Format: Casual Golden Age (officially), Modern strongly recommended (and used by nearly everyone)
And this is it, the last Thursday before Nats. This week, I decided to use a slightly odd, but definitely viable team. A team just short of competitive contention. Get ready for…
The Team: Pyromania
Fun fact: This was a random brew I made while watching US Nats. But silly as it looks, this can actually win on turn 5. I gave this a good look when preparing for Nats, I can assure you.
The main win condition involves R Pyro. This is a card that was severely overlooked when XFC came out. It’s not surprising, since R Lantern Ring was still Modern-legal at the time, not to mention that the meta focused strongly on R Cosmic Cube. With both of these out of Modern, though, Pyro’s damage output suddenly looks like it’s worth building around.
To make this work, we need bolts, lots and lots of bolts. Enter Chwinga. 1-cost bolt character with Swarm; cheap bolts, and plenty of them. I also needed a way to trigger Pyro’s Awaken. I went for Mutation for its global. It has the added benefit that I can spin Chwinga down to level 1 and thus keep it on the field to use Swarm!
With the team hoping to generate a ton of bolts, I need a way to use them. Enter Speedy Delivery. With its global, I can attack and use those bolts to buff any unblocked character and possibly deal those last few points of damage I need.
Storm being in this team should be no surprise. With Mutation on the team, using Storm’s Awaken ability is easy and makes for terrific removal.
For ramp, I went for Mimic + Professor X. Per usual, Mimic copies sidekicks, Professor X fields sidekicks, and I end up drawing lots of dice. Billy Club is primarily there for the global, though the action can help in a pinch. And finally, Jubilee serves as an additional source of damage that fits in well with Professor X’s global and can serve to soften up my opponent or even act as removal in a pinch.
With that said, on to the games!
I got the bye. Undefeated against that guy so far!
I went up against Collector + Nobby. This game went pretty much as well as it could for me. Her Shriek didn’t roll, and I set up Mimic ramp turn 3, bought Pyro and some Chwingas turn 4, and I dealt a ton of burn damage turn 5 with Pyro, after which I attacked with everything and used Speedy Delivery’s global to add the damage I needed to win. Textbook plan of how to use this team.
For this match, I was up against a mysterious stranger with a weird accent. He said his name is Ben and that he was, at some point long ago, a Nationals champion. I will assume he’s saying the truth, especially seeing as he’s in the room as I write this. He ran an Infiltrate team that also used R Orion for some extra damage. I got Mimic ramp going early, and Jubilee was an all-star this game. While Pyro did hit the field, I didn’t get enough bolts to make a major dent most of the game. At some point, I got him down to 8 life, and he was stuck in a conundrum where either he’d clear my board (with C Jubilee) and gave me tons of ramp, or he was stuck with me probably getting more damage some other way. He ended up clearing my board, and I rolled enough bolts to burn him down with Pyro for the win.
For my final match of the evening, I was up against SR Yuan-ti. His Pseudodragon simply would not hit the field. He tried burning me down by buying actions and using SR Yuan-ti’s own Attune, but SR Jubilee allowed me to damage him just as quickly. I never got to use Pyro in this one, as I needed to field sidekicks and ping my opponent with Jubilee. In the end, I had more characters and a metric ton of bolts, so I attacked with everything and used Speedy Delivery to make an unblocked character deal enough damage for the win.
-That team worked really well tonight. Almost makes me reconsider using it for Nationals this weekend…almost. I know the team is not very reliable, and that my Chwingas like their character faces way too much to rely on this strategy.
-Mimic gave me almost too much ramp; once, I lost 2 life to bag burn on the same turn.
-Storm didn’t do much removal tonight. I guess it was just bad luck, but I think I managed to get exactly one character off the field with her all evening (and it was a sidekick). Bah, that’s what happens when you play with dice.
-Pyro should see more play; damage based on energy in the reserve pool is very effective (see Lantern Ring), and his is the best ability in this regard in the Modern meta so far.
Overall, this was an awesome team to play. But now I must focus on Canadian Nationals this weekend. What the heck will I run? Even I don’t know! Stay tuned!