I had a Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest deck built a while back that I ended up taking apart. It was a bit too focused on combat which is an odd thing for a spellslinger deck. Specifically, it had a lot of token producers as the payoff for the spells and Shu Yun as a payoff also required combat. It ended up requiring a number of spells that made my creatures unblockable or gave them protection and I always felt it made the deck worse since those cards were very narrow.
After Niv-Mizzet, Parun was released, I started to revisit the idea of a spellslinger deck since I really didn't have one. And Niv-Mizzet does not require combat, but he can get in for damage if needed. Or, he can be a blocker to help keep me alive as needed. I have played a few games with it and so far it seems to be functioning pretty well. There are also a couple cards I know I want to cut but I am waiting to see if there are any decent blue spells in Ravnica Allegiance before trying to find replacements for them.
To start with, the two cards I know I want to cut are Chandra, Flamecaller and Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Flamecaller is good to draw cards for Niv and as a wrath if needed, but she is expensive. ToD just doesn't do a lot with the deck. It was just a way to deal some incidental damage, but I don't think it is really necessary. Hour of Devastation is also in an odd place for the deck since it kills Niv-Mizzet. I like that it can deal with Indestructible creatures and planeswalkers (that are not Bolas) but it still feels bad when I draw it. I think I would rather have a wrath that doesn't hit flyers. Magmaquake is the one I have been gravitating towards since it also doesn't hit me.
I have thought about adding something like Dive Down but I am not sure if it is necessary.
I had a good game with it the other night that I won but it was not easy as I misplayed 2 or 3 times (pretty severely in 2 instances). I will provide a summary below.
I started off doing a whole lot of nothing. Basically, it was play a land and pass the turn each turn. For this type of deck, that is expected so I just paid attention to the rest of the board to see if I ever needed to really do anything.
A couple players were starting to get board states going so I tried to drop down Chandra, Flamecaller to wrath the board (nothing had toughness greater than 3). Ezuri countered her though. I ended up taking a bit of damage from those players as they were able to keep their board.
While this was going on, I was just working on getting more cards in hand. I cast Fact or Fiction on Omnath's end step and then passed the turn on my turn. I was still getting hit, so I figured I should start doing something. I countered Verdant Confluence from Ezuri with Mana Drain so I got 6 mana on my turn. Eventually I got down Basilisk Collar and Niv-Mizzet, Parun and equipped me up. I left up mana floating so I could cast Instants and shoot down creatures on my opponent's side of the board.
I got a couple card draws off Niv and a couple shots at creatures with Deathtouch until Ezuri dropped in a Stingerfling Spider to kill Niv and I didn't have a counter in hand to stop it. I ended up just cast Niv again and suiting him up.
The game around for a while with people doing things but no one really getting the upper hand. At one point, Jarad was at 7 life (or something like that). I drew over 7 cards and targeted them with 7 triggers. They sacrificed a creature to High Market to stay alive. A turn or two later, I did the same when they were at 2 life so I targeted them with 2 triggers. And again, they sacrificed a creature to High Market. High Market is a land I play in a lot of decks and I forgot they had it twice; it felt really bad that I didn't kill them when I had the chance since the next turn they just gained a bunch of life off Miren, the Moaning Well sacrificing Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar.
Due to not killing them, I got into a situation where they could have killed me. They got Multani back and cast Jarad and then Multani. I was able to bounce Jarad in response which meant they couldn't recast Jarad and activate the ability. They passed the turn and Ezuri tried to give something 13 counters. They then swung at me and I blocked the big one with Kefnet the Mindful and took 4 from the others. It put me at a pretty low life total and if the turn got back to Jarad, they would likely win. Omnath ended up swinging at me and put me down to 8.
