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  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    This is the list I'm running right now. As always I have no clue which kind of list is the best. This is my style and I think it works pretty well in the current meta.

    A few comments (please let me know if you disagree :)):

    Chalice of the Void
    It is true that Chalice isn't as good as it was before Hogaak and Looting got banned. The format has gotten slower and there are fewer matchups where Chalice is a total blowout. However, I still like the full playset in this kind of list since in the matchups where it is good I usually want 4. These matchups also tend to be difficult for us if we don't have access to Chalice, so it helps in that regard. The matchups where it's not great the rest of our deck tend to be pretty good, so can usually manage anyway. We all know this reasoning by now.

    However, I would probably not run the full playset if I was relying on spells like mindslaver, sundering titan or Ugin to win. The reason is that when I rely on expensive spells to win, I'm more dependent on my Expedition Maps being live draws later in the game. That is, the game plan of going turn 2 chalice on 1 partially conflicts with the end game goal of assembling tron and an expensive card. In this list I can cast every spell in the deck (apart form wurmcoil and lattice) at 4 mana, which mean that this conflict isn't as bad. I'm not saying that it's impossible to combine a playset of Chalice and expensive spells, but in a somewhat abstract way it becomes a built-in flaw.

    Spell Efficiency
    When building a deck in sealed it's usually a good idea to have access to some kind of mana sink. These cards tend to be weaker than most cards with the same converted mana cost, so we can't rely solely on this category of cards to carry us through the early game. We also don't want too many of them since having multiple mana sinks will decrease the efficiency of each one in the late game. This concept applies to U Tron as well.

    Imagine a starting hand consisting of Wurmcoil and Mindslaver and assume that we are in a very good position if we resolve our Wurmcoil (theoretically speaking). Then assuming that we play Mindslaver once Wurmcoil is in play, the efficiency of Mindslaver will be pretty low. It's obviously going to be a great card at that point, but it was completely dead up until the point where we were already doing just fine. Ideally we would like to never have to be in this situation because it would've meant that Mindslaver in reality didn't contribute much towards winning the game, and much less help us to get to a winning position.

    One way to get around this is to discard excess copies of this kind of cards to Thirst for Knowledge. This is a good way to turn an inefficient Mindslaver into an efficient card since it helped to maximize the efficiency of Thirst. This is a great use of both cards, but in the end we would still be relying on Thirst to make Mindslaver efficient, which is obviously not ideal.

    Another way is to have cards that, much like some mana sinks in draft decks, are playable early on and then gradually gets stronger the more mana we have access to. This kind of cards are usually not as strong as for example Mindslaver, but they also aren't dead nearly as often. As mentioned earlier we can't fill our whole deck with this kind of card since the efficiency of each one would be very limited.

    Efficiency in U Tron
    Let's apply the concept of efficiency to the list I posted.

    First of all, Karn the Great Creator is a kind of mana sink. He is pretty weak if we only have access to 4 mana, but gradually get's better the more mana we have access to. This means that we would prefer to play him in the end game, but we can also use him earlier than that if we have to. In this deck his primary function is to be a spell we cast once we want to close out the game, and the secondary is to be something we can play if we have no better option. This means that the efficiency of Karn is arguably higher in this kind of deck than in most "traditional" ones since he doesn't compete with as many expensive spells, i.e. the times when we're stuck with Karn and another expensive spell in hand will be fewer, and we also wont have to rely on his secondary usage as much. In practice he occupies the slots of the traditional, more expensive spells, while still being castable earlier on. The downside being that unless Karn is strictly stronger than the traditional cards (which it most likely isn't), then the deck loses some of its endgame power.

    Another mana sink is Walking Ballista. Its efficiency also increases when we drop the expensive spells since we rely on it being a big spell to a larger degree. The arguments are roughly the same as with Karn. It's worth noting that Ballista also turns Tolaria West into a mana sink.

    The last one is Spell Burst. It used to be played in U Tron in the past, but hasn't appeared as much recently. In the early game it will trade for a cheaper spell, so it's going to be less efficient that whatever card it counters in terms of mana. The upside is obviously that the buyback allows the card to dominate the end game, in practice countering the first spell our opponent plays each turn. However, having two in hand obviously makes the second copy much less efficient.

    Returning to Chalice, we can say that it's efficiency is lowered if it prevents us from casting a spell we really would like to cast, i.e. Expedition Map. This is less likely to happen in this list mostly due to the fact that the mana sinks are not reliant on tron the same degree than cards like Ugin are, so the efficiency of Chalice is in some sense higher in this list than most other U Tron variants.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that this list is pretty good at maximizing the efficiency of its different mana sinks.

