Even with the recent bannings of Oko, Thief of Crowns, Mycosynth Lattice and Mox Opal, Modern remains diverse and offers plenty of creativity. This week, we are delving into a popular archetype since Extended: Tron, in particular, Mono-Blue Tron.

There are plenty of misconceptions about Mono-Blue Tron, and although it's commonly seen as a budget alternative, it offers a different approach compared to other Tron strategies. Mono-Green Tron, the traditional variant, is single-minded in its focus on assembling Tron. The approach is a simple one: assemble Tron and deploy the biggest threat you have access to, such as Karn Liberated or Wurmcoil Engine, and hope there isn't much interaction. Mono-Green Tron ramps to its bombs quickly and consistently.

Mono-Blue Tron offers a distinctive approach, which revolves around countering the opponent's strategy. By taking this course there is less stress on achieving Tron in the early turns, as Mono-Blue Tron can provide disruption until the opponent runs out of interaction. Eventually, Mono-Blue Tron can deploy its threats in Sundering Titan or Wurmcoil Engine to push through to victory once your opponent is out of resources. Alternatively, Mono-Blue Tron is known for adopting the Mindslaver combination which is a win condition that can potentially steal games.

The sequence is achieved once you hit thirteen mana. You can Mindslaver lock the opponent by sacrificing the artifact to take control of the opponent's turn, then placing Mindslaver on the top of your library with Academy Ruins. Rinse and repeat. Admittedly, Mindslaver locking your opponent doesn't necessarily guarantee you victory as this doesn't put your opponent's life total to zero. However, it is an excellent fail-safe if you are not able to close out the game in other ways.

If you are well-versed in control or fancy taking a dip into the archetype, Mono-Blue Tron presents a suitable starting point without the price tag of traditional control builds. This week, I'll be dipping into Mono-Blue Tron and how to create the archetype on a budget with notable upgrades to offer a competitive and unique strategy. Let's begin at looking at a budget iteration of Mono-Blue Tron.

Budget Mono-Blue Tron ($240)

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Budget Mono-Blue Tron ($240) by Emma Partlow

'Budget Mono-Blue Tron ($240)' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Emma Partlow

Event:

Rank:

Freeform

Market Price: $156.43

Cards

Tolaria West

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $2.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234089_200w.jpg

Tolaria West enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {U}.
Transmute {1}{U}{U} ({1}{U}{U}, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with mana value 0, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle. Transmute only as a sorcery.)

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Urza's Mine

Market Price: $1.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218281_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}. If you control an Urza's Power-Plant and an Urza's Tower, add {C}{C} instead.

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Mindslaver

Market Price: $4.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36515_200w.jpg

{4}, {T}, Sacrifice Mindslaver: You control target player during that player's next turn. (You see all cards that player could see and make all decisions for the player.)

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Platinum Angel

Market Price: $8.88

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/121887_200w.jpg

Flying
You can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game.

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Oblivion Stone

Market Price: $2.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218880_200w.jpg

{4}, {T}: Put a fate counter on target permanent.
{5}, {T}, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove all fate counters from all permanents.

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Commit // Memory

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130160_200w.jpg

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River of Tears

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $4.97

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145394_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}. If you played a land this turn, add {B} instead.

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Talisman of Dominance

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $3.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248764_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}. Talisman of Dominance deals 1 damage to you.

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Hurkyl's Recall

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $3.98

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98504_200w.jpg

Return all artifacts target player owns to their hand.

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Relic of Progenitus

Market Price: $5.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118645_200w.jpg

{T}: Target player exiles a card from their graveyard.
{1}, Exile Relic of Progenitus: Exile all graveyards. Draw a card.

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Condescend

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145405_200w.jpg

Counter target spell unless its controller pays {X}. Scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

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Spell Pierce

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145258_200w.jpg

Counter target noncreature spell unless its controller pays {2}.

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Sorcerous Spyglass

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198975_200w.jpg

As Sorcerous Spyglass enters the battlefield, look at an opponent's hand, then choose any card name.
Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can't be activated unless they're mana abilities.

