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Awake and Ascend


For many years, Pyromancer Ascension was one of the most terrifying two-drops in Modern. Rather than Goblin Electromancer and Gifts Ungiven, Pyromancer Ascension used to be the primary engine behind Storm decks in Modern. It gave you a great way to grind through opposing discard and interaction by slowly working your way up to an active Ascension and then generating incredible value. Storm decks may be a little too fast for that plan now, but that isn't stopping VileShrew from trying to find a new home for Pyromancer Ascension in Modern:

Pyromancer Ascension
This deck looks really exciting. It's kind of like a Jeskai Control deck. You have a lot of the same cheap interaction in Lightning Bolt, Lightning Helix, and Remand, backed up by some Snapcaster Mages to make sure that the game stays under control. The difference is that this deck isn't looking to resolve a Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Teferi, Hero of Dominaria to take over the game.

Instead, you're looking to be a little more aggressive. Thing in the Ice and Pyromancer Ascension come down as early as the second turn of the game and threaten to take it over. You have a ton of cheap cantrips to fuel these cards, and if either of them get to go active in the matchups you want them in, it's hard to imagine losing. For example, if Thing in the Ice flips against Humans, you get to just pick apart whatever humans they chose to follow up with while getting in for seven damage a turn. If you get Pyromancer Ascension active against a control deck, it becomes pretty trivial to bury them in value, get multiple Ascensions active, and burn them out. You even have Bedlam Reveler to help stabilize the board and refill your hand as a follow-up to both of these plans.

And don't think that this is just a fair tempo deck with a couple of strong ways to turn the corner. Pyromancer Ascension leads to all manner of wonky, combotastic interactions. If you can get two Pyromancer Ascensions active, you can go infinite with Remand and Manamorphose. You cast Manamorphose and allow the two copies to resolve, netting you two cards and 4 mana. Then you cast Remand, and have one copy target the original Manamorphose and the other target the original Remand. You end up mana neutral, with both Remand and Manamorphose back in your hand, and having drawn four extra cards. This lets you dig super deep for extra copies of Pyromancer Ascension or whatever kind of interaction you happen to need to stabilize the board.

If you're looking for a different way to play a proactive tempo plan, then this is an interesting take that combines a fast clock from Awoken Horror with the ability to play a long, controlling game with Snapcaster Mage and Pyromancer Ascension. On top of all of that, if games drag out too long you have a combo finish for unsuspecting opponents. That seems like a winning combination to me.

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