    Maybe this is just a bunch of theoretical nonsense, but I find it helpful to think in these terms sometimes. I have noticed that the deck sometimes feel a bit underpowered compared to traditional lists, but overall I think it's a price worth paying for the increased consistency due to having a lower curve. After all, one of the biggest strengths of U Tron, regardless of style, is that once it starts to cast multiple spells each turn it's very difficult to stop, and this deck is no exception.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Quote from BadMcFadden »
    I really wish these forums were active again or that I knew where the active people went - mtgnexus just has a bunch of dead threads created by moderators and like no users. I found a discord for control with a virtually dead blue tron subchannel.

    I just picked blue tron up again after a long hiatus and am sort of waiting for next week's B&R to really get into it. Right now I am super impressed by Karn - whether this is the right deck for him or not I don't know, but the ability to access a toolbox that includes a game ending combo is proven good in modern (chord, whir, etc) and being a big mana deck with bounce/counters/board wipes seems like a reasonable place to try. I've dropped mindslaver as karn/lattice is a lot better most of the time than slaver/ruins and way less vulnerable (gy hate or field of ruin). Having MD access to crucible/trinisphere has been nice and tutoring a chalice/explosives/balista definitely comes up. I stuck a sundering titan batterskull and wurmcoil in there too as high end/stabilizing effects for when lattice wont do it.

    That being said I still have problems with how fast other decks are and how anemic our board control is. Walking balista with no tron isn't very good in the early turns, and ugin/o-stone cost a lot.

    I also mull a lot to not having enough blue mana so I've really trimmed back the utility lands - its tron plus blast zone, field of ruin, and academy ruins for me - gemstone caverns is in for now but on the chopping block. that's 16 non-blue, then I run 8 islands and 2 talismans (and 4 maps). Not having blue on turn 2 can be murder because I can't condescend or remand their turn 3 play.

    Chalice is up in the air on how many I want to run. I feel like its the only thing that can steal wins vs fast decks but its still often too slow. Vs monored prowess which is like 99% one mana spells I play it and am already facing down 2 prowess dudes, and then they just fire lava darts and fathless lootings into the chalice still dealing 2 per cast until I'm toast - post board they seem to run 4 shattering spree 4 abrade so the card loses all use. Vs other fast decks there are caverns and vials everywhere, or there isnt a high concentration at 1 cmc :S

    There's a lot of discussion going on daily in the various discords.

    This is Pierakor's Discord: https://discord.gg/sJUsRS

    This is the Discord for all kinds of Tron discussions with a room for U Tron: https://discord.gg/9n2Bsk

    What is your complete decklist?
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    This is a new brew and it's one of my all-time favorites. Might need some tweaking but the idea definitely works. Its Ur Tron!

    You find the deck list here: https://www.mtgsalvation.com/decks/12264-urtron

    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    I'm working on a list with FoN which also run FoF, gearhulk and commandeer
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    There's a lot of discussion on various discords, but I have to say I prefer having a forum. Things are more structured and it's easier to find old posts. Discord is mainly just a day-to-day chat and not really suited for longer posts.

    It's difficult to write a primer without making it somewhat subjective, i.e. you write about your own style of U tron. Things I see as almost mandatory is completely out of the question for others. I'm currently writing a primer about the various version I have tried and what I've learned so far and when it's done I can share it on the new website, but there probably should be primers or at least decklists from other players as well.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Quote from Aftershockzzz »
    I thought I would do a little write up of the FNM I 4-0’d at last week as well as post my list.

    Very interesting list. I've been testing something similar lately and this is what I decided to do.

    I wanted to try a version which forgoes all the expensive cards in favor of KGC (i.e. Karn, the Great Creator) and other cheaper cards to see if it is playable. This is something completely new to me and I have to admit I'm a bit uncomfortable with the whole thing. Before getting into details I will go through some general things about the deck.

    General thoughts
    Since we don't play any card with cmc >4 this means that we operate just fine without tron. While we already were doing fine in that regard, there were still times when we had a couple of 6-8 cmc cards stuck in our hand doing nothing. Having this happen will cost us the game some amount of the time. Cards like Ugin, the Spirit Dragon feels great when we cast it because it is so powerful and usually wins the game on the spot. We remember these moments because they felt great. It's not as easy to remember the times when we had 5 mana nowhere near tron and an Ugin stuck in our hand doing nothing.

    This version can cast all its main deck cards once it has 4 mana at its disposal. With the standard 23-24 lands in the deck hitting your land drops the first 4 turns is usually not a problem regardless of which version of U Tron you're playing. This means that the inherited fail rate of the deck should be lower in terms of not getting to "do its thing". The question is only if "doing its thing" is good enough with all the main deck haymakers gone. In general, if we can choose between winning with cards that cost 4 mana (or XX for that matter) or 6+ mana, then the former is the clear choice, assuming the win rate is the same, since they can be cast earlier.

