Fires decks have been rising in popularity recently, and one of the best ways to beat Fires is with countermagic. Izzet Flash is the most established of the Flash decks right now, and also the most represented version of Flash at Mythic Championship VII. The version I am playing here comes from Jessica Estephan. Make sure to check out her in-depth article on the deck.
This deck actually has game against every deck in the format, which you wouldn't expect given how fragile tempo decks tend to be. The early burn spells help to stop a quick aggressive assault from the opponent. Once the deck stabilizes, the trump card becomes Gadwick, the Wizened. Gadwick allows you to really take over the late-game, and it's one of the main reasons for such a heavy commitment to blue mana. Often you can trade a bunch of resources with the opponent and play Gadwick as your last card to refill.
The one Spectral Sailor is a holdover from previous Flash strategies, where we often saw the full four copies. In this format though, with all the cheap removal your early creatures have some vulnerabilities. The counter suite is solid, and you will often sideboard in more counters, specifically Mystical Dispute. Ral's Outburst is one of the weirder cards in the deck, but it makes sense. The deck wants a bit more burn and card advantage rolled into one.
After sideboard the deck usually either wants more removal, or more countermagic. Against decks like Fires and Control, your burn is bad, whereas against small creature decks Flame Sweep is great, and taking out some countermagic makes sense. The deck can go in either direction. I have been extremely impressed with this deck, and believe it will become a tier 1 deck in Standard.
Seth Manfield is a professional Magic player and member of both the Magic Hall of Fame and the 2019 Magic Pro League.
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