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Much Abrew: Unexpected Urza Tron (Modern, Magic Online)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, our most popular Instant Deck Tech was Unexpected Urza—a deck looking to flip massive threats (mostly Eldrazi) into play at random off the top of our deck with Unexpected Results and Urza, Lord High Artificer. Normally, with Much Abrew, I simply play the build of the deck from the Instant Deck Tech, sometimes with slight upgrades, but things are a bit different this week. The original build of Unexpected Urza was bad. Like, rivaling Mono-Blue Mill and Vintage Kobolds for "worst Much Abrew deck of all time" bad. Like, 0-5 a league without coming especially close to winning a match bad. As such, rather than forcing you to sit through a string of brutal losses and complaints about huge Eldrazi being stuck in our hand, I decided to try to improve the deck.

While there were a bunch of problems with the original build of Unexpected Urza, ranging from bad mana to the fact that we didn't have any way to put the massive Eldrazi and planeswalkers that make up about 1/4 of our deck into play from our hand if we draw them naturally, the last problem was by far the biggest. My first attempt to fix the deck was to rebuild around the fast mana of Arbor Elf and Utopia Sprawl, with Flood of Tears as a way to put our huge threats into play for free if we happened to draw them. While this build was an improvement, it was also still pretty rough around the edges and tended to leave huge things in our hand. So I rebuilt a third time, this time with the very on-flavor Tron lands (I really wanted to call this deck Literal Urza Tron or Urza Tribal since we're playing Urza, Lord High Artificer along with Urza's Tower, Urza's Mine, and Urza's Power Plant, but I wasn't sure anyone would get the reference). This final rebuild improved the deck immensely since along with randomly flipping something into play on Turn 3 with Unexpected Results or Urza, Lord High Artificer, we can also just hard-cast our big threats fairly, greatly reducing the chances that we will draw a bunch of uncastable 10-mana Eldrazi. The end result is Unexpected Urza Tron. Can Unexpected Urza, with a bunch of tuning, building, and upgrades, be a competitive deck in Modern?  Let's get to the video and find out; then, we can talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Unexpected Urza Tron


  • The final build of Unexpected Urza—Unexpected Urza Tron—was shockingly good. We went 4-1 in our five matches and beat a bunch of top-tier decks (Whir Prison, Affinity, Eldrazi and Taxes, and Izzet Phoenix) along the way. Meanwhile, the only match we dropped was to a Goryo's Vengeance / Through the Breach deck that was even faster than we were at putting something massive into play. 
  • The addition of the Tron lands to Unexpected Urza was a huge revelation. While our primary plan is still to trust the Magic god with random flips from Urza, Lord High Artificer and Unexpected Results, we also got some dirty Tron wins where we just cast huge things naturally thanks to the massive mana from the Tron lands. 
  • Apart from casting big things, the Tron lands also work really well with Urza, Lord High Artificer. One of the downsides of Unexpected Urza is that the math on our random flips with Urza, Lord High Artificer and Unexpected Results isn't great. With 14 big "hits" in our deck, we're only about 25% to put something big into play with any individual activation of Urza, Lord High Artificer or casting of Unexpected Results. Tron lands give us the ability to activate Urza multiple times per turn, which helps shift the math in our favor. While most activations of Urza or castings of Unexpected Results will be a whiff, if we can activate Urza or cast Unexpected Results enough times, sooner or later, we're bound to hit something bit and win the game.
  • While the 25% rate might sound bad, one of the best aspects of Unexpected Urza Tron is that sometimes we just win the game on Turn 3 by casting an unbeatably huge Eldrazi or planeswalker.
  • Otherwise, there isn't really a ton to say about the deck. The mana rocks (Talisman of Curiosity and Simic Signet) help to make sure we have the colored mana needed for Urza, Lord High Artificer and Unexpected Results even though we have a bunch of colorless lands in the deck, while Ancient Stirrings and Expedition Map help us assemble Tron for our "hard-cast huge things" backup plan.
  • Maybe the most exciting part about the deck is how little it cares about hate. Over the course of our league, we beat multiple Damping Spheres and even a Blood Moon. The upside of Urza, Lord High Artificer and Unexpected Results is that we don't really need Tron to win—it's more of a backup plan for when we happen to have the right hand or draw a bunch of big threats.
  • So, should you play Unexpected Urza? I definitely wouldn't recommend the initial build from the Instant Deck Tech, but the Unexpected Urza Tron build was surprisingly competitive. It's a Tron deck that doesn't get heavily disrupted by Blood Moon or Damping Sphere thanks to Urza, Lord High Artificer and Unexpected Results, and it's an Unexpected Results deck that can actually cast the huge things it happens to draw naturally. I could certainly see the deck winning an FNM or spiking at 5-0 in a league on Magic Online. If you like casting huge things quickly and don't mind trusting the Magic gods, it seems like a pretty reasonable option for the Modern format.


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

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