Ral, Izzet Viceroy seems like the last of the "value engine" planeswalkers dominating their design from 2014-2018. Four-to-five casting cost, four-to-five loyalty, the plus ability generates about one card in nebulous advantage, the minus ability kills/neutralizes a creature, and the ultimate ability is super cool, but almost never used.

While I'd certainly prefer planeswalkers with specific guiding influences, these more generic types offer a blank check made out to The Theme Of My Choice. And for this deck, that's: "Izzet creatures that get more powerful off spells."

We all know the ones. We see them in a draft and think, "Can we make this work?" And most of the time, the answer is: your Wee Dragonauts clocks in for like six damage total, and then gets brickwalled by a random 3/4 flyer for 4W.

But this time? Now that we're building around them? Our opponents are getting dead.

Move to combat?

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Ral, Izzet Viceroy by Andy Hurst

'Ral, Izzet Viceroy' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Andy Hurst

Event:

Rank:

Freeform (Casual)

Market Price: $9.71

Cards

Beacon Bolt

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176857_200w.jpg

Beacon Bolt deals damage to target creature equal to the total number of instant and sorcery cards you own in exile and in your graveyard.
Jump-start (You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a card in addition to paying its other costs. Then exile this card.)

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Kiln Fiend

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216653_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, Kiln Fiend gets +3/+0 until end of turn.

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Nivmagus Elemental

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/66469_200w.jpg

Exile an instant or sorcery spell you control: Put two +1/+1 counters on Nivmagus Elemental. (That spell won't resolve.)

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Flaring Pain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.53

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10249_200w.jpg

Damage can't be prevented this turn.
Flashback {R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Lore Drakkis

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212256_200w.jpg

Mutate {U/R}{U/R} (If you cast this spell for its mutate cost, put it over or under target non-Human creature you own. They mutate into the creature on top plus all abilities from under it.)
Whenever this creature mutates, return target instant or sorcery card from your graveyard to your hand.

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Mercurial Geists

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/120267_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, Mercurial Geists gets +3/+0 until end of turn.

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Mystic Sanctuary

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.97

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199417_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)
Mystic Sanctuary enters the battlefield tapped unless you control three or more other Islands.
When Mystic Sanctuary enters the battlefield untapped, you may put target instant or sorcery card from your graveyard on top of your library.

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Nivix Cyclops

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129369_200w.jpg

Defender
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, Nivix Cyclops gets +3/+0 until end of turn and can attack this turn as though it didn't have defender.

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196580_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Reckless Charge

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191580_200w.jpg

Target creature gets +3/+0 and gains haste until end of turn.
Flashback {2}{R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Goblin Electromancer

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175583_200w.jpg

Instant and sorcery spells you cast cost {1} less to cast.

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Ral, Izzet Viceroy

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.88

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175199_200w.jpg

+1: Look at the top two cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
−3: Ral, Izzet Viceroy deals damage to target creature equal to the total number of instant and sorcery cards you own in exile and in your graveyard.
−8: You get an emblem with "Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, this emblem deals 4 damage to any target and you draw two cards."

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Fervent Denial

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196599_200w.jpg

Counter target spell.
Flashback {5}{U}{U} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Lightning Surge

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10256_200w.jpg

Lightning Surge deals 4 damage to any target.
Threshold — If seven or more cards are in your graveyard, instead Lightning Surge deals 6 damage to that permanent or player and the damage can't be prevented.
Flashback {5}{R}{R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Fluxcharger

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/68003_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, you may switch Fluxcharger's power and toughness until end of turn.

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Izzet Boilerworks

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236227_200w.jpg

Izzet Boilerworks enters the battlefield tapped.
When Izzet Boilerworks enters the battlefield, return a land you control to its owner's hand.
{T}: Add {U}{R}.

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Radical Idea

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175198_200w.jpg

Draw a card.
Jump-start (You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a card in addition to paying its other costs. Then exile this card.)

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Spelleater Wolverine

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212755_200w.jpg

Spelleater Wolverine has double strike as long as there are three or more instant and/or sorcery cards in your graveyard.

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Chemister's Insight

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212406_200w.jpg

Draw two cards.
Jump-start (You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a card in addition to paying its other costs. Then exile this card.)

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Cackling Counterpart

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128846_200w.jpg

Create a token that's a copy of target creature you control.
Flashback {5}{U}{U} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Nucklavee

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129490_200w.jpg

When Nucklavee enters the battlefield, you may return target red sorcery card from your graveyard to your hand.
When Nucklavee enters the battlefield, you may return target blue instant card from your graveyard to your hand.

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Firebolt

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190644_200w.jpg

Firebolt deals 2 damage to any target.
Flashback {4}{R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Melek, Izzet Paragon

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212321_200w.jpg

Play with the top card of your library revealed.
You may cast instant and sorcery spells from the top of your library.
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell from your library, copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy.

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Sprite Dragon

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212044_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Sprite Dragon.

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Maximize Velocity

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176915_200w.jpg

Target creature gets +1/+1 and gains haste until end of turn.
Jump-start (You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a card in addition to paying its other costs. Then exile this card.)

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215718_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Sandstone Needle

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6680_200w.jpg

Sandstone Needle enters the battlefield tapped with two depletion counters on it.
{T}, Remove a depletion counter from Sandstone Needle: Add {R}{R}. If there are no depletion counters on Sandstone Needle, sacrifice it.

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Pyre Hound

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161782_200w.jpg

Trample
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Pyre Hound.

