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Five of the remaining eight SCG Tour® Opens this season are Modern or partially Modern. This means I'll be playing a lot of Modern in the next few months.
Last year had a stretch of Modern Opens as well. I was able to keep pace with the format and had reasonable success with a variety of archetypes, including Infect, Dredge, 8-Rack, and G/W Tron. I dabbled in Soul Sisters as well to little tournament success. I picked my spots poorly with that one.
I've not really been brewing up entirely new decks for my repertoire. Rather, I've been progressively updating my wheelhouse while keeping a watchful eye on decks that pique my interest.
The Old Favorites
Before the 2016 Players' Championship, I was looking into Mono-Green Tron as a more consistent option to G/W Tron. I mostly wanted three or four Forests in my deck to have good game against Blood Moon and Ghost Quarter. Getting seven lands onto the battlefield to cast Karn Liberated was coming up more often. Five lands to activate an Oblivion Stone or cast a post-sideboard Thragtusk was even easier.
White gave access to Path to Exile and Blessed Alliance. Red gave access to Lightning Bolt, Kozilek's Return, and Pyroclasm. Joe Lossett and others have tried G/B Tron for Collective Brutality, and now Fatal Push as well.
It's been universally accepted that another color is needed in the green ramp deck to prevent yourself from dying to a rush of creatures. Dismember has always been available to any color combination. Warping Wail and Spatial Contortion are colorless options that are fairly weak on overall power level.
Then I had the idea to try Hangarback Walker in Mono-Green Tron. It was a roadblock on the second turn that would soak up damage. Hangerback Walker also scaled well, eventually getting big enough to trigger Sanctum of Ugin. Still, it wasn't great at dealing with evasive creatures like Delver of Secrets or Blighted Agent. It was also rather difficult to convert Hangarback Walker into Thopter tokens. Oblivion Stone could, but that was “win more." Nature's Claim is already narrow enough.
Walking Ballista is more of what a Tron deck is looking for. Tron has always needed a removal spell early and Walking Ballista can act like one in enough situations. Walking Ballista scales better once it's on the battlefield as you can pump it while attacking with it, often pumping multiple times. Tron doesn't really need help closing games once an advantage is established, but it's nice to have. Walking Ballista can easily get out of hand and win on its own. It's freerolling a Helix Pinnacle on your removal spell/bridge slot.
I remember playing with Magma Mine as a win condition when I first started playing. Oh my, how far power creep has taken us!