Flavors of Tron, Part 3: Age of U-Tron

Flavors of Tron, Part 3: Age of U-Tron

Over the last few weeks we have covered the new hip Eldrazi Tron deck, as well as the OG Classic Gx TurboTron deck.  Today, we are going to talk about what happens when you combine big mana and blue control.

U-Tron: Blue Control with Tron

When you walk away from green, you increase the difficulty of obtaining Tron quickly, and so your game plan must shift accordingly.  For U-Tron, the plan becomes to do what blue does best.  It counters and draws until it can assemble Tron or simply drop enough islands to win. All it needs to do is survive the early game to inevitably grind its opponent down.

Condescend starts to look quite attractive once you outpace your opponent on mana, as do the tempo plays of Remand, Repeal and and overloaded Cyclonic Rift.  Finally, Thirst for Knowledge helps you search through your deck for threats and answers, which can be critical without the land tutor effects that green has to offer.

U-Tron has traditionally had a tough time dealing with hyper-aggressive strategies and thus had to run Dismember as its pseudo efficient removal spell. It is and was good, but the cost of 4 life can be hefty. Enter Spatial Contortion. With the printing of this card, U-Tron has been able to mitigate the life loss from running too many Dismember while being able to remove small threats semi-efficiently.

Like its Gx counterpart, U-Tron also runs Wurmcoil Engine to help stabilize and close out games. U-Tron players also run Sundering Titan to punish greedy manabases.

While the deck continues to run some of the same late-game bombs as the Gx varieties, it also brings to the table a combo that green cannot take advantage of: the Mindslaver lock.

The lock is simple enough: cast Mindslaver, activate it to take control of your opponent for a turn, then put it back on top of your deck with Academy Ruins.  If you can do this all in one turn (requiring 11U+Ruins), then you effectively control your opponent's turns until the end of the game.  And in theory, since your draw step is always Mindslaver, they will draw their entire deck and you win.

There are a few other cards that U-Tron tends to run which other varieties do not.  Treasure Mage helps you find your expensive artifacts, which can help set up the combo.  Additionally, while some Gx lists run Platinum Angel in the sideboard, U-Tron decks often fit it into their main plan, counting on their counter magic to protect it.

The final card that we must re-introduce in U-Tron is Chalice of the Void.  Usually a 1-2 of in the main board, Chalice offers a proactive way to punish overly efficient modern decks by shutting off all spells of a certain cost.  While it has the potential to backfire, the lack of one mana interaction makes the card quite good.

The two main thought leaders of U-Tron are Shoktroopa and Pierakor who have found great success in the MTGO meta. Shoktroopa even goes 5-0 on MTGO leagues a couple of times a month.

To read more about this variety of Tron, visit the MTG Salvation forum here.

We hope you enjoyed our Flavors of Tron series. There are a few more fringe examples (such as UW Tron and Mono-Black Tron) that we have yet to touch upon, but we covered the three main flavors. Urza Tron is a tool which is deployed by a number of decks to considerable success.  In the years since we started playing Modern, this has been a constant presence in the meta in various forms and often at the top tables.  Whether one or more flavors will lose favor and fall off the meta remains to be seen, but for now feel free to pick the version that best fits your play-style and have fun!

Authors: Robert Trueblood and Zhou




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