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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jul 09 2018 11:00am
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Here we come to the second part of this little article series. Today we will look at a couple of control versions of Urza Tron. Instead of ramping out big creatures or trying to use cards like Stonehorn Dignitary, they use removal spells and counter spells to grind out the opponent.


One big advantage to playing versions of Tron like these are that you don't rely on having Urza Tron in play as much as they are just an added luxury for the end game and some versions do not play the full 4 copies of Expedition Map. You can easily find yourself just making regular land drops every turn, countering some spells, using removal on some creatures and play like a slower, more traditional control deck. I won't make you wait any longer, let's check out the decks to see what I am talking about.



This is a UB Control version of Urza Tron. Instead of trying to gain card advantage with spells like Moment's Peace or Pulse of Murasa, instead you use removal spells to control the battlefield. Although you are not trying to combo as quickly as possible with Dinrova Horror, you still play 4 copies as they are your main win condition. You can grind almost any opponent out with this type of Urza Tron archetype, it still helps to end the game quickly.


The creatures we have to work with are the typical Urza Tron shell. You will find Sea Gate Oracle to help you set up and stabilize in the early game. Then you have Mulldrifter to help you draw cards and have a blocker for your opponents flying creatures. Mnemonic Wall shows its face again to help you get back any removal or counter spells you may need and of course you have Ghostly Flicker combos to have fun with. Finally there is your main win condition with Dinrova Horror and it is a pretty good one at that. It does cost 6 mana, so it can be slow to show up on the battlefield, but it hits for 4 damage and needs to Lightning Bolts to be dealt with. You can also combo with the Mnemonic Wall/Ghostly Flicker combo so you can bounce back all of your opponents permanents, make them discard a bunch of cards and win the game. I would also like to mention that if you need to, you can bounce back one of your own permanents as well and while yes you may discard a card, you should have plenty of discard fodder you don't need, which is a small price to pay so you can cast Mulldrifter or Mnemonic Wall again or save one of your lands from a Stone Rain type of effect.


For the spells we have a lot to work with. Disfigure is your removal spell in the 1 drop slot, you have couple copies of Doom Blade to deal with some of the bigger creatures that Disfigure cannot deal with and then a copy of Echoing Decay to wipe the board of token creatures or to kill multiple creatures in one turn. (For example if your opponent has 3 Llanowar Elves on the battlefield).


For some counter magic we find a copy of Prohibit which is basically the same as actual Counterspell, but it is much easier to cast since it does not need 2 blue. We also find a copy of Exclude to not only counter any creature you will have a problem with or don't want their enter the battlefield trigger happening and you get to draw a card deeper into your deck. Finally we have Condescend which at its best it will counter anything and allow you to Scry 2, or at its worst for only 1 blue you can just Scry 2 and not counter anything.


For card advantage we have a copy of Impulse to have a good amount of card selection for a cheap price at instant speed and it can really help find the final Tron piece you need. We then find a copy of Forbidden Alchemy to further help with the card selection and it also has Flashback so you can do it again later. While you do have to send 3 other cards to the graveyard, since you are an Urza Tron deck, you don't need many lands in play to have a plethora of mana to work with. There is also Mnemonic Wall and/or creature recursion spells, so you can easily get any of the cards back later. Then of course we have Mystical Teachings to find any removal spell, counter spell or combo piece you may need at any time you can cast it and let's not forget to mention that Mystical Teachings has Flashback, so you can easily do it again. Finally we have Ghostly Flicker for your combo plays and we have a spicy Death's Denied to return not 1 or 2 creatures back from the graveyard, but with enough mana, you can have all of your creatures back to cast and that by itself can just win the game.


For artifacts we have the usual Expedition Map to help you get Urza Tron assembled and to help you fix your mana to so you can cast your spells. Then you have Prophetic Prism not only to help you cast your colored spells but it also helps you dig a bit deeper into your deck and finally we have a couple of Dimir Signets so you can ramp into your Mulldrifters and Dinrova Horrors a lot quicker.


The manabase is pretty much what you would expect for a Tron archetype. You have the full set of each Tron piece. We see 4 copies of Dismal Backwater as your duel land and it can gain you life with Mnemonic Wall plus Ghostly Flicker. We see a copy of Bojuka Bog to remove the graveyard against the Tron mirror or any graveyard strategy and we also see a copy of Dimir Aqueduct to help us bounce it back to our hand and fix our mana a tiny bit as well. Finally we have 1 Island to have a blue source that comes into play untapped if we need it and instead of a land to Cycle away (Such as Lonely Sandbar), we find a copy of Haunted Fengraf to help return a creature from your graveyard back to your hand. While the creature you get back is random, any creature you get back is usually very good at helping you win the game.


The sideboard is quite interesting. Here we can see a copy of Spellstutter Sprite, which is a pretty good card against decks such as Burn because it only costs 1 blue and counters any 1 CMC spell. It is also great against archetypes such as Goblins because it can also block a creature. We see the usual copies of Dispel to help fight other blue decks and we see a couple of Negate as an all around good counter to any non creature threat.