Since I really couldn't beat Jarad through combat (they got back up to 42) I just went after Ezuri to kill them so I could say I killed at least one player. I then passed the turn expecting to lose. Jarad tried to casting Jarad so I responded with Glimmer of Genius. I scried 2 and saw Devastation Tide on top. I made sure I drew that first so I bounced everything. They then tried to rebuild so I cast Chemister's Insight from my graveyard and didn't get anything. I then cast Mystic Speculation (without Buyback since I didn't have a lot of mana open). I saw what I needed so I put it on top. I then castPull from Tomorrows for X=1 to draw that card (and discard a land). The card I drew was a counter spell so I was able to counter Multani on the way back down. This meant that Jarad could pick up Multani again but they didn't have enough to cast it and activate Jarad so we survived for yet another turn.
Omnath cast Omnath and did a few other things. I then cast Evacuation and bounced all of my opponent's creatures. On my turn, I cast The Locust God and then cast Time Spiral. This gave me 7 tokens and got rid of Multani for the time being. I untapped 6 lands but didn't really do anything with it.
Jarad cast Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and then cast Beast Within on my Locust God. I responded by casting Expansion to copy Beast Within to blow up Kalitas first. This allowed my Locust God to actually die which meant I got it back at the end of the turn.
They then cast Phyrexian Reclamation to get back Kalitas and then cast it again. They passed the turn. Omnath then cast their General again. They also cast Selvala, Heart of the Wilds. At the end of their turn, I cast Capsize to bounce Omnath. On my turn I cast Niv-Mizzet, attacked Jarad with my tokens and passed the turn. Jarad tried to exile my tokens with Sever the Bloodline. This caused Niv to trigger so I drew a card and just pinged the token they targeted so I could save the others.
I was at 7 life when Omnath tried to swing at me for 7. I cast Evacuation again to save myself. Omnath cast their general again along with Courser of Kruphix and passed the turn. I cast Mission Briefing to then cast Expulsion from my graveyard. I dealt 10 damage to Jarad and drew 10 cards and I passed the turn. Since I had cast The Locust God the right before this, I ended up with 10 tokens as well which I then used to attack Jarad.
Jarad cast Worldly Tutor to get Multani on top. They sacrificed Solemn Simulacrum to draw Multani and then cast him. They also picked up Solemn again with Reclamation and cast it again. I killed Omnath in their Draw Step and they did 3 damage to me because they let it die. They then cast Nissa, Vital Force to get back Omnath and then recast it. They then played a Forest to get an Elemental token. They also cast Polukranos, World Eater and Abundance and passed the turn.
In my Upkeep I cast Mystical Tutor to get Fateful Showdown. I drew Fateful Showdown. I cast Commit on Multani because Jarad was at a low life total. They tried to sacrifice it to Miren so I cast Fateful Showdown in response to them gaining life to kill them. This gave me 13 more tokens since I had 13 cards in hand. This put me up to 26 tokens. Omnath had no fliers or creatures with reach so I then cast Brainstorm. This gave me 3 more tokens (29). I didn't get much off the Brainstorm so I cast Glimmer of Genius to go up to 31 tokens. I cast Jace, the Mindsculptor to draw 3 to get to 34 tokens. I then cast Timetwister to get up to 41 tokens. I then swung out at Omnath for 45 total (41 tokens and the Locust God). I should have cast Opt first to give me 42 tokens since they were at 42 in case they flashed in a blocker, but it ended up working out and I killed them off.
In the end, the deck proved how devastating it can be and what it can do with and without the general. As I said above, there are a few cards I want to replace but I want to see what gets released in the next set before really doing much with replacing them.
Perhaps these cards won't meet your needs, but I see them as very useful in an 'Izzety' deck.
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea - drawing extra cards for the output of a Sol Ring is fun. Leave up two mana for a counter, and if it's not needed, EOT a draw. Obviously, the bad side is that it affects everyone, but that's not a terrible price to pay. Keranos, God of Storms - great guy to help filter out your deck, AND bolt something troublesome. Boseiju, Who Shelters All - seeing as you're wanting to cast a lot of spells, hit this card up pronto. Hall of the Bandit Lord - THIS one, I can understand passing on. It's expensive to pay to get the 1, but it can be useful in a pinch. Think about it, at least. Library of Leng - suppose you don't WANT to discard your hand, but you need that draw spell? Well, now you have a choice. LoL gives more flexibility than people give it credit for. Trickbind - seeing you mention your frustration with High Market made me want to suggest this card. I see you have Disallow, which is good, but you might want to have that extra insurance as well. Dack Fayden - considered the 'go-to planeswalker' for most Izzet decks, and with good reason.
