5/26/2010 BoaB: "Surreal Ascension"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Building on a Budget, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Who wants to bet this is Surreal memoir +Pyromancer Ascension? Maybe Vengeful Rebirth as a finsher?
How is Time Warp a budget card? There used to be a price breakdown of the expensive cards, what happened to that? If I was going to spend 12-15 on a card I'd get some malestrom pulses and finish off my jund deck
huh, I honestly didn't think that the Time warp loop was possible, but if you did it on modo, I guess it is.
I would have killed, literally ended someones life, to NOT have Arrogant Bloodlord riding a giant ant... Good times:
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but where DID the other fork come from?
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Lord_Zed: I was at my friends house when this happened. He's married and his wife was an excellent baker. She had baked a homemade apple pie the night before. I was hungry, and my friend convinced me to try those low carb monster drinks. Before this day, I had never triend energy drinks before. Boy was I in for a treat. When I tried that first monster, I really enjoyed the flavor, but the taste that it left in my mouth wasn't so good. What was my solution? Drink another! before I could finish drinking that 2nd monster, I felt it already kicking in(these drinks were not very far apart, we're talking minutes here) my friend decided that it was a good idea to whip out that fresh pie his wife made the night before. I didn't know what to do, since I felt incredibly invigorated, and at the same time, freaked out by the rush I was feeling, but I was also hungry, and my friend have me an entire plate with a fork and said "help yourself." He extended his saucer to me, and I cut him a piece of the pie and handed it to him, then I looked at the pie, noticed that the pie was in an aluminum holder, and dumped the entire pie onto my plate and started eating it with 2 forks. I don't know where I found that other fork, it probably came from my friend. Anyhow, his wife wasn't happy, and I was already in magical christmas land. 2 days later, I was in my friends bed and I slept for 14 hours. His wife outlawed my from having any of her baked goods for a while(which sucked because I could just show up at there house, steal some sweets, and leave) and said I couldn't have any energy drinks at her house, unless under close watch. My friend, on the other hand, had to take me out to a steak dinner, because apparently I won a bet where I climbed a tree and didn't die.
The great land debate:
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97563441 wrote:
Zendikar had fetchlands, and Worldwake had manlands. What are the new Scars duals called?
61325265 wrote:
Explosive Peanut Lightning lands. Well, that's just what I call them.
61325265 wrote:
58232598 wrote:
i'm just trying to figure out what the point of saying this is. it's just really random.
And so the pot met the kettle.
huh, I honestly didn't think that the Time warp loop was possible, but if you did it on modo, I guess it is.



well the time warp loop should be possible, but dont trust MODO...that thing is buggy as all!  Though I kinda have to agree, the deck looks meh.  Its not a bad idea, just infinite turn combos personally are lame, i prefer the one big turn combos, and again with time warp...the card is roughly 10-15 tickets a pop.  Sure its budget compared to the rest of standard but sadly i dont think a deck like this would survive past the first few rounds in an event anyways.
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
I don't think Time Warp is a budget friendly card in the slightest, ATM. Going for *how* many tickets on MtGO, and *how* much money per single IRL? Granted it's better than asking for a fetch land or a planeswalker but... unless I see some more consistent playtest results, I don't know if I wanna buy 4 Time Warps just yet.

With that nitpick aside, I LOVE the idea of this deck. That ascension, I think, is one of the more underated (well, at least amongst my friends) and the use of rebound to get it going intrigues me ever so much. My main suspicion is the consistency of this deck plays, and my main gripe is Time Warp. *shrug*
How does Survival Cache activate Ascension? Is it not still on the stack 2nd time it resolves?

Looks like a fun deck to me, though. 
If you have a survival cache already in the graveyard it activates for being cast when you cast it, and when it gets cast again on the upkeep.
If you have a survival cache already in the graveyard it activates for being cast when you cast it, and when it gets cast again on the upkeep.



this is true for any rebound spell though, so I think he mentioned survival cache for this specifically because the first copy can potentially draw into the second copy.