    The risk with removing all these haymakers is that the deck will flood out more often or just not be powerful enough. What's the use of having access to tron, but nothing to do with the mana? This is what I want to find out but so far the deck doesn't seem to flood out too much nor have problems winning a game.

    Details regarding the main deck
    First of all, the core of the deck, apart from the expensive cards, is largely the same. We have the usual playsets of Expedition Map, Condescend and Thirst for Knowledge so this deck functions the same way most U Tron decks do. One exception being that I do not run any Repeals. This might be wrong and could easily be something I change in the future.

    I have opted to play the full 4 Chalice of the Void not only because the card itself is very strong but also because it works well with a lower curve. If we commit resources to playing cards like chalice, instead of cards that let us dig, we will be slightly worse at getting to tron, but in this deck that is much less of a problem than in some of my more "traditional" lists.

    A playset of KGC is required since it has replaced all the expensive haymakers. One attractive thing about KGC in this list is that he can get an Ensnaring Bridge from the sideboard. While bridge normally isn't a very good card in U Tron because of all the expensive spells and counters, this list is quite a bit better at using it. This is an experiment and I've not yet decided if it's a feasible strategy, but having access to bridge vs creature decks is just so strong that I felt I needed to try it. This is also the reason why I play 2x Cyclonic Rift as sweepers instead of Ugin, the Spirit Dragon or Oblivion Stone. Rift can be cast for just 2 mana which means it wont get stuck in my hand when I have bridge out.

    The same argument can be applied to the choice of running 3 copies of Walking Ballista in the main deck, and a wish target in the sideboard, as well as a single copy Hangarback Walker. They can both be dumped from my hand in case I want to hide behind the bridge. Basically I wanted to have as many Ballistas as possible since I'm rather light on threat in general, and because it's just a good card in our deck. I even play 2 copies of Tolaria West, with the second copy occupying the 24th land slot as a land/tutor, just to make sure I don't flood out. Having a single Hangarback works well with double Tolaria West and is also a nice complement to Ballista as they are good in different situations. It's also worth mentioning that both Ballista and Hangarback are neat main deck interactions against the Hogaak deck not only because it plays a lot of small creatures, but also because you can play them for x=0 and have them die in order to exile Bridge from Below.

    Another card which can exile Bridge from Below is Warping Wail. I've grown more and more fond of this card as it offers so much utility against the strongest decks in modern. I wont go into all the different uses of Wail as I have talked about them before, but having 1-2 copies main deck has felt pretty good. They actually fit even better in a list with 4x KGC because such lists usually have very limited space left over for interaction. In this kind of list Wail does a lot for the space it takes up while still being relevant against creature decks as well as cards like Faithless Looting and Neoform. It also lets us ramp from 2 to 4 mana to cast Karns.

    Speaking of Karns, I decided to go with 2 copies of Karn, Scion of Urza. This is a card I have liked in the past, especially in versions playing 4 Chalices and Leyline of the Void. I was also afraid of being too threat light with only 4 KGC and 3+1 Ballista and Hangarback so I decided to add 2 copies of Karn, Scion of Urza as another angle of attack, namely the ability to completely bury your opponent in raw card advantage.

    A lot of the main deck card choices are not set in stone and might be changed after more testing. For example, I'm not sure you actually need 2x Karn, Scion of Urza, it's probably ok to run a few Repeals, double Gemstone Caverns among the lands is something that might not be necessary, you could run dismember main deck and a lot of other small things. The single copy of Blast Zone is something I have liked as a way to have more late game punch. No land hate, e.g. Field of Ruin, could easily be changed when Green Tron gets more popular and might be better than the second copy of gemstone caverns.

    Details regarding sideboard
    A large part of the sideboard is dedicated to KGC as wish targets. The most obvious one, Mycosynth Lattice, needs no further explanation. I already mentioned Ensnaring Bridge and the extra Walking Ballista. Besides them I wanted to be able to use KGC to find a strong stabilizing card in games where that matters. I decided to go with U Tron all-star Wurmcoil Engine, a card I can't quite let go of. There are also games where the Lattice combo just isn't as reliable, so I decided to add a Mindslaver as well. We are U Tron after all so I think a Mindslaver somewhere in the 75 is almost mandatory. While the lattice lock is very strong, it is still a combo which relies on KGC surviving. Mindslaver on the other hand can finish games with just one activation. I also wanted to have at least one piece of grave hate to wish for, and I decided to go with Tormod's Crypt because I can get it into play the same turn as I play KGC and it usually gets around our own Chalice.

