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Controlling Modern


There’s more than one way to go big in Modern. Recently, we’ve seen a number of decks trying to utilize value engines like Sun Titan, Eternal Witness, and Kolaghan's Command to grind out games against Eldrazi, Affinity, and Merfolk. However, there are options besides midrange. This week, CiriBarrayar has decided to explore what a true control variant might look like in the current Modern format. This is the result:

There are a lot of things I like about this deck. The first is the presence of multiple sweepers as a way to keep the board clear. This type of effect is enormously powerful against decks like Eldrazi, Elves, and Merfolk, as well as any Chord of Calling decks. While Affinity and Infect have creature-lands to help fight through sweepers, you have access to the full four Ghost Quarters and three Tectonic Edges to make that fight easier.

The crux of this deck is the ability to use Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and Snapcaster Mage to bury your opponent in value. These two cards allow you to rebuy back-breaking effects like Supreme Verdict and Cryptic Command to keep your opponent from assembling any meaningful offense while you hide behind Wall of Omens. Because of the importance of Jace and Snapcaster, Ojutai's Command becomes a powerful way to both keep your opponent off the board and string together powerful sequences of spells by giving you consistent access to Jace and Snapcaster Mage. Even ignoring the ability of Ojutai's Command to counter Eldrazi and generate value, just casting it to rebuy Wall of Omens and draw a card is a very powerful effect in this format.

Perhaps the most exciting card in this deck is Elspeth, Sun's Champion as the win condition. What exactly are Eldrazi supposed to do against an Elspeth backed by sweepers? Not only can Elspeth sweep away all of the Thought-Knot Seers and Reality Smashers, but she can also just blank three of their attackers every turn while you dig into answers so you can start netting tokens. There isn’t a ton of evasion outside of Eldrazi Skyspawner and Drowner of Hope activations, both of which are easily dealt with via sweepers.

Altogether, the deck looks to have all of the tools to fight against the current top tier of decks. As shocking as it may be, the overwhelming presence of Eldrazi in the metagame may be a net positive for control mages, as it substantially narrows the scope of cards and strategies you have to be prepared for.

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