Also, Naya Charm + Surreal Memoir can potentially get back any card in your graveyard every turn, assuming you dont have more than one or two instants in the graveyard.  Potential engine there (like the old hana kami / soulless revival engine from Gifts).
AHHH!!! I built a very similar deck a couple weeks ago! I'm going to play it at a store tourney.... wish it hadn't been put up here this week...
But it did give some food for thought.... mine is naya colored with DoJ, path, and staggershock... who needs infinite turns when you can just burn your opponent out. With Captured Sunlight, Survival Cache, and Naya Charm lasting an extra turn is never a problem.

Though blue does offer many more SB options for against control... What would people suggest for cards vs control in the SB in naya colors? I thought Pithing Needle and Oblivion Ring might be the best options...
Grow old or die trying.
Congratulations for this new, innovative and fun deck !
It's a bit of a mixed bag, this.  And I don't just mean the Time Warps, since you could argue that it's a staple for several strategies and thus worth the investment.  That's not a given for every player. 

On the plus side, it's a Pyromancer Ascension deck with a very neat playstyle.  I actually thought Naya Charm only returned creatures...but as it stands, it's ludicrous in the deck.  I had hoped we wouldn't see the man go about the beaten path and do a 'mere' U/R Pyromancer Ascension deck, and I guess the four-colour infinite turn combo more than suffices in terms of originality. 

What I don't like about the deck is the fact that it only runs two Surreal Memoir, which was supposed to be the key card in the deck.  Granted, it makes fine use of the card when it's drawn, and it has enough card draw to ensure it being drawn, but I can't help but think that it feels...off.  It's like he had this deck lying around, and just threw in Surreal Memoir to oil the gears.  It's hard to explain.  I guess it's more to do with expectations than anything else.  It should be called 'Rebound Ascension', not 'Surreal Ascension'. 

That said, it looks very good and very fun.  The only thing I can think of to add is Silence, and that's probably not a budget card. 
huh, I honestly didn't think that the Time warp loop was possible, but if you did it on modo, I guess it is.

It only works if he has two Naya Charms. The copy gets back the one that's already in the graveyard.
I'm sure this deck is a blast of fun to play against once he starts taking infinite turns !
I have built a few Pyromancer Ascension decks so far, and they are very fun to play, though fold quite fast if you do not draw said Ascension. I was able to have game against some top decks with it, but only if I could find the Ascensions. 
Admittedly, I have never tried with Time Warp (I played Naya both times for the Naya Charms and easier manabase). A friend of mine was trying the Time Warp version (before the rebounding shenanigans were available) and he just couldn't get it to work consistently.
I just may give this a go, but without the budget restraints (Fetchlands mainly), though I am unsure how many of each to fit in, will have to fiddle with the list.
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infinite turns of watching someone basically play mana and recast the combo is kind of boring...i would have just gone the burn route instead, simpler and doesnt waste so much of the opponents time.  If you noticed neither player stuck around to see the deck go off, because must players dont want to waste the time
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
infinite turns of watching someone basically play mana and recast the combo is kind of boring...i would have just gone the burn route instead, simpler and doesnt waste so much of the opponents time.  If you noticed neither player stuck around to see the deck go off, because must players dont want to waste the time


Back in the days of Stasis a very famous match took place in which the Stasis player sideboarded OUT his win conditions.  His opponent didn't know that he didn't have a way to actually win the game.  The Stasis player boarded in more ways to force the Stasis lock.  So, in game 2, the Stasis player dropped the lock, and the opponent conceded.  That's a match win by a smart player making a very calculated bluff.  Most people once they see that you have an infinite turn combo will just concede, especially on Magic Online where that requires SO MANY clicks to make it happen.  They will 'cede just to save time.

I would say that in some (only some) instances the correct move would be to sideboard out your Banefire for more hate on your opponents deck.  Then, you let them 'cede you the victory.
What a lot of people dont know is that if you hit F6 on your keyboard, it automatically clicks OK for you for an entire turn.

It speeds the game up tremendously.  I hate playing against someone, they play a first turn tapped land, then proceed to click through every phase.  F2 also hits okay for you rather than having to move your mouse over.