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Phyrexian Metamorph

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $5.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218606_200w.jpg

({U/P} can be paid with either {U} or 2 life.)
You may have Phyrexian Metamorph enter the battlefield as a copy of any artifact or creature on the battlefield, except it's an artifact in addition to its other types.

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Thirst for Knowledge

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227224_200w.jpg

Draw three cards. Then discard two cards unless you discard an artifact card.

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Repeal

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145425_200w.jpg

Return target nonland permanent with mana value X to its owner's hand.
Draw a card.

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Spreading Seas

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $5.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33438_200w.jpg

Enchant land
When Spreading Seas enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Enchanted land is an Island.

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Dismember

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98390_200w.jpg

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.)
Target creature gets -5/-5 until end of turn.

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Trinket Mage

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162802_200w.jpg

When Trinket Mage enters the battlefield, you may search your library for an artifact card with mana value 1 or less, reveal that card, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215718_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Academy Ruins

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $8.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218575_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}{U}, {T}: Put target artifact card from your graveyard on top of your library.

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Torrential Gearhulk

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $4.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/122703_200w.jpg

Flash
When Torrential Gearhulk enters the battlefield, you may cast target instant card from your graveyard without paying its mana cost. If that spell would be put into your graveyard this turn, exile it instead.

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Karn, the Great Creator

Market Price: $9.98

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188386_200w.jpg

Activated abilities of artifacts your opponents control can't be activated.
+1: Until your next turn, up to one target noncreature artifact becomes an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its mana value.
−2: You may reveal an artifact card you own from outside the game or choose a face-up artifact card you own in exile. Put that card into your hand.

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Tectonic Edge

Market Price: $1.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94496_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Tectonic Edge: Destroy target nonbasic land. Activate only if an opponent controls four or more lands.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/94496/magic-commander-2014-tectonic-edge

Liquimetal Coating

Market Price: $1.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166861_200w.jpg

{T}: Target permanent becomes an artifact in addition to its other types until end of turn.

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Spatial Contortion

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/110699_200w.jpg

({C} represents colorless mana.)
Target creature gets +3/-3 until end of turn.

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Field of Ruin

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248181_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Field of Ruin: Destroy target nonbasic land an opponent controls. Each player searches their library for a basic land card, puts it onto the battlefield, then shuffles.

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Expedition Map

Market Price: $1.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218259_200w.jpg

{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Expedition Map: Search your library for a land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Urza's Tower

Market Price: $1.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218285_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}. If you control an Urza's Mine and an Urza's Power-Plant, add {C}{C}{C} instead.

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Urza's Power Plant

Market Price: $1.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218284_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}. If you control an Urza's Mine and an Urza's Tower, add {C}{C} instead.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/218284/magic-double-masters-urzas-power-plant

Sundering Titan

Market Price: $0.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218467_200w.jpg

When Sundering Titan enters or leaves the battlefield, choose a land of each basic land type, then destroy those lands.

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Treasure Mage

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218468_200w.jpg

When Treasure Mage enters the battlefield, you may search your library for an artifact card with mana value 6 or greater, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Remand

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $3.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98768_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it into its owner's hand instead of into that player's graveyard.
Draw a card.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/98768/magic-modern-masters-2015-remand

Spell Burst

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233898_200w.jpg

Buyback {3} (You may pay an additional {3} as you cast this spell. If you do, put this card into your hand as it resolves.)
Counter target spell with mana value X.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/233898/magic-time-spiral-remastered-spell-burst

Karn, Scion of Urza

Market Price: $7.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162259_200w.jpg

+1: Reveal the top two cards of your library. An opponent chooses one of them. Put that card into your hand and exile the other with a silver counter on it.
−1: Put a card you own with a silver counter on it from exile into your hand.
−2: Create a 0/0 colorless Construct artifact creature token with "This creature gets +1/+1 for each artifact you control."

