Jeskai Fires might very well be the best deck in Standard right now; it is capable of some absurd turns powered by Fires of Invention. For a while, Fae of Wishes was a staple in Fires decks, but now a new version based around Sphinx of Foresight and Cavaliers has risen in popularity. Sphinx of Foresight really helps increase the consistency of the deck, and that's exactly what the deck was lacking before. I find it much easier to set up turn-four Fires of Invention than it ever was before. Hall of Famer Zvi Mowshowitz is the innovator of this list:
The key to playing this deck is doing everything you can to get Fires of Invention down on turn four. Given all the powerful creatures at five mana, I never worried about having enough power to end the game once I had Fires and five lands in play. Dropping a couple of Cavaliers on turn five is absurd, and sometimes wins you the game the same turn.
Sphinx of Foresight works beautifully with Fires, scrying you into turn-four Fires and coming down as your second spell of the same turn. Bonecrusher Giant and Deafening Clarion clean up early pressure, and Teferi, Time Raveler counters countermagic. Bouncing an opposing creature is great, because this deck just wants to buy time until turn five.
Even though it relies so heavily on Fires of Invention, the deck resists hate fairly well. If your opponent goes overboard to answer Fires, you can just play Jeskai Midrange with your two-for-ones and out-value them.
Since this version doesn't play the Fae of Wishes package, there is more room for lots of good sideboard cards. Even though this is a Fires-based deck, it can sideboard in Mystical Dispute, possibly the most impactful sideboard card. A lot of decks will try to fight Fires with countermagic, to try and prevent Fires of Invention from entering play, and Mystical Dispute helps ensure your Fires resolves. Legion Warboss is a win condition all on its own. As a Temur Reclamation player, this is an incredibly scary card to see, especially when you're not expecting it.
With the upcoming Mythic Championship approaching, Jeskai Fires has established itself as one of the decks to beat. Players are putting more enchantment removal in their decks like Casualties of War, Cindervines and Thrashing Brontodon. Even with the target on its head this deck remains powerful, and I would be very surprised if its dominance doesn't continue for quite a while. Despite rumors that the Jund Food matchup is bad for Jeskai Fires, I prefer the Jeskai side of the matchup. Casualties of War often isn't going to be fast enough to catch up on a board on which Fires has been in play for a couple turns.
Seth Manfield is a professional Magic player and member of both the Magic Hall of Fame and the 2019 Magic Pro League.
Connect: Twitch Twitter Instagram