You'll mess up with it a few times, like hitting F6 and forgetting you had an instant to play before your opponent declares attackers.  But eventually you get the hang of it.

Also, if you have creatures out, and hit F6, it will automatically skip to the combat phase. 

If you hit F6 and didnt mean to, you can still right click on your screen and select "undo auto yields" and it will give you back your priorities, that is, unlessy our opponenet hits F6 too Cool
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I saw this deck except it was just Naya colours and used Violent Outburst and Bloodbraid Elf to cascade into PAscension. It also used Staggershock to burn them to death. Time Warp shouldn't be in there at all, it's way too expensive.
What a lot of people dont know is that if you hit F6 on your keyboard, it automatically clicks OK for you for an entire turn.

It speeds the game up tremendously.  I hate playing against someone, they play a first turn tapped land, then proceed to click through every phase.  F2 also hits okay for you rather than having to move your mouse over.

You'll mess up with it a few times, like hitting F6 and forgetting you had an instant to play before your opponent declares attackers.  But eventually you get the hang of it.

Also, if you have creatures out, and hit F6, it will automatically skip to the combat phase. 

If you hit F6 and didnt mean to, you can still right click on your screen and select "undo auto yields" and it will give you back your priorities, that is, unlessy our opponenet hits F6 too



THANK YOU! I knew about the f6 thing but didn't think you can undo it.
f3 also cancels f6
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
infinite turns of watching someone basically play mana and recast the combo is kind of boring...i would have just gone the burn route instead, simpler and doesnt waste so much of the opponents time.  If you noticed neither player stuck around to see the deck go off, because must players dont want to waste the time


Back in the days of Stasis a very famous match took place in which the Stasis player sideboarded OUT his win conditions.  His opponent didn't know that he didn't have a way to actually win the game.  The Stasis player boarded in more ways to force the Stasis lock.  So, in game 2, the Stasis player dropped the lock, and the opponent conceded.  That's a match win by a smart player making a very calculated bluff.  Most people once they see that you have an infinite turn combo will just concede, especially on Magic Online where that requires SO MANY clicks to make it happen.  They will 'cede just to save time.

I would say that in some (only some) instances the correct move would be to sideboard out your Banefire for more hate on your opponents deck.  Then, you let them 'cede you the victory.



depending on if you play in the casual room, players will concede before even realizing you dont have a win con...so why bother lol, just through in another more beneficial card
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
A great card for this deck is Rite of Replication.  Its really fun to have an active Ascension, then cast a kicked Rite of Rep creating 10 copies of your opponents Baneslayer Angel =D.
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I'm both chaotic and orderly. I value my own principles, and am willing to go to extreme lengths to enforce them, often trampling on the very same principles in the process. At best, I'm heroic and principled; at worst, I'm hypocritical and disorderly.
A great card for this deck is Rite of Replication.  Its really fun to have an active Ascension, then cast a kicked Rite of Rep creating 10 copies of your opponents Baneslayer Angel =D.



O_o this deck with it's suggestions is reminding me of how rediculous legacy and combo is XD
w00t hit my 1000th post on 4/25/2010
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56859838 wrote:
Well obviously goblins breed at a rate of millions of times per year, thus in a few years they had evolved into a new species... you know or....
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63344365 wrote:
Your asking for proof that the ocean is wet, while your standing on the beach.
56733088 wrote:
Are these rankings all anonymus? Can I go rank everybody I think is mafia with 1 star?
•Collecting a complete foil set of Zendikar block both on Magic Online and in paper Magic does not entitle you to one (1) free Richard Garfield. Because that would be slavery, and slavery is bad.
slayer of fluffy, and single handedly annoyed half of the flavor/storyline group in one fell swoop[/sblock]
The list I run is better designed to hunt through your deck to find those Ascensions.  Without them, you just have bunch of random cards.

The bone-wand is nice, but takes a while to get activated, and banefire is just all around better.