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/162259/magic-dominaria-karn-scion-of-urza

This build totals up to roughly $240 and presents a decent foundation for the strategy. Although it may seem like a blue splash in a Tron build, it's actually a blue build splashing Tron to power up countermagic like Condescend and Spell Burst. If there isn't anything to counter, we can utilize our powerful draw spells like Thirst for Knowledge to pull ahead. Admittedly, this can be one of the more difficult aspects of playing Mono-Blue Tron as it requires format knowledge and understanding of which countermagic to play. It's natural to be discouraged initially, but there are various moving parts and intricacies which makes Mono-Blue Tron fascinating and rewarding to play.

As you can see, we have included the Karn, the Great Creator package although Mycosynth Lattice is no longer legal in Modern. It may seem strange to include the colorless planeswalker without this lock, but Karn offers plenty of value and creates additional reach due to the utility it provides. For example, Liquimetal Coating presents land destruction, Phyrexian Metamorph can copy your opponent's best creature or your own, and Relic of Progenitus can offer graveyard maintenance. With this, we have created a basic "wishboard" for Karn. Your local metagame may vary, but this version should cover the basic threats in Modern.

Additionally, we have a split of Mindslaver between the mainboard and sideboard so we can protect our other copy of Mindslaver in case the first is removed. Nevertheless, due to the budget limitation, we have to strip away win conditions such as Walking Ballista given its price spike due to the newfound combination with Heliod, Sun-Crowned. Thus, we are leaning more on the Mindslaver combination than optimal Mono-Blue Tron builds, but this will be a short-term solution.

Once you are settled with this budget variant of Mono-Blue Tron, we can start adding powerful upgrades to provide more consistency.

Semi-Optimized Mono-Blue Tron ($390)

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Semi-Optimized Mono-Blue Tron ($390) by Emma Partlow

'Semi-Optimized Mono-Blue Tron ($390)' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Emma Partlow

Event:

Rank:

Freeform

Market Price: $318.84

Cards

Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215718_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/215718/magic-core-set-2021-island-265

Karn, Scion of Urza

Market Price: $7.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162259_200w.jpg

+1: Reveal the top two cards of your library. An opponent chooses one of them. Put that card into your hand and exile the other with a silver counter on it.
−1: Put a card you own with a silver counter on it from exile into your hand.
−2: Create a 0/0 colorless Construct artifact creature token with "This creature gets +1/+1 for each artifact you control."

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/162259/magic-dominaria-karn-scion-of-urza

Urza's Power Plant

Market Price: $1.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218284_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}. If you control an Urza's Mine and an Urza's Tower, add {C}{C} instead.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/218284/magic-double-masters-urzas-power-plant

Wurmcoil Engine

Market Price: $21.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218392_200w.jpg

Deathtouch, lifelink
When Wurmcoil Engine dies, create a 3/3 colorless Phyrexian Wurm artifact creature token with deathtouch and a 3/3 colorless Phyrexian Wurm artifact creature token with lifelink.

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Spreading Seas

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $5.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33438_200w.jpg

Enchant land
When Spreading Seas enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Enchanted land is an Island.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/33438/magic-zendikar-spreading-seas

Karn, the Great Creator

Market Price: $9.98

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188386_200w.jpg

Activated abilities of artifacts your opponents control can't be activated.
+1: Until your next turn, up to one target noncreature artifact becomes an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its mana value.
−2: You may reveal an artifact card you own from outside the game or choose a face-up artifact card you own in exile. Put that card into your hand.

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Dismember

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98390_200w.jpg

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.)
Target creature gets -5/-5 until end of turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/98390/magic-modern-masters-2015-dismember

Field of Ruin

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248181_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Field of Ruin: Destroy target nonbasic land an opponent controls. Each player searches their library for a basic land card, puts it onto the battlefield, then shuffles.

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Walking Ballista

Market Price: $15.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218628_200w.jpg

Walking Ballista enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it.
{4}: Put a +1/+1 counter on Walking Ballista.
Remove a +1/+1 counter from Walking Ballista: It deals 1 damage to any target.

