Eldrazi-Tron In Modern? (Bad Ass Memorial Event For Ed Hughes)
So, On Monday the 2nd May a special Magic memorial event was hosted by Axion Now in Milton Keynes for charity and as a remembrance for 32 year old Ed Hughes who sadly passed away just over a month ago. The event was to be split into two main events, Standard constructed and Modern constructed and undoubtedly I could see myself playing the Modern. So in preparation for this event I thought I would take it more as a day out and mainly to have fun, especially with the event being for charity. With this in mind I started to conjure a little brew that would soon be known as Eldrazi-Tron.
Since April 4th 2016 and the banning of Eye Of Ugin most people who played the Eldrazi deck in Modern seem to have went – “well, that was fun” and put the deck/all idea’s aside and started playing something else. With the assumption that no one would expect it this gave me the idea of bringing the horrors of Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher back into Modern.
Building The Deck
When I started putting this deck together I thought about what made the deck strong in the first place. This was of course the mana acceleration abilities of Eye Of Ugin/Eldrazi Temple, these two made it possible to power out these large threats early in the game which were difficult to deal with and due to the speed these threats came down the deck threatened to end the game in a few turns. With Eye of Ugin gone I realised that if i was going to bring the Eldrazi back into Modern I needed either a consistent way of getting Eldrazi Temple into my hand to power these threats out early enough or another consistent/ reliable mana acceleration source, this was where the Tron lands came to mind.
Now people who know me know that I love Tron and from this I felt building the deck using part of an archetype I knew very well would definitely help me to play the deck better. I usually play the G/R version of Tron but because I wanted to use the Eldrazi plan with the Tron lands I felt that using a second colour (red particularly) could be a bit taxing for the deck, It was certainly an idea I could come back to though, I decided to make the deck almost colourless.
[deck]4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Expedition Map
2 Oblivion Stone
2 Prismatic Lens
2 Ratchet Bomb
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Cavern of Souls
4 Eldrazi Temple
3 Ghost Quarter
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower
3 Karn Liberated
1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
3 Matter Reshaper
4 Reality Smasher
4 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger[/deck]
[deck]2 Chalice of the Void
1 Oblivion Stone
2 Pithing Needle
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Wurmcoil Engine[/deck]
I still wanted to keep the option of playing the ‘Tron’ game plan So I decided to keep Karn in the deck but trim him down to a 3 of. This meant that I could still represent my plays as if I were playing normal Tron and then surprise the opponent when they least expect it. The only coloured spells in the main deck are the Ancient Stirrings. this being that in a deck completely colourless besides those 4 Stirrings the card is just too good not to have, it can not only be used as we know to find a missing Tron piece but also to dish out threats/ dig for answers. Ugin does wonders in this deck, being able to sweep up my opponents non-land permanent’s while not affecting my own makes a resolution of him almost game ending for any creature decks.
In order to make room for the Eldrazi threats I removed the Sylvan Scrying’s, Chromatic Stars, an Oblivion Stone, Kozilek’s Return’s and the two main deck Spellskite’s. With the added ability of the deck being able to play with Tron offline the Sylvan Scrying’s were not as needed, also with the spell needing coloured mana to be cast it made sense to remove them. Chromatic Star made sense as I would be casting less coloured spells, I would miss the card draw but again it is not needed. Oblivion Stone being trimmed was based around the deck becoming more creature based, because of the nature of it, there was a small possibility it could harm my own build of creatures if I came into an awkward situation, I couldn’t cut the card completely because having access to an instant speed sweeper with the prediction of Company based/Kiki-chord decks on the rise it felt like a requirement. The Kozilek’s Return’s were no longer needed as I didn’t plan on running red mana and the Spellskite’s I could move to the sideboard.
What was I worried about?
Blood Moon instantly came to mind, because the creature’s I was casting required specifically colourless mana, turning all of my non-basics that produce colourless into mountains certainly seemed like a potential problem. because I didn’t plan on running Nature’s Claim it meant my main ways of removing Blood Moon came down to Ratchet bomb/ Oblivion Stone, of course at later stages of the game Karn/Ugin could also be answers. As I don’t need Tron to play a game of Magic I found simply searching for the basic Wastes and casting creatures the fair way was also another game plan, the two Prismatic Lens helped this also.
Stony Silence was another one, I was probably more afraid of this card than Blood Moon and was pretty happy not to see it at all across the event. the card switches off a lot of my answers to things and when you are playing a completely colourless deck, you find that most of those answers happen to be artifacts, what a shocker!, my plan was just to hope I could play through it, of course Karn/Ugin could answer it late game if need be.
Combo/Aggro decks:- From testing I found that fast aggro decks such as Burn, Infect, Zoo were all still bad match ups for the deck, even with the Eldrazi Threats, the deck plays more like a Midrange deck and in that sense can sometimes be too slow. my plan for these match ups was to slow them down with Spellskites and Chalices and hope to resolve a Wurmcoil before dying. The other bad match up I found was Kiki-Chord, the deck doesn’t have many instant speed answers that can deal with the Resto/Kiki combo and this made the match up pretty tough. For this I would be bringing in the Oblivion stone, Pithing Needles, Extractions and Dismembers.
What Match Up’s did I want
Midrange decks/Control Decks. anything that was moving at either a fair speed or a slow speed, Midrange decks have always been good match ups I feel for Tron anyway, but the Eldrazi threats were still good against the fair decks as well, as for the control decks, most of the time they would be too slow to affect the board or would run out of answers for the large density of threats the deck pushed out.
So at the event my matches went as shown below
Round 1:- Jund (2-0)
Round 2:- Kiki-Chord (0-2)
Round 3:- Lantern Control (2-1)
Round 4:- Esper Thopter-Sword (2-0)
Round 5:- Blue Moon (2-0)
Round 6:- U/W Thopter Control (2-0)
Round 7:- Scapeshift (2-0)
As you can see the tournament went very well and I finished 2nd in the standing’s. most of my opponents believed me to be playing a standard build of Tron so when they ghost quartered my Tron piece and in response I used a map to search for an Eldrazi Temple into Thought-Knot Seer the following turn, you can imagine they were surprised! As predicted all of the Midrange/ Control matches were very good and the strengths mentioned definitely showed that, I was lucky that I did not have any aggro matches, the one bad match up I had was Kiki-Chord and as you can see that did not go in my favour.
Looking back at how I built this deck I definitely would remove the Kozilek, Butcher Of Truth. The card is very powerful if you ever untap with it and the draw effect is very good as the deck struggles to draw cards however as a one of this doesn’t happen very often and he doesn’t have any immediate impact on the field which I felt is what this deck needs. I also felt maybe an extra ratchet bomb or a single dismember in the main would have been helpful for Kiki-Chord.
To conclude I think there is still an Eldrazi Deck to be had here, Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher are excellent threats together and I have only just got onto testing World Breaker, It just takes the right combination of cards to get a deck working.
Thanks for Reading! any comments would be appreciated :)