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LIBERATING YOURSELF WITH KARN USAMA SAJJAD 02/09/2019

Tron, the deck nobody hates losing to, has been one of the most consistent modern decks for a while now, putting up respectable results, and just recently winning a Mythic Championship. 

Different builds of Tron have seen action after the printing of, War of the Spark’s, Karn the Great Creator. This printing changed the traditional direction of the deck, making it more of a colorless toolbox deck exploiting the power of the Tron lands. It now meant your colourless one-ofs in the sideboard were essentially a four-of in the main deck, thanks to little Karn’s tutor ability. This, for sure, helped Tron do very powerful things such as turn three Karn into some of the more powerful colorless three drops in modern such as Ensnaring Bridge or Trinisphere. Of course the Mycosynth Lattice combo on turn four is also one of the, if not the main, reasons people having adopted this strategy.

 

 

However in this article, we are going to talk about instead the classical version of UrzaTron, more specifically, Thoralf Severin’s MC winning list.

The reason I like this list more, is because it maximises the chances of playing a turn three Wurmcoil Engine which is very well positioned right now. If the Phoenix or Human decks don’t find an answer to it immediately (through a Thing in the Ice, ReflectorMage/Deputy of Detention), the Wurmcoil is a gamebreaker in those matchups. I personally feel like maximising your chances to turn three this big monster, compared to a more likely turn four, in the little Karn list, makes a big difference. 

 

 

But let’s talk about the deck for a bit. It is not particularly complicated to pilot, the whole purpose of the deck is to assemble the three different Tron lands as soon as possible, and all of the cards in your deck are helping you to achieve that (bar of course your payoffs). A very important skill to have in order to play this deck as efficiently as possible is knowing when to mulligan. As I mentioned above, your whole game plan revolves around assembling the three tron pieces, which means you want to mulligan aggressively towards hands which can do this as quickly as possible. The deck plays many cards which cycle themselves or search the deck for colourless cards, making it easier to find what we are looking for. Plus the new London mulligan rule also helped Tron with mulliganing, since it is essentially a “combo” deck, getting to see the full seven cards every time made mulliganing far less costly than it previously has been.

There are also sequencing plays which are important to remember while playing the deck, such as waiting as much as possible to fire off land tutoring cards when you are missing two of the Tron lands. You do not want to randomly fetch one but rather give yourself as much information possible before making that decision. An example of this could be: casting an Ancient Stirrings first to see if you hit a Tron land, then you know if and what to crack your Expedition Map for.

 

 

Once this step has been accomplished, depending on the deck you’re playing against, you can rely on some of your bigger payoffs. Wurmcoil as we talked about; great vs decks which are trying to win by attacking your life total primarily. Karn Liberated; great vs slower decks which tend to outvalue their opponents, or against combo/control decks, slowly deteriorating their hand or getting rid of annoying permanents in play. The rest of the list is pretty much self explanatory; trying to keep the board clear through Oblivion Stones, All is Dust and while still presenting a threat like Ugin the Spirit Dragon and Walking Ballista.

The sideboard for this will vary a lot depending on the metagame. The most common sideboard tools for the deck, which have not been touched much, are Nature’s claim and Thragtusk which deal with two generally problematic “strategies” against the deck; fast, aggressive strategies or enchantments/artifacts which disrupt the Tron lands combo. 

Overall I believe that Tron is a great choice for modern right now, since not only it is good at reacting against the most popular strategies of the format, but it also has a powerful proactive game plan which can run away with the game itself. I also believe it is a great deck choice for new upcoming modern players because of how it goes over the top of many other modern strategies, and you do not necessarily need to know modern inside out to just assemble Tron and stick an unbeatable threat on board.

About Usama Sajjad:

Usama started playing Magic during Born of the Gods and hasn’t stopped since then. His favourite format is Modern due to its diverse nature and how it rewards practice and knowledge of the metagame. On the other hand his biggest accomplishment so far is winning Team Limited Grand Prix Bologna 2018. He thoroughly enjoys the complexity of the 40-card format where there’s always room for improvement. His aim as a Magic player is to stay on the Pro Tour train. His other accomplishments include: a Grand Prix top 16, a Pro Tour Top 64, three GP Top 64s, a team Grand Prix Top 24, two Magic Online PTQ Top 4s and two RPTQ Top8s.