“URZA TRON, MERGE INTO DEVASTATOR!!”
“GO URZA TRON, FORCE!!!!”
“URZA TRON, GATTAI!!” (Okay, you get the point, it’s basically forming a giant Japanese robot. Moving on.)
Colors: Green, Black.
Distribution: 19 lands, 15 artifacts, 11 sorceries, 6 creatures, 6 Planeswalkers, 3 instants.
Archetype: Ramp, Control.
Pilot Difficulty: Novice.
Tier Ranking: 1
Way back when Modern first started, there used to be a card that was legal called Cloudpost. Combined with Glimmerpost and Vesuva (which makes itself into a copy of any land on the battlefied), you could make a gigantic load of colorless mana, being able to drop 7-9 drops around turn 3-5. Thus creating the “12 Post” archetype.
This would be forever known as a staple deck for the rest of time in Modern. Even today, it proves to be-
I’m just kidding, it got outright banned as soon as it became a thing.
This was not the end for colorless ramp decks to thrive. For 12 Post’s not-as-good-but-still-really-good-actually cousin waited in the corner to wait it’s turn to thrive as a top-tier deck.
And therefore, Urza Tron rose from the ashes of 12 Post.
Over the years, this archetype has gone through many variations. From a Blue/White type that played Gifts Ungiven to return huge creatures from graveyard to the battlefield,
To a Green/Red type that used green mana to tutor up the Tron lands (meaning go into the deck and find the pieces you needed to assemble the combo) and red to wipe out any creatures on the field.
And to the version that we will be talking about today: Green/Black Tron.
How to Play
So why play with Black instead of Red now? Well, that’s because of two cards: Collective Brutality and Fatal Push.
Currently, the meta consists of a lot of big creatures with a large amount of power and toughness (these are also called Fatties). The one that is popular right now, and the one I talked about in my previous deck tech, is Death’s Shadow. Cards like Lightning Bolt and Kozilek’s Return are damage based, so killing a creature that way isn’t as good anymore as it was in the days of old. Fatal Push is more concerned about CMC, or Converted Mana Cost, of said creature.
Collective Brutality is an all around good card, especially when your early game cards that are just okay in the late game, giving you access to discard fodder to escalate the card. It finds it’s place among many different types of deck that can run black. Even some Grixis Death’s Shadow decks will run 1 or 2 in the sideboard.
Now, onto the how-to!
When playing this deck, you have one main objective in order to win: assemble the Tron lands! This includes Urza’s Tower, Power Plant, and Mine. Don’t rely on drawing these up, though. Sometimes, luck is on your side and getting all three from the top of your deck WILL happen (and I promise your ego will go up), but for the other times we will need to run tutors.
Expedition Map and Sylvan Scrying will find the Tron pieces that you’ll need. If you don’t have either of those, Ancient Stirrings has a good chance of finding them. Even when you have everything assembled, Ancient Stirrings is still good after the fact because it can find colorless threats in addition to lands.
In the case for Sylvan Scrying and Ancient Stirrings, you do run lands that tap for Green and Black. You won’t have those all the time, so that’s why we run these two.
Not only do these draw you cards, but they filter your colorless mana into colored mana. This also helps trigger Revolt on Fatal Push, so you will definitely want to cast that card with one of these two: everything (most things) with CMC 4 or less will not stand a chance.
If you run into any permanent-related trouble from your opponent, Oblivion Stone (O-Stone) will clean up anything that your opponent has played out. It’s easier to do this with Tron assembled, but it is also possible to get this onto the field without it.
Once you get at least one of each onto the battlefield, you will be able to create a total of 7 colorless mana… that’s a lot of mana that you can get access to on turn 3. What do we do with it all?
There’s a common saying that once a Tron player gets Karn out on the field, the game is their’s from that point forward. Sometimes, that’s not necessarily true since Planeswalker removal has gotten more plentiful over time (but yes, most of the time, it’s over for the opponent).
Once you play Karn, you will want to immediately use his -3 ability to get ride of the most important card on the opponent’s side of the table. If they’re playing a deck that doesn’t run much creatures or any non-land permanents, start attacking their hand with his +4 ability.
-Yes, you read the bottom ability correctly. You can indeed restart the game with part of your opponent’s deck. However ,90% of the time, you will want to just keep exiling everything they have. When you do though, it is one of the funniest things you can do at a tournament.
The other colorless planeswalker card we run in here is Ugin, the Spirit Dragon (or Ugeen, as some call him).
