Video Daily Digest: Pyromancer Ascension Rises Again

U/R Gifts Storm has taken Modern by…well, that pun’s just way too easy. But amid all the hoopla, the metagame has forgotten about Pyromancer Ascension, and today’s deck just might catch the SCG Regionals field off-guard!

Remember Pyromancer Ascension?

Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Back before Goblin Electromancer, and now Baral, Chief of Compliance, Pyromancer Ascension was the alternate win condition of choice in Modern Storm. Paying full retail isn’t as much of a problem when you get the Buy One, Get One sale at the spell market.

With a deck that has as much redundancy as Storm, building counters on Ascension is often trivial, and even if you’re only left with a single cantrip afterward, your resources will soon snowball until you have more cards than you could ever need and you’re sending a barrage of Lightning Bolts at your opponent’s face.

But you all know me, and I’m not in the business of scraping by chaining cantrips until I find some Lightning Bolts. And what happens if we need to spew a bunch of Lightning Bolts early to stay alive against an aggressive deck?

No worries! Just assemble two active Pyromancer Ascensions with a Manamorphose and a Remand in hand. Cast Manamorphose and put two copies of it on the stack. Cast Remand on the original Manamorphose and let the second copy of Remand target the first copy. The end result is that you spend four mana, net four mana, and draw four cards.

From there you can tear through your deck and use the Noxious Revivals to rebuy enough Lightning Bolts to end the game. I’ve always liked that Pyromancer Ascension lets you use Lightning Bolt, a great interactive card against many decks, as a win condition, so you don’t have any wasted space in the list. This deck takes that concept to the limit.

Of course, like Past in Flames, Pyromancer Ascension is vulnerable to graveyard hate. The white splash comes in there with Wear // Tear as a hard answer to Rest in Peace and Relic of Progenitus alongside Monastery Mentor as a sidestep to the hate that can easily kill in two or three turns when backed up by enough cantrips.

Pyromancer Ascension is an incredibly powerful card, especially now that Abrupt Decay isn’t as widely played as it once was, and with the rise of the new Storm lists, I think we’ve lost sight of that. By now we all know how powerful free spells are, and nothing gives you more free spells that this little enchantment. It’s like Magic on easy mode.

Cast all the spells. Draw all the cards. Win all the games. Sometimes Magic is simple.