4 Harrow
4 Explore
4 Pyromancer's Ascension
4 Timewarp
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Rite of Replication
4 See Beyond
4 Ponder
1 Banefire
4 Broodbirthing - Supermana ramp, GO!
1 Emrakul
1 Ulamog

The draw cards are just better IMO than rebounders, because it draws you into more draw cards to trigger ascension sooner. 

Also, one or two raging ravines are really great to put in here, as they cant be replicated, creating a bunch of lands that can be turned into attackers, or provide mana.   Yes this works if you cast ravine when it is animated.

Also, if you have an active ascension, harrow only requires one land sac, as the copy requires the cost to not be played.  Very fun to get four untapped lands for a 3 mana investment =D
I am Red/White
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both chaotic and orderly. I value my own principles, and am willing to go to extreme lengths to enforce them, often trampling on the very same principles in the process. At best, I'm heroic and principled; at worst, I'm hypocritical and disorderly.
I can't tell you how many different versions of Pyromancer Ascension decks I've built (it's a lot, in multiple formats). But I can tell you that I really don't like the four color version. The mana base is shaky (especially when many decks have Spreading Seas in the maindeck) and it is significantly more vulnerable to graveyard hate than other versions (which will be more common now thanks to Vengevine). I've had the most success with a straight UR list (featuring Comet Storms) and a Grixis build (with Blightnings and Cruel Ultimatums). One of the best ways I've found to fight Blightning decks is with your own Blightnings. These versions are also somewhat less reliant on actually having an Ascension to win (although it's certainly much easier to do so with one).

I don't think Survival Cache is reliable enough to use as the deck's primary source of card advantage. It's too easy for aggro decks to get some early damage in, or just Bolt your dome in response. I suppose gaining life against them is pretty good, but I really like drawing cards reliably.

Surreal Memoir is interesting, though. I'll definitely try it out in the UR list.
Sphinx-Bone Wand

O.O  Holy freaking crap, you're right!
When I goldfished this earlier today (I was short a Naya Charm so I added an Ulamog), I found myself casting a retarded number of spells.  I'd probably add one of each greater Eldrazi, just in case of mill.  Banefire isn't entirely necessary once you start looping your Bolts with Memoir and Charm.  Drawing that first Ascension is Hell, though, and I dislike winding up with 10+ cards in my library that are useless without basic land left.

Edit: Oh yeah, and I'd recommend 4 Swerve, 4 Spell Pierce etc in sideboard.
I love this deck. Congratulations Jacob, your articles have improved 100% in the past months.
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57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
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56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
If I am not mistaken, you do not get 10 copies off of (active)Pyromancer Ascention + (kicked)Rite of Replication, because you do not kick the copies.  Correct me if I am wrong.

The Surreal Memoir is difficult to play 4 of because it costs 4 mana, in a deck that runs 22 lands and 8 saclands that 'thin' your library.  I personally think this deck might need some fetches, but that might make your Survival Caches 'fizzle' more frequently, and you will need to find other card draw...

As for going off, I typically make use of Rule 714 in the Comp, which allows me to take some arbitrary amount of decisions exactly the same way each time, assuming your opponent doesn't want to truncate the shortcut.

As for the F6 shortcut, that looks like it can set up some awesome bluffs for whether you have countermagic/removal/etc. or not...
You are wrong, so let me correct you...

Copy effects copy all choices made when a spell is cast, so if you chose to kick it, then the Ascension copies that fact and you get 10 tokens...

I dislike the fact that this deck plays explore and harrow and only 22 lands... In goldfishing, i noticed that i wasn't playing a second land when i cast explore about half the time... I think in order to maximize the effectiveness of explore the list needs at least 24 lands, particularly with all the card draw we currently have...  survival cache, while having rebound is cool with ascension, is a bit too conditional, and not so great after the thrid turn, and even then it is too late...
Love the deck! Agreed about survival cache, too conditional, and removing it allows us to cut fog and add see beyond and.. drumroll... Captured Sunlight!  Yes this card has great synergies with the deck, and if its cast with an active Ascenscion your playing 6 spells for the price of 1! (2 copies of Sunlight, then 2 copies twice of whatever you cascade into, card draw or naya charm to start the engine).  Ive also cut banefire completely, if your taking infinite turns just use lightning bolt a few times!
There is also a problem with your idea... Pyromancers Ascension and other effects that copy spells only copy them once they are on the stack... Copying a spell doesn't activate any cast triggers eg Cascade or Rebound...

