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Much Abrew About Nothing: Thing Ascension (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to the new and improved Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, during our Instant Deck Tech voting, Thing Ascension came out on the top of a very competitive poll, so this week, we get to play a deck built around Pyromancer Ascension and Thing in the Ice in Modern! A couple of months ago, during Shadows over Innistrad spoiler season, Thing in the Ice was one of the most hyped cards in the set, but so far, it has failed to live up to its lofty expectations, not because the card is lacking in power, but because it hasn't had a good home. Thing Ascension looks to change this by combining the doubled-sided two-drop with Pyromancer Ascension and endless cantrips. Together, the cards form a deck that is half Storm and half Burn, with the possibility of flipping Thing in the Ice on Turn 3 thrown in for good measure!

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Thing Ascension: Instant Deck Tech

Thing Ascension vs. Naya Burn

Thing Ascension vs. GW Aggro

Thing Ascension vs. Possibility Storm

Thing Ascension vs. Jeskai Control

Thing Ascension vs. Titan Scapeshift

Thing Ascension Wrap Up


  • Let's get the important stuff out of the way first: we ended up 4-1 in our matches, losing only to Titan Scapeshift. I don't think Titan Scapeshift is really a bad matchup. In game one, our opponent drew a surprising Maelstrom Pulse to deal with Pyromancer Ascension, and game two was just really odd and clunky. Most of the time, I think we can combo off faster than they can by maybe half a turn, which means we should be a slight favorite in the matchup, even though it didn't work out that way in our match. 
  • Maybe the most impressive thing about the deck is how consistent it is at getting a threat on the battlefield on Turn 2 (either a Thing in the Ice or Pyromancer Ascension), activating the threat on Turn 3, and then winning on Turn 4. This is partly because we have eight payoff cards rather than four, thanks to the addition of Thing in the Ice, and partly because we are overloaded on cantrips, which makes it pretty easy to find a finisher, even if we don't have one in our opening hand. 
  • Another thing I really liked about the deck is that it almost never has to mulligan. Outside of the nightmare hand of 0 lands or 5 or more lands, pretty much every hand is keepable, since everything is a cantrip.
  • The deck is a really weird mixture of other Modern decks. On one hand, it plays a lot like the old UR Storm decks. It gives up the ability to win on Turn 2 or 3, but gains a lot of consistency and is still likely to win on Turn 4. It also plays a bit like a weird Pyromancer Ascension burn deck, giving up some redundancy in the burn package for the ability to go long when needed, thanks to a ton of card draw / filtering. 
  • One of the biggest advantages of playing Thing Ascension over UR Storm is that Thing Ascension is much more resilient. Whereas UR Storm has an incredibly difficult time against hate cards like Rest in Peace or Eidolon of Rhetoric, Thing Ascension doesn't especially care, since it has the backup play of killing with a flipped Thing in the Ice. Having four Lightning Bolts and four Lightning Helixs in the main deck to deal with hateful creatures like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is also a bonus. 
  • In all honesty, I don't have any major criticisms or improvements for the deck. It felt really solid, and I would feel more than comfortable playing this at the SCG or GP level. This one feels like a "real" Modern deck, and I won't be surprised at all to see it end up solidly in the second tier of the format, once more people figure it out and start playing with it. While it has been ticking up in popularity on Magic Online, it's still waiting for a real breakout performance in paper, but I think at this point, it's only a matter of time.


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's decks by liking, commenting, and subscribing to this week's Instant Deck Tech videos! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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