    The rest of the sideboard are a mix of creature removal which usually comes in when chalice is bad, and 4 copies of Leyline of the Void. Leyline is not something I want to play in U Tron, but because of Hogaak I feel like I'm forced to. I tried going with a mix of Tormod's Crypt, Grafdigger's Cage and Relic of Progenitus but it just doesn't matter vs Hogaak a lot of the time. Against any other kind of graveyard deck I'd prefer a mix of those cheap artifacts as they work much better with the rest of our deck. We generally play long games and drawing dead leylines can ruin a game. Leyline is a powerful, but blunt tool which doesn't fit very well in the otherwise well-oiled machine that is U Tron.

    There are other cards I would like to fit in the sideboard as wish targets for KGC. These include Crucible of Worlds, which might be included if I decide to go with Field of Ruin or Tectonic Edge main deck. Other cards are Sorcerous Spyglass, Pithing Needle or Phyrexian Revoker, and Engineered Explosives, Liquimetal Coating, Batterskull, Trinisphere, Silent Arbiter and a lot of other options. It possible there should be a couple more cards in total to wish for.

    This is just a first attempt at this style of deck and as I said before there are a lot of viable cards which could be in the deck which I haven't tried yet. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts both on the general concept as well as individual card choices. This is just one more way to build U Tron, but I don't know which version I think is best overall.

    In case someone is interested, I meddled a little bit with the archetype as of late.

    That is pretty cool, I haven't tried Force of Negation at all yet to be honest. There are just so many things to try so I haven't gotten around to play it yet. I can see the card help this style of deck a lot.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Quote from Goldmilo »
    Hey just a minute! Are you saying the mtg salvation will be no longer on line?

    It will shut down 8th of July it seems.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    After testing with the full 8 copies of stars/spheres, I believe that it's probably too many, or at least more than you need in the "regular", more traditional lists. I do however believe that it might be good to play stars/spheres if you play multiple (3-4) copies of Karn, the Great Creator. These are my thoughts after trying decks with either multiple copies of Karn or decks with stars/spheres:

    When we play the new Karn we dedicate a lot of our sideboard to make it work. This means that we need to rely on Karn, i.e. a sorcery speed spell, to solve our problems a lot of the time. Sure, sometimes Karn will work just like how our stabilizers work in traditional lists, but I believe it will be slower on average. Given that we are already very slow because of our relative inconsistency of assembling tron early, adding the slowness of Karn might just make us too slow for modern. We can't rely on sweepers to the same extent green tron can, and we can't really rely on Ensnaring Bridge either because of the nature of the rest of our deck. In my experience this makes Karn a little bit awkward and clunky. Sure, you could just replace 3 flex slots with 3 Karn, but that still makes the deck worse because of the sideboard situation.

    However, if we combine the Karn, the Great Creator version of the deck with the "faster" style of this "Chromatic U Tron" which I've experimented with, the result might just be fast enough. In my experience, the chromatic version finds tron quicker with the trade-off being that it's weaker to hate and sometimes has less mana available on your opponent's turn. I guess you could say the result could risk being just a less consistent G Tron with Karn, where the good green cards are swapped for interactive blue cards.

    While it might look like that on paper, the stars/spheres play out very differently in U Tron compared to G Tron. They are much more flexible in how we want to use them. While they are pretty much always cracked main phase in G Tron, U Tron needs plan the cracking a little bit more carefully. In general, provided we've made our land drop for the turn, we save the stars/spheres and crack them on our opponent's turn in order to cast spells but I still have found it difficult to know when the correct time to crack them is at times. Overall though, I felt like I could play my blue interactive spells rather freely and didn't experience being limited to sorcery speed play in any big way.

    The biggest upside of "Chromatic U Tron" has been that the first star/sphere essentially is a free redraw and a "free" blue source. It feels great basically. In general, this means that can focus more on getting to tron instead of worrying about blue sources. After all, a lot of the time the blue spells are just a means to an end (depending on the matchup of course), just like the green spells in G Tron. Sure, the blue spells obviously help us in basically every matchup, but we want them to help us assemble tron, not be a bump in the road to our goal. For example, when we send back a hand which is close to getting tron because it lacks blue mana, something just feels wrong somehow.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that we could try to play a combination of the two decks to mitigate some of the "clunkiness" of Karn. I don't know what such a deck would look like yet and I don't know if it's going to be any good, but it might be worth trying. But because Karn requires a little bit more linearity, and because stars/spheres provide it to some extent, I feel like it's something worth exploring.

