When I first saw Tempest Djinn, I was impressed. A creature that attacks as a 4/4 flyer for only 3 mana is no joke, and it even gets bigger as the game progresses. In the mid-late game, you can get a 5/4 or 6/4 flyer for 3, which is way above the curve.
Then, I read the words “basic Island.” Not even Island—basic Island. That sucks. I thought I’d at least be able to pair it with a dual land of some sort. It seems that to be able to play Tempest Djinn, you really have to be mono-blue.
Then, someone posted in my article forums that you could use Tempest Djinn with Favorable Winds. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made. You’re a mono-blue aggressive deck, so most of your creatures are going to have flying anyway, and giving Tempest Djinn 5 toughness should make it much harder to interact with, especially against red opponents.
Favorable Winds will work to protect the Djinn, but I think you want more. Luckily, you can run Siren Stormtamer, which is a decent flyer for Favorable Winds and can protect your Djinn from Chandra, Glorybringer, and Fatal Push. As a bonus, it also counters Settle the Wreckage. Finally, the whole deck seems to be set up well to take advantage of one of my favorite cards that right now hasn’t found a home: Curious Obsession. If you have the right deck for it, Curious Obsession is extremely powerful, as you pump your creature and draw an extra card a turn for only 1 mana. A deck full of flyers that is already playing four Siren Stormtamer seems like the right deck for it, and I really like that it also brings your Tempest Djinns out of Glorybringer/Chandra/Phoenix range.
The biggest problem for a deck like this is going to be interaction. You’re mono-blue and you ideally want most of your creatures to have flying, so there isn’t much you can play to deal with opposing permanents. Unsummon is probably the best card for that, as you’re somewhat of a tempo deck, and then you can play some counterspells depending on what the rest of your deck looks like, as you could potentially have a lot of creatures with flash to go with them.
I can see building this deck in two different ways. The first is with a Pirates subtheme:
Mono-Blue Pirate Tempest
Another option is to remove the Pirate subtheme and have a more artifact-based approach, to be able to play Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp. Zahid is very powerful if you can support it, and it even flies, which means it gets a bonus from Favorable Winds (not that it needs it). Here’s where I’d start:
Mono-Blue Artifact Tempest
This is a bit less of a tempo deck (fewer flyers, no tap-effect), but it has some more interaction. Walking Ballista doesn’t fly, but it’s an artifact that you can use to play the Djinn, and it also combos spectacularly with Warkite Marauder. If the Marauder attacks, you can kill anything with just one Ballista counter, even The Scarab God, Rekindling Phoenix, or Hazoret the Fervent. The Aether Swoopers play double-duty, providing artifacts for the Djinn and also a flyer for Favorable Winds. It also doubly synergizes with Aethersphere Harvester, as it can both provide and use excess energy and it creates tokens that can be used to crew the Vehicle.
Overall, I think the costs for being mono-blue are big, but Tempest Djinn does seem pretty powerful if you can have the right shell for it. Whether either of those is the right shell I am not sure, but I’ll be experimenting more with builds like this when the set comes out.