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Much Abrew: Unexpected Tron (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. The long wait is finally over: it's Unexpected Tron day! Last week, during our Instant Deck Techs, the crazy 14 Eldrazi Titan Unexpected Results Tron deck was not only the most popular of the week but among the most popular ever, which means we are heading to Modern this week to see if there's any chance the deck that occasionally gives you opening hands with more than 50 converted mana cost of spells can actually work! The basic idea is simple: we ramp into Unexpected Results, shuffle our deck, and cross our fingers hoping for a Turn 3 Emrakul, Ulamog, or Kozilek while knowing that we could very well wind up with a relatively useless Simic Signet or Sakura-Tribe Elder. If Unexpected Results itself fails, we can always just try to ramp into our Eldrazi with a combination of Expedition Map and Tron lands. Is there any chance this crazy deck can actually compete? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Unexpected Tron (Modern)

Discussion

  • Heading into our league, I thought there was a pretty realistic chance that we'd end up going 0-5, but our result were unexpected: we actually finished our league 3-2 and arguably got unlucky to not end up 4-1! While sometimes looking like the worst deck ever built, the deck does some pretty crazy and powerful things, and apparently does them often enough to win more than it loses, which is pretty unexpected.
  • Looking back on our matches, our two losses were to Burn and our first match against Jund. Against Burn, which feels like a horrible matchup, we actually had an Unexpected Results spin each game, and if we had hit an Eldrazi like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn rather than Simic Signet and Sakura-Tribe Elder, we actually could have stolen some wins. Still, apart from getting super lucky with a fast Unexpected Results, the matchup seems amazingly bad for Unexpected Tron. Meanwhile, Jund actually feels like a good matchup (considering we crushed the deck when we faced it again in our last round) but our opponent managed to give us a taste of our own medicine by randomly spinning a Fulminator Mage off of a Bloodbraid Elf in game three the turn before we would have played our first Eldrazi. 
  • Unexpected Results is weird. It sometimes just straight-up wins the game on Turn 3 or 4, and it's sometimes the worst card in our deck, causing us to pay four mana to put a signet or Sakura-Tribe Elder on the battlefield. While Unexpected Tron goes about as far as possible to make it good (by playing an absurd number of expensive cards), we'll still whiff sometimes—there's simply no way around it.
  • As for our Eldrazi, they are mostly interchangeable. While Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is the best, pretty much any of our Eldrazi should win the game on Turn 3, especially since Unexpected Results gives us the cast trigger.
  • The surprise all-star in the deck was Blast of Genius. On paper, Blast of Genius looked slow and underpowered, but after playing with it in the deck, it's actually lethal a surprising amount of the time. Modern decks are really good at making themselves lose between five and 10 life each game thanks to fetches and shock lands, and when an opponent sees our deck, they don't worry too much about spending their life points, since they figure they are going to lose anyway if we resolve an Eldrazi, which means we jank out a lot of free wins by casting Blast of Genius for 10 or 15 damage to our opponent's face. Like Unexpected Results, there's some amount of inconsistency—we had one game where we cast Blast of Genius as the last card in hand and drew two lands and an Explore, but often we have expensive Eldrazi in hand, making Blast of Genius one of the most powerful burn spells in all of Modern. Plus, it draws us cards!
  • The biggest challenge with Unexpected Tron is that we can't really make too many changes to the main deck because if we cut expensive cards, we lower our chances of hitting with Unexpected Results. This being said, Omniscience is probably not needed. While it sort of makes sense as an extra Unexpected Results hit, we don't have any interaction in the main deck. Replacing the two copies with Anger of the Gods, Hour of Devastation, or even a couple of counterspells could go a long way to keeping us alive in some of our worse matchups.
  • Speaking of bad matchups, the one place the deck could use a major upgrade is in the sideboard. Based on our experience against Burn, aggro decks seem like some of our worst matchups. Our sideboard doesn't really do anything to fix this problem, instead being stuffed full of even more ways to cheat Eldrazi into play. In aggro matchups, the problem isn't that we can't get an Eldrazi into play; it's that we can't live long enough to make our Eldrazi matter. Dictate of Karametra should be cut altogether—I can't imagine ever sideboarding it in—and Summoning Trap could probably go down to two copies (we brought in a couple pretty regularly but only because I don't like Omniscience in this deck). With these six free slots, we can play things like Kitchen Finks, Pyroclasm, and Vandalblast to fight against some of our worst matchups. 
  • Otherwise, there isn't much to say about Unexpected Tron. It isn't really a tricky or complicated deck. It does its thing and hopes that it's fast enough to win the game. Based on the results of our league, it seems like it actually works way better than you might expect when looking at it on paper, and it could be even more competitive with the small changes we talked about to fix some of our bad matchups. 
  • So, should you play Unexpected Tron? It certainly seems good enough to win some games at an FNM or on Magic Online, but be warned going into it: the deck is very high variance. It has a ton of power, but it has to mulligan quite a bit, and Unexpected Results is a roller coaster, with entire games often coming down to one shuffle of the library! If you are willing to embrace the variance and accept that the results are unexpected (and occasionally disappointing), you'll have a blast with the deck!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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