    I do enjoy reading about your experiences with Karn, the Great Creator and I hope we can eventually come to some conclusion on whether it is good for us or not. Smile

    ps. The current state of modern might be one of the worst possible metas for stars/spheres. People are either trying to make Karn work, or plays the new Narset (which prevents additional draws from stars/spheres to be draw) or plays a deck designed to beat these strategies. More decks run chalice and more decks play stony silence in the sideboard. Given another meta "Chromatic U Tron" might be better than it is right now.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Quote from gigasoneca »
    Hello, I don't think we have a enough good payoff for using the colored mana, rather than what we already accomplish with islands. G Tron otherwise, has Stirrings, that digs for 5 cards as a 1-drop, Sylvan Scrying as a 2-drop, that fetches any land of your deck. We have Repeal for 0 on turn 1, Remand/Condescend/Repeal on turn 2. Helps to cast stuff like Thirst and a decent Condescend while having only tron, and makes it easier to fetch a tron land/ruins with map. Maybe it would facilitate to transmute a Tolaria West too. Could be relevant? For sure. Helps to cycle through the deck and filters mana? Absolutely. Do I rather filter some blue mana to do some pretty specific plays that are not truly determinant nor necessary, because we still can play Islands or drop a Chalice of the Void that wins many matches, specially some obnoxious matches like Bogles/Infect/Burn and many more. Chalice IMO is one of the best Magic cards ever printed, I have very good experience with 4 maindeck, and Pierakor certainly has a even better experience with all aboard.
    GTRON will use these artifacts because only one green mana makes them HAVE tron no matter what, its ridiculous how easy they assemble Tron, and their pay-off is that freaking silver dude that loves to lose to U Tron, but normally just win the game right in the spot.

    Hi, thanks for the input!

    I agree that the eggs are better in G Tron than in U Tron, I just don't know how good they are in U Tron because I've never tried it before. The list I posted was an experiment and as such I wanted to try the full 8 copies to really try them out. Playing 8 is probably too many though. In the end I might very well come to the conclusion that Chalice is better and just not play any eggs.

    That said, I think that if you're only playing chalice as a one-of silver bullet then having a few chromatic stars might make the deck run a little smoother. They are kinda similar to talismans in a way.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Quote from SwissRolls »

    I've too thought about going crazy and playing stars and spheres. I think it's definitely something to explore but I fear it just makes us a worse green tron. We are MUCH weaker to Stony silence and Chalice of the void if we go into the 10+ 1 Mana artifacts. I do think if we go down that route you might as well go all in and play the 3-4 relics main too. This should allow us to cut down even more lands and probably play 21+-1

    Doing that though will probably cut back the usefulness of condescend as we'll probably be more focused on quick Tron, rather than delaying till we can out grind anyone with our Tron Mana. However the useful of Karn Liberated goes up in our deck if we do this. He wins a lot of games if just played on turn 3.

    I definitely agree that we are weaker to Stony Silence and Chalice of the Void, just like Green Tron always has been. However, we are much better equipped to deal with that kind of hate both because we have Repeal and because we in general function much better without tron than Green Tron. But playing stars/spheres makes us weaker to hate so that's something to keep in mind for sure.

    The difference between stars/spheres and Relic of Progenitus is pretty big though. In most U Tron lists relic is an appealing card because it's a 1cmc spell which cycles and sometimes provides some interaction. However, when we already play a total of 12 1cmc spells, the need for main deck relics diminishes. Providing blue mana is in general much more important than grave hate.

    We use stars/spheres a bit differently than Green Tron. In Green Tron you usually just want to cycle them as soon as possible, but we have the option to leave them uncracked until we actually need the blue mana, i.e. on our opponent's turn. This means that sequencing and timing is far from obvious. I guess another way to put it is that we are forced to decide if we want to crack on our turn to look for lands or to wait until our opponent's turn, but so far I haven't felt limited by it in any way.

    Regarding number of lands. As long as we play the core cards (Repeal, Remand, Condescend and Thirst for Knowledge) I doubt we want to go lower than 23 lands. We still want to go T2 blue spell most of the time and that requires hitting at least our first 2 land drops without having to crack a star/sphere main phase to find the second land.

    Empirical results so far
    I've run virtually the exact list that I posted recently through several leagues and so far I'm very impressed. The only difference is that I swapped the third Repeal for a fourth Remand, swapped Trinket Mage for a second copy of Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and swapped the Pithing Needle in the sideboard for a Spell Pierce. Remember that these are roughly the cards I would play instead of the 8 1cmc spells:

    4 Chromatic Star
    4 Chromatic Sphere

    2 Talisman of Dominance
    2 Karn, Scion of Urza
    1 Karn, the Great Creator
    1 Trinket Mage
    1 Dismember or Warping Wail
    1 Island

    These changes in no way limit us to more sorcery speed game play. On the contrary, as we're not relying on 3/4 mana sorcery speed spells anymore, we're less limited on how and when we cast our spells this list.