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Academy Ruins

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $8.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218575_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}{U}, {T}: Put target artifact card from your graveyard on top of your library.

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Spell Pierce

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145258_200w.jpg

Counter target noncreature spell unless its controller pays {2}.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/145258/magic-ixalan-spell-pierce

Thirst for Knowledge

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227224_200w.jpg

Draw three cards. Then discard two cards unless you discard an artifact card.

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Trinket Mage

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162802_200w.jpg

When Trinket Mage enters the battlefield, you may search your library for an artifact card with mana value 1 or less, reveal that card, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Surgical Extraction

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $23.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98646_200w.jpg

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.)
Choose target card in a graveyard other than a basic land card. Search its owner's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that card and exile them. Then that player shuffles.

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Oblivion Stone

Market Price: $2.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218880_200w.jpg

{4}, {T}: Put a fate counter on target permanent.
{5}, {T}, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove all fate counters from all permanents.

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Talisman of Dominance

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $3.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248764_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}. Talisman of Dominance deals 1 damage to you.

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Urza's Mine

Market Price: $1.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218281_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}. If you control an Urza's Power-Plant and an Urza's Tower, add {C}{C} instead.

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Blast Zone

Market Price: $2.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188636_200w.jpg

Blast Zone enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it.
{T}: Add {C}.
{X}{X}, {T}: Put X charge counters on Blast Zone.
{3}, {T}, Sacrifice Blast Zone: Destroy each nonland permanent with mana value equal to the number of charge counters on Blast Zone.

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Liquimetal Coating

Market Price: $1.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166861_200w.jpg

{T}: Target permanent becomes an artifact in addition to its other types until end of turn.

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Treasure Mage

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218468_200w.jpg

When Treasure Mage enters the battlefield, you may search your library for an artifact card with mana value 6 or greater, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Urza's Tower

Market Price: $1.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218285_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}. If you control an Urza's Mine and an Urza's Power-Plant, add {C}{C}{C} instead.

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Platinum Angel

Market Price: $8.88

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/121887_200w.jpg

Flying
You can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game.

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Repeal

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145425_200w.jpg

Return target nonland permanent with mana value X to its owner's hand.
Draw a card.

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Spatial Contortion

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/110699_200w.jpg

({C} represents colorless mana.)
Target creature gets +3/-3 until end of turn.

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Condescend

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145405_200w.jpg

Counter target spell unless its controller pays {X}. Scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

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Cyclonic Rift

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $28.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218370_200w.jpg

Return target nonland permanent you don't control to its owner's hand.
Overload {6}{U} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")

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Tolaria West

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $2.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234089_200w.jpg

Tolaria West enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {U}.
Transmute {1}{U}{U} ({1}{U}{U}, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with mana value 0, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle. Transmute only as a sorcery.)

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Mindslaver

Market Price: $4.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36515_200w.jpg

{4}, {T}, Sacrifice Mindslaver: You control target player during that player's next turn. (You see all cards that player could see and make all decisions for the player.)

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Sorcerous Spyglass

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198975_200w.jpg

As Sorcerous Spyglass enters the battlefield, look at an opponent's hand, then choose any card name.
Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can't be activated unless they're mana abilities.

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River of Tears

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $4.97

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145394_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}. If you played a land this turn, add {B} instead.

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Remand

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $3.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98768_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it into its owner's hand instead of into that player's graveyard.
Draw a card.

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Spell Burst

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233898_200w.jpg

Buyback {3} (You may pay an additional {3} as you cast this spell. If you do, put this card into your hand as it resolves.)
Counter target spell with mana value X.

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Relic of Progenitus

Market Price: $5.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118645_200w.jpg

{T}: Target player exiles a card from their graveyard.
{1}, Exile Relic of Progenitus: Exile all graveyards. Draw a card.

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Torrential Gearhulk

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $4.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/122703_200w.jpg

Flash
When Torrential Gearhulk enters the battlefield, you may cast target instant card from your graveyard without paying its mana cost. If that spell would be put into your graveyard this turn, exile it instead.