I've got a different strategy in mind(plus a different general) for my Izzet deck, but if you want to look for other ideas, feel free.
I like Mikokoro. A lot actually. The main problem is not that it draws my opponents cards. The main problem is that it does not produce colored mana. This might seem like a small issue but Niv is very color intensive. I have already seen a couple scenarios where I have Reliquary Tower or Terrain Generator and I can't cast Niv when I want to or I can't do it while holding up the right colors for spells. It might still be worth a look since I only have 2 lands that don't produce color.
I had Keranos at one point and I just felt that he didn't fit in the style of deck I am trying to go for. Tapping 5 mana for an Enchantment that may or may not draw me a card isn't what I want. And bolting something is nice in the situations I don't draw an extra card, but it is a bit random. I would rather have something that draws me more cards or does more damage right away.
Hall is bad for Niv since I can't use the mana to cast him (the first time anyway). Of the remaining 9 creatures in the deck, only Firemind and (maybe) Kefnet would be worth giving Haste. Likely it is just another land that slows me down so I don't think it really fits here.
I could see the utility of Library. It always feels underwhelming because it doesn't actually *do* anything. That is, beyond giving me no max hand size (which Tower also does) it really only works when I have to discard something. It is more passive than I would like. At least Tower gives me mana. Still, being 1 mana and having a reasonable effect in the case of my 4 discard spells (along with the no max hand size) might mean it is worth it.
I used to play Trickbind a lot more but it is kind of narrow so I don't use it as often. However, with saying that, I am wondering if Trickbind and possibly Squelch deserve a slot. The reason I am thinking of Squelch as a second option instead of Stifle even though Squelch doesn't hit triggers is that Squelch draws me a card. This can be relevant for Niv. Otherwise, I could see adding Stifle as the second effect for this. So, depending on what Ravnica Allegiance brings for cheap blue instants or wheels, these are currently on the top of my list for replacing the Chandras.
Dack Fayden was given consideration early on. I just didn't like the looting. Maybe I am focusing too much on that though and I should be more focused on the "Draw 2" and the "steal your Sol Ring" abilties. I like this suggestion too. I will pick one up to have in case I decide to slot him in.
All valid thoughts. The lands run into problems in my deck because I run discount spells(Jace's Sanctum and Baral, Chief of Compliance), so I know exactly what you mean(probably means I should cut one or two of them...).
You also have a good point on Leng...so many times I just have it sit there, not just in my hand(because I already have the tower out), but even out on the field when it's relevant...completely missing the explosiveness I can pull off(perhaps another argument against running Eldrazi as 'library nets'). So if it DOES end up making the cut, keep careful track of your effects.
One more point to make: Glimmer of Genius. Given that you have no way to use energy counters, why not trade that in for Foresee? 2 extra scry for the same CMC seems like a good reason to me, even if you ARE trading an instant for a sorcery. Or, if you feel that's too much of a downgrade, why not Preordain?
One more point to make: Glimmer of Genius. Given that you have no way to use energy counters, why not trade that in for Foresee? 2 extra scry for the same CMC seems like a good reason to me, even if you ARE trading an instant for a sorcery. Or, if you feel that's too much of a downgrade, why not Preordain?
That is certainly worth considering. Mostly, I am trying to make the deck work mostly at Instant Timing so I can react to whatever I need to. If a player has something I need to kill on their turn, drawing 3 off of Glimmer (including Niv's trigger) on their turn might be worth it over spending the mana on my turn to do nothing with the damage. At least, that is why I want Glimmer over Foresee. Preordain or Ponder might be worth including just because they are cheap but I still want Instants if possible for the reasons above.
