Remake of a Famous Izzet Dragon
September 4, 2012 | Posted by Dee
It’s not often that Wizards remakes an iconic legendary creature from a previous set for a new set, but that’s what they did with Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind.
Niv-Mizzet is one of the iconic creatures from the original Ravnica block seven years ago. In fact, the Izzet symbol is a dragon in homage of him. He was the Izzet guild leader and he continues in that role in Return to Ravnica.
Like a good movie director doing a film remake, it seems like Wizards wanted to base the new card off of the original while also adding enough changes to make the creature fresh again. This can be a tough balancing act but I think Wizards did a good job.
See how Niv-Mizzet evolved over the years by checking out his new card below: Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius.
The title “Dracogenius” is kind of cheesy but I’m sure I’ll get used to it after a few weeks.
Anyways, I like what Wizards did to create this card. They kept the casting cost exactly the same as the original while making the new version more powerful. Niv-Mizzet gained a boost in power and toughness and he became much more of an attacker.
The Ravnica version had a tap ability so he would often not be attacking. In contrast, you definitely want to attack with the new version but his ability doesn’t require tapping.
Now you could argue that the original version has better combos. For example, enchanting Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind with Curiosity allows you to draw your whole library and deal damage to a creature or player equal to the number of cards you draw. This combo usually kills your opponent right away.
Also, card draw spells work well with the Firemind. For example, Desperate Ravings and Faithless Looting are excellent with the Ravnica legend.
Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius might not be as combo friendly but he doesn’t need as much help to be awesome. In a topdeck situation with zero cards in hand and no creatures on the board, I’d definitely much rather draw Dracogenius than the Firemind.
Dracogenius dominates the board in a more devastating manner than the Firemind. After you untap with Dracogenius, you can immediately start drawing multiple cards and dealing damage by spending a blue and a red for each card and each damage point.
If you have a lot of mana, Dracogenius’ ability pretty much ends the game because you’ll draw a bunch of cards and deal damage every turn.
Also, you can attack with him and every time he hits your opponent, you draw yet another card. So not only can he draw a lot of cards and mow down your opponent’s creatures, he threatens to kill your opponent quickly by attacking for five damage in the air every turn.
Without help from other cards, the Firemind doesn’t have the capability to impact the board as much as Dracogenius. The Firemind is slower to get going and you have to choose between attacking or using his tap ability.
Because of Dracogenius’ ability to quickly take over the game by himself, I believe Dracogenius will be one of the best midrange or control finishers in the new Standard format. It’s hard to lose when you untap with him on the battlefield.
Plus, he doesn’t die to Mizzium Mortars, which figures to be a popular removal spell because it deals four damage for only two mana and it can function as a one-sided sweeper spell like Bonfire of the Damned.