Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Modern Bible of RG Tron chapter three - The Engine

This week we will talk about the engine - all the cards that make RG Tron the efficient Timmy machine that it is.

Your plan is always to assemble the Tron and then play huge effects that are just bigger than anything your opponent is trying to do. Your engine cards help you accomplish that.

The search cards
4 Expedition Map
4 Sylvan Scrying

You are a deck that is reliant on having the three different Urza lands in play. Go find them with these cards. The fourth card you fetch is most often Eye of Ugin.

The Eggs
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star

These cards enable you to play a 52 card deck while color-fixing. They are great. They are what makes the machinery tick.

Note that Stars are a lot better than Spheres as they let you draw a card if they are randomly destroyed instead of used for their color effect. This can become useful when you have sideboarded in Nature's Claim and target your own cards to gain the 4 life.

The insane Cantrip
4 Ancient Stirrings

There are cards that are worse than this card that are banned in the format. Consider what Ancient Stirrings can do for you with all your colorless cards compared to what Ponder or Preordain could do. Never sideboard them out. You would have liked eight of these if you were allowed to play eight.

Stuff that blows up the world
4 Oblivion Stone
0-4 Pyroclasm
0-4 All is Dust
0-2 Ugin, The Spirit Dragon

These are part of the engine as they will protect your gameplan and give you time to assemble Tron to play the win conditions.

In a Zoo-heavy meta, some number of Pyroclasms can be replaced with Firespouts. Firespout is a much worse card than Pyroclasm. You really want to kill creatures on turn 2 if you can.

We will discuss these cards more when we discuss specific matchups.

Note that Oblivion Stone is by far the superior of these cards and extensive testing has shown that you should play four of these. There are matchups where they are sideboarded out but it happens rarely.

The optional cards
2-4 Relic of Progenitus
0-4 Spellskite

These are pre-sideboarded cards, mainly included because they are useful in a lot of matchups. These are often the cards that come out for more useful cards when sideboarding.

They are in the main deck because they are super powerful in certain matchups, such as Relic of Progenitus vs Living End or Spellskite vs Infect.

In certain rare metagames, some other cards could be included in the main deck. We will discuss them when we discuss the sideboard options for the deck.

Do not sideboard out the engine
A very common mistake is to sideboard out cards that enable you to find Tron. In a certain small set of matchups this can be correct, but it is generally wrong. This deck plays somewhat like a combo deck and you do not want to weaken your chance of assembling the combo (Tron + bomb).

If you are facing a very fast opponent, it might sometimes be correct to sideboard out one Sylvan Scrying as it is the slowest way to complete your Tron. I often sideboard out one Chromatic Sphere as well. That is it. Do not hurt the engine more than that and if you can avoid doing it, please keep them in the deck.

If you can, only sideboard out cards that are in the optional card section above. We will discuss this at length in chapter eleven.

Absolutely never sideboard out Chromatic Stars, Ancient Stirrings or Expedition Maps.

Next week we will talk about the win conditions in the deck. They are few but powerful.

For a full list of the chapters of The Modern Bible check out this link:

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