In that vein, I have thought about Frantic Search and, to a lesser extent, Thirst for Knowledge. They are both close to the same thing with Frantic Search being "free" as a tradeoff for seeing 1 fewer card. If I could only include one I would go with the Search due to being able to use it to continue with Niv without having to worry about tapping out or tapping too much mana just to draw cards.
I played this deck the other day and it was awful. I lost the first game due to a series of poor draws and the Karametra player targeting me pretty heavily. I did pretty much nothing all game. The other player was Brion Stoutarm who dies to Karametra shortly after I did.
The second game was much better though Karametra did nothing. There was a bit more interaction in the game where I was actually doing something. There was a bit of back and forth between me and Brion. I was pinging Karametra throughout the game so they were getting down pretty low. The main play of the game was where I tapped out to draw some cards on the end of Brion's turn. In response, they cast Chance for Glory. They took the next turn and I was tapped out. So, it was basically can they kill us both or not. They ended up having enough damage to kill either one of us, but not both. I think they got me down to 1 with killing the Karametra player. Which means they then lost at the end of that turn so I just won the game by default.
It was a bit of a disappointing end to the game (I almost would have preferred to have actually lost) and it shows that I need to be careful when tapping out since I think I did have a counter in hand (or, at least, I could have still bluffed a counter). In any case, it was still a good game to get more practice with the deck.
Based on the conversation above, as well as a few things I am reviewing with the deck, I have decided that the following cards should be cut:
The Firemind works well with what the Parun is already doing; Dracogenius does not. I figured that being able to draw a card each turn for 2 mana wouldn't be bad, but the 6 mana to get it down to begin with is a big commitment. I feel that there is little payoff to the card.
The Chandras I talked about and I just don't feel that they are good enough. Flamecaller is the better of the two for this deck but, as with Dracogenius, 6 mana is pretty steep.
Hour of Devastation either doesn't hit enough or hits too much (since it kills Niv). I don't mind Niv dying, but I feel that Magmaquake is just better. It is an Instant, it scales, it hits all planeswalkers, and it doesn't hit me which is important since my life tends to go down early.
Talrand is interesting, but I like The Locust God for this effect better. Spending a couple spells to get some drakes to them have them blown up is a bit of a waste. The God's tokens at least hit right away.
For those cards, I am going to add in the following:
Stifle and Trickbind deal with potentially problematic permanents such as planeswalkers trying to Ultimate. I did end up going with Stifle over Squelch (contrary to what I said above) since it is 1 mana less and hits triggers.
Magmaquake is my replacement for Hour of Devastation. Not hitting Fliers is both a pro and a con. It leaves Niv and my Insect tokens alive but might leave other creatures alive I need to kill. Being an Instant is a boon though.
Dack Fayden and Frantic Search are here to loot and draw cards to trigger Niv. Dack can also come down early and steal somebody's artifact ramp to slow them down and ramp me. I expect to use his +2 most often though which triggers Niv and filters my hand. Frantic Search is a one time use for this effect but it is essentially free.
Hopefully I will get a chance to play with these updates tomorrow.
Great list! I really love all the flavor wins that you have going on in this list, particularly the inclusion of Expansion // Explosion. I play Jeskai Control (with all the money cards) in Arena and Exploding an opponent with Niv in play is the absolute best feeling. Nothing like dealing 14 damage to the face at instant speed.
One thing that immediately pops out to me is the low number of mana ramping effects. In conjunction with the recent games you've had of not being able to do anything, I think I would encourage you to add a few more mana sources. The cool thing about adding more mana rocks is that you get to play more spells, faster. Combined with the heavy theme of Instants in your deck, I think that increasing your ability to interact more frequently at earlier stages of the game might help you feel better about your deck and improve your deck's consistency.
Is there a reason you're not including Impulse? Another instant speed, pseudo-draw effect that digs pretty deep to find you a better card. Also, Dig Through Time might be a good inclusion since I imagine that your 'yard becomes pretty full by being a spellslinger deck.
