I've been wanting to build a deck around Young Pyromancer and Risen Reef for some time. For those unaware of the interaction, Risen Reef triggers for any Elemental and Young Pyromancer generates Elemental tokens. The effect is a pseudo-Skullclamp that "draws" one card but does not require mana and allows you to keep the creature in play, quickly building towards a lethal army. Oh, and it stacks, which gets pretty crazy. Additionally, Risen Reef cantrips and pitches to Force of Will, making it much less of a dead draw without Young Pyromancer compared to Skullclamp. The deck below is my first attempt at building around this interaction.

And it started off well. I had a lot of fun playing the deck on stream, put up a decent 7-3 record, and posted it to my twitter. User abr took the list and won a trophy soon after. It's well positioned against BUG and many other Blue control decks because of the "go-wide" strategy of Young Pyromancer and the value engine of Risen Reef that bypasses Leovold and Narset. It likely doesn't have a great matchup against Dredge and Shops give the speed of those decks and the lack of great tools for those matchups, but there aren't a ton of those decks in leagues (leagues are more similar to an FNM) and sometimes you get lucky.

Explanation of Card Choices

  • Chandra, Acolyte of Flame - This card is very good in this deck. You want some sort of a Snapcaster or JVP effect to recast Time Walk and one shot your opponent with Elemental tokens. Chandra has the added benefit of creating more Elementals when Risen Reef is in play and drawing 2-4 cards per activation. She can also pick off Narsets and Teferis if needed. Chandra is a unique combination of attributes of both Snapcaster Mage and JVP. I think she should see more play but the double red has certainly limited the shells in which that is possible, while the three drop Walkers have provided a lot of competition.

  • I honestly am not a huge fan of Spell Pierce in this metagame and generally prefer Daze and Force of Negation in that slot. The problem is that the format is very tempo-based and holding up Spell Pierce often means delaying your own game plan on the chance that the opponent plays a spell worth Spell Piercing. And you can easily get burned when that spell is a Leovold instead of a Narset or Deathrite Shaman instead of a Preordain. Daze and Force of Negation don't require holding up mana while Pyroblast still has removal properties (you can hit a Leovold after it resolves though it is certainly worse to do so). That's in addition to the huge difference in play/draw utility of the card.

  • Veil of Summer - I think most of the other maindeck inclusions are pretty reasonable. Veil of the Summer might seem odd, but in the context of BUG being 50% of recent top 8's I think it makes a lot of sense. Veil of Summer is one of the few counterspells for Abrupt Decay AND IT DRAWS A CARD. It's not as good as a proactive counter but since Young Pyromancer is one of the key cards for beating BUG, protecting it is paramount and Veil of Summer is the best card at doing that.

  • Sideboard - I really wish I had more Dredge and Shops hate. As it is, Ravenous Trap is probably the best Tormod Crypt effect and I like Cage over Leyline since I can't always protect or cast Leyline and don't have the Wastelands and DRS for incidental hate. Ideally I can protect or resolve Cage with Missteps, Pyroblast, Veil, etc. and contain Hollow Ones with the Pyromancers. Against Shops, I lack the Green count to effectively run Force of Vigor, so the best removal spell available to me is Shattering Spree. Collector Ouphe is the best Rod effect. If I had more slots, something like Mindbreak Trap or Force of Negation would be valuable as a way to protect from turn 1 brokenness since I can't play Force of Vigor.

"I've been wanting to build a deck around Young Pyromancer and Risen Reef for some time."

That is a classic Chubby quote.

Deck looks fun.

Feels like you should just have black in there. DRS, Decay/Trophy, maybe DT and Will? DRS and Trophy probably give you enough to rock a pair of FoV as well.

Chandra seems like it should definitely be a 4-of due to the massive synergy with Reef and just being a good card.

Elementals might have some additional marginal value to make the borderline ones playable too. Like Ingot Chewer, and something like Storm Entity.

I really like this approach and the deck looked sweet in stream-action. But it suffers from the same problem all fair blue decks but BUG do in the moment: Your first games against Shops and Dredge are nearly unwinnable and the hate out of the board is not enough and not good enough. I so hope for some regulating moves on Monday to free great innovation like that.

last edited by Tom Bombadil

Have been playing this a lot lately, and just wanted to share my thoughts.

Chandra is definitely fine as a 2-of. The card I feel like I want more of often is Veil of Summer, but I'd also like to find room for an Ancient Grudge in the main. I put one in the SB too. I might shift things around and move a Flusterstorm from the main (I subbed 2x Fluster, 1x Spell Pierce for the Missteps) and put a Grudge main and that might be great.

Still, I love this deck quite a bit. I have had some really insane games with it, and it snowballs really quickly.

I'm still having fun with the deck list. It might not be the most competitive thing in the world but...

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@chubbyrain how are you felling overall with Misdirection over Force of Negation?

@fsecco it seems to be in addition to some number of FoN, judging by his graveyard

@fsecco Was running one of each. So far, I've hated the Misdirection. But it's limited sample size of 10 matches without actually Misdirecting a single spell. The was one instance where I would have blown out my opponent by Misdirecting an Abrupt Decay targeting a Dreadhorde Arcanist onto a Deathrite Shaman (I knew they had it because of a Probe), but they didn't hit their land drop...


I went to 2 MisDs myself, and I generally always have it when they have Ancestral, but I remembered an old tactic last night: Before Mental Misstep, the better play was to actually allow Ancestral to resolve even if you had a FoW. (Since Force and blue card is usually more valuable than 3 random cards on top of your opponent's deck). Just something to think about. Not sure if the format will play out the same way.

@chubbyrain Cool. I've been thinking FoN sounds way better not only because it has more targets, but because it exiles the countered spell, and is also way more hardcastable. If Abrupt becomes prominent though, packing Misdirection seems good.

I posted a 5-0 on this deck today, with the following list / setup:

I also wrote a short guide for it on my Patreon (must be subbed to view):

Long story short, I am in love with this deck. lol.

This deck is fun to play. Just wanted to add that. Thanks for brewing it!

@megantic said in ChubbyBrews: RUG Elementals:

This deck is fun to play. Just wanted to add that. Thanks for brewing it!

Comments like this are one of the reasons I enjoy brewing so much. You are very welcome. Kudos to Volrath for his continued piloting and promotion of the deck and congrats on a well deserved trophy. 🏆 🐠

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