This week I’d like to talk about a new deck in standard that seems to be attracting a lot of attention, the deck is called Pyro-Twin. It’s the welcomed return of true combo to the format that wins by casting [card]Splinter Twin[/card] on a [card]Deceiver Exarch[/card], then tapping the creature to make a copy, who then untaps the enchanted creature who makes another copy and so forth, giving you an endless supply of hasty creatures.
This combo is an old one that originally began life many years ago as [card]Sky Hussar[/card] – [card]Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker[/card], and later the Sky Hussar became [card]Pestermite[/card]. Recently in extended, [card]Splinter Twin[/card] has filled that role alongside Pestermite and with the printing of Deceiver Exarch, it looks to be a viable option within standard. Deceiver Exarch is the best option so far for infinitely copying, since its ability to dodge [card]Lightning Bolt[/card] is most valuable, and being a 1/4 creature means it can hold up the opponent’s attack to a reasonable degree if you need it to.
So, let’s take a look at a winning decklist from Magic League:
4 [card]Deceiver Exarch[/card]
4 [card]Tezzeret’s Gambit[/card]
4 [card]Gitaxian Probe[/card]
4 [card]Pyromancer Ascension[/card]
3 [card]Splinter Twin[/card]
4 [card]Lightning Bolt[/card]
4 [card]Mana Leak[/card]
4 [card]Burst Lightning[/card]
3 [card]Into the Roil[/card] (15)
3 [card]Halimar Depths[/card]
4 [card]Scalding Tarn[/card]
2 [card]Arid Mesa[/card]
2 [card]Misty Rainforest[/card]
4 [card]Spell Pierce[/card]
4 [card]Mental Misstep[/card]
3 [card]Jace Beleren[/card]
As we can see, there is another side to this combo, in fact, another combo entirely. [card]Pyromancer Ascension[/card] is a deck that put up some good performances last year by chaining infinite turns together until it was ready to burn out it’s opponent. Since then, a few lists trying to recapture its glory days have floated around with little success, the lack of [card]Time Warp[/card] and [card]Ponder[/card] made things too difficult for it. However now, with the introduction of [card]Gitaxian Probe[/card] which lets you see if your opponent has a counterspell, whilst also digging an extra card and filling up your graveyard for Ascension is a big part. But furthermore, [card]Tezzeret’s Gambit[/card] does all kind of work here, not only drawing you cards, but adding an important counter to your ascension, making it even easier to get it active. These additions are enough to make the combo good enough, and with all the digging in deck, it can happily house both combos.
Where does this deck fit in? Of course, in the current metagame, Caw-Blade is a deck you have to build to beat, and this deck takes advantage of their lack of removal. Without them able to remove Deceiver Exarch, you can sneak wins in, especially if they are spending their first few turns setting up [card]Stoneforge Mystic[/card]. This deck also negates the power of a lot of their cards, [card]Gideon Jura[/card] can only buy one turn provided he doesn’t get bounced, and [card]Jace, The Mind Sculptor[/card] can’t efficiently fateseal the combo out of the game due to so many digging spells. Speed wise, the deck can keep up with the likes of [card]Valakut, The Molten Pinnacle[/card], and with some tweaks, it could have a decent run against aggro decks likes Naya. However, [card]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/card] decks that can successfully pack [card]Ratchet Bomb[/card] and [card]Torpor Orb[/card] can cause the deck a lot of problems, as can the sideboards of other decks as Pyro-Twin grows in popularity.
How to improve the deck? The deck is obviously a little rough around the edges, [card]Slagstorm[/card] for example is a fine card that can help the deck function against creatures, and main deck [card]Jace Beleren[/card] could be a wise move considering the meta. Of course, there is also a case for dropping the Exarch-Twin combo to the board, in favour of going all out for the Pyromancer Ascension combo, and using the other combo as a backup for game two and three. I have also seen some Grixis based builds running discard as a toll to force through their combo. Either way, this is definitely a deck that will be popular and will require consideration before entering a tournament due to its ability to steal games from nowhere.
Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing.