Young Man’s Game

Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan was a breakout weekend for Young Pyromancer in Modern. We’ve known for many years now how powerful the card is in Legacy, and it’s shown up in Modern decks before. That said, it’s never put multiple decks into the Top 8 before. What we saw this weekend is that Modern has shifted to a point where Young Pyromancer backed by efficient removal and disruption is a very reasonable gameplan, and there were a number of interesting takes on that idea:

Young Pyromancer
The biggest change for this deck is the addition of Opt to the format. Now that you have two reasonable one-mana cantrips in Serum Visions and Opt, it’s much easier to go off with Young Pyromancer early on in the game. As a consequence of the high density of card selection, this deck is able to adapt its gameplan depending on what your opponent is trying to do. If you’re playing against an aggressive deck, you can cantrip into a steady stream of Snapcaster Mages and removal spells while your Young Pyromancers buy you time to leverage your extra cards. If you’re playing against a more combo-oriented opponent, you can find counterspells while generating additional pressure to force your opponent to play into your interaction.

One of the most interesting things about this deck is that it includes Thing in the Ice. Thing in the Ice is another payoff similar to Young Pyromancer. It gives you a way to interact with creature decks, by bouncing their board back to their hand while giving you a cheap way to generate pressure against aggressive decks.

If you’re looking for a Blue tempo deck, this seems like a great choice. Many of them opt for combo finishes like Through the Breach or Madcap Experiment, but Pascal Vieren has shown that it’s possible to play a fair, interactive game and leverage Ancestral Vision and Young Pyromancer, and that’s something many players, myself included, are excited about.

Rivals of Ixalan is Now Available!