Modern Spotlight: Jeskai Ascendancy

At Regionals I saw a pretty sweet deck that I wanted to take a bit of a closer look at: Jeskai Ascendancy combo.

A number of months ago I actually stopped playing Modern for a short time, due to the fear of a single deck that had become super popular. That deck was based on Jeskai Ascendancy and Glittering Wish, abused the power of Treasure Cruise, and was able to almost auto beat my deck due to Wish into Slaughter Games. The deck has changed quite a bit since then with the removal of Treasure Cruise, but the deck is certainly still viable. The below list made top 4 of SCG Regionals in Providence, and there was a second deck like this near the top tables in the later rounds as well (one that used more creatures).

Creatures (4)

Spells (35)
Jeskai Ascendancy
Izzet Charm
Lightning Bolt
Path to Exile
Spell Snare
Think Twice
Thirst For Knowledge
Thought Scour
Visions of Beyond
Faithless Looting
Gitaxian Probe
Serum Visions
Lands (21)
Arid Mesa
Faerie Conclave
Flooded Strand
Glacial Fortress
Hallowed Fountain
Polluted Delta
Steam Vents
Sulfur Falls

Sideboard (15)
Ratchet Bomb
Young Pyromancer
Stony Silence
Crumble to Dust
Timely Reinforcements

The idea behind the deck is to stick your namesake enchantment, and then abuse land creatures/Fatestitcher to create a ton of mana while making your opponent end up losing. Once Ascendancy is in play you can churn through your deck at an alarming rate, especially with a ton of cheap cantrips. Even the discard often doesn’t hurt too much, as you can unearth Fatesticher or flashback a few of your spells pretty easily. The other side of Ascendancy is what allows you to kill, as it pumps your Faerie Conclave each time (while also untapping it for extra mana). Fatestitcher is used to clear the way, as each cheap spell you cast allows you to tap an opposing creature while growing your guy.

Personally I am more of a fan of the version with more creatures, as it allows you to kill a bit faster. When you only have 2 guys you need to cast ~9 noncreature spells in order to kill in a single turn. The more guys you have, the easier it will be for you to kill (3 guys that can attack is only 6, usually). This is, of course, assuming your opponent is at 20 life which is highly unlikely.

The downside? This isn’t a deck that can go infinite at all. This means that decks that can gain a lot of life can beat you just by gaining too much life for you to have a chance to win. I guess this just means I should start brewing a version with Mox Opal, a bunch of other artifacts, and Retraction Helix….

Chris Wendelboe

Chris is a level 2 judge from Ashland, New Hampshire. He enjoys Scapeshift, modern, and putting on the best events possible.