With GP Oakland in the rear view mirror, it’s time to take the Deck of the Day column from all the weird and wild yet successful Standard strategies, and dive head first into the world of Modern. There are so many fun possibilities, and trying to find new ways to exploit old interactions is how decks like Lantern Control are born.
The Tron lands spawned originally from Antiquities in the early ages of Magic. Since then, they have seen a couple reprintings, with occasional appearances in Standard while being a perennial powerhouse in Modern. Chromatic Sphere and Chromatic Star enable the colorless lands to still cast colored spells while establishing an early Tron. The combination of Urza’s Tower, Urza’s Mine, and Urza’s Power Plant creates 7 mana and powerful cards like Karn Liberated can enter the fray as early as turn 3.
A twist on RG Tron that I hadn’t seen comes courtesy of the MTGO Modern League 5-0 deck lists where MTGOSALSEO loaded up his list with a full playset of Platinum Angels.
Platinum Angel can also come down on turn 3 with the help of the Tron lands, and threatens to close the game in a hurry. There isn’t much in the Modern format that can block a 4/4 flying creature, but there are a whole lots of ways to race it. Path to Exile is still a problem, but the Angel dodges Lightning Bolt and Abrupt Decay.
Platinum Angel gets to go one step further—you can’t lose the game and your opponent can’t win the game. This is backbreaking for so many decks. While they may have some answers, they need to it before the Angel wins the game. Even if she falls to multiple burn spells against Burn, the Tron deck just gained 6 life. It’s common for burn pilots to fire off their targeted burn spells at opponents playing Tron ASAP, since there are few targets, so they may even be left without a pair in hand at all while holding cards like Atarka’s Command or Boros Charm that won’t get the job done.
Spellskite is already an excellent card in Tron as an early blocker and one that can disrupt combo decks. It can come down off only Tron lands, and protects Platinum Angel from removal. Both of these cards can be searched up with Eye of Ugin, and a continuous string of Platinum Angels and Spellskites all need to be dealt with before an opponent can actually win the game.
The final piece of the puzzle is Pact of Negation.
Tron has (virtually) no way to actually pay for the Pact. It requires multiple Spheres or Stars to arrive at double-blue, but again, the Platinum Angel clause that you can’t lose the game will negate the downside of casting Pact. I love the cool interactions in this deck and think there are a number of decks out there that simply won’t be able to handle what this deck is doing.