UW Tron

  • #1
    UW Tron Primer


    First of all, my thanks to Tom for his patience and for allowing me to make this Primer for the deck, it couldn't even start without him. A big "Thank You" to darksteel88 for his precious help in this Primer. There's as much information from darksteel88 as there is mine, so this will only go as well as this because of him. And of course, to all the posters in the older and the current discussion topics. Thank you for keeping this deck and the previous topic alive, especially in a crucial time such as the upcoming season.

    What is Tron?

    Tron is a generally combo-control based deck that aims to win by amassing a ton of mana and casting something that wins the game right after. This card is usually Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, which Tron will cast from their hand, and take an extra turn. This also happens in the form of cards such as Wurmcoil Engine, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Iona, Shield of Emeria and Mindslaver. In order to play Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, the deck uses the Tron lands, which are the Urza lands, Urza's Mine, Urza's Power Plant and Urza's Tower. Urza's Mine and Urza's Power Plant both say tap for 1 colorless, or 2 colorless if you control all three, and Urza's Tower says tap for 1 colorless, or 3 colorless if you control all three; if you have all three, they generate a combined 7 mana. You're essentially playing a control deck that has one too many colorless lands to facilitate the win condition. You also have some combos that can either win the game straight up, or put the game into a commanding position.

    Why the name Tron?

    Tron is called what it is as a reference to an old show, Voltron. It had a sequence in which some robots came together to create another better one, which is what Tron does. One land is fine, two lands is better, but three lands together makes something awesome.


    Why should i choose to play UW Tron?

    Since end of Cloudpost as a mana generator in Modern, players immediatly aimed to obtain advantage of the mana capabilities of the Urza Lands (Urza's Mine, Urza's Tower, Urza's Power Plant) in order to be able to play very overpowered, but also super expensive cards. Early versions packed Sundering Titan and the Mindslaver lock, in order to punish the greedy manabases shown in Modern, or just lock some Control / Combo decks with the “all your turns are run by me now” combo and abusing the Gifts Ungiven engine in order to consistently fetch answers, like counters, removal, or even finishers. Natural evolution took the deck to new grounds, and the Eldrazi began seeing play. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn began seeing play, thanks to the Gifts package and Eye of Ugin, a land that could tutor for them consistently (and other artifact creatures). With the Eldrazi, the deck became powerful enough to have inevitability over any other deck in the format.

    But it was Luis Scott-Vargas and the Dark Ascension that pushed the deck into new and powerful ways, by adding one of the most powerful combinations available in Modern: Gifts Ungiven + Unburial Rites. Being able to run the Reanimator-like engine allowed the deck to play any creature as finisher, to simply disrupt any deck for the rest of the game, or even both. The deck gained even more power against some decks with the inclusion of that combination, generally reanimating Iona, Shield of Emeria or Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite against Combo and Aggro strategies respectively and remains one of the most powerful tools available in Modern, being used in other decks as well (4 Color Gifts Control, UWR Gifts Control and in old UWR Delver's sideboard). The deck packs lots of tools in order to win against a wide variety of decks, and it's one of the most powerful Control oriented decks available. The deck has a very good matchup (probably its best matchup) against both Melira Pod and Kiki/Naya Pod decks and White Lifegain decks, that will keep being very popular because of their resilience against Jund (especially Naya Pod and Lifegain), and being very easy and cheap to build. The deck also doesn't have a bad matchup against Jund, and it can be tuned to have a very decent edge against it post sideboard. It also doesn't have real horrible matchups against the Competitive decks in Modern while it packs several answers against a wide variety of aggressive decks, it also has winning combinations against all the current decks. Elesh Norn can wreck any Affinity, Birthing Pod, and Aggro strategy, and a resolved Iona wins against almost all single and dual colored colored decks, or decks that have their finishers in one color (Storm, for instance).
    It is also the only deck that allows us to run some of the most powerful cards Modern has to offer, without committing too much on the finishing pieces of the deck. All in all, it's the best choice you can make if you enjoy control strategies, and seek a control deck that can just win "out of nowhere", since most of its finishers really lock the game for our opponents.


    Aren't there better versions? What about
    KarnTron (RG Tron)?


    Regarding the several versions of the deck, the ones that truly see success are UW and RG Tron. UR Tron is a powerful engine with Through the Breach, but it's a lot weaker against aggressive strategies when comparing to the UW and RG versions. UB Tron has seen some online play, but it shares the same issues, making it more suitable for heavy combo / control environments, but still not as good of a choice as UW, especially by not being able to run the best removal card in Modern, Path to Exile. While RG Tron sees more play (especially a lot Online) than UW Tron, we have to take into account the difference both decks require in terms of skill, since it's much easier to play RG Tron, which has a much straightforward strategy than this deck. Also, Control decks aren't known to be the most popular decks. Still, UW Tron doesn't practically auto-lose against some decks like Splinter Twin, Storm, Scapeshift, or any combo strategy that doesn't interact with the deck. Some cards, like Sowing Salt, Blood Moon, Fulminator Mage and efficient land destruction since unlike RG Tron, this deck doesn't have to rely its strategy on assembling the Tron lands, as it can win a lot of games out of Gifts Ungiven + Unburial Rites Combo.
    All of these reasons make the deck a great choice for players running into tournaments with a heavy concentration of combo decks, or simply one of the best choices for Control players.

    How to play the deck?


    Darksteel88
    The idea of the deck is to simply stall the game until a finisher. Yes, you read that right; we’re simply stalling the game for a while. The philosophy is that if we stall, we’ll get to 15 mana at some point, with one land being an Eye so we can find Emrakul. We can also tutor for Gifts Combo to try to win like that, but it’s not always going to work, nor is it going to win certain matches. We play Remand in a control deck because it’s good at stalling the game, as odd as it seems for us. We’ll eventually get there.The first few turns are fairly obvious most of the time. You want to play a turn 1 Colonnade if you have it 95% of the time, because it comes into play tapped. I doubt you'll ever want to Path their turn 1 creature, most of them are mana accelerants and this does nothing. I’m not even a fan of hitting a first turn Goblin Guide as opposed to playing a Colonnade because the Guide can find us lands.The one time you don’t want to play a turn 1 land is when you have two different Tron lands and a Signet in hand. The upside of getting turn 3 Tron with a Signet in play is much higher than leading out with the Colonnade, because it allows you to turn 3 main phase the Gifts combo.If you don’t play a turn 1 tapped land, then you’re often looking to play a Map. Whether you’re planning to crack the map on turn 2 or not is irrelevant to the fact that you’re not going to do much else on turn 1, and you can get it in play now. You’re also not concerned with them blowing it up or anything like that, because there are much better targets for artifact removal (read: Signet).Your turn 2 play is often going to be Signet. While there are some cases where you want Remand up instead, it’s quite often the Signet. Playing it on turn 2 means you’ll likely have 4 mana on turn 3 to play Gifts on their end step, and Unburial Rites on turn 4. Powering into this combo is definitely worth it, because the combo is insane. The decks where it’s worth keeping up turn 2 Remand are Storm and sometimes Pod. You want to Remand their turn 2 Pyromancer Ascension every time, because that’s the card that kills you. You may want to stop Pod a reasonable amount of the time; it depends on your hand.
    When cracking Map, it’s worth it most of the time to wait. The one mistake most players make is cracking the Map early. If you want to find a Tron land, it’s worth waiting until you have 2/3 lands, and then finding the one for Tron. You have 8 cards that are land 2/3, but if you crack it, you’re now at 4 cards that are land 3/3, and the odds are just at a place where you should wait. It’s also used to find the Eye when you need it, but that’s usually very late in the game. That said it is sometimes worth it to crack Map early. When you’re playing a deck where Wrath is what you need, it is often worth it to find a land early. I will usually find a Seachrome Coast on turn 2 if I am doing this, because I’ll play it untapped on my turn 3. Remember Wrath of God and Day of Judgment are double white, so it can be worth it to make sure you can cast them. It’s also worth it when you’re short on lands to guarantee a turn 3 drop. In the cases where you’re short on lands, it’s worth cracking on your main phase, and almost always worth taking the Seachrome Coast.

    John Doe
    Coming very soon, always updating! Wink

    UW Tron Decklists

    Here, we will put the most pertinent decklists this Primer will need. Later on, we can add decklists that get good tournament results, like PTQ's from the upcoming season. Online lists can easily be updated and compiled if the demand is high enough. The most important Lists right now would be, though:

    John Doe
    Test deck - post DGM

    John Doe's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Main Deck
    4 Urza's Mine
    4 Urza's Power Plant
    4 Urza's Tower
    4 Celestial Colonnade
    3 Hallowed Fountain
    2 Seachrome Coast
    1 Ghost Quarter
    1 Eye of Ugin
    1 Island
    1 Plains

    1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
    1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
    1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
    1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
    1 Spellskite

    4 Azorius Signet
    4 Expedition Map
    4 Remand
    4 Gifts Ungiven
    4 Path to Exile
    4 Thirst for Knowledge
    1 Talisman of Progress
    1 Repeal
    1 Wrath of God
    1 Day of Judgment
    1 Timely Reinforcements
    1 Unburial Rites

    Darksteel88
    Test deck - post RTR

    John Doe's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
    1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
    1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
    1 Wurmcoil Engine

    4 Azorius Signet
    3 Expedition Map
    1 Mindslaver

    4 Gifts Ungiven
    4 Remand
    4 Path to Exile
    4 Thirst for Knowledge
    1 Condescend
    1 Echoing Truth

    1 Oblivion Ring

    1 Unburial Rites
    1 Day of Judgment
    1 Wrath of God
    1 Timely Reinforcements

    4 Urza’s Mine
    4 Urza’s Power Plant
    4 Urza’s Tower
    1 Hallowed Fountain
    1 Godless Shrine
    1 Eye of Ugin
    1 Academy Ruins
    1 Island
    1 Plains
    3 Seachrome Coast
    4 Celestial Colonnade

    Luis Scott-Vargas
    3rd Place at GP Lincoln 2012


    John Doe's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Celestial Colonnade
    1 Eye of Ugin
    3 Hallowed Fountain
    1 Island
    3 Seachrome Coast
    1 Tolaria West
    4 Urza's Mine
    4 Urza's Power Plant
    4 Urza's Tower

    1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
    1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
    1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
    1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

    4 Azorius Signet
    1 Condescend
    1 Day of Judgment
    3 Expedition Map
    4 Gifts Ungiven
    1 Oblivion Ring
    4 Path to Exile
    4 Remand
    1 Repeal
    1 Talisman of Progress
    4 Thirst for Knowledge
    1 Timely Reinforcements
    1 Unburial Rites
    1 Wrath of God

    Gerry Thompson
    31st Place at GP San Diego 2013


    John Doe's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    1 Island
    1 Plains
    2 Celestial Colonnade
    1 Ghost Quarter
    2 Hallowed Fountain
    4 Seachrome Coast
    4 Urza's Mine
    4 Urza's Power Plant
    4 Urza's Tower
    2 Academy Ruins

    1 Terastodon
    1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

    4 Azorius Signet
    1 Crucible Of Worlds
    4 Expedition Map
    1 Talisman of Progress
    4 Gifts Ungiven
    3 Path to Exile
    4 Remand
    3 Repeal
    4 Thirst For Knowledge
    1 Mindslaver
    3 Timely Reinforcements
    1 Unburial Rites



    Tips & Tricks, or how to properly play the UW Tron




    Mulligan Decisions

    Keeps and Mulligans by John Doe
    Coming soon, with real life examples Wink

    UW Tron Mulligans by Darksteel88

    Win Conditions

    UW Tron Win Conditions Per Matchup by Darksteel88

    UW Tron Win Conditions by Darksteel88




    Approaching your Metagame by John Doe
    Still updating, have some patience Wink

    Playing around X by John Doe
    Working on this one, hope to get it here



    Gifts Combo by Darksteel88

    One thing that really ties this deck together is Gifts Combo. It's a very awesome combo that relies on some sneaky rulings of the game (nothing sketchy, it's totally legitimate), and really puts a punch for this deck. So how does the combo actually work? Gifts says find 4 cards with different names and your opponent picks two to grave, and you get the other two. We're actually going to abuse this to our advantage, to get exactly what we want, where we want it. I’m going to explain how it works the way my judge friend explained it to an opponent of mine. Even though Gifts says 4, it is a restricted search. We're searching for 4 cards that need to meet certain requirements. If we don't have cards that meet the requirements, we're going to fail to find them. Remember, our deck is a hidden zone. That means the opponent has no information about it. As far as we're concerned, the opponent has no idea how many basics are in our deck, and it's possible that we could find only one Island and have the rest all be Islands, they don't know anything about our deck composition. As such, we can search for any number of cards, and they can't refute it. We can simply find up to 4 cards.
    Yes, it's possible that if we have >8 cards and we pick two spells, there must be at least one other card we can find, but the ruling isn't concerned with that. We could do stuff with math, or make a judge present, it just gets really messy and they want things to be as simple as possible, so this way, we can just do it easily; sure, it makes the card better than intended, but as long as it's not broken, it's fine. It doesn't necessarily seem like a benefit to pick less than 4 if our opponent is putting 2 in the grave, but it actually is. If you look at the list, there's 1 Unburial Rites, 1 Iona and 1 Elesh Norn. With Gifts, we can take two cards and fail to find the other two. This will let us take Unburial Rites, a creature, and put them both into our graveyard. This is actually just the nuts. The two of them are very good against a wide range of decks. Iona will destroy and mono-colored deck, and it's going to do a lot of work against most decks. Elesh Norn also Wraths a lot of the time, and it's a very good creature, I think we can all agree. If you ever have a problem with resolving this, perhaps your opponent doesn't really believe you, head over to the Gatherer site. There's an Oracle ruling that says you can pick less than 4 and your opponent puts 2 into the graveyard. Since it's an official source, it should solve any and all problems you have. I often joke about making this my homepage, because when I test against random people on Cockatrice, they always argue and I know I'm right. If you're playing in a tournament, call the judge over and they'll solve it for you. All judges should be aware of how this works, and you can always request them to look it up on Oracle if they don't, because the ruling on there is official.

