Replacing Looting in Mardu Pyro
Posted on Aug. 26, 2019, 7:17 p.m. by PTsmitty
So, now that looting is unfortunately banned in modern I am trying to think of a replacement. The first card that came to my mind was Cathartic Reunion , but I dislike the requirement of discarding two cards. My second thought was Tormenting Voice as the requirement is only one card to discard. I saw someone post Desperate Ravings as a possible option for other decks since it does have flashback. Insolent Neonate and Stitcher's Supplier are other options I had seen, but I feel like they are more appropriate for dredge and other graveyard specific decks. Does anyone else have some ideas for me?
Since Modern tends to play fast, one of the worst things you can do is draw too many lands and have nothing to do with them. For that, Magmatic Insight might prove to be a viable replacement. This way if it is in your opening hand, you immediately have card advantage. If you are good on tempo, it gains serious value. And if you are flooded and drawing lands, it gains value.
The only time it doesn't help you is when you are either short on lands or have no lands in hand. But again, Modern is meant to be played fast. The best decks often see CMC of just 1 - 3. So do you really need your 4th or 5th land? Honestly, probably not.
And with Wrenn and Six , you get the land right back. I mean, literally think about that. You have a Blood Crypt or something in your hand and you discard it to play Magmatic Insight , draw +2 cards, +1, get the land back and play it for turn.
You literally just drew +2 cards for free while moving Wrenn up +1. The value is overwhelming.
If you are able to get the emblem and either have W&6 just go down to 1 thanks to a late ultimate, or have a second W&6 to play, you can now literally skip back and forth, discarding a land to draw +2 cards, get the land back, then discard a land to retrace and get +2 more cards (Though this will require discarding a second land; -1 for Retrace, -1 for the spell)
If I played Jund, that's what I would do.
Call it... Wrenn's Insight.
August 26, 2019 9:35 p.m. Edited.
Ransack the Lab / Strategic Planning is probably the closest Looting effect we're probably ever going to see. I think Rix Maadi Reveler and Smuggler's Copter are also somewhat acceptable replacements as well. Lastly while Painful Truths doesn't fuel the graveyard it is an exceptional source of card draw in three color decks.
August 26, 2019 9:39 p.m.
Its going to be hard to find a replacement for looting and I hope that they print something that pyro can use. One thing is for sure, I think a lot of people are falling for thinking that they have to put stuff in their graveyard at any cost. I dont really see that as being worth it to play Stitcher's Supplier just to be able to cast Lingering Souls from the graveyard. The idea behind mardi pyromancer is to get value and card advantage through effects like Faithless Looting , and thought looting is not in the format anymore and there is nothing nearly as efficient, you still have a lot of ways to still get value through powerful spells that make you discard cards. For now you have some other good options. You have Lightning Axe as potentially better removal than Fatal Push , and Collective Brutality or discard like Mind Rake . Those dont net you card advantage really, but it can get you value off of those good cards. To get value you have other options like Sarkhan, Fireblood and Nahiri, the Harbinger maybe paired with emrakul, and you could also try Rotting Regisaur . I dont see all of these options as the best really, but I can see the deck functioning reasonably well by playing discard and spot removal in the first turns of the game, and then playing a Seasoned Pyromancer or a Sarkhan, Fireblood to seal the game out and get value with a turn 3 discard and draw. I dont know though, that may be clunky having a lot of spells you just really cant cast until the third or fourth turns of the game. but then again, you can also discard them early. I dont know. It looks hard and pyro would have to change drastically, but I think it could be a very reasonable deck. If you want to try it you could also go the route of using the goryos + obzidat combo that you see in esper sometimes that may be cool. That seems good in a slower deck. You could also pivot into a deck that doesnt rely on looting effects as much too. I have a midrange deck built around Dark Confidant and Dreadhorde Arcanist where you just get value by casting your cards naturally and recasting them, it doesn't cycle through as many spells like pyro used to, but it is a deck that I've had people mistake for pyro a lot and it is fun to play with. Thinking about it you could also play a pox type game and play Smallpox and Liliana of the Veil . With all of this later and more mana imtensive discard you could also play more free or cheap graveyard value cards such as Squee, Goblin Nabob or Bloodghast . Who knows, theres a lot of directions you could go, decks may even just use the newly unbanned Stoneforge Mystic . Anyways, I think the deck has a chance post-ban, but I think it has potential to be a reasonable deck like it used to be. I hope at least some of the cards I threw out may help to make a reasonable deck, and I wish you luck in remaking the deck. All the best.
August 26, 2019 9:54 p.m.
One thing I would like to note is that one of the things that made looting really good is being able to have a lot of card selection and it allowed people to keep 1 land hands and such. While Magmatic Insight does not give card selection in as freely or let you discard your payoff cards, it seems sweet to flash it back for dreadhorde arcanist, and I may slide that into my rakdos arcanist list for a crap ton of value.
August 26, 2019 10 p.m.
I second the Smuggler's Copter comment. It's a good attacker, a good blocker, works well with Pyromancer tokens, and filters; it's not the fastest at stocking your graveyard, but the uses it has outside of that are better than cards like Ransack the Lab imo.
Also, if you're not already playing it, Collective Brutality is a great way to use the pitch-value cards like Lingering Souls and Smiting Helix and help keep the Revelers alive. Plus, with the likely uprising of midrange and control variants, a couple maindeck Brutality is probably a good choice anyways.
With Looting is banned, there's less reason to play Reveler, which is the biggest payoff for Looting in the deck. So, I would go down to 1-2 copies of Reveler, add a couple Copters and a couple Brutalities and see how that goes.
August 27, 2019 midnight
Here is my current Mardu Build. I have a 3rd Brutality that I could put into my deck since that allows for me to fill my graveyard. I was not sure how effective Smuggler's Copter would be in a Mardu build since you have to have a creature to crew it. I know it works well with the token generation of the deck, but my opponent could remove my creatures and I then have an artifact sitting there doing nothing. At least with a spell like Ransack the Lab , I can look at 3 cards and pick the most effective one for my situation. I do like the Magmatic Insight suggestion for the card draw, but I would be worried about the need for a land to cast the spell when I only play 20 lands in the deck. I had seen Goblin Lore as well, but was not too keen on the idea of random discard rather than letting me select I want like Looting did. Thanks for all input! Definitely some good ideas to start with. I will just have to play test and see what option works the best.
August 27, 2019 5:35 p.m.
Maybe some sort of Dredge package along with Dreadhorde Arcanist? Not really card selection like Looting would be, but more of a focus on just filling up the bin with cards. Maybe something like Darkblast could work for a free Pyro Elemental every turn, in addition to extra fuel for Arcanist. Maybe Liliana, the Last Hope to help Darkblast kill bigger things as well as get back creatures from the bin?