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Engineered Explosives

Market Price: $16.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218293_200w.jpg

Sunburst (This enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it.)
{2}, Sacrifice Engineered Explosives: Destroy each nonland permanent with mana value equal to the number of charge counters on Engineered Explosives.

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Expedition Map

Market Price: $1.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218259_200w.jpg

{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Expedition Map: Search your library for a land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Phyrexian Metamorph

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $5.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218606_200w.jpg

({U/P} can be paid with either {U} or 2 life.)
You may have Phyrexian Metamorph enter the battlefield as a copy of any artifact or creature on the battlefield, except it's an artifact in addition to its other types.

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Crucible of Worlds

Market Price: $33.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/168749_200w.jpg

You may play lands from your graveyard.

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These are the upgrades I would look at incorporating first, which come to roughly $150 on top of the original budget list.

As mentioned earlier, the addition of Walking Ballista provides a consistent win condition which can be found off a Trinket Mage or a transmuted Tolaria West. You can also loop your Walking Ballista with Academy Ruins to either keep the board state in check or to kill your opponent. If you are feeling creative, you can spilt your Walking Ballistas between your mainboard and sideboard so it can be wished by Karn, the Great Creator.

In addition to Walking Ballista, Wurmcoil Engine is another threat which offsets damage against aggressive strategies and is a staple in Tron archetypes. With almost no white in the top Modern archetypes, Wurmcoil Engine will generate value due to the low representation of Path to Exile at present. Cyclonic Rift is a known staple in Commander which offers a great way to clear the board of non-land permanents. Mono-Blue Tron can successfully cast this for its overload cost due to the amounts of mana we can generate.

Next, to the sideboard: we are adding more tools to the Karn, the Great Creator package by adding Crucible of Worlds and Engineered Explosives to the mix. Given that utilizing the Tron lands is a key part of our strategy, Crucible of Worlds has plenty of application defensively as well as offensively. We can use Crucible of Worlds to replay our lands against land destruction, or use it to strip our opponents' resources by recurring Field of Ruin or Blast Zone. Engineered Explosives is one of the most flexible board wipes in Modern, and although we are mono-blue, we can take advantage of Talisman of Dominance and River of Tears to offer more charge counters if required. If you are experiencing a creature-focused local metagame, I would be tempted to grab a second copy to put in the mainboard as it can be tutored with Trinket Mage easily.

Surgical Extraction is a great tool against combo strategies and lines up well with your countermagic suite. Plus, Surgical Extraction can also be used in Tron mirrors to permanently take your opponent off Tron. At worst, it offers information on what your opponent is siding in against you.

If you are looking to fully optimize Mono-Blue Tron, the final list rounds out at $700. That may seem like a lot, but this handful of cards is extremely powerful in the Modern landscape at present.

Fully Optimized Mono-Blue Tron ($700)

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Fully Optimized Mono-Blue Tron ($700) by Emma Partlow

'Fully Optimized Mono-Blue Tron ($700)' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Emma Partlow

Event:

Rank:

Freeform

Market Price: $608.32

Cards

Oblivion Stone

Market Price: $2.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218880_200w.jpg

{4}, {T}: Put a fate counter on target permanent.
{5}, {T}, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove all fate counters from all permanents.

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Karn, the Great Creator

Market Price: $9.98

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188386_200w.jpg

Activated abilities of artifacts your opponents control can't be activated.
+1: Until your next turn, up to one target noncreature artifact becomes an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its mana value.
−2: You may reveal an artifact card you own from outside the game or choose a face-up artifact card you own in exile. Put that card into your hand.

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Cyclonic Rift

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $28.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218370_200w.jpg

Return target nonland permanent you don't control to its owner's hand.
Overload {6}{U} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")

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Talisman of Dominance

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $3.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248764_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}. Talisman of Dominance deals 1 damage to you.

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Crucible of Worlds

Market Price: $33.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/168749_200w.jpg

You may play lands from your graveyard.

