Urza’s Tower, Urza’s Power Plant, and Urza’s Mine—these three lands together assemble what we call Tron. From what I know, there have only been two decks in the competitive history of the game to use these lands: green-based ramp decks and blue-based Tron decks, the latter uses those lands as a way to close the game through Mindslaver + Academy Ruins lock, but don’t necessarily need them to function up until later in the game. The green ones play as many tools as possible to find the Urza lands, so they can start jamming their big spells as soon as turn 3 or 4.
Tooth and Nail
Now, of course in Modern we have more than one Tron deck with blue, but in the end, they are all just blue control decks that incidentally draw the three lands at some point and cast something unbeatable, backed by counterspells.
Cedric helped popularize the deck about three years ago, it has always been a Grand Prix/PTQ deck, barely ever saw play at the Pro Tour, and it was close to not making the cut in my choice of Top 8 Modern decks, yet, most people have that deck on their minds when they build a sideboard because it’s so powerful.
If I’m not mistaken, it was built as a way to destroy Jund and Pod when they were battling for dominance of the format. The Twin and Scapeshift matchup was horrible, which is why Cedric and just about everyone who played this deck had a sideboard built entirely to stand a chance against them.
Historically, RG Tron beats green decks, loses to combo and blue decks built a combo kill. Counterspells are just incredible against Karn and friends, but if you don’t close the game fast, Emrakul will get you.
SCG Invitational Winner
Almost three years later, we have basically the same deck, a few cards have moved here and there, but essentially it’s doing the exact same thing.
UW and Mono-Blue Tron
Even less popular than RG Tron, these two variants have varied in popularity. UW was showcased by Luis-Scott Vargas and Gerry Thompson a few years ago as pet decks, and Mono-Blue Tron always felt like a Magic Online sensation, a deck that’s cheap and not bad, like Burn.
Top 8 GP Lincoln 2012
This deck is the perfect example of a Tron deck that doesn’t need to assemble the lands early. The primary game plan of this variant is to cast a turn-3 Gifts Ungiven on Unburial Rites and the fatty of your choice.
Pro Tour Fate Reforged
I couldn’t find any lists played by known players besides this one. Interestingly, BBD played this deck at the last Pro Tour. Most lists look alike, you are playing a super control game until you get your pieces together, Treasure Mage finds you the optimal threat for the situation and you have a game.
I really can’t speak that much about the Tron versions featuring blue, since I’ve barely played with and against them. The following tips cover mainly the green variants, something that I’ve played my fair share of over the years, from Mirrodin Standard to Modern.
- I’ve heard many people say that this deck is inconsistent—honestly I don’t know what they are talking about, maybe they have no idea what consistency means, but the fact is, this deck plays 24 Tron pieces, 12 cyclers, 8 threats, 8 removal spells, and those “Tron pieces” can be Eye of Ugin which gets threats. I don’t have actual percentages, but I witnessed this deck having turn-3 and turn-4 Tron assembled very consistently.
- What makes this deck “inconsistent” are its matchups, not the game play. It is an extremely linear strategy that results in having a lot of lopsided matchups—some decks you have a 30% chance of winning against, others 70%, that is caused by the fact that your “payoff” cards are sometimes horrible against certain opposing strategies. A good metagame call is what makes Tron a good choice.
- Because you bring in so many cards against Twin, I’ve found that Twin players do not adapt correctly, and this lets Tron players win more sideboarded games than they should ever be able to. People think that Blood Moon is great because you are a “land deck.” While you bring in around 10 cards that stop their combo which are all artifacts or red spells—let me tell you, Blood Moon will screw the Twin player even more by losing access to multiple blue sources and Desolate Lighthouse, and when the Tron player feels like he needs more mana, he will simply crack a Chromatic artifact and cast Nature’s Claim, or blow up Oblivion Stone.
- As I was saying, since you are extremely linear and great against specific strategies, don’t be scared of having a super narrow sideboard. There are many matchups where you barely bring in cards and that’s okay—keep your 15 slots for those that are horrendous.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the last 3 decks !