    Mindslaver Lock by Darksteel88

    This is an infinite combo that wins by recurring Mindslaver and milling your opponent. It involves having Academy Ruins, Mindslaver and a ton of mana. You cast Mindslaver for 6 mana, and crack it for 4 mana. Then you tap 1U and Academy Ruins and place it back on top. This essentially costs 12 mana, one of which must be blue, and the Academy Ruins (13 mana if you prefer to look at it that way). What this does is place Mindslaver back on top of your library, so you draw it next turn, remembering that you took over their turn. Since Mindslaver keeps going back on top, you always draw it and never deck yourself, but your opponent will draw each turn and eventually deck themselves. Remember that you control all their turns, so they simply can’t do anything. Occasionally, you will be able to kill them on their turn, but it’s far and few, and the other is a dedicated infinite combo. You can simply just keep their lands tapped on their turn, so they won’t be able to play cards on your turn. While this lock is an infinite loop and they really can’t stop it unless they’re playing 8 Eldrazi lords or Hive Mind and can Pact + pay, and then still stop it in the coming turns, your opponent can still make you play it out. Yes, that’s right, even if you know their deck list (say top 8 and deck lists are given), you can’t force them to scoop. Here is what you do when doing the combo:

    1. Ask your opponent if they know what's going on and if they'd like to scoop. I say the first part only because some people don't know the combo. You can ask someone if they would like to scoop, but you cannot force it. If they want you to play it, you are forced to do so. A large number of players will scoop if it makes sense for them to do so. If there's a chance you will go to time and the draw won't help them, it'll make sense for them to scoop and have a chance to win. They usually don't scoop when the match is a draw and it's almost time in the round.
    2. Shortcut a few things. You will keep all their lands tapped and their hand face up on the table. This will help the combo go much faster. This is about all you can shortcut, but it'll save about 5-10 seconds a turn and it'll make a difference over 30 turns.
    3. Remember how the sequence goes. Your turn is draw Mindslaver, play it, crack it, and put it back on top. This costs 6 to cast, 4 to crack, and 1U + Academy Ruins to put it back on top. Their turn is draw, end, and discard whatever is necessary.
    4. It is largely irrelevant what you discard. As long as it's not something that will shuffle their grave back, it usually doesn't matter. You keep them tapped out, so only 0 mana spells or Phyrexian mana spells can be cast, so if any of those arise, just discard those.
    5. You can ask them a second time partway through the combo if they'd like to scoop, once they see where it's going. Don't pressure them to scoop; they have every right to make you play it out
    6. Remember that if they have no play, they shouldn't be holding priority when they receive it. You should simply power through the combo without any interruptions. If they decide to think about things, despite not having a play, CALL A JUDGE. It is called stalling, and it is a punishable offense. It's a warning the first time, but successive times can have penalties for them.
    7. If you're getting close to time, you may want to cut the combo short. Since you get to discard a card for them each turn, you can mold their hand over a few turns and eventually get to a reasonable hand that they'll have trouble winning with. There's no sense in you going to time with a combo that won't win you the game once you get there. Remember that time works by a turn count; there are 5 turns and if nobody has won, then it's a draw. If you're in a single elimination portion of a tournament, say a top 8 where you can't have a draw, then the first player whose life total changes loses. If that's the case, then you're free to continue the combo, because you have no time constraint and no life totals will change.One suggestion I have is to make sure you practice doing this. If you have to play it out, it can potentially take a long time, and this is a slow deck. In 50-minute rounds, you can end up going to time, or very close to time. I believe I wound up in time three times out of six rounds in the tournament I played it at. If you practice, you can get turn cycles to last 10 seconds, 6 turns in a minute, and 30 cards milled in 5 minutes. That's actually fairly fast, and it'll take you less than 10 minutes on average to mill them if you can get to this speed.

    How to play Mindslaver properly, by Darksteel88

    The first thing is to look at their sideboard. Whenever you use Mindslaver, you can make all decisions that player could make, except concede, and all their hidden information is revealed, as long as they can freely access it. That means you can look at their sideboard, because they can make that decision at any time. I will go and get the official ruling on this for anyone that’s interested, cause it’s something your opponent will sometimes call you on and it’d be nice to have it there. Second, is to not crack it too early. As long as there’s still 4 mana up, you can crack it in response to things. One plan with it is to Gifts on their turn. If you Gifts while controlling their turn, you get to decide the outcome of Gifts. Put Iona + Unburial in grave and get any two spells you’d like, it’s usually very difficult for them to win afterwards. In fact, the last time that happened, once my opponent realized I got to choose, he scooped.

    How to Gifts properly by Darksteel88

    One of the most important things to learn with this deck is how to play this card. It’s the best card in the deck, and the most difficult card to play with. It’s also the reason I feel this deck is one of the harder non-combo decks to play in the format (for purpose of this statement, it’s not a combo deck). I feel that it’s a card you have to play with a ton of times to get used to, but it’s very good when you learn how to use it. Below are just a few things you can do:

    • Quadruple counterspell out of the board. You get to stop combos with it and all of them should be good.
    • Tron land, Map, Tolaria West. It lets you grab the last Tron piece, or something to find it, which I’m a fan of.
    • Triple Wrath. While I normally don’t advise this, you can do it and it does work nicely when you need it.
    • Double Wrath + Timely. Normally, you’ll play Wrath, DoJ and Timely, so it can be used to fetch the trio. Timely is actually better than a Wrath most of the time in this format, so you can get the Wrath spell and make out well. Depending on the situation, you can grab a Path as well.
    • Gifts combo. Yeah, you probably realized it, but I’ll just reiterate. When there’s no scare of a card stopping you from doing it, and the effect is powerful enough (it basically always is), then doing it is the best plan.

    One thing people don’t do nearly enough is Gifts for Gifts. The deck relies on inevitability, so making that happen is what you want. If you get the Gifts, you’re getting a card out of it as well, and sometimes it’s something like a Path. People that know how the deck works tend not to give you the Gifts, so you can get some good value here. One thing people tend to overdo when they first get the deck is finding Emrakul. I don’t recommend getting it until you’re comfortable playing the deck, and are sure you want it. You actually don’t want it a lot; it’s a dead card half the time. It can be used to put your grave back in the deck, since they won’t give it to you unless it’s really early. Another thing to remember is that you should often get Map instead of the actual land. They tend to give you Map much more frequently than the land itself because it costs you more on top. Especially if you need a specific one-of land, you could get the map, but almost never the land itself.



    Maindeck Card Discussion

    Coming very soon, always updating! Wink

    Sideboard Discussion

    Darksteel88


    Note: the sideboard is very much dependent on the meta. It can easily change if your meta reflects a different set of decks. For example, Rule of Law is explicitly for Storm type decks, so if your meta doesn’t have many, it’s probably not worth it.
    Pithing Needle – It is a very good card in this format, and it surprises me how underplayed it is. It stops Planeswalkers, stops fetch lands, stops manlands, stops equipment, and is just a catchall sort of card. It also costs 1, so it can come down turn 1 on the play and avoid counters. If you’re lucky, you call Pyrite Spellbomb against a Second Sunrise list that has Spellbomb as the only win condition. One deck it is very good against is Pod. It is going to stop Pod and Kiki/Seer; it’s simply going to shut them down until they find removal. Against Twin, it’ll also just shut them down. Against Delver, it can shut down some manlands if they play them (some builds do), or Isochron Scepter. It’ll also just shut down a fetch if that’s what you need. It’s not worth it if that’s your plan, but it’s certainly not terrible if push comes to shove. I also love it against Loam (and Jund). It stops Liliana and Seismic Assault, so you can do whatever it is you need to be doing. In early testing, Liliana killed me a few times on her own, since i couldn’t deal with her fast enough. It’s good against RG Tron too; stopping Karn is a big bonus. It even stops equipment, so decks playing Swords can be sad, or better yet, Affinity. It’ll stop Cranial Plating, and probably the Inkmoth as well since it’ll take much longer to kill you. You sometimes can call Inkmoth though.The only issue is that it’s an artifact and they always board it against you, but what are you going to do. The card does what it needs to do in most of the matchups, and it’s very good at it, while working like Oblivion Ring. The best part is that it didn’t remove Planeswalkers, so they had to keep their copies in hand. I’ve had two in my board before, and I’ve always enjoyed having multiples, but I’m having trouble sorting out the space. I’m not sure it’s worth a second spot, though I may reconsider it in the MB with the changes I’m looking at.

    Relic of Progenitus/Grafdigger’s Cage – This deck is going to use two of these. The format is much like Legacy in that you need some graveyard hate, but without Dredge as a deck, you only need about half the hate. I know that John Doe is playing two of each, but I think it’s rather unnecessary, and I’m fine with just the pair. You can run one of the two, it really depends what your needs are. They are both hate cards, but they go about it differently and do much different things. Relic is going to be good against Jund Pod, Loam, and Storm. Cage is going to be good against both Pod, and Storm, as well as Loam for the most part. Personally, I think the Loam matchup is miles worse than the Kiki Pod matchup, so I’d much rather be playing something against Loam than Pod. Let’s do some more analysis of the decks we’re using things against and how it all breaks down.
    Melira Pod: Cage is obviously much better; it completely shuts them down and stops them from finding their combo via Pod or Chord. That said, the Relic is still pretty good here. You can target any of their combo cards when they go off, and honestly, what else do you want? The matchup is already fairly good for us, so honestly, you can get away with the Relic. Against Kiki Pod, we’re definitely going to prefer Cage. For the same reason as the Melira version, we’re stopping Pod and Chord. However, this matchup, even without Cage, is still not a bad matchup. In my testing, the matchup was favorable for us, even after sideboarding without the Cage. So to be honest, I’m perfectly fine without the Cage here. If you are playing it, I think it’ll be over the top, and you’ll basically never lose. Sure, you do lose sometimes, but the matchup is really bad for them, you just have too many ways to interact with their combo and race them to your Emrakul. Loam is a deck that I despise. It’s very good against us and it’s one of our worst matchups. Personally, I prefer the Relic here, but some prefer Cage. Relic can target any random card, or crack the whole grave. It’s going to make their Goyf smaller and exile their lands from Loam, as well as Flame Jab and Raven’s Crime. That said, Cage stops both Flame Jab and Raven’s Crime, and honestly, the only card that actually kills you is Raven’s Crime. I don’t care too much about Loam unless they hit critical mass with Assault or a Ghost Quarter, which is usually a 1-of. Storm is the tricky one, because of how Storm plays out. Traditional Storm decks will fold to a Cage, since they can’t use Past in Flames to go off, or until they find their Echoing Truth, Ancient Grudge or Shattering Spree. However, lately, Storm is using Pyromancer Ascension. This card makes the Cage not necessarily the nuts it once was. Because of how Ascension works, it’s possible for them to win without ever using a Past in Flames. If the Ascension gets two counters, one Manamorphose can quite often win them the game. Yes, they will often want to use Past in Flames, and Past in Flames with two counters WILL win them the game on the spot, however, we don’t want them to get two counters. With Relic, we can hit cards and stop them from getting counters, potentially. Additionally, we can still stop them after they go off with Past in Flames by removing their graveyard. They can certainly try again, but it’ll take long enough. Personally, I prefer the Relic in this matchup, because of the value against Pyromancer Ascension. HOWEVER, the Cage is certainly acceptable, and it’s not really much worse, it’s very marginal. One thing to remember about Cage is that you can’t use Gifts Combo when it’s out. You can’t flashback the Rites for your dude, so you stop that plan. That said, Cage is pretty close to the nuts when you board it in, and you can still just Gifts for useful cards. Remember, we’re more concerned with stalling the game, and we generally can do that when Cage is in play. After all that, I think it’s a toss up between the pair. Cage and Relic both have their advantages.

