Khomb, the inclusion of SFM in this deck is just another possible way to build without the filtering Looting provided. Just in the short time since the announcement the forum has three lists that look playable in my opinion. We can go big, adding Nahiri (or TTB) and Emmy; or we can grind harder by adding SFM and equipment or Dark Confidant and walkers. None of these lists are the "correct" list to run, as there hasn't been a major event yet and I think each deserve some testing to see how it operates in the new meta.
I like SFM because we have a good disruption package that can force our opponents to discard their answers. This proactive approach allows us to ensure SFM can hit play and find the right equipment to hinder our opponents game plan. If we see enough removal to answer SFM and the equipment, then the list can start grinding with Young and Seasoned Pyro; once the answers are getting exhausted, slam the SFM and grab a win-con.
Batterskull - a good threat to find if your opponent doesn't have interaction. The "3: Return to hand" ability lets you grind value even if the token dies. Overall, a solid include for a SFM package.
Sword of Fire and Ice - another good value card. This allows you to gain card advantage and shock for value. It can also provide a quick clock turning a 1/1 Spirit token into a 3/3 that deals an additional 2 two damage.
Sword of Feast and Famine - this a better option in a reactive deck as you can untap your lands to prepare to counter your opponents. In Mardu, I think having instant speed interaction here is sweet as you could have a turn where you drop a Seasoned Pyro to draw two, swing with a token to untap, and then jam more threats or burn. Additionally, the discard on your opponents can slowly drain their resources each turn.
Sword of Light and Shadow - In our colors, buying back a spent Spyro in the late game could help dig a little deeper; not completely sold on it, but it could help with a long game.
Tron, Dredge, and big mana decks were tough before and may remain tough.
Tron still has Ancient Stirrings and the London mulligan can allow them to consistently hit turn three Tron. If you want to beat that, main deck Blood Moon or other land hate again and find a good way to apply pressure. I guess the good news is that with the banning of Looting, Stirrings is more likely to get the hammer as well in the future.
Dredge will continue to do it's thing, but a little slower. It still folds hard to graveyard hate so keep it in your sideboard (or main deck if you are really worried about it).
Other big mana decks is very broad. We are in Mardu, just find the right answer. I think the community who still wants to play these colors just need to brainstorm ideas and test brews. There is always a chance new archetypes come about and this forum retired or split into another deck.
TTB and Nahiri seems pretty good, I think I would run Seasoned Pyromancer over Bedlam Reveler because of ease of cost and the potential to drop chump blockers the turn before Nahiri hits the board to buy time for the ultimate. The closing power Reveler brings isn't needed as much because Emmy can shut people out pretty hard, especially since the deck still runs a pile of burn spells to close out the last 3-5 life your opponent likely has afterward.
Thanks for your feedback! I thought about it, and you,re right. Spyro > Bedlam reveler in the Nahiri/emrakul build. Less graveyard dependent and bodies on turn 3 in front of a turn 4 Nahiri seems great!
I just bought the playset and will test it soon
Spyro’s included, I have 10 discard outlets now (2x Coll Brut, 4x Spyro, 4x Nahiri). I’ll try some Smiting Helix too I think. Max 2 pieces.
About the SFM build: I like that one. But it will eat an early removal spell for sure. A playset seems legitimate therefore.
I don’t know yet, if Stoneforge Mystic fits the Mardu-style. But very interested in the first game results!!
I think, the main viable Mardu midrange (not Death Shadow which already looks good now) deck gonna look differently. It's gonna feature several value planeswalkers/token generation engines with Mystic completely replacing Pyromancer as a 2-drop. Mainly because we now need play more than 21 lands without filtering Looting provoded and don't get that crucial 28-30 instants+sorceries for Pyro and Reveler. Yep, reveler is 100% out too.
Tokens are necessary to wield Swords. I also have a big faith in 3-mana Chandra and Yawgmoth combination. Hell, Chandra alone is a Snapcater Mage that can be activated several times per game!
I gonna brew and test something like this. Anyway, new era looks promising and full of intersting brews.
Imho, i think that sfm is more a controlish tool than that a midrange companion suite. The Pyro suite works in a very good way against the midranges and control decks because it has a recursive engine To put creatures in the table with very few mana. The ‘achilles heel’ of the decks always has been his speed, to diference to Jund, we dont have a Tarmo to outrace a tron deck or a combo one, for that reason, I was very enthusiastic with skelemental-unearth tandem, but the ban of looting ruins all the engine of the deck. I don’t see how sfm can solves the speed problem of the deck, by other side, adds a lot of cards with zero sinergy to the deck.
I don’t say that sfm cant fit in a suite in mardu colors, but I think if that occurs, it will be in a very different way that how it works this deck.
I see the sfm suite in a deck more controllish oriented like a death and taxes one, or a azorius control, with counterspells and things like that, because in other case, the combo and big mana decks will outrace him.
I have to agree here. Faithless looting was the glue that kept the deck intact. Even when looting was legal the deck felt slow and clunky in the games you never saw it so now that its gone i dont think we can mitigate the loss with SFM. I hesitate to say there is no replacement for faithless looting bc there are cards that are slower but can do the job even if half assed so I dont want to say mardu pyro is dead for sure. But perhaps a complete restart is needed if wer gonna go the SFM route. This is one reason ive been advocating for a combo element like TTB and Nahiri emrakul. Since wer gonna have to reevaluate the deck and its existence we should explore what the mardu colors have to offer again and see what direction we should go.