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Dematerialize

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/9356_200w.jpg

Return target permanent to its owner's hand.
Flashback {5}{U}{U} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Winterflame

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/93210_200w.jpg

Choose one or both —
• Tap target creature.
• Winterflame deals 2 damage to target creature.

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Izzet Guildgate

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196572_200w.jpg

Izzet Guildgate enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {U} or {R}.

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Lava Dart

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190635_200w.jpg

Lava Dart deals 1 damage to any target.
Flashback—Sacrifice a Mountain. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Leapfrog

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176868_200w.jpg

Leapfrog has flying as long as you've cast an instant or sorcery spell this turn.

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Staggershock

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145498_200w.jpg

Staggershock deals 2 damage to any target.
Rebound (If you cast this spell from your hand, exile it as it resolves. At the beginning of your next upkeep, you may cast this card from exile without paying its mana cost.)

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Crackling Drake

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236188_200w.jpg

Flying
Crackling Drake's power is equal to the total number of instant and sorcery cards you own in exile and in your graveyard.
When Crackling Drake enters the battlefield, draw a card.

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Scour All Possibilities

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190863_200w.jpg

Scry 2, then draw a card.
Flashback {4}{U} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Flaming Gambit

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/9750_200w.jpg

Flaming Gambit deals X damage to target player or planeswalker. That player or that planeswalker's controller may choose a creature they control and have Flaming Gambit deal that damage to it instead.
Flashback {X}{R}{R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Nightbird's Clutches

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180952_200w.jpg

Up to two target creatures can't block this turn.
Flashback {3}{R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Wee Dragonauts

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176781_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, Wee Dragonauts gets +2/+0 until end of turn.

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Minotaur Illusionist

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7993_200w.jpg

{1}{U}: Minotaur Illusionist gains shroud until end of turn. (It can't be the target of spells or abilities.)
{R}, Sacrifice Minotaur Illusionist: It deals damage equal to its power to target creature.

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Stormchaser Mage

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/110863_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Prowess (Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)

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Thoughtflare

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/66637_200w.jpg

Draw four cards, then discard two cards.

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Mystic Retrieval

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196601_200w.jpg

Return target instant or sorcery card from your graveyard to your hand.
Flashback {2}{R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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The Game Plan

The goal is to play creatures that get big when we play spells—then play spells to get them big and clear the way for massive damage. Kiln Fiend and Nivix Cyclops hit the hardest, although Wee Dragonauts and Stormchaser Mage (A+++ name by the way) are great contributors, too. Nivmagus Elemental, Sprite Dragon, and Pyre Hound have more permanent buffs, while Spelleater Wolverine and Crackling Drake provide threats that'll have more potency as the game goes on.

Because these decks are generally fairly split between creatures and spells, I wanted to maximize our spells to use in conjunction with our creatures that rely on them. So we have a massive amount of flashback and jump-start spells to ensure there will always be a drop of gas in the tank.

Even the dopiest of effects like Scour All Possibilities or Maximize Velocity end up being pretty great when we can get two triggers off them. Reckless Charge usually isn't as good as it looks, but in a deck where you can suddenly rack up a ton of damage from a Kiln Fiend or the like, it's plenty serviceable here. We even get some extra juice from our flashback/jump-start spells being exiled when Beacon Bolt comes to kill our opponent's strongest creature (twice!). And the Crackling Drake gets some love there, too.

It's important to note that some of our effects are a little pricey, because they get to repeat in some way—Fervent Denial is a terrible rate for a regular counterspell, and Dematerialize is nothing to write home about for a sorcery-speed Boomerang. But getting to replay these spells is a phenomenal opportunity with our slate of creatures, so I think it's ultimately worth it.

I usually don't talk too much about our manabase, but Mystic Sanctuary is an especially spicy one here. Rebuy your favorite spell!

The Rares

I'm still not sure whether or not this card is busted. I remember when it came out and folks like Gerry Thompson were warning it would be the next broken thing. It… was not. But, in a deck like ours, it's a pretty dangerous threat. Play it carefully since we'll be foregoing the chance at flashback frequently, but just casting the spells are enough to trigger our other creatures. And we get two (!) counters that stay on it permanently for every activation, so it can get out of control pretty quick.

Poor Melek, Izzet Paragon was caught at a weird time in Magic design when R&D clearly wanted more legends for the burgeoning EDH scene.The set of ten from Dragon's Maze really lacked the power future EDH-focused legends got, so these are kind of a forgotten bunch. But we want to cast spells here, and Melek, Izzet Paragon is great at enabling us. Especially since most of our spells let us see more cards or get rid of opposing creatures, being able to fork them can be critical. Against green decks specifically (or against many rares), the ability to double up on some of our burn spells can be the difference between an ineffective removal spell and victory.

We've got lots of bodies that trigger when we cast spells. This spell gives us those triggers, then gives us another body that gets those triggers, then gives us another spell to do it all over again! I dunno if I can give you a dictionary definition of synergy, but I know it when I see it. And I'm seeing it here.

Nostalgia bomb. I've always thought this was a cool rare, but never found a home for it before. And it's too neat to sit languishing in my bulk box forever—it's already done almost 20 years! I'd say that's time served.

Unsung Hero

Staggershock encapsulates this deck well. It's a solid trick/removal spell, though not the most efficient. But it casts two spells with only one card, gets a blocker out of the way, or hits the last couple points to finish the game out of nowhere. And the rebound is huge in a deck where we're trying to set up turns to cast a bunch of spells to power up our Izzet guys. Will our opponents be staggered or shocked when we blow them out with this? Like our other spells, why not have it both ways?