Video Daily Digest: The Enduring Ideal

Sometimes you only need one spell. Ross Merriam highlights an Enduring Ideal Modern decklist that promises every match you win will be epic!

Prison decks aren’t much of a thing these days and in part for good reason. Everyone likes casting their spells and prison decks expressly stop that from happening.

But you know what else people like? Doing super-sweet things that take a lot of set up. That’s why Commander is so popular. And prison decks also do that.

Do you know the feeling of brewing a sweet deck and goldfishing it for hours, imagining how badly you’re smashing your opponent? The goldfish never had hate cards or the perfect curve and you always play several turns after they are dead just to see how far you can push your deck.

Prison decks turn all your opponents into goldfish. Sure, they play a bunch of cards, but they don’t do anything. Counterspells are about saying no, but prison is about saying “Don’t even think about it.”

Nice Thoughtseize. I have Leyline of Sanctity.

Nice Lingering Souls. Here’s a Ghostly Prison.

And once you have enough devotion, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx powers out an Enduring Ideal. It’s a combo finish that in true prison fashion doesn’t kill them until you absolutely want to.

Dovescape prevents most spell-based interaction and Form of the Dragon prevents most creature-based interaction. There’s always the threat of dying to Bird tokens, but they have to deal five at once, and you can start stack Ghostly Prisons to stop that plan or just find a Phyrexian Unlife, which is pretty close to a hard lock.

Runed Halo is your catch-all, but don’t be afraid to cast it early to stop whatever is the most immediate threat. Given enough time, you’ll bog the game down with enough enchantments or simply race to an Enduring Ideal.

You especially need time in this deck, since you have no card selection. The prison element relies on a critical mass of do-nothing enchantments and your mana engine, Nykthos, takes time to set up.

Yet, given that time, you are rewarded with turn after turn of your opponent struggling to gain any traction, hoping against hope that some small window of opportunity will open that they’ll be able to capitalize on. That window never opens, but slamming it shut ruins the fun.

Am I a bad person?