To give some history and context, Boros Allies Beatdown was my first ever deck, followed shortly by Orzhov Allies Lifegain. I fell in love with the Vampire archetype and built Rakdos Vampires, and settled on mono-black Vampires. As you can see, I have always revolved around Mardu, even in Commander with Edgar Markov and Queen Marchesa . I’ve always loved these colors for versitility, power, card draw, removal, and a myriad of other reasons. The only thing Mardu lacks is mana ramp and “counter-lol-nope” magic, which is fixed by having extremely cost efficient threats and one for one/two removal. Thus, seeing a build that combines all of the aforementioned strategies and advantages is exactly what I was looking for.

When I heard about this collaboration, and saw the potential it had, I fell absolutely in love! I love burn, I love tokens, and I love the idea of midrange and controlling the progress of the game. Between token generation, to burn, to card draw, and to spot removal and board wipes, Mardu Pyromancer literally has everything cut out for it, and has game against every and any build out there in the meta.

Comments and critiques are appreciated and accepted!

Personally, I’ve played Rakdos based decks for a long time. Mardu Pyromancer felt the same with Lingering Souls as a nice added bonus. I ended up looking up common inclusions in popular builds then tweaked to make my own. I always feel like it’s a good way to go about builds one may be unfamiliar with.













Lastly, I am part of a Facebook group dedicated to Modern Mardu Pyromancer. The members are great and have been extremely helpful with suggestions and critiques.

  • Bedlam Reveler - need to play 4. Great for the amount of instant/sorcery spells we play. Card draw is great late game. Prowess is great for big damage or keeping him alive. We will almost always be playing Bedlam Reveler for 2 cmc. It’s the better target for Kolaghan's Command to bring back to hand.

  • Young Pyromancer - another auto 4 of. I mean, it’s where the deck gets the name! Nothing to say really: play early, recursion with Kolaghan's Command , though Bedlam Reveler is usually better.

  • Fatal Push - meta removal. Great against basically any creature outside of Tron. I’ve seen different ratios, and, since we have so much removal, we can get away with only 2. This also allows for optimal side boarding for match-ups where Fatal Push is ineffective. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of builds where people play counter magic until they can play more threatening “higher-than-4-cmc” creatures where Fatal Push doesn’t help. Still great, but usually only around the 2-3 ratio. If we were playing mono- or , then we would play 4 all the way.

  • Kolaghan's Command - i tried to make and use this build without Kolaghan's Command , but there is really no other way around it; you have to play it! It does everything this build needs: great for graveyard recursion should we discard Bedlam Reveler or Young Pyromancer , opponent discard, Affinity hate, and removal. I think 4 may be just a little high only because it is 3 cmc and we don’t want to keep discarding to Faithless Looting or Collective Brutality .

  • Lightning Bolt - number 1 card in modern, played in practically every build with , perfect 1 cmc to trigger Young Pyromancer , and obvious burn is obvious. Mardu Pyromancer is midrange, with early aggression and some late game bounce back with Bedlam Reveler , and flashback on Faithless Looting and Lingering Souls . So Lightning Bolt helps us apply early aggro/burn pressure, while adding to the efficacy of Bedlam Reveler for late game sweeps.

  • Lightning Helix - great against burn or if the opponent is more aggro oriented. Lifegain is much needed with all the life loss from fetches, shocks, and Thoughtseize s. However, it has and we won’t always be able to play it, or it will be awkward when fetching lands. I want to see what the build becomes with 2 in the Mainboard, at the cost of Chandra, Torch of Defiance and 1 copy of Collective Brutality . Still, a strong MAYBE if we want to become more burn/aggro oriented rather than midrange/control.

  • Path to Exile - I have been contemplating this against Blood Moon for the longest time, ever since I picked up this build. With the current meta, Path to Exile provides a cheap way to remove sticky creatures, as well as to fuel Young Pyromancer and Bedlam Reveler .

