A new author joins LSG. Welcome to the team Fasanate!
I think it is evident that there are three decks in standard now. Oko decks, decks trying to kill Oko, and Fires decks. Right now, Oko, Thief of Crowns hovers at around $50, which is out of the price range of your average Magic: the Gathering player. The big competitive decks in the current meta are nearing modern prices because of this. Any of your Red Deck Wins variants can be built with the money you make on your paper route, but I am not an aggro player.
The only card that could even be considered more broken than Oko coming out of Throne of Eldraine is Fires of Invention; so, I decided to toy around with that card.
One week ago, I was looking at Fires of Invention decks to take to my local Friday Night Magic and decided on the Jeskai Cavaliers version. I had played against it on Magic Arena and it seemed like a strong deck. I put a respectable second place at that FNM, but I felt like this deck could be stronger with more interaction and my aggro match ups seemed not that great. That night I started to think of ways to combat those weakness and decided to build the deck I have for you today, Mardu Fires.
It started with a way that I could wipe the board for four mana, because the five mana board wipes seemed to be a little late in the aggressive match ups. That was the easiest decision of the deck since there is only one, Kaya’s Wrath. I will say that fires on 4 followed by a Kaya’s Wrath is devastating. From there I wanted to keep the insane damage swing and mana sink that the Cavalier of Flame gives you and the utility that Bonecrusher Giant has...
I then went looking for other cavaliers in the colors. I quickly disregard Cavalier of Night, but found Cavalier of Dawn doing all the things I wanted to do in this deck. Tired of Oko turning things into 3/3 elks? Turn Oko into a 3/3 Golem and this works no matter how much loyalty he has. If you are facing another fires deck, it replaces two free spells a turn with that same 3/3 golem. Cavalier of Dawn takes any permanent that is giving you issues and neutralizes it. It will even take the used Oath of Kaya or Fires of Invention on your side and give you an extra body to swing for lethal with, teamed up with Cavalier of Flame. From there I needed to add card draw to find our threats.
I will be honest; this is where I had the toughest time building the deck. The best I could come up with was Thrill of Possibility, for early filtering, and Chandra, Fire Artisan. Four mana Chandra might be one of the more controversial cards in the list but if you have it and a Fires going stuff can get nasty fast. Speaking of getting nasty fast, playing Liliana, Dreadhorde General and Chandra, Awakened Inferno on the same turn with a Fires on the field is pretty much game over. The sideboard doubles down on Oko hate with the direct removal spells and against aggro with more board wipes. Duress is there for other Fires decks and any control decks you might come across.
Skip ahead to the most recent FNM and I put my money where my mouth is and sleeved up this exact deck. Spoiler alert, I went undefeated taking the sweet first place foil pack. Not only did I go 4-0 but only one of my games went to a third match and that was in the final. Is this the best Fires of Invention deck? YES!!! Actually, probably not, but it has to be worth considering. If I learned anything, it is that Cavalier of Dawn is an all-star in the current meta and should be considered in the Jeskai list too. I am going to say that this deck is not refined yet so any suggestions you might have for this deck are much appreciated.