Dice Tower Con 2019
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Daily Deck List: Mono-Blue Prison


Throughout Magic’s history, there have been all manner of decks trying to win by preventing the opponent from playing the game. Whether we’re dealing with cards like Stone Rain, Smokestack, Wasteland, or Back to Basics and Blood Moon, there’s always a strategy trying to lock opponents out of the game. With the unbanning of Black Vise, Freggle has assembled an interesting take on Prison which may solve one of the fundamental problems with the archetype.

The problem with prison decks is two-fold. First, they often have trouble interacting early in the game, since they generally depend on resolving particular combinations of lock pieces. Second, they generally take a long time to win, which means opponents have a lot of time to draw out of the lock. Freggle’s solution to this problem is to hearken back to Pro Tour Honolulu, where Owling Mine took the event by storm.

For those unfamiliar, the plan is to keep your opponent low on mana sources by utilizing cards like Boomerang and Eye of Nowhere to bounce lands. This is particularly potent given how Mana Breach interacts with the cantrip-heavy nature of the format. Even against decks like Death and Taxes, which don’t lean on cantrips, you have access to Overburden to further punish people who are playing creatures. If players can’t keep lands in play, then they can’t cast spells, and if they can’t cast spells then they certainly aren’t winning. Most of the time, at least.

There’s always the case your opponent can win from a very low base. Decks like Storm or Show and Tell don’t care if you bounce their lands, because they can just find Lotus Petals and Dark Rituals and kill you off of one land all at once. Because of that, you need ways to close games out quickly. Fortunately, Black Vise is the perfect answer. If your opponent’s hand is full of cards, you get to use Ebony Owl Netsuke and Black Vise to close out games very quickly, particularly in conjunction with Howling Mine and Vision Skeins.

This deck may not have a ton of ways to interact with the degenerate decks of the format, but you can certainly lock fair strategies out of the game relatively early on. With Black Vise and company clocking your opponent, they can’t sit around and develop their mana base without casting spells, which means they’re forced to just play into your Enchantments. There’s the potential for quick kills or quick, difficult to break out of locks, and a number of your lock pieces match up very well against the format. The deck may be fragile and match up poorly against combo decks, but it’s certainly very interesting and capable of taking games off of more interactive Legacy decks.

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