As is often the case in Modern, cards have a pretty tough time breaking into the format. But the perfect time to try out something new is after a ban or unban, and since we actually got both of those things this time around, #SCGDFW was prime brewing space. One person took full advantage of that space, innovating a "dead" archetype after Faithless Looting got the axe.
Look familiar? You might have seen something similar running around Modern over the last few years. Gerry Thompson took this style of deck to a second-place finish at Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan, and plenty of pilots have found themselves in the winner's circle with Mardu Pyromancer, a primarily Rakdos-based deck featuring a bunch of removal, discard, and a few creatures that pair nicely with that type of strategy.
So what's changed?
First of all, Faithless Looting getting banned means Lingering Souls is significantly worse. And since Lingering Souls was the only white card in most Mardu Pyromancer maindecks, it seems pretty easy to cut the color entirely. With the printing of Seasoned Pyromancer to go wide instead, we get to stick to two colors.
Young Pyromancer is also absent from this list, and the reason is mostly the same. The planeswalkers don't trigger it and lacking Faithless Looting and Lingering Souls means you have fewer instants and sorceries to make those Elemental tokens. The deck just doesn't have the same velocity when it comes to casting a bunch of cheap spells virtually every turn, and most of those spells are no longer entirely desirable.
Faithless Looting always led to one or two turns a match that showcased just how busted it could be. Not only does it develop your weaker hands in the early turns, all while turning on some of your graveyard-related synergy, but it also prevented flooding in the late-game. That helped ensure Young Pyromancer always had food to eat. Now we have to approach from a different angle.