March of the Machine is basically here and there are a lot of new cards that are strong role players in decks! After looking at some highlights that might break through Modern last week, today we are going over some others to see how they change entire Modern decks.
Today’s article is starting out with a bit of a weird one: Kethis Combo. This deck was too good for Pioneer, however it hasn’t really done much in Modern. This is, in part, due to the Underworld Breach deck being a more proactive version of this list — and probably a stronger one if we are being frank.
However, this deck is very cool and has its own unique way of playing games — even if the route to victory is similar.
You are going to be working toward casting either a Thassa’s Oracle or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries with no cards left in your deck. We accomplish this through the classic Underworld Breach combo of bringing back a Mox Amber, floating mana, sacrificing it to Grinding Station and repeating until the game is over.
Given that strategy, Rona, Herald of Invasion is the best new card this deck could have received. While being a looter that can help sculpt your draws early is powerful, it’s also a mini combo piece, as every time you cast a legendary spell, she untaps.
That means you can get multiple loots off in a turn, which allows for things like casting Mox Ambers off Breach over and over to find the combo piece you’re missing. You can even start comboing off without having Grinding Station right away, as Rona will be adding a card to your graveyard every activation. Obviously that’s not nearly as efficient as Station, but it’s still a tool in your arsenal.
Even at its floor of just looting twice a turn, that would be enough to seriously consider her for this deck. And that doesn’t even account for the transform ability, which allows you to actually have a reasonable back up plan.
Having access to that fail safe is plenty to push this card over the line. I would expect to see this in breach combo as well. Rona is just an all star card.
This archetype is one that gets meme’d on a lot in Modern for good reason. It is slow and clunky, and often can’t reasonably win the game. Still, this new set has given us one card that might allow for a new, more unique style of blue white control to exist.
Moment of Truth is the newest Telling Time variant, allowing players to put the card in the graveyard instead of on top of the deck. This unlocks a lot of potential since the graveyard can be a second hand for lots of decks.
I have opted for a more modest approach, but you could see this being great in many shells. To start, consider combining Moment of Truth with Snapcaster Mage and Noxious Revival. Snapcaster has fallen off due to not working with Kaheera, but it’s still very strong whenever card advantage matters.
Noxious Revival, on the other hand, is not what I would call a strong card — though it does serve a role here. As we are a go-long control deck with very few win conditions, this card allows us to have multiples of those while also being a way to lock players out with Terminus.
Terminus is one of the strongest wrath effects in Modern, however it’s incredibly hard to set up. If you enjoy this style, you could go even further with things like the Brainstone to help sculpt the top of the deck.
I have opted for Jace, the Mind Sculptor, but both are solid considerations. I have built this deck to help with that. While not guaranteeing this is the best way to build blue/white control, it’s one way — and something that is probably under explored.
Five color creativity has been tearing up Modern recently. The deck sports a very good backup to the main plan of getting a few Archons of Cruelty into play.
At the same time, the five color list can play a reasonable impersonation of the four color control list we saw dominate Modern last summer. The trick is that instead of taking forever to win game one, players can instead win in a reasonable time frame thanks to the combo.
This has led to the deck skyrocketing in both play and popularity. Some players have turned to the Jund style of the deck to win the mirrors, since this list sports four copies of Persist to get its Archons out first.
It’s a play pattern that can be devastating in the mirror, forcing both players to wait to set up the combo. This deck, however, can go for it right away with much less fear of things going wrong.
To help enable the Persist, players have picked up Bitter Reunion from The Brothers’ War, which both helps smooth draws and haste up the archon — all while putting it in the graveyard for Persist.
Invasion of Ergamon does something similar. It allows us to discard and draw a card while getting a treasure, all for two mana. This just so happens to set up both halves of this deck’s combo.
It also means you can go for the Persist plan on turn three by casting Invasion and using the treasure to pay for Persist. Turn three Archon with very little time for your opponent to interact is a powerful interaction.
This might end up as a four of in the deck, but I was starting with three. This leaves three Thoughtseizes in the deck so we can easily clear the way against interactive decks and also have another way to get extra archons out of our hand.
Normally new sets only offer so many new cards for Modern, but there are so many other things to try — from Invasion of Ikoria to Knight-Errant Eos. This set has so many cards you should be excited to try, and we’ll be sure to share them here as time goes on!
Mason Clark is a grinder in every corner of the game who has played at the pro level and on the SCG Tour with Team Nova. Whether he’s competing in Standard, Historic or Modern, Mason plays with one goal in mind: to be a better player than he was the day before. Check out his podcast, Constructed Criticism, and catch his streams on Twitch.