  • Terminate / Dreadbore - Terminate is unconditional Rakdos removal. 2 cmc so generally better than Hero's Downfall or Slaughter Pact . Never sure what split to play with Dreadbore . I’ve been seeing more man-lands as threats, rather than planeswalkers, which mass tokens can deal with or Fatal Push or Terminate at instant speed. Some manlands change to artifacts, so Kolaghan's Command or Wear can help us here too. I’m always changing the ratio based on expected meta. Dreadbore can be better if you’re expecting more planeswalkers. Our tokens are usually enough to threaten most man-lands and planeswalkers, or at least to chump block them. Basically, in my local/current meta, the ratio is always adaptable to whatever the present meta calls for, as well as the overall adapting/changing meta of the game.

  • Collective Brutality - just like Kolaghan's Command , this card does everything we need: discard, damage, and lifegain. Great at 2-3. Against combo or burn, this is gold. It is exactly the hedge needed to remove problematic cards and preserve life total. Also, against early aggro, this puts us ahead of the curve, with anti-indestructible removal and lifegain.

  • Faithless Looting - great 1 cmc card draw and really nice for those late game land top decks where we can flashback to discard needless lands. Hold onto lands when you have 3/4 on field to flashback Faithless Looting to dig for more answers. At the beginning of the match, it is usually better to use hand disruption first to formulate gameplan.

  • Inquisition of Kozilek - auto 4 of in almost any deck. In modern, the turn 3-5 format, this card hits basically everything that it needs to. Great for turn 1 plays since most players keep a hand with 1-3 cmc drops for the first few turns. Anything else is taken care of by Thoughtseize .

  • Lingering Souls - if you’re playing , you’re almost always playing this. However, since we play Mardu, hard casting this is not as viable as discarding to Faithless Looting or Collective Brutality and flashback for a cheaper cost. Just balance Bedlam Reveler , because you will NEVER want to pay for the full 8 cmc. This goes for Faithless Looting as well: wait to flash back AFTER Bedlam Reveler . Lingering Souls is great for always providing chump blockers and fliers when we need to turn the game around.

  • Thoughtseize - see Inquisition of Kozilek . Same idea: take away threats before they hurt us. Great for board wipes and big planeswalkers and, mainly, Tron. Just be extremely careful about life total. With all the shocks, fetches, and this, life goes down really fast. Definitely side out in burn match-ups, or aggro builds, like Humans.

  • Bloodstained Mire - perfect Rakdos fetchland. Gets basic for hand disruption or both of the main basic lands if we are conserving life.

  • Marsh Flats / Arid Mesa - 2nd best fetchlands. This is Mardu Pyromancer, but we generally want to cast a discard spell our 1st turn. This makes Marsh Flats trump Arid Mesa . Sub in Arid Mesa for diversity or at the cost of some fast-lands/check-lands, or if the build begins using more .

  • Blackcleave Cliffs / Dragonskull Summit - honestly, better to be Blackcleave Cliffs , but every meta build has in it so I missed the early “cheap” train. Hoping for a reprint of Blackcleave Cliffs soon! These work pretty well. On average, we will most likely fetch our first turn for several reasons: first, get a shock land for diversity and land duality. Second, thin the library. Last, keep our opponent guessing in game 1 about what we are playing. After turn 1, Dragonskull Summit actually becomes better than Blackcleave Cliffs . The only issue is that low probability that we draw a hand with only Dragonskull Summit , in which case, we might mulligan away anyway! They’re good for now. If Blackcleave Cliffs gets reprinted, I’ll most likely switch.

  • Blood Crypt - best shock to fetch. Primary colors are and . Almost always fetch this first. What’s next is up to opening hand. If we are conserving life, we can always grab Swamp or Mountain .

  • Sacred Foundry - the next best shock for us, staying with mana. It’s our only source for , and can be shut off by our own Blood Moon . I used to hate drawing basic Plains , but it’s better to have the basic option, especially under Blood Moon . I’ve thought about dropping a Sacred Foundry for another Blood Crypt , but since we run Lightning Helix , 2 Sacred Foundry and 1 Plains seem like a good ratio.

  • Plains - I’m going to try the split with Sacred Foundry to see if it helps our land base with more mana necessity.

  • Swamp - since most of our lands are based, it’s nice to have some basics to fetch after a Path to Exile , Ghost Quarter , or Field of Ruin .

  • Mountain - nice to fetch if we are low on life and need mana. Other than that, feels good in a mainly build. 20 lands are a good number. I personally wouldn’t go lower than 20, MAYBE 19 if wanting to change the build to be more aggro/burn, instead of midrange.

