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind

4 x Tidewater Minion

3 x Izzet Guildmage

Spells

2 x Banefire

4 x Curiosity

4 x Counterspell

3 x Mark of Eviction

3 x Brainstorm

4 x Lightning Bolt

Artifacts

3 x Basilisk Collar

Lands

4 x Terramorphic Expanse

6 x Islands

4 x Izzet Boilerworks

6 x Mountain

Sideboard

2 x Fireball

4 x Tideforce Elemental

4 x Guard Gomazoa

3 x Freed from Reality

2 x Clout of Dominus

anonymous on November 08, 2010:

Creatures

4 x Drift of Phantasms or Guard Gomazoa

2 x Gelectrode

4 x Izzet Chronarch

1 x Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind

4 x Tidewater Minion or Tideforce Elemental

3 x Izzet Guildmage

Spells

2 x Banefire

4 x Curiosity

4 x Counterspell

3 x Peel from Reality

3 x Brainstorm

4 x Lightning Bolt

Artifacts

3 x Basilisk Collar

Lands

4 x Terramorphic Expanse

6 x Islands

4 x Izzet Boilerworks

5 x Mountain

This is my revamp, of the deck taking into consideration all the ideas I've read here.

The strategy is still the same, except better, more streamlined. It should be a little faster, if you take out the Drift of Phantasms for Guard Gomazoa you have a solid defense but you sacrifice the transmute. I also introduced the deathtouch mentioned with lifelink (Basilisk Collar FTW), and the infinite combo which that can't be countered now with Banefire. It's still a 60 count deck but if you're playing casual throw in 3 more mountains and islands for a 21 land count (not including the Terramorphics). Also, you can also trade out the Tidewater Minions for Tideforce Elementals, you lose the 4/4, but you have better untap capabilities. I tried to keep true to the combos and the strategies as best as possible, I'll keep checking in for other ideas. However, this should work now.

emmaklarkins on October 11, 2010:

Great site! I love Magic, but I only ever got the pre-made decks and just played with that. I know theres a ton of strategy of building decks and stuff, but I could never get beyond "casual." I think I just spend too much time reading all the cards! Blessed by a Squidoo Angel.

anonymous on October 02, 2010:

Thanx! i just made a deck verysimilar to this! i love it! i need some extra gelectrodes tho.... only have one........ i dont use Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind BUT!!! if i did i have an ininite with him.....***Ophidian Eye*** ((no one realy reads coments so you should add a pic into article))

***Ophidian Eye*** >>> enchant >>> ***Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind***

effect--- When creature deals damage to an opponet draw a card----

think about it :) :) :) awsome right?

CCGAL on September 28, 2010:

Featuring this lens on my how to play magic the gathering lens.

anonymous on September 21, 2010:

I haven't tried it yet but the tap-damage thing is a good idea. I have not copied your deck completely but did use 4x Gelectrode 3x Freed from the Real 4x Izzet Boilerworks and 2x Izzet signet, further on I have tons of usefull defender cards in my deck to protect my lifepoints when i'm busy doing tapdamage. Also i've got myself a twincast and also got 2x Fire Servant, which also doubles the damage done by instant or sorcery spells (imagine having a Fire Servant on your field and a Banefire in your hand with 10 untapped mountains.... 20 damage..can't be prevented. And as extra backup i have 1 mana cost creatures, creatures that don't cost any mana like Cloud of Faeries and 3x 6 mana cost creatures like Inferno Titan/Hostillity/Chandra Nalaar. You can't actually make perfect combo's with these cards allthough they are individual good cards. Do you guys think this kind of deck will work (offc it's a blue/red mix).

anonymous on September 19, 2010:

I've started playing, and am very happy, with this deck. Even when I don't combo infinite mana for a Banefire, the Niv-Mizzet + Curiosity mentioned below is an alternative insta-win strategy.