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Once More Unto the Breach


Control decks are hard to build in Modern. There’s such a huge variety of proactive strategies that it’s hard to put together a suite of interaction that can keep pace against the entirety of the format. Because of that, we see far more control decks that are built with some kind of game-ending combination in mind, be that Nahiri, the Harbinger, Scapeshift, or something else altogether. This week, we have a fresh take on control that takes the most streamlined control variant and adds a combo that may give the deck just enough speed to race against the fast, linear decks in the format:

Through the Breach
ur control is nothing new. We’ve seen plenty of variations on Blood Moon control decks featuring cards like Vedalken Shackles and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir at different points in the format. The idea here is that your mana is smoother and less painful than most other control variations in the format. This means that you can keep up more easily with the rest of the format. Additionally, Red removal is great against most of the creature decks in the format, while Blue countermagic is good against spell-based decks. Anything that walks the line between the two is usually leaning heavily on non-basic lands, so they may just lose to Blood Moon.

The key here is that previous Blue-based Blood Moon decks had a hard time turning the corner and ending games, typically leaning on Snapcaster Mages, Vendilion Cliques, or sometimes a Teferi and some Vedalken Shackles. Instead, this deck has Through the Breach plus Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Cheating in an Emrakul will frequently deal lethal damage since your opponent will probably be playing fetchlands and shocklands. Even if it doesn’t, you’ve got Snapcaster Mage and Lightning Bolt to deal the last couple of points of damage. Furthermore, there are plenty of matchups where you’re happy spending 5 mana and two cards just for Emrakul’s Annihilator 6 ability to clear away opposing permanents, especially if you’re using interactive elements to make sure it is all your opponent’s permanents.

If you’re looking to play a controlling strategy in Modern, this is a nice place to start. Efficient Red removal is great against Death's Shadow and other aggressive strategies. Counterspells are good against spell-based decks. Emrakul and Blood Moon cover everything else. Unlike other control decks, you have a clean and efficient way to clear the board and end the game, particularly since you can cast Through the Breach at the end of your opponent’s turn and still leave up all you mana after annihilating them. This deck may be able to play sort of like Splinter Twin, interacting just enough to survive and combo your opponent to death.

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