Captured sunlight does look like a really good idea though...
There is also a problem with your idea... Pyromancers Ascension and other effects that copy spells only copy them once they are on the stack... Copying a spell doesn't activate any cast triggers eg Cascade or Rebound...

Captured sunlight does look like a really good idea though...



Right, except Ascension isn't copying cascade, its copying Captured Sunlight.  Sunlight is cast, triggering the copy.  The first copy triggers its cascade into whatever spell, which is then copied by Ascension.  Those two spells resolve, the first cascade resolves gaining 4 life, then the original copy of Sunlight triggers its cascade into whatever spell, which is copied, those resolve, then the original Sunlight resolves gaining 4 life.  6 spells, 1 card. :P


706.9. To copy a spell or activated ability means to put a copy of it onto the stack; a copy of a spell isn’t cast and a copy of an activated ability isn’t activated.

The copy of Captured Sunlight isn't cast, so its cascade doesn't trigger, since cascade triggers only when you cast the spell.  In the end, you would end up with two Captured Sunlights and two of whatever the original Captured Sunlight cascaded into.

Rebound does work though, since that is part of the resolution, not a trigger off of casting.


706.9. To copy a spell or activated ability means to put a copy of it onto the stack; a copy of a spell isn’t cast and a copy of an activated ability isn’t activated.

The copy of Captured Sunlight isn't cast, so its cascade doesn't trigger, since cascade triggers only when you cast the spell.  In the end, you would end up with two Captured Sunlights and two of whatever the original Captured Sunlight cascaded into.

Rebound does work though, since that is part of the resolution, not a trigger off of casting.




Ah interesting, sorry for the bad info!  I still like the card in a lot of matchups however, and I still prefer it to Survival Cache.
I'm considdering this list for an upcoming tourney:

Do people mostly think I should turn the cache's into divinations?  I think the life should be pretty relevant, and in this meta Fog/Naya Charm/Lightning Bolt should be good at preserving the life total.  Thoughts?

I found the Fog's going to the sideboard.  I also removed the four casting cost rebound from the deck altogether.  It simply didn't return the cards I wanted except by chance.  At 4 mana, I needed to save my bacon not "maybe" save my bacon.

With the extra cards space, more card draw and direct burn ended up in my version. 

Works great. 
Considering giving this deck a go, but i am wondering, if you had that 4th Time Warp, what would you take out of the original deck?
So I played the original version and found the same cards to be useless to me.  I also experienced the same troubles over & over again. 

First:  Surreal Memoir is not viable in the deck.  Every game where I had one in my hand or had to play it, I lost. 

Second: The mana base is way too low for games 2 & 3.   24 lands minimum is needed to fight out the deck once your opponent knows what to stop. 

Third: Banefire is useless.  Popping 3 to 5 lightning bolts a turn at your opponent's face is generally enough to kill him.

Fourth: the Bridge Clubbing of the accession.  I've literally had to draw & Peek 40+ cards to SEE my first ascension.  No fetch makes card draw very importantant as well as the ability to lay aside the cards you don't need. 

With only the first point modified, I added in card draw via See Beyond.  I still had 22 lands and the banefires.  This card helped get me through semi good Ponder's and also get to the cards I wanted.  I also had the opportunity to get the needed "two of" the same card to set up the counters on the P.A.   In maind deck game one they work fine.  For game 2 & 3 they ALWAYS come out.  Consequently I think that they are one of the weaker changes.  Play them and see, but personally, I'd rather have more mana to power out the rest of the deck.

Onwards, I tested without any Fog for maindeck. I also took out the Banefire.  Seriously, the BF is not needed.  Bolts are good enough.  With those cards removed, I added in the 4th Time Warp and 2 lands.  Also making the cut from the deck was the Surreal Ascension.

