Deep Analysis – Glimpse the Future


With the official B&R list updated, let’s talk about the changes to the upcoming Modern format.

Eye of Ugin is banned

Eye of Ugin Exp James Paick copy

Banning Eye of Ugin removed the speed and the long game ability of the Eldrazi variants as well as hit Tron decks late game.  While Eldrazi was weakened by this, I don’t think the deck is destroyed by this.

Cavern of Souls
Ghost Quarter
3 Grove of the Burnwillows
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 Karplusan Forest

4 Endless One
4 Matter Reshaper
4 Reality Smasher
4 Thought-Knot Seer
Eldrazi Mimic
Vile Aggregate
4 Simian Spirit Guide

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Ancient Stirrings

Vesuva was a nice sideboard card in the Eldrazi mirror allowing players to copy Eye of Ugin.  Now the card will be used to copy Eldrazi Temple to give them 8 Sol Lands again.  It will slow the deck down by a turn but being able to ramp over your opponent.  The deck idea here also continues to use Ancient Stirrings to dig for your colorless cards and also uses Simian Spirit Guide for ramp into your 3 or 4 drops on turn 2 or to Reality Smasher on turn 3. The consistency will suffer though which is why the deck isn’t broken now, but still a good choice.

I know that Tron players feel hurt by this but I still believe that your strategy is fine, even if it has to adapt to stay relevant.  The deck could move more into a R/G UrzaTron like the following list:

1 Forest
1 Sanctum of Ugin
Karpulsan Forest
2 Ghost Quarter
3 Grove of the Burnwillows
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower

1 Kozilek, the Great Distortion
2 World Breaker
3 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
3 Wurmcoil Engine

4 Karn Liberated
Oblivion Stone
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map

2 Kozilek’s Return
2 Pyroclasm
4 Ancient Stirrings
3 Time In Need
1 Sylvan Scrying

SB: 1 Vandalblast
SB: 1 Ryusei, the Falling Star
SB: 2 Torpor Orb
SB: 2 Relic of Progenitus
SB: 2 Pithing Needle
SB: 4 Nature’s Claim
SB: 1 Life from the Loam
SB: 2 Oblivion Sower

While this deck doesn’t let you chain Wurmcoil Engine or Karn, it will still let you dig for Ulamog as well as Kozilek and Ryusei through the card Time of Need.  The deck also has the additional exile effect from World Breaker and can chain a second one via Sanctum of Ugin.

Ancestral Vision is unbannedAV by Mark Poole

Adding Ancestral Vision back to the Modern format gives players incentive to go back to more midrange and long game control decks.  Two decks that get a boost from that would be Grixis Control and WU Control.  Let’s look at a recent deck during the Eldrazi Winter from a recent MOCS event:

LAUGHED00 (4TH PLACE) – MODERN MOCS #9485602 ON 03/19/2016


Ancestral Vision by Mark Poole

2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
1 Gideon Jura
1 Jace, Architect of Thought

3 Snapcaster Mage
3 Wall of Omens

4 Supreme Verdict
1 Condemn
2 Cryptic Command
1 Hallowed Moonlight
4 Path to Exile
3 Remand
1 Sphinx’s Revelation

1 Crucible of Worlds

3 Detention Sphere
4 Spreading Seas

4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Flooded Strand
4 Ghost Quarter
3 Glacial Fortress
2 Hallowed Fountain
4 Island
1 Mystic Gate
3 Plains
1 Tectonic Edge


2 Hallowed Moonlight
2 Baneslayer Angel
1 Disdainful Stroke
1 Dispel
1 Fracturing Gust
1 Negate
1 Relic of Progenitus
2 Rest in Peace
2 Stony Silence
2 Timely Reinforcements

This style control deck wants a long game.  Several cards in this deck were purely for meta game purposes (Hallowed MoonlightSpreading SeasCrucible of Worlds, maybe Supreme Verdict) so I could see going with some number of Ancestral Vision for long game card advantage.

Sword of the Meek is unbanned

sword of the meek franz vohwinkel

Now this one was quite a shock.  Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek makes for an incredible token engine and life gain.  Sick part is that you now have an engine to also go long and you have access to a card that doesn’t get enough love in Modern, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas:

Mishra’s Favorite Deck

Sword of the Meek by Franz Vohwinkel

Sword of the Meek by Franz Vohwinkel

1 Academy Ruins
1 Island
1 Swamp
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Underground River
4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Watery Grave
4 Polluted Delta

Trinket Mage

4 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas

1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Pithing Needle
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Chalice of the Void
Sword of the Meek
3 Ensnaring Bridge
Thopter Foundry
4 Dimir Signet
3 Mox Opal

2 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Remand
3 Thoughtseize
3 Thought Scour

SB: 1 Lodestone Golem
SB: 1 Nihil Spellbomb
SB: 3 Spell Pierce
SB: 2 Torpor Orb
SB: 1 Chalice of the Void
SB: 1 Pithing Needle
SB: 1 Grafdigger’s Cage
SB: 1 Academy Ruins
SB: 1 Engineered Explosives
SB: 2 Hangarback Walker
SB: 1 Ensnaring Bridge

This deck is based off several similar Legacy decks of the past.  Obviously, this isn’t a fully tuned deck, but you see the potential here. Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas + 1 attack from some thopters will usually be game.

Now let’s talk about new cards in the Modern format from SOI:

Sideboard Cards

Dual Shot

A lovely card that shoots down two 1/1 at instant speed?  In this format, yes please!

Invasive Surgery

So Envelop with an upside if you have Delirium?  I’m sure there will be sideboard space for a card like this, depending on the metagame.

Anguished Unmaking

While I think the card is good, the 3 life lost is a real cost in a format with saclands and shocklands.  I can see this being used out of the sideboard but I can’t see this being in a maindeck unless you are playing something like a Death Shadow deck.

Main Deck Cards

Thing in the Ice

As if Grixis Control wasn’t a strong deck to begin with, being able to play cantrips, countermagic, and discard then turn a 0/4 ‘wall’ that flips to a 7/8 that bounces almost every other creature in the format and end a game quick is rather good.

Heir of Falkenrath

Speaking of cards that are rather strong, Heir makes it so you can play 8 3/2 flyers in a deck with so much removal and rebuys.

The Gitrog Monster and Traverse the Ulvenwald

Illus. Jason Kang

Illus. Jason Kang

These cards go hand in hand.  Our resident Frog Horror is incredible.

3 The Gitrog Monster
2 Griselbrand
1 Borborygmos Enraged
Craterhoof Behemoth
2 Necroplasm

4 Traverse the Ulvenwald
4 Edge of Autumn
2 Unburial Rites
3 Life from the Loam
Goryo’s Vengeance
3 Abrupt Decay
2 Dismember

Zombie Infestation

4 Verdant Catacombs
Marsh Flats
2 Overgrown Tomb
Godless Shrine
2 Woodland Cemetery
1 Twilight Mire
1 Cavern of Souls
2 Dakmor Salvage
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Ghost Quarter
2 Swamp
1 Forest
1 Plains

There are two major ways to win:

Zombie Infestation tokens + Unburial Rites + Craterhoof Behemoth
The Gitrog MonsterBorborygmos Enraged via Goryo’s VengeanceDakmor Salvage

Until next week,

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