So this guy sleeves up Splinter Twin, just regular old Blue / Red Splinter Twin. The LGS is teeming with Modernos. With the PPTQs this weekend and Grand Prix Charlotte coming up, everyone is getting reps in where they can. And this guy was happy to test out the purest form of his decks strategy and oblige his opponents a few rumbles under the Tuesday Brooklyn lights.

He fights to a 3-1 finish, his best local finish since he stretched out his Modern Muscles a few weeks ago. He liked watching people shatter pause as they telegraphed their lack of an answer. He liked how closely his opponents had to watch and respect his mana. And he loved snap-bolting most of his foes and attacking with dinky fliers. He beat the mirror and even attacked with Keranos, God of Storms to win his last match.

This somebody is me. Hi. I’m Pyromanical Man. I delight in casting Lightning Bolt. I am the butterfly to the moth encased in Abrupt Decay. He has ruminated, and from the paste a metamorphases into what could approximate one of the Vendilion Clique mafia, eyes insect-black, smiling cold and dark before erupting into a billion copies, their war-needles poised strong and deliberate.

Yeah, Clique is legendary. But his friends aren’t, and you never see ’em coming. They hide in the sun glare on your pupils; silent and looming, like an invisible locust swarm that excites itself on the surprise.

He also had to play Blood Moon, which could be his least favortie card in the Modern format. This may be due to his previous slew of Abzan mana bases, where a singular Blood Moon often weighted the scale instantly away. So his Blood Moons shut off one of his opponents and threatened to shut off two others across the night, making them dance in the manner he needed to win games. He liked his new moonshine: he poured it across the flat lands and burned them with his Pyromaniacal magic.


With flame singed in his mind, he sat at the Dojo table ready to draft against the monstrous forces of old school mindreaver Danny OMS, Dylan “The Kid”, and Papa Longo himself. Pyromaniacal Man opened a decent pack without a powerful rare or uncommon. The echoes of blood and lightning still within, he recruited the Springting Warbrute and passed the pack. He then chose Flatten over Epic Confrontation. The packs gave poor signals pack one, and he was an even split in Jund colors at the end of it. Pack two things became clear, no one was in Red/Black, and he scooped up a pack full of dash creatures gleefully.

When you open Pyrotechnics and get passed Pyrotechnics, suddenly everything becomes winnable. He rounded out his deck and converged with his team to discuss the draft.

Two Snaps

Creatures (15)
Typhoid Rats
Humble Defector
Smoldering Efreet
Ambuscade Shaman
Screamreach Brawler
Hooded Assasssin
Minister of Pain
Gore Swine
Sprinting Warbrute
Defiant Ogre
Gurmag Angler

Spells (7)
Twin Bolt
Kolaghan’s Command
Foul Tongue Invocation
Deadly Wanderings

Land (18)

Sure, his curve was less than ideal, about two 2 drops short, but he could play catch up like no one else at the table. The matches were swift, the games decidedly won or lost, and finished 2-1, losing to Dylan “The Kid” and his Green/White deck.

The train ride home, and then the long walk through the park, he felt the blood and the lightning lust that he had denied for so long in his veins, his heart.

Derek Gallen lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York.

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