Modern Spotlight: Thing Ascension

With the conclusion of GP Dallas I’ve spotted a deck that I really love the look of and wish to play as soon as possible!

Yes, I realize that Skred Red won the whole thing. The list is pretty neat, but a different deck looks like it would be a ton of fun to play! The deck I speak of: Thing in the Ice / Pyromancer Ascension.

Creatures (4)
Thing in the Ice

Spells (38)
Faithless Looting
Gitaxian Probe
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Helix
Pyromancer Ascension
Serum Visions
Thought Scour
Visions of Beyond
Lands (18)
Flooded Strand
Hallowed Fountain
Sacred Foundry
Scalding Tarn
Spirebluff Canal
Steam Vents

Sideboard (15)
Anger of the Gods
Blood Moon
Engineered Explosives
Path to Exile
Rest for the Weary
Swan Song
Wear // Tear

The basic idea seems to be if you were to take Storm and Jeskai Control and mashed them together. Everything pretty much focuses on two primary cards:

  1. Pyromancer Ascension: The power of Ascension is in the ability to dig after the fact for your win conditions, and then to use those spells to destroy your opponent. A single Ascension makes a Bolt or Helix into 6 damage, and that will close games out quickly. While the deck only has 8 spells that deal damage in this way, once Ascension is online you start drawing a lot of cards very quickly. It just gets even more ridiculous when you get to have multiple Ascensions going at the same time!
  2. Thing in the Ice: Not only is it a creature that can soak damage against aggressive decks, it’s also a “board wipe” that then turns around and murders your opponent. Some decks won’t be terribly affected by this (mostly Affinity), but others will lose a lot of tempo by having their creatures bounced. The huge advantage is when you can flip Thing during combat, thus fogging for a turn and giving you a great aggressive creature. While it’s fairly weak against control decks, it still will flip on it’s own and force an answer.

The big glaring weakness for the deck is that you run into issues with decks, as you are pretty soft to Maelstrom Pulse and Abrupt Decay.

One of the things I find really appealing about the deck is that there are a ton of options to customize it, especially if you want to drop the for either sticking to only or a different splash color (I kinda want to try for Collective Brutality). Plus you get a lot of great sideboard options. People generally board out removal, allowing you to bring in great threats such as Bedlam Reveler or Monastery Mentor, if you want to play them. Spells also have a dramatically increased effect some times, due to the ability to multiply them with Ascension.

Chris Wendelboe

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