    I've tried to push the limit in terms of what hands to keep, e.g. one-landers, for testing purposes, but I can't say that I've felt punished as much as I thought I would. Basically I feel like I can keep a larger percentage of hands.

    What about hate cards? What about opposing Stony Silence, Karn, the Great Creator and Chalice of the Void? The red prison matchup continues to be extremely good. This is because they are incredibly weak to Remand and Condescend and multiple cards which are almost dead in the matchup, i.e. Ensnaring Bridge and Blood Moon. In theory there are games where they go Chalice on 1 turn 1 and get us, but if we're worried about remember that we do have access to a total of 3 Engineered Explosives. Karn, the Great Creator is a 4 mana spell and usually isn't a problem for us to deal with. Stony Silence is not a problem if it comes from UW Control both because they usually can't follow up with fast pressure and because we can afford to board out some number of stars/spheres for game 2. There probably will be games where the hate gets me though, and I accept that fact.

    I can't emphasize just how good 3x Engineered Explosives have been vs any creature deck. They replace Spatial Contortion, a highly mediocre card which we're usually forced to play. Playing it for x=2 is so easy with stars/spheres and the additional River of Tears that for example the Humans matchup has felt really good.

    In general the deck has felt A LOT more consistent in terms of assembling tron, not only because I see more cards of my deck earlier, but also because I can keep more hands which lack a blue land but has tron lands. This is why I've opted to play 2 copies of Mindslaver and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, the overall strongest payoffs.

    This list is very different from a lot of other lists I've tried, mainly because it has 2 4-ofs instead of a lot of 1-ofs. It is a change to the core of the deck and thus changes how the deck usually plays out. The current 75 are not final by any means and there probably will be changes. It's possible that the full 4 of both star and sphere is too much and I believe you can play anything from 0 to 8 depending on personal preferences.

    I would encourage everyone to try this because it's just a very different take on U Tron. Even if you might not end up liking it, it's still nice to get a new perspective. I understand that playing stars/spheres is kind of a taboo in U Tron because it's what Green Tron does and it might seem like weird timing to try this kind of Karn-less list nowadays when everyone seems to play it. But this is one of the best lists I've tried so far and I will continue to explore it further.

    Sorry for the long post but I felt like I wanted to provide the full story. Cheers!

    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Am I going crazy?

    I wanted to see what happens if we decide to play 4 copies of both Chromatic Star and Chromatic Sphere. I'll go over the pros and cons.


    1) Fewer lands.
    2) Lower curve.
    3) More likely to have blue mana on turn 2.
    4) Access to multiple colors.

    1) The 4 stars and 4 spheres will let us see more cards during the early turns, which means we probably will be able to go down to 23 lands and still hit our land drops on time. Since non-tron lands, especially islands, aren't what we really want to see, playing fewer such lands should be good. In theory you want to draw precisely enough lands but not more, so being able to trim one land is good assuming we can afford it.

    2) Having access to 12 1cmc spells will increase the likelihood of us using our mana during the first turn. Since most other lists usually only have 4 Expedition Map as turn 1 plays, the first mana of each game usually goes unspent. So in a way, the first star/sphere we play will be effectively a free spell compared to other lists. The stars/spheres do not compete with much else.

    3) The addition of the stars and the spheres will increase the likelihood of us having access to blue mana on turn 2, which we all know is usually a very important turn. This means that we, in theory at least, will be able to keep more hands. Once we've spent our blue mana we get from our star/sphere, we have drawn a new card and probably drawn another one of our blue card, or scried 2 from condescend. If we don't need the blue mana yet, we can probably just wait.

    4) The stars and the spheres will not only give us black mana for Dismember and Surgical Extraction, but also make Engineered Explosives a much more potent card for us. Provided this is the case, it makes a big difference in terms of interacting with our opponents board. Being able to play explosives on x=2 and not only 0 and 1 is a big deal.


    1) Increased weakness to hate.
    2) No chalice.
    3) "More air".
    4) Occasionally clunky blue mana.

    1) Naturally playing more 1cmc artifacts will increase our weakness to hate cards like Stony Silence, Damping Sphere, Narset, Parter of Veils, Chalice of the Void and Karn, the Great Creator.

    2) We will obviously not be able to play Chalice of the Void in this kind of list, a card which single-handedly can win games.

