Let's get straight to business.
It's hard to say what it is about this card that has me thinking about it so much. The last couple weeks on Magic Online have been tough, and the next couple will be even harder. I just want to play with this guy.
Maybe it's because I'm hoping this card is the chosen one. I have been waiting for some time for this cycle to be completed.
I mean seriously? Red is discriminated against! What does a red mage have at 1R? Green even gets Scavenging Ooze, and red is stuck here with nothing.
So I have been waiting, and here is a sweet red 2-drop, with a sweet, new ability. Is the card merely playable, or will it be the chosen one to complete the cycle? It's an uncommon, which means the odds are stacked against it, but I hope. I hope!
So today, we're going to be brewing with Young Pyromancer in all formats. I have not played with the card yet myself, so these ideas and lists are just for thinking about for the time being. As the card is released on Magic Online I will be trying it out in various mediums. Until then—we brew!
I think it is an insult that Young Pyromancer is an uncommon, but it is also great because this will be fantastic for budget strategies:
You could put this deck together for ten bucks and have a chance of smashing at FNM. There is NO WAY there is a higher win rate per dollar in Standard than with a deck like this. If you think there is, I'd like to see it!
Izzet Burn at the Stake
A lot of people have been asking me how Young Pyromancer fits into Izzet Blitz. I actually don't think it does. Izzet Blitz is a deck built on speed. Each threat should kill the opponent by itself over 1-3 turns. Nivix Cyclops, Guttersnipe, and Geist of Saint Traft fit the bill.
Sure, Young Pyromancer is sweet in a deck with lots of cheap instants and sorceries, but a handful of 1/1s in the midgame are really only good at blocking. I mean, they are GREAT at blocking, but Izzet Blitz is an attack first, ask questions later type deck. I will for sure try Young Pyromancer in Izzet Blitz, but I have a feeling it won't add that much.
I'm excited to build around Young Pyromancer, rather than find a home for him. I think the way to do it is through Battle Hymn combo.
What about this?
I think this is the way I would build around Young Pyromancer. Battle Hymn and Infernal Plunge generate huge amounts of mana with Young Pyromancer. Past in Flames and Reforge the Soul offer a legitimate way of picking up our whole deck and dumping it into play.
Is this deck going to be top tier? No. Will it be competitively viable? I bet it will be! I will try.
Modern Young Pyromancer Storm
Young Pyromancer has a chance to make a splash in Modern, a format with a much wider selection of cheap cards.
Here is a “Dude Storm” list inspired by Geddy Therrien:
This deck is sweet! There are lots of cool things going on here.
This card works great with Young Pyromancer. We can also build our deck to have easy access to Dryad Arbor to fuel it. Dryad Arbor can also trigger a draw with Beck // Call, as does Forbidden Orchard.
We could also build this deck with Battle Hymn and Memnite to help power it, and I'm not convinced that's a bad way to go. This deck is for sure something I am going to try, and I can't wait to discover how competitive/uncompetitive it is!
Legacy Young Pyromancer
Now, I'm not much of a Legacy player, but I have been imagining how this card might fit in the format. Legacy is a format that is traditionally friendly to small creatures that provide value or versatility. Legacy is also a format that has LOTS of cheap spells to fuel it.
Imagine Young Pyromancer alongside cards like Lightning Bolt, Ponder, Brainstorm, and Force of Will. If our Pyromancer sticks, we can expect our man to produce 1-2 guys every turn. Let's see how this stacks up against the major creatures in the format.
All right, Young Pyromancer is okay here. It's not great, but not horrible. The 1/1s can't attack very effectively through a ½, but over time they could accumulate. A 2/1 can attack through a ½, and a trade that leaves behind some dorks is fine. Not a horrible matchup.
I have a hard time imagining Tarmogoyf consistently connecting through a Young Pyromancer. Pyromancer will provide too many blocker for Goyf to get through, but if Goyf sits back on defense the 1/1s will slowly accumulate. Pyromancer actually seems to have the edge here.
Snapcaster Mage for sure offers more versatility than Young Pyromancer, but the matchup isn't too bad. I imagine often Snapcaster Path/Bolt leaving a 1/1 facing down a 2/1. That's parity. Young Pyromancer seems to stack up about evenly here.
Dark Confidant is a pretty close comparison to Young Pyromancer. Both are 2/1s. Dark Confidant offers cards, while Young Pyromancer offers 1/1s. The disadvantage of losing life to Dark Confidant allows the 1/1s to actually threaten a kill, and Dark Confidant is not a very good blocker. However, the extra cards will maybe turn over removal to kill the Young Pyromancer. So maybe the Dark Confidant has the edge here, but it's kind of hard to tell.
It's obvious that 1/1s do not attack well through a Batterskull. They do chump Batterskull well. But they don't deal with the extra life. Young Pyromancer is decent defense here, but it is going to take some additional support to get through a Batterskull. So Stoneforge has an edge, but Young Pyromancer is not horrible either.
I am not going to build a Legacy deck list for this card, but it seems to have potential. There are so many great instants and sorceries to fuel it, and it stacks up decently against the common creatures. You could use a variety of color combinations—blue for Brainstorm and Force of Will, white for Path to Exile and Lingering Souls, and so on. I'm excited to see what people do!
Brewing with Young Pyromancer
Will this card live up to the hype? Well, it's unlikely it will be the chosen one, but it's likely to make an impact. There are lots of crazy and fun decks that will be made available with this card, and hopefully some of these will be tournament competitive!
Questions! Comments! Think there's something I forgot?!