    Leyline of Sanctity – While not many play this card, it was suggested to me during testing and I’ve had 3 in the sideboard since. It’s been good enough that when I purchased the last few cards to complete it in real life, I bought a 4th one. Leyline is a very narrow card; it does exactly what it says and nothing more. It has no additional uses; it’s just going to do what you need it to do. That said, what it does is something we absolutely need.What decks are we looking to use Leyline against? Jund, Loam, Storm and Burn are the 4 I think of off the bat. It also comes in against the Jund Pod, though again, this deck isn’t very popular right now. It’s going to either keep us in the game, or straight up win us the game. We’ve even got value now that they’ve unbanned Valakut, because it stops that deck until they remove it, and with Cifka’s results at the PT, it can stop Second Sunrise when they use Pyrite Spellbomb. Against Jund, it’ll stop Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize. Those cards can be quite awful for us. It’ll stop them from burning us with Bolt or Blightning, and it’ll stop them from using Liliana’s -2 or -6. That’s at least 12 cards that do nothing against us anymore, and I’ll take that any day. Yes, they still have Maelstorm Pulse, but it costs 3, and wastes their third turn, and we can hopefully get something to stop that and hopefully get to a Gifts into Iona by then. It’s also worth noting that there’s Abrupt Decay now, which replaced a lot of Pulses. That’s fine by me; it costs 4 and is out of range for that card. Don’t forget, Pulse mostly a 2-of in their decks (when they play it), so the odds of it on turn 2 isn’t all that high. But even if they do, it’s a turn they don’t put pressure on us. For anyone that’s concerned about the card disadvantage -1 in the opening provides, think about the fact they’re playing 6 discard spells typically, and that we’ll simply be at the same place because we’d lose a card, except this time, we’re losing a card of our choice. Or remember that we have Emrakul and Ulamog, cards that are blanks in an opener. Against Loam, it is the nuts. The last time I resolved it opening hand, in high-level competition, it won me the game. He couldn’t Inquisition or Thoughtseize me, but above that, he couldn’t Raven’s Crime be out of the game. The other spells are bad enough, but they can often just cast Raven’s Crime three times by turn 2, and that WILL hurt you more than it sounds. It was the bane of my existence in the format. Of course, that’s not the only thing it does in this match. It will stop Liliana like in Jund, but it’ll stop Seismic Assault. That card does real work against us. They’ll actually get to a point where they can kill us in a single turn with 9 or 10 lands. Don’t believe me? It’s happened to me before, so it’s definitely the real deal there. We stop that dead in its tracks. Loam also doesn’t often play Maelstorm Pulse, so we’re much safer there. But either way, a card that stops the opponent from winning is going to be a winner.Against Storm, it’s obvious what it does. They can’t Grapeshot you, so now they have to go on the Empty the Warrens plan. It’s not necessarily obvious to board it in against us, though I’m willing to bet it comes in. But still, when you now force them to have a specific card, and to Storm and find it, it seems perfectly fine. It’s worthwhile to note that when they play Ascension, they can generally find an Echoing Truth, which means this card actually isn’t that good. In fact, I’m not actually sure boarding it is correct, since they can go off around it fairly easily, it really just forces the Ascension. Against Burn, it’s also quite obvious. You simply don’t get burned out and stall the game long enough to win. They can’t stop it and likely have 0 removal for it.Against Scapeshift, this card is really good. They generally play Scapeshift as a combo deck, and you can’t ask for more. If it resolves (and hopefully it does off opening), then they just play the game trying to win with their Tribe Elders, and it’s not a great way to try to win

    Rule of Law – This card is great, and it’s primarily a Storm answer. You board it in against Second Sunrise as well; it’s basically good against any combo deck that plays multiple cards in a single turn. It’s possible it’s worth boarding against other decks, I can’t say for certain until I test further, but it’s still worth a spot. Storm has only Echoing Truth to stop it when it resolves, it’s clearly going to be great. I’d much rather play this than one Ethersworn Canonist because they play artifact removal as well, or Bolt. They can’t even find the Echoing Truth after because they can only play one spell (and maybe copy with PA).

    This card is often a trap, because it seems good against random decks, and it’s not. The value it gets in stopping a second Bolt one turn is very minimal, or the value in stopping the Cascade really isn’t worth it when it’s just dead half the time.This card is one on the chopping block. It’s good when it’s good and bad when it’s bad, and it really depends on your meta.

    Suppression Field – This card is a new addition and it’s a recommendation from a friend of mine as an answer to RG Tron. Whether or not it is a good answer remains to be seen, but considering what it has replaced in my board, I really won’t argue. In case anyone is wondering, it’s replacing Ghostly Prison at the moment.The idea with this card is that things are going to cost a lot more to do. Modern has a lot of decks that use activated abilities, so it’s actually going to do quite a lot of work. This card is particularly good against the Pod/Twin decks, because it’s all looping infinite activated abilities, so you stop them from going off.I’ll also board it in against decks that have Planeswalkers and Swords. Right now, that’s probably only the Bant Exalted deck. I could board it in against a deck like UW Tempo, or Jund, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll do enough work. I do like it against Loam though, because Seismic is going to cost 2 mana to use, and they like to keep their lands in hand; they also play Liliana, so it gets value there. I think this deck can support either this or Ghostly Prison in the SB. I can’t tell you which one is better right now, it really depends how you perceive the matchups. If you think the aggro decks are the worst, then the Prison is likely better. The cards are equally fine against Pod/Kiki, though this card is infinitely better against Melira Pod, which again, is not much of a deck right now.

    Celestial Purge – If ever there was a sideboard card that did something very powerful and something almost any white deck wanted it would be this card. This card is absolutely insane; it stops so many threats and is so versatile. I sideboard this card in Standard as well, it’s just so good when it’s good. It’s obvious where I like it, but there’s one card in particular I want to point out, Blood Moon. This card can be trouble for us, and it’s worth remembering it. Celestial Purge is often a better answer than Disenchant against that card in those decks, simply because Purge gets value by often hitting other cards. It may not be obvious when to bring it in, but as long as you consider Blood Moon, you’ll be okay. In terms of how I perceive Blood Moon, I like to think that Purge is only worth it if there are definitely other targets it can hit that I’d like to hit. If I’m simply bringing it in to fight Blood Moon, I feel that it’s just not worth it. Remember that one Signet basically nullifies Blood Moon until you can get an Echoing Truth or Oblivion Ring, and I’ve gone Echoing Truth Blood Moon, find Emrakul, cast Emrakul and win the game.

    Disenchant – Again, this type of card is similar to Purge, in that it does something rather narrow, but very powerful. There’s always bound to be some troublesome card in most decks, and Affinity is a deck in this format.Some key cards to remember include Blood Moon, Seismic Assault, Pod, Vedalken Shackles and any Sword. Let me go over each of these cards individually. Blood Moon isn’t as big of a problem for our version of the deck, but it’s still very annoying. The biggest issues though are the decks that run Blood Moon and Shackles. This is particularly some Delver variant, mostly the USA one. Against that deck, it is worth boarding the Disenchant, but probably not the Purge, as the only red permanent they have besides Blood Moon occasionally is an occasional Lavamancer. They basically all play Shackles though, so it’s fine for Disenchant to come in. I don’t think Blood Moon is enough of a problem there that I would bring in Purge. Remember that I don’t think Purge is worth it if I’m not getting to hit other things. Seismic Assault is reason for me to bring in Disenchant against Loam. I don’t like Loam very much, and that card is the fuel for their deck. I don’t know how many of them board in Blood Moon, but I think being able to hit the Assault is worth it alone.Pod is another card that I like Disenchant for. That deck can win reasonably fast without you realizing it, relying heavily on Pod. While I was on the fence about how good a card that hits exactly 4 cards in their deck is, I think it’ll ultimately be worth it. When Pod comes down, we really do want to stop it, so this is just going to be a good idea Shackles is a card that kills me quite a bit. With Delver playing fetch lands, they can always take Islands and get there against me. Elesh is only 4, and Iona is 7, which they get to a reasonable amount of the time against me if I’m not getting early Gifts. And let’s face it; they’re playing counters, so you don’t. Thankfully the USA version doesn’t play too many counters, but the RUG one does, and it can be a problem. Since it may also end up hitting a Blood Moon, it’s just going to be a good idea. Swords have also been a problem for me. When it resolves, it just sits there until it gets to find a creature candidate. Since all 5 of them are Modern legal, they have their choice on it. I think it’s a lot of Fire and Ice in Modern, since it’s the best one, but I’ve seen a couple Feast and Famines in some control decks. Either way, if I know they’re playing a Sword, this card is something I’ll consider. It’ll boil down to how important I think the Sword is. I’m fairly sure we’d like to have this in against the Bant Exalted deck, but not against a deck like UW Tempo Control, since their Sword is irrelevant for almost the entire game, and they have Spell Snare to hit Disenchant.

    Negate/Dispel – They’re a pair of cards I like against control and combo. The idea is that we can now fight counter battles and have more answers to disrupt combo. And unlike Remand, we now have cards that simply counter and send to grave like normal.This pair comes in against any control, Delver, Storm and any other combo type deck, except Twin. I think we can reasonably board Negate against RG Tron and Pod, but not the Dispel. We have 8 targets for the Negate, Pod and Chord, but only 4 targets for the Chord, so I’d rather just not play the Dispel.Some people prefer to have the Pact of Negation, I personally dislike it. It’s double blue, so it’s a pain to use sometimes. And the deck it was meant for, Storm, can go off before we can get there. It was once much better when they had to wait longer to go off, but they can easily go off before turn 4, and usually don’t go off any later than turn 4. This would give us a chance to play Pact only on the play, which doesn’t seem worth it to me. I’m much more comfortable with cheap counters that are easy to use.

    Timely Reinforcements – This card is just the nuts against some decks, like Burn. It’s well named, cause it’s often exactly what you want. Gain 6, get three creatures? It’s very good. There’s one in the MB that’s supposed to function as the third Wrath. Often times, you actually don’t need a Wrath and simply need to gain some life. This card is going to do just that. Other times, you’re not going to want to pay 5 for a Wrath, which is what the others cost. Realistically, Timely does a lot of work. Against most decks you cast it, you stall for two turns. three blockers let you chump, and 6 life is often what you’re taking in a turn. You occasionally get more or less than two turns, but I think two is the average. Three blockers also can sometimes get value in killing off something bigger, or laying a few points of beats so that your Colonnade or Iona or whatever can finish the job. You can also get much more damage in when you get Elesh Norn after and now have 3 3/3s. It’s also nice when Emrakul gets to kill them instead of giving them a chance to untap, cause they often have enough permanents to be selective and it does sometimes get to points where you hit them with Emrakul and they still don’t lose. It’s good against any deck where they’re playing ground creatures and the life is important. Burn is the big one, but it’s good against Jund and the Bant Exalted deck as well. I actually dislike it against Merfolk, because they get a reasonable amount of lords in play, and then it only stalls one turn, it just doesn’t do enough. You chump three guys and take 12 the next turn, or you kill off a lord and take 6 the next turn, it’s just not doing it for me there. I’d much rather just go more reliably with cards like Thirst.

    John Doe

    Coming soon!









    Other card options

    Coming very soon, always updating! Wink

    Matchups


    Always updating! Wink
    This part of the Primer will be made in a way different from all Primers. Since there were two of us testing, and the versions are somewhat different, we will get a full description on the several matchups from both our perspectives, ways to approach each matchup, and of course, how to sideboard with each version against those decks.

    Tier one


    Jund

    Darksteel88

    Sideboarding:

    In
    +1 Pithing Needle
    +3 Leyline
    +2 Celestial Purge
    +2 Timely

    Out
    -1 Emrakul
    -1 Mindslaver
    -1 Map
    -1 Wrath
    -1 DoJ
    -1 Condescend
    -2 Remand

    Philosophy:
    The idea here is that we want to play the midrange game with them. They play all powerful spells and beat you down with efficient creatures, like Bloodbraid Elf, Bob and Goyf, as well as their Manlands. We're going to stop each aspect of their deck and try to win with some big, reasonably fast creature. Ideally, you will Gifts into Iona and call black. It will be safe from all removal and you'll get your damage in quickly.

    Pithing Needle – It's quite good here. It stops Liliana, the biggest problem from that deck. It also stops manlands like Treetop and Raging Ravine, so it’s definitely worthwhile here.
    Leyline of Sanctity – Oh man, it’s great here. We stop their Inquisitions and Thoughtseizes, the Bolts and the Liliana’s -2 and -6. You definitely can’t go wrong with this in this matchup.
    Celestial Purge – Kill Liliana? Kill Bob? Kill Ravine? Kill Bloodbraid? It kills most of their deck, I really can’t complain here. Again, this is exactly where we want to board this card, against red, black, or best scenario, red black decks.
    Timely – They like to deal damage in small numbers, so we can usually get to points where the Timely is gaining us the life we need. If you happen to get the Elesh Norn into play, you get to smash them to bits with the tokens, or trade off almost all their creatures.

    John Doe


    How it goes:
    This actually isn't a terrible matchup and it got a lot better port Gatecrash. Though Deathrite
    Shaman is still a card, Bloodbraid Elf was actually the card that made the deck lose a lot more games, due to the powerful card advantage it provided. Now, packing less "two for one's", UW Tron is actually capable of loosening a few sideboard spaces in order to better face other matchups. All finishers you have will hurt Jund to some extent as well as each spell we have has some usefulness, even if minor. The key to win this matchup is to keep them of Bob, Liliana and sometimes, manlands (doesn't matter that often). Goyf can easily be dealt with, and Confidant isn't that much of a threat when compared to Liliana. Just keep the Goyf and Liliana from resolving and Iona on black will always seal the deal unlesse we are at a too low life. If Liliana resolves, just get the mana ready for either Wurmcoil or Ulamog, since they are the best solutions (along with Colonnade, but its a slow answer) we have game one, aside from Oblivion Ring / Detention Sphere, or bounce. Huntmaster can be ignored, and if you are aiming for the Gifts combo, Shaman can be dealt on the turn you are getting the cards. Just Path to Exile / Celestial Purge (game two) Shaman and then Gifts, that will often seal the game. Huntmaster can be ignored, since it is very slow against UW Tron. Game Two, just board in Leyline, Celestial Purge and Timely Reinforcements. They will often buy us enough time to win the game. I admit it is possible, but i never happened to lost a single game against Jund if i had a Leyline on the opening hand. They just lose a lot of discard engines and most hands they have will become really awful, and hands with Inquisistion of Kozilek or Thoughtseize are often keeps Jund players will make because Leyline isn't a very popular sideboard card (only Eggs use it, and Eggs doesn't see that much play). Just make sure in this matchup you never (ever!) keep in play more than one Leyline, for obvious Maelstrom Pulse reasons. Clear the board often, and never cease the hits on them. If you have Tron and Eye, get Wurmcoil, then quickly follow with either Ulamog (fetching him asap) or Emrakul, preparing the mana ahead. Do remember that this matchup is one of the few that Ulamog will be almost invincible. Only Liliana deals with him, and even so, not always, and most of the times, only a turn or two.