Together this is what my later revisions looked like: 
Out: 2 surreal ascension, IN 2 more lands to total upwards to 24 lands.
Out: Banefire.  IN 4th Time warp.
Out: 4 Fog.  IN 4 Staggershock.


GAMEPLAY.  I took my deck to Canada with me on a business trip.  Unfortunetly, I took it kind of scattered amongst boxes.  Missing were my 4 dual lands to hit the business end of curve, leaving me in fetch mode most of the games.  I also 'left behind' my 4 Naturalize,  4 Negates, 4 Path to Exile and 3 Day of Judgements for my sideboard. .  With my Sideboard still in Atlanta, I decided to whip a sb together from cards from other decks.  Needless to say, my sideboard SUCKED. 

But of interest is how the deck played.  There were 4 rounds.  I never won the coin-toss and always played second.  Twice I had to mulligan to 6 due to 1 land hands.  In game 2 & 3 of those four matches (8 more games) I would be forced to mulligan to 5 cards once and twice to 6 cards.  Hitting 5 mulligans in 12 games really sucked.  
Even when mulliganing to 6 cards on game one in two matches, I won EVERY game 1 I played.  After the tourney I would play my deck against others there.  In every instance, this deck won game 1.  
But after sideboarding game 2 & 3 went to my opponents in 3 matches. I won my last match of the evening against a weak designed decks.  

GAME 1 is an auto win against MOST decks. 
But Game 2 and 3 are different.  It is the sideboard and method of play that wrecks game 2 and 3.  Once UW control & WW brings in their enchantment elimination and negates, you've got to modify your play style.  Ideally in game 2 and 3 you'd run creature elimination as they're going to drop BSA and Shroud out as fast as possible.  Hitting a DoJ is key to survival.  At the same time getting your P.A. to stay for longer than a moment is extremely difficult.  Putting a P.A. out without protection is risking it all in hopes your opponent can't exile it via instant removal, counter it via NEgate, naturalize it, or oblivion ring it.  Oblivion Rings ruined most of my P.A. that got through counters.  
I will say this, If I got to untap with a P.A. on the board, I won.  Which really makes me want to get a free turn the same turn I cast out my P.A.   For Time Warp, Pyromancers Ascension and backing up the P.A. with a Negate for game 2 requires that you have 9 mana open and available.  9 mana means I must play 24 or more lands (I am leaning towards 26) and have means to accelerate it out.  The other avenue to get a free turn is give up a card draw to your opponent to use Magosi, the Waterveil only to see it turn to a Island or otherwise be targeted by Tectonic Edge.

I like the deck a lot but after being wearing my butt for a hat for all those game 2 and 3's, I feel the more mana approach with GREAT elimination is needed.  Swarms of little creatures die easily enough to Bolts and rebounds, but this deck WANTS TO RUN All Is Dust.  It wants it in the sideboard instead of Fog. It wants it with DoJ.  That takes the deck out of budget range ($15 for the All is Dust and $7 for DoJ adds up quickly).  But if you're trying to make it a winner of a design, consider the cards.  

The other approach I plan on Playtesting in a week or so is to add Recurring Insight along with  treasure hunt.   The deck will be mostly BLUE with 
26 lands
Ponder (4), Treasure hunt(4), Reoccuring Insight (4), Time Warp (3), 
lightning Bolt (4)
staggershock (4)
pyromancer ascension (4)
naya charm (4)
survival cache (3)

With All is Dust, Negate, PTE and DoJ in the sideboard.  

I have a strong suspicion that hitting the land drops to RI or just having the mana to gain life and card draw should get you to your goal of a single turn Pyromancer Ascension, Ponder, Lightning Bolt and Time Warp (two free turns).   

last comment:  Staggershock killing your opponent's vampire or weenie on turn 3 generally will keep him from casting into the Staggershock on his turn 3.  (assuming you are going first).  This gives you a completely free turn Survival cache or Treasure Hunt to draw big cards.  Your turn 5 quickly has you seeing 2 to 4 cards more than you otherwise could have due to the Staggershock slowing them down a complete turn.