Magic: the Gathering. Let’s Talk: The Great Red, White, and Blue (Jeskai Tempo deck tech)



One of my favorite color combinations is Jeskai (blue, red, white). This color combination allows you to control the opponents side of the battlefield while also giving you access to aggressive burn spells to finish them off. It is, in my mind, the ultimate tempo color combination.

Jeskai was actually my first deck in Modern, and back then it was called Geist Midrange.


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Its primary focus was to use Geist of Saint Traft as a finisher once your opponent had little to nothing in hand. Unfortunately, it fell out of favor once the format got faster.

However, because of a couple of bannings in Modern and some of the deck’s worst matchups are no longer tier 1, it has made a comeback (sort of). While the general deck has returned, it doesn’t rely so much on Geist of Saint Traft anymore. Now it uses multiple ways to kill off your opponent.


How to Play

Let me start this off by saying this: Jesaki IS NOT A CONTROL DECK!! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!! (unless you’re playing the Search for Azcanta version, then yes it’s a control deck)

Jeskai is pretty much a glorified burn deck that has access to blue to stop your opponent from what they are doing while you beat their face in (tempo).


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Spell Queller is a good example of this. It is arguably the best 3 mana “counterspell” that WotC has printed thus far, getting around cards that have the “can’t be countered” text line on them and giving us a body that can keep attacking your opponent after the fact. Y

Jeskai runs 3 signature 1 drops: Serum Visions, Lightning Bolt, and Path to Exile.



Serum Visions is the premier card draw, cantrip spell in Modern, allowing us to filter our next two card steps of the game. Lightning Bolt doubles as both a burn spell and a removal spell to pick off smaller creatures. Path to exile is a catch-all when talking about creatures as long as they don’t have hexproof.


The deck also gets access to a couple of counterspells. Spell Snare is great because Modern has a plethora of 2 drop spells. Logic Knot is great because we tend to cast spells at a rapid pace that fills up our graveyard quickly.

Now, I want to talk about Cryptic Command for a minute. This card is one of the best spells that you can be playing within Modern. Not only does this counter and draw you cards, but this can bounce ANYTHING on the battlefield, including lands. This is good against lands like Spirebluff Canal if they already have 3+ lands on their side of the table.



These two cards can help us with our removal/burn plan. Electrolyze is even better when you are playing against smaller creatures, and so is Lightning Helix when playing against a highly aggressive strategy.


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And of course, we have good ol’ Snapcaster Mage…

Okay, I can’t get into this, time to change the tone. Some of you may get upset by this article now, but I think the gloves need to come off.


This deck SUCKS!!



When I say that this deck sucks, it means I personally find it boring to play. All it really is is a bunch of cards that are mostly staples that see play in most other decks glued together into one deck. This deck is so “fair” that it manages to be uninteresting.

Yes, it’s doing a lot of “interesting” things like using Geist of Saint Traft as a finisher,  but that’s really all its got going for it. If you love Geist of Saint Traft, then play the crap out of this deck! That’s really the only reason I can see someone wanting to play this deck. Otherwise, I think there are waaaaaaaaay more interesting decks that you could be playing.



Yes, I love the color group, and I mean the GROUP! Not the deck, the GROUP! When you look up what the Jeskai are, you find out that it’s a nation in the plane of Tarkir that are based on Shaolin Monks. THAT is some awesome material right there!!

And yes, when I played the earlier iteration of the deck years ago, I LOVED it! I loved countering stuff while playing Geist of Saint Traft.

But I’ve grown up to be an older man with better taste!!! Hell, I highly doubt that this deck will stay Tier 1 for long!

I’ve now come to the conclusion that I’d rather play Storm over this deck, and I HATE Storm! At least Storm is doing something interesting to win!!


So why the hate?

As I stated above, this deck is boring to play.

But I also came to a realization that if I want to be beating decks like Tron or Storm, that this isn’t the deck to do it with. It plays too fair against Tron (which is what you don’t want to be doing), and it’s too slow against Storm.

Sure it does good against Death’s Shadow, but you don’t want to be good against one deck, that’s not how this works. Just because that the deck you can beat easily is the best deck doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to beat all the other good decks that are prevalent.

Jeskai Tempo also doesn’t have any real bombs.



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Yes, there is no denying the amount of damage Geist of Saint Traft can do. The fact that it has hexproof is just icing on the cake.

So what’s the problem?




Not only that, but it is an easy victim to mass creature removal, even ones that do smaller damage like Pyroclasm.



I think I’ve said my peace with this deck. Don’t play it. It’s boring as all hell and I feel like it’s not even one the best decks that you could be playing. If you want to anyways, then I can’t stop you.

Anyways, thanks for reading my deck tech turned rant. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I’m going to go play a quality deck. Peace.

Previous Article: “Let’s talk: Ixalan Block, or ‘The Stampede of Pirate-Eating Dinosaur Gods’.”

Next Article: “Let’s Talk: The 1/15/18 Ban List Update, or “YAY, ROGUE REFINER IS BANNED- wait, what?””

One thought on “Magic: the Gathering. Let’s Talk: The Great Red, White, and Blue (Jeskai Tempo deck tech)

  1. Pingback: Let’s Talk: The 1/15/18 Ban List Update, or “THANK F**K, ROGUE REFINER IS BANNED- wait, what?” – MTG: Blog of Body and Mind

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