Almost There Modern Decks – Sprouting Ascendancy and Ascendancy Dredge

Last week I shared a few of my favorite brews I’ve worked on in the past that feel like they’re just one piece away from truly competitive. This week I’ve got two more for you—how they work, why they’re good, and what’s missing from each.

Sprouting Ascendancy

Potential Wishboard Options

How it Works

This list comes courtesy of my old college roommate, Michael Boland. With a Jeskai Ascendancy in play, you cast Sprout Swarm with buyback convoking 4 creatures, the Ascendancy triggers and you get to untap all your guys and repeat for infinite creatures with infinite power/toughness.

Why it’s Good

You have a good amount of sweet cantrips and Glittering Wish to help consistently execute your combo, and on top of that you have a decent “fair” game with Young Pyromancer and Ascendancy if the whole thing doesn’t come together. This deck also might have some sweet new options available in Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and Magmatic Insight, both of which work very well with Ascendancy.

What’s Wrong With it Then?

Abrupt Decay is a huge beating and you don’t have enough high impact spells to really compete against heavily disruptive decks. Ascendancy is the kind of card that just gets better the more cheap spells are printed, so be on the lookout with each set for something that could help push this over the top!

Ascendency Dredge

How it Works

Get a pair of mana creatures and Ascendancy into play, cast a retrace spell, netting a mana and using the Ascendancy loot to dredge Loam. From there, you cast Loam giving you enough fuel to cast your retrace spell 2 more times and dredge Loam again. Eventually you find Flame Jab and use it to kill them!

Why it’s Good

Once again, Jeskai Ascendancy is a busted card, and this deck can kill pretty quickly. You also have a decent game against slow decks with Loam/Crime to empty their hand, meaning that beating Abrupt Decay is pretty doable if they’re not clocking you quickly. This deck could also easily include Magmatic Insight and perhaps Jace as well, although I think he wouldn’t be terribly impressive here.

What’s Wrong With it Then?

The biggest weakness of this deck is getting the mana base right. You have cards you want to cast in all 5 colors, but you can’t really play Gemstone Mine or Mana Confluence because of Fatestitcher. You also are exposed to graveyard hate in addition to the normal Storm/Ascendancy weaknesses to Arcane Lab effects.

While some of these decks are more competitive than others, I think all 4 have enough going on that I could imagine one day playing them at a GP or PT given more tuning. They’re all powerful enough to win at a slightly less competitive level and hopefully they’ll get your creative juices flowing enough to refine and improve on these shells. Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear from the comments what Modern decks you’ve tried that are close but just missing a piece or two!

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