How Yuta Takahashi Won Magic World Championship XXVII With Izzet Dragons

Todd Anderson breaks down new MTG World Champion Yuta Takahashi’s Izzet Dragons deck for Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Standard. What makes the deck (and the man) so special to him?

Smoldering Egg
Smoldering Egg, illustrated by Simon Dominic

Yuta Takahashi is the Magic: The Gathering world champion.


His weapon of choice was Izzet Dragons, something I've had some experience with over the last few weeks. My initial reads on the format were correct, as Izzet Dragons absolutely hammered all comers. As the format evolved with Alrund's Epiphany pushing midrange out of the format, hyper-aggressive strats began to show up en masse. Without a natural predator, the low-to-the-ground aggro decks punished the Alrund's Epiphany players that had morphed their deck to beat the mirror.

Yuta hit the nail on the head, moving back to Izzet Dragons and away from the combo-centric build of Alrund's Epiphany featuring Galvanic Iteration. Goldspan Dragon is a great tempo play against aggro, establishing a battlefield presence while generating enough mana to cast cheap removal with every attack or removal spell cast against Goldspan Dragon. It could pressure planeswalkers, or just close the game quickly when you have an Alrund's Epiphany at the ready. It's no secret that Goldspan Dragon is a good Magic card. The Izzet Epiphany decks moved away from it completely, but why?

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