Mining Modern - Mardu Pyromancer
I switched things up this week. With so many decks in Modern to choose from every week, I often fall prey to my own biases – decks I enjoy piloting. That means a lot of combo, a lot of green decks, and every chance at Merfolk I can get. I do vary it up, of course, but in general I end up playing a lot of decks I like.
So this week I'm forcing myself to switch things up – and doing so with a spicy one.
Mardu Pyromancer. It's been making the rounds on the very outskirts of competitive Modern, and I do know that casting Bedlam Reveler is a good time, so this seems like the perfect deck to accomplish all of my goals at once. Plus, it's actually very good.
Mardu has seen a lot of different takes over the years. From Dark Confidant builds to burn-focused builds to Nahiri, the Harbinger to even Mardu Eldrazi (which, by the way, is a very good deck), the color combination has been through a lot. In some ways, this Young Pyromancer build is a throwback – heck, it's not like Young Pyromancer is exactly a new card – but the real shot in the arm here is Bedlam Reveler. It takes an archetype that would often stall out on cards in the late game and turns it into a complete different beast – one with a very powerful refill spell at the top end, and that top end only ends up costing two mana.
With the Modern metagame moving back toward creature decks like Abzan Company and Five-Color Humans, a deck like Mardu Pyromancer is very well positioned. It loads up on discard and removal, which incidentally are exactly the two things you want against a creature-riddled metagame. We also get access to Kolaghan's Command and Collective Brutality out of the sideboard, two of the best catch-all spells in Modern thanks to their many modes and varied uses. Alongside Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize, this core gives you a shot against any deck in the format.
But while this deck often falls into the control role, don't think it's all about sitting back and doing nothing. A couple of Monastery Swiftspear put the pressure on early, and Young Pyromancer armies grow out of control very quickly, especially when they're being fueled by burn spells that can go to the face. Fatal Push serves alongside Lightning Bolt and Path to Exile as the trifecta of the best removal spells in Modern, and Faithless Looting smooths out your draws while also supercharging your creatures and helping you turbo out Bedlam Reveler. Lingering Souls, of course, is Lingering Souls, and it does just as much work as you would expect.
I can't stress enough how good Reveler is here – this deck was begging for card advantage, and it found the perfect vessel in Reveler. Draw one early and you can sculpt your game around it, and if you draw one late it is usually exactly what you need. The fact it ends up functioning as a four or five-power attacker for two mana most of the time doesn't hurt either when you're trying to close out games.
The sideboard offers access to basically whatever you want, given that black and white have the best sideboard options in the format, and getting access to Anger of the Gods shores up a bunch of problems as well. The one change I would suggest is adding a few more white sources, most likely in the form of another Marsh Flats and/or Concealed Courtyard. I struggled finding white mana a few times in thee matches I played, and adjusting the mana base is an easy fix.
This deck is very good in the current creature metagame, and the versatility of its spells means that while it may rise and fall in terms of metagame positioning, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.
Thanks for reading,