Video Daily Digest: The Nickelback Of Modern

In today’s Daily Digest, Ross Merriam highlights…a Tron deck?! The same archetype he calls Modern’s “Nickelback of the format,” no less? Yet he promises this one is different. Well, if it can help you do well at SCG Baltimore…

Players have been trying lots of different variants of Tron recently. G/B, G/W, G/R, Mono-Blue, and Mono-Green variants are floating alongside Eldrazi Tron out there in the metagame.

Today’s variant of Tron likely shares the most in common with Mono-Blue in that neither is dependent on assembling Tron as quickly as possible, happy to play a control game early on and take control in the mid=game by jumping to an absurd amount of mana and slamming a haymaker. That’s not to say that these decks can’t go the normal Turn 3 Tron into Karn Liberated route, because they certainly have the Expedition Maps to do so…just that they aren’t upset if they don’t.

Rather than counterspells as the control element of choice, white offers premier creature removal in the form of Path to Exile and Wrath of God alongside Thalia’s Lancers, a sneakily good card in a deck like this that can both tutor for a haymaker and bridge the gap from the middle turns to the time you cast it, should you not have Tron assembled. Notably, the card tutors for planeswalkers now that they’ve been subsumed under the “legend rule,” so the one copy of Elspeth, Sun’s Champion will come up more often than you think. I also like the singleton Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite against creature decks.

The downside of white is that a lot of your colored-mana-requiring cards are double-colored, which is awkward in a deck with so many colorless lands. Talisman of Unity and Solemn Simulacrum are here to help out with that problem while both being serviceable cards in their own right. They’re also good against players who attack your mana, letting you play a fair game and simly ramp into your big spells the hard way.

I know Tron is one of the decks in Modern that players love to hate, a Nickelback of the format if you will, but this is a neat variant on the archetype that plays differently from the others. Plus it has Solemn Simulacrum, and whenever I look at that card, I feel sad and have to put it into a deck. Robots have feelings, too!