Modern:Mardu Pyromancer

It’s Tuesday O’Clock! Time for a deck tech!

The pro tour is upon us, and this time it’s my favorite format of all time Modern! Modern has been in a very healthy place for the last several months, and now we get to see the pros do their best to break the format in half. Recently, a few new decks have been taking the scene by surprise, and show that there is still a ton of innovation left in Modern. One of these new decks has been a personal favorite of mine ever since it came out on the scene, and I hope to build it eventually. This brand new deck has been having quite a few results already, and already sits at 2.5% of the MTGGoldfish meta share. This deck is, of course, Mardu Pyromancer.

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Mardu Pyromancer is very similar to other decks such as Jund and Abzan in that it wants to tear apart your opponent’s hand, answer any threats they may have, and then stick a threat and ride it to victory. What sets Pyromancer apart from those decks is that it uses the graveyard more than those decks, and every play it has can be described as efficient. There are plenty of reasons to play this deck over the likes of Jund and Abzan, but one of the main reasons is that the core of Bedlam Reveler, Young Pyromancer, Lingering Souls, and Faithless Looting is so deceptively strong. Very few decks in the modern format can take advantage of these cards in quite the way that Mardu Pyromancer can, and it’s the only deck in Modern that can bring these cards to peak efficiency.

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Let’s go through each of these 4 cards and explain their function and purpose in the deck. Starting off with Young Pyromancer he is a card that has already proven himself as a powerhouse in the format of Legacy. However, for such an awesome card, any attempts at making him work in Modern have thus far failed. This is most likely because previous attempts have tried to put in as many free spells as possible such as Gitaxian Probe and Gutshot to try and emulate the Legacy counterpart of Force of Will. Putting these weaker cards in the deck proved to be a mistake, as the deck wouldn’t be able to function without a Young Peezy on the field. In the Mardu shell, however, Young Pyromancer is just simply a must answer threat. Discard your opponents Fatal Push turn 1, drop a Peezy turn 2, and rake in the value as Young P. makes an army of tokens for your opponent to deal with.

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Lingering Souls is another powerful part of the deck and has been a powerful card in Modern since it’s inception. 4 flying tokens for 5 mana over the course of 2 turns doesn’t seem that broken, especially in the face of turn 3 storm offs and Karns, but what makes Lingering Souls so good is that it is basically two cards in one. In this deck, Lingering Souls is one of the first cards you will be discarding in this deck, as it is one of those cards that only gets better the faster it hits the yard. The tokens are also nothing to sniff at, providing a clock in the air that your opponent will hate having to Lighting Bolt. Lingering Souls provides consistent and constant value to this deck, and won’t be leaving the list anytime soon.

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Faithless Looting is to this deck like Brainstorm is to Miracles in Legacy. No other card is as efficient at sculpting our hand and yard as Faithless Looting. For only one mana, you get to hunt for your next land drop, discard Lingering Souls out of hand, power out a cheap Bedlam Reveler, discard any useless cards in the matchup, and dig for what is necessary. And then you get to do it all again for only 3 mana. Faithless Looting is the engine to this deck, and is what makes it such a consistent menace to the Modern metagame. It may not be the most glamorous card in the deck, but Mardu Pyromancer would simply not exist without this card.

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Finally, I would like to talk about Bedlam Reveler. For the longest time decks such as Jund and Abzan have beat out Mardu by simple virtue of having the best creature ever printed in Tarmogoyf. There was no reason to not run a different deck, as no other creature could compete with the Goyf. It wasn’t until Eldritch Moon that Red finally got the creature it needed. In this deck, it is very common to cast Bedlam Reveler for its minimum casting cost of RR with an empty hand, allowing us to get on board with a huge creature and Ancestral Recall. I don’t remember the last time Tarmogoyf allowed you to draw 3 cards on etb. The Prowess 3/4 body is nothing to scoff at either, and can quickly close out games if left unchecked. Bedlam Reveler is the card that gave Mardu the power it needed to close out games, and it does it while burying our opponent both card advantage.

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Mardu Pyromancer may only be a relatively new addition to Modern, but it has quickly shown that it has what it takes to compete with the best of Modern. Hopefully, the best players of Modern in the world decide that this deck has what it takes, and we may see someone piloting it at Grand Prix Rivals of Ixalan. The Modern Metagame is very diverse at the moment, and we are likely to see dozens of decks at the Pro Tour but I hope that you will keep your eyes out for the little deck that could! Thank you for reading, have a great week, and an amazing Tuesday!

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