    Sideboarding:
    Well, it's very easy to notice what will be useful against Jund in our sideboard... Everything, even if the sideboard is a little diferent from mine. The problem is precisely that one, getting the best 60 card combination possible, in order for us not to make less than optimal choices. The leylines are an absolute must, since they will negate half of Jund's strategy, but probably almost all Jund's strategy, since they will now be forced to play a pure aggro plan. And UW Tron eats aggro decks for breakfast. Celestial Purge will hit almost all Junds nonland permanents: Liliana, Confidand, Shaman, Hellkite, Huntmaster, you name it. Timely is just a white Timewalk (often buys more than one turn), since they will provide us a few chump blockers and a massive lifeswing. Needle and Terastodon would be fine, but the first will either lock Liliana of manlands, and i feel that in games two and three, they're not that troublesome. Counters are out like when Bloodbraid Elf was legal, simply because there are much more powerful cards in the sideboard that will grind the game long enough for us to win in the long run.


    Sideboarding:

    In
    +4 Leyline
    +2 Celestial Purge
    +1 Timely

    Out
    -1 Emrakul
    -3 Condescend
    -2 Mana Leak
    -1 Echoing Truth






    UW Restoration


    Birthing Pod decks

    Darksteel88


    John Doe

    Affinity

    Darksteel88
    +1 Pithing Needle
    +1 Disenchant
    +2 Timely
    -1 Iona
    -1 Emrakul
    -1 Remand
    -1 Condescend

    Philosophy:

    Affinity is a tricky matchup to board for because there are so many ways the deck can be built. Sometimes it uses Tezzeret, in which case you’ll want to board in Celestial Purge, sometimes, it uses Blood Moon, which isn’t even all that bad for you since it stops their manlands. While I can give a general idea of how I would board the matchup, it’s going to be one you’ll have to make some decisions on. The idea here is that we simply want to not die to them going really fast. This is where Timely Reinforcements shines. It’s going to chump block, or even trade sometimes, and really buy us some time. It gaining us 6 life is also going to be insane, because they’re often playing burn spells. I like cutting the creatures that are not doing anything here, and it’s obvious which pair don’t cut it. Cutting a couple counterspells also seems good because their stuff is so cheap to cast, and literally half the deck costs 1 or less. If we’re casting Remand, it’s not going to go so well. I do like keeping in some of them though, because they do play Shrapnel Blast, and it’s going to give you some advantage if they sac something and then you counter. Remember not to go too fast though, they have to sac their permanent as a cost to cast, and if you show you’re going to Remand it, they may decide differently. The Elesh Norn and Wurmcoil are both very good in this matchup. Both of them do a lot against them and either one can win the game very easily. Elesh Norn is quite often better than Wurmcoil, believe it or not, because it will Wrath their board. Considering the removal spells they play, they’re using more than one spell to kill her and you’re generally okay with that after a Wrath. Remember to be careful with the manlands. Even if you Wrath, they can animate a Blinkmoth, equip a Cranial Plating, and swing for potentially lethal. It has happened to me before, so be weary of it and don’t let it happen. Yeah, sometimes there’s nothing you can do about that, but just watch out for it. I don’t like boarding in Rule of Law or Suppression Field. While Rule of Law seems like it might not be bad, they usually don’t have many cards to play late game, and it’s going to be played while their hand is empty. With Suppression Field, you’re generally just keeping them off Plating for a turn, or keeping them off manland into Plating. But considering the amount of times this is actually relevant, it’s not worth it. A Ghostly Prison would be good if we had it, but the list currently does not.

    Pithing Needle – If ever this card was going to do work, it’s here. It stops Cranial Plating, which is exactly what we want it to stop. That card can, and likely will, kill you a few times. It’s going to pump creatures like no tomorrow, and if it happens to go on a Vault Skirge or Etched Champion, well, you’re in for some trouble. It can also stop Blinkmoth or Inkmoth, but it’s generally only worth it in that situation if it’s going to kill you next turn. Inkmoth almost never kills you without Cranial Plating; in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever died when it wasn’t equipped, so you shouldn’t really be calling Inkmoth.

    Disenchant – I’m not going to discuss this, it’s way too obvious.
    Timely Reinforcements – Really shines here because they play cheap, small creatures and burn you out. You often get to block very favorably and stop a lot of things. Aside from the creatures the tokens can’t block (Etched Champion, Vault Skirge, Ornithopter, Signal Pest and the manlands), their creatures don’t get bigger. Yeah, that’s actually most of their creatures that you don’t block, but you generally have a favorable time blocking when you do. The other nice thing is that you can often Wrath their board with an Elesh Norn, and these tokens then turn into 9 damage.


    John Doe


    Scapeshift

    Darksteel88

    Scapeshift is the newest deck on the list, and this is an old list of mine here. That said, it’s still worth figuring out what to SB.

    +3 Leyline
    +1 Negate
    +1 Dispel
    -1 Day
    -1 Wrath
    -1 Timely
    -2 Path

    Philosophy:
    They’re a combo deck that simply wants to smash you with Scapeshift at some point. Our goal is to stop Scapeshift from going off. They don’t particularly play creatures, so we can simply board out removal and go all in on trying to stop the combo. They win either by playing multiple lands with Omen in play, or Scapeshift with 7 lands in play. We board in our counters for the counter battles, and ways to stop the Valakut from dealing lethal to us.

    Leyline – It stops them from hitting us with the Valakut, it’s the nuts. They generally have some Cryptics to bounce it, but when the card completely stops them from going off, it’s great.

    Negate/Dispel – They play a lot of counters so we can afford this, plus the Negate hits their Scapeshift. Perfectly reasonable to board both in.

    John Doe
    http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/blog.php?b=8877


    Infect


    John Doe


    How it goes: This is one of the most straightforward matchups you can possibly face. It all depends on how fast you manage to resolve Elesh Norn, either through the Gifts combo (faster and probably 99% of the times will happen this way) or by hard casting him (never happened to me). The good part is, a well-placed Path to Exile will deal a massive delay to this deck’s strategy, and this is one of the few BUG Decks that won’t run Shaman. Elesh Norn will also be a guaranteed win condition in game one, since no Infect build will have an answer to a resolved Elesh Norn on game one. They generally pack Abrupt Decay to deal with random blockers / shenanigans. The problem with this “aggro” deck is simply that your life total starts at 10. UW Tron is a very difficult deck to bring down from 20 to 0, but 10 to 0 is a very different matter. Game two, some build will have more than the usual Dismember to deal with Elesh Norn, but extra Negate, Rule of Law and Celestial Purge will help the matchup a bit (BUG versions, the most common ones). The key of the matchup is still the same: resolving Elesh Norn and proceed to win quickly. Timely could help, but more often than not will only give us chump blockers for a turn (Rancor is troublesome and you’ll often have to block that way to avoid those lethal poison counters).


    Sideboarding: Spellskite and Chalice of the Void are nice sideboard cards, but they suffer a lot from Abrupt Decay. Most Infect build will run a few of those, thus making those two less effective. Still, if Infect is a reality in a defined metagame, Spellskite is the best card, since it works wonders with the Auras deck, and many aggro decks as well. We take out Sphere and Condescend because Celestial Purge is way vulnerable to those Abrupt Decays, and one lesse Condescend is worth taking out if we are getting a better card for the job. Rule of Law is a card that isn’t in the sideboard for this matchup, but being able to shut down the kill even if for at least one turn is often very valuable.

    Sideboarding:

    In
    + 1 Negate
    + 1 Rule of Law
    + 2 Celestial Purge

    Out
    - 1 Iona, Shiled of Emeria
    - 1 Emrakul
    - 1 Detention Sphere
    - 1 Condescend




    Storm


    Splinter Twin


    GR Tron
    RG Tron

    +1 Pithing Needle
    +1 Rule of Law
    +1 Suppression Field
    +1 Disenchant
    +1 Negate
    -1 Wrath
    -1 DoJ
    -1 Wurmcoil
    -1 Elesh Norn
    -1 Path

    Philosophy:
    I think this might be our worst matchup. I almost never win, and I’ll describe it as unwinnable to most people. The fact of the matter is that we have no disruption for Tron, and when they start dropping Karn, we lose a land, which is devastating. We’re also not going to be hitting it again, so they can exile another land or +4 and start eating our hand.I had a game against them once, against someone who understands the deck and plays it properly, where I countered three things, I think it was Condescend something and Remand Karn twice, and I lost. I know during the match, I Oblivion Ringed a Karn once, and he played another one, where he went -3, exile my land, -3, exile Oblivion Ring and get a new Karn. I didn’t scoop cause it was in a tournament and top 16 got an invite, but the matchup is currently at a point where I want to just scoop and save my time.

    There are a lot of our big cards that’ll do nothing. I can still leave Iona in just because it can stop their ramp, but I still don’t like it, because of Karn. Karn really hurts us; he’s colourless and kills all our threats, except Emrakul. I will cut one Path easily; they play 4 creatures at most. I also think taking out the sweepers is a good idea. The creatures they play are Wurmcoil and Emrakul, so if they get Wurmcoil out, Wrathing doesn’t do a hell of a lot. And if we’re using Wrath as an answer to Emrakul, we’re probably not going to have 2WW left after it attacks, and we’re not going to win that game anyways. They’ll likely have Map in play, and they’ll find it on our turn and win on their next turn.The one card we are still trying to test is Terastodon. If we can get Gifts to fetch it, it can be devastating for them. Blow up Tron; they can have some 3/3’s while we get a 9/9, that’s fine by me.

    Pithing Needle – Again, a deck I’d prefer multiples of. It’ll always call Karn for me, but there are several other targets, including Map, Eye, Chromatic Star, Chromatic Sphere, etc. While the rest will suck to let them go on, I think it’s probably worth calling Karn preemptively just because of how dominant it is.
    Rule of Law – It might not seem like something to board, but I’ve quite liked it against them. You rarely want to play multiples spells a turn, unless it’s natural Gifts on turn 3, but then, it doesn’t even matter cause it’s natural Tron. They like to play a number of Maps, Stars/Spheres and ramp spells in a turn, so this will slow them down a bit. They get to Emrakul much faster if you let them go rampant.
    Suppression Field – This is a card I was recommended by my friend that crushed me when I played him. As much as I’d rather have another Pithing Needle against them, this card is going to be fairly good. It’ll make Karn cost mana and they won’t turn 3 him against us. This card was a change over Ghostly Prison, and still does the same work against Kiki-Jiki.
    Disenchant – Perfectly fine, they play enough artifacts, like us. It’s also helpful against the Oblivion Stone, if they board it in against us (which I doubt).
    Negate – Again, they play 5 creatures at most, so I can board in a Karn answer and feel good about it.


    Competitive


    RDW / Bump Aggro

    Burn:

    +3 Leyline
    +2 Purge
    +2 Timely
    +1 Dispel
    +1 Negate
    -1 Emrakul
    -1 Mindslaver
    -1 Wrath
    -1 DoJ
    -2 Thirst
    -2 Map
    -1 Colonnade

    Philosophy:
    The deck is fast; it’ll kill you quickly if you’re not prepared to stop early damage. That is why I will board anything that stops them. The idea is to simply gain life if we can, and to counter/kill as many spells and creatures to stall the game. Our late game is miles better, and we do a lot better with extra mana, which we’ll get to at some point if we can draw it out.We can board out a number of the slower spells, especially Emrakul and Mindslaver. As good as burning them would be with a Mindslaver, it’s a very dead card for most of the game, and even if we draw natural Tron + Signet, it’s possible they have us dead before we go off. The Emrakul is quite obvious; we don’t want it at all. I really couldn’t decide what to cut for the last card, so I cut a land. I don’t want to cut Gifts, because when they’re mono red, Iona wins. I see little else I’m interested in cutting, and a tapped land seems like something that won’t be a problem. I doubt mana troubles will ensue when we only want to cast cheap spells. The majority of spells that will help us cost 3 or less, so trimming a land honestly seems fine. It’s quite possible I’m just wrong and we want all our lands, but I’m cutting a Gifts or Elesh Norn otherwise, and I’d rather not cut the Norn if I can avoid it, because sometimes that’s just what you need. Remember, we’re cutting the Wraths, so this way we can force one if we need it.When casting Remand, you want to get value for it. If you can Time Walk them, then you’re golden. Ideally, you’re stopping a creature they tap out for, or bouncing their suspended Rift Bolt. Despite they can replay most spells, it is fine to leave them in to make things go slower. Remember their goal is to win as fast as possible, and we have a number of cards that win the game. Wurmcoil and Iona from a Gifts just wins the game hands down. Sometimes, burn splashes black. When they splash black, it’s typically for Bob and Bump in the Night. With fetches and duals, it’s easy for them to do it. Sometimes, burn splashes white. This is explicitly for Path. Remember the key to playing Iona is having her survive. Unless I am in a situation where I think they’re going to burn me out, I’d rather call white to stop a Path. At least she blocks all day. The number of times I’ve seen the white splash is very minimal though (to my surprise, cause you just toss in two Sacred Foundries and you’re good to go). One thing to note is the inclusion of Blood Moon in most of their boards. This really screws us because we can’t get Tron, or colour for the most part. This is why we leave in all Signets, because I’d otherwise board one out instead of the Gifts, I think. We can hit it with Purge and Oblivion Ring, and with 4 Signets, you should hopefully be fine. I’m not sure it’s worth boarding the Disenchant because it’s otherwise dead, and don’t forget that we now have 7 counters to stop it. What I should probably be doing is some math and stats to see how bad a Blood Moon is likely to be, then how likely it is to be drawn and how useful the Disenchant will be. My testing against Blood Moon in the past showed that it wasn’t very bad against us if they didn’t also apply pressure. My opponent didn’t in the last game I remember, and I bounced it and cast Emrakul.We’re not going to play sweepers because most builds don’t play in a way that has creatures staying in play. Most of them are running Elementals, Spark and Hellspark, and Keldon Marauders, so their things die fast. You’re going to pay 4 mana to kill one guy; it’s probably not worth it.

