Since this summer's SCGCon, many Xerox players have lept away from Sperlingesque RUG Pyromancer to Arcanist builds, per Justin Franks's 2nd place list. Some other examples:

What do we attribute this to? Following Justin Franks's high profile finish at SCGCon? Just wanting to try new cards? Arcanist being that good? A meta shift making these better positioned?

All of the above, really. Arcanist is excellent in the blue mirrors, and great against survival to flash back your bolts and plows.

I played Arcanist Xerox in Leagues for most of May with success (lots of 4-1’s) including a match in Mid-May against Justin (which I won).

I predicted lots of Arcanist in top 8s in our podcast set review of war of the spark. I’m just surprised it took so long to catch on. Arcanist is basically my favorite type of card ever, an Ophidian for Grow. It’s good on defense and generating card advantage.

I do think that 4 is too many though. I like playing with 3.

I agree. A friend of mine has been testing it for some time and i played against it (i was on stax shop). The card is really solid and give a sense of inevitability if one can't deal with it quickly.

I've been playing pretty much only Jeskai Arcanist since WAR came out, and I think that in a shell with Mentor and multiple Pyromancers, Skullclamp has potential to be a valuable 1-of.

Skullclamp lets you replay Time Walk (and Merchant Scroll in a pinch) with Arcanist, and explode after making just one Monk/Elemental token. I had a game where I had only an Arcanist in play and my opponent (at 20 life) cheated in Emrakul and passed the turn. I had Time Walk in my graveyard and Skullclamp in play. I untapped, drew Mentor, and won on my Time Walk turn. Snapcaster or JVP wouldn't have worked here--I needed the insane card draw as well as the Time Walk.

In plenty of other games, I've gone turn 1: cantrip + mox + skullclamp, turn 2: pyro + cantrip, turn 3: draw 4-6 cards. It gets even better when you factor in casting counterspells.

These anecdotes shouldn't convince anyone to run Skullclamp, but I think the card merits testing.

As an aside, in a token-heavy list, Saheeli, Sublime Artificer may also warrant a look...

@slimvesus there used to be some skullclamps around with ur pyromancer. Maybe it's really worth getting back to it.

I have tested URw Arcanist Xerox quite a bit as well. Arcanist definately pushes this archetype on a new level, offering constant and costfree card advantage it didn't have before. It has games against almost all of the major archetypes in the moment, Karn, BUG, Survival, but still struggles with Dredge. I am working on a more hatefull version with maindeck Wastelands and/or Containment Priest/Pithing Needle, but didn't find the perfect constellation yet. Another option would be to add black, as Matt did in one Challenge. But Mentor and Swords to Plowshares are probably too much of a loss.

last edited by Tom Bombadil

Cheers y'all. I'm gonna be playing Snapcaster/Pyromancer Xerox at our event next weekend, but after that I'll dick around with some Arcanist builds. My hesitation about it Arcanist is that it doesn't feel like a control card, but the results speak for themselves.

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