Video Daily Digest: The Ideal Still Endures

Enduring Ideal scored a surprise semifinals appearance at the Season Two Invitational Weekend’s Modern Classic! Could this build lock down a high finish at SCG Columbus?

I’ve been seeing Enduring Ideal decks more and more recently, and I think this variant does a good job elevating the archetype without doing too much to reinvent the wheel and muck up a good thing.

The primary plan here is to be a prison deck based around annoying enchantments. Leyline of Sanctity, Runed Halo, Suppression Field, and Ghostly Prison all slightly restrict your opponent’s ability to play naturally, and when played together, they can almost completely lock them out of the game.

And since they provide significant devotion, they allow you to play Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx as a critical mana accelerant towards the end-game of Enduring Ideal. Once you have four or five white mana symbols on the battlefield, you’re netting mana with Nykthos, which lets you get to seven mana a turn or two ahead of schedule, which is all you really need, given how much your enchantments impede your opponent.

For those who weren’t around for Enduring Ideal’s time in Extended, the basic plan is to get Dovescape to stop your opponent from casting relevant spells, Sphere of Safety to ensure that any Bird tokens they generate can’t attack en masse, and finally Form of the Dragon to finish them off. If you need anything else like a Leyline of Sanctity or Oblivion Ring to lock out a specific card your opponent has for interaction, you can get that too. The idea is to make sure they can’t do anything relevant; no matter their deck, you have that capability with some odd collection of lock pieces.

The innovations I like in this list come from the light red splash and Lotus Bloom. The latter is the mana accelerant that was historically found in this deck and works great here as well. It’s just a powerful card and there are going to be some games where you want to get to Enduring Ideal quickly.

The former is there just for Blood Moon, which works poorly with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, but it’s powerful enough against some decks that it’s more than worthwhile, and Temple of Triumph facilitates the splash while providing some much-wanted card selection.

Since this is a combo deck, the temptation is to rush through things and try to kill your opponent quickly, but Enduring Ideal is really a prison deck masquerading as a combo deck, so you’ll want to be patient and aim to virtually end the game well before actually ending it. When you resolve Enduring Ideal, always think about what your opponent’s outs are and play to eliminate all of them, and you’ll be fine. That this list plays into that mentality means it’s on the right track.