    Leyline – It’s great here when they can’t burn us. Their Bolts and Lava Spikes just become useless. It would also make Grim Lavamancer quite useless.
    Purge – It’s amazing, exile a red creature and they get no value. 2 mana to save 2-6 life, depending on how long we’d have let the creature live is fine by me. It also hits Blood Moon, which is relevant, and Bob if they’re playing Rakdos burn.
    Timely – Stone cold the nuts. Gain a bunch and get blockers? What more do we want from a card? But seriously, resolving one of these wins 99% of all games in this matchup. It gives you time to draw cards and do things. I won’t state it that you won’t lose, but it certainly makes it very difficult for them to win.

    Dispel/Negate – I think it’s perfectly fine to bring in cheap spells that stop their spells. They play at least 12 burn spells, most I can think of will run Bolt, Rift Bolt and Lava Spike, so countering any of those is going to be solid.

    UW Merfolk


    Sideboarding:

    IN
    +1 Pithing Needle
    +1 Disenchant
    +1 Dispel

    Out
    -1 Map
    -1 Thirst
    -1 Mindslaver

    How it is played:
    The deck is going to simply play lord after lord and try to aggro you. They play 4 Aether Vials and cheat some into play. They also often play some number of counter spells, and the white splash is explicitly for Path to exile. They definitely play 4 Mutavaults, and sometimes play other Manlands like Colonnade or Faerie Conclave, but not all that often. I haven’t seen them play Cavern of Souls, though I think they probably should, since it casts half their deck.Our goal is to not die in the first few turns. They pass every turn 1 they don’t play an Aether Vial, but then turn 2 has a lord, turn 3 has two lords if they have a Vial and they hit for 4, and turn 4 has you taking a ton. You want to draw some number of Paths and Wraths and find something sweet like Gifts. You can often do a lot with a Remand or two. All of our creatures are good in this matchup. Since they play counters, I keep Emrakul in. Since they play no fliers, Wurmcoil can stay in. If there’s no Aether Vial, Elesh Norn can do some real work, and they sometimes aren’t even playing white, which makes Iona insanely good. Just remember that the decks not playing white are playing Cryptic Command and can bounce her. It’s situational and when I’m using Gifts Combo, I’ll keep them all in.

    One thing to know with this deck is how Marrow Reejery works with Aether Vial. While Reejery says play, it is errata’d to say cast. This means that if Reejery is in play and they Vial in a Merfolk, they do NOT get to tap/untap something. It’s still definitely worth it to play Reejery, but they often don’t know that it doesn’t work like that, and they will try to tap your things, or untap their vial. Another thing not to forget is that Mutavault is all creature types, so it gets bonuses from their lords. And please don’t forget they play Cursecatcher. If you do, you can be punished with the Vial, when they cheat it into play and counter your Wrath.The sideboard plan is very simple. We simply want to shut down their Aether Vial as best we can, and can board in an extra counter. I don’t think we want 7 counters against them when they play Aether Vial, and the Negate only hits a few select cards. The Dispel is likely worth it though, as it’s U to stop a ton of the cards they use to combat us. Pithing Needle gets extra value in calling Mutavault sometimes. I don’t like Suppression Field against them, it’s slow and by the time it’s stopping them, it’s not really what we want to be doing, and they can pay for it. I don’t like Timely Reinforcements against them either, because it’s slow and doesn’t get us two turns. Here’s an example of how their game works and has Timely doing nothing:
    Turn 1 Aether Vial.
    Turn 2 lord.
    Turn 3 lord, Vial a lord, and swing for 4.
    Turn 4 a lot of damage.

    If we're playing Timely on turn 3, we're not stopping enough. We gain 6, and chump three lords. Not enough in my opinion, since we're only stalling one turn. We could instead kill off a lord perhaps, but next turn, they play another lord and we take more than 6.I prefer to get 2+ turns with a Timely. In a deck where they aren't playing burn spells and trying to finish me like that, I don't like Timely. It just doesn't get the job done, and I'd rather be finding answers than casting it.



    Other





    Useful Links & Videos


    Last edited by John Doe: 8/17/2013 9:55:26 PM
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

    Former TCG Writer
    Former Magicportugal.net Writer
  • #2
    -> Septermber 20, 2013 DCI Banned & Restricted List, Return to Ravnica released


    Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle is Unbanned

    -> "Death" of all Midrange / Tempo strategies other than Jund due to Return to Ravnica release, along with immediate Modern staples like Deathrite Shaman, Abrupt Decay and Supreme Verdict. The uncounterable cicle, along with new added power for Jund, marked the end of Patriot Delver and RUG Delver as Tier 1 strategies.
    -> Valakut becomes an immediate Tier 1 deck with heavy results online, and even getting a Top 8 spot in the immediate Modern PT.



    -> January 28, 2013 DCI Banned & Restricted List, Gatecrash released


    Bloodbraid Elf is Banned
    Seething Song is Banned

    -> Storm dies as a competitive deck. Jund decks suffer adaptations but Jund itself is still a Tier one deck, only much weaker. Natural and immediate rise of new control strategies.
    -> UWR Migrange becomes Tier 1
    -> Gifts strategies sees more play as "Gifts Rock" and UWR Gifts
    -> Teachings Control decks see more play, especially online
    -> Mono Blue Tron appears as a powerful deck online
    -> UW Tron returns 4-0 and 3-1 on MTGO after a "break"


    -> May 3, 2013, DCI Banned & Restricted List Announcement, Dragon's Maze released


    Second Sunrise is Banned

    -> "Death" of Eggs
    -> Return of Storm as a semi competitive deck in a GP
    -> Rising of 4 CC Gifts Control and Scapeshift (both combo and control versions)
    -> Melira Pod becomes the Pod version "to beat"
    -> Splinter Twin and Kiki Pod almost non-existent in Offline results (Twin is still a contender in MTGO)
    -> UWR Control and UWR Midrange rise in popularity
    -> Worse performance by Jund so far (first GP without a single Jund deck making top16).


    -> July 8, 2013 DCI Banned & Restricted List, M14 released


    No changes
    Significant rules changes:

    Rule Change: The "Planeswalker Uniqueness Rule"

    Previously, if there were two or more planeswalkers that share a subtype (such as "Jace") on the battlefield, they would all be put into their owners' graveyards as a state-based action. This rule is changing. The new rule is as follows:

    704.5j If a player controls two or more planeswalkers that share a planeswalker type, that player chooses one of them and the rest are put into their owners' graveyards. This is called the "planeswalker uniqueness rule."



    Rule Change: The "Legend Rule"

    Although there are no legendary permanents in the Magic 2014 Core Set , the "legend rule" is changing along with this set. Under the previous rule, whenever two or more legendary permanents with the same name were on the battlefield, they were all put into their owners' graveyards as a state-based action. This rule is changing to the following:

    704.5k If a player controls two or more legendary permanents with the same name, that player chooses one of them and the rest are put into their owners' graveyards. This is called the "legend rule."



    New Keyword: Indestructible

    Indestructible is a new keyword for an existing ability.
    Darksteel Ingot

    Artifact
    Indestructible (Effects that say "destroy" don't destroy this artifact.)
    : Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
    In most cases, indestructible becoming a keyword doesn't represent a functional change. There are two exceptions:
    Previously, if a permanent was made indestructible by a resolving spell or ability (such as Withstand Death), and then that permanent lost its abilities, it would still be indestructible. This was because indestructible wasn't an ability; it was just something true about the permanent. Now, the permanent will gain the ability indestructible, and it will lose this ability along with its other abilities.
    Previously, if a group of permanents were made indestructible by a resolving spell or ability (such as creatures you control being affected by Rootborn Defenses), permanents that joined that group or entered the battlefield after that spell or ability resolved would also be indestructible. This was because the effect making the permanents indestructible wasn't changing any of those permanents' characteristics. Now, a permanent that enters the battlefield or comes under your control after the spell or ability resolves won't have indestructible as it wasn't under your control at the appropriate time to gain it.
    Last edited by John Doe: 7/15/2013 6:42:03 PM
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

    Former TCG Writer
    Former Magicportugal.net Writer
  • #3
    Changes Log

    27/12/2012: Primer creation, posting information for the main topic.
    Currently working on: Darksteel88 information. Practically no content of mine yet.

    11/03/2013: Remembered that this section exists to keep track of updates (i've been doing it, but not leaving it here noted). Updated information for the main post and new "Metagame Changes" section.
    Currently on: Post Gatecrash information and updated matchups.

    11/03/2013: Character limit reached. I started using the personal blog to update the matchups and link them in the OP.

    19/06/2013: Fixed minor mistakes. Scapeshift, Birthing Pod and Affinity updated up to DGM. Next on Infect, Jund, UWR's and GR Tron.

    16/07/2013: Updated B&R list.

    OP Note: i'm currently uploading information regarding the topics. It will have a lot of information. Still, i am only human, so any mistake that i make here, whether in the information posted or in the forum codes (this will be highly likely to happen), please, let me know.
    I will also link all the cards to its proper image in due time.

    Any doubts, questions or requests regarding the Primer, feel free to ask Wink
    Last edited by John Doe: 7/15/2013 6:06:47 PM
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

    Former TCG Writer
    Former Magicportugal.net Writer
  • #4
    I want to say that your section on the mindslaver lock and on gifting for two is very well written and exactly what someone new to the deck should be reading...
    DNC.
    Quote from Helix
    Quote from Koopa

    Praise Helix.

    Thanks koopa.

    540 Peasant cube- Gold Edition
  • #5
    Quote from Macius
    I want to say that your section on the mindslaver lock and on gifting for two is very well written and exactly what someone new to the deck should be reading...


    Full credit goes to darksteel88, since that part was done by him (he is much more familiar with the Mindslaver Lock version than i am, i don't even remember the last time i played that version of the deck) Smile
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

    Former TCG Writer
    Former Magicportugal.net Writer
  • #6
    Quote from Macius
    I want to say that your section on the mindslaver lock and on gifting for two is very well written and exactly what someone new to the deck should be reading...


    Thanks, I appreciate it.

    I'm still working on the matchup information, hope to have it done in the coming days. It's using a slightly different list with slightly different philosophies behind just about everything, but it's got my up-to-date list and up-to-date information, so it should be great. Progress has slowed a bit, I've been reading an amazing book, but I'm done more than half the matchups, and as far as I know, I've tested these matchups more than enough already.

    Currently Playing:
    Modern
    UW Tron UWR Control Affinity Melira Pod
  • #7
    Quote from John Doe
    Full credit goes to darksteel88, since that part was done by him (he is much more familiar with the Mindslaver Lock version than i am, i don't even remember the last time i played that version of the deck) Smile


    You know, I actually tested a version not long ago with double Mindslaver in it. It was more focused on winning from Mindslaver, and so it had other cards to help facilitate that. I ultimately ended up deciding I didn't like the Gifts package we were pulling, since Mindslaver is slow.

    Also, since my mom took the book to return (it is actually misprinted and I need a new copy), I've got time to write the remaining matchups now. I may even finish them now, we'll see how this goes. The Kiki pod one took a while, there's just so much to write.

    Currently Playing:
    Modern
    UW Tron UWR Control Affinity Melira Pod
  • #8
    Quote from darksteel88
    You know, I actually tested a version not long ago with double Mindslaver in it. It was more focused on winning from Mindslaver, and so it had other cards to help facilitate that. I ultimately ended up deciding I didn't like the Gifts package we were pulling, since Mindslaver is slow.

    Also, since my mom took the book to return (it is actually misprinted and I need a new copy), I've got time to write the remaining matchups now. I may even finish them now, we'll see how this goes. The Kiki pod one took a while, there's just so much to write.


    I know, the matchups have a lot to write about, much more than "good / bad matchup". I have so much information and so much about Jund and Affinity that i actually have to go through topics to be able to remember it all. RUG and USA Delver do seem like a waste of testing, now that those decks lost a lot of popularity... Oh well Slant
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

    Former TCG Writer
    Former Magicportugal.net Writer
  • #9
    Hey, could you guys clarify the section on tournament time outs?

    "Remember that time works by a turn count; there are 5 turns and if nobody has won, then it’s a draw."

    This confused me a little bit. Is this after time expires?

    Also, I'm looking very strongly at playing this deck for for a PTQ in March. I really like Tron but R/G feels a little too fragile against quick aggro. Do you guys think U/W has what it takes to have a decent match up against every deck?
  • #10
    Quote from chrstphrbrnnn
    Hey, could you guys clarify the section on tournament time outs?

