Distribution: 11 artifacts, 19 creatures, 2 instants, 2 Planeswalkers, 2 sorceries, 24 lands.
Archetype: Ramp, Aggro, Prison.
Pilot Difficulty: Novice.
Tier Ranking: 1
2 years ago around this time, the Modern meta was experiencing a dramatic change. Not only did one of the best decks got banned outright, but a new set was coming out that would make its mark on the format. The cards that you see on the top of this article were the glue of the Colorless Eldrazi deck that wreaked havoc in Modern.
Colorless Eldrazi Decklist
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Eldrazi Mimic
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 Endless One
4 Eye of Ugin
4 Ghost Quarter
2 Ratchet Bomb
4 Reality Smasher
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Thought-Knot Seer
3 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
This archetype went on for four months dominating Modern. This time period is often referred to as Eldrazi Winter, and rightfully so. It wasn’t until April when WotC finally took action and swung the ban hammer at Eye of Ugin.
And thus, Eldrazi became no more… or so we thought.
See, when they were taking care of bans to help reduce the Eldrazi threat, they seemed to miss the other card that was making this deck possible: Eldrazi Temple.
But that’s okay because we get to talk about a deck that goes off the colorless theme. While this deck isn’t nearly as insane as the Eldrazi Winter deck, it is definitely one of the top tier decks currently in the meta.
If you read my article from earlier this week (which I strongly recommend you do), you’ll know this I mentioned THIS deck (the one I’m writing about now) in a certain way. The deck that I’m going over today is known as Eldrazi “Tron”.
Notice the quotation marks? Well, that’s because this isn’t really a Tron deck in the sense that we are trying to assemble a set of lands that activate one another. Rather, we run the Tron lands in this deck for value without having to worry about assembling it. In fact, 50% of the time we’re not going to (nor do we necessarily need to).
How to play
Take your Eldrazis and beat face! Article finished! I’m out!
Okay, there’s more to it than that.
Just like GB Tron, we have access to Expedition Map that will allow us to get the lands we need. Because we are not reliant on both assembling Tron AND colors, we are able to fetch a wider variety of lands such as Ghost Quarter. We also get to play Mind Stone, which helps us play around annoying cards that make you want to externally scream like Blood Moon.
Outside of the Expedition/Tron package, this deck and regular Tron are two completely different decks. GB Tron is a ramp deck that also aims to control the field until you can throw a big threat at our opponent. On the contrary, Eldrazi Tron is an aggro deck that has a prison theme to it. One of our outs is trying to lock our opponent out of the game with cards like Chalice of the Void.
This is a huge reason why Eldrazi Tron is as good as it is right now. Playing this with 1 charge counter on it is basically a Mental Misstep on a stick, which is a card currently banned in Modern. Most cards that give you card advantage (drawing, getting specific cards from your deck, etc.) in Modern costs you 1 mana, and compromise 65% of card slots in most decks. Chalice allows you to turn off your opponents ability to play those cards to find answers to what you’re trying to do. Yes, it counters our Expedition Maps and Basilisk Collar as well since it doesn’t check whose casting the spell, but we’re going to have those down before Chalice comes into play a good percentage of the time anyway.
On the aggro side, we get access to a ton of cards that we can cast early thanks to Eldrazi Temple. The main trio that we beat our opponent with is Matter Reshaper, Thought-Knot Seer, and Reality Smasher.
Matter Reshaper is interesting. It’s not the most powerful card in our deck, but the fact that it potentially replaces itself with another card after death is what makes it a great attacker AND blocker. Because of this clause, the opponent will sometimes be reluctant to block it, ESPECIALLY if you have 2 out of the 3 Tron lands (yes, this also puts lands into play).
Thought-Knot Seer is arguably the best Eldrazi out of the three, depending on the situation of the match you are playing in. If you have read my Grixis Death’s Shadow article (another recommendation, I promise I’m not biased), you know that hand disruption cards like Thoughtseize are really good in Magic. So imagine putting a card like Thoughtseize onto a body that beats the opponent to death and they can’t do anything about it because that creature took out their removal spell. That is exactly Thought-Knot Seer.
Reality Smasher is the icing on top of our Eldrazi cake. This is a beater that actually protects itself by putting your opponent in a 2 for 1 situation. It’s even better if the only card that they have in their hand is removal the turn we play Smasher because they can’t just outright play it. A lot of the time, this is the card that will end the game in your favor.
Now to our top end bombs. Just like GB Tron, we play Wurmcoil Engine and Karn. While we don’t run as many, it leaves us open to playing with Endbringer, which is more synergistic with our deck than the other two are. Endbringer, if left unanswered, can lock your opponent out of attacking with creatures and bury them in card advantage on both your turn and theirs.
