What a weekend.
Even before Barcelona, it was well-known that the Arena Boys are in the business of Serious Magic for Winners, and most people seem to have just taken it for granted that that was the case. Toffel, however, considered this insufficient. He felt the need to rather more emphatically demonstrate just how serious he is when it comes to the Magic that he plays; he was determined to illustrate what it means to be a winner.
As a result, the Arena Boys now has a Mythic Champion on the team. Despite the hit to our credibility as peddlers of silly nonsense, we are resolute upon staying the course and playing all manner of ridiculous decks every week. We’ll do our best to ensure Toffel’s masterful expertise of the game doesn’t influence the videos too much.
This week, as an homage to Toffel’s tremendous win in Barcelona, we imported his entire Modern decklist into MTG Arena… all four cards that were Standard-legal. Outside of that, we had to get a little creative–it was surprising to find how sweet this deck ended up being, however!
1 Blast Zone 2 Karn's Bastion 21 Forest (347) 4 Llanowar Elves 4 Paradise Druid 1 Pelakka Wurm 4 Karn, Scion of Urza 3 Karn, the Great Creator 4 Ugin, the Ineffable 4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World 4 Bond of Flourishing 4 Nissa's Triumph 3 Treasure Map/Treasure Cove 1 Planewide Celebration Sideboard 1 Leyline of the Void 1 Veil of Summer 1 Scrabbling Claws 1 Fountain of Renewal 1 Mishra's Self-Replicator 1 Sorcerous Spyglass 1 Crucible of Worlds 1 Treasure Map/Treasure Cove 1 Thaumatic Compass/Spires of Orazca 1 Chaos Wand 1 Transmogrifying Wand 1 God-Pharaoh's Statue 1 Meteor Golem 1 Gilded Lotus 1 Pendulum of Patterns - Planeswalker Deck Exclusives (Aether Revolt)
A deck known as Standard Tron was flying around a few months ago, piloted by wizards such as TheAsianAvenger, and that was very much the starting point for this list. We wanted, however, it to mirror the Modern Tron list as much as possible, and so this led to a little bit of creative license with some of the cards we picked.
One of the core goals of the deck is, of course, turn-three Karn, as this is the most characteristic Tron play you can possibly make. With eight mana dorks and seven copies of Karn, split across Karn, the Great Creator and Karn, Scion of Urza, this is highly achievable. We can also ramp into an early Ugin (just like in Modern), although sadly there are no Ulamogs in Standard right now.
Instead of Sylvan Scrying, we have a different two-drop green sorcery that can “search” for lands in Bond of Flourishing. The three life is also extremely welcome in tricky aggressive matchups. Rather than Expedition Map, we chose Treasure Map–people keep saying the real treasure is the friends we make along the way, but with Toffel and Jamin at my side, well… I think I’ll keep following the map, if it’s all the same to you.
Pelakka Wurm is basically Wurmcoil Engine, right? They’re both Wurms, they both gain life, they both have a useful death trigger. Planewide Celebration is included as a triumphantly emphatic flavor win, but it doesn’t hurt that it also works exceptionally well in this deck!
Karn, the Great Creator requires an artifact-laden sideboard. We’ve built one before–you can read about it here–again once again, you shouldn’t take it too seriously. Chaos Wand is always terrific fun, however.
Finally, Nissa, Who Shakes the World is what really allows us to call this deck “Tron.” Making almost all the lands in our deck tap for extra mana gives us an insane lategame, much like Modern Tron itself, and Nissa is the marquee card when it comes to going big with this list.
If your opponents give you any breathing space whatsoever, this deck will swiftly bury them in massively impactful and value-laden plays. Curving Karn into Nissa into Ugin floods the board, draws cards, and develops your mana–it’ll leave your opponent in the dust. We were somewhat surprised by just how easy it is to win with this deck, as we played pretty loose this week and still won games pretty effortlessly.
The power level of this deck isn’t something that a lot of Standard lists can keep up with. It’s embarrassing to watch even something like Teferi-based control try to contest you, when you’re ripping hot fire every turn and have so many ways to generate huge amounts of value and damage. Midrange lists that don’t effectively play to the board will have trouble too, purely thanks to cards like Karn, Scion of Urza and Ugin, the Ineffable providing both board presence and card advantage.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. While we didn’t play any aggro decks during this week’s video, this list has a very hard time against fast aggro strategies such as Mono-Red or Mono-White. Without mass removal or a powerful catchup mechanic, it’s all too easy to fall behind; any deck that goes wide is going to be a bit of a problem for this list.
Still, if you want to be like Toffel in Barcelona and have a great time slamming great big colorless threats into play, Standard Tron is a lot of fun to play and will still win you a good number of games. It’s Mythic Champion tested and approved–what could possibly go wrong?
A Note from the Boys
The three of us want to take some time to thank each and every person who supported not just Toffel but also the Arena Boys last weekend. All the silly “Serious Magic for Winners” tweets, all the people shouting “ONE TIME” across the internet–the love and support sent from Arena Boys fans around the world made the weekend even more special than it was in the first place.
We make these videos for fun, more than anything else. We love making them. The fact that other people seem to like them too is, obviously, an unbelievably huge bonus, but for Toffel to have a horde of cheering fans at his back as he won the Mythic Championship was so incredible, so humbling, so ridiculous… and we just want to say thank you to every single person who added their voice to the chorus of positivity that surrounded Toffel this weekend.
This week’s video is a little different. As Jamin said, it’s a little more like a podcast, as we took the opportunity to chat about the weekend, share stories, and say thank you. However, from here on out, it’ll be business as usual. We have absolutely no plans to change anything about the structure, tone, or general vibe of the Arena Boys videos–we’ll still tease Jamin, we’ll still grapple with Toffel’s weird questions, and we’ll still be stunned by the sheer brilliance of Riley’s gameplay skill.
Next week and the week after, we’ve got videos we recorded prior to the Mythic Championship–the three of us have incredibly busy schedules right now (especially Toffel, after Barcelona!), so we hope you’ll understand.
In any case, whether you’ve been an Arena Boys fan from the start or are just tuning in now, from the bottom of our hearts, thanks so much for being with us.