    "Remember that time works by a turn count; there are 5 turns and if nobody has won, then it’s a draw."

    This confused me a little bit. Is this after time expires?

    Also, I'm looking very strongly at playing this deck for for a PTQ in March. I really like Tron but R/G feels a little too fragile against quick aggro. Do you guys think U/W has what it takes to have a decent match up against every deck?


    Yup, that's after time expires.

    Also, UW Tron doesn't have what it takes to make the RG Artifact Tron match-up even--RG Artifact Tron just has far faster Karns and Emrakuls (and the ability to win through multiple spot LD).

    But other than that, I believe UW Tron has more well-rounded match-ups than RG Artifact Tron. The Jund match-up is worse for UW Tron than for RG Artifact Tron, but UW Tron has a better time against combo.
  • #11
    Quote from darksteel88
    Thanks, I appreciate it.

    I'm still working on the matchup information, hope to have it done in the coming days. It's using a slightly different list with slightly different philosophies behind just about everything, but it's got my up-to-date list and up-to-date information, so it should be great. Progress has slowed a bit, I've been reading an amazing book, but I'm done more than half the matchups, and as far as I know, I've tested these matchups more than enough already.


    What really sets what you did apart from others is that other primers will say " here is the cards, decklists and how it works essentially." What I see there is "Here is all of that and here are some notes to make you play better."

    Im currently building R/G tron and am looking at building U/W tron on the side as an audible if combo gets bigger in my meta... always good to have options.
    DNC.
    Quote from Helix
    Quote from Koopa

    Praise Helix.

    Thanks koopa.

    540 Peasant cube- Gold Edition
  • #12
    Quote from John Doe
    I know, the matchups have a lot to write about, much more than "good / bad matchup". I have so much information and so much about Jund and Affinity that i actually have to go through topics to be able to remember it all. RUG and USA Delver do seem like a waste of testing, now that those decks lost a lot of popularity... Oh well Slant


    I can still write a solid amount about them. I'm at about 35 pages of stuff, though there's a bit of overhead in the document. Still not shabby, looks like it's going well. My Affinity and Jund section weren't nearly as long as Storm and Kiki Pod. Jund probably needs a bit of work, but Affinity, IMO, is straight forward.

    Quote from chrstphrbrnnn
    Hey, could you guys clarify the section on tournament time outs?

    "Remember that time works by a turn count; there are 5 turns and if nobody has won, then it’s a draw."

    This confused me a little bit. Is this after time expires?

    Also, I'm looking very strongly at playing this deck for for a PTQ in March. I really like Tron but R/G feels a little too fragile against quick aggro. Do you guys think U/W has what it takes to have a decent match up against every deck?


    Yes, it's after time. At time, you proceed to take 5 additional turns, with the activate player when time is called being turn 0. If nobody has won by that time, the game is considered a draw. Under certain conditions, these rules are altered, such as a match that needs a winner.

    RG Tron has worse matchups than this in general. That said, this deck has decent matchups against everything not called RG Tron. In fact, I've only beaten RG Tron once, and they were playing a horrible list: Tooth and Nail, no Karn... I'll stop there. We do have the Terastodon sideboard plan, but it still sucks.

    I'm considering other options, including Telemin Performance, but I think that them playing Wurmcoil hinders that a little too much, since I'd really want to guarantee Emrakul. I just can't really guarantee not hitting Wurmcoil. Maybe if I Surgical'd the Wurmcoil first, but that would require me killing the Wurmcoil, so I'd have to Disenchant it...yeah, that's not that likely. But I do play a Ghost Quarter...maybe if I hit a Tron land, then exiled that with Surgical...Yeah, I'm really liking that. Now I have to try it, lol.

    Like Lectrys said, we have a better average match. RG Tron punts combo a lot, that's why there's as many as 4 Relics MB. Of course, it has a much better Jund matchup than us, but our Jund matchup is still good (and I think favourable to us, so I'm not all that concerned).

    Quote from Macius


    What really sets what you did apart from others is that other primers will say " here is the cards, decklists and how it works essentially." What I see there is "Here is all of that and here are some notes to make you play better."

    Im currently building R/G tron and am looking at building U/W tron on the side as an audible if combo gets bigger in my meta... always good to have options.


    We try what we can to help people out. It's one of the more difficult decks in the format, I think. Gifts isn't an easy card to play with, and there's so much the deck is capable of, and so many options for card choices. It is a primer, and this isn't what primers typically do, but it's not like I was told "don't do it". If I can, I don't see a reason not to, and thus you get all my vast knowledge of this deck in this format. I must've played half a thousand matches with this deck, easily.

    UW Tron isn't a half bad side choice, since some of the cards blend. It's also nice because it's basically a completely different deck. A surprisingly large number of people go "oh, Tron", when our decks have to fairly different game plans, aside from the late game "how do you beat Emrakul?".

    If I manage to have time after I finish the matchups, I'm up for some other stuff. I might go over some situations of what to take for Gifts packages, or when to mulligan. The answer to the last question might be surprising, because it's "almost never".

    Currently Playing:
    Modern
    UW Tron UWR Control Affinity Melira Pod
  • #13
    Quote from darksteel88

    We try what we can to help people out. It's one of the more difficult decks in the format, I think. Gifts isn't an easy card to play with, and there's so much the deck is capable of, and so many options for card choices. It is a primer, and this isn't what primers typically do, but it's not like I was told "don't do it". If I can, I don't see a reason not to, and thus you get all my vast knowledge of this deck in this format. I must've played half a thousand matches with this deck, easily.

    UW Tron isn't a half bad side choice, since some of the cards blend. It's also nice because it's basically a completely different deck. A surprisingly large number of people go "oh, Tron", when our decks have to fairly different game plans, aside from the late game "how do you beat Emrakul?".

    If I manage to have time after I finish the matchups, I'm up for some other stuff. I might go over some situations of what to take for Gifts packages, or when to mulligan. The answer to the last question might be surprising, because it's "almost never".


    I kinda found the same in my playings of Lec's list for R/G.... and I only did so when I had double tower and a hand of meh.
    I can see why you never really need to mull with the deck as it doesnt seem as reliant on getting tron asap (not saying it doesnt benefit greatly), but can take a more slow roll approach.

    I'd almost say that U/W is combo/control (the combo being tron and mindslaver) while R/G is more of a combo/aggro approach... but my views on combo are a wee different than most.
    DNC.
    Quote from Helix
    Quote from Koopa

    Praise Helix.

    Thanks koopa.

    540 Peasant cube- Gold Edition
  • #14
    Bribery could be sweet against RG Tron. Problem is, what else is it good against? Nothing?
    Only pros cast blind Cabal Therapies!

    Currently playing:

    UW Modern Tron WU

    UR Modern Storm RU


    UW [CARD]Rasputin Dreamweaver
    [/CARD] UW
  • #15
    Quote from Macius


    I kinda found the same in my playings of Lec's list for R/G.... and I only did so when I had double tower and a hand of meh.
    I can see why you never really need to mull with the deck as it doesnt seem as reliant on getting tron asap (not saying it doesnt benefit greatly), but can take a more slow roll approach.

    I'd almost say that U/W is combo/control (the combo being tron and mindslaver) while R/G is more of a combo/aggro approach... but my views on combo are a wee different than most.


    That it does. While my newest version is more concerned on getting Tron out early (evident by the choices), it's not actually all that necessary. The deck doesn't actually need Tron instantly, but it certainly performs better with it.

    I do actually call UW Tron a combo control deck. It's a control deck that plays Tron (that itself is considered a combo), Gifts combo (Gifts into reanimating Iona for a win is a combo, IMO), and the potential for Mindslaver lock, a definite combo.

    RG Tron is more of a combo ramp deck, because it's basically doing the ramp plan, play your lands fast and get to something reasonably big, reasonably fast, but it also does play Tron and Mindslaver lock. I'm fine enough calling ramp its own thing, people definitely know what you mean when you say it.

    Currently Playing:
    Modern
    UW Tron UWR Control Affinity Melira Pod
  • #16
    All right, onto a couple questions....

    1. Would Spell Burst be an acceptable card idea or is condescend simply that much better? Im assuming the later, but an unconditional reusable counter does catch my eye.

    2. I had a coast/shrine/signet and two tron pieces in play, with 'Slaver/ruins in hand. Gifts EoT and I decide to search out final tron piece/Rites and Iona (against a mono-colored deck...). My wondering was if I should of omitted the tron piece of if searching those 3 was a good call?
    DNC.
    Quote from Helix
    Quote from Koopa

    Praise Helix.

    Thanks koopa.

    540 Peasant cube- Gold Edition
  • #17
    Quote from Macius
    All right, onto a couple questions....

    1. Would Spell Burst be an acceptable card idea or is condescend simply that much better? Im assuming the later, but an unconditional reusable counter does catch my eye.

    2. I had a coast/shrine/signet and two tron pieces in play, with 'Slaver/ruins in hand. Gifts EoT and I decide to search out final tron piece/Rites and Iona (against a mono-colored deck...). My wondering was if I should of omitted the tron piece of if searching those 3 was a good call?


    1. People have mentioned Spell Burst before, though I think Condescend is better. I really like Scry 2, more than I do buyback on a card I actually don't see myself casting multiple times very easily. Remember, Tron is optional in this deck, so you quite often won't buyback. At least with Condescend, you're still getting Scry no matter when you cast it. With Tron out, buyback seems nice, but how much are you willing to put into countering one spell? Our deck has lots of things it can do, but only if you have mana to do it. If you're countering for 3, and buying back, you're using 7 mana. That's basically all of Tron, and I like to cast other things in a turn. I also think Scry is great in a combo deck, since we value certain cards a lot higher than others, as opposed to marginally higher.

    2. Against a mono-coloured deck, you ALWAYS go for Gifts combo. Sure, Tron is nice, but Iona immediately wins the game. Even if you have another way to win in hand, you should be taking Iona and winning that way.

    Let me point out a couple of things that you should be aware of:

    a) Mindslaver lock costs 13 mana in total, counting the Academy Ruins as 1 mana. 6 to cast, 4 to activate, and 3 to put back on top. With 3 mana, Tron, and Ruins, you don't have enough to lock them. You do have enough to activate and we all like Mindslaver, but there's no lock yet. Even if you draw a Tower with Tron, it's still another turn before you can lock, because you can't play both lands the next turn.

    b) Taking 3 cards is something I don't think I've ever done; always 2 or 4. With 2 cards, we're cheating the rules, more or less. We get to dictate what gets sent to grave, and it's obvious what we're trying to accomplish. With 4 cards, we're trying to get 2 cards back, as we are normally supposed to do. With 3 cards, you're basically telling them "do what you want". I suspect given the position of the game (having Shrine in play), you got just the Iona in hand and had the other two in grave. What does this accomplish? You got none of what you wanted, and let them dictate everything.

    Assuming the game isn't at a point where you could lose after Iona from board position, Iona is always the way to win against a mono-coloured deck. The idea is straightforward, they can't cast any spells, it's really hard to lose. While Mindslaver lock is fun, if you can't do it immediately, it's not better than Iona, not by a long shot. Even when you can do it immediately, it's not always that great, because they can make you play it out, and it's cumbersome, to say the least.


    Also, as a note to anyone who's interested, I've got time between now and the 7th to test. If anyone wants to test, me playing Tron, or you playing Tron and me playing something else, I'm totally up to it. I'm willing to play any deck, and while I can't claim to play any deck perfectly, I'll do my best. Just don't give me Loam or Eggs and we should be fine, lol.

    Currently Playing:
    Modern
    UW Tron UWR Control Affinity Melira Pod
  • #18
    Quote from Macius
    All right, onto a couple questions....

    1. Would Spell Burst be an acceptable card idea or is condescend simply that much better? Im assuming the later, but an unconditional reusable counter does catch my eye.


    I tested Spell Burst before. The cards isn't bad when you have Tron assembled, but other than that, it is subpar. Even so, some must-counter spells your opponents play will be very expensive for you (Karn Liberated, for instance). I cut Repeal for that very same reason (and echoing Truth deals with Kiki Jiki combo).

    Quote from Macius
    2. I had a coast/shrine/signet and two tron pieces in play, with 'Slaver/ruins in hand. Gifts EoT and I decide to search out final tron piece/Rites and Iona (against a mono-colored deck...). My wondering was if I should of omitted the tron piece of if searching those 3 was a good call?


    You should just lock with Iona, since she will win that game on the spot. There's no need to assemble the Tron lands or Mindlsaver lock if they fold to Iona right there.
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

    Former TCG Writer
    Former Magicportugal.net Writer
  • #19
    First of all, thanks guys for getting the primer up even if it still needs some work. Should make it a lot easier for people trying to get into the deck.

    Quote from darksteel88
    Thanks, I appreciate it.

    I'm still working on the matchup information, hope to have it done in the coming days. It's using a slightly different list with slightly different philosophies behind just about everything, but it's got my up-to-date list and up-to-date information, so it should be great. Progress has slowed a bit, I've been reading an amazing book, but I'm done more than half the matchups, and as far as I know, I've tested these matchups more than enough already.


    Quote from darksteel88


    I'm considering other options, including Telemin Performance, but I think that them playing Wurmcoil hinders that a little too much, since I'd really want to guarantee Emrakul. I just can't really guarantee not hitting Wurmcoil. Maybe if I Surgical'd the Wurmcoil first, but that would require me killing the Wurmcoil, so I'd have to Disenchant it...yeah, that's not that likely. But I do play a Ghost Quarter...maybe if I hit a Tron land, then exiled that with Surgical...Yeah, I'm really liking that. Now I have to try it, lol.