  • Blood Moon - currently, in the aggro/graveyard based meta, speed and exiling threats is king. Therefore, Path to Exile trumps stumping mana. Blood Moon is great against Tron and other big mana decks, like Amulet Titan or Titanshift. However, it is awful against decks that establish a threatening board by turn 3 when we would drop Blood Moon anyways. We can forego Blood Moon as well, since we play plenty of threats in our build, and we don’t want to sacrifice playing threats when we drop our own Blood Moon . If meta becomes more Tron based, then this will, most likely, come back in.

  • Ensnaring Bridge - great way to protect us from bigger creatures than our tokens and Young Pyromancer s. It’s ok with Bedlam Reveler if you plan ahead. Leave Bedlam Reveler in hand, until 2nd main when you can drop and replenish your hand, and prevent opponent from attacking. This tech hasn’t felt as impactful (like Blood Moon ) due to the opponent always being able to out it with removal, like Nature's Claim or Wear .

  • Chandra, Torch of Defiance - when I had originally built this deck, I had tried out many different planeswalkers and I was always subbing them out for something else. I believe Chandra, Torch of Defiance is one of the best planeswalkers we can use right now. With her, we can 1) card draw to find outs, 2) add mana to pool to push through counters like Mausoleum Wanderer , Spell Pierce , Logic Knot , and Mana Leak , and 3) burning a creature and, eventually, opponent. However, I want to try a “planeswalker-less” Mardu build and see how that helps. Without her, we become more aggro than midrange/control.

  • Stony Silence - Another major reason to play or splash in modern. Affinity and KCI hate. That’s basically it. Can be used against Tron with their early Expedition Map , but not super optimal. Rather use Blood Moon , Molten Rain , and Thoughtseize to mess Tron up. Sometimes not needed due to all the other artifact hate we run, like Wear , Kolaghan's Command , and various others, depending on match-up. With the shifting meta, Surgical Extraction at instant speed, with spot removal, has seemed more effective rather than a prison-like effect. I, personally, like my Mardu Pyromancer deck to be more proactive, rather than prison oriented. However, if artifacts become a dominant thing, and Affinity, Hardened Scales, or KCI take over, I’ll maybe tech them back in.

  • Molten Rain - Tron is probably the worst match-up for this build, seeing as how our threats stay at the 1/1 power/toughness level, with the occasional 4/5 or 5/6 Bedlam Reveler . Keeping Tron from assembling is the only hope, besides Thoughtseize , of making a dent in Tron’s plans. However, with Stony Silence , and removal, we may not need Molten Rain anymore. Also, no point in sideboarding just for Tron, at the expense of a more diverse meta.

  • Monastery Mentor - if the build were to begin to rely more on tokens, and using Intangible Virtue , then I think we would want this. For now, as an aggro-control build, Goblin Rabblemaster acts as our aggro version, whereas Kambal, Consul of Allocation makes our build more controlling. We really need our turn 3 drop to be game changing.

  • Monastery Swiftspear - if the build needs to become hyper aggressive, and we exchange higher cmc spells for 1cmc spells and cantrips, then Monastery Swiftspear becomes more appealing. This would push us to more of an aggro-burn variant. Mardu’s value lies in being able to outvalue any threat or problem that hits the board, then overwhelm/burn the opponent.

  • Manamorphose - one of the first suggestions and controversies for the Mardu Pyromancer deck. A lot of debate on the inclusion of this card. My thoughts: we want every spell to majorly impact the game or board state. However, we also want to trigger Young Pyromancer and have as many instants/sorcery spells in the grave to lower the cmc of Bedlam Reveler . This also can help us cast our mana cards under Blood Moon , which I’ve already mentioned should be played USUALLY before Moon hits the board. I’ve actually read articles where some pros say the best list will eventually run 4 (Gerry Thompson, i believe). Though I am no pro, I don’t think 4 (or any) is necessary. I would rather play an immediate impact tech rather than a deck thinning tech, whose role is already covered by Faithless Looting and Bedlam Reveler . If the build begins needing extra cantrips or some sort of extreme mana fixing, these will be coming back in.