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Wurmcoil Engine

Market Price: $21.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218392_200w.jpg

Deathtouch, lifelink
When Wurmcoil Engine dies, create a 3/3 colorless Phyrexian Wurm artifact creature token with deathtouch and a 3/3 colorless Phyrexian Wurm artifact creature token with lifelink.

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Repeal

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145425_200w.jpg

Return target nonland permanent with mana value X to its owner's hand.
Draw a card.

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River of Tears

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $4.97

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145394_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}. If you played a land this turn, add {B} instead.

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Karn, Scion of Urza

Market Price: $7.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162259_200w.jpg

+1: Reveal the top two cards of your library. An opponent chooses one of them. Put that card into your hand and exile the other with a silver counter on it.
−1: Put a card you own with a silver counter on it from exile into your hand.
−2: Create a 0/0 colorless Construct artifact creature token with "This creature gets +1/+1 for each artifact you control."

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Walking Ballista

Market Price: $15.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218628_200w.jpg

Walking Ballista enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it.
{4}: Put a +1/+1 counter on Walking Ballista.
Remove a +1/+1 counter from Walking Ballista: It deals 1 damage to any target.

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Relic of Progenitus

Market Price: $5.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118645_200w.jpg

{T}: Target player exiles a card from their graveyard.
{1}, Exile Relic of Progenitus: Exile all graveyards. Draw a card.

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Liquimetal Coating

Market Price: $1.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166861_200w.jpg

{T}: Target permanent becomes an artifact in addition to its other types until end of turn.

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Dismember

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98390_200w.jpg

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.)
Target creature gets -5/-5 until end of turn.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215718_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Academy Ruins

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $8.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218575_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}{U}, {T}: Put target artifact card from your graveyard on top of your library.

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Urza's Mine

Market Price: $1.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218281_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}. If you control an Urza's Power-Plant and an Urza's Tower, add {C}{C} instead.

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Engineered Explosives

Market Price: $16.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218293_200w.jpg

Sunburst (This enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it.)
{2}, Sacrifice Engineered Explosives: Destroy each nonland permanent with mana value equal to the number of charge counters on Engineered Explosives.

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Blast Zone

Market Price: $2.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188636_200w.jpg

Blast Zone enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it.
{T}: Add {C}.
{X}{X}, {T}: Put X charge counters on Blast Zone.
{3}, {T}, Sacrifice Blast Zone: Destroy each nonland permanent with mana value equal to the number of charge counters on Blast Zone.

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Spatial Contortion

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/110699_200w.jpg

({C} represents colorless mana.)
Target creature gets +3/-3 until end of turn.

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Field of Ruin

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248181_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Field of Ruin: Destroy target nonbasic land an opponent controls. Each player searches their library for a basic land card, puts it onto the battlefield, then shuffles.

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Gemstone Caverns

Market Price: $27.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234032_200w.jpg

If Gemstone Caverns is in your opening hand and you're not the starting player, you may begin the game with Gemstone Caverns on the battlefield with a luck counter on it. If you do, exile a card from your hand.
{T}: Add {C}. If Gemstone Caverns has a luck counter on it, instead add one mana of any color.

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Expedition Map

Market Price: $1.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218259_200w.jpg

{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Expedition Map: Search your library for a land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Market Price: $22.62

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215338_200w.jpg

+2: Ugin, the Spirit Dragon deals 3 damage to any target.
−X: Exile each permanent with mana value X or less that's one or more colors.
−10: You gain 7 life, draw seven cards, then put up to seven permanent cards from your hand onto the battlefield.

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Thirst for Knowledge

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227224_200w.jpg

Draw three cards. Then discard two cards unless you discard an artifact card.

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Trinket Mage

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162802_200w.jpg

When Trinket Mage enters the battlefield, you may search your library for an artifact card with mana value 1 or less, reveal that card, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Tolaria West

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $2.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234089_200w.jpg

Tolaria West enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {U}.
Transmute {1}{U}{U} ({1}{U}{U}, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with mana value 0, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle. Transmute only as a sorcery.)