    Just curious about what decklist you are running right now. Specifically the mana base. You say the one in the primer is up to date, but that doesn't include Ghost Quarter which you are saying you run. Also, you mention Tolaria West in the primer which isn't in your decklist either. Since you are running Slaver/Ruins I assume you probably cut either one or both of them to make the mana more consistent, but not sure. If you cut them both, why not just replace one with Ruins and keep the other? If you did only cut one, which did you keep? I haven't been running Tolaria West, but still run Ghost Quarter, but was wondering if you thought one was generally better than other, meta aside.

    Quote from LOLaSageOwl
    Bribery could be sweet against RG Tron. Problem is, what else is it good against? Nothing?


    Like you said, it's not really great against anyone else. Also, it costs a lot and if they have Emmy in hand getting a Wurmcoil that will probably just get Karn'd anyway doesn't seem very good. Also, finding one copy is going to be tough, if you Gifts for it, and Emmy is in their deck still, there is no chance they are giving it to you.

    I like the idea, but doesn't seem like it would work all that well.
  • #20
    Another card that has been discussed, but apparently neither of you are playing currently, is Cyclonic Rift. Obviously if casting it for two, Echoing Truth is better, but is the Overload ever good enough to justify running Rift over Truth?

    It feels like it is, but tough to say without testing it first.
  • #21
    Quote from Hunger
    Another card that has been discussed, but apparently neither of you are playing currently, is Cyclonic Rift. Obviously if casting it for two, Echoing Truth is better, but is the Overload ever good enough to justify running Rift over Truth?

    It feels like it is, but tough to say without testing it first.


    I believe darksteel88 likes the card, but i found out than often, i would appreciate bouncing a permanent of mine (Detention Sphere, Iona / Elesh Norn), and the card is mostly relevant against tokens and double cards. I found out, moe often than not that i'd be happier with the slight bounce effect for two mana, rather than an one sided "Upheaval" for 7. If i don't pay for the Overload, the card is just awful when comparing to Echoing Truth, and wins in some situations vs Repeal, but loses in others. I'd rather run the "safe" choice on this one, even though where talking about a one of. Wink
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

    Former TCG Writer
    Former Magicportugal.net Writer
  • #22
    Quote from John Doe
    I cut Repeal for that very same reason (and echoing Truth deals with Kiki Jiki combo).


    I've put back the Repeal for other reasons. Firstly, drawing a card is nice. More importantly, they can't Spellskite a Repeal if it isn't for two, since it can't legally target the Spellskite. Thirdly, they can't Spell Snare it if it isn't for two, and against those decks, you're casting it for not 2 more often than 2.

    Quote from Hunger
    First of all, thanks guys for getting the primer up even if it still needs some work. Should make it a lot easier for people trying to get into the deck.

    Just curious about what decklist you are running right now. Specifically the mana base. You say the one in the primer is up to date, but that doesn't include Ghost Quarter which you are saying you run. Also, you mention Tolaria West in the primer which isn't in your decklist either. Since you are running Slaver/Ruins I assume you probably cut either one or both of them to make the mana more consistent, but not sure. If you cut them both, why not just replace one with Ruins and keep the other? If you did only cut one, which did you keep? I haven't been running Tolaria West, but still run Ghost Quarter, but was wondering if you thought one was generally better than other, meta aside.

    Like you said, it's not really great against anyone else. Also, it costs a lot and if they have Emmy in hand getting a Wurmcoil that will probably just get Karn'd anyway doesn't seem very good. Also, finding one copy is going to be tough, if you Gifts for it, and Emmy is in their deck still, there is no chance they are giving it to you.

    I like the idea, but doesn't seem like it would work all that well.


    First off, you're welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I know some of the missing topics were included in the draft I sent, looks like John has some work to do.

    My list is out of date in the primer, I changed it a few times since then. I'll get around to posting it shortly, there aren't too many major changes other than the lack of Mindslaver. The deck does play out a little bit differently now though. I cut both Ruins and Mindslaver, and the Mindslaver became a Talisman of Progress.

    Personally, I found Mindslaver to not be as good as I was hoping in UW Tron. I've played lists that are more focused on it, one that was from an RL friend that has been playing this deck as long as I have, and I just didn't like it. Even though it had some neat tricks to it, the deck felt like it wanted Mindslaver too much, and I didn't want it as much as the deck seemed to want it.

    I think Ghost Quarter is better than Tolaria West. With RG Tron being a deck, it's a card that helps us win that matchup, because we all know that keeping them off Tron is miles better than us getting Tron. There's also a lot of Mandlands in the format, Colonnade, Treetop, Raging Ravine, Lavaclaw, Mutavault, etc. I'd definitely rather have the Ghost Quarter. In terms of the Tolaria West though, it's a little lacking, to be honest. I tend to side it out a bit, because it's slow. I do like having extra ways to get Tron, and I'm not really upset if I have to play it as a tapped land. It's also much better if you're playing Academy Ruins.

    Bribery does seem better than Telemin Performance, the Telemin Performance is something I remember from before because it was good against Storm. Before Storm was playing Electromancer, they had no creatures, so you'd win casting this. I'd seen a few lists play one Simian Spirit Guide just for this. Well, not just for this, because it is useful for getting mana, but this was part of the reason.

    Quote from Hunger
    Another card that has been discussed, but apparently neither of you are playing currently, is Cyclonic Rift. Obviously if casting it for two, Echoing Truth is better, but is the Overload ever good enough to justify running Rift over Truth?

    It feels like it is, but tough to say without testing it first.


    While the list I'm using right now isn't playing Cyclonic Rift (it's playing Repeal), I'm still playing Rift in the physical version I have.

    I tested it for a long time, and I actually liked it. I feel like guaranteeing a bounce for two is very good, perhaps better than Repeal. With Echoing Truth, I found that you really don't get to bounce multiple permanents that often. Sure, you can wait for Kiki to go off, but it's not as if bouncing the Kiki or something else wouldn't already work.

    The Overload is actually fine. If you have Tron, you should be able to Overload, and it's definitely powerful. That said, I'm trying to play around cards. I like playing around Spellskite and Spell Snare, two cards that Rift, as well as Echoing Truth, both lose to.

    I found most of the time, I didn't care to bounce expensive permanents, and when I did, it didn't matter how much it cost. I can't bounce Karn, but bouncing it doesn't exactly win me the game, I'm still losing. One of the only things I care to bounce more than about 3 mana is Kiki combo, and when I bounce it, it buys me an entire turn, and I can bounce something cheaper than Kiki almost all the time. Drawing a card is also quite nice, I like it.

    And considering Repeal can still bounce a Bird or whatnot on turn 2, it's still perfectly fine. Just like Bolt the Bird, Repeal the Bird is a fine play.

    If I'm comparing Echoing Truth to Cyclonic Rift, I think Rift wins hands down. I can count on my hands the number of times I've bounced more than one permanent with an Echoing Truth. Then again, I can count to 1024 on my hand...lol. But seriously, you almost never hit multiple permanents, and I don't count bouncing Kiki combo as multiple permanents. The Upheaval is more relevant than bouncing multiple permanents, in my experience. I've certainly Upheaval'd more than I've gotten value on Echoing Truth, and I've played Echoing Truth more than Cyclonic Rift...

    It's worth noting that Rift can Overload bounce a Geist, and Geist is very good against us. I'm starting to second guess Repeal, I'm really not sure which is better. It really depends what you expect to see in your meta, but I'm talking myself into Cyclonic Rift as I'm typing this.

    Either way, the one thing I'm sure of, is that I don't want to play Echoing Truth.

    Currently Playing:
    Modern
    UW Tron UWR Control Affinity Melira Pod
  • #23
    Just came from a Modern tournament, and it would be difficult to find a weirder one. Went 3-2 and ended up in 10th, only to miss the Top8 by very few, no point difference between the 6th and the 12th.

    Still, by the amount of Pro players that were there, i couldn't really complain, since it was a hell of a learning experience for me. Among the players were some ex National Champions, WMC players, and leading Pro players in our country. Doing such a result was nothing to feel bad about, and it was a wierd tournament.

    I made a few changes in the sideboard, but the MD is from the Primer. Since i expected more Jund and Infect, i opted to leave Boseiju out and went with an extra Timely Reinforcements, while still keeping Rule of Law. Hardly did i know, i was going to regret keeping rule of law, and leaving Boseiju out.


    Round 1 vs UW Tron: lost 0-2

    I won the die rol and began with Colonnade, following with a Seachrome Coast. Since i saw a Colonnade of his own, i thought "UW Restoration is good enough of a match to start", only to find strange when he looked at me with a very weird face when i ask him if Signet would resolve (expecting Snare). He looks at me, and then proceed playing Urza's Mine, and i finally got why. Game one hadn't much to tell, since we both began fetching for lands and countering each other's Gifts when trying to combo off. In one turn i manage to get Eye of Ugin and was short one turn to be able to fetch Emrakul to seal the game. He plays one of his own, both die, and he ended up getting Emrakul from the Top, so i lost. Game two went with a huge mistake on my part. I get gifts at the end of turn three, and see that he has mana open to counter. He lets it resolve, i get Terastodon and Rites on the GY. I then have two options: either try to win on the spot, risking getting tapped out and letting him Gift on his own, or try to win out of mana (i had the second Tron piece and was hoping to get the third), using my Detention Sphere to leave him out of his two signets (and out of colored mana). I decided for the second, expecting him to have the Remand (witch he didn't). He lost all signets and mana, but out came Hallowed Fountain from the top, leaving him with colored mana. I ended up losing again to Emrakul, one turn before i could give him lethal.

    The odds of seeing in Portugal a UW Tron deck is minimal, let alone play a mirror match, but it had to happen to me Smile


    Round 2: vs Spirit Jund lost 0-2

    My opponent was playing a pretty stock version of Spirit Jund, resembling the one from team CFB (no Hellkite). He quickly understands the matchup he is playing against an tries to get some early pressure on the board. I manage to Path two of his Goyfs, and held a while, while hoping to get a Gifts. I didn't manage to play it, and double L. Bolt dealt with me in game one.
    Game two, i mull to six (no land), and kept a rather weird hand. My opponent later agreed with me that he would keep it as well, since the Signet would allow me to Gifts even without drawing a land and a Timely Reinforcements. Still, the turn one Thoughtseize dealt with the Signet, leaving me with few lands and ways to deal with the threats he played (but i drew them right away). He mostly played manlands, so i was able to hold on a while, but not being able to get full value out of Timely. I ended up having to use it to gain life, and that's when he played his goyfs (he later told me that he wasn't really drawing his creatures, and the goyfs came from the top).
    I ended up getting Ulamog in play, but one turn too late of lethal damage, thanks to Bloodbraid Elf.


    I was beginning to doubt my choices and my deck, but i decided to see it to the end. Plus, it wasn't lost yet, as i could still make it to the top8


    Round 3 vs UWR Control won 2-0

    My opponent was playing a deck i couldn't figure out until the end, since he had Planeswalkers, but i never saw a card the would tell me in the first game exactly what it was. I end up putting pressure on him as best as possible with Wurmcoil (still thinking it was UWR Delver, since i saw only Bolts and Helixes), and he Path the Wurm. I proceed to Gifts mana and Iona for White, not before countering one Ajani Vengeant. Had he managed to resolve it he would surely win since i got no cards (later in the game) other than the counter, and he would ultimate before i could resolve Iona. My choice for different counters had started to pay off, and Iona just won me a game.

    While sideboarding, i would really figure our whether he had creatures or not, so i ended up siding out the wraths, getting Purge, Timely (because of the huge amount of burn) and Leyline. I opened with two Leyline in hand, but played only one. Echoing Truth was the only card he could bring that would deal with them both, but i would never ever play both of them since its a lot safer to keep it in the hand, rather than give him an extra threat, but also extra information. He managed to resolve a Ajani, witch can't ultimate because of Leyline. He proceeds to look for answers of his own, and before he manages to get what he is looking for, i use Detention Sphere on the Planeswalker. He draws, and exiles my Sphere with Oblivion Ring while following again with bounce (not E. Truth) for the Leyline. I play Leyline, he removes it, but i still have the second in my hand. I play the second, and Purge the Ajani before he is able to deal with the second Leyline. I then manage to get Emrakul, but he is able to hold his own for two turns before a Wrath of God deals with the Edrazi. I never managed to counter Ajani and WOG because of the sideboard Spell Pierce. After dealing with the card for a turn i manage to (finally) get double Colonnade mana and proceed to beat for 8 a turn.

    Even though he was with such a result, the deck was well made, especially for that specific environment (full of Jund, Zoo and Pod).



    Round 4 vs Spirit Jund won 2-1

    My opponent was a good player on a bad streak (since i remembered his face from some higher level tournaments). He was playing Willy Edel's version and we had very straightforward two first games. Game one, he Thoughtseizes me, seeing Supreme Verdict, a few lands, Path, Signet and Gifts. When he gets rid of Verdict i understand that either he has Decay in hand, some good early threats, or both. It turns out that he had both, dealing with ease with my Signet. he gets Goyf, witch i Path. He proceeds with Confidant, and he gets BBE into a Lotus Cobra. One L. Bolt later, i resolve Timely Reinforcements and get to chump block his creatures while trading Lotus Cobra. He needed to clean the blockers so he could deal lethal the next turn out of damage and burn, and he plays another Goyf. Problem is, i already had the Supreme Verdict a while ago, but played Timely first, since i lacked one land for that. I then play Wurmcoil Engine the next turn, witch he can't deal with. Game Two, we both keep slow hands, but mine had some toys work with. He gets Shaman but it gets a Path, and then he gets double BBE with Goyf and a Confidant that was already giving him a lot of gas (he even 8 damage out of confidan, courtesy of Bolt, Hellkite and Pulse) witch just deals me lethal in two swings. I resolved a Leyline, but his Pulse dealt with it pretty easily. Game three, another Leyline in hand, and i managed to hold a while until i got Wurmcoil Engine. Again, he couldn't deal with it in time and i won the game.