  • Arclight Phoenix - so much discussion has gone into this tech on various websites and Facebook groups. I personally don’t think this belongs here. We would completely have to change the midrange aspect of the deck to a strictly aggro shell. We would exchange value based removal for Manamorphose and more 1cmc spells. I think Arclight Phoenix belongs in an Izzet focused build, with a ton more cantrips, like Thought Scour and Serum Visions .

  • Deafening Clarion - this was a hard decision. Same amount of damage as Anger of the Gods , but minus the exile effect. It comes with the added flexibility of lifegain, which we do need with the amount of fetch and shocklands we play. I wanted to see if this is an adequate replacement for Anger of the Gods . I’ve always hesitated and hated banishing Young Pyromancer (and not being able to get him back via Kolaghan's Command ). However, the exile effect from Anger of the Gods can NOT be replaced. If in need of lifegain, run more Collective Brutality or Lightning Helix .

  • Risk Factor - another suggestion that I have seen. This would make the deck more burn oriented. That is good and bad. Good because it can helps us get that extra damage in where we need it, or the card draw to close a game. Bad because of the high cost and the opponent makes the decision that is the best for them. At the end of the day, I wanted the deck to be more midrange and remain in my control. This definitely is a maybe, but further play testing is required to determine when and where to tech.

  • Nihil Spellbomb - use in the mirror, Grixis Shadow, and Dredge/Delve. Not been as helpful lately.

  • Liliana of the Veil - I am in no way saying Lili isn’t absolutely amazing in Modern. I honestly believe she is the best planeswalker in the format. However, since this build cares so much about instant/sorcery spells to continually trigger Young Pyromancer or lower Bedlam Reveler ’s cost, she doesn’t help with synergy. We also run so much removal and discard that her abilities become somewhat redundant. Again, if you desire to play her, all power in the world to you. Be your own individual!

  • Liliana, the Last Hope - same as Liliana of the Veil , but not as great as OG Lili. Still great against opposing aggro strategies, but we can combat aggro/burn in other ways. Also, not all of our instants/sorcery spells have flashback, so we want to be picky/choosy about what goes to the graveyard, and when.

  • Leyline of the Void - hit and miss with this monstrosity. Some games you draw the perfect hand, with this as your starting pressure against the opponent. Other times you can’t seem to mulligan to it or you don’t draw it until turn 5/6 and you only have 3 mana, because Mardu Pyromancer almost never needs more than 3/4 mana. Run Surgical Extraction instead.

  • Crackling Doom - my original personal spicy tech, and one of my favorite Mardu cards ever. Non-targeting sac with burn. Downside is it costs which we won’t always be able to supply. Helps against Bogles and some Tron, mainly Eldrazi. At the end of the day, not as effective as I would have hoped.

  • Godless Shrine / Concealed Courtyard / Isolated Chapel - I debated these and tested these for a long time. I came to the conclusion it was more important to almost always have a source 99% of the time. After deciding that I also always want to cast Lingering Souls from the graveyard, it made more of an option or luxury rather than a necessity. Since main color is , Sacred Foundry and Plains are better than Godless Shrine . Blackcleave Cliffs is also better than Concealed Courtyard or Inspiring Vantage .

  • Anguished Unmaking - fantastic removal in Mardu based colors, if not one of the best removal spells in the game. However, 3 life is a lot in modern. We would need more lifegain to make this viable. Also is awkward, sometimes, in this build.

Izzet/Mono-Red Phoenix Show

Humans Show

Bant Spirits Show

Dredge Show

Mono-Green Tron Show

Azorious Control Show

Hardened Scales & OG Affinity Show

Burn Show

Jund/Golgari Midrange Show

Hollow One Show

Grixis/Jund/Sultai Death's Shadow Show

Gifts Storm Show

Bridgevine Show

Bogles (Hexproof) Show

Amulet Titan Show

Titanshift/Scapeshift/Valakut Show

Infect Show

Collected Company Show

“Immolation is the sincerest form of flattery.”


Updates Add



100% Competitive

Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 day
Exclude colors UG
Splash colors WBR

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.25
Tokens 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Elemental
Folders My Stuff, Modern Decks, red black, Standard, Decks I wanna build, modern competitive
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