Greetings, once again! Prepare yourself for another incredible edition of McLaren's Musings!
Today we dare to explore a topic that is extremely sensitive. One that will make your Islands Boil, your permanents disappear, and cause you to skip through your declare attackers phase.
Don't wait until it's too late and you find your children playing Tron decks. Sit them down and talk to them about the addictive and potentially harmful side effects of casting turn 3 Karn Liberated. Now!
"Alright, Shaun. How Did This Happen?"
It all started with a fella named Urza.
Urza was a dude that had a brother named Mishra, and apparently married someone named Kayla bin-Kroog. But all you really need to know about Urza is that he was a dude who liked to make artifacts.
"Wait. Kayla bin-What?"
Doesn't matter. Pay attention.
It turned out Urza wasn't very good at making artifacts. Just look at Urza's Armor or Glasses of Urza, which you don't need to use to know your Tron opponent is going to naturally have all three Tron lands on turn 3.
Urza's true and lasting legacy was that he built a bunch of power plants, mines, and towers to help him build all his overcosted and useless trinkets and baubles. It turned out these lands were way better and more fun to play with than anything else he was inventing, much like when you buy a child an expensive toy and they just end up playing with the box it came in.
The one thing Urza forgot to build was a salt mine, but that quickly became unnecessary, since your opponents will provide more than enough salt every time you play a turn 1 Tron land against them.
"I Hate Tron Lands! Where Did They Come From?"
Urza's lands first appeared in the set Antiquities, which basically means old, and old Magic cards do some funky things.
So why are we still playing with these old lands, lands that are so old they break the conventional rules of how mana is produced? Nowadays they would never print a land that easily produces two mana *cough* Eldrazi Temple *cough* Eye of Ugin *cough* let alone three.
It is widely know that everything new is better (citation needed.) Move over, old people, us hip young kids are here to stay, probably forever. The best thing about being young? You stay that way for all time.
There's a reason why museums are painting over dusty old masterpieces. Old art is being replaced by "Modern Art" like Campbell's Soup Cans . Because it's confusing and makes you think, mostly about how hungry you are. Urzatron doesn't make you think. You just play the lands and you win. Maybe it's time to make some Modern changes to the Urza lands.
"Give Us a Decklist Already."
Here we have the Tronniest Tron deck that ever Tronned. Satisfying and interactive.
Classic green and red for festive cheer anytime of the year. Christmas!
I like the idea of Pyroclasm because Tron is secretly just a Control deck, and Pyroclasm is the perfect little card to buy you time against swarmy creature decks. Oblivion Stone and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon get to act as the colorless Planar Cleansing dreams are made of to mop up the bigger threats.
"No. It Isn't."
It is nice you can customize your Tron deck depending on what you expect the metagame to look like. Pyroclasm if you expect a bunch of Elves and Affinity, Fatal Push for Death's Shadow, Collective Brutality for Burn and combo. See? Different.
Scavenger Grounds is also a sweet addition, since you have so many ways to tutor up lands, and now you have a land that eats graveyards.
Nope, I'm not dealing with a white splash. I just can't handle all these different colors. Next you'll be telling me there's a version of Tron with blue in it. Sickening.
The beauty of Mono-Green Tron is how resilient the deck is against land destruction hate cards when you're not worried about getting other colors, have plenty of basic lands, and have Wall of Roots!
If only there were a way to make it even simpler and just remove all the colors entirely.
- 4 Walking Ballista
- 1 Wurmcoil Engine
- 2 Endbringer
- 4 Matter Reshaper
- 4 Reality Smasher
- 4 Thought-Knot Seer
- 1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Ahhhh, my eyes! I take it back! We've gone too far and created a monster!
What ever happened to nice simple cards like Giant Spider? Nice reliable stats. It has reach. It's a Spider. Nice safe card. Unless you're a Wind Drake.
Nowadays everything has to be less like Giant Spider and more like Arachnus Spinner. I know I said old things were worse than new things earlier, but it turns out new things are bad too.
Actually, Arachnus Spinner is great and now I want to cast it with Tron mana. Maybe the lesson here is that Spiders are cool.
"I Hate How You Have to Figure Out Which Ones Make How Much"
Bad symmetry! Urza lands have bad symmetry! You can't just have Urza's Tower adding three mana and the other two adding two mana. It's simply not done! That would be like if one Magic color got card drawing, Counterspells, Mind Control effects, Capsize, and Time Warps, and the rest got… oh.
Tron is a unique type of deck that does cool things. It's nice for a format like Modern to have a diverse metagame, and Tron helps that.
Tron has been around forever. You could've been playing Tron in Modern since 2012. I remember playing U/W Tron with Gifts Ungiven and Unburial Rites back when I could play in PTQ's… and back when PTQs were a regular thing.
Tron has been around forever. If you've played Modern regularly for the past five years, you've probably played against a bunch of Tron decks, which does get old.
Games are non-interactive, lopsided, and usually quite easy. Usually you're winning by a lot or your opponent is winning by a lot, and that's often based on whether you draw Tron quickly or not.
I look down at my mulligan to six on the play. It's not a good hand.
Time to mulligan to five.
As I shuffle, I begin to contemplate life.
Am I a monster, trying to win like this?
I used to stand for something. I used to run four copies of Tectonic Edge. Now there's a card you can be proud of, a card of champions. Do what cards you play represent who you are, or are we all just trying to get a win here or there every now and again?
It's time to make a change. It's time to go back to my roots. It's time to… draw my five-card hand and see turn 3 natural Tron and Karn Liberated! Nevermind. Suck it, opponent!
Final Review: 57/60 playables.
So Tron is a deck where you automatically win if you draw Tron and automatically lose if you don't draw Tron. Yup, I think distilling it down to such a general statement accurately sums it up.
I think it's also fair to say that I remember when Magic was about skill and not about drawing the right cards. There was a time when what cards you drew had nothing to do with whether you won or lost. You could win through sheer Force of Will and massive amounts of clenching if you believed in the heart of the cards.
You know what, it is time for a change! It's time for Tron to move aside.
It's time for the Mines to cave in, the Power Plants to have a meltdown, and the Towers to… actually let's skip the Towers.
These lands must be banned in Modern! Not just one, but all three! To send a message! Come on everyone, if we work together we can make it happen! Who's with me!
The truth is it will never happen. The shadow of Karn will Tower over us for all eternity.
If you can't beat em, join em.
It's a Karn eat Karn World Breaker out there. You have to decide what Ugin do about it. Sit back and let everyone else Tron you out while you tap your land for one mana like a chump? No! It's time to seize life by the Spheres and the Stones. Somehow, I'll make a mana out of all of you.