Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Modern Bible of RG Tron chapter 23 - Why does this deck ever lose?

There are basically three ways you lose when you are playing RG Tron in Modern.

#1 You don't get to Tron (early game)
You can't assemble Tron in play and are overrun by creatures (or defeated by other means) despite Oblivion Stones and Pyroclasms. Burn, Infect and Affinity can win against you in this way. Other midrangy decks can get here if they can successfully disrupt your Tron Engine (by Fulminator Mage, for example).

#2 You play against a combo deck that is just faster than you (early game)
Combo decks don't care about Oblivion Stones and Pyroclasms. You often have to resort to sideboard cards to protect you in this case. This is mainly what your sideboard is there to prevent.

#3 You get to Tron but not to Emrakul and run out of gas (mid-game)
The most common way this happens is if you get to Tron, sweep their board and then your one threat is a Wurmcoil Engine that gets Path to Exiled or otherwise dealt with (perhaps counterspelled). Eye of Ugin is meant to prevent this. With all your bombs and your ways to get to Eye of Ugin (Stirrings, Map, Scrying) this is perhaps the most rare way to lose.

You never lose in the lategame.
Noone has a better lategame than this deck. Noone. You cast Emrakul and win. This is the main reason you play a 15-mana creature in your deck. However, very few decks have a lategame that is more powerful than Ulamog and three Wurmcoil Engines or a Sundering Titan followed by Wurmcoil beats. This raises a legitimate concern - do we really need to play Emrakul at all? We will adress that in the next chapter.

Consider these points when you build your deck
If you don't lose then you win. Sounds basic doesn't it? But think about it again - if you can avoid losing in the three ways above you will always win against any deck as your lategame is so powerful. This means that almost every card in your deck is there to prevent you from losing! 

This makes me question the validity of Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. He is useless without having your three Urza lands in play. He does nothing against combo. He might prevent losses in the midgame but that seems to be his only asset and there are so many cards in the deck that prevents you from losing when you have Tron assembled. What is he good for? Abzan? What else?

I may yet be convinced about the usefulness of Ugin, but so far I am not. If you get Tron and a bomb you usually win even in the midgame. 

Next week we will do the unthinkable and cut Emrakul from the deck to see what happens.

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

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