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Over the weekend in Columbus I had an amazing tournament experience with my favorite Modern weapon, Jeskai Control. I picked this deck up on a recommendation of a friend after a disappointing performance with Jeskai Nahiri at the 2017 Season One Invitational, and piloted it to a top 32 finish in the Modern Open that same weekend. Since then, I have been exclusively playing and tuning the 75 with my friends. Across the last several events the deck has performed extremely well for me, enabling me to convert my last four Modern SCG events into top 8 finishes.
While I'm very proud of these results, it was great to finally get the trophy itself. Playing out the top 8 with many great competitors and friends, leading to an incredible finals match against (Jeskai King) Kevin Jones in an insane 74-card mirror match was the perfect way to end the weekend. My goal with this article is to answer many of the questions I frequently get about the deck and to help prepare you for playing with, or against, the best control deck in Modern.
Jeskai Control has existed since the inception of Modern in one form or another, even taking down a Modern Pro Tour in the hands of StarCityGames's own, Shaun McLaren. The popularity of this archetype has fluctuated over the years, and recently the Jeskai Geist builds have been popular and have established themselves as a tier one archetype. However, my deck diverges from Jeskai Geist in major ways.
While many of the core cards in both decks are the same, the way they play out is extremely different. While the Geist builds seek to leverage an early tempo advantage through Geist of Saint Traft and Spell Queller, then finish the opponent off with a flurry of burn spells, the Jeskai Control deck I play takes a different approach. By utilizing a large number of cheap and efficient interaction spells early in the game alongside powerful card advantage spells like Snapcaster Mage, Cryptic Command, and Search for Azcanta to dominate the late game.