    3) In order to make room for the stars/spheres we need to cut some other cards. This might result in the deck having fewer cards which actually do something.

    4) Relying on stars/spheres as blue mana can and will cause problems from time to time. Whether or not you should crack a star on your turn, or wait in case you need blue mana for interaction might not always be obvious. The biggest problem is relying on star/sphere for blue mana early and then not finding a blue producing land. This is bound to come up some amount of the time.


    These pros and cons are by no means anything out of the ordinary as they're mostly just part of basic deck building theory, but I figured it's worth bringing up anyway. Basically what I've done is to combine how green tron and KCI uses the stars/spheres.

    In this particular list I the stars/spheres replaced 2 Talisman of Dominance, 2 Karn, Scion of Urza, 1 Karn, the Great Creator, 1 Island, 1 Chalice of the Void, 1 Remand. Further more, I made room for an additional River of Tears in the land base and replaced a Dismember/whatever random one-of you could think of with an Engineered Explosives.

    The exact card choices is not the important part here and there are probably better lists for this kind of deck, I just wanted to see what would happen if we play the full 4 of the stars and spheres. Maybe it ends up being great. Maybe I come to the conclusion that I'm better off just playing green tron instead of this mess. I will try this for a while and see how I like it.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    If we want 4 mana card draw, the best one for us in terms of raw power level is, in my opinion, Gifts Ungiven. We dodge bad draws each time we cast it and can pretty much guarantee that we will get two cards we want. You don't need to have any specific piles that you know will be great, like storm has. Whenever you resolve Gifts and have the time to use the cards you get from it, it's probably going to be great. Sure you need to have access to some number of different options which means some restrictions in terms of deck building, but that isn't really a huge issue in our deck. The problem is that it's sometimes too slow for modern. If Gifts is too slow for modern, then Tamiyo's Epiphany definitely is.

    Hieroglyphic Illumination is a split card where each mode is sub par for it's cost, but the flexibility makes up for that to some extent.

    There are a lot of options when it comes to blue card draw in modern, but Tamiyo's Epiphany is probably not among the top 10 available to us. However, it only requires one blue mana so it's probably better than a lot of double blue options in my opinion.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Quote from Rjawas »
    I played my first competitive rel event (SCG IQ 69 players) with U tron in a while after taking a break.

    I played a list very close to barrin's posted 5-0 with differences being 3/1 chalice split instead of 1/3 and spatials instead of warping wail
    because of the meta I was expecting.

    The tournament did not go well, finished 3-3 drop. The losses were to infect, no surprise, and two u/w control decks. I was a bit surprised by the control
    decks because I didnt get a game off either and it didnt feel exactly close despite the chalices and it historically being a good matchup. They were playing
    dovin's veto which looked good and I didnt draw the greatest but I'm can't help but feel maybe this version isn't as well positioned in the matchup as other versions. The low counters numbers is rough here and tapping out for a karn when they can play a jace or tefferi and kill your tokens is rough.

    I havn't played a lot with this list, just one event, so I cant say for sure but I wanted to know what people who have played this version have felt about that matchup.

    For completeness, wins were against two g/w company decks and g-tron (chalice is a good card lol).

    Yes that version of the deck might be weak to UW control considering the low number of counter spells. Remand is one of the best cards in the matchup imo so just having 2 hurts. I haven't play against them after WAR got released so I don't know what the matchup is like nowadays.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Hi LifelessAngel

    There hasn't been any official statement regarding the London Mulligan, but my guess is that it will be adopted. Disregarding any particular formats or particular decks, the new rule is, in my and many other's opinion, better and more interesting compared to the current mulligan rule. In theory it let's you keep a larger percentage of starting hands. This is good for formats like limited where taking a mulligan is very punishing.

    In older constructed formats there is the concern that certain decks will be too consistent with the London Mulligan. In modern these have primarily been Dredge and Green Tron. These are both tier one decks, but looking at the results from London MC Green Tron didn't do particularly well. Whether this is because the new mulligan rule didn't matter too much or because it did matter, but since people had access to their opponent's deck lists and could keep the right hands, it negated some of that upside, is unclear. My impression of the discussion is that Green Tron isn't too powerful or oppressive and therefor wont have any cards getting banned. Dredge is another topic, but I wont go into that one.

    If they wanted to punish Green Tron specifically, my guess is that they would just ban the tron lands. It would create the least splash damage throughout the format; basically only affecting Eldrazi Tron and Blue Tron. Banning ancient Stirrings could also be an approach since the card itself is very powerful and very important to Green Tron, but it would affect a lot of decks needlessly. I haven't heard anyone suggest banning Expedition Map, but my guess is that if they really want to kill tron they will just ban the tron lands.