This card is pretty much game over for any colored deck you are playing against. The only reason we are running 2 is because A). we can’t get him onto the field turn 3 like we can with Karn, and B). there are other colorless decks in modern that turns Ugin into a dead card (a card that does nothing against your opponent). That being said, your opponent will most likely scoop to Ugin more often than to Karn just because Ugin can actually END the game, whereas Karn is just repeatable removal that can annoy your opponent into concession.
If you are playing against a deck with a lot of colored-permanents on their field, you are obviously going to want to use his -X immediately. Otherwise, use his +2 over and over again until they die or you are able to use his -10, which should end the game by itself.
If you don’t have any of these cards in hand, then our other out is the gigantic creature package that this deck runs.
Wurmcoil Engine has got to be one of my favorite creature cards in Magic. The only way you are PERMANENTLY getting rid of this card is exiling it. Otherwise, it drops two smaller versions of itself if it gets destroyed. Against creature decks, you often get to swing in with this thing and damage the opponent, since it gains you life when it hits something. Plus, a lot of the time your opponent won’t want to throw away a creature if it’s important enough to them.
World Breaker is nothing more than filler, BUT it’s good at blocking flyers and removing annoying lands, artifacts, or enchantments pre-sideboard.
Ulamog is the creature that will END the game for us 90% when it’s cast. Just like Wurmcoil Engine, exiling Ulamog is the only way you’re getting rid of him. Otherwise, say goodbye to your life total and your deck.
AND IF YOU WANT TO GET YOUR ULAMOG A LOT QUICKER, YOU CAN USE EYE OF UGIN TO GO TUTOR HIM UP- OH WAIT, THAT’S RIGHT! YOU CAN’T!!
Yeah… they banned that one too…
AND IT WASN’T EVEN BECAUSE OF TRON!! SONS OF B-
Are you making aggro players angry with Wurmcoil Engine? Wanna make them even more irritated at you? Thragtusk is the right creature for the job! I promise you that you’ll make many more friends with this card, and they WON’T want to punch you in the face!
This is primarily for Blood Moon and the Affinity deck. Although it doesn’t necessarily beats us, it is VERY annoying. Nature’s Claim will point and laugh at it, and all worries are gone. We also run 2 Seal of Primordium just in case someone plays Chalice of the Void on us for one.
There are going to be a lot of decks that are going to try to destroy your lands. This card right here will make their efforts futile. That’s all there needs to be said.
Your favored match ups are going to be decks that are going to try to interact with you, like midrange and control. Decks like Abzan Midrange, U/W Control, and Temur Breech, Tron will stomp all over as you are able to do what you want to do a lot faster than what they are trying to do.
Match ups like Burn, Humans, and Eldrazi “Tron” are our 50/50 match ups that depend on a couple of things. If you are the first one to play in the match up against Burn and are able to dish out a Wurmcoil Engine early enough, then that game is pretty much yours if they don’t have the proper removal or haven’t killed you fast enough. Humans, it depends on if they play Meddling Mage, or if they play Thalia before Tron is assembled. Eldrazi “Tron” relies on dropping Thought-Knot Seer early enough to stop us from playing out Tron in order to beat us. If any of these decks don’t meet these requirements and then some, you should be fine.
So what does this deck struggle against? Affinity, Titan Shift, and (sigh) Storm. Affinity is able to get it’s colorless threats onto the field a lot quicker than Tron can (this is one of the decks that Ugin is not good against). Titan Shift is able to get it’s lands out VERY quickly and doesn’t rely on non-land permanents to combo off with Scapeshift and Valakut (Ugin also bad here). Storm doesn’t give Tron much to work with, and Collective Brutality is our only way to stop them from doing anything pre-sideboard (again, Ugin=bad).
-As I was writing this, I came to a realization: save for Eldrazi Tron, if Ugin is bad against the deck, then the match up is more than likely not in your favor. Doesn’t mean that you’ll always lose, but it’s really hard to go against a current in a river.
If you are not in the market to play a deck that plays nothing but cheap spells, and rather goes big with giant planeswalkers and creatures, then GB Tron is the right deck for you!
Now, you may have noticed something while reading this. There was another Tron deck that I put in quotation marks.
Eldrazi “Tron”, GB Tron’s more aggressive cousin. But why am I putting the quotation marks around the word “Tron”? Stay tuned later this week, as we take a look at the other Tron deck in modern.
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Thanks again! I’ll catch you next time!