Im going to try and start testing a mardu SFM + nahiri/emrakul deck with seasoned pyro as a draw engine. I think there is something there that should be explored and could lead to some good results. Maybe we do drop young pyro out completely like spellheart did up top and we go in on another strategy.
the core can look something like
4x Seasoned pyro
2x blood moon
1x sword of xx
1x sword of xx
4x inquisition of kozilek
2x collective brutality
With the ban of looting, the people will play less Gy hate, so we can play reveler safe again.
If sfm becomes a thing, Kol Kommand should be our best answer.
Yes, we lose looting, but our deck is well possisionated in a midrange/control environment, so maybe worths at least trying and see what can we do with a worst cantrip like Cathartic Reunion and see how the meta shifts.
The Skelemental are basically for the tron and big mana storms that comes to the meta.
I like this list but like i said earlier i dont think we can just go back to a regular looting list by subbing in something for looting which in your case is the skelemental’s.
I think the deck needs a complete rework as even the synergy and value of lingering souls has gone out the window without looting. I really believe moving forward seasoned pyro will have to be a staple IF we are looking to unearth, or play lingering souls as efficiently as before.
But i do agree about bedlam reveler being strong again. Less GY hate will make that card great again.
I am really really curious to know what Selfeisek will do. He/she has played this deck so much and so well I actually feel very bad for them tbh. I am really curious to see how and what they will do with mardu and if they will even continue to play the deck and even the game.
I love playing jeskai geist. I would be so so sad if a card got banned that made that deck unplayable. I would probably end up quitting all together and move to commander or just keep my modern deck library and play with friends only.
Another question ive been pondering is can we afford to play as many 1 and 2 ofs without looting? one of the greatest utilities of looting is that it let us select what spells we needed for the occasion and dump the ones we didnt. So running alot of 1 ofs and 2 ofs was fine. Is that still a viable strategy without looting??
Private Mod Note
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Modern RUAffinityUR GMono Green StompyG CEldrazi TronC URWJeskai GeistWRU WRBoros BurnRW BRWMardu PyromancerWRB
I ran a Smallpox/Octomancer build at an IQ yesterday, based off some discussion on the Mardu Pyromancer FB page. Made some mistakes in construction and in play (pox is not an easy card to play well) but still managed to go 2-3 so there might be something there, the self-discard off pox helps make helix and souls more consistent. The mana is a bit challenging, I wound up running 4 dragonskull summit because I don't have blackcleave. Will report back if I have better luck with the next iteration, though I'm also tempted to try Nahiri/Emrakul.
I have played nahiri/emrakul in a 8 players tournament...
2/1 vs titanshift
2/1 vs affinity
0/0 vs jund (we haven't played, we were already quelified)
0/2 vs urza
Bedlam is great but it's too heavy for this no looting version (x1 + 2 nahiri and 3 lands on g1 and 3x + emrakul on g2 made the day for urza). We can't reach the necessary number of spells in the GY that often so i think i will go with 3 SP (when i'll buy them and 1 bedlam as a second nahiri target).
Btw the deck seems solid... I must decide if i want to go with 3 or 4 lingerings (21 or 22 lands) and if we need that much a wrath in mainboard. 2x chandra AOF is a must. What do you think?
Thoughts on the first testings:
* The deck feels more controlling, than the old build (looting+reveler build)
* Without looting, our opening hands are a bit more clunky. But when you hit your 3th land, the Spyro- (and Nahiri)-draws are a good looting replacement
* I really like some extra card draw in the early game. Thinking about 1 or 2 Tormenting Voice
* Seasoned Pyromancer is a fantastic turn 3 drop, in front of a turn 4 Nahiri, the Harbinger
* Emrakul feels like the win-condition Mardu never had. It plays out great (and is really fun :))
* 1 Smiting Helix so far didn't disappoint. But it's definitely a flex spot when sideboarding
* Sideboard feels really good. Wouldn't change a single card at this moment
How do you feel about Young Pyro with only 25 instants/sorceries? I've seen some lists running Dreadhorde Arcanist instead which also allows Chandra AoF, but it seems to be a case of higher risk/higher reward; if Arcanist gets removed before any triggers, it gets a lot harder to land and protect Nahiri. Also awkward that Chandra's flashback ability is less useful if you already have Arcanist...
Double black for pox is achievable (note that I went up to 23 lands for that build), but it can be difficult to maintain good mana after resolving a pox or two. An optimal manabase probably requires both Blackcleave Cliffs and some number of Dragonskull to help maintain RR and BB availability.
25 instants/sorceries feels fine. In previous Mardu builds, the pyromancer was part of the win condition. Killing the opponent with a token swarm. I used to play 29 instants/sorceries those days.
But in my current build, Young Pyromancer serves as a defensive block against threats and protecting nahiri. If I'm able to get a least one token out of it, it already paid off. But many times, I fill the board anyways
This list is super sweet. What are the more obvious flaws of it? Anything you feel its lacking apart from T1 looting..?
* You preferibly hit your third land by turn 3 (for Spyro, or the sideboard threats like Blood moon, Kambal, Anger). With 22 lands it's 90.5% / 84.7% chance of that (on the draw/play). This is oke, but not fantastic.
* Sometimes I did drop my 4th land, but missing a W for Nahiri
* Sometimes I'm forced to discard Nahiri with Spyro. That's awkward. But mostly Spyro outperforms in this deck.
Overall: I'm really really happy with it. And it plays out pretty sweet.