Last week I gave all you guys and gals a tour of prison. This past weekend I took Lantern Prison to a 10th place finish at the Open in Charlotte. And this week...I'm going to showcase some games in action for you! Here is the decklist I used for the videos.
Before we start the videos let me explain what the deck is trying to do for those unfamiliar. This deck is a prison deck. Back before I, and probably most of you, played Magic there used to be four "main" archetypes. We had access to: aggro, combo, control, and prison. We no longer have many prison decks in Magic.
Some years ago Wizards (rightfully so) deemed the archetype unfun and discontinued the support of prison style cards in general. Not being able to play a game of Magic can be excoriatingly painful. So Wizards doesn't print cards like Stasis, Smokestack, Winter Orb, Mana Vortex, Nether Void, Land Equilibrium, cheap land destruction spells, etc.
The only tier one prison deck I can think of is Stax / Workshop in Vintage. But some mad scientists on the MTGSalvation forums came up with one for Modern with a bunch of crappy cards that never even saw Standard or Draft play. This deck locks your opponent out of draws and attack phases instead of lands or spells. They can usually cast the spells in their hand along with the next five or so cards they draw before you can start taking over the game with Lantern of Insight and mill rocks. You neuter their creatures from attacking you with Ensnaring Bridge because most of the time your hand is empty. Discard will assist you in taking key cards and giving you knowledge of what your opponent has in hand. This knowledge will let you know what to mill with your mill rocks and what to allow them to draw. You can even lock up key pieces of your opponent's deck like Karn, Oblivion Stone, Liliana of the Veil, Scavenging Ooze, Cranial Plating, Lightning Storm, and Inkmoth Nexus with Pithing Needle. After you get them locked out you can just win by decking them or if you can't do that, say because of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, then you can just kill them slowly with Pyrite Spellbomb or Magic Origins all-star, Ghirapur Aether Grid. Slow and steady wins the race!
Let's get on to some of my matches!
As you can see even I still make play mistakes with the deck. It's not an easy one to pilot at all. So don't just pick up this deck and take it to a tournament then expect to win. Ask your friends to playtest with you, build it on Magic Online to test with, or play solitaire a little at the very least. I'm lucky enough to be able to test it on Magic Online, but the deck is pretty cheap to build anyway. Just keep in mind that this deck is much harder to play on Magic Online because you have to manually click through everything. After you flood the board you'll have to scroll back and forth if your monitor isn't large enough, and that can eat up some precious time. All that being said, I still have never timed out on Magic Online and I'm not the quickest player when it comes to using that program.
Another thing you'll need to know when playing this deck is your opponent's deck and how it generally operates. If you don't know the decks in Modern or what your opponent is trying to do then milling keycards or naming the wrong card with Pithing Needle will cause you to lose the game. So try to have a general understanding of the most popular decks in Modern.
After competitively playing this deck for 15 rounds this weekend I feel like I have a good grasp on the direction I want to go with it. I no longer want to play Gitaxian Probe or Duress. I'd probably play the fourth Mox Opal, possibly a Lens of Clarity to control our draw steps, the fourth Inquisition of Kozilek, maybe move a Welding Jar to the maindeck, some sort of tutor in Artificer's Intuition, or maybe even a Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. I really liked Infernal Tutor throughout the day and 100% want the fourth Sun Droplet in the board, burn is too hard without all four. Sometimes Infernal Tutor was a bit clunky in some matchups like burn or zoo and that's where I'd board it out. I'll continue to work on this deck and I'll give my fellow readers an update on it in the future when I know in what direction I want to go.
Make sure to check out Freshly Brewed, my podcast with Frank Lepore where we discuss many things Magic while having some fun banter in between! It's the best podcast out there!
I'm trying to fly out to Seattle to hang out with my buddy Frank and play in the Grand Prix. If you would like to support, any little thing helps. We have a Patreon here so head on over and help us out!
As always thanks for reading AND I LUB YOU ALL!
@Alieldrazi on the twitter