Hydroblast is always a good answer to Pyroblast or any red card in general. Both Evincar's Justice and Nausea are great ways to wipe a board clean of small creatures. Moment of Craving and Disfigure will help you if you need some more removal. We see here a copy of Diabolic edict to help against archetypes such as Hexproof or Izzet Blitz and it can be searched up with Mystical Teachings. Finally a copy of Duress to not only rip the best non creature card out of your opponents hand, but also to give you information as to what they are doing as well. I find this archetype and build both fun and a good way to start with Tron.


Now I will show you another great version of Tron for any control player.


This version of Urza Tron does not rely on combos with Stonehorn Dignitary or Dinrova Horror. What this version of Urza Tron does is try to control the game, grind your opponent out and make the game go as long as it needs to.


For creatures we see the usual Sea Gate Oracle for the early game. Then we see Mulldrifter as your flying creature that brings a lot of card advantage and then of course we see Mnemonic Wall because it does everything. Mnemonic Wall blocks, it returns any crucial spell you may need back to your hand and it combos with Ghostly Flicker to do a ton of cool things.


For removal we see 4 copies of Flame Slash, which although it is sorcery speed, it kills just about anything you will run into with the exception of Gurmag Angler. For instant speed removal we see a copy of Lightning Bolt, we see a copy of Doom Blade and we see a copy of Electrickery which can kill 1 creature or it can wipe the board against Elves, Faeries, Goblins or anything of the sort you might run into. There is also the big card itself, Rolling Thunder, but that can also be considered a win condition as well as just a removal spell.


In this archetype there are the same choice of counter spells but there are more of them. In this version we see 2 copies of Prohibit instead of only 1, we see 2 copies of Exclude and 3 copies of Condescend. The reason for more counter spells is, as I said, you want the game to go as long as possible and so more counter spells means more ways of stopping your opponents game plan before it hits the battlefield.


For card draw there are 2 copies of good old Mystical Teachings to search up whatever instant you may need (Be it removal or a counter spell). There are 3 copies of Impulse to see as deep as possible so you hit the remaining Tron piece or have the best chance of hitting whatever card you may need in a general sense. Forbidden Alchemy makes an appearance here again as well and then we have a Pulse of Murasa to get back a dead creature or a blown up Urza land and Pulse gaining 6 life is never irrelevant either.


To finish off the main deck we see 4 copies of Prophetic Prism to help cast out spells. Capsize can also be a win condition to bounce back multiple permanents in the late game when you have tons of mana to at your disposal and finally Ghostly Flicker to help with combos or it can save your lands from Stone Rain effects, among other things.


One thing you may not have noticed, is there are no copies of Expedition Map and why is that? In this archetype, you don't need to get Urza Tron in play early, you just need to survive for a long time and assemble it naturally. Instead of wasted spots on 4 cards that just gets lands, you make room for more counter spells and removal spells to control the game. I personally love this type of Tron build. When the game has gone on long enough, not only should you have Urza Tron to finish the game off, you should also have plenty of gas and your opponent should have non, making it easy for you to close out the victory.


The manabase is quite interesting as because you are a hardcore control deck, you don't see the full 4 copies of each Tron land, only 4 copies of Urza's Tower because it generates the most mana. By cutting a piece of each of the other 2 Urza lands, we make room for some Izzet Guildgates so we can cast our spells. The rest of the manabase is very straightforward with 4 copies of Painted Bluffs, 4 copies of Swiftwater Cliffs and finally we have a couple of Islands. There is also a Remote Isle to help play effectively a 59 card by being able to cycle it for possibly a better card.


The sideboard is very to the point. 3 copies of Coalition Honor Guard to help against Hexproof, Stompy or any decks of the sort. 4 of each copy of Pyroblast and Hydroblast because they are the best removal/counter spell against both the colors red and blue respectively. A copy of Ancient Grudge for artifacts, while Serene Heart is a little extra help against Hexproof and some Aura heavier versions of Heroic decks. A copy of Dinrova Horror if you need another win condition and need to end the game quicker as well. Finally we have a copy of Bojuka Bog to help against the Urza Tron mirror or to hate out any graveyard strategies in general. While it is true you don't have Expedition Map or Crop Rotation to get your copy of Bojuka Bog, you do have 3 copies of Impulse and a copy of Forbidden Alchemy to dig deep and find it.


Conclusion and Verdict

I personally like both decks a lot. Though I am biased because I like just about any version of Urza Tron. That being said, I would also like to say I think most versions of Urza Tron will get you some distance in this format.


Which one would I choose to take into the leagues? I don't think you can go wrong with either one honestly. However I do think the UB Urza Tron deck is a little less powerful then the UR control one because I think the red cards are better. While Disfigure gets a lot done and does it at instant speed, I think Flame Slash being able to kill more stuff is much more relevant. Having easy access to Electrickery is going to pay a lot of dividends as well and I also think having an easier time casting multiple Pyroblasts in a turn is a good factor as well. UB can power out a quick Dinrova Horror because of Dimir Signet and having Expedition Map to go and find Urza Tron pieces, but I think the format has fully adjusted to that plan and it isn't go to work as well as it used to.


I suppose I personally would choose UR Tron, but that is because I like playing UR decks more than I enjoy UB decks. Since you are playing Urza Tron and have access to cards such as Prophetic Prism, you can have access to any color of cards you need, between these 2 lists, I would just UR Control Tron.


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Thank you so much for reading. See you guys next time!