I probably should be playing Impulse so that is a great suggestion.
As for Dig Through Time I don't like exiling cards from my graveyard since I have ways to get things back. I had a game the other day where I cast Treasure Cruise and it felt bad since I had to exile some pretty good stuff in order to actually cast it and leave open mana to do anything. I was thinking of cutting that so I am not sure about Dig.
As for rocks, I am certainly not going to say they are bad, but I don't think adding them makes any of the poor games I have had any better. Specifically, the games I have had where I have not done much were because of not drawing answers or not drawing relevant cards. Replacing cards for rocks doesn't fix this and arguably makes it worse as they add more "whiffs" as I am digging for things.
I would rather focus on making sure I can get to the cards I need rather than trying to make sure I have mana since the latter hasn't often been a problem. Impulse is good. Dig is good too so I am open to it. Cruise works well with Niv but Sorcery and high cost (either mana or exiling cards) means it might not be what I want. I will cut Cruise for Impulse for now and leave Dig on the table if I find it want another spell to dig for answers. I am guessing I will so I will be watching for something to cut for Dig.
I am not usually one to say this but I think you might be a bit high on lands with all the filtering and draw. This feels like a 37 land deck to me. I'd probably cut 3 lands, add ponder, and then add 2 more business spells (maybe Cryptic command , which always pulls its weight in shells like this). Epiphany at the Drownyard is also kinda underrated.
I know you're not running much ramp on purpose but I have found medallion effects (e.g. Sapphire medallion) to really pull their weight in these kinds of decks. I'd probably consider running that.
The land count was just a starting point and I have been pretty happy with it. I found out from my Sygg deck that with the Twister effects and other card draw, I knocked it down to 38 lands. The main difference there is that Sygg is only 2 and he is a draw engine himself. Niv is 6 mana so I wanted to be absolutely sure I always hit my land drops. I can see going down to 38 to see what it does. I don't think I want to go much lower (at least, not right away) but I think the suggestion of going lower has merit.
Sapphire Medallion is interesting. Mainly because it is a card (and really a cycle of cards) I never run. There is a lot of benefit it gives me here since it theoretically becomes better than "just" a mana rock as it can apply to multiple spells in a turn and this deck tends to want to cast multiple things in a turn. It comes down early when I am not doing much so the sequencing for it works out.
I looked at Epiphany at one time and I didn't like it. The big thing is that for 2 mana more (I guess 3 mana more since 1 is added to X automatically with Epiphany) I can just draw the cards with Blue Sun's Zenith which then also gives me Niv and Locust God triggers which Epiphany doesn't. Being cheaper can be relevant but likely, at lower costs, I won't get the card I need and, at higher costs, I am just better off with something else.
So, I think what I would rather do is cut two lands and add Ponder as a cheap spell to help get the cards I want and Sapphire Medallion to make things cheaper. I am kind of on the fence about the Medallion for the reasons I stated above regarding mana rocks, but this one may be worth it. I am also thinking of cutting Mystic Speculation because I misread it and stupidly thought it was Instant. Being a Sorcery greatly reduces its usefulness. So I might just cut that for Cryptic Command.
I've never really been sold on the Medallion line personally. They do what they do well, but they only do one thing(as opposed to say, Jace's Sanctum, or the monuments). In your case WizardMN, they would apply the discount to about 34 of your spells(maybe more if the X spells get discounted), but it could apply the same problem you've had earlier: you have no colored mana of the type needed to cast a spell. It also still falls into the problem of not helping you get your general out faster(like you said with Hall, the first time at least).
Good on you to test it, but I've never had anything spectacular happen.
The Hall of the Bandit Lord comparison regarding Niv is one I was thinking of as well when typing up my response above. Giving me more for my other spells obviously makes it more useful, but not letting me get my general down any earlier certainly is a strike against it. Whether that is enough to say it isn't worth it remains to be seen. As you said, 34+ spells do benefit from it. I am not sure if this really changes the game or the way the deck plays but, of all my decks, this seems the most likely to benefit from a Medallion. If it still doesn't work, it was at least worth it to try it out. If it does work, then all the better.
