Jeskai Ascendancy Combo by 122pablo on MtGO

Creatures (11)
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Fatestitcher
4 Sylvan Caryatid

Non-Creature Spells (32)
3 Jeskai Ascendancy
3 Cerulean Wisps
2 Faithless Looting
4 Glittering Wish
1 Lightning Bolt
4 Manamorphose
1 Mystic Speculation
1 Nagging Thoughts
2 Noxious Revival
1 Path to Exile
4 Serum Visions
1 Silence
4 Sleight of Hand
1 Swan Song

Lands (17)
1 Breeding Pool
2 Flooded Strand
4 Gemstone Mine
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
1 Izzet Boilerworks
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
1 Temple Garden

Sideboard (15)
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Flesh / Blood
1 Jeskai Ascendancy
4 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Path to Exile
1 Pithing Needle
1 Scarscale Ritual
2 Silence
1 Swan Song
1 Wear / Tear

Summary

Khans of Tarkir block gave us some pretty busted cards, including the quickly-banned Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time. It also gave us Jeskai Ascendancy, which enabled combo decks in all three major formats; Standard, Modern, and Legacy. Since the banning of those aforementioned blue cards, this archetype has taken a hit, but it may be time for the Ascendancy to ascend once again and put its mark on Modern.

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For those who didn’t have the pleasure of witnessing this deck doing its thing when it was more popular, here’s how the combo works: You have at least one mana-producing creature in play (which is all of the creatures in the deck), then you cast Jeskai Ascendancy, and you use both halves of the card to cycle through your deck as you cast 1-mana spells, which are now effectively free (or produce more mana than they use) because you’re untapping your creatures every time. Once you have cast enough spells to push through lethal damage in combat, you simply attack with your non-Defender creatures. It’s important to note that even if you only have 1 attacker and they have 1 blocker at the time that you begin to combo off, during the combo process you will come across more copies of Fatestitcher which can be brought back from the graveyard to offer additional attackers.

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The deck can win as early as turn 2 with a Birds of Paradise, Jeskai Ascendancy, and Noxious Revival. It could previously do this with Gitaxian Probe instead of Noxious Revival, but sadly that free spell is no longer with us. Despite being a very fast combo deck, there is also a large toolbox element in the deck featuring Modern’s only playable “Wish”-style effect, Glittering Wish. The targets in the sideboard are: Abrupt Decay, Flesh / Blood, the fourth copy of Jeskai Ascendancy, Scarscale Ritual, and Wear / Tear, although more often than not it is finding the namesake of the deck.

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That leaves the “actual” sideboard cards in the deck which are Ancient Grudge, a full playset of Leyline of Sanctity, a second copy of Path to Exile, a copy of the versatile Pithing Needle, 2 more copies of Silence, and the second copy of Swan Song. Even though this deck has lost some of its most important cards to several bannings over the last few years, don’t be afraid to pick it up if you’re looking for a combo deck that packs a punch and is always fun to play.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Silence

-1 Mystic Speculation

-1 Lightning Bolt

+1 Path to Exile

+1 Faithless Looting

+1 Cerulean Wisps

Sideboard

-1 Path to Exile

-1 Ancient Grudge

+1 Silence

+1 Wear / Tear

This is day 57 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 56 here, where we featured a formerly-dominant Standard deck that’s looking to dominate Modern.

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