    Round 5: vs Mono Red Burn

    My opponent never came, but i am pretty sure i would have won that game, since the results where very favorable in testing, and i have more Timely than before and Leyline.



    All in all, it was a very good tournament, where i got to learn a lot, and if it wasn't for a few mistakes, might have made top8 anyway. The Tron game, i really should have risked it, since i would have won the game, and against the first Spirit Jund deck, i made a choice regarding playing Timely reinforcements that i now believe to be wrong. Had i played it a turn later, i would have gotten the tokens, giving me more than the needed turn to win the game. Then again, my opponent knew i had Timely, since i played it in game one.

    My Jund opponent (the round i won), made a huge misplay but that play would never interfere with the game result, since he could never deal with Wurmcoil that was already in play. He plays, two turns before conceding, a Slaughter Games. Not much of a shock, but i watched, surprised, when he names "Wurmcoil Engine" as a target. I only play one, and even if playing two, removing that second one from the deck wouldn't make the game different. Had he chosen the Leyline, he would be able to deal me a nice blow. Even though it wouldn't chance the outcome, i didn't knew about what would happen the next turn, and a Terminate would be a huge setback, and had to rely on Ulamog / Emrakul.
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

    Former TCG Writer
    Former Magicportugal.net Writer
  • #24
    So I kinda wanna try Sphinx's Revelation. Am I bad?
    Only pros cast blind Cabal Therapies!

    Currently playing:

    UW Modern Tron WU

    UR Modern Storm RU


    UW [CARD]Rasputin Dreamweaver
    [/CARD] UW
  • #25
    Quote from John Doe
    Just came from a Modern tournament, and it would be difficult to find a weirder one. Went 3-2 and ended up in 10th, only to miss the Top8 by very few, no point difference between the 6th and the 12th.

    Still, by the amount of Pro players that were there, i couldn't really complain, since it was a hell of a learning experience for me. Among the players were some ex National Champions, WMC players, and leading Pro players in our country. Doing such a result was nothing to feel bad about, and it was a wierd tournament.

    I made a few changes in the sideboard, but the MD is from the Primer. Since i expected more Jund and Infect, i opted to leave Boseiju out and went with an extra Timely Reinforcements, while still keeping Rule of Law. Hardly did i know, i was going to regret keeping rule of law, and leaving Boseiju out.


    Round 1 vs UW Tron: lost 0-2

    I won the die rol and began with Colonnade, following with a Seachrome Coast. Since i saw a Colonnade of his own, i thought "UW Restoration is good enough of a match to start", only to find strange when he looked at me with a very weird face when i ask him if Signet would resolve (expecting Snare). He looks at me, and then proceed playing Urza's Mine, and i finally got why. Game one hadn't much to tell, since we both began fetching for lands and countering each other's Gifts when trying to combo off. In one turn i manage to get Eye of Ugin and was short one turn to be able to fetch Emrakul to seal the game. He plays one of his own, both die, and he ended up getting Emrakul from the Top, so i lost. Game two went with a huge mistake on my part. I get gifts at the end of turn three, and see that he has mana open to counter. He lets it resolve, i get Terastodon and Rites on the GY. I then have two options: either try to win on the spot, risking getting tapped out and letting him Gift on his own, or try to win out of mana (i had the second Tron piece and was hoping to get the third), using my Detention Sphere to leave him out of his two signets (and out of colored mana). I decided for the second, expecting him to have the Remand (witch he didn't). He lost all signets and mana, but out came Hallowed Fountain from the top, leaving him with colored mana. I ended up losing again to Emrakul, one turn before i could give him lethal.

    The odds of seeing in Portugal a UW Tron deck is minimal, let alone play a mirror match, but it had to happen to me Smile


    Round 2: vs Spirit Jund lost 0-2

    My opponent was playing a pretty stock version of Spirit Jund, resembling the one from team CFB (no Hellkite). He quickly understands the matchup he is playing against an tries to get some early pressure on the board. I manage to Path two of his Goyfs, and held a while, while hoping to get a Gifts. I didn't manage to play it, and double L. Bolt dealt with me in game one.
    Game two, i mull to six (no land), and kept a rather weird hand. My opponent later agreed with me that he would keep it as well, since the Signet would allow me to Gifts even without drawing a land and a Timely Reinforcements. Still, the turn one Thoughtseize dealt with the Signet, leaving me with few lands and ways to deal with the threats he played (but i drew them right away). He mostly played manlands, so i was able to hold on a while, but not being able to get full value out of Timely. I ended up having to use it to gain life, and that's when he played his goyfs (he later told me that he wasn't really drawing his creatures, and the goyfs came from the top).
    I ended up getting Ulamog in play, but one turn too late of lethal damage, thanks to Bloodbraid Elf.


    I was beginning to doubt my choices and my deck, but i decided to see it to the end. Plus, it wasn't lost yet, as i could still make it to the top8


    Round 3 vs UWR Control won 2-0

    My opponent was playing a deck i couldn't figure out until the end, since he had Planeswalkers, but i never saw a card the would tell me in the first game exactly what it was. I end up putting pressure on him as best as possible with Wurmcoil (still thinking it was UWR Delver, since i saw only Bolts and Helixes), and he Path the Wurm. I proceed to Gifts mana and Iona for White, not before countering one Ajani Vengeant. Had he managed to resolve it he would surely win since i got no cards (later in the game) other than the counter, and he would ultimate before i could resolve Iona. My choice for different counters had started to pay off, and Iona just won me a game.

    While sideboarding, i would really figure our whether he had creatures or not, so i ended up siding out the wraths, getting Purge, Timely (because of the huge amount of burn) and Leyline. I opened with two Leyline in hand, but played only one. Echoing Truth was the only card he could bring that would deal with them both, but i would never ever play both of them since its a lot safer to keep it in the hand, rather than give him an extra threat, but also extra information. He managed to resolve a Ajani, witch can't ultimate because of Leyline. He proceeds to look for answers of his own, and before he manages to get what he is looking for, i use Detention Sphere on the Planeswalker. He draws, and exiles my Sphere with Oblivion Ring while following again with bounce (not E. Truth) for the Leyline. I play Leyline, he removes it, but i still have the second in my hand. I play the second, and Purge the Ajani before he is able to deal with the second Leyline. I then manage to get Emrakul, but he is able to hold his own for two turns before a Wrath of God deals with the Edrazi. I never managed to counter Ajani and WOG because of the sideboard Spell Pierce. After dealing with the card for a turn i manage to (finally) get double Colonnade mana and proceed to beat for 8 a turn.

    Even though he was with such a result, the deck was well made, especially for that specific environment (full of Jund, Zoo and Pod).



    Round 4 vs Spirit Jund won 2-1

    My opponent was a good player on a bad streak (since i remembered his face from some higher level tournaments). He was playing Willy Edel's version and we had very straightforward two first games. Game one, he Thoughtseizes me, seeing Supreme Verdict, a few lands, Path, Signet and Gifts. When he gets rid of Verdict i understand that either he has Decay in hand, some good early threats, or both. It turns out that he had both, dealing with ease with my Signet. he gets Goyf, witch i Path. He proceeds with Confidant, and he gets BBE into a Lotus Cobra. One L. Bolt later, i resolve Timely Reinforcements and get to chump block his creatures while trading Lotus Cobra. He needed to clean the blockers so he could deal lethal the next turn out of damage and burn, and he plays another Goyf. Problem is, i already had the Supreme Verdict a while ago, but played Timely first, since i lacked one land for that. I then play Wurmcoil Engine the next turn, witch he can't deal with. Game Two, we both keep slow hands, but mine had some toys work with. He gets Shaman but it gets a Path, and then he gets double BBE with Goyf and a Confidant that was already giving him a lot of gas (he even 8 damage out of confidan, courtesy of Bolt, Hellkite and Pulse) witch just deals me lethal in two swings. I resolved a Leyline, but his Pulse dealt with it pretty easily. Game three, another Leyline in hand, and i managed to hold a while until i got Wurmcoil Engine. Again, he couldn't deal with it in time and i won the game.


    Round 5: vs Mono Red Burn

    My opponent never came, but i am pretty sure i would have won that game, since the results where very favorable in testing, and i have more Timely than before and Leyline.



    All in all, it was a very good tournament, where i got to learn a lot, and if it wasn't for a few mistakes, might have made top8 anyway. The Tron game, i really should have risked it, since i would have won the game, and against the first Spirit Jund deck, i made a choice regarding playing Timely reinforcements that i now believe to be wrong. Had i played it a turn later, i would have gotten the tokens, giving me more than the needed turn to win the game. Then again, my opponent knew i had Timely, since i played it in game one.

    My Jund opponent (the round i won), made a huge misplay but that play would never interfere with the game result, since he could never deal with Wurmcoil that was already in play. He plays, two turns before conceding, a Slaughter Games. Not much of a shock, but i watched, surprised, when he names "Wurmcoil Engine" as a target. I only play one, and even if playing two, removing that second one from the deck wouldn't make the game different. Had he chosen the Leyline, he would be able to deal me a nice blow. Even though it wouldn't chance the outcome, i didn't knew about what would happen the next turn, and a Terminate would be a huge setback, and had to rely on Ulamog / Emrakul.



    Game 1:
    I specifically only board Terastodon against RG Tron, I think it's fairly bad elsewhere. In this matchup, I think Iona calling white, if you have the counter backup, is the way to go. Realistically, you can't play something like Terastodon and hope to get too far, since they can still Path it and go for gold with the 3 3/3s. Sure, Iona calling white isn't necessarily that safe, but the mirror is more concerned with trying to get Emrakul than anything. It's also a good deck to have Mindbreak Trap against, since it's an Emrakul answer. I suppose Terastodon isn't awful, but the fact of the matter is that it's very easy for it to put you in a bad position, and there's a chance it's only marginal. Since we board out Wrath and Timely here, you really aren't going to be happy if they can deal with your Terastodon, and even if you get them off colour, it's just a single white source for a Path, and I play what, 4 Colonnade, 3 Seachrome, 2 Fountains and a Plains, that's ten white sources in a 60 card deck, so the odds are still pretty good for them to Path it. You don't interact well with the elephant tokens at this point of the game.

    Game 2:
    You always keep hands against Jund without considering if they have spot discard, because its not worth it to mull more than you need to. Even so, the matchup shouldn't be that bad unless they get a Shaman you can't stop, because Gifts does enough work. You also got to see why I don't like Ulamog that much, cause they can still go around it after you play it. On top of that, the Wurmcoil would be much better (which you'd have in place of Ulamog), since it blocks and gains life. They also have a pretty bad time with it, since every way they deal with it leaves you with 3/3s. The Lingering Souls is very good against us there though, and I'll assume this matchup was just you getting a bit unlucky.

    Game 3:
    Ajani Vengeant is a terrible card. Well, maybe not terrible, but let me put it this way: I am always happy to play against one. People think it's much better than it is, and it's really not that great, especially against us. Ult is cool and all, but they hardly reach it. Then again, I see it mostly in the Naya Boom//Bust Zoo. I've never seen it in some sort of Delver deck, but they definitely don't want it in there. I don't know what control deck would play Helix, it's a great card, but more of a tempo card than a control card.

    Also, I think it's best not to play double opening Leyline, but not for the reason you said. Sure, not giving them information is fine, but you can discard it to Thirst, which is pretty good for us, since we really don't ever need two. Echoing Truth, Detention Sphere, Maelstrom Pulse and overloaded Cyclonic Rift are the only cards I can think of that deal with two, but I mean, you really don't ever need two.

    Game 4:
    As you can see, you should be good against Jund, and I think you just got unlucky earlier. Your opponent naming Wurmcoil for Slaughter Games tells me that he probably doesn't play much Modern. I realize UW Tron isn't a popular deck, but it only plays one Wurmcoil Engine. On top of that, he really has to deal with the one in play first, and the second one is only marginally a problem compared to the first. If they really can't deal with one Wurmcoil, what difference does it make if you play a second? He should be thinking "under what circumstance could I still win", and not "under what circumstance would I lose faster".


    PS. Just to help you with your English (since I'm pretty sure it's not your first language), when you say witch, you really mean which. Homophones (words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings), are a pain in English for a lot of people. Also, remember to capitalize all your I's. I don't mean to pick at every little thing, but we are writing a primer, and it would probably be best if we had proper English Smile


    Oh, and SageOwl, I think it's not that great. It costs way too much from us to be reliable, and it's more of a "win more" card than a "help us win" card. You don't really want to cast it until you have Tron, and needing the colours it does, you're casting it for 6, which at this point, you should probably be able to do other things. 6 life and 6 cards is cool and all, but if you have a Thirst or Path or Remand, or even a Gifts, you have enough action in hand. You'd be taking out something like Talisman and Path from my build, and that's going to hurt consistency. You'll also tend not to want to board it out, and then you run into even more problems when boarding.

    Currently Playing:
    Modern
    UW Tron UWR Control Affinity Melira Pod
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