Based on your suggestion of Preordain and Pokken's suggestion of Ponder, I did end up adding Ponder. I think I prefer Ponder over Preordain just because I see all 3 cards right away and I can shuffle but the suggestion was similar enough that I figured I would call it out and say I did go with (something close to) your suggestion.
My experience with the medallion effects is that in decks with low curves they overperform if you're running a high enough portion of that color; in my Ephara deck, Stormscape Familiar and Pearl Medallion always severely overperform.
I think people sleep on them because sometimes they don't work but in Ephara, it's usually 2 mana for a ramp of 2 per turn cycle for most of the game, and sometimes +4 mana per turn when I get a Whitemane Lion In your deck when you get Capsize or Forbid you're going to see it blowing the doors off any other mana rock. ( Speaking of which you should run Forbid )
I run a couple of them in Inalla too and they're always very good (nightscape familiar, sapphire medallion). Inalla probably has the closest comparison to your deck because I never cast her (and medallions don't help Niv until you're recasting him).
I agree that Forbid should be in this deck. I am not sure how I overlooked that. I will find a spot to put it in somewhere.
Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to play this deck in a week or so and, with the holidays, I won't be playing until Friday this week. I will try to find a spot for Forbid before that and then hopefully I can try out the newest additions a bit more and report back on their effectiveness.
I definitely agree on Dracogenius which is why I had cut him earlier for something else In fairness, I neglected to update the list above so it still showed Dracogenius there. I have updated it now. I like Denial in the event of getting into a counter-war but it might make more sense for that to be a repeatable counterspell instead. I will think on it and thanks for the suggestions.
I played this deck the other day and got to see what Sapphire Medallion could do. I got it down turn two and it stuck around for about 6 turns before the Jarad player blew it up with Pernicious Deed. In that time, it allowed me to cast Wipe Away and Overwhelming Denial (it didn't help as much with this spell of course) on the same turn and another was Timetwister leaving up mana for the Ionize I ended up drawing. At the same time, I still had mana for other things as well. Ral Zarek came down for only 4 mana for example.
Overall I was pretty impressed. As expected, it left me nowhere closer to getting Niv down earlier, but everything else it did ended up being pretty good. I wish I could have kept it around a little longer, but we needed the Deed to go off to destroy the Marchesa player's board.
I am finding that I am winning off of The Locust God more often than actually winning off of Niv-Mizzet, but Niv is a great engine to keep things going. Because of the impact of The Locust God, I am not sure how much I truly need some of the other creatures I have. Namely, Niv-Mizzet the Firemind and Solemn Simulacrum stand out as being less than stellar. I still want Burnished Hart to help ramp me in the early game but this may be worth cutting as well if I find I am often at least hitting my land drops.
As of right now, here are the cards that are on the top of my list to cut if anything better ever comes along (I am hoping RNA gives us some good mono blue or mono red spells):
I don't really want to go into detail with all of these, and not all of these will end up being cut, but they are the ones that stand out as ones that might be worth cutting for Instant Timing spells or cards that draw more cards. Again, hopefully RNA brings some cool new tools.
I've never been a fan of Jace, the Mid F***ker in Commander, so I think that's an easy cut.
What about Rhystic Study? It seems like another way to passively draw cards and trigger Niv's pinging ability and is also cheap on the CMC side.
I'm a big fan of Preordain. It will help you hit those land drops and is actually decent in the late game as a topdeck.
Turn // Burn could be good removal spell for you. You could potentially kill 2 creatures with it and it's instant speed too. And making Marchesa just a 0/1 creature with no abilities could go a long way to helping you tax Marchesa out of the game or at least get a handle on her board.