    What if they ban Expedition Map? My guess is that Green Tron would be out of the picture for sure, at least the way it looks today. It will probably kill Blue Tron as well, but there might be ways to work around it. I would certainly not give up before trying new lists without map. We might be forced to be more proactive since the plan of delaying the game until we hit tron would require an increased amount of delaying, and it's already difficult enough. The first step is probably to add 4 Chalice of the Void to the main deck and make it one of our primary line of play, as there are very few reasons not to in that case. In theory there would be almost no cards in our deck that could find the tron combo, which in turn could make it easier for us to play the prison style. This is something I've gradually been moving towards as the delay and react strategy just isn't working for me against a larger and larger portion of the modern format. In my opinion the most difficult part of Blue Tron is to know when to tap out and when not to. As the format becomes faster and faster, I have found myself tapping out more often. This might just be a matter of personal style though and I would be interested to hear the perspective of other Blue Tron players.

    In any case, if Expedition Map were to be banned, most decks would not be prepared to face decks with tron lands so the amount of land hate in the 75 of most decks would probably be decreased. Also, cards like Ceremonious Rejection might not see as much play. Basically, the surprise factor of our deck would be increased. Perhaps I'll make a version without Expedition Map just to see what it might look like, but it would certainly be a challenge and most likely the deck would be worse or at least rather different.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Blast Zone turns our maps and Tolaria West into removal late game. It's useful the same way Tolaria West + Ballista is useful; it makes maps into very real cards later in the game. It's also, obviously, a land which helps us cast our spells, so if we can cash it in for one or even two of our opponent's cards later in the game, that is just huge. Playing it as an on curve spell is probably not what you'd want to do a lot of the time since as a spell it's pretty expensive. Sacrificing a land in the early turns of the game is also a very steep cost. But as long as the price of including it in our deck isn't too high, it's probably going to be great.

    The cost of having Blast Zone as one of our lands shouldn't be too high as long as we're not playing a high (unusually high) number of cheap blue spells. Playing more than one copy is probably not necessary since we only need one copy to get the interaction with maps/tolaria west.

    Compared with many other modern decks, we're actually very well equipped to make full use Blast Zone. Not only do we have many ways to tutors for it, but we also have the mana late game to put multiple counters on it in one go. We also don't have very many non land permanents we would like to avoid blowing up.

    I'm currently trying it in this list.

    Right now, Blast Zone is occupying the slot where I'd have the second copy of Gemstone Cavern or the 7th island. The online meta game is a bit crazy right now with a lot of different taxes decks running around. At the same time there are decks like green tron, phoenix, dredge and humans to think about. Basically it's decks who are trying to abuse the London mulligan, or decks designed to punish those decks. For this reason I decided to try the third Talisman of Dominance and a main deck Dismember, just to make the deck work better in a low resource game. It also makes sense considering I'm running 3 Karns in total. Yes indeed 3, with the last one being Karn, the Great Creator.

    I thought I'd try a single copy of the new Karn just to see if there's a way to utilize him. Right now I'm using him as a repeatable Trinket Mage, except the silver bullets are in the sideboard instead of in the main deck. I didn't go out of my way to design the sideboard with Karn in mind though. Rather I just chose cards which I knew I'd want to have access to in various matchups. This way Karn, the Great Creator can be either graveyard hate, a chalice, Pithing Needle as a means to lock out problematic permanents, crucible whenever it's useful or - and I took a page out of Catofthedevils book here - Batterskull as a decent stabilizer. I like batterskull because

    1) I can cast it the turn after I cast Karn provided I have a land.

    2) It is different compared to the other stabilizers I'm running (you know I like diversity when it comes to win conditions/stabilizers).

    3) It actually works well with Karns plus ability in case the Germ would die and I don't have other creatures in play. The animated artifacts remains a
    creature until our next turn, so we can use it as a blocker as well as an attacker.

    My intention is to board out Karn in game 2 if I know what I would like him to be the most. This also means that I'm free to bring in any and as many of the sweet silver bullets in the sideboard as I like. That is the reason why I ultimately chose to include Trinket Mage as well.

    Building the deck this way is a lot of fun and so far it has felt alright. The new Karn is by no means either necessary or superior to any of the other lists I've posted, it's just something different. One problem is that we really want to play chalice on 1, which doesn't work very well with the silver bullets in the sideboard. This particular list is also rather weak to green tron because of the lack of Spreading Seas or Surgical Extraction. On the other hand, we are playing relatively few blue spells in the 75 (and none in the sideboard), which means we wont be as limited by our blue mana as we sometimes can be.
    Posted in: Control
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