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Snapcaster Mage

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $50.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/179455_200w.jpg

Flash
When Snapcaster Mage enters the battlefield, target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (You may cast that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Trinisphere

Market Price: $17.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218573_200w.jpg

As long as Trinisphere is untapped, each spell that would cost less than three mana to cast costs three mana to cast. (Additional mana in the cost may be paid with any color of mana or colorless mana. For example, a spell that would cost {1}{B} to cast costs {2}{B} to cast instead.)

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Mindslaver

Market Price: $4.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36515_200w.jpg

{4}, {T}, Sacrifice Mindslaver: You control target player during that player's next turn. (You see all cards that player could see and make all decisions for the player.)

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Tectonic Edge

Market Price: $1.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94496_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Tectonic Edge: Destroy target nonbasic land. Activate only if an opponent controls four or more lands.

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Remand

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $3.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98768_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it into its owner's hand instead of into that player's graveyard.
Draw a card.

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Chalice of the Void

Market Price: $69.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161358_200w.jpg

Chalice of the Void enters the battlefield with X charge counters on it.
Whenever a player casts a spell with mana value equal to the number of charge counters on Chalice of the Void, counter that spell.

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Surgical Extraction

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $23.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98646_200w.jpg

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.)
Choose target card in a graveyard other than a basic land card. Search its owner's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that card and exile them. Then that player shuffles.

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Urza's Tower

Market Price: $1.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218285_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}. If you control an Urza's Mine and an Urza's Power-Plant, add {C}{C}{C} instead.

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Spell Pierce

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145258_200w.jpg

Counter target noncreature spell unless its controller pays {2}.

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Urza's Power Plant

Market Price: $1.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218284_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}. If you control an Urza's Mine and an Urza's Tower, add {C}{C} instead.

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Spreading Seas

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $5.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33438_200w.jpg

Enchant land
When Spreading Seas enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Enchanted land is an Island.

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Condescend

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145405_200w.jpg

Counter target spell unless its controller pays {X}. Scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

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As you can see, we are adding Tron staples in Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and Chalice of the Void to strengthen our disruptive approach.

Chalice of the Void is the premier disruptive spell in Modern, seeing extensive play in Eldrazi Tron and Prison strategies. Deploying a Chalice of the Void on 1 is a great way to hose other dense spell strategies; however, be mindful of when you cast Chalice of the Void as it can hinder your game plan also. Chalice of the Void is a meta-dependant card which will vary on mileage, but given that Expedition Map is our only one-mana spell the downside is minimal. There is less urgency to cast Chalice of the Void on the early turns as we are only running two copies which can be found by Karn, the Great Creator or Trinket Mage. Besides, you can value-discard Chalice of the Void to Thirst for Knowledge which is a fair line to take.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is one of the best payoffs of utilizing Tron lands. Although we are only running one, it is one of the most powerful answers to strategies that care about colored permanents such as Humans and Dredge. It is a win condition all on its own which we can back up with countermagic in the late game. The addition of Gemstone Caverns is not essential in Mono-Blue Tron, but is used to offset the disadvantage of being on the draw. Modern has a bunch of potent two-drops which we have no way of countering while being on the draw, and Gemstone Caverns remedies this somewhat despite it being a poor draw during matches. Lastly, the addition of Snapcaster Mage may seem odd in conjunction with Tron lands, but it's great at gaining mileage out of Condescend and Repeal which we have plenty of mana to sink into.

Similar to Soul Sisters and Martyr Proc, Mono-Blue Tron has been a feature of the Modern landscape since Extended and remains a unique take on the archetype. Another benefit to starting off with Mono-Blue Tron is that you can branch off into Mono-Green or Eldrazi Tron down the line as you have the Tron shell already. Although the banning of Mycosynth Lattice has slowed down Karn, the Great Creator strategies, there are plenty of tools Mono-Blue Tron can use to interact with the Modern metagame, and successful interactive strategies are hard to come by at present. It may not be the top tier of strategies, however, in the hands of an experienced pilot, any level of success is possible.