And now we come to my favorite card in Eldrazi Tron: Walking Ballista. This is, in my opinion, one of the best creatures AND spot removal cards that’s been made in this game. It’s a beater that can damage your opponent, even when they try to remove it as you laugh at them while shooting their face with ballista shots (don’t actually laugh, you’ll get DQ’d). Plus, this can actually turn into a bomb that gets bigger and bigger if you manage to get Tron assembled.
Snapcaster Mage is a prevalent card that can be found in almost every blue deck in Modern. This card also helps us deal with graveyard-based decks like Dredge, which will prevent their creatures from getting onto the field.
-Warning: do NOT board this in against the Living End deck. Living End puts creatures from EXILE into play, not the graveyard.
These two are the banes of Planeswalker cards or any deck that relies on activated abilities like Affinity.
Another card that is great against graveyard decks, considering that we don’t care about our graveyard. This is also the card to bring in against Living End.
Any deck relying on killing you with creatures may not want to attack you when this thing is out. It’s also very good against removal, since they’re creating another problem instead of solving the one that is presented to them.
Cards that give you options never seem bad, and this one is no exception. The ability that we care about is the counter one, which helps us fight decks like Titan Shift that rely on Scapeshift to kill it’s opponent.
Nice Storm deck opponent. It’d be a shame… if someone got rid of your most important pieces in your graveyard… for free…
Extra kill spell. Not much to say about this one.
Mirror match (50/50): Pretty much whoever wins the die-roll is going to be the one that is favored. Cards like All is Dust (if you choose to run it) and Chalice are going to be bad here since these cards are not designed for matchups like this.
You’ll want to be racing them, so I suggest bringing in things like Spatial Contortion and Warping Wail (to ramp). Hangarback Walker is also a good idea to force the to put the brakes on.
Affinity (bad): Just like GB Tron, we are not favored against Affinity. This is one of those games where you REALLY want to bring in removal and Ratchet Bomb. Pithing Needle is a MUST because of Arcbound Ravager. Any bigger bombs that you have in the deck (except Endbringer), take them out when sideboarding.
- If you are on the play against Affinity, put Chalice of the Void on the field with 0 charge counters on them. Not only does this shut off a good portion of their deck, but it is absolutely hilarious seeing them concede to it as soon as you play it. Otherwise, take out Chalice since they’ll be able to play out their creatures before you can put it onto the field.
Burn (good): Burn will often fold to a Chalice on 1, since that’s half their deck right there. If you can get another Chalice out on 2 as well, that’s game over for them. Just like Affinity, take out your bigger threats and board in extra removal.
Grixis Death’s Shadow (50/50): I believe this to be another “die-roll” match up that depends on who goes first. Your Chalice on 1 will make it to where they won’t be able to do anything for a bit until they get out their K-Command, and that’s IF they are running it pre-sideboard. Your aim here is to get into the late game since your deck is better designed for that section of time, and they’re trying to get you before that. Ratchet Bomb cleans up Death’s Shadow nicely, and Hangarback Walker will block their threats for days.
Jeskai Tempo (very good): This is pretty much what we do in this match up.
Since their removal is mostly damage based, Jeskai Tempo is going to have a hard time killing our threats. Even with Path to Exile (considering we don’t have Chalice out on 1), it just gets us closer to our bigger threats. Plus, they rely on beating us before the late game starts. Relic and Cage should do the trick of slowing them down.
Storm (slightly bad): Pre-sideboard, Storm can kill us on a faster clock if they are on the play. If we are on the play, then Chalice on 1 is going to destroy them for the most part since they’ll have a harder time drawing cards. Post-sideboard, you bring in your hate cards: Surgical Extraction, Relic, and Grafdigger’s Cage. Once you have those out, and they don’t have a way to remove them, you are on your way to victory. Make sure to take out any cards that attack permanents, because those are mostly dead cards here.
GB Tron (good): The ultimate question: are we favored against our Tron cousin? The answer here is yes, because we are able to disrupt their plan early enough. Chalice on 1 turns off their ability to cast Chromatic Star/Sphere. Sure, they can get lucky and draw into the Tron pieces they need, but that’s why we have Ghost Quarter.
Tron sometimes runs into a problem of assembling itself. If they fumble, our deck is going to punish them for it. Pithing Needle naming Karn or Oblivion Stone is extremely important, as well as Warping Wail to counter Sylvan Scrying and Ancient Stirrings. If you run All is Dust, take that dead card out while sideboarding.
Eldrazi Tron is the deck that you want to be playing if you want them to stop what they are doing while punching their face in at the same time with your creatures. This is also the deck that you want to play if you love the appeal of the Tron lands, but don’t like the idea of losing just because you couldn’t assemble it fast enough.
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