Setting Modern on Fire

Posted in Feature on December 4, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

Travis Woo is not one to shy away from crazy decks, and he would be first on my list if I had to guess who made a deck with Worldfire, Spellweaver Helix, and Reforge the Soul (much less four of all of them).


As Travis explains in his article, he built this list to be budget friendly, as Modern is a difficult format to get into. I don't know if his stated goal was to go as deep as possible, but he may have succeeded. The two main engines in the deck are Pyromancer Ascension and Spellweaver Helix, which are inevitably the centerpieces of any deck they are a part of.

Both these cards work with Faithless Looting and Wild Guess, as well as Reforge the Soul, although it's more accurate to see Ascension as the engine that ideally gets you to the Spellweaver Helix activation. You can easily trigger Ascension with all the card draw, four-ofs, and Rituals, plus Flame Jabs for extra consistency. Once Ascension is going, casting Worldfire can be trivial, after which all you need is a single Flame Jab to finish things off.

Spellweaver Helix is a way to shortcut much of that process, and when combined with all the discard, makes it fairly simple (as simple as a Spellweaver Helix deck is capable of being, at least) to cast Worldfire. Discard Worldfire and any cheap spell, Helix your opponent, then cast another copy of the cheap spell and you've caught the world on fire. Once again, Flame Jab is the preferred method of finishing things from there.

A big part of this deck's strategy is how it plays after sideboarding. The twelve cards that Travis plans to bring in frequently are four each of Young Pyromancer, Empty the Warrens, and Goblin Bushwhacker. Swapping out the Worldfire-Helix plan for the token plan can catch opponents by surprise, and change the angle of attack entirely. The deck may still be vulnerable to anti-storm cards, but it now dodges graveyard cards, artifact removal, and enchantment removal. A swarm of Goblins and Elementals is not hard to generate, and a Bushwhacker later and the match might be over.

Travis Woo's Budget Worldfire

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