Modern is a format I have extensively worked on over the past couple months, and when trying Mardu Pyromancer out, I found myself making some subtle changes to the deck. This is an okay thing to do from time to time, depending on the deck. In this case Mardu has a lot of slots to play around with, both in the main deck and sideboard. Before adding Night's Whisper for some additional card draw, I found myself having a lot of trouble in games when I didn't draw a Faithless Looting, one of the key cards to churn through the deck. This is my list:

As a midrange deck, Mardu has game against every matchup, especially with this list, which aims to have good sideboard cards for the matchups that are very difficult in game one. For instance, Tron is one of the tougher matchups you can run into, and we saw how difficult it is to interact in game one. It is possible to steal a win, though – if you can get a Blood Moon down. Blood Moon oftentimes gets sideboarded out, but when it is good it is great.

Scapeshift is another matchup where you rely on Blood Moon, and we saw how it could win us a game we likely wouldn't have been able to otherwise. After sideboard, Surgical Extraction is of course good against graveyard decks, but it is also strong against combo decks and big mana decks. Being able to Surgical Extraction Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle is the other reason we were able to beat Scapeshift. The plan against the big-mana decks of Molten Rains and Surgical Extraction really can be effective.

Both Tron and Scapeshift are tough matchups – though they are winnable – and for a moment I thought there was actually a good chance we would beat Tron. As for the other decks we faced, I believe we were the favorite. This deck is full of cheap removal that can answer threats the Burn player presents, and there is also some life gain. Goblins was a matchup where we could brick off some of their early creatures with our token producers, and when your opponent has lots of one-toughness creatures Lingering Souls is fantastic.

This deck can fight fair, and grind out wins by drawing tons of card, making lots of tokens and having plenty of removal for opposing threats. Against the unfair decks of the format, it relies on its sideboard plans to win. In many ways Mardu Pyromancer is similar to Jund, though I do like its late game a bit more. Both decks play plenty of discard spells, though Mardu Pyromancer can loot away discard in the late game, which is pretty nice.

Bedlam Reveler also means that getting lots of cheap instants and sorceries into the graveyard provides a lot of value. This is a deck that can play a long game against control decks, which is not something many other decks can do. I do recommend trying this version of the deck, even though some of the card choices may look a little weird. Graveyard strategies are decks I have a lot of respect for, and are very frustrating to play against with a deck like this without a good amount of hate.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield