Hello everyone! Today I decided to run Jeskai Tempo through some Standard queues on Magic Online. I was supposed to feature Jeskai Control but the deck is just not ready right now. I like the deck a lot but there's just something missing about it. Once I figure out what that is I will give you guys an update but for now we'll just have to settle for some Jeskai Tempo.
Here's the deck I used:
So why did I choose to play this deck? The main reason is that it's just lots of fun to play. On the surface it just looks like a three color burn deck but there's actually a ton of decisions to make at every point in the game from the order you play your lands to what cards to keep with scry. While I'm not new to the archetype, playing the deck on Magic Online while doing commentary and going through my thought process out loud made me realize how tough this deck actually is to play. While most of the plays were obvious, there were a lot of little decisions that I wasn't so sure about. Take a look for yourself.
Match 1 vs. RW Tokens
Match 2 vs. UW Heroic
Match 3 vs. UW Heroic, Match 2
Match 4 vs. UR Burn
I chose this particular list because I wanted to play a deck containing both Hordeling Outburst and Wingmate Roc. I really like this combination of cards and have been playing with them for a while in Mardu Midrange but have not gotten the chance to try them out in Jeskai. Overall I was impressed with the deck and really enjoyed playing a deck that was similar to Mardu Midrange but also had access to Dig Through Time.
I wish I played against some non-aggressive decks so that I could try out the sideboard plan of Narset, Enlightened Master and Keranos, God of Storms. Narset seems practically unstoppable against control decks and it if you're able to attack with her, burning your opponent out should follow a few turns later.
The one card that I was actually not impressed with over the course of these matches was ironically Wingmate Roc. I love that guy but this Jeskai deck really doesn't need him. First of all five mana is pretty rough especially when two of the mana has to be white. We play a decent number of painlands and it's not unlikely that you'll have to take a damage just to cast this guy. The second reason is that this deck is super aggro and you usually can kill without even getting to five mana. Wingmate Roc is often a win more card and unnecessary in a deck with this amount of haste creatures and burn. It may seem like I won a couple of games with Wingmate Roc and while he did help me stabilize and win against RW Tokens, I did not even need to cast him against UW Heroic. In that match it did win me the game but honestly I could have also won by casting a four damage burn spell or playing End Hostilities to clear the board. Against the burn matchup I could not afford to cast the Roc in the entire third game because I needed to keep mana open for both removal and Disdainful Stroke. Overall the Roc is a great card but not something that is needed in Jeskai Tempo.
The only other card that I wasn't impressed with was Goblin Rabblemaster. Of course you have to play him. If unanswered it's game winning. However everyone is prepared for this guy and it's a huge loss of tempo to cast Rabblemaster on turn three only to have it die to a cheaper removal spell. As you can see in the videos I did board out the Rabblemaster quite a few times, especially when I was on the draw. It's a necessary evil that you can't cut from the deck but I'm totally fine leaving him on the bench in some matchups.
The manabase was good, but not great. In a three color deck you can't really ask for anything better than that. There were times where I could not cast two red spells in the same turn due to not having enough red but overall I could cast my spells more often than not. A solution to this problem is to play a couple of copies of Mana Confluence but doing that is incredibly risky, especially because most games are a race to see who can deal the twenty damage the fastest and Mana Confluence only helps your opponent win that race. You don't need Confluence in this deck, but understand that there will be times where you will struggle with your mana.
The card I liked the most in this Jeskai list was Hordeling Outburst. The tokens match up well against most 1/1s and 2/2 creatures, they help cast Stoke the Flames and they can be used as chump blockers if necessary. They are also pretty good at triggering Wingmate Roc should you choose to play it. Hordeling Outburst is great in this format and it's not surprising that most red decks have adapted this card.
Jeskai Tempo has some excellent matchups and can play the game from a couple of different angles. It can be an aggressive deck by beating down with creatures and burning the opponent's face but the deck can take a control role if it needs to. Dig Through Time helps greatly regardless of which role your deck is playing at the time. It's definitely the card that ties the deck together and can get you out of sticky situations or just help you find that last burn spell you need to finish your opponent off.
Thanks for watching and be sure to come back tomorrow for my next article.
Melissa DeTora@Melissa DeTora on Twitterwww.facebook.com/melissa.detora on Facebook