As odd as it seems (due to his power level), I have really been getting down on Jace in a lot of my builds. I prefer to play a draw-go style as much as I can in my blue decks and they almost all gravitate towards that. Ephara, Sygg, and Niv-Mizzet are the ones that still exist. I don't like Jace in these types of builds and I don't run fetches in 2 color decks so it makes it less reliable to actually shuffle away cards I put on top.
Rhystic Study is probably one of the more powerful cards that I just hate to play and play against. "Do you want to pay 1 for that" becomes monotonous and boring every time someone casts a spell. I think it would be a good addition for the deck, but it is not something I want to include.
I think I will end up adding Preordain. As mentioned above in previous conversations, Ponder made it into the list so Preordain is the next logical step to include. Ponder is not super powerful, but it has been useful in the couple situations where I cast it. I would expect Preordain to be similar.
You know, Turn//Burn is interesting. My knee-jerk reaction is "this isn't any better than Basilisk Collar attached to Niv-Mizzet". I don't know if that is accurate though. Being able to kill things without the Collar attached and being able to also stop dies triggers (if it is necessary) could be useful. It also allows for a creature to be killed for 5 mana (a lot of mana, but this would be the exception) if Niv-Mizzet is not around. It can give some flexibility in that slot if needed. I might give this a try to see what it can do.
I think for now, I am going to cut Jace and Comet Storm for these two cards. I don't know that they are the best cuts, but they stand out to me as the ones worth cutting.
I neglected to make any changes to this deck before playing it tonight, so I didn't have the two cards above that I said I would add.
The game I played showed the power of the deck and really showcased the benefit I get from Sapphire Medallion. There were a number of plays that happened, since I cast multiple cards in a turn cycle, that would not have been possible without the cost reduction from the Medallion. I also cast a Frantic Search off it which ended up netting me 1 mana which I then used to cast Consecrated Sphinx while still holding up counter magic.
I don't want to go through a huge rundown on the game, but I do want to highlight one cool play which ended up winning me the game. One turn, I countered a Sliver Hivelord with Mana Drain. It got back to my turn and I had that 5 mana plus my lands + Sol Ring. At this time, I had NIv-Mizzet Parun and The Firemind out along with Consecrated Sphinx. The Sphinx allowed me to get to 30+ cards in hand and Reliquary Tower prevented me from having to discard.
I looked through my hand and worked to cast non-instant spells to get my hand size down. I ended up getting to 30 cards in hand when I cast Mystical Tutor. This kept me at 30 cards due to Parun's trigger. I tutored for Fateful Showdown and put it on top. I was still at 30 cards. My library was at 33 cards at this time. I then cast Ral, Izzet Viceroy and activated his plus ability. This put me at 30 cards again in hand and 31 cards in the library (one to my hand and one to the graveyard).
I then cast Fateful Showdown. Parun triggered which drew me a card back to 30 and left me with exactly 30 cards in the library. It resolved so I dealt 30 damage to 1 target and then I had 60 triggers (30 from each Niv-Mizzet) for a total of 90 damage in one turn. This was more than enough to kill both opponents.
As mentioned earlier, this game showed that Comet Storm is not necessary for this deck. I already want to take it out as mentioned above, but I just hadn't done it yet. And Mystical Speculation needs to be cut as well. Otherwise, besides those 2 and Jace, the deck seems to be operating very well.
Nice! Talk about winning with exacties, this is a great showcase for it.
However, this brings up an interesting point: have you considered some type of 'yard shuffling effect? Since you're usually firing off a Wheel effect, perhaps including an Eldrazi titan could help prevent you from decking yourself. Have you considered it before? Or was the game you recently experienced more of a one-off?
The game I had was more of a one-off in that case. The main reason Day's Undoing is still in here even though it doesn't work well with Niv is to get my graveyard and library shuffled together. Timetwister and Time Spiral also help with this. I am almost positive I had one of those in my hand during that last game so, if I didn't have enough cards, I would have just cast one of those to try again the next turn.
I know when I built Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind years ago it was a legitimate concern but I seem to have a bit more